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The following reader comments came from purchasers of the Get Better Sound manual. They were unsolicited, and freely offered. They came in response to a thank you/welcome note from Jim Smith. In each case, permission to quote them was approved by the writer. Although there are many more, hopefully these comments will be sufficiently informative.

To view all of the Reader Comments, simply use the scroll bar on the right side of the page below.

I could not wait to receive it and was not disappointed.  I feel for my $50 I received the best professional audio advice possible, advice that an audio installer woud have charged me hundreds of dollars for an in-home visit.   I like your straight talk and layman delivery on every topic.  In this current economy anyone thinking of upgrading their audio system would be foolish to do so prior to reading your book.

R. Wilkins, USA

Hi Jim,

I received your book on 7th November.  I've decided to read it front to back, rather than picking out bits and pieces, and I'm now up to about page 50.  So far, I find it to be excellent reading, and I've no doubt that I shall be able to use the advice to set up my system for the better.

Good luck with the book.  It should sell in the hundreds of thousands if people know what's good for them!

J. Bacon, UK

Hi Jim,

I heard about your book through the article in 6 moons. It's one of the more interesting Audio web sites.

I decided to buy your book because:
- I asked you for your booklet in the days you imported Avantgarde
- I consider Srajan one of the more reputable and trustworthy fellows (in a world full of so much hype)
- The price is reasonable considering how much I've spent on inappropriate purchases (!)

By the way, I have had improvements from both my systems after reading the tips in your book, certainly more than any cables and such things!
These were particularly useful to me:
- thinking: if you were setting up 2 musicians, where would you put them in the room?
- your "magic triangle" tip - a useful starting point if you lose track and to explain why your setup doesn't play music like it should
- deciding on your own personal trade-offs: tone and tonal balance rather than imaging and soundstage and concentrating on that as your goal
- finding the spot where the speakers "play" the room the best

In my room with the small Harbeths I completely changed the orientation which has improved things greatly.


D. Greef, USA

Hi Jim

I initially read about your manual on the 6moons webpage - then later noticed your ad in Stereophile.

I very much enjoyed reading it.  It really holds a lot of useful hands-on tips, which many of them I never would have thought of myself.

Apart from all the hands-on "sound improving" tips, I also like the many real-life stories/examples and that you also found time to cover the softer and emotional aspects of audio (mood, light settings, therapeutical value, family relations, etc...)

So thank you for a great (and entertaining) help in setting up my audio gear  ;o)

Best regards

S. Steenberg, Denmark

Hi Jim,

I really didn't expect any kind of follow-up.  I'm pleasantly shocked.

I discovered information on your book in the November 2008 issue of Stereophile.  Then proceeded to your website, read enough information to entice and ordered from there.

I've read the book through and have applied some of your suggestions (more tweaking will follow, I'm sure) with very good results.  It's a long process as you are aware, but a rewarding one if one has patience.

Allow me to thank you for publishing and to share information and techniques that have taken you a good part of your life to accumulate.  I play trumpet with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and also do some producing for the SLSO (some archival recordings and their latest internet downloads) as well as being a partner in my own recording company, AAM Recordings.  We don't use my system for production/editing, but we do use it to hear how things might sound on a better-than-average home system.  Needless to say, anything to help get that system to sound the best that it can is very much appreciated.

If you are ever in the St. Louis area, please don't hesitate to get in touch!

T. Drake, USA

Hi Jim,

…in first overview I put in practice some tips and they worked!!!!!!!
Great book and very interesting recommendations.
Thanks & Regards

J. Villa Lopez, Spain

Hi Jim,

I really think it's cool for you to email your customers. I am a businessman myself and I know how important it is to establish a relationship with the customer. Yes, I would like to get your newsletter, thanks.

I read your book the day it arrived I am now on my third pass through it. Great book, you should be very proud. It's a great read extremely well written and enjoyable. I really liked your mention of your wife and your relationship with her and how audio can alienate one from their family, and how to solve it. My wife comes to our listening room to play cards on the computer and listen. I am often surprised when she comments on the sound when I change out one of the components.

I have already implemented several of your suggestions in your book to my system ... I noticed an immediate change, no more sound coming off the back wall, it helped the sound stage!

I am sending you a couple of pictures of my listening room and my living room systems, I hope that’s OK? Please let me know what you think! Thanks so much for writing!

Music lover,

J. Simpson, USA

Hello Jim,

It's a wonderful book! Thanks and I'm looking forward to the quarterly updates.


R. Ng, Singapore

Hi Jim,

Thank you for the personal note and your welcome. I look forward to the e-mail updates. I've been a Stereophile reader for decades and always assumed better gear meant better sound. Since I could not afford the so called High End stuff I just stayed in the back ground and keep abreast of all the latest technolgy and reviews of components overlooking the most important one "The Listening Room".

I don't pay particular attention to advertisements in Stereophile but your ad Get Better Sound caught my eye and I went to your site and was enthralled with the wealth of information and insight that I found there. I researched you and your achievements and was amazed by your many Best Sound awards and came to the conclusion that better equipment does not guarantee better sound. The playing field was level as far as components go but you seem to invoke a whole new dimension overlooked by so many.

Jim, while I have your attention I'd like to know if you might have a reference point for me as to where to begin speaker placement in a room with difficult dimensions… So Jim if you have any suggestions I'm ready and willing to listen…


J. Nordi, USA

Hi Jim,

Fun book, many things to do yet, but improvements have already taken place.

Look forward to the newsletters.


R. Fluet, USA

Dear Jim,

Thanks for the follow up email.

The book arrived yesterday and I have had a quick look at room set up, 
and without becoming too obsessive, started to look at where the bass 
integrated with the room and adjusted both my seat and the positioning 
of the speakers.

The room is now more energized, so it has given me a good starting 

Thanks for the packaging, it was first class, I even showed my wife 
the amount of trouble and careful thought that went into it.

Would it be too much hassle if I could occasionally ask for Duo 
specific advice from you as and when I come across something that I am 
not able to sort on my own?

With kind regards,

T. Dias, Sydney, Australia


What a GREAT book! I learned all sorts of stuff (and confirmed a lot of suspicions).

I am in your debt,

P. Monroe, USA


Thank you for the personal e-mail.

I read your ad in Stereophile. I was in absolute agreement with your statement about optimizing my current equipment before upgrading constantly.

Thank you for this book. I hope I can e-mail you after reading your book. I'm very excited and my wife is grateful for your approach…

By the way, I'm amazed at the extent of your experience in audio. I plan to read your book carefully and thoroughly over the next month. Thank you again for this delightful book. I really felt helpless before but now I see hope in this journey.

S. Shim, USA

Hi Jim!

Thank you for a great book!

I have just passed the age of 50 and still going strong with my audio hobby started at the age of 10.

I bought me a pair of Avantgarde Duo Omega speakers one year ago and have read a lot about your great work you did for these speakers in USA.

Actually these speakers have been my dream for several years and one reason for this dream has been reading about your findings and recommendations for several years.

I have actually read like 75% of your book already and in many tips it feels like remembering things i have experienced myself and just kind of forgot to utilize in my current music system.

Actually I'm so eager about what I read so far that I will take a day off this week and use the whole day to play around with my speakers and my seating position. 
I even bought me a laser distance meter today :)

Yesterday I already shifted forward my current seating position a bit and I actually got a much better balance in the system.

Really great to hear from your personally. Truly outstanding customer experience and something you really appreciate at this age.

I’m looking forward to receive your quarterly e-mail updates.

P.S. If you have any Avantgarde specific recommendations I would be happy to learn more.

With best regards,

P. Fagerstrom, Finland

Your book is outstanding.  It helped me understand why I was getting such lousy sound out of a single subwoofer.  I bought a pair of …… and placed them in accordance with the instructions in your book and the sound is great.  Thanks and good luck to you.

J. Hall, USA

I certainly enjoyed reading the book--and agree with most everything you had to say. As to your question, I heard about your book through Srajan's Industry spotlight and later review. I find he is pretty consistently the best overall audio writer/reviewer (along with Art Dudley) in the field today, so I trust his judgment implicitly.

Also, I have heard your setups in earlier HE shows and enjoyed your earlier "tips" articles, so figured it was a pretty safe bet (expensive for a paperback book; inexpensive compared to typical high-end audio fare, certainly). As I said, it was certainly an enjoyable and occasionally thought-provoking read.

Thanks for your inquiry,

J. Powell, USA

Hello Jim!

Very nice to hear from you!

I find your book very interesting and I´ve already got "Better Sound" in my listening-room, by following your tips!

A. Lindberg, Sweden

Good morning!

I read about the "Get Better Sound" on Enjoy the Music's website.  Though I must admit that I had your earlier booklet as well.  Wonderful reading and I have employed several of your ideas.  …  It is a bible for those of us who work with our equipment in the pursuit of better sound.

A. Nozak, USA

Thanks, Jim,

That was exactly the information I was looking for.  My electrician already thinks I'm crazy, so no worries there.

J. Karastav, Estonia

Hey Jim,

I wish I would have come across your book a couple of years ago, I would have saved a ton of money.

I must say it has been an eye opener, I have repositioned my speakers using your advice and while the imaging and sound-stage were pretty good before, it is incredible now.  I had purchased several books in the past but found them wanting for practical and straight-forward advice on improving the system that you already have.  I am currently devising a plan to deal with the acoustic issues I have in my dedicated listening room.  If successful I will do the same to my home theater.

Thanks for writing a fantastically informative manual, I look forward to talking to you in the future.

C. Waldbillig, USA

Hi Jim,

Thanks for a great book!  There are several tips that I had not been aware of, particularly regarding listening spot positioning… I had set up by the "method of thirds" previously.  So far, my listening position shift has already enhanced my enjoyment of the music.

Looking forward to the quarterly email updates.

Thanks again,
F. Mhemedi,  USA

Hi Jim,

So nice to hear from you.  I saw your ad in the latest issue of Stereophile and immediately realized that you and your book was/were exactly what I was looking for.  My hifi sounded good but not really great.  I knew from experience my gear and listening room were fine - just not being fully utilized.

While I don't have the magazine with me to offer specifics, (I'm writing from the office) in general the ad for your book addressed for me, all the right questions.  The rest as they say will be history.

One reason I find your book so useful is the idea that I know there is something in every so many pages that I can do, measure, check, observe etc. that will make a listening improvement possible.

And yes, I have tried to maintain a check-list of upgrades in a journal form about such critical listening elements as speaker crossfire positions, sweet spot positioning for flat frequencies between 150-450 Hz and more.

Still I would like to arrange for a future visit … so you can personally tweak the system.

In the meantime I will continue to sing your praises to any and all who will listen and offer my thanks for a splendid book that I will enjoy for my golden years of hi-fi.

Best regards,

H. Owen, USA

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Note from Jim Smith –

Please read or view the tips in the set-up manual or DVD that you purchase, and be sure to put some of the tips into action.  If you don’t, then you’re wasting your money.  Wasting money is the opposite result of why I wrote the book and produced the DVDs…
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