Introspection and hyperbole control

PeterA

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Dec 7, 2011
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If a comparison was a requirement, then the floor, good, bad, or ugly could be considered a comparison since some indeed use the floor as their stands / racking system. Yes, there is potential of improved performance of a component when raised off the floor but the same goes with cables and passive line conditioners too as I've witnessed such improvements myself. Some might speculate that electrstatic electricity in the carpet induces the sonic harm.

To the contrary, and though I've not tried it, I've no doubt that under ideal circumstances and a superior execution with the components making direct contact with the sub-flooring (by-passing carpet, etc) the floor has the absolute potential of being the ultimate performance-oriented stand / racking system. I won't bother explaining because it would make no sense to those who adhere to the vibration isolation methodology. But I digress.
Interesting stuff and a great topic for another thread. I suppose it depends on whether the floor is massive and acting as a sink into which component vibrations, as well as airborne, speaker generated vibrations, can be absorbed versus if the floor is acting like a giant motion machine imparting its own vibrational energy into the component. In the latter case, one might want active or passive isolation. In the former, direct coupling. So, it seems it would depend on the conditions present.

Harley does not talk about the construction or composition of his floor. Nor does he go into the typology or design mission of the amp stand: drainage or isolation. I suspect it may be a combination of the two. That would not require a mechanical engineering background, just some layman's observation of the floor and a quick call to the manufacturer for an explanation of the design goals. This is the information that would be helpful to the reader so that he can understand if the principles involved would apply to his own room conditions. I don't think this is a lot to ask, especially from the editor of a magazine which purports to be an authority, in part by reviewing what is imagined to be the state of the art. He book is a much more thorough investigation of technologies, so it should be within his abilities. This just looks like a lazy effort on his part.

Regardless of what one expects from a reviewer, one need only to read the comments on this thread and those on the TAS website accompanying the review to see the reaction and how Harley missed his audiences' expectations. Perhaps the hyperbole is not out of control, but there are claims which seem to be based on very little. I think that Al's criticism is that Harley's subjective observations are fine, but they seem a bit wild without the rigor of a comparison to other stands to support them.

And given that the comparison is only between the floor and the very expensive CMS amp stands, the take away for me is that either these expensive SS amp designs are extremely sensitive and susceptible to floor borne vibrations from Harley's noisy floor, or they generate noisy internal vibrations which need to be drained by a proper stand for the amps to sound their best. The review would have been much more helpful and interesting if Harley had attempted to explain which of these is more likely the case and why.
 

stehno

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Al, I agree with you. And what does "...disappear more completely." even mean? It either disappears, or it does not. Kind of like being pregnant. Perhaps he means it lowers the noise floor or some other distortion.

I would think that one could actually write a lot in an amplifier stand review. Does the stand effect different frequencies differently? Does it isolate the component making it immune from floor borne vibrations, or does it couple the component to the floor and act as a conduit helping to drain energy away from the sensitive circuits? Is it equally effective with tube and SS amps? From what little is posted, it sounds like a lazy effort. I'll click on the link to read more.

Valin wrote a long review of the CMS rack a while ago. I wonder why he did not do this review.
Peter,

No one knows properly how and why these stands affect the performance of electronic equipment - even the manufacturers of known quality racks and stands write meaningless long essays that do not address your questions, and most often try to disguise the more relevant technical information. How can we expect that an audio reviewer, that is not a mechanical engineer or vibration expert, can address your interesting questions?

Our knowledge on this subject is just empirical. Everyone could write nice words about turntable and tube equipment isolation - but once someone puts a solid state device on a stand we are shown we are mainly guessing in the desert.


No one knows how and why, eh? Funny, I don't remember you asking me. Or have you've just not gotten to those whose names start with letter S yet?

Perhaps I should start off with a little background. I’m a huge proponent of proper AC mgmt and especially proper vibration mgmt both for which I call building on the right foundation. My position is that electrical and mechanical (vibrational) energies are a basic requirement for any playback system to function at all. Yet when under-controlled or poorly managed, these same two energies will utterly destroy our sensitive components’ precision and accuracy so that they can only perform at a small percentage of their true potential. Thus leaving a majority of the music information embedded in a given recording (regardless of format) so distorted that even though processed, it remains inaudible due to a much raised noise floor these very energies generate. A performance-limiting governor if you will. Our playback systems are like unto a vineyard where every participant has its role or responsibility within that part of the vineyard with little or no overlap into other parts of the vineyard. Except for electrical and mechanical energy which spans / overlaps and greatly impacts perhaps every last part of the vineyard and that’s why controlling these two energies whether using inferior or superior methods are the very foundation of every last playback system. And just as in perhaps every other industry, it is the foundation that ultimately determines the performance levels of everything built on top of it. Over the years, I’ve made some interesting discoveries (audio applications only) about these two energies, their behaviors, their similarities, and especially their tremendous affects on our playback systems.

That said, I’ll take a stab at answering your questions. Even though my answers will go against the grain of virtually everybody here because of their adherence to the vibration isolation methodology.

Q. Does a stand affect different frequencies differently?
A. No. At least not in theory. But perhaps in the form of some inferior designs and/or executions. Mechanical energy or resonance is essentially a universal and omni-present energy. It's everywhere and has multiple sources. And it's prominent in our listening environments, particularly in the form of air-borne and internally-generated vibrations e.g. power supplies, motors, and every last electrical part and wire within our sensitive components. And though there is mechanical energy in the flooring system too, it is essentially harmless. At least in comparison to the other sources. More importantly, in my experience this unwanted mechanical energy is a constant. If this were not true, then all one should need to do is listen to string quartet music at elevator listening volume levels and they should hear substantial improvements in their systems' levels of musicality. Try it and see. You shouldn't hear any improvements whatsoever. This simple test should easily confirm that neither air-borne nor especially floor-borne vibrations are the primary culprit. But when one considers that all electrical conduit and parts vibrate when current is passing through them, especially power supplies, it shouldn't take long to realize there's your constant / continuous source of mechanical energy that's bombarding our sensitive instruments and inducing the most serious sonic harm. So whether it's a transistor or op-amp vibrating from the current passing thru or because it's the most easily excited component within the chassis that acts as a release point for the isolationist who is intentionally but unknowingly trapping mechanical energy within, this should be enough to imply that in theory anyway, all frequencies are pretty much affected similarly across the entire spectrum. To the contrary, as I’ve said for years, since I do not stray from the basic laws and behaviors as I think I know them, in my own designs the gains are massive, they are many, they are across the entire frequency spectrum, and they are without a single negative. Just as I suppose one might expect the results should be when dealing with basic laws of nature and staying within those confines.

