when master ken recounted how little kc (my former blogger) performed this magical tweak for him over the weekend, his face was full of delirium and amazement. that itself is enough to convince me that he is up to something sinfully good.

i am torqueing, or sorry, talking about torque tools. well, there are many type of industrial torque tools for various applications but the kind we are talking about here is the torque screwdriver (picture above) to tighten up the screws - with precise torque - on your hifi (amplifiers, cdp and speakers).

this wonderful concept/tweak is advocated by taiwan telos' designer, mr. jeff lin, who subsequently taught little kc his bags of sure-fire tricks. as we know, when we tighten up the screws, the torque is always inconsistent hence the pressure applied is inconsistent as well. general physics will tell you that this will results in uneven resonance/vibrations, hence affecting the sound. but as to the degree of its negative impact (to the sound), very few people bother to find out.

i haven't tried it myself but from master ken's face (who's at most times a wise sceptic, if i shall use this description), i could believe all the fuss. his system is transformed by this simple tweak!

the good news is, telos dealer, john sin of c&o ipoh (012-5269313) has invited jeff lin to pay me a visit next month to impart some tricks to me. it is high time to torque to a sifu from taiwan! you bet i am excited about his visit!

everybody, let's torque hifi!

11 comments:

Ken said...

ML,

Me a wise skeptic:-P
Seriously, I am still learning about hifi even after more than a decade dabbling in it. I just know what I like and I find that most discernible audiophiles agree with my concept of a good sound, like you for instance;-)

The screwdriver that KC used was the Tohnichi RTD60CN version. He set the torque at 5.5 to tighten all types of screws in my hardware from cdp to speakers, inc the conditioners.

The frequency extension has really improved both ways. More airy highs and extended lows. I am also astounded that the soundstage has more depth. I don't use any room tunes or curtains at all on the front or back wall of my listening area. But after the tweak, I really feel that the front wall has disappeared. What I get now is the most coherent sound I have ever obtained from my system. The best cd to demonstrate this Koji Tamaki Red Wine SACD. The breathiness and emotion is so beguiling that I was almost knocked off my seat. Track 10 in the Tag Maclaren demo cd is also a good one to use. You can distinctly the sweep of the cymbals easily. The kickdrum was full, extended and well controlled

I find that there is no downside to the sound at all with this tweak. What's great is that KC did it for me for free. Now that's what friends are for;-))

kang said...

ken,

thanks so much....where to get the screwdriver

jeremy de siva said...

wow!!!another wonderful technique I pick up on this wonderful blog!!!!

Thank you so much Ken for sharing,if only those selfish fools in Wall street can be like us audiophiles...

bless you...

Ken said...

Kang,

I think KC ask Jeff Lin, the Telos designer to get it from him.

I don't know if it's available in Malaysia.

hifikaki said...

kang,

You can find them on ebay.

I'll also suggest you try to search in Jln Pasar if you are in KL, though I've yet to do so myself.

GCK said...

What a great tweak. Any brand of torque driver will do I think. It is the torque value that counts, right? Some equipment have Philips head and some have Allen head and some Torx head. So get the one that suits your components

Ken said...

All,

First of all, I have to thank KC profusely for enlightening me about this new tweak. Without his selfless ways, I wouldn't have have discover the true capability of my system. I sincerely thought that ATC could never have the silky highs of ribbon or those exotic tweeters. KC's has shown me otherwise.
I can say that the highs that I get is very intoxicating. It is also extremely addictive. Once you hear these kind of highs, you would not settle for less. As usual, YMMV.

If you are thinking of performing this tweak in your setup, you have to be aware that
1.the tightening of each component would result in different amount of improvement you can get. Depending on the torque of the screws in your component, sometimes you may not hear any improvement at all.
2.the amount of torque used also has an effect to the sound
3.the sound will also show up any imbalance or problems that you have in your setup, ie poor or wrong type of isolation, poor comnpatibility of components, etc. So beware.
4.Theoretically any torque driver would do but if you buy those cheapo stuff, they may not have been calibrated correctly, which means that when you use them, you may have either tighten it too much or too little.

Lastly, I want to tell all of you that I will not be held responsible for any damage that may have occured when you perform this tweak in your components. I am saying this because I know some audiophiles may even go as far as to tighten the screws on the circuit board of the components after they have done this on the external screws.

GCK said...

There are 2 brands that factory/industry use. They are Mountz and Tonichi.

kiarch said...

If I may shade a bit more light in this issue of torgue; there should have different torgues for various components to work in optimum level. So far no one has wrote any article on this mechanical tweaks but from what I have been practicing since 2002,I have the following findings;

For Speakers mounting; Tweeters mounting require higher torgue setting than the woofers. The torgue on front baffle should set higher than woofers. I have many pairs of LS3/5A, and they are made using technology know-how of the 70s; almost every pair in the market require to check for "Box Test" for it to work properly. Of 26 pairs that I own, 80% of them failed the 'Box Test'. I gained knowledge of this torgue from putting back these collections of mine.

For equipment, too high torgue is bad depending on thickness of casing & size of mounting screws.

Sequence of screwing (I like this phrase) is critical. And never allow to tighten any one of the screws in one singular attempt.

Ken said...

Jo,

Thanks for sharing your experience I thoroughly agree with you on the amount of torque may differ for each component.

So far KC has only tighten most of the screws in my system at a fixed torque and I can say I love the sound. Not only is the highs intoxicating, the bass has improved to go with a better defined soundstage. I feel that KC is correct to tighten the screws at the torque he set because the background noise in my system is also lower than before. If it has been done wrongly, I don't think I will get the nice sound I am getting now.
KC has even told me that he has tighten the screws inside his components with great success.

You mentioned that 80% of your LS3/5A failed the box test. I presume that you are talking about the torque being wrong. I am not surprised because the speakers could have been "fiddled" by previous owners. But I just feel that even if you could screw them all to the required torque, you could still get different sounds from each pair of the LS3/5A that you own. No one pair sounds the same.

YMMV

GCK said...

Ken, when you mentioned 5.5 settings for the torque driver, do you know what is the unit? Is it Kgfm or Nm or others?