Entreq Vibb Eaters: Isolation for the BACK of Wilson X1 upper modules!!

LL21

Active Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,573
3
38
#1
Hi All,

As many of you know, I have been spending a LOT of time in the last several months on isolation/grounding after getting all my primary electronics finalized. I have posted substantially on the following elements below, and now would like to add one for you all to peruse: Entreq Vibb Eater.

Takeaway: For those who have Wilsons with modules, I feel that the Entreq Vibb Eater is just as worthwhile investigating as the Ultra 5s are. Placing a finger to the inner/back sides of the modules during heavy bass/transients/volume and I can feel vibration...if other owners do as well, try these. I started a thread about Ultra 5s and Wilsons for a reason...I felt they are that good. I feel nearly as strongly on the Entreq Vibb Eaters.

Background

In my system, I have 11 different 'isolation sandwiches' which is comprised of mass damping/damping plates on top of each component and isolation underneath. Because I care most about tonal qualities, I have had to do each sandwich separately and differently because each piece of isolation had some kind of effect on the tone of the system. Here are the isolation sandwiches:

- Under: Combination of Auralex, Ultra 5s/HRS Nimbus, HRS M3/Nimbus
- Top: Ultra 5, HRS Damping Plates, Artesania Damping Plates and 154 pounds of solid brass weights
- These combinations apply to every single box plus the Velodyne Sub

They now also apply to the X1s which is where the Vibb Eaters come in.

I have a thread here dedicated to the Ultra 5s underneath my X1s...plenty of largely positive ink has been spilled about Ultra 5s. 'nuff said.

Wilson Upper Modules & Vibration
What I realized though is that the upper 3 modules of the Wilson X1s vibrate a LOT from internal vibration, not just from the floor. The outer cabinetry does not vibrated, but placing fingers across the backs of the modules or deeper down inside the back...and its surprisingly strong. Having recognized that there is a haze/shimmer/'weakness or dissipation' of signal from vibration, I got experimenting.

Various weights and Ultra 5s helped still the images, but also often deadened the sound. Too much metal/hard surfaces that inadvertently were causing problems to show up elsewhere (ie, transfer of vibration?)...perhaps.

Enter the Entreq Vibb Eater
I asked my local Entreq dealer to bring the Vibb Eaters...these silly leather pouches (in the shape of a mouse)...filled with heavy copper shot and other metals which also apparently absorb EMI/RFI? (I have no idea). What mattered to me is each one weight nearly 15lbs (6.5kg) and while very stiff...was still malleable like hard clay.

In the end plunking them down on the back of the modules did very, very little. But eventually, I started pounding away at the Vibb eaters to literally mould them around the back corners of the upper modeules to REALLY sink them into the space there and try to absorb more vibration.

After about 5-10 minutes of solid 'clay moulding', I could hear a 'snap' of the image even from the back of the speaker where slightly blurred notes became very very solid. No change in tonal quality.

But Glenn Gould's rapid fire fingerwork on Bach Goldberg Variations (Track 5) is crystal clear, with syncopation, alternating rhythms...and I realize his fingerwork was not blurring in the speed...the SPEAKER WAS...his fingerwork is actually perfect. I can hear every single note despite all the rapid fire work there...every single note. It is tremendous. I also played Daft Punk (RAM)...and for the first time, I got a glimpse of the opening of Track 3 that reminded me of listening to the mighty Arrakis, an image so solid and still it added tremendously to the believability and enjoyment. (NO! I am not saying Vibb Eaters turned my X1s into Arrakis'...but they DID still the ever-critical upper modules which produces the mids/treble.)

Conclusions (for now)

Final word...I have never tried them on other speaker, particularly ones with flat surfaces where you just plunk them down. What I can say is that on the back of the Wilson modules where (on mine) I found a lot of vibration and where you can really wedge/work these into that space to grip the back of the modules and absorb that vibration...these did something tremendously positive.

They are staying. My two cents.
 
Last edited:

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
4,970
46
48
North Shore of Boston
#2
That is very interesting Lloyd. I'm surprised given the attention to the special Wilson X material and the fact that the speakers are ported. I'd have thought there would not be a lot of vibration felt on the cabinets. Surprisingly, I also have felt vibrations coming from both the wooden and aluminum cabinets on Magico speakers, despite their heroic efforts to dampen these. But pressures inside these cabinets are huge, so vibrations are bound to show up somewhere.

I have done some extensive isolation/vibration control in my system as well, though perhaps not the experimentation that you have done over the last few months. I have all of my components sitting on either Vibraplanes or Townshend Seismic Sinks and recently tried Stillpoint Ultra 5s under my amps. So I can appreciate the results of your efforts.

