The top


A difficult area to treat, because the area is constructed with two pieces of curved shaped polycarbonate boards that are very close to each other. The upper fascia that can be seen is just the cosmetic cover and a similar shaped board is actually located just below it. Actually, the chassis stiffness is maintained with this lower board. By this modification, the upper fascia will become more an integral part of the construction and facilitate a sound improvement.

There are two ways to tune up this upper fascia. Firstly, dampen vibration by attaching Teflon tape and secondly, remove physical vibration by the addition of weight.

a) Attaching Teflon tape
Teflon tape used for this tuning is ASF110 made by Chuko-Kasei. The thickness is 0.08mm and the width required is 40mm, you can use 2 pieces of 20mm attached in parallel.

1. Cleaning:
Before the tape is attached to the relevant area, please clean the fascia with a soft cloth.

2. Location:
Position the tape 25mm from the right hand edge of the upper fascia.

3. Length:
If the tape length is longer than recommended, the resolution (i.e. clarity) of each instrument will increase. But if the tape is too long, the sound will become 'dull' with a smaller sound stage.

In the case of surround sound, the dimension of each channel will not be smoothly integrated together if longer tape is used. Conversely, with shorter tape, groups of instruments may become 'blurred' and the sound of each instrument will be defocused. Therefore, it's important to experiment and find the ideal length of tape required by your particular listening room.

As a guide, try to tune based upon your listening experience of live music in a concert hall. Of course, the tuning result will depend upon the type of music you prefer, such as jazz, or classical etc. In the case of Japan and Europe, classical music concerts are often popular as a reference. Whereas in North America people sometimes prefer a more, 'direct' sound. Here, the experience of listening to music at close quarters, as in a jazz club, is often popular.

Consequently, there is always a subjective element to sound tuning. So, please experiment and discover the best condition for listening to your favourite music in a relaxed and enjoyable manner.

4. Fine tuning:
The acoustic effect of the tape can appear to become more prominent after a period of around a week and you may feel it is too much. This is because the adhesion of the tape becomes stronger and has a greater damping effect. If you feel the sound field becomes smaller, please cut the tape back, in this case peeling back both sides of the tape to do so.


b) Application of weight
For the last stage of the tuning, additional weight is applied to the upper fascia. The latter is convex in shape and additional weight should be applied to the central part, or 'navel' of the PS3. This is to offer good control of the fundamental bass note of the music.

By placing additional weight on top of the convex shaped upper fascia, the stiffness of the surface is increased by increasing the structural tension. As a result, the fundamental bass note becomes more exact and is better defined. Any vibration in the space between the upper fascia and the chassis base section is minimised. You should easily be able to define the difference between application and removal of the weight it's like 'night and day'.

In fact the 'tonality' of the weight can make a positive difference. I am using a puck from the CDP-X5000, but as it is no longer available, please experiment with the different options available to you personally.

The location of the weight is very critical and the sound can be greatly modified according to its location.

The 'Playstation 3' logo is printed on the upper fascia as shown in the photo above. Place the weight on an imaginary horizontal line drawn between the letters 'T' and 'A', or try 2mm closer to the letter 'T'.
Laterally speaking, the end of the weight should be placed exactly at the bottom of the letters, as shown. This is the most effective location, for if the weight is moved towards the left hand side, the effect becomes weaker.

The actual sonic effect of the weight is to increase the clarity of certain instruments, like timpani or large bass drums. This is most evident at peak levels, such as in an orchestral fortissimo. Also, the 'first' note or leading edge of each instrument, as with percussion, strings and winds are all well balanced. Naturally, the attenuation of each instrument's vibration is different, because they have specific vibration characteristics. It's not possible to standardise the vibration of each instrument.
However, such a balanced reproduction in this case offers a tangible musical benefit.

If you position the weight closer to the bottom of the letters, it can become too 'effective' and the sound becomes very 'tight'.

Try moving the weight to the left gradually. The fundamental bass note is unchanged, but the actual beat becomes softer and the inter-note decay gets broader. By moving too far to the left, percussive sounds become diffuse and softer.

According to my experience, the ideal location is 33mm to 44mm to the left of the original position. From this location, move it back to the right side in order to increase the tightness of the bass, or move it to the left to make the bass sound softer. It's almost like the tone control function of an amplifier. The favoured location could depend on the specific recording condition of your discs.

Once the location is fixed, remove the weight as an experiment. You will clearly hear that the resolution is degraded and the sound performance is compromised. In fact, I tested this with a colleague who is not an audiophile and they quickly heard and understood the difference.

I'm sure everyone can experience the same effect, for this additional weight is really essential. However, if you feel this is not clearly distinguishable, please try to modify your listening environment. Judicious use of damping material, plus the correct balance and management of the reflective nature of your room can make a big difference.

Your partner may complain, but once complete, you'll both agree it was worth the effort !