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Quick Contact Info: 33 Union Place, Summit, NJ 07901 | (908)277-0333 |
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Bang for the Buck!
"What can I do to make my music more make it sound more real, more like the performer is in my house playing for me? What can I do to get the best performance for my money, more Bang for my Buck?"

Naturally we hear this all the time and happily admit that we are here to help you do just that. Everyone wants the most from their sound investment. Well there is no single answer for everyone, no "one size fits all" magic bullet. Everyone needs specific help for their room, system, and ears. That's why we encourage you to visit the store and let us help you on an individual basis. However, there are some basic changes that anyone can do to improve a system's sound and, therefore, musical enjoyment starting at only $65 or so. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Use good interconnect cables - If you are using any stock interconnect cables in your system, the "throw aways" that came with your equipment, replace them with Audioquest Sidwinder ($65), Copperhead ($95), Kimber Kable PBJ ($108), Kimber Kable Timbre ($138), or better interconnects. Any of these will yield significant improvements you will easily hear. Use the less expensive models on your least used or less critical components and the higher end models on your more used and more critical components like your CD and DVD players. By the way, this also holds true for the video connection from your DVD player. If you are using those giveaway cables, your picture is suffering significantly, especially if you are running them over long distances. Even the lowly USB cable should be upgraded to a high end model from Kimber Kable or Audioquest. Don't kid yourself into believing that, just because USB is a digital connection, quality doesn't matter. We hear noticeable improvements with quality USB cables between computers and audio components such as USB digital-to-Audio Converters.

  2. Use high quality speaker cable - If you are using generic wire for your speakers such as "zip cord", household wire, or even "speaker cable" like that sold at hardware stores or mass market, chain stores, you are throwing away the money you spent on your components. A very minor investment of $2.90, $4.25, or $11.00 per foot for Kimber Kable speaker cable will bring back the clean highs you are missing, improve the clarity of the bass, and greatly improve the imaging of your system. Your system will just sound more musical. Simply put, quality cables do make a difference, and, at the appropriate level for your system, are worth the cost.

  3. Tweaking your system - You should know that we're very suspicious of most "tweaks" and insist on verifying their value before recommending them to you. So when we tell you that an add-on item will improve your system's sound, we're confident that it's a true, sound improving device.

    • Vibrations are the problem, and Isolation is the solution - Bring on Gingko Audio. The Gingko Audio isolation platforms are very inexpensive (starting at $100) yet make significant and easily noticeable improvements in your sound. When placed under an audio component, especially a source component such as a CD player, a DVD player, or a turntable, the sound improvement and enhanced musicality are immediately obvious. Just place your equipment on them and enjoy the immediate improvement. This should be on everyone's ”Just Do It” list.

    • Cleaning up your home's AC power - Another invaluable add-on is one of the power line conditioners from Richard Gray's Power Company or Chang Lightspeed. The RGPC energy storage devices and the Chang Lightspeed noise filtration/isolation models smooth out the power fluctuations in every home and make a remarkable improvement in system sound for just a few hundred dollars. Come borrow one of our demos and prove it to yourself.

  4. Analog lives - Are you rediscovering the joy of listening to records or thinking that it might just be time to do so? LPs are not just for the entrenched audiophile or your parents. They have a great sound that digital has a hard time matching. Be it classical, jazz, country, show tunes or even hard rock, records are being played more and more. You may even have some old vinyl records in your house. If not, they are available used for $1 or less at garage sales. If you are not the garage sale type, many towns have vinyl shows where tens of thousands of LPs are offered for $1 each and up. Often this is music that can't be purchased on CD at any price. Pick up a new cartridge for your current turntable starting at about $50, or buy a properly designed and set-up turntable / cartridge package starting at about $349 and you are good to go. You can even get a set-up that will easily allow you to convert your LPs to digital music for you to store on your iPod or writable CDs. If you happen to need a phono preamp, you can get one in the $129 range or more. After that, buy 35 LPs for the cost of 2 CDs, clean them up, and listen to a sound that, in some ways, trumps the sound of many CD players.

    If you are already set up for vinyl, there are a few, “next steps”, that will improve your listening without spending a lot. If you have a decent quality turntable with a cartridge older than three years, you need to replace the cartridge so you don't harm your records and so you get quality sound. If you are already a record listener and are buying used LPs consider getting a record cleaning machine from Nitty Gritty or VPI? These machines wet wash the record and vacuum out the grooves, picking up any grunge and giving you a pristine surface for the best sound possible. We find the semi-automatic machines give the best balance of price and ease of use, but the manual ones do the same job and start at only $389. That's not bad for making those grit-filled grooves, and the music in them, shine!

  5. Personal listening - When was the last time you listened to music through a really good pair of headphones, the type that truly rivals the sound of good speakers, and simply enjoyed your music on your own? It can be a treat with a pair of Grado headphones or ear buds starting at $49. Unlike the cheap headphones that come with portable players, these are true high end transducers that can be used with your home system or with a portable player. If you don't have a headphone output on your system, that's only a minor problem. A headphone amplifier can be added for a modest investment. Give yourself some private time. You deserve it.

Gerry Adds His Personal Thoughts

There are a couple of other items in the $1,000 - $2,100 range that I am convinced can improve even the best of systems. I just love these items. While they are "Bang for the Buck" worthy, the above discussion was confined to less costly improvements. If you are interested in the others, ask us. We will be glad to show them to you.

When you can make a large improvement in your system, you should. We will help make sure the rewards are worth your time and money. If you can't make a large equipment upgrade, try the enhancements listed above. I am sure you will be very happy with the improvements you get. I have tested and installed almost all of them on my home system, and I look for the same "Bang for the Buck" as you do.

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Audio Nexus, LLC
33 Union Place
Summit, NJ 07901

   (908) 277-0333

Hours Mon-Sat 10:30AM-6PM, Thurs 6PM-9PM by appointment

We are authorized dealers for
Arcam * Audeze * Audience AV * Audio Physic * Audioquest * Balanced Audio Technology * Benz Micro * Bluesound * Chang Lightspeed * Clearaudio * Gallo Acoustics * Gingko Audio * Grado * Hana * Kimber Kable * Lehmann Audio * Lyra * Magnum Dynalab * Music Hall * Musical Surroundings * NAD * Niles Audio * Nitty Gritty * PrimaLuna * Pro-Ject * PSB * Quad * Revel * Rogue Audio * Rotel * Salamander Designs * Simaudio/MOON * Sonus faber * Stewart Screens * Sumiko * Totem Acoustic * Vandersteen * VPI * Wharfedale

Our products include
Audio-Video Furniture, Cables, CD Players, Digital-to-Analog Converters (DACs) and Music Streamers, Headphones and Headphone Amplifiers, Integrated Amplifiers, Loudspeakers, Phono Cartridges, Power Amplifiers, Power Line Conditioners, Preamplifiers and AV Processors, Receivers, Tuners, Turntables, Tonearms, and Record Cleaning Machines, Video Displays and Screens, and more.

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