Snake Oil Product of the Year Awards

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aardvarkash10
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Post by aardvarkash10 » 12 Jan 2010 02:14

fscl wrote:Art Dudley in this months Stereophile commented on THESE VERY isolators in his possession.

He writes about a bunch of snake oil products and mentions:

Quantum's QX4 Electro Magnetic Field Stabilizers... :shock: :shock:

and that they work :shock: :shock: when tested on his wife.

http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue42/qrt.htm

Fred and what the heck? #-o
freakin' babble! I especially love this gem:
Turning to J.S. Bach's "Concerto in d, after Vivaldi", Stereophile Test CD (CD, Stereophile STPH-002-2), the system could now resolve the notes generated by the Flentrop organ pipes distinct from the strong reverberation of the stone surfaced Busch-Reisinger Museum, a small chapel in which it was recorded. Previously the pipe tones and reverberation blended together rendering the system unable to resolve the recorded space separate from the music itself. I could now even hear a slight chuffing of the pipes as each key of the organ was depressed
Now, forgive me for being such a pleb, but I have always thought that for instruments like a pipe organ, the "recorded space" is a part of the music itself. Or does he want to suggest removing the organ to an acoustically benign environment?

What a tosser. And sadly, no better nor worse than the majority of them. Sales staff, not journalists, and certainly not a reviewer.

MonkeyBoy
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Post by MonkeyBoy » 12 Jan 2010 03:04

Some of this stuff is funny as can be! mrw00ds, I read the blurbs on your nomination and noticed the patent number of each of them was the same. (this was the painted hockey pucks) I also noticed that they were treated with a proprietary process by the company. My guess is they painted them. The U.S. patent number for them as listed is D364168. If any of you are inventors you will know that patent numbers are never issued with letters, they are simply sequentially numbered and the number are now in the 7,000,000 range. Actually, the last numbers I have seen are over 7263000.

Bigears, that one you listed was hilarious! I liked it so much I saved the web page to show others who might appreciate it. There's the old saying "You can't make this s up." So much for sayings worth repeating. :lol:

This was probably the funniest thread since the one about mp3 being better than analog. What a hoot!

Mark E Smith's Dentist
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Post by Mark E Smith's Dentist » 12 Jan 2010 09:37

A friend of mine has a Nordost Thor with the QX something unit in it. He had a UK one but changed to a US one so he could use their better plugs with no fuses in it.

It is expensive but the improvement it brings is vast. His UK one had a loose socket so it went back to Isotek for a couple of weeks. During that time he couldn't bear to listen to music, the sound had gone from a huge, open soundstage to this miserable dense clump between the speakers. It was like going from wide stereo to mono.

I know there are some utterly stupid tweaks out there - I was at a dem last year where they had the Shun Mook mpingo bits including that €1,800 record puck - I heard an A/B where it clearly made no difference at all. However they're not all snake oil and shouldn't be tarred with the same brush.

Better (or even better, no) fuses in UK mains plugs do make an audible improvement and I'm sure that the only doubters are the people who've not tried it because they're convinced it won't work.


JT

aardvarkash10
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Post by aardvarkash10 » 12 Jan 2010 09:42

jon tiltman wrote:
I know there are some utterly stupid tweaks out there - I was at a dem last year where they had the Shun Mook mpingo bits including that €1,800 record puck - I heard an A/B where it clearly made no difference at all. However they're not all snake oil and shouldn't be tarred with the same brush.

Better (or even better, no) fuses in UK mains plugs do make an audible improvement and I'm sure that the only doubters are the people who've not tried it because they're convinced it won't work.


JT
Yep - 500km of cable between you and the generating plant and 10mm of fusable link makes music not worth listening to.

Your friend needs a life and a sense of perspective. A hearing test would help too.

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Post by Mark E Smith's Dentist » 12 Jan 2010 09:54

I said that after living with the Nordost Thor it was difficult to listen to music without one.

Fuses do make a difference albeit not as profound as the Thor. I'm not disagreeing with the theory that they shouldn't but I also suspect that you're so convinced that you're right that you've not tried it.


JT

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Post by henkuk » 12 Jan 2010 10:19

jon tiltman wrote:I said that after living with the Nordost Thor it was difficult to listen to music without one.

Fuses do make a difference albeit not as profound as the Thor. I'm not disagreeing with the theory that they shouldn't but I also suspect that you're so convinced that you're right that you've not tried it.


JT
I am sceptical too. Is there any scientific evidence to underpin the claimed improvement? It always seems that when these claims are made the same old line comes up:
"The soundstage was hugely improved....."

That is probably the most meaningless sentence in the hi-fi world as it is completely subjective, recording related and very hard to consistently demonstrate.....

A fuse lets a current through. Either that current gets reduced by the fuse or not, both are easy to measure. The current will not flow better, quicker or different based on the fuse material, the fuse will just act as a barrier or not.

I have measured through many devices at the point where the fuse is between the wall socket and multi meter. Irrespective of type of fuse used, I get the same readout of current. So what can it possibly do to replace this?

Guest

Post by Guest » 12 Jan 2010 17:46

2p worth of rage against the machine, well fuses therein :wink: Fuses should be banned. Everyone knows semiconductors blow to protect fuses. The little devils fail at the world's worst possible moment, when there's no chance of finding a handy replacement. And it will be an anti-surge semi-demi-hemi delay type T with a J after it, that no-one knows what the J means and no-one stocks the exact replacement. Then you spend 3 days trying to find why the fuse blew only to conclude it just did, that was it's time. Then another three days trying to figure out if a semi-delay type Q is a suitable replacement, only to find no-one on the whole planet knows how to predict the life of a fuse. And there are circuit positions where fuses should not be placed, e.g where there's any large current, but that's exactly where they congregate like some electronic lemmings poised on the cliff edge.

