Funniest snake oil theories

I've got one of these but the operator no longer picks up to connect me. Works OK for incoming though.
That's cause you're missing this part:


How can the operator pick up if you cant ring them? Everyone expecting miracles these days... ;')
Had one of these long long ago...what will happen to "the rest of us" who do not "believe" in smart mobile junk...most likely the 2G machines are going away, so the land-lines won't exist & the ONLY option for mobile will be at least 4G, AKA smart-phone. So, I'm guessing an individual like myself won't be having ANY communication device, as in pre 1900.



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How about this little gem...your fuse failed, or?....Cmon' , with one of these, "I can instantly perceive clear audible improvements in terms of fullness of sound and overall realism". Yeah right!
Any guesses on how much this "doggie in the window" is?



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Took a while but I found it: only $67 each.

But wait, there's more.!!!!!!!!!!!

This is just the lost leader, convincing you to go for the bigger items, like their $900 "PowerKords". Of course you need both for the full benefit, as they explain so well....

"We would always recommend upgrading the cable first, rather than fitting an upgraded fuse to an existing standard mains cable. The benefits of upgrading a standard mains cable to one of our PowerKords will certainly outweigh the gains found from fitting an, admittedly impressive, UltraFuse to a standard cable. However, there may be instances where this is not possible, and, in these cases, there are clear benefits to be had from fitting the UltraFuse to a standard cable – just make sure the cable is rated at 13A"

Actually, the fuse price is not too bad.... a while ago I needed a part for a GE microwave oven and noticed on the official parts list, they charge $35 for a 20A fuse.
However, they made no claims that it would make the food taste better or cook faster. Darn it it all anyway. Maybe if I try the UltraFuse in the microwave.......??
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How about this little gem...your fuse failed, or?....Cmon' , with one of these, "I can instantly perceive clear audible improvements in terms of fullness of sound and overall realism". Yeah right!
Any guesses on how much this "doggie in the window" is?

And people would buy those hunks of garbage too, because they don't know better.
I bought a pair of used Magnepan 1.6, where the previous owner had spent at least 1000 $ on audiophile fuses and crossover “upgrades”, as well as really expensive custom made stands. It was still the same speaker….. sounded just like an original pair. People can be quite … well… whatever.
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Indeed, fancy wrapping is common when dealing with overpriced JUNK.
I've seen it with capacitors too, fancy decorated bodies, and inside, a cheap little capacitor.
But of course, people will never open one up, because they apparently trust the seller/manufacturer.

And a computer external solid state "hard drive", the video of this cracked me up, because when they pried it open, it had a hot-glued and wrongly specified cheap USB flash-drive in there, along with some hot-glued big bolts to add false weight to the whole mess.

These, and many others, came from china of course, sold on epray, and other shifty web sites.
yes guys but...
even if we replace "cable" with something else is still doesn't make sense.
Not so much something else as another thing coming- I was already suspicious of cables back in the 90s, but was anyways buying some flat cables for a friend who wanted them after I tried them out for a month or two- full price.
I couldn't hear any changes between these and any other non networked cables, and after checking the directionality instructions on them, went back to the dealer.
He asked me to show on his set the orientation I'd used in connecting them, and informed me I had them backwards for directionality. And told me if I'd followed the instructions, these cables in my system would allow me to hear the paint on the walls drying and peeling.
I then pointed out to him and his manager I had followed the directions, and that the manufacturer instructed all directional arrows point upstream towards the source, not in the sequential order of source towards speakers.
They disbelieved me, read the instructions, stopped smirking at me and in technical jargon, said "oh".
Regarding those ribbon inductors, I suggest you read up about proximity effect. I discovered about that when developing a supermarket checkout security gate - the ones that detect an uncancelled security tag and sound an alarm.

The thing that drove the signal into the gate was a class D amp (a custom design) and it needed an output filter. So I designed the filter, and used a regular loudspeaker inductor - they were cheap enough and available in the right inductance value. Turned everything on - and after a minute or so there was the smell of burning. The inductor was melting the plastic former and was stinking hot. WFT? Calculation was at 5kHz (the gate operating frequency) and the required current it should only dissipate less than 1W, well within its rating.

Anyway it turned out to be proximity effect. Turns out this is a well known phenomena to switch mode supply designers, because the transformer is running at 50kHz plus - ten times the frequency of my security gate.

The way proximity effect is explained is that each wire sees the magnetic field generated by all the wires, and pushes the current to flow in filaments inside the wire. Hence the dramatic increase in effective resistance with frequency.

Those ribbon wound inductors above get around proximity effect, and mimics the ribbon winding technique in switched mode supply transformers.

There is an easier and much cheaper way of achieving the same goal. Suppose the inductor is wound with (say) 1.5mm diameter wire. Instead wind it with (say) 10 wires with 1/10 the area. So in this case 10 wires of 0.5mm diameter. That is what I did with the security gate. Problem solved.

There is also a story about capacitors in the same filter. The first ones I tried made a terrible racket - they were behaving like a little loudspeaker. The windings were rather loose - you could squash them a bit between your fingers. OK - I needed a "quiet" capacitor. So I procured some audiophile capacitors - some of Kimber's brand. Absolutely silent. No sound at all from the very tight winding.

Of course it would have been bonkers specifying audiophile capacitors in a commercial product. So I embarked on the quest to find a range of quiet capacitors. Eventually found a range of polypropylene capacitors from Vishay that did the trick cost effectively.

So alas there is some hard science to the use of those inductors and capacitors above. But you can achieve precisely the same effect at a fraction of the cost.

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There is of course a proviso to all this. Loudspeakers are "voiced" using the components in the original crossover. Including losses relating to winding resistance and proximity effect in inductors.

Like most of my anecdotes this was found out the hard way. Way back I was CTO of Wharfedale, shortly after my security gate product. Being not at all arrogant (!) I thought I could improve on a loudspeaker design. So I produced low loss inductors by the above recipe, and some nice low-loss polypropylene capacitors - all of the bang on the right values.

The loudspeaker I had got at sounded dire. The whole frequency balance had shifted. This was easily heard using Wharfedale's ABX test (yes - thirty-odd years ago, ABX testing of speakers located behind an acoustically transparent curtain).

So I had to eat humble pie. And learnt the hard way that you can really screw up a loudspeaker by ******** around with the crossover.

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@sawyers "So I had to eat humble pie. And learnt the hard way that you can really screw up a loudspeaker by ******** around with the crossover."

Try to tell that to the masses that insist that they can improve something that a research lab has already taken into consideration, with their lab equipment.
One might think they know better.
I see it on here... and just shake my head and laugh.