Super Tweak--Lps, Cds, SACDs, and DVDs - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 413 Old 05-18-2008, 06:33 AM - Thread Starter
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I posted this on Audiogon and Audioasylum last night and figured many here might see it there. This morning after further consideration i decided to add it here too as the techie/skeptic ratio here is much higher and i think this can benefit from some good objective analysis. although i hope that many here would listen to and use this tweak i understand that realistically, most will just want to toss around the theories behind it. in any case; this forum deserves to know about this.

************************

This tweak makes huge improvements to system performance; lowering noise floor, improving dynamic contrasts, improving bass articulation, improving the sense of space and scale, and improving naturalness. The effect does vary from disc to disc from considerable to mind-blowing. This tweak is for Lps, Cds, SACD's and DVD's.

I've been trying tweaks since I got serious about this hobby 14 years ago. I've got all the different products that clean, treat, or mess with' discs. Most disc tweaks work to some degree..but none have ever worked well enough to become essential.until now.

I will start by giving an overview of what I do to apply the tweak and how I think the tweak works. Please understand that everything I will explain is my interpretation of my observations and me re-hashing what has been told to me. I'm no techie or engineer and so please be gentle when judging my ability to reveal cause and effect. Next I will describe a bit about the history of how the thinking about this tweak evolved.

Basically; this tweak involves two processes. De-ionization and de-magnetizing of mediasimultaneously. Since these processes are not permanent effects; time is an important element of how well and how long lasting the tweak works. From my observations; it seems that de-ionizing accounts for approx 75% of the effect and de-mag about 25%. I apply the tweak by placing the disc (Lp, Cd, or SACD) onto my Acoustic Revive RL-30 Demagnetizer and then blowing hot air with a hair dryer onto the disc while the demag process is happening.

I apply the process to both sides of any disc; for an Lp I apply the process first to the side I won't be listening to and second to the side I will play. The effect is only strong for 15 to 30 minutes so I always reapply the process when I change sides. For a Cd or SACD I do the label side first and then the read side. This takes about 25 seconds per side for any disc. So a total of 60 seconds start to finish. For digital I hear 100% of the effect all the way thru most discs. For Lp or digital disc if the disc is stopped and started a few times the effect diminishes. It's ideal to place the disc immediately on the tt or transport..and immediately play.

The hair dryer is one that uses Tourmaline to provide negative ions to equalize the charge on the surface of media disc. Then there are Tourmaline balls encased in a diffuser attached to the barrel of the hair dryer. Hot air blown thru the diffuser releases negative ions from the Tourmaline onto the media.

I have been using this tweak for almost 100% of my listening for the last three months...doing before and after comparisons regularly. I've done 15 to 20 blind observations..with 100% correct choices. I've had 5 separate visitors to my room who have all had similar reactions as myself.

This tweak evolved from a discussion between my local friend and now President of our local audio club, Andrew Kosobutsky..and Brian Kyle of Xtreme Cables in California. They were discussing a contact treatment product which Brian sells and somehow the discussion evolved to the Acoustic Revive RIO-5II, which treats digital media with negative ions with natural ore Tourmaline'. Brian was making some Lp sized sleeves out of Tourmaline cloth to see if that would have a positive effect on Lps. You would need to blow hot air from a hair dryer onto the cloth sleeves to get the Tourmaline cloth to release the negative ions onto the Lp.

Brian had heavy Tourmaline cloth and lighter Tourmaline cloth and asked Andrew if he could do some listening to both and give him his impressions. Andrew agreed and Brian sent him the sleeves.

Andrew already owned the Acoustic Revive RL-30 III large disc demagnetizer which he used for his Lps. After demag'ing the Lps he would try the Tourmaline sleeves. Then he tried both processes simultaneously and discovered a huge improvement..this was the break-thru moment. It turned out that the effects of both processes when done at the same time were more than additive.

A week later Andrew called and came over to demonstrate the tweak in my room. I was highly skeptical but it blew me away. I asked Andrew if I could get a set of sleeves to try and after checking with Brian, two sleeves were sent to Andrew for me. I agreed not to tell anyone about how this worked. Andrew knew I had lots of visitors but I agreed not to explain it to anyone.

