I honestly didn’t nick this one from Peter Belt. I actually nicked it from Enid Lumley. That wonderful, glorious, wacky audio journalist for “The Absolute Sound” (who I only heard of long after she retired from this crazy business), and who like Peter, was an audio pioneer that indulged in all kinds of strange science experiments in the interest of good hi-fi sound. I think she opened many minds before retiring for good (and left many as tightly shut as ever, judging by the generous heaps of scorn audio skeptics reserve for her). I don’t know who first came up with the idea, but even if it wasn’t Peter, it does have all the makings of a Belt invention (hint: 3 legs).

I probably learned about the tripod experiment in an article of Stereophile’s. I was amused to read that the editor of the magazine had admitted to hearing the effects of this device during a public presentation that Enid gave (she did not reveal what it was exactly, until after the results were in!). But after returning home, he couldn’t duplicate what he heard. He attributed this to Enid’s “power of persuasion” (apparently she was a very persuasive gal…). Haw! Well that’s one way to rationalize things… Many people just don’t give themselves the chance to conduct proper listening tests (which is why I hope all readers will thoroughly read my How To Listen section before embarking on any of these experiments). Then, draw premature conclusions that result in a wrongful analysis. It can require the sort of patience not everyone posesses. Of course, there are also the times that prejudice gets in the way of an objective analysis… another problem that only further evaluations can hope to correct.


The procedure is dead simple: first, order a takeout pizza from a pizzeria. Nothing with anchovies. (This has nothing to do with the experiment. I just think they’re “icky”). Remove the plastic 3-legged tripod thingy that sits in the centre to prevent the lid of the box from mashing down on the pizza. Then, eat the pizza. Now all you have left is the tripod. Which is good, because that’s all you will need. Place the tripod on top of your CD player, near the back where the input jacks are. Listen, then listen without, etc., until you have caught on to the differences. You can use one on other equipment as well, or anywhere good Belt devices will travel. The shape does all the work so you don’t have to….