Q. Does it isolate the component making it immune from floor borne vibrations?
A. First I think it important to note vibrations have zero to with the 400 lbs. female guest at your party who’s dancing up a storm right in front of your TT that just caused your stylus to jump 13 grooves as that’s shock and impact and is another matter entirely. To answer your question, yes, if the designer was truly adhering to the isolation methodology in his designs (who really does?), but why would you care if floor-borne vibrations are of zero concern anyway? Especially since mechanical energy from other sources is already inducing constant sonic harm whereas floor-borne (and air-borne) vibrations should vary depending on volume, depth of frequency reproduction, and genre of music. Hence, if floor-borne vibrations were a problem it would induce an inconsistent sonic harm into our playback systems. Moreover, since we know mechanical vibrations in our listening rooms are generated from some say 1, others say 2 or 3 primary sources, once they are captured at the component chassis it matters not how they got there. Because once captured at the chassis, resonant energy now becomes a singular universal problem i.e. how to provide an expedited exit path before their energy is released within and absolutely cripple our sensitive instruments’ precision and accuracy.

Q. ... or does it couple the component to the floor and act as a conduit helping to drain energy away from the sensitive circuits?
A. No and yes. Well, sorta no and sorta yes. Since everybody here, including manufacturers, has committed their entire lives to the vibration isolation method, when they supposedly "isolate" vibrations which IMO is against the laws of physics, they are supposedly doing their very best to severe / de-couple any potential mechanical conduit from their components to the sub-flooring system. This is the major fault in the isolationists’ thinking that keeps their systems from ever sounding anything like live music. To think unwanted mechanical energy is coming up outta the floor toward our components rather than outta the components toward the floor. If we assume for the sake of argument that energy's primary behavior, when left to itself i.e. without our interference, is seeking to travel and secondarily, when met with resistance, seeks to release itself at the most easily excitable object within its path. So to answer this question, the less the designer understands basic mechanical energy behavior and principles, the more likely his product will allow at least some resonant energy (better than releasing no energy) to transfer away from the component before inducing its harm. IMO, this accididental release of energy is the only reason why "isolation" products can leak out some performance gains. For example. If a designer talks as though he's isolating vibrations away from our sensitive components, yet uses some certain hard rigid materials in his products, his words are inconsistent with his execution. But a poor mechanical conduit is always better than no mechanical conduit. This should not be difficult to understand since lightly tapping a tine of a tuning fork will present a definite vibration and ring for upwards of several minutes while the energy travels back and forth between the tines and since the energy has no exit path, releases its energy at the tines. Yet, tapping the top side of a box of sand simply makes little indentations in the top surface with perhaps zero vibrations and zero ring. Food for thought for the isolationist. Think of the tuning fork as your component and your hand holding the tuning fork and body as the isolating stand keeping the energy from traveling to the floor. There is only one true vibration methodology and that's resonant energy transfer and vibration isolation is simply a grossly inferior form of the one true methodology. IOW, if one hears improvements from their isolation-based products, it's because their products are inadvertently allowing some mechanical energy to drain away before it can induce its sonic harm. Why would anybody think severing a mechanical energy conduit requires a scientific background?

Q. Is it equally effective with tube and SS amps?
A. Aside from the tubes themselves potentially acting as easily excitable mechanical energy release points, not to mention any vibrations the tubes themselves may generate while current flowing is flowing thru them, a given solution should be otherwise equally effective. Assuming of course their construction build qualities and materials are otherwise similar too, aside from the tubes the results should be equally effective / ineffective.

Q. How do stands / racking systems affect our systems differently?
A. For better and worse, it’s the culmination of a combination of design and execution, materials, rigidity, fasteners, conduits used to connect the components to the stands, conduits used to connect the stands to the flooring system, quality of construction, weight / heft of rack and components, stress, component mounting, and type of flooring system. Just like an otherwise well-thought-out playback system, everything has potential influence. To more accurately answer your question I’d say: For perhaps all “isolation” products available today, actual results should be rather small differences as opposed to potentially humongous differences that could be had if anybody was open-minded to other methods of vibration management. In fact, to the best of my knowledge, the only way an “isolation” product whether active or inactive could possibly break free from this most serious performance limitation was if the designer was completely off-base in his attempts to isolate and perhaps all the planets were in proper alignment. I would think the fact that with the decades of isolation products of all sorts and the fact that they still remain in the tweaks / accessories category (rightfully so), only substantiates my claims here about performance differences being rather small.

Microstrip, "Guessing in the desert" is actually quite accurate. Including the more renowned "experts". Yet the moment these so-called experts present some measurement graphs as if to demonstrate due diligence, it seems many start salivating and looking for their checkbook. The inconsistencies of vibration “isolation" are everywhere regarding mfg'ers, their claims, their designs, and their chosen materials. Surely that should be obvious to some. And if that's not enough, most here who own some of the more highly-rated performance-oriented racking systems still call these products tweaks or accessories. Thereby, giving some indication they do very little in the overall scheme of things to improve performance and therefore, will always remain in the tweak / accessory category.