For the next few weeks I enjoyed the best music reproduction performance I had ever heard form any system. I listened to everything again.for the first week I listened to everything twice.first without and then with. 40% of the time it was much better, 30% of the time it was amazingly better, and 30% of the time I could not believe what I was hearing. After that mostly I just did the tweak..i was convinced.

Andrew was not satisfied. He was convinced that the effect of the Tourmaline could be much greater by using more of the Tourmaline than the sleeves or even the Acoustic Revive RIO. He found some Tourmaline balls in China and had them shipped to him. He then purchased a Tourmaline hair dryer and installed these tourmaline balls in the diffuser of the hair dryer. He experimented with a few different ways to have the balls in the diffuser. He brought over his first effort and it was clearly much better than the sleeves. Then a week later he brought over the version I am now using. Much better, and very nicely put together.

Andrew had shared his simultaneous demag idea and tourmaline ball direction with Brian and Brian has developed his own tourmaline hair dryer product (which I have not yet seen or tried).

Demagnetizing a disc is nothing new. There are numerous products already out there that people already have or can be purchased. I am not in a position to say which is best; but I know the Acoustic Revive ML-30 III works great and accommodates all types of discs. As far as I know all the demag products I've seen allow for using the hair dryer to de-ionize.

There may be hundreds of ways to de-ionize discs; I'm only familiar with the Tourmaline sleeve/hair dryer approach, the hair dryer with tourmaline balls in the diffuser approach and the Acoustic Revive RIO-5II. Personally I have not tried the RIO and you can't demag simultaneously with the RIO. Brian Kyle will be selling a Tourmaline Hair dryer with Tourmaline balls in the diffuser but Andrew is not doing a commercial product.

Considering all the techie horsepower in our hobby; I would guess that almost every audiophile either could do this himself or knows someone who can.

One last thing about the Tourmaline hair dryer with tourmaline balls in the diffuser.it's scary what it can do by itself. Blow it on an untreated Lp already on a tt and you get much of the effect.blow it on cables and the bass improves and the soundstage expands. I think we are only scratching the surface of what this process can do to improve performance. I wonder if digital transports might not incorporate demag and de-ionizing in some way to sustain the effect permanently.

I do not know if the effect of this tweak will be the same in every system. I suspect that the higher the resolution, the lower the noise floor, and the better the acoustics of a system are..the greater and more consistent the result will be. I think one issue will be that this tweak will make many systems..sources, preamps, cables, amps, speakers, rooms..more enjoyable. Upgrades might not seem as needed when things sound so good. The focus might become a bit more on finding new music and not so much on gear. I know that sounds quite over the top but that is how it has effected my viewpoint.

I am wearing my body armor and will take all my meds..i'll have my Lagavulin handy. There is likely to be much understandable skepticism initially until people have a chance to hear it for themselves. If there is anyone in the Seattle area who would care to hear it..or someone visiting Portland next week for VSAC who has the time for a side trip to the Seattle area (2 ½ hour one way drive to my home from VSAC)...they are welcome.
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post #2 of 413 Old 05-18-2008, 06:56 AM
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Well, maybe it is fun but it will not work.

Sound and video is not magic, it is pure physics. Physics that can be magical
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post #3 of 413 Old 05-18-2008, 06:56 AM
 
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Mike

I did read it over on audiogon yesterday and your apology was certainly welcomed.

I have known you for several years and we have certainly had lots to agree on but equally much not to agree upon.

I think that you will need more than body armor Mike and I am going to wait to hear what the experts (forget about the dolts who will have their fair share of you) such as our electrical engineers, nuclear physicists etc have to say. I would also bet that there once again will be a double blind challenge offered up to you.

I guess you must have brass balls to be posting about tourmaline balls and negative ions and demagnetization here. Well it's Sunday so I am sure you will be fielding a lot of questions here Mike. I wish you luck.
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post #4 of 413 Old 05-18-2008, 07:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NIN74 View Post

Well, maybe it is fun but it will not work.

great 1st reaction here on AVS......makes me feel right at home. some things never change.

very constructive and open-minded too.
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post #5 of 413 Old 05-18-2008, 07:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike lavigne View Post

great 1st reaction here on AVS......makes me feel right at home. some things never change.

very constructive and open-minded too.


