KEY POINTS IN ACHIEVING OPTIMUM
SONIC PERFORMANCE WITH A FIRST SOUND
This guide has been compiled through various listening tests, experiences from the field and feedback
from customers. We strongly urge you to read this guide thoroughly and apply the guidelines presented
in a thorough manner. It is our intent for you to experience the maximum benefit a First Sound Linestage
can offer to your system.
Use the original factory tubes for a period of two weeks. This is very important to follow and cannot
be stressed strongly enough. After this period, you may change the triode(6DJ8 familyof) tubes if you
wish. This procedure allows you to experience your First Sound the way we have designed it. The triode
tubes play a very important role in the overall performance of your unit. Changing the triode tubes to
"NOS" may not always result in improved performance and can actually have an adverse effect. Using
the stock tubes for a period of two weeks provides a form of guarantee against "NOS" tubes that may
actually degrade the performance of your unit.
Periodically check the OA2 tubes to ensure they are working. The First Sound unit will function even
if one or both OA2 tubes are not working, though with diminished performance. The OA2 tubes are
readily visible through the ventilation slots on the sides of the Main Unit. The OA2 tubes will have a
bluish "halo" glow within about 20 seconds upon start up if they are in working order. This bluish glow
should continue throughout proper operation of the unit.
Tube Dampers. If you have tube dampers, we would recommend the use of First Sound without the
tube dampers for a period of a week or so. After which, you may experiment with your favorite tube
dampers. This will allow you to determine if the tube dampers benefit your system or not.
Polarity of the speaker leads
Reverse the polarity of speaker lead. Discussed on page 3 of the manual under the heading Set up. The
issue of reversing the polarity of the speaker cables is very very important. So important that we would
disown a First Sound unit if we heard it with the incorrect polarity. Having the polarity correct allows
the proper phase coherency to be maintained. If the polarity is not right, a resulting "veil" between the
listener and the musicís inherent "flow" will result. Incorrect speaker wire polarity may cause the music
to seem lethargic.
Manually changing the phase by reversing the polarity of the speaker cables is the ideal and most
effective method to use. In listening tests, it is easier to see the difference if one would play a couple of
songs in one polarity and then a couple of songs in another polarity and then switch back again. Using
different cdís from various labels is advised. If the phase is changed via the cd player or a D/A converter,
we have a very hard time noting a difference. We do not have an explanation for this. This is the reason
we advise to change the phase manually.
Inputs and Outputs
Use the "CD" input for your main source component. The "CD" input has a different wire than the
rest of the other inputs. This results in an enhanced performance through this input.
Use the "Output 1" for your outputs to your main amplifier. This is the most direct output and
provides the maximum performance.
Plug the unit directly to the AC wall outlet. Do not use any a.c. line conditioners or devices. If you
have such AC devices in your system, try using the First Sound unit without the a.c. devices for a period
of two weeks. Then proceed with the use of the AC device along with the First Sound unit. This
procedure will allow you to determine if the addition of an AC device is beneficial to the overall sonic
performance of the system.
Use the stock power cords. If you have aftermarket power cords, use the stock power cords for a
period of two weeks. Then proceed to use your aftermarket power cords. This procedure will allow you
to determine if the substitution of an after market power cord is beneficial to the overall sonic
performance of the system.
Hi End a.c. receptacles. We have found that "hi-end" AC receptacles enhance or can actually
degrade the overall performance of the system. We advise you to take careful consideration about these
Shorting plugs. Do not use any shorting rca plugs or rca caps (used as shield for EMI and RFI) on the
back of the unit. These degrade the sound when used with the First Sound.
External Power Supply Placement. If you are placing the external power supply directly on the carpet,
we have noticed an improvement if a wooden chopping/cutting board was placed underneath the
external power supply.
Attention to shelves. We have found out that certain materials used for shelves does not work well with
First Sound. In particular, acrylic shelves.
Isolation Devices. Do not use any of these devices under the main unit or the external power supply. If
you do have these devices, listen to your First Sound without any of these devices for the first two
weeks. Then proceed to use them first under the main unit, then under the power supply. This procedure
will allow you to determine if the addition of an isolation device is beneficial to the overall sonic
performance of the system.
Do not use any CD Break-in Disc or Break-in Device. Use natural music only. We have found that
certain "break in" CDís can actually have a detrimental effect on the performance of the unit.
The break in period is about two weeks of 24 hour constant use with music going through the unit.
Break in is aided by discharging the capacitors two or three times a day during this period.
Discharging the capacitors is discussed on page two of the operating manual.
Note: Remember to unplug the a.c. power cord from the a.c. wall socket and from the
external power supply before depressing the Discharge Button !
After pressing the Discharge Button for 3-5 minutes, release the button and let the unit settle for about
another 5 minutes. Then reconnect the power cord and turn the unit on.
During the break in period, while the unit is being played, set the attenuator at the different volume
settings if possible.
Note: If you would like to discuss any of the above in more detail, please feel free to contact the factory
email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
copyright 2013 First Sound Audio. All Rights Reserved.