Just like a woman accessorizing her appearance with earrings can accentuate her beauty but earrings can never make an ugly woman beautiful. Not so with a truly superior / extreme vibration-controlling design employing the right materials and following the one true vibration controlling methodology – resonant energy transfer. Such a superior and extreme design when properly executed has the potential to transform an ugly pig into the most beautiful of all women. That's literally and without any hyperbole.

 
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No one knows how and why, eh? Funny, I don't remember you asking me. Or have you've just not gotten to those whose names start with letter S yet?

Perhaps I should start off with a little background. I’m a huge proponent of proper AC mgmt and especially proper vibration mgmt both for which I call building on the right foundation. My position is that electrical and mechanical (vibrational) energies are a basic requirement for any playback system to function at all. Yet when under-controlled or poorly managed, these same two energies will utterly destroy our sensitive components’ precision and accuracy so that they can only perform at a small percentage of their true potential. Thus leaving a majority of the music information embedded in a given recording (regardless of format) so distorted that even though processed, it remains inaudible due to a much raised noise floor these very energies generate. A performance-limiting governor if you will. Our playback systems are like unto a vineyard where every participant has its role or responsibility within that part of the vineyard with little or no overlap into other parts of the vineyard. Except for electrical and mechanical energy which spans / overlaps and greatly impacts perhaps every last part of the vineyard and that’s why controlling these two energies whether using inferior or superior methods are the very foundation of every last playback system. And just as in perhaps every other industry, it is the foundation that ultimately determines the performance levels of everything built on top of it. Over the years, I’ve made some interesting discoveries (audio applications only) about these two energies, their behaviors, their similarities, and especially their tremendous affects on our playback systems.

That said, I’ll take a stab at answering your questions. Even though my answers will go against the grain of virtually everybody here because of their adherence to the vibration isolation methodology.

Q. Does a stand affect different frequencies differently?
A. No. At least not in theory. But perhaps in the form of some inferior designs and/or executions. Mechanical energy or resonance is essentially a universal and omni-present energy. It's everywhere and has multiple sources. And it's prominent in our listening environments, particularly in the form of air-borne and internally-generated vibrations e.g. power supplies, motors, and every last electrical part and wire within our sensitive components. And though there is mechanical energy in the flooring system too, it is essentially harmless. At least in comparison to the other sources. More importantly, in my experience this unwanted mechanical energy is a constant. If this were not true, then all one should need to do is listen to string quartet music at elevator listening volume levels and they should hear substantial improvements in their systems' levels of musicality. Try it and see. You shouldn't hear any improvements whatsoever. This simple test should easily confirm that neither air-borne nor especially floor-borne vibrations are the primary culprit. But when one considers that all electrical conduit and parts vibrate when current is passing through them, especially power supplies, it shouldn't take long to realize there's your constant / continuous source of mechanical energy that's bombarding our sensitive instruments and inducing the most serious sonic harm. So whether it's a transistor or op-amp vibrating from the current passing thru or because it's the most easily excited component within the chassis that acts as a release point for the isolationist who is intentionally but unknowingly trapping mechanical energy within, this should be enough to imply that in theory anyway, all frequencies are pretty much affected similarly across the entire spectrum. To the contrary, as I’ve said for years, since I do not stray from the basic laws and behaviors as I think I know them, in my own designs the gains are massive, they are many, they are across the entire frequency spectrum, and they are without a single negative. Just as I suppose one might expect the results should be when dealing with basic laws of nature and staying within those confines.

Q. Does it isolate the component making it immune from floor borne vibrations?
A. First I think it important to note vibrations have zero to with the 400 lbs. female guest at your party who’s dancing up a storm right in front of your TT that just caused your stylus to jump 13 grooves as that’s shock and impact and is another matter entirely. To answer your question, yes, if the designer was truly adhering to the isolation methodology in his designs (who really does?), but why would you care if floor-borne vibrations are of zero concern anyway? Especially since mechanical energy from other sources is already inducing constant sonic harm whereas floor-borne (and air-borne) vibrations should vary depending on volume, depth of frequency reproduction, and genre of music. Hence, if floor-borne vibrations were a problem it would induce an inconsistent sonic harm into our playback systems. Moreover, since we know mechanical vibrations in our listening rooms are generated from some say 1, others say 2 or 3 primary sources, once they are captured at the component chassis it matters not how they got there. Because once captured at the chassis, resonant energy now becomes a singular universal problem i.e. how to provide an expedited exit path before their energy is released within and absolutely cripple our sensitive instruments’ precision and accuracy.

Q. ... or does it couple the component to the floor and act as a conduit helping to drain energy away from the sensitive circuits?
A. No and yes. Well, sorta no and sorta yes. Since everybody here, including manufacturers, has committed their entire lives to the vibration isolation method, when they supposedly "isolate" vibrations which IMO is against the laws of physics, they are supposedly doing their very best to severe / de-couple any potential mechanical conduit from their components to the sub-flooring system. This is the major fault in the isolationists’ thinking that keeps their systems from ever sounding anything like live music. To think unwanted mechanical energy is coming up outta the floor toward our components rather than outta the components toward the floor. If we assume for the sake of argument that energy's primary behavior, when left to itself i.e. without our interference, is seeking to travel and secondarily, when met with resistance, seeks to release itself at the most easily excitable object within its path. So to answer this question, the less the designer understands basic mechanical energy behavior and principles, the more likely his product will allow at least some resonant energy (better than releasing no energy) to transfer away from the component before inducing its harm. IMO, this accididental release of energy is the only reason why "isolation" products can leak out some performance gains. For example. If a designer talks as though he's isolating vibrations away from our sensitive components, yet uses some certain hard rigid materials in his products, his words are inconsistent with his execution. But a poor mechanical conduit is always better than no mechanical conduit. This should not be difficult to understand since lightly tapping a tine of a tuning fork will present a definite vibration and ring for upwards of several minutes while the energy travels back and forth between the tines and since the energy has no exit path, releases its energy at the tines. Yet, tapping the top side of a box of sand simply makes little indentations in the top surface with perhaps zero vibrations and zero ring. Food for thought for the isolationist. Think of the tuning fork as your component and your hand holding the tuning fork and body as the isolating stand keeping the energy from traveling to the floor. There is only one true vibration methodology and that's resonant energy transfer and vibration isolation is simply a grossly inferior form of the one true methodology. IOW, if one hears improvements from their isolation-based products, it's because their products are inadvertently allowing some mechanical energy to drain away before it can induce its sonic harm. Why would anybody think severing a mechanical energy conduit requires a scientific background?