You maybe should check out what vinyl and CD are made of and come back.

Sound and video is not magic, it is pure physics. Physics that can be magical
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post #6 of 413 Old 05-18-2008, 07:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike lavigne View Post

great 1st reaction here on AVS......makes me feel right at home. some things never change.

very constructive and open-minded too.

Unfortunately Mike, his ill-mannered reaction is what AVS is all too often about these days. I for one, appreciate your postings of your latest exploits.

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post #7 of 413 Old 05-18-2008, 07:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by NIN74 View Post

You maybe should check out what vinyl and CD are made of and come back.

what might be constructive would be to explain your perspective on why you think this tweak has no merit. i fully expect that to be part of the feedback here and why i posted here. i look forward to having the technical merits of my post be considered by those with much more technical knowledge than myself.

i'm just a dumb listener....and have no agenda other than to share my experience. i'm not selling anything.

i hope there are AVS skeptics living in my area that can visit and then report what their objective observations might be. i've already had a few techie skeptic friends visit and they had a hard time rationalizing what they saw with what they heard.
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post #8 of 413 Old 05-18-2008, 08:27 AM
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Mike, you are past your time - and my prime. This would have beena fun thread and discussion back when I started and moderated the AVS Tweaks forum for a few years starting 1999. Now, I am tired of tweaking, and few folks if any are interested in a polite discussion. Oh well.

You do have balls of steel, I will give you that!!!

"Doug Winsor" used to troll at some AV Forums as "Steve Bruzonsky"! My home theater at:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1158431
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post #9 of 413 Old 05-18-2008, 08:52 AM
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Although your tweak may work, I expect the cause of the lowered noise floor has nothing to do with ionization and magnetization. Simply hearing a loud white noise is going to make your ears less sensitive for some period of time. Anyone can do appropriate experiments at home to note this phenomenon. The louder and longer the noise (a hair dryer is very loud) the more pronounced the effect. The deionizing and demagnetizing may have some other effects but I expect the loud white noise is dominant to their effects.

Bill
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post #10 of 413 Old 05-18-2008, 09:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by stonedr View Post

Although your tweak may work, I expect the cause of the lowered noise floor has nothing to do with ionization and magnetization. Simply hearing a loud white noise is going to make your ears less sensitive for some period of time. Anyone can do appropriate experiments at home to note this phenomenon. The louder and longer the noise (a hair dryer is very loud) the more pronounced the effect. The deionizing and demagnetizing may have some other effects but I expect the loud white noise is dominant to their effects.

Bill

Bill,

you make a good point; except for a few things.

we use the lowest fan position on the hair dryer, a level which is likely less noisey than much of the music we listen to.

possibly hair dryer noise specifically alters immediate hearing acuity, i wonder if there has been a scientific study about that which would bear up under typical AVS scrutiny.

i will make a point to actually measure the db level sometime in the next few days and report.

when i've had visitors i've always done the tweak and they have sat in the sweet spot 10 feet away from the hair dryer and they were just as convinced.

i've done 15 to 20 blind tests with 100% accuracy.

i can easily move the treatment out to my hallway and do it with the door closed; then see if listeners have the same perception.
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post #11 of 413 Old 05-18-2008, 10:43 AM
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Greetings, Mike! Everything you say is true! The tweak makes a miracle to the sound. I pulling out my old LP records that I didn't enjoy much because of quality. After the treatment they become re-born. Rock, Jazz, Classical music CD/LP records sounds like you never listened to them before! I have never hear the tweak with such a great results as this one. I am glad that my idea made you happy!
Andrew
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post #12 of 413 Old 05-18-2008, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NIN74 View Post

Well, maybe it is fun but it will not work.


The reason I don't cruise expensive Burgundy forums and shower them with my preconceived notions is because I don't know much about the topic.