Thank you for continuing your experiments and for sharing with us the results.
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#3
Hi All,

As many of you know, I have been spending a LOT of time in the last several months on isolation/grounding after getting all my primary electronics finalized. I have posted substantially on the following elements below, and now would like to add one for you all to peruse: Entreq Vibb Eater.

Takeaway: For those who have Wilsons with modules, I feel that the Entreq Vibb Eater is just as worthwhile investigating as the Ultra 5s are. Placing a finger to the inner/back sides of the modules during heavy bass/transients/volume and I can feel vibration...if other owners do as well, try these. I started a thread about Ultra 5s and Wilsons for a reason...I felt they are that good. I feel nearly as strongly on the Entreq Vibb Eaters.

Background

In my system, I have 11 different 'isolation sandwiches' which is comprised of mass damping/damping plates on top of each component and isolation underneath. Because I care most about tonal qualities, I have had to do each sandwich separately and differently because each piece of isolation had some kind of effect on the tone of the system. Here are the isolation sandwiches:

- Under: Combination of Auralex, Ultra 5s/HRS Nimbus, HRS M3/Nimbus
- Top: Ultra 5, HRS Damping Plates, Artesania Damping Plates and 154 pounds of solid brass weights
- These combinations apply to every single box plus the Velodyne Sub

They now also apply to the X1s which is where the Vibb Eaters come in.

I have a thread here dedicated to the Ultra 5s underneath my X1s...plenty of largely positive ink has been spilled about Ultra 5s. 'nuff said.

Wilson Upper Modules & Vibration
What I realized though is that the upper 3 modules of the Wilson X1s vibrate a LOT from internal vibration, not just from the floor. The outer cabinetry does not vibrated, but placing fingers across the backs of the modules or deeper down inside the back...and its surprisingly strong. Having recognized that there is a haze/shimmer/'weakness or dissipation' of signal from vibration, I got experimenting.

Various weights and Ultra 5s helped still the images, but also often deadened the sound. Too much metal/hard surfaces that inadvertently were causing problems to show up elsewhere (ie, transfer of vibration?)...perhaps.

Enter the Entreq Vibb Eater
I asked my local Entreq dealer to bring the Vibb Eaters...these silly leather pouches (in the shape of a mouse)...filled with heavy copper shot and other metals which also apparently absorb EMI/RFI? (I have no idea). What mattered to me is each one weight nearly 15lbs (6.5kg) and while very stiff...was still malleable like hard clay.

In the end plunking them down on the back of the modules did very, very little. But eventually, I started pounding away at the Vibb eaters to literally mould them around the back corners of the upper modeules to REALLY sink them into the space there and try to absorb more vibration.

After about 5-10 minutes of solid 'clay moulding', I could hear a 'snap' of the image even from the back of the speaker where slightly blurred notes became very very solid. No change in tonal quality.

But Glenn Gould's rapid fire fingerwork on Bach Goldberg Variations (Track 5) is crystal clear, with syncopation, alternating rhythms...and I realize his fingerwork was not blurring in the speed...the SPEAKER WAS...his fingerwork is actually perfect. I can hear every single note despite all the rapid fire work there...every single note. It is tremendous. I also played Daft Punk (RAM)...and for the first time, I got a glimpse of the opening of Track 3 that reminded me of listening to the mighty Arrakis, an image so solid and still it added tremendously to the believability and enjoyment. (NO! I am not saying Vibb Eaters turned my X1s into Arrakis'...but they DID still the ever-critical upper modules which produces the mids/treble.)

Conclusions (for now)

Final word...I have never tried them on other speaker, particularly ones with flat surfaces where you just plunk them down. What I can say is that on the back of the Wilson modules where (on mine) I found a lot of vibration and where you can really wedge/work these into that space to grip the back of the modules and absorb that vibration...these did something tremendously positive.

They are staying. My two cents.
Lloyd

wouldn't the Ultra 5's under the speakers deal with the upper modules vibrations that you can feel or IOW what do the Ultra5's do that the other doesn't and vice versa

BTW, my upper modules don't vibrate at all. Have you ever thought of being certain that all of the tether bolts for the upper modules are tightened. There must be a reason that yours vibrate.
 

mep

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
9,483
0
0
#5
At some point this hobby can and does become the theater for the absurd.
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
4,970
46
48
North Shore of Boston
#6
Lloyd

wouldn't the Ultra 5's under the speakers deal with the upper modules vibrations that you can feel or IOW what do the Ultra5's do that the other doesn't and vice versa

BTW, my upper modules don't vibrate at all. Have you ever thought of being certain that all of the tether bolts for the upper modules are tightened. There must be a reason that yours vibrate.
I have felt the upper modules in the Alexia vibrate. I don't know if this is typical.
 

mep

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
9,483
0
0
#7
I have felt the upper modules in the Alexia vibrate. I don't know if this is typical.
As Steve said, were the modules tightened correctly? Is there a factory torque spec? Does anyone own a calibrated breakaway torque screwdriver/wrench?
 