Q. Is it equally effective with tube and SS amps?
A. Aside from the tubes themselves potentially acting as easily excitable mechanical energy release points, not to mention any vibrations the tubes themselves may generate while current flowing is flowing thru them, a given solution should be otherwise equally effective. Assuming of course their construction build qualities and materials are otherwise similar too, aside from the tubes the results should be equally effective / ineffective.

Q. How do stands / racking systems affect our systems differently?
A. For better and worse, it’s the culmination of a combination of design and execution, materials, rigidity, fasteners, conduits used to connect the components to the stands, conduits used to connect the stands to the flooring system, quality of construction, weight / heft of rack and components, stress, component mounting, and type of flooring system. Just like an otherwise well-thought-out playback system, everything has potential influence. To more accurately answer your question I’d say: For perhaps all “isolation” products available today, actual results should be rather small differences as opposed to potentially humongous differences that could be had if anybody was open-minded to other methods of vibration management. In fact, to the best of my knowledge, the only way an “isolation” product whether active or inactive could possibly break free from this most serious performance limitation was if the designer was completely off-base in his attempts to isolate and perhaps all the planets were in proper alignment. I would think the fact that with the decades of isolation products of all sorts and the fact that they still remain in the tweaks / accessories category (rightfully so), only substantiates my claims here about performance differences being rather small.

Microstrip, "Guessing in the desert" is actually quite accurate. Including the more renowned "experts". Yet the moment these so-called experts present some measurement graphs as if to demonstrate due diligence, it seems many start salivating and looking for their checkbook. The inconsistencies of vibration “isolation" are everywhere regarding mfg'ers, their claims, their designs, and their chosen materials. Surely that should be obvious to some. And if that's not enough, most here who own some of the more highly-rated performance-oriented racking systems still call these products tweaks or accessories. Thereby, giving some indication they do very little in the overall scheme of things to improve performance and therefore, will always remain in the tweak / accessory category.

Just like a woman accessorizing her appearance with earrings can accentuate her beauty but earrings can never make an ugly woman beautiful. Not so with a truly superior / extreme vibration-controlling design employing the right materials and following the one true vibration controlling methodology – resonant energy transfer. Such a superior and extreme design when properly executed has the potential to transform an ugly pig into the most beautiful of all women. That's literally and without any hyperbole.

Thanks for addressing my question - IMHO your answer just confirms my original statement. We can have the best conceptions concerning mechanical properties of stands, but unless we have a trusted model to connect the electro-mechanical properties of electronic components in circuits with subjective sound quality we are in the dark. Fortunately many people are already far beyond the simple isolation paradigm and understand the importance of dealing with the mechanical energy of the total system.

IMHO what happens with stands is similar to what happens with capacitors. IMHO most of the difference in capacitor sound is due to the intrinsic electro mechanical properties of the capacitor, not just the classical electrical parameters. Designers with great experience know what to select to get a defined sonority in their products. But we have no trusted theories or systematic knowledge concerning these effects.
 

stehno

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Thanks for addressing my question - IMHO your answer just confirms my original statement. .... Fortunately many people are already far beyond the simple isolation paradigm and understand the importance of dealing with the mechanical energy of the total system.
Actually, I was just using a few comments in your previous post as a springboard to address Peter's questions but you're welcome.

Is it just me or are you actually contradicting yourself from post to post?

For example. In your previous post you said nobody knows how and why stands affect electronic equipment but now that you’ve received a reasonable arm-chair designer explanation you now claim many are already far beyond the simple isolation diagram and understand the importance of dealing with the mechanical energy of the total system. The implication of your seemingly contradictory statement being we've gone from nobody in the world knowing how and why to now being fortunate that many now have understanding with a realization for its importance. Would you care to name just one of the many?


IMHO what happens with stands is similar to what happens with capacitors. IMHO most of the difference in capacitor sound is due to the intrinsic electro mechanical properties of the capacitor, not just the classical electrical parameters. Designers with great experience know what to select to get a defined sonority in their products. But we have no trusted theories or systematic knowledge concerning these effects.
Again, in your prior post you clearly stated that nobody, including yourself, knew the why's and wherefore's nor understanding of how a stand / rack affects our electronic components but now you seem to be implying you have at least some understanding.

Furthermore, you claim designers (I'm assuming you mean component designers) know what to select to get a defined sonority in their products. How 'bout we just say they're doing the best they reasonably can with what they think they know and have experienced?

I've mentioned several times in this forum that several years ago in another forum I engaged in a rather lengthy and heated dialogue with John Curl and Mark Levinson where the primary topic there was trusting in measurements. Now I would not consider either to be at the very top of their field but according to the write-ups over the decades they've certainly seemed to have held their own when designing a reasonable or better component. Both Levinson and Curl admitted that they and their colleagues on hand could hear changes in their designs when their professional-grade professionally-calibrated measuring instruments failed them routinely.

Though IMO the routine failures of their measuring instruments are directly related to the topic at hand, more important was Curl's eventual admission that every last one of his designs and all the designs of all his colleagues contained at least one serious and unknown flaw. Like your earlier post they too didn't have a clue what this serious unknown flaw could be. Or I could use Harley's word catastrophic, when in the April/May 2009 issue of TAS Harley stated that he believed something catastrophic was occurring at the recording mic's diaphragm so that much of the music wasn’t making it to the recording. Harley based his conclusion on Ed Meitner’s conclusion after Meitner performed a rather simple but squirrelly experiment using a guitar amp. I think it was Opus21 in this thread just a few posts earlier who mentioned the difficulties he was having presenting a sufficient soundstage because the distortions his amp was experiencing was coming directly from the tweeter. Could this be a variation of the serious unknown flaw Curl spoke of?

