How to Improve the Sound of Your Stereo System for Less Than $100

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Improve the Sound of Your Stereo System for Less Than $100
Improve the Sound of Your Stereo System for Less Than $100

How to Improve the Sound of Your Stereo System for Less Than $100. Experimentation and free or inexpensive adjustments to your equipment can make a big difference in the sound quality of your stereo system - sometimes more than buying expensive equipment. Try these tweaks and see if your system sounds better.

Things You'll Need

  • CD Cleaning Kits
  • Endust For Electronics
  • Compressed Airs
  • Speaker Cables

Cleaning and Maintenance

Clean your stylus regularly. Clean records before each play and CDs periodically.

Make sure all interconnects have snug fits. Regularly clean all connection points in the system.

Periodically clean the laser lens on your CD player. Spray canned air or use a commercial lens cleaner.

Cables, Wiring and Power

Leave your receiver or amplifier on all the time, or warm it up for at least an hour before listening.

Make sure audio cables and power cables do not touch.

Be sure interconnects and speaker cables are not any longer than necessary.

Reverse your AC plugs if they aren't polarized.

Keep your CD player at least 1 foot away from analog equipment.

Vibration Reduction and Speakers

Put spikes or metal tiptoes under speakers and electronic components. Use stands for bookshelf or monitor speakers.

Replace component feet with soft pucks made of sorbothane or a similar material, or make your own from tennis balls, racquet balls, squash balls or flexible packaging foam. Cut balls into two identical pieces.

Place concrete blocks or bricks on top of components to add mass.

Use a rigid, nonresonant equipment rack.

Position your speakers carefully and correctly. See "Set Up Stereo Speakers" under Related eHows.

Remove grilles or grille cloths from your speakers.

Use absorptive wall hangings, such as rugs, behind the speakers in a "live" room.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure the vertical tracking angle (VTA) of your phono cartridge is adjusted correctly.
  • Use interconnects with gold-plated RCA plugs.
  • Place components well away from speakers.
  • Position speakers at least two feet away from back and side walls.
  • Use an LP or CD with test tones to evaluate flat frequency response as you move speakers or make other changes to your system.
  • Avoid using extension cords.
  • Avoid overloading a single circuit.
  • Avoid circuits shared with dimmer switches or major appliances.

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