NIN, do you own or listen through a system with high end gear-as in 20k plus? If not, please do not pooh pooh ideas and opinions of others that do.
If you bought and tried ML's tweak on your familiar high end system then do please add your valued experience.
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post #13 of 413 Old 05-18-2008, 11:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by anko View Post

Greetings, Mike! Everything you say is true! The tweak makes a miracle to the sound. I pulling out my old LP records that I didn't enjoy much because of quality. After the treatment they become re-born. Rock, Jazz, Classical music CD/LP records sounds like you never listened to them before! I have never hear the tweak with such a great results as this one. I am glad that my idea made you happy!
Andrew

Andrew,

thank you for thinking of me when you came up with this tweak, and sharing it with me. it has been great fun to be a part of this process. you have made my listening experience much better.

best regards,

Mike
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post #14 of 413 Old 05-18-2008, 11:07 AM
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ML, just to drive the naysayers super nuts:

A quick searched showed the $30 Revlon-is this enough to try or do you need to add more in the diffusor as described?
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post #15 of 413 Old 05-18-2008, 11:09 AM
 
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which treats digital media with negative ions with natural ore Tourmaline'.

Really? So how does it change the 1's and 0's of digital media? Since digital media is an exact copy of the original what changes?
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post #16 of 413 Old 05-18-2008, 11:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DougWinsor View Post

Really? So how does it change the 1's and 0's of digital media? Since digital media is an exact copy of the original what changes?

this thread will likely have a 'bit for bit' component.....meaning that a certain number of posters will state ad nauseum that if data in and data out are identical then what can the tweak do? i'm not going to convince anyone holding that opinion that the tweak will change the sound.

Acoustic Revive, an Asian company that mostly makes tweaks, has a negative ion digital disc treatment product, the RIO-5II. here is what the brouchure says about how this works;

"Treating discs with natural negative ions will increase laser transmission rate and eliminate static electricity."

those are not my words and frankly; i could care less how it works. OTOH how and why something works is pretty much game, set and match around here.

me, i just like my music to sound the best it can. and if my post can help some AVS'ers enjoy their music more and give the techies some targets for their scorn.....then why not.
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post #17 of 413 Old 05-18-2008, 11:33 AM
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Doug,

I think a quote from Heyser is appropriate: "one of the most belittling experiences is to deride who gets consistent results by a certain ritual which he cannot explain and then to discover that his actions in fact held a deeper technical significance than we understood from our simplified model."
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this thread will likely have a 'bit for bit' component.....meaning that a certain number of posters will state ad nauseum that if data in and data out are identical then what can the tweak do? i'm not going to convince anyone holding that opinion that the tweak will change the sound.

Digital is a FACT mike not an opinion.

Quote:


"Treating discs with natural negative ions will increase laser transmission rate and eliminate static electricity."

And you can prove that the bandwidth increases with this application?

Quote:


me, i just like my music to sound the best it can. and if my post can help some AVS'ers enjoy their music more and give the techies some targets for their scorn.....then why not.

Kind of like when you could not tell what speaker cables were running in a blind test.

Quote:


I think a quote from Heyser is appropriate: "one of the most belittling experiences is to deride who gets consistent results by a certain ritual which he cannot explain and then to discover that his actions in fact held a deeper technical significance than we understood from our simplified model."

And that is what the "high end" lives by becaue even when test data shows them they are wrong they still believe what they want to.
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"Treating discs with natural negative ions will increase laser transmission rate and eliminate static electricity."

Then you won't mind giving me a technical explanation on how and why this works and is specific with the effect on static electricity.
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I would also like to know how one magnetize's or de magnetize's a plastic CD/DVD disk?
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post #21 of 413 Old 05-18-2008, 12:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DougWinsor View Post

Digital is a FACT mike not an opinion.

the digital data on the disc is objective information....fact. the musical result of that data, the data reading process and the conversion to an analog signal is a variable. if we limit ourselves to digital discs; maybe you believe that all digital players sound the same. if you do then no need to discuss this further. if you are open to different digital palyers sounding different then we start down the road to why that is......then we start to talk about how different transport mechanisms sound different.

Quote:


And you can prove that the bandwidth increases with this application?

i cannot defend Acoustic Revive's viewpoint; i have no knowledge about whether it is correct.....i clearly stated that i don't even care about it.