LL21

Active Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,573
3
38
#8
Hi Gents,

A few things:

1. My speakers are the original 1994 vintage...a lot has changed since then.
2. As for modules and vibration, please note: My modules do NOT vibrate on the sides nor on any of the surfaces that show when you casually walk around the speaker.

3. BUT if you were to put your hand along the back and down into the back of my speaker behind the modules and on top of the unfinished parts of the modules...and let the bass rip, you would definitely be able to feel very very subtle vibrations on this area of my speaker modules. They were set up extremely well by one of the best, and he was here not that long ago to change out both tweeters.

4. I am NOT talking about rattling, but the same level of vibration you might feel on the top of the coffee table or something when the bass is pulsing. Nothing on the surface of the table moves at all...but if you put your fingers there lightly, you can feel a slight vibration when the bass whack hits at volume.

5. The Ultra 5s made a huge different to the upper bass and thus the lower mids. There were benefits elsewhere as well, but this was the main part.

6. So, I placed an Ultra 5 on the 'shelf' created in the back of the X1 due to the setup of the 3 modules...and I could definitely hear the difference. I did NOT like the difference, but I knew there was one. The sound solidified but also hardened too much.
That got me thinking...a damping material of a different kind might work better.

7. MEP - I hear you on the shape of these things...apparently Entreq was going to make regular balls...and the owners wife said to make them cute, and he did. Just a story? Heck if I know. I took off that little red ribbon and just wedged them in the back.

I don't think its ridiculous to use metal shot in a pouch to mass dampen speakers...people have been using lead shot for speaker stands and on top of bookshelfs for years. But if you are referring to the mouse-shape-thing...well, I cannot say I disagree, but at least they're in the back...

And now when there is heavy bass from the bass module below, the vibration to the upper modules is far reduced. Thus I am happy.
 

LL21

Active Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,573
3
38
#9
I should also note that part of my thinking has been formed by reading the various review of the X1, X2 and latest XLF, each of which I have been fortunate to hear quite a bit myself. One of the comments that stuck out in my mind was from the folks at Audio Federation...very opinionated, very definite about what they like and don't...but I was very pleasantly surprised to read an extensive set of listening notes about the Wilson X2s and XLFs (which they do not sell)...which were highly positive. In fact, they noted the often harsh criticism about Wilson hype...and said they felt the big Wilsons are the real deal.

That said, they did note that one of the key differences in the XLF vs X2 was that they felt there was an increase in solidity in the XLF. More importantly, I went back to their X2 'review' and they always noted in their comments that they felt the X2 was not entirely rigid despite the heroic build efforts...particularly in the upper mids. They found that the notes 'stuck' to the cabinet which to them meant not entirely rigid. They felt this was no longer the case with the XLFs except in the bass.

And I remember thinking the XLF does indeed feel more solid, and the presentation is thus more 'free' and effortless, where I suppose one could say the notes just come off the speaker.

I never gave that comment any thought until I re-read it recently while exploring about X1, X2 and XLF. This ultimately led to my getting these Entreq Vibb eaters, and they work.
 

LL21

Active Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,573
3
38
#10
I have felt the upper modules in the Alexia vibrate. I don't know if this is typical.
Given the level of commitment you have on isolation/vibration, I would not be surprised if you have felt something similar to what I have here. Very very subtle, but as you already know extremely well...getting rid of it can make a huge difference in all the nuances, decay, and in particular in my case, many, many notes which were in the background and 'just there'...suddenly 'came to life' and I realized that someone had written those in not for background but for contrapuntal elements, or as their own musical line.

And I do think its because those notes used to come off the speaker modules a little weakly...due to the modules losing energy as they vibrated and thus weakening the deliver those notes...most notably in terms of hanging in free air/placement as well as timing/strength of beat. Once the vibration was reduced, the signal applied to those notes was firmer, more independent, less hazy...and suddenly all of these 'lesser notes' no longer faded into the background but came forth a step or 2 in musical importance. Very cool.

