What do you use for vibration isolation?

#1
Hello All,

I work for a company whose expertise is in environmental isolation (i.e. acoustic, vibration and electromagnetic isolation). We primarily support the nanotechnology community achieve maximum resolution for their research data, however, I have found more people who own high-end audio equipment contact me lately inquiring about our types of vibration isolation systems.

This thread is not a solicitation for business by any means, but I am interested in what users of high-end audio equipment currently use to solve their vibration noise problems. I understand popular methods to mitigate vibrations from affecting audio clarity are: decoupling equipment from the vibration source, utilizing some form of dampening material (i.e. sorbathane or other rubber material), or suspended bunjee set up. Are there other, more effective alternatives to increasing the audible quality of high-end equipment?

If you are interested in learning more about my company (Herzan) and what we do, I will be glad to discuss.

Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing your feedback.

Best,

Reid Whitney
 

jazdoc

Member Sponsor
Aug 7, 2010
2,765
71
48
Bellevue
#3
I use the SRA Scuttle rack which replaced an EquaRack. Honestly, I bought the SRA rack for aesthetics and ease of use, but it helps the equipment sound better. Is it a night and day difference? Well no, but it does advance the ball down the field.
 

audioarcher

Active Member
May 7, 2012
1,330
2
38
Seattle area
#4
Hi Reid,

I have an EquaRack stand for my turntable with Stillpoints Ultra SS feet as well. I also use some rollerblock like footers I made under the rest of my equipment.

I looked at your website and I am interested in the active isolation products for my turntable. How is the active isolation acheived? Is there some kind of servo system that keeps the equipment stable? Is active isolation better than an air isolation solution for a turntable? Also wondering what price range is something like a TS-150.

Thanks,

Sean
 
#5
Hi Sean,

The active isolation is achieved using piezoelectric sensors that read the vibration characteristics of a surface and provides an inverse force to the top plate of the TS Series, providing a neutral/stable platform. They sense incoming vibrations and dynamically react to them.

There are a few primary differences between the active isolation tables and the air-isolation tables. The most important being the varying degrees of vibration each system will compensate. In total, there are six types of vibrations that can effect an instrument, microscope or high-end audio device. The TS/AVI Series are able to properly compensate for all six types of vibrations. Air-Isolation systems are not capable of isolating all six and primarily focus on the verticle motion of movement.

The second most important difference is the frequency range each technology is capable of compensating. Whether this point is relevant to high-end audio equipment, I am not sure, but with regards to nanotechnology applications and high-resolution microscopes, the lower frequencies are better compensated in an active isolation system than in an air-isolation system. For your reference, The TS Series is able to begin isolating at 0.7 Hz up to 1000 and beyond. The Onyx Series (our air-isolation system), is capable of isolating from 4 hz - 1000 Hz and beyond. Depending on the application and product being supported by the vibration isolation system, the sensitivities to lower frequency vibrations can effect the quality of research data. If you are interested in a direct comparison of active v. passive vibration isolation, please visit: http://www.herzan.com/resources/tutorials/active-vs-passive.html.

I have provided an image below that helps demonstrate what active isolation works to achieve.

test.jpg


For all price and product information related questions, please send me an email via reid@herzan.com. I don't want this thread to be considered a solicitation, moreover, an understanding of what is used and peoples approaches/ideas to combatting vibrations. If there is room for me to help, I will gladly do so.

Best,

Reid Whitney
 

eman

New Member
Jul 31, 2015
8
0
0
100 miles west of DC
#6
I use a bunch of things. My rack is a QSC with solid Maple legs, composite shelves and pin/cup between shelves. This greatly improved with Herbies pucks under the pins that contacted the floor. I've used several different footers for various components including DIY varying the compliance of materials. I like anything with a spinning disc TT,CDP to sit on a ball to allow lateral dissipation. I don't like anything with a point from testing several. My CDP now sits deflex pads then on a 3" oak slab with springs under it and about ten pounds of weight atop it on Deflex as well. Best sound yet.


E
T
 

MtnHam

Industry Expert
Jan 13, 2014
232
15
18
Nothern California Wine Country
#7
I use Stillpoints thorough-out my system. They have provided an amazing, jaw dropping improvement in the sound. I started the process on a limited basis, and expanded their use as the improvement was not subtle. Each addition has achieved more, as impressive as a component upgrade, while not changing the basic nature of the system.
I believe this is mainly due, not so much from external vibrations, but to the dissipation of internally generated vibration in transformers, etc.
 

DaveC

Industry Expert
Nov 16, 2014
2,586
477
83
#8
I use mostly Herbie's Audio Lab iso-ball devices for my components and Isoacoustics stands for my subwoofers and speakers.

Like most things in audio the results of vibration isolation are subjective. Many people, myself included, find that it's possible to overdamp some components or that the damping provided by viscoelastic devices of lower durometer can have undesirable effects. One thing for certain is that damping has a large effect on the sound of an audio system.
 

jfrech

VIP/Donor
Sep