Mechanical Diodes? Really?

May 30, 2010
13,912
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Portugal
#2

Ron Resnick

Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
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Beverly Hills, CA
#3
I think Mod Squad Tiptoes were sold on the same concept, weren't they?
 
Dec 18, 2013
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San Diego area
#4
No such thing exists in the context of wave propagation in solid media. The term is most commonly associated with one-way energy transfer in gear assemblies or torque converters. Just try measuring the output of an accelerometer on the top side of a cone subject to vibration at the pointed end.
 
May 30, 2010
13,912
5
38
Portugal
#5
No such thing exists in the context of wave propagation in solid media. The term is most commonly associated with one-way energy transfer in gear assemblies or torque converters. Just try measuring the output of an accelerometer on the top side of a cone subject to vibration at the pointed end.
It is now audiophile jargon - once a designation has been used for more than thirty years it is considered adopted!
 
Jan 23, 2013
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#9
Yes Ron, you are correct, it was Mod Squard with their Tiptoes, later it was Pin Points out of the Nederlands, Gryphon used in on their first preamplifier in the eighties, YBA, Goldmund and many others used them too. Nobody has a patent on the idea and today there are many versions of them, generally all called spikes and has become a almost mandatory tweak for most.
 
Last edited:
Jun 21, 2013
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Wellington, New Zealand
#10
The idea may have its roots in the symbol used for drawing diodes in electrical schematics.
The only time I've ever found spikes to be useful is in preventing speakers and equipment racks from putting flat spots in carpet. They improve the sound by reducing the level of disapproval from the spousal unit.
 

DaveC

[Industry Expert]
Nov 16, 2014
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#11
It's not a principle. It's lore.
I think the issue is it works on paper if you're completely naive and inexperienced in engineering, maybe still in high school... then the reduced surface area of the tip of a spike can be the only variable involved and indeed it would seem to greatly reduce transfer of energy. IRL the tip of a spike digs in and firmly couples with whatever it's sitting on a huge majority of the time, accomplishing the exact opposite of the theory. From what I've seen some still push the idea that spikes decouple but many use them for coupling, which is what they seem to actually do.
 
May 30, 2010
13,912
5
38
Portugal
#12
The Goldmund cones are not spikes, tiptoes or similar. They are optimized structures using three type of materials to drain vibrations from the equipment.

Goldmund carried extensive studies on this subject while developing their aluminum speakers - as far as I remember they used a bracing system including brass and steel to drain and dissipate the vibration of the aluminum panels. Their pioneering work was fully described in french audio magazines in the late 80's or early 90's - I am not sure anymore of the exact time - long before others started building aluminum box speakers some decades after.
 

DaveC

[Industry Expert]
Nov 16, 2014
2,177
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#13
The Goldmund cones are not spikes, tiptoes or similar. They are optimized structures using three type of materials to drain vibrations from the equipment.

Goldmund carried extensive studies on this subject while developing their aluminum speakers - as far as I remember they used a bracing system including brass and steel to drain and dissipate the vibration of the aluminum panels. Their pioneering work was fully described in french audio magazines in the late 80's or early 90's - I am not sure anymore of the exact time - long before others started building aluminum box speakers some decades after.
Well, they are spikes and as such what they will do depends to a large degree what surface they are sitting on and how much weight is on them.

I'm not saying spikes are good or bad, just that they can accomplish very different things, isolation or coupling, depending on specifics.
 
May 30, 2010
13,912
5
38
Portugal
#14
Well, they are spikes and as such what they will do depends to a large degree what surface they are sitting on and how much weight is on them.

I'm not saying spikes are good or bad, just that they can accomplish very different things, isolation or coupling, depending on specifics.
Ok, if a bird lands on the top of the Egyptian pyramids we can consider they are inverted spikes ... :D

Just wanted to say that there is lot more in the Goldmund cones than just the shape.
 

DaveC

[Industry Expert]
Nov 16, 2014
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#15
Ok, if a bird lands on the top of the Egyptian pyramids we can consider they are inverted spikes ... :D

Just wanted to say that there is lot more in the Goldmund cones than just the shape.
It looks to me like they have some damping material inside and a 2nd material presumably of different mechanical impedance for the tip of the spike... but they are still spikes and this causes a lot of confusion because of the often massive differences between theory and reality.
 
#16
theories or no, you should have the right to try an item in your system and IF it produces an improvement and not just a difference, then it works. i once sat in on a demo of Aurios bearing based isolators. my thought was that you would place it under something with moving parts like a disc trtansport. nope, it was placed under a Wadia D/A and it slapped me in the face with another 1/2 octave or so of bass.

expectations can be undone in a flash.
 

DaveC

[Industry Expert]
Nov 16, 2014
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36
#17
theories or no, you should have the right to try an item in your system and IF it produces an improvement and not just a difference, then it works. i once sat in on a demo of Aurios bearing based isolators. my thought was that you would place it under something with moving parts like a disc trtansport. nope, it was placed under a Wadia D/A and it slapped me in the face with another 1/2 octave or so of bass.

expectations can be undone in a flash.
That may be true, but the thread title and OP is all about how it works though. Some of us are interested in how things work...
 
#18
i agree with having an idea about how a product works but online, there are many who fluff on about fairy dust and uneducated or misdirected challenges to the white papers.

long ago, before there was the amazing Randi chipping away at interconnects, i listened for myself for differences/improvements between wire. i found that the newly released Auditechnica wire of Litz was better between the xover and top end (LS3/5As) and the ratshack red/black cheapie passed the lows better than the AT to the infinity monitor jrs i was using as the sub. i had no expectations and would have put whichever wire where it belonged. if no diff had been detected, it would have been a random selection.

we can read about the benefit of using Litz wire but not the bass superiority of the ratshack red/black pair.