I hear it most on highly layered tracks...like Buddha Bar or electronic. All kinds of parallel beats, themes, elements, voices appears to go on their own. But even on jazz, I can hear it improve mainly in the most subtle of strums, hums or soft snares in the waaaay back that honestly were 'after thoughts' when I used to listen to the music, and now I can listen to only these elements if I wish as they are now their own musical line.

If you happen somehow to have a chance to try some damping, let me know what you think. I had very mixed results with damping, but at least I found it made a difference...and it took the entreq to make an IMPROVEMENT.
 

LL21

Active Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,573
3
38
#11
...just got a text from my Distributor who said one of his dealers actually also 'beats up the Entreq Vibb eaters like clay' to wedge them into place...in his case, the Raidho speaker/speakerstand interface?
 

mep

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
9,483
0
0
#12
I guess those Entreq rats will be the next greatest thing.
 

LL21

Active Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,573
3
38
#13
I guess those Entreq rats will be the next greatest thing.
;) honestly, they are bags of copper shot with some other metals in them...hardly the stuff of legend (or super innovation). But they work, and knowing my own technical skills (think '0') I could imagine that my getting a bag and filling it with lead shot would be a waste of time. I can just see little pellets of lead running all over the inside of my speakers and having to explain that one to the Distributor.

The point actually is NOT that Entreq Vibb eaters are the next greatest thing...in truth, it is that I find that my Wilson modules benefited tremendously by some good quality damping in the back on top. I think the vibration comes from the fact that they sit on top of a huge bass cabinet with 13 and 15 drivers. Spiked or not, they are getting some vibration, and for some reason, adding this damping materials helps absorb some of that vibration.

Whereas before, the module vibrated ever so slightly with every major beat...now the Entreq vibrates a ton, but the module cabinet is more still. Perfect? Nope...but a lot more still, and hearing is believing.

Again, I tried this before twice...first, with tiny freeweights and then again with Ultra LPIs and Ultra 5s...all lessened vibration but also cause tonal problems so I dropped the idea. Then, I read the Audio Federation review of the XLFs and X2s and their comments about how they felt the upper modules were not totally rigid...and then this idea popped into my head.
 

LL21

Active Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,573
3
38
#15
Lloyd

Glad to se that you too listen to Buddha Bar.
Definitely! Namely, II, VII and VIII. I used to go to the main one in Paris many years ago...do you know they used to gross $30M from CD sales? I have noted that you have mentioned Buddha Bar on several occasions in the past several weeks...great music. If you ever travel to Paris, have dinner at the Pershing Hotel in the courtyard outdoors or at one of the balconies upstairs overlooking the courtyard (windows are always open in the summer). They have a DJ spinning vinyl (Buddha Bar-like music) during dinner. Tres chic...
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
4,970
46
48
North Shore of Boston
#16
;)

The point actually is NOT that Entreq Vibb eaters are the next greatest thing...in truth, it is that I find that my Wilson modules benefited tremendously by some good quality damping in the back on top. I think the vibration comes from the fact that they sit on top of a huge bass cabinet with 13 and 15 drivers. Spiked or not, they are getting some vibration, and for some reason, adding this damping materials helps absorb some of that vibration.

Whereas before, the module vibrated ever so slightly with every major beat...now the Entreq vibrates a ton, but the module cabinet is more still. Perfect? Nope...but a lot more still, and hearing is believing.

Again, I tried this before twice...first, with tiny freeweights and then again with Ultra LPIs and Ultra 5s...all lessened vibration but also cause tonal problems so I dropped the idea. Then, I read the Audio Federation review of the XLFs and X2s and their comments about how they felt the upper modules were not totally rigid...and then this idea popped into my head.
Lloyd, I don't doubt any of this. I do not own Alexias, but I have put my hand on the back of the upper modules and noticed subtle vibrations. Heck, my Mini 2s also vibrate very slightly on the top of the back aluminum brace during extremely dynamic and loud passages.

I half jokingly mentioned what might happen if one inserted Stillpoints under the Wilson modules to address vibrations. This came in response to my failed attempts with the Ultra 5s under the stands of my Mini 2s. This was on the Incredible Stillpoints thread. Everyone told me I was completely wrong to try them under my stands and that the Ultra 5s needed to be close to the source of vibrations, hence between the speaker and its stand. Well, I could not do that, nor was I willing to try it with double sided tape as someone suggested. But it got me thinking. If one is supposed to use Stillpoints under speakers and above stands, and if one can describe the bass module of the larger Wilsons as a stand for the upper modules, why not replace the spikes with Stillpoints under those modules? Adjustability would be compromised, I'm sure, but the point is to address vibrations. I had thought that the vibrations came from the modules themselves, but as you suggest, perhaps they are actually coming up from the bass cabinet and effecting the response of the modules.