But I suppose they might save burning the house down. Then again, I bet amongst the smouldering ruins, the fuse would be intact.

On audio effects of mains fuses, that's another minefield where it's at least as likely to have a psychological cause as a real one IMO. Stay away, run to the hills !

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Post by EdAInWestOC » 12 Jan 2010 17:57

Blue Angel wrote:
EdAInWestOC wrote:
NickT wrote:I just had to check my calendar to make sure it's not April 1st yet. Who thinks up this cr@p? File alongside pyramid power, the Loch Ness monster, Yetis etc... :lol:

Did you know your fuses are mucking up your hi-fi? Nope, neither did I until I read this...

http://www.russandrews.com/product-13A- ... d-1019.htm
If you remove all of the fuses from your rig it will be dead quiet. No charge for the advice...

Ed
:lol: So how much is your fuse puller Ed? I think I'll splash out on a couple.

ba
Blue...my fuse puller is a special cryoed model with directional, acoustically enhanced, special signature edition handle grips. They are available in titanium, special nickle plated gun metal edition and the ever popular solid silver model.

Special hardwood models have been sold out.

Of course the metal used is single crystal, specially aligned and blessed by the audio gods.

They start at a mere $49,795.00USD per par. Exchange rates apply...

Ed

Bebé Tonto

Post by Bebé Tonto » 12 Jan 2010 19:18

jon tiltman wrote:Better (or even better, no) fuses in UK mains plugs do make an audible improvement
Solid electrical theory says "no". A fuse is only a conductor and it's usually placed on the transformer's primary where it simply conducts vulgar, noisy, unstable AC current.

Bebé Tonto

Post by Bebé Tonto » 12 Jan 2010 19:19

henkuk wrote:It always seems that when these claims are made the same old line comes up:
"The soundstage was hugely improved....."

That is probably the most meaningless sentence in the hi-fi world as it is completely subjective
Don't forget the Stereophile classic: "Rhythm, pacing, timing, and staging".

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Post by EdAInWestOC » 12 Jan 2010 20:13

Bebé Tonto wrote:
jon tiltman wrote:Better (or even better, no) fuses in UK mains plugs do make an audible improvement
Solid electrical theory says "no". A fuse is only a conductor and it's usually placed on the transformer's primary where it simply conducts vulgar, noisy, unstable AC current.
Bebé Tonto,
What do you have plugged in that is making your AC vulgar? 8)

Ed

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Post by Steerpike_jhb » 12 Jan 2010 21:06

ld wrote:But I suppose they might save burning the house down. Then again, I bet amongst the smouldering ruins, the fuse would be intact.
Indeed! If they were 13 Amp fuses. I'm not familiar with a whole lot of audio gear - apart from a few industrial amplifiers - that draw a continuous average current of 13 amps.
Most audio gear will suffer catestrophic damage and, if so inclined, start to burn, with much less than 13A flowing into it.

Jorlsafar
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Post by Jorlsafar » 12 Jan 2010 21:07

Snakeoil product number one of the noughties is no doubt all of those LP
issues/reissues marketed as "Audiophile 180 grammes pressing", "made from
virgin vinyl", "Analogue sound - as it was meant to be", and similar,
whereas in fact the master copy for the LP in question is made from a
remastered Zi-Di from say 1996, the LP is not round, the LP is noisy, etc.

That is to me real snake oil. The odd hockey puck has snake oil written all
over itself and it is very hard to distinguish these from prank tweaks on the
prank web sites posted by the original poster. Such snake oil can be
charming.

Claims about "audiophile" quality - on the other hand - in LPs are more
difficult to see through.

NickT
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Post by NickT » 12 Jan 2010 21:38

Jorlsafar wrote: Claims about "audiophile" quality - on the other hand - in LPs are more
difficult to see through.
Good points Jorlsafar, but they are perhaps less of a stratospherically priced rip-off, more of a plain old mis-representation. One of the reasons I steer clear of new 're-issues' and try and track down older original issues.

Meanwhile, on the subject of stratospherically priced items, how about 6ft of speaker cable for $10,800. http://www.virtualdynamics.ca/genesis-2-0-vanquish

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Post by EdAInWestOC » 12 Jan 2010 21:50

Jorlsafar wrote:Snakeoil product number one of the noughties is no doubt all of those LP
issues/reissues marketed as "Audiophile 180 grammes pressing", "made from
virgin vinyl", "Analogue sound - as it was meant to be", and similar,
whereas in fact the master copy for the LP in question is made from a
remastered Zi-Di from say 1996, the LP is not round, the LP is noisy, etc.

That is to me real snake oil. The odd hockey puck has snake oil written all
over itself and it is very hard to distinguish these from prank tweaks on the
prank web sites posted by the original poster. Such snake oil can be
charming.

Claims about "audiophile" quality - on the other hand - in LPs are more
difficult to see through.
They are not all bad. In fact some of them are damm good, some are terrible...just like original pressings.

Catagorically dismissing a group of products does not lend a lot of credibility to the one claiming such a thing.

It's like saying all MM cartridges are such and such or only uni-pivot tonearms are worthy of consideration. Not very convincing...

Ed

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