bottled_water.jpegIn my Tao Of Beltism pages, I wrote about the fact that a lot of factors not known or recognized by audio engineers (other than Mr. Belt), can change our perception of sound. Did I mention water was one of them? In this experiment, you’ll be north-polarizing drinking water. The rest is very simple. Drink it, sound gets better (hopefully!). Polarize the water by placing a bottle (or glass) of water on the north pole3 of a magnet for 2-5 min. I don’t imagine a fridge magnet is strong enough, so something a little larger might do better. This shouldn’t be too difficult since every audio hobbyist worth his/her salt has some stray speaker drivers around somewhere, right?!

Interesting anecdote: I decided at the last minute to try this technique before putting it up, because I hadn’t ever done so, and thought perhaps I should (in case it doesn’t have any effect)1. I first took a good swig from a bottle of untreated natural spring water, hooked up my AKG’s to my kitchen stereo (the only stereo currently set up), put a Norah Jones CD on, and listened. Sound was nothing special (I haven’t gotten around to treating this stereo…), and there was considerable distortion in the bass on one channel, which I attributed to the EQ setting. Changing to the “JAZZ” EQ setting eliminated that, but everything was much worse, and hard to make out any bass. So I decided I would test through the distortion.

I north-polarized the water, brought it into the kitchen and sat it on the counter, which is on the other side of the room, opposite the stereo (about 15ft. or so, I’d guess). Then I intended to do a quick “control” test, to adjust myself to the changes2. Well the sound had improved in numerous ways, more than expected. First, the distortion in the bass was gone (there was still just a touch on the second track). I didn’t expect that one (and no, I left all the EQ and other settings intact!)4. Next, it had improved beyond the improvement a break would provide, it improved as much as I might have expected from a positive north-pole treatment. Sound was tighter, more refined, more engaging… Except I hadn’t drunken the water yet! When I did drink the treated water, the sound got better. I took the bottle out of the house to confirm it wasn’t a chance fluke, and indeed, the sound wasn’t as good, until I returned the bottle back to the kitchen.

Footnotes:

1Normally I would have, but I had done other experiments with water, and just presumed that being similar, it was likely to work.

2I’m referring to the fact that after leaving your system and coming back to it, even for a minute or two, it always sounds better on the first go, before you are into “the swing of things”.

3I know, I know… “How do I tell what’s the north and what’s the south pole?”. Well, you can get a BioMagnetics “Magneto-Meter”, for greatest accuracy. Or, I’ll save you $95 and say that if you place two magnets together, both north and both south poles will repel. I believe the one repelling with the strongest force is north polarity. A few ways to be sure: use a compass, or since there are just two sides, simply listen to both ends. One side should produce positive changes in sound (after drinking the magnetized water).

4I consider its possible this change was due to other factors not involving the water, because the distortion didn’t come back even after I moved the water out of the house. But if so, I couldn’t say what those factors are.