House Calls

Here at Tenacious Sound, we pride ourselves on our customer service.

You’ve probably heard that a million times before, from a million different companies. Everyone says they have great customer service, but just how far are they really willing to go?

If you buy home audio products from Tenacious Sound, we are more than willing to go to your home and help you set everything up. We’ll hook it up for you, show you how to operate it and even offer tips to make it all sound even better. As long as you live in the greater Syracuse metro area, we’ll stop by and ensure that you’re 100% happy with your purchase.

There are probably common sense limits to such a bold offer. If you buy a pair of headphones from us, we won’t drive all the way over to make sure they’re on your head the right way. But we also won’t push you out the front door with a pair of 200 lb. speakers and say, “Good luck, you’re on your own!”

We will, however, do everything we can to ensure you’re completely satisfied with your Tenacious Sound purchase. Just ask.

Why the Long Tonearm, Buddy?

Once we started carrying The Wand tonearms from New Zealand, we thought people would wonder why they are available in three lengths–9″, 10.3″ and 12″. Why would tonearms be available in three lengths? Isn’t there a specific length that works best with all turntables? Wouldn’t a longer tonearm screw up the tracking angle?

Actually, it depends. Most turntables do require tonearms that have arm tube that are 9″ long, or slightly longer. But some older turntables actually accommodated arms that were 12″, and sure enough many turntable manufacturers started coming out with models that could be fit with the longer tonearms.

Basically, it’s geometry. A longer tonearm is better at maintaining the right tracking angle for the needle as it tracks across the record. Theoretically, the longer the tonearm the longer it will maintain the correct angle.

There’s a trade-off, though…a longer arm tube is less rigid and that also affects performance. That’s why Simon Brown of The Wand makes a 10.3″ arm–it’s the best of both worlds, a perfect compromise between a better tracking angle and more rigidity. Incidentally, Simon chose the 10.3″ length because it is the longest arm you can fit on both a Linn Sondek and a technics SL-1200.

At Tenacious Sound, we can help choose the right tonearm for both your turntable and your cartridge. The tonearm is a very important part of the analog playback chain–and we can help you get it right.

Eyeglasses and Hi-fi: Not a Good Combination?

In the world of high-end audio, people like to tweak their systems in order to obtain better sound. This may include buying a number of devices, some of which are expensive, to reach that goal. Audiophiles do things like place pennies on top of their speakers, or demagnetize their CDs, or a number of other things that may or may not make a huge difference in the sound.

Here’s a simple tweak that works for everyone, and it will cost you exactly zero money: removing your eyeglasses while you listen to your hi-fi system.

Jonathan Scull first mentioned this many years ago when he was reviewing for Stereophile. The problem with listening to music critically while wearing eyeglasses is that you’re putting two very reflective surfaces on your face, just a few inches in front of your ears. Sound waves are going to hit the lenses and disperse into the room, away from your ears.

It’s a simple tweak to try for yourself. Just do an A/B comparison during your next listening session. Listen to an entire song with your glasses on, and then listen again with them off. You should hear a giant difference.

Go on, give it a try. Let us know what differences your experience!

A Turntable Is Not a Toy

A curious thing happened yesterday at Tenacious Sound. We had three separate customers walk in the door several hours apart and ask for replacement parts for the very same brand of turntable. We’re not going to mention that brand by name–let’s just say it’s one of those turntables that are made almost completely from plastic, where more thought is put into the USB port than the stylus.

Each time, we were careful not to bash the turntable in front of its owner. By the end of the day, however, we came to the conclusion that this particular brand didn’t make turntables, they made toys. And if you’re really into your music, you shouldn’t use a toy to listen to it.

We totally get it. The vast majority of people buy these products because they’re “just getting started” in vinyl. Even the most basic turntable, one that is well-built and competent at what it does, costs at least a couple of hundred bucks. When you see a turntable selling for $99 complete, it’s tempting to just buy it and start listening to LPs. But there’s a problem with that.

First of all, if you’re getting into vinyl it should be because you want to enjoy that warm, musical, realistic analog sound, a cheap plastic toy can’t do that. The secret to a great-sounding turntable is that it can spins records at an exact and precise speed, that it can minimize vibrations from the motor that can muck up the sound and that it has a needle that can accurately track everything that’s in the grooves.

A toy can’t do any of that.

While the finest turntables can cost $5000, $10,000, $100,000 or even more, Tenacious Sound does carry a selection of well-made, musical turntables from brands such as Denon, Rega and Thorens that can deliver music to your ears in a believable, musical way, and for a reasonable amount of money.

We’re not a toy store. We’re a store that will help you discover how good LPs can sound.

Tuesday Night Listening Club

Ever since Tenacious Sound opened on Jefferson St. in Armory Square last November, we’ve discussed having a Tuesday Night Listening Club. The idea behind such a club is that people can come in and listen to music–even their favorite music brought from home–on a variety of sound systems.

While it may seem like such a club is just another marketing opportunity, we see it differently. We’ve spent a huge chunk of our lives in other high-end audio stores over the years, and one of the most thrilling things about being an audiophile is to meet other audiophiles and listen to all sorts of music and gear.

Being an audiophile can be a lonely hobby. It’s all about sitting in a chair, in the sweet spot, and listening to music critically–often by yourself. High-end audio is so much more fun, however, when you pursue it with friends. Hence, the Tuesday Night Listening Club!

Our first meeting will be tonight, June 21, from 6-8pm. It will be sort of a dry run for us–we’re just going to open the doors and see who shows up. Maybe we’ll order a couple of pizzas from Nick’s around the corner. But in the future, we want TNLC to be a major part of Tenacious Sound.

So please stop by tonight. We’re at 270 W. Jefferson St. in the heart of Armory Square in downtown Syracuse. See you here!