Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Mind. Blown. The Bybee AV Enhancers Synergize in a BIG way with Stein Harmonizers

I love accidental discoveries. Especially the kind that turn out in such a positive way. This is  one of those discoveries that really excites me for two reasons. 1) it outperforms the previous method of implementing my tweaks beyond my expectations, and 2) it is not as expensive to achieve as the previous method. Please read on.
Bybee AV Signal Enhancers
I have been experimenting with the Bybee AV Signal Enhancers as of late. It is a fairly new product from the mind of Jack Bybee. Quite simply, it is a 4"x 6" black plexiglass plaque filled with a blend of "stuff" that when placed under components, cables, and in close proximity to speakers seem to lower the noise floor much like his inline Bybee Quantum Purifiers do. Only these are completely passive. They are extremely effective, and inexpensive by audiophile standards ($119.95 each).



Steinmusic Harmonizers
I have been a huge proponent of the Steinmusic Harmonizer system since it's inception. They are one of the most effective tweaks I have ever come across, and they work. Every. Single. Time. In addition to creating a huge, wrap-around, holographic soundstage, they also clarify the midrange and high frequencies, allowing one to hear ultra low level information like never before, and doing so while sweetening the mids and highs. Something that really has to be heard to be believed.

The Synergy Discovery
My 4 Harmonizer system had been out on loan for some time, so when the Bybee AV Enhancers had arrived, I had no Stein Harmonizers. I was getting some nice results from using the AV Enhancers by themselves. I had them under my power conditioner, my digital sources, and my power cables.  Their was a nicer ease and flow to the music, with of course the lowered noise floor and accompanying enlarged soundstage. Pretty damn good considering the investment.

The Harmonizers arrived from Audition a few days later at my home, and I put them in my system there in the evening. The effect with the 4 Harmonizers and AV Enhancers placed under the components was like having 6 to 8 harmonizers with a full compliment of Blue diamonds and Stones.  Mind you I hadn't even strategically placed the AV Enhancers to work with the Harmonizers in the room! They were still located under my system's components and cables.

Moving the AV enhancers out into the room really opened up the soundstage. To the point of the room boundaries nearly disappearing, and creating a surround-sound type of effect. Crazy!

I was actually able to remove 2 of the Harmonizers, and still maintain more of a  holographic sound, resolution and balance that was normally associated with 4 Harmonizers and a full compliment of stones.  At that point I knew I had really stumbled on to something.  There was a very powerful synergy between the Stein Harmonizers and AV Enhancers. So much so that I actually experienced better results with 4 or 5 AV Enhancers and only 2 Stein Harmonizers than I ever experienced with 4 Harmonizers, 10 stones, and 4 Blue Diamonds.

So for less money, I could achieve a much better result.

The Math
  • My previous reference system: Stein Harmonizer Platinum system (4 Harmonizers, 10 Stones) with 4 additional blue diamonds: $4700
  • The new reference system: 2 Stein Harmonizers with 5 Bybee AV Enhancers: $2648
The new reference system is SIGNIFICANTLY better, and costs $2100 less. If you feel the need to spend more, invest in more Bybee AV Enhancers.

Placement
I placed the Harmonizers (1 "A" version, 1 "B" version) in the corners of the room behind and to the outside of the loudspeakers from where I sat to listen. I put an AV enhancer atop each loudspeaker, and one in the corners of the room behind my listening position. I had one also on the ceiling, centered between my listening position and the speakers.


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Tinnitus: What Can Be Done (holistically) to Alleviate the Ring


Tinnitus is an awful, joy killing gremlin for the audiophile. While there is no cure, there are some ways to help alleviate the irritation of tinnitus.

What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is an annoying condition affecting the ears, which can seriously diminish a person's hearing. A multitude of distracting sounds such as ringing, hissing and buzzing can be heard which are often maddening and interfere with daily life. Tinnitus often develops after exposure to loud noise, ear infections or injuries affecting nerve endings.

I have recently had 3 of my good customers either discover they had it, or it had resurfaced after many years. It can spell the end of enjoyment of music for the audiophile if it is bad enough. I too have a bit of the ringing in the ears, and it can be aggravated by listening to music at moderate to high listening levels for long periods of time. I am also very sensitive to high frequency noises, such as the noise from an old Cathode Ray Tube television or monitor, power lines that carry a lot of current (and noise), and more recently air conditioner fans.

I am lucky, I still can hear very well. I just have to be aware of irritants and try to avoid them. For others the sound can impair hearing, and end the joy of listening to music.

No Cure. But There Are Treatments
Conventional medicine has no cure; however, there are certain holistic and natural treatments for tinnitus, that can alleviate its effects, making it easier to hear. I wanted to share them with my audiophile friends so that they may get a little relief from their ailment and enjoy listening to music once again.

Supplements and Foods - The Helpers

Please consult your natural health practitioner for personalized dosing guidelines.

1. Ginko Biloba - Often used as an herbal memory aid, Ginko Biloba helps increase blood flow to the neck, head and brain. Additionally, it reduces inflammation in blood vessels, promoting better circulation to the capillaries feeding the nerves surrounding the ear. Taking ginkgo is not a fast fix for tinnitus, and it takes time to relieve the problem. It's best to use it in combination with other remedies to relieve ringing or other noises in the ears from tinnitus.

2. CoEnzyme Q10 (CoQ10) - Previous clinical trials were conducted to ascertain the effects of CoEnzyme Q10 on patients with tinnitus. In 2007, the journal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery reported those findings, noting that CoQ10 may be helpful for certain people for reducing noises in the ears from tinnitus depending on the nature of their condition.

Supplements and Foods - Things to Avoid

Caffeine
Caffeine may reduce the flow of blood to the head, neck and ears constricting capillaries and other small blood vessels. This can, in turn, aggravate your tinnitus symptoms.

Salt

High salt intake can raise blood pressure, causing tinnitus and hypertension. If you are susceptible to the effects of sodium, reducing your salt intake is an important step in helping to lower your blood pressure and possibly reduce the intensity of the ringing in your ears.

Non Food consumables to avoid
1. Smoking
2. Alcohol
Both of these are thought to affect sufferers of Tinnitus, as they have a tendency to affect blood pressure and flow.
3. Aspirin - Aspirin, which is made with salicylic acid, is known to cause ringing in some people's ears

Last, pay attention to what triggers your Tinnitus. Is it food, drink, lack of sleep? Perhaps a certain noise or activity?

Do you have tinnitus? What do you do to help alleviate your suffering? Please share!


References
WikiHow - How to Reduce Tinnitus Naturally
Natural News - The eight best home remedies and holistic treatments to relieve tinnitus and ringing in the ears