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Kind of like when you could not tell what speaker cables were running in a blind test.

it had to come up. i was not afraid of the truth in that case.....and as i noted i already did blind testing on this case.
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post #22 of 413 Old 05-18-2008, 12:07 PM
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Mike,
Your enthusiasm for this hobby is boundless, and I love reading your audio musings. That said, I am now discless, running off of a hard-drive. I think that it's hard to tweak that.

David Shapiro

DES
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post #23 of 413 Old 05-18-2008, 12:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Then you won't mind giving me a technical explanation on how and why this works and is specific with the effect on static electricity.

i said;

Quote:


those are not my words and frankly; i could care less how it works

you will have to find someone else to battle with on that.
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A quick searched showed the $30 Revlon-is this enough to try or do you need to add more in the diffusor as described?
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post #25 of 413 Old 05-18-2008, 12:16 PM
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I have never seen such pure unadulterated shite since I last used a speculum.

This BS is a major contributory factor to so many audio geeks are destined to live in a state of perpetual virginity. I suppose it gives some people a break from their Lord of the Rings dolls.

I suggest less effort laying cable elevators and a bit more effort laying some pipe.

All IMHO, of course.

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post #26 of 413 Old 05-18-2008, 12:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Shapiro View Post

Mike,
Your enthusiasm for this hobby is boundless, and I love reading your audio musings. That said, I am now discless, running off of a hard-drive. I think that it's hard to tweak that.

David Shapiro

hi David,

thanks.

there are some very cool hard-drive solutions out there now.....and i'm thinking about that as a direction sometime too. Jonathan is introducing a new digital player this week that he thinks will be ideal as a DAC for a hard-drive based system. we spoke at length about how this tweak might be used with a hard-drive. possibly on the loading side of things. anyway; hard-drive solutions will likely go thru a maturation and development period as they discover ways for them to sound better. probably they'll figure it out about the time that digital storage converts to flash or other solid storage.

Mike
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the digital data on the disc is objective information....fact.

No it isn't, it is either there or it isn't.

Quote:


the musical result of that data, the data reading process and the conversion to an analog signal is a variable.

The data reading process would be exact in all and every player and since this product has nothing to do with DAC's I see that as irrelevant right now.

Quote:


if we limit ourselves to digital discs; maybe you believe that all digital players sound the same.

If the player is used to output a digital signal then yes all CD/DVD players sound the same.

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you will have to find someone else to battle with on that.

So you will believe what ever a company tells/sells you?
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there are some very cool hard-drive solutions out there now.....and i'm thinking about that as a direction sometime too. Jonathan is introducing a new digital player this week that he thinks will be ideal as a DAC for a hard-drive based system. we spoke at length about how this tweak might be used with a hard-drive. possibly on the loading side of things. anyway; hard-drive solutions will likely go thru a maturation and development period as they discover ways for them to sound better. probably they'll figure it out about the time that digital storage converts to flash or other solid storage.

A tweak for a hard drive, now this is getting funny.
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post #29 of 413 Old 05-18-2008, 12:40 PM
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I may be showing my ignorance here, but what the heck. If a smudge on a disc can inhibit playability, is it not also possible that a build-up of magnetization (is that a word?), or ionization can hinder the lasers or needles ability read all the information on a disc or lp?
To a layman like myself this is the only thought that came to mind. My current system is probably not hi-end enough to note a difference, but I do enjoy in sharing all of your beliefs, theories, and speculations.
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post #30 of 413 Old 05-18-2008, 12:52 PM
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First, ignore DougWinsor/Bluray he is a nitwit.

And while i am prepared to say that mike has been hitting one of the great other exports of the pacific northwest i am also saying that while i can think of no reason why this would do anything... who cares. the only reason to argue this little oddity is if you had tried it and found something or nothing there.

If you had not, then offering anything more than a passing comment, a la our master of subtlety Mr. CM, is wasting plenty of your own time on something that will have no effect on you. So the more you type and quote and argue, the more of an a$$ you look like.

Proud Daddy to Anastasia and Christopher.
Born October 26 2005.

Ob was the delivery doc.

Since i cannot rant on a soapbox in the town square...
http://commonsensehasdied.blogspot.com/
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