I'm curious about the notion that speakers can benefit from being decoupled from the floor via Stillpoints but speaker modules benefit from being coupled (spiked) to lower modules or to stands. I know that you are talking about damping vibrations while spikes and Stillpoints attempt to drain vibrations away from their source. Has anyone tried the Stillpoint Minis under the Wilson modules?

I suppose most will find this idea to be absurd, especially coming from a non Wilson owner, but there is no question that those modules are sealed speaker enclosures and that in some cases, they vibrate. Or at least they may be susceptible to vibrations from the bass module. I believe that you have identified something about the design and I have no doubt that you hear the improvement you describe. I won't debate whether or not it is the ideal solution.
 

rockitman

Member Sponsor
Sep 20, 2011
6,891
21
38
Northern NY
#17
You could never use stillpoint's under Wilson modules. Each module must be at a specific height and tilt based on speaker spacing and seat position. There are specific progation tables that guide you to ensure the correct length spike, hence proper speaker coherency.
 

LL21

Active Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,573
3
38
#18
Lloyd, I don't doubt any of this. I do not own Alexias, but I have put my hand on the back of the upper modules and noticed subtle vibrations. Heck, my Mini 2s also vibrate very slightly on the top of the back aluminum brace during extremely dynamic and loud passages.

I half jokingly mentioned what might happen if one inserted Stillpoints under the Wilson modules to address vibrations...I suppose most will find this idea to be absurd, especially coming from a non Wilson owner, but there is no question that those modules are sealed speaker enclosures and that in some cases, they vibrate...I had thought that the vibrations came from the modules themselves, but as you suggest, perhaps they are actually coming up from the bass cabinet and effecting the response of the modules...

..I believe that you have identified something about the design and I have no doubt that you hear the improvement you describe. I won't debate whether or not it is the ideal solution.
Unfortunately, the amount of space in between each module is miniscule and the entire underneath is comprised of the spikes and the top of each modules has a track of ridges, where you can place the spikes anywhere along the series of ridges to adjust the specific angles, tilt and height.

That said, there are more than a few other manufacturers whose speaker designs allow for Ultras between speaker and stand or bass module. In the case of the Wilsons, I have often wondered what would happen if (like with the spikes) someone could design an absorbant spike/coupler.

In the meantime, I find that the design of the Entreq (supposedly meant to sit on top of speakers and to take the vibration from the top into the Entreq Vibb Eater) works reasonably well. No doubt, so do the newer Wilson spiked modules such as the XLF which I have to say did seem far more solid. Again, my experience is based on my X1s, literally 7 generations older.

Nevertheless, if people do find miniscule vibrations when they place their fingers gently across the back, top of the upper modules, try first with any kind of damping weight you've got around the house. If it does something to still the vibration, great. It may also worsen SQ in other ways, and if so, then trying a proper damping solution. Would be curious to hear if anyone else tries this.
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
4,970
46
48
North Shore of Boston
#19
You could never use stillpoint's under Wilson modules. Each module must be at a specific height and tilt based on speaker spacing and seat position. There are specific progation tables that guide you to ensure the correct length spike, hence proper speaker coherency.
Yes, this is indeed the case, and pretty obvious. I've heard Peter McGrath do the demonstration where he moves the tweeter module forward one click and the effect was fairly pronounced. So I understand that this is all part of the flexibility of the speaker for a given space and inherent to the design. My musings were more of a theoretical nature about damping vs. draining vibrations and coupling vs. decoupling upper modules from lower ones (stands).
 

jfrech

VIP/Donor
Sep 3, 2012
1,539
1
38
Austin
#20
Interesting post & doesn't surprise me. I suspect Wilson made some advances in vibe control from the X1 => X2's...hence your different results...

I continue to find that vibration control is a major influence on superior sound. Even in cables and power. It's shocking just moving my Shunyata Typhon off my rack to the floor...it's like I broke my system...
 

About us

  • Founded in 2010 What's Best Forum invites intelligent and courteous people of all interests and backgrounds to describe and discuss the best of everything. From beginners to life-long hobbyists to industry professionals we enjoy learning about new things and meeting new people and participating in spirited debates.

Quick Navigation

User Menu

Steve Williams
Site Founder | Site Owner | Administrator
Ron Resnick
Site Co-Owner | Administrator
Julian (The Fixer)
Website Build | Marketing Managersing