Would you like to guess what that serious unknown flaw might be that befuddled Curl and according to him all other designers? Or would you prefer to remain in the dark until somebody you hold in high esteem provides you a trusted theory or systematic knowledge concerning these effects? How long have you and others already waited?


We can have the best conceptions concerning mechanical properties of stands, but unless we have a trusted model to connect the electro-mechanical properties of electronic components in circuits with subjective sound quality we are in the dark.
Really? Too bad you weren't present when Thomas Edison revealed the first phonograph as you could have shared this statement with him.

In all seriousness, you don't remain in the dark because you lack a proven / trusted model. Rather I suspect you remain in the dark because of your own free will and most likely because what I shared goes against the grain of all that you've believed up to this point.

If that’s the case, you’re certainly not alone. In that same thread and when pushed Curl tried to present himself as an expert in vibration control and somewhere in the mix described his “ding test” where he flicks his finger against the top plate of a component chassis. Needless to say, he was none too pleased when I called it his “ding-a-ling test”.

The bottom line to all of this is and as I mentioned to Curl was that his and others’ designs were not suffering from a serious unknown flaw. Rather every last design bar none is simply incomplete as whether or not consumers chose superior forms of AC mgmt and especially superior forms of vibration mgmt products was completely out of scope for the designer. But that he and I assume most/all designers completely overlook their test bench configurations to ensure they’ve performed due diligence regarding these obviously very influential energies have on their designs.

Oh, and on their sensitive measuring instruments too. A sensitive instrument is a sensitive instrument, right? Whether it’s $20k atomic force microscope or a $60k CDP, they all suffer similar distortions induced by noisy AC and poorly managed vibrations. Why component designers think AC mgmt and vibration mgmt might have some influence on their designs but have zero impact on their sensitive measuring instruments is beyond me. It's common knowledge that universities and research centers spend hundreds of millions revamping entire buidlings to better control vibrations within. A complete waste IMO, but how much has the single designer spent in his lab in the basement to address some of these outside influences? Is due diligence really being practiced when as you say, "Designers with great experience know what to select to get a defined sonority in their products?"
 

PeterA

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Stehno, you write some interesting stuff. Could you be a bit more explicit about proper vibration and AC management? To what products or designers do you refer? I think I recall you describing your rack and the importance of mechanical clamping in its design. I assume you prefer a combination of energy drainage away from the component and isolation of external sources of vibrations. The two in combination should be effective. Could you copy or move some of your posts in this Introspection and hyperbole thread to a new thread dedicated to addressing the challenges of vibrational energy?
 

stehno

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Stehno, you write some interesting stuff. Could you be a bit more explicit about proper vibration and AC management?
Thanks, Peter. My primary reason for responding was 1) you asked some very basic and sound questions that deserved sufficient answers that as Microstrip alluded, and I'm confident nobody else could sufficiently respond. And 2) because Microstrip clearly said, nobody had a clue. Though it seems he's now backing away from that claim. And I suppose I wanted to offer a hopefully straight-forward response before some "expert" stepped in to describe what a tremendously difficult scientific feat it is for them to "isolate" vibrations in our vibration-rich universe.

To what products or designers do you refer?
I'm not sure I referred to any specific product or designer but if any such manufacturer or enthusiast ever uses the word "isolation" in a positive sense I suppose I'm referring to potentially everybody.

I think I recall you describing your rack and the importance of mechanical clamping in its design. I assume you prefer a combination of energy drainage away from the component and isolation of external sources of vibrations. The two in combination should be effective.
Yes, no, and no.

Yes. Although the rack design is of paramount importance, surely many of us are aware of those who mass load their components with some form of weight placed on top usually in the 25 lbs. to 50 lbs. range and then swearing by their performance benefits. Years ago I did some experimenting over about a 6 month period of time and made a few interesting discoveries along the way. As a result and in contrast to the lightweight freestanding mass loading methods others use, I currently invoke an extreme form of clamping on my components where I’ve roughly 1000 lbs. of compressive force on my mono-block amps sandwiching them to the shelf, over 650 lbs. on the CDP, and well over 300 lbs. on my small passive line conditioners. I would add that every one of those pounds count toward performance. But as important as that is, there’s more to it than just extreme mass loading.

No. As I said earlier, I never use the word isolation in a positive sense but only in the negative and for several reasons. 1) I see no reason why I should spend any of my time working against basic laws of nature trying to achieve the impossible even though some other really smart fellers will go to their graves trying to achieve what is not possible and ta take others’ money in the process. 2) Since there are multiple sources of vibrations that potentially induce sonic harm, apparently nobody else but Microstrip and I are the only ones who understand that if I should isolate our sensitive components from a single vibration source (which is possible), inherently and immediately I’ve just trapped all vibrations that enter the component from other sources. That’s like one step forward and at least one step backward and when dealing with such fundamentals, there’s absolutely no reason for any such compromise.

Besides, as I mentioned earlier, resonant energy seeks first and foremost to travel. That’s a big fundamental so my goal is to do what I can to allow that to happen and I go to tremendous extremes to perform due diligence there.

No. As I shared earlier, although “isolation” based products can leak out some performance benefits provided the design strays from the isolation method. But isolation is nothing more than a grotesquely inferior form of superior vibration management and hence has no place in my executions. Strategic damping, yes. Isolation, no. See above.


Could you copy or move some of your posts in this Introspection and hyperbole thread to a new thread dedicated to addressing the challenges of vibrational energy?
I've no problem discussing at least to some extent what I think constitutes superior forms of vibration management so if you wanna open a new thread I'd be happy to participate.
 

PeterA

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May 30, 2010
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Actually, I was just using a few comments in your previous post as a springboard to address Peter's questions but you're welcome.

Is it just me or are you actually contradicting yourself from post to post?

(...)


There is no contradiction in my arguments if you manage to separate empirical knowledge, that can be successful applied to solve many problems in well determined conditions, but fails to solve many things that jumps outside this limited field, from scientific knowledge, what I am addressing. IMHO vibration control is just in the empirical phase - as most of the high-end products.

Your long posts just add noise to mask the great ignorance in this field, where the only final possible receipt is listening in our systems. Your true arguments against "isolation" are not new - I remember reading about it in the literature of Goldmund in the late 70's and the french underground audio magazines of that perido. People just go on applying concepts presented there, fine tuning devices and dealing with vibrations according to "proprietary" secret models or perhaps just based on their listening experience.

But surely I appreciate your approach to dealing with the problem and your enthusiasm on the issue.
 

JackD201

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Apr 21, 2010
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You are not a professional reviewer Steve and so are not held to the same standard, though we do hang on many of your system thread posts and they are most enjoyable and informative.

I just read the review. He does describe how the sound improves compared to having the amps directly on the floor. The comment section following the review is also interesting. There seems to be a disconnect between Harley and his on line readership.
This is quite interesting because I've been using CMS from practically CMS's start. I was in fact their very first foreign distributor. S Korea came a month or so after. The original models were sort of combo systems which also attempted to isolate as well as drain off the vibration from the units themselves. I still have a pair of the old Grand Masters and use the older shelves in my HT. Sometime later Joe found that it was simply better to drain the vibration into heat and ground and not attempt to isolate. Even in rooms like mine which have 4 Subwoofers integrated or Jim's which have 8, the approach has been sufficient with dealing with airborne feedback. More importantly the combo approach was not tonally consistent across amplitude ranges. Draining was. This is not to say that isolation might not ever be required. Elsewhere in WBF I stated which instances I myself would employ active isolation. Fortunately I am not surrounded by those subsonic circumstances. Now the migration of CMS from the combo construction to the present one took some time to zero in on. For example he went through a number of formulations for the tungsten elbow joints and ultimately ended up with Titanium spikes. The equipment contact interfaces changed too from acrylic/bitumen pieces to aluminum discs. Basically every area of contact between the audio components and all the contact points of the filter and rack system. That's where CMS is now. I've just switched from PXK Black Diamond Amp Stands to the latest Maxxums spec'd for a load limit of 320lbs (The weight of stacked CH Precision M1s). The difference between my Mk1 black diamonds and the Maxxum was subtle but to my ears very relevant used on my most vibration sensitive amplifiers, a pair of Kronzilla DX2 monos which have a pair of T1610s each. I got so carried away I even switched from stock spikes to the CMS RiZE speaker footers on the VR-44s I'm using while I wait for the U11s, again to the same effect. Can't keep Keith out of the action so he put them under his VR-55s as well.
 

Leif S

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www.vonschweikert.com
They are about ready to get painted
 

PeterA

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Dec 7, 2011
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This is quite interesting because I've been using CMS from practically CMS's start. I was in fact their very first foreign distributor. S Korea came a month or so after. The original models were sort of combo systems which also attempted to isolate as well as drain off the vibration from the units themselves. I still have a pair of the old Grand Masters and use the older shelves in my HT. Sometime later Joe found that it was simply better to drain the vibration into heat and ground and not attempt to isolate. Even in rooms like mine which have 4 Subwoofers integrated or Jim's which have 8, the approach has been sufficient with dealing with airborne feedback. More importantly the combo approach was not tonally consistent across amplitude ranges. Draining was. This is not to say that isolation might not ever be required. Elsewhere in WBF I stated which instances I myself would employ active isolation. Fortunately I am not surrounded by those subsonic circumstances. Now the migration of CMS from the combo construction to the present one took some time to zero in on. For example he went through a number of formulations for the tungsten elbow joints and ultimately ended up with Titanium spikes. The equipment contact interfaces changed too from acrylic/bitumen pieces to aluminum discs. Basically every area of contact between the audio components and all the contact points of the filter and rack system. That's where CMS is now. I've just switched from PXK Black Diamond Amp Stands to the latest Maxxums spec'd for a load limit of 320lbs (The weight of stacked CH Precision M1s). The difference between my Mk1 black diamonds and the Maxxum was subtle but to my ears very relevant used on my most vibration sensitive amplifiers, a pair of Kronzilla DX2 monos which have a pair of T1610s each. I got so carried away I even switched from stock spikes to the CMS RiZE speaker footers on the VR-44s I'm using while I wait for the U11s, again to the same effect. Can't keep Keith out of the action so he put them under his VR-55s as well.
Thanks Jack. I did not know about this shift in approach for CMS. I was just discussing the concepts of drainage versus a combination of drainage and isolation with a visitor to my system today. I am increasingly interested in the concept of vibration drainage, even though my system is very much about isolating components right now. Ultimately, it is the sonic results which matter to me.
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
This is quite interesting because I've been using CMS from practically CMS's start. I was in fact their very first foreign distributor. S Korea came a month or so after. The original models were sort of combo systems which also attempted to isolate as well as drain off the vibration from the units themselves. I still have a pair of the old Grand Masters and use the older shelves in my HT. Sometime later Joe found that it was simply better to drain the vibration into heat and ground and not attempt to isolate. Even in rooms like mine which have 4 Subwoofers integrated or Jim's which have 8, the approach has been sufficient with dealing with airborne feedback. More importantly the combo approach was not tonally consistent across amplitude ranges. Draining was. This is not to say that isolation might not ever be required. Elsewhere in WBF I stated which instances I myself would employ active isolation. Fortunately I am not surrounded by those subsonic circumstances. Now the migration of CMS from the combo construction to the present one took some time to zero in on. For example he went through a number of formulations for the tungsten elbow joints and ultimately ended up with Titanium spikes. The equipment contact interfaces changed too from acrylic/bitumen pieces to aluminum discs. Basically every area of contact between the audio components and all the contact points of the filter and rack system. That's where CMS is now. I've just switched from PXK Black Diamond Amp Stands to the latest Maxxums spec'd for a load limit of 320lbs (The weight of stacked CH Precision M1s). The difference between my Mk1 black diamonds and the Maxxum was subtle but to my ears very relevant used on my most vibration sensitive amplifiers, a pair of Kronzilla DX2 monos which have a pair of T1610s each. I got so carried away I even switched from stock spikes to the CMS RiZE speaker footers on the VR-44s I'm using while I wait for the U11s, again to the same effect. Can't keep Keith out of the action so he put them under his VR-55s as well.
Interesting synopsis Jack

When Joe was here installing my rack last summer we talked about tungsten and how Joe decided which tungsten alloy sounded best
 

thedudeabides

Well-Known Member
Jan 16, 2011
1,411
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I currently invoke an extreme form of clamping on my components where I’ve roughly 1000 lbs. of compressive force on my mono-block amps sandwiching them to the shelf, over 650 lbs. on the CDP, and well over 300 lbs. on my small passive line conditioners. I would add that every one of those pounds count toward performance. But as important as that is, there’s more to it than just extreme mass loading.


Interesting comment. I have the Michael Green "Clamp Rack" in conjunction with the Mapleshade tri point brass cones on the bottom and one small cone on the top which, I believe, replicates your approach. Seems to work very well.
 

stehno

Well-Known Member
Jul 5, 2014
810
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Salem, OR
There is no contradiction in my arguments if you manage to separate empirical knowledge, that can be successful applied to solve many problems in well determined conditions, but fails to solve many things that jumps outside this limited field, from scientific knowledge, what I am addressing. IMHO vibration control is just in the empirical phase - as most of the high-end products.

Your long posts just add noise to mask the great ignorance in this field, where the only final possible receipt is listening in our systems. Your true arguments against "isolation" are not new - I remember reading about it in the literature of Goldmund in the late 70's and the french underground audio magazines of that perido. People just go on applying concepts presented there, fine tuning devices and dealing with vibrations according to "proprietary" secret models or perhaps just based on their listening experience.

But surely I appreciate your approach to dealing with the problem and your enthusiasm on the issue.
Just generating noise, eh? You mean noise like when you intended the reader to believe you surveyed the entire world population and your findings were that nobody knew the how’s and why’s? Or when you toss out terms like true model, true theory, or systematic knowledge as requirements before a supposedly scientific-minded gent like yourself could believe? Or when you misuse words like concept. Or when you make any such statements not having a clue what I may or may not have discovered or accomplished, or how I went about it, or what others have said having experienced my products firsthand? And not even bother bother asking a single question?

Clearly the great ignorance is yours and I agree with you on your choice of words here. Frankly, I think Tesla said it best about the scientific-minded types of his day when he said,

Tesla and Today's Scientists.jpg

Tell me, Microstrip. Do you agree with Tesla? Given your last few posts here, how do you think you align with Tesla’s definition of the scientists of his day? And do you think today’s scientists (or science-minded types) are better or worse than in Tesla’s day?

 

stehno

Well-Known Member
Jul 5, 2014
810
67
240
Salem, OR
Interesting comment. I have the Michael Green "Clamp Rack" in conjunction with the Mapleshade tri point brass cones on the bottom and one small cone on the top which, I believe, replicates your approach. Seems to work very well.
Several years after invoking a clamping system, it was brought to my attention MG's rack. I couldn't find much on it but I was able to locate a PDF manual of sorts. IMO, there's very little in common except perhaps in concept only. And as I recall, MG used quite inferior materials (to stay within a certain price point probably) and according to his instructions, the shelf above would oh-so-slightly make contact with an inverted Star Sound Audio Point resting freely on top of the component below.

As I recall MG used mdf for his shelves so they's not much benefit from a performance perspective there. Also, I'm all too familiar with the brass Audio Points MG used and their performance potential. And believe it or not, even brass is far from ideal when trying to create a superior mechanical conduit. It's a softer metal and therefore quite "slow" and IME will bottleneck / interfere with mechanical energy's ability to travel away from the component and from the rack.

IMO, this combination constitutes barely the very beginnings of what is required to create a superior mechanical conduit. Nevertheless, it's on the right fundamental track. If you still have the rack, I'd suggest carefully torquing down a bit on those shelves above and see what happens over time.

Now that I think about it, I suspect that MG's rack did little more than minimize the component below's potentially flimsy top plate from vibrating or even keeping the flimsy top plate from vibrating in sympathy with vibrations already captured at the component. In other words, it probably did little more than damp what was previously an easily excitable area, the top plate.
 

853guy

Active Member
Aug 14, 2013
1,161
4
38
stehno said:
Just generating noise, eh? You mean noise like when you intended the reader to believe you surveyed the entire world population and your findings were that nobody knew the how’s and why’s? Or when you toss out terms like true model, true theory, or systematic knowledge as requirements before a supposedly scientific-minded gent like yourself could believe? Or when you misuse words like concept. Or when you make any such statements not having a clue what I may or may not have discovered or accomplished, or how I went about it, or what others have said having experienced my products firsthand? And not even bother bother asking a single question?
“Let the future tell the truth and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments.” Which we possibly could if your product was available for evaluation at numerous dealers, or had reviews that weren’t limited to a handful of show-condition snippets or AE forum posts dating from 2011. Terminological (mis)use apropos "model", "theory", "knowledge", and "concept" has little utility value in an industry in which the only thing that ultimately matters is whether the DUI actually manifests consistent and audible results in the real world. In any case, no amount of rhetoric from you will get any of us any closer in being able to judge for ourselves the efficacy of your product, no matter how many times you quote Serbian futurists or how garish a font/colour you select.

stehno said:
Clearly the great ignorance is yours and I agree with you on your choice of words here. Frankly, I think Tesla said it best about the scientific-minded types of his day when he said "Today’s scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality."
“Misunderstandings are always caused by the inability of appreciating one another's point of view. This again is due to the ignorance of those concerned, not so much in their own, as in their mutual fields.” Of course, it’s always easier to point out the ignorance of another rather than take responsibility for one’s own. But then I’m not a Resonance Transmission Systems Specialist.

stehno said:
Tell me, Microstrip. Do you agree with Tesla? Given your last few posts here, how do you think you align with Tesla’s definition of the scientists of his day about 100 years ago? And do you think today’s scientists (or science-minded types) are better or worse than in Tesla’s day?
“We have soon to have everywhere smoke annihilators, dust absorbers, ozonizers, sterilizers of water, air, food and clothing, and accident preventers on streets, elevated roads and in subways. It will become next to impossible to contract disease germs or get hurt in the city, and country folk will got to town to rest and get well.” Ah, Mr. Tesla. The man I've been quoting above as you did. Given your last few posts here, what should we make of your quoting a scientist whose ideas on health and wellbeing have so dramatically proven to be false, given that since 1980 both the global number of outbreaks has trebled and the variety of diseases has risen by 30%? http://rsif.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/11/101/20140950.full

Yours in non-productive attempts to prove a point by quoting others,

853guy
 
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FrantzM

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
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“Let the future tell the truth and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments.” Which we possibly could if your product was available for evaluation at numerous dealers, or had reviews that weren’t limited to a handful of show-condition snippets or AE forum posts dating from 2011. Terminological (mis)use apropos "model", "theory", "knowledge", and "concept" has little utility value in an industry in which the only thing that ultimately matters is whether the DUI actually manifests consistent and audible results in the real world. In any case, no amount of rhetoric from you will get any of us any closer in being able to judge for ourselves the efficacy of your product, no matter how many times you quote Serbian futurists or how garish a font/colour you select.



“Misunderstandings are always caused by the inability of appreciating one another's point of view. This again is due to the ignorance of those concerned, not so much in their own, as in their mutual fields.” Of course, it’s always easier to point out the ignorance of another rather than take responsibility for one’s own. But then I’m not a Resonance Transmission Systems Specialist.



“We have soon to have everywhere smoke annihilators, dust absorbers, ozonizers, sterilizers of water, air, food and clothing, and accident preventers on streets, elevated roads and in subways. It will become next to impossible to contract disease germs or get hurt in the city, and country folk will got to town to rest and get well.” Ah, Mr. Tesla. The man I've been quoting above as you did. Given your last few posts here, what should we make of your quoting a scientist whose ideas on health and wellbeing have so dramatically proven to be false, given that since 1980 both the global number of outbreaks has trebled and the variety of diseases has risen by 30%? http://rsif.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/11/101/20140950.full

Yours in non-productive attempts to prove a point by quoting others,

853guy
853guy

Thank you for this post. I disagree quite often with microstrip but couldn't find anything wrong either in what he stated in this thread. I was about to butt in but your calm and eloquent reply express my points much better than I could have. Thank you.
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
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853guy

Thank you for this post. I disagree quite often with microstrip but couldn't find anything wrong either in what he stated in this thread. I was about to butt in but your calm and eloquent reply express my points much better than I could have. Thank you.
And I disagree quite often with Frank but +1 here :)
 

853guy

Active Member
Aug 14, 2013
1,161
4
38
853guy

Thank you for this post. I disagree quite often with microstrip but couldn't find anything wrong either in what he stated in this thread. I was about to butt in but your calm and eloquent reply express my points much better than I could have. Thank you.
Hi Frantz,

No, I couldn't find anything to disagree with Micro on either, but it's interesting to note the other poster responded in the manner he did, accusing Micro of "great ignorance" given the thread in which we're posting is entitled "Introspection and hyperbole control." Rather ironic, isn't it?

Be well, Frantz.

853guy
 

thedudeabides

Well-Known Member
Jan 16, 2011
1,411
115
485
Alto, NM
Several years after invoking a clamping system, it was brought to my attention MG's rack. I couldn't find much on it but I was able to locate a PDF manual of sorts. IMO, there's very little in common except perhaps in concept only. And as I recall, MG used quite inferior materials (to stay within a certain price point probably) and according to his instructions, the shelf above would oh-so-slightly make contact with an inverted Star Sound Audio Point resting freely on top of the component below.

As I recall MG used mdf for his shelves so they's not much benefit from a performance perspective there. Also, I'm all too familiar with the brass Audio Points MG used and their performance potential. And believe it or not, even brass is far from ideal when trying to create a superior mechanical conduit. It's a softer metal and therefore quite "slow" and IME will bottleneck / interfere with mechanical energy's ability to travel away from the component and from the rack.

IMO, this combination constitutes barely the very beginnings of what is required to create a superior mechanical conduit. Nevertheless, it's on the right fundamental track. If you still have the rack, I'd suggest carefully torquing down a bit on those shelves above and see what happens over time.

Now that I think about it, I suspect that MG's rack did little more than minimize the component below's potentially flimsy top plate from vibrating or even keeping the flimsy top plate from vibrating in sympathy with vibrations already captured at the component. In other words, it probably did little more than damp what was previously an easily excitable area, the top plate.
Everything you say has nothing to do with my rack. There is nothing flimsy about it. Total weight is probably 130 lbs. or so without any gear. The shelves are very high density MDF, 1-1/2" thick and quite heavy. And I use the very robust 2" Mapleshade tri point cones under the components, not MG cones which are on the flimsy side. And I do torque down the shelves. You find some kind of "pdf manual of sorts" and that tells you everything you need to know about the product. DUH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I really find your comments uninformed and insulting. What is it about people like you who think you know everything when all you do is speculate and, based on your limited research, intentionally make ignorant, pseudo intellectual comments?

If you want to see my MG rack, see the "Vibration Management" thread in the "General Audio" Forum.
 
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