Increasing the Sum of Communciable Knowledge
Amongst Audio Enthusiasts

Thanks a lot guys!!! If anyone else would like to contribute please do so.... but no "XXXX sucks" please, cos' I don't want to get sued :) And when this gets big enough, I'll break it into different sections...

OK, I admit its getting very big (thanks to wonderful contributions from fellow audio enthusiasts -- I'll organise it into proper sections soon...)

Centre of Gravity by Leslie

This time, I am going to share with you about my finding of the "Center of Gravity" (herein called COG) for my components. This method, I got the idea from the local Chinese audio magazine: Sound & Sight Journal, in an article written by Mr TS Lim. The importance of COG is also often cited in other Chinese magazines, mainly those from Hong Kong, but I have never seen it mentioned in English magazines such as What Hi-Fi, Hi-Fi Choice, Hi-Fi World, Hi-Fi News and Record Reviews etc.. Therefore, this contributing article of mine may not be anything new to many people, but I think it should be useful to others who do not already know and who do not or cannot read Chinese magazines. So, you may want to post this on your web site.

The purpose of finding the COG is, of course, so that we can place our cones (usually 3 per set) in such a way that they support the equipment optimally. If you visit Soul of Music’s website, Richard does explain how to easily place the DH cones under your equipment. I have been using 2 sets of DH cones myself (Jumbo for my CD player and large for my pre-amp) and initially, I followed Richard’s recommendation. This is the simplest and quickest way to use the cones, but if you can spend some time and effort and follow the COG method, the improvement is evident, as I have experienced.

Buy an angle bar (preferably aluminum or copper type) measuring about 2-3 feet long costing about S$4 - S$5 (can be as long as you like but it should be longer than your equipment’s length). This bar should also be at least one inch wide (too small and you may have problem using it).

Then, get ready a long ruler and a compass (those we use in mathematics/technical classes in primary/secondary or technical schools), and a tri-square (the one with 30/60/90 degree angles). All these instruments should cost another S$4 – S$5.

Take your components (CD player, pre-amp, integrated amp, power amp etc) and with all its power cord and necessary interconnects connected (as these will affect the balance of the components when in use). Put the angle bar in such a way that the 90-degree angle is pointed up. One after another, place your components on top of the angle bar and find the point where your component can be more or less balanced on the bar (make sure the bar is parallel to the sides of the components. See picture below:

TS Lim recommended that this balancing must be performed on a very horizontal level/surface but for me, I just placed them on a stool. Placing on stool (instead of a table) is also easier for me to draw the markings on the bottom of the components.

After you get the component balancing on the bar, making sure the bar is parallel to the sides of the component, draw a marking on both ends of the components, using the bar as a guide.

Next, turn the component so that the bar now lies across the breath of the component. Do the same as above.

Take the component off the bar and (now you can disconnect all those cables) place it upside down. Use the long ruler to draw a line across the length and breath of the component by connecting the markings. You can now see two lines crossing each other. The intersection of the two lines is the COG of the component.

Use the compass to draw a circle, making the COG the center of the circle. The circle should be as big as possible, and it is OK if the circle would exceed one edge of the component, but within the other three edges. But make sure that the circumference of the circle is enough distance away from the (other three) edges (so that it would be easier for you to place the cones).

Next, take one point on the circumference as the starting point, use the tri-square to draw a equilateral triangle (Mr TS Lim recommended using the compass to draw but I find that using the tri-square is easier).

The three corners of the equilateral triangle are where you should place your cones. Of course, you can draw as many equilateral triangles as necessary, in order to try out the various positions to place your cones. Also, you don’t really need to draw out the triangle, just mark the points where the angles of the triangle would touch the circumference will do. The key is to find out the points where your cones should be placed.

By placing your cones this way, your components will be very stable.

I find that this method of placing cones resulted in a significant improvement in terms of imaging, soundstage, and details. You may find more improvements in your systems.

Thanks for contributing guys! If any readers want to contact them, I'll forward any queries you have to them.