I have not really done much with my system this year other than play with alternative cartridges but last night I did a small tweak to my system which was as a result of having to raise my speakers slightly.
I have just had a new sofa which in itself changed the acoustic characteristics of my room slightly but the biggest effect was to raise my lug holes slightly higher than they were before and thus the ideal listening level with the tweeters in my speakers was compromised. I did not realise how key this aspect was to perceiving a number of elements my speakers did including detail, soundstage and positioning of instruments and vocals.
In order to bring my speakers tweeters up to a level with my ears I decided therefore to use some special laminate material which I use under my turntable. This stuff is very dense and heavy, a bit like granite in weight but in actual fact it is made by laminating a number of materials together to form a very hard substance which is used throughout the construction industry for partitioning. It works fabulously under my turntable but I had never tried it under speakers. I had two ideal pieces which were pre cut to size that would do the job so I put the speaker plus stands which are spiked normally through my carpet into concrete onto them.
This immediately and noticeably not only bought the tweeters up to perfect listening position but also tightened up the whole imaging of the speakers. Quite amazing really as I had not expected this aspect, I just though I would get the same sound as I had before but this material worked much better than spiking the stands into concrete. Definition and precision of instruments and vocals in particular were improved to a point where some lyrics I had not been aware of came out of the mix with much greater coherence.
Need to do some more listening but I feel it is definitely worth experimenting with not only with different speaker stands but the actually substrate they are standing on as it can have quite a marked influence how speakers perform. I know there is an obvious difference between wood suspended floors and concrete but I can now see that there is also quite a difference between lots of other materials on which speakers stand.
Definitely worth more investigation?