get better sound  


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Frequently Asked Questions


Why is Get Better Sound not available in bookstores?

We elected to sell direct, in order to facilitate the Quarter Notes newsletter program. Purchasers of Get Better Sound who buy from the GBS website are automatically enrolled.

Additionally, Jim prefers to have more direct contact with his readers. As has been documented, he responds to all calls and e-mails within 24 hours.

Selling larger numbers through bookstores would make that accessibility impossible.

If it’s not sold in bookstores, why is Get Better Sound listed on

Maybe it’s not one of life’s greatest mysteries, but it is strange. Quarter Note Press (GBS publisher) has never even sold one copy of Get Better Sound to Amazon, or any other bookstore, online or otherwise! Yet, it’s been on the Amazon site for over a year, as if they’ve actually had it…

Furthermore, although their prices vary, they are sometimes at twice or three times the price of GBS when purchased from this website!

So the answer is – we have no idea why it’s there, nor why it’s priced as it is.

We have noticed lately that they claim to have used books, for almost as much as a new GBS. We don’t know if that is true or not. We do know that none of them come with the acclaimed Quarter Notes newsletters, which are included free to all Get Better Sound purchasers from this website.

I’ve read some of the Get Better Sound manual and parts of it looks pretty basic, when compared to the books I’m familiar with.

We’ll take that as a huge compliment. In most systems there are going to be complex ideas that need addressing, but Jim thinks that they don’t have to read as if you’re reading a textbook.

After everything was laid out and each of the 202 Tips were selected and written, they all went through a number of substantial rewrites and simplified illustrations in order to make them easier and more enjoyable to read. Jim wanted GBS to read as if you and he were sitting at a table, having a conversation, and he was explaining the tips to you.

We get comments all the time about how easy the manual is to read and how straightforward it is. Actually, this was the hardest part in producing Get Better Sound (other than the 10,000 hours spent gaining the practical experience).

I already have (any book about high-end audio or audio technology). Why would I benefit from Get Better Sound?

The authors of the textbook-like books about audio are very knowledgeable in their fields. We recommend their books whenever a reader wants to learn more about the various categories, the hows, and the whys of audio.

These books are excellent at teaching you how things work. Get Better Sound is focused on showing you how to make them work better. Theoretical vs. practical information, and both have their place.

Additionally, those authors have not had to successfully install and voice hundreds if not thousands of systems in client’s homes, reviewers’ systems, dealers’ showrooms, as well as at audio shows with very little time to set up in a strange room with new equipment.

So even if they wanted to write a book about how to make a system sound better, that’s not their experience base.

If you are looking for a textbook that teaches you about audio, there are some excellent choices. On the other hand, Get Better Sound is all about showing you how to improve your sound…

What about the "Rule of Thirds" – I don’t see that listed in the Table of Contents?

There are a lot of audiophile theories that aren’t included in GBS. If they are not present, that’s because they aren’t practical in most situations, or they don’t work in enough rooms to be useful, or in all too many cases, they simply aren’t effective.

The theories that have proven – through real-world experience - to have practical and real benefits are in Get Better Sound. Plus, some are expanded upon in Quarter Notes.

How about all of the speaker set-up guides that are on the Internet?

Most have an element of effectiveness. However, a generic guide (no matter how detailed the formulas may be) is not likely to fully address YOUR room (especially once you put things like furniture in it) and therefore not likely to fully address YOUR system.

The set-up info in Get Better Sound is practical and it works in nearly every instance, no matter how much your room may vary from the rarely-achieved ideal that is used in the various guides.

Why $44.50?

Let’s face it – if you base the price on the cost of paper and printing, Get Better Sound is overpriced. For that matter, all books would be overpriced.

However, if you consider relative worth, and you read what thousands of readers are saying, then GBS is worth far more than any component. That’s because it can make a much bigger difference in the performance of any system at any price, when compared to the expense of acquiring any component – new or used. Since Get Better Sound costs far less than any component and almost all accessories, it’s often called a “best buy.”

With over 30 years in development, GBS is the direct result of over 10,000 hours of very successful installation/voicing experience - often including all-nighters and weekends. These intensive installation projects were at client’s homes, dealers’ and manufacturers’ showrooms, CES & various other shows, as well as at Jim’s own demo facilities.

No other book about audio draws on such solid installation and system voicing experience – experience that has been acclaimed in print and online.

Aren’t you exaggerating when you say that Get Better Sound will make a bigger improvement than an amplifier or other component upgrade?

Jim definitely doesn’t think so. Of course when he wrote GBS, he didn’t start out thinking about that comparison. It wasn’t until sometime in 2009, after visiting and talking to hundreds of readers, that he finally realized that no component - at any cost - could make such a profound improvement as the results from putting the 202 Tips into play. It took lots of comments from readers to make him realize what sort of impact Get Better Sound was making.

Comments like these:

“I’ve grown tired of putting out so much money for so little improvement. Your book has given my system great improvement for very little money!”

—Kevin K., Tamaqua, PA

Get Better Sound made more of a positive impact on my system than any new component.”

—Jay C., Salem, OR

Are you advocating that I buy Get Better Sound and not buy any components?

Jim advocates addressing the fundamentals of sound before changing any components. That’s what GBS is all about.

He’s not against buying new components. He’s against spending any more money on components – or accessories - until you have maximized your current system’s performance. It’s a bit like building a solid foundation for a home before building walls with exotic finishes.

Once your system is performing at its new and higher level, if you still have your eye on that new preamplifier, your system will easily reveal to you if the expense is worth it.

For what it’s worth, Jim continues to evaluate new components. And sometimes, he buys them. But he’d never consider doing so without first having addressed the fundamentals of better sound.

Have a question for Jim?

Send him an e-mail – click here.

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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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