Do you have an audio and/or video enthusiast in your household but never know what to buy him or her as a gift? John R. Potis Jr., suggests products which any budding audio and/or video enthusiast would be pleased to receive.
1) My list of stocking stuffers (all affordable and useful) starts with The Vibrapod Companys "Vibrapods". At the top of a very short list of worthwhile tweaks, I think the Vibrapods are a no- brainer. No amount of vibration isolation is a bad thing. I dont think its a matter of if they will benefit your system, its a question of how much they will benefit your system. Price: $6 each. http://www.vibrapod.com/
2) Mounting putty is something Im frequently reaching for whether Im mounting speakers to stands, trying to keep small lightweight components in place on the shelves or tacking speaker wire to the rear of the speaker stands to keep it out of sight. Blu-Tac is great, but its very expensive in the United States. Your local hardware store will stock one of a variety of brands for much less (the putty pictured cost me $1.45), so stock up! It doesnt harden, it doesnt discolor and it doesnt harm any of the multitudes of surfaces Ive used it on. Once you bring it home, you wont stop finding uses for it either! Price: Cheap!
3) If you dont have one of these wire strippers, I dont even want to know what you are using, but get down to your Radio Shack and pick one of these up! An affordable wire stripping tool that strips a multitude of gauges in one quick motion! Dont leave home on an installation job without it! Price: Around $10. http://www.radioshack.com/
4) A locking measuring tape is invaluable to an audiophile when it comes to placing speakers for best results. For proper imaging and sound-staging, speakers must be as close to exactly the same distances from the listener as possible. Manufacturers also like to recommend a listening distance from the speakers as expressed as a relationship to the distance between the speakers. A tape measure which is long enough to do the job and lockable to spare the memory of the burden of remembering exact distances is necessity.
5) For the audiophile who cant leave well enough alone and is constantly shuffling around speakers or swapping speaker wire, Dynaclears "The Postman" is a great gift! Similar to the handle of a screwdriver (for a great grip!), the "Postman" has openings on each end, one to handle ½" binding posts, the other to handle 7/16" ones. It beats the heck out of trying to use your fingers, and the plastic Postman is more gentle on the binding post than a metal socket. Price is around $10
6) I just discovered this "Swiss Army Knife" of the tool-box myself! Its a foldable (so it slips into your pocket with no jagged edges to cause harm) tool that contains cutting edges, straight and Phillips head screw drivers, wire cutters, a pair of needle nose pliers and more! They are made under several different brands and you can find them at your local hardware store. Prices range from $10 to $25.
Good luck and listening
Text © John R. Potis Jr.; HTML © SMR Home Theatre and Images © SMR Home Theatre & John R. Potis Jr., cannot be reproduced without permission. The images on this page are digitally watermarked: Digimarc http://www.digimarc.com/
Last updated 05 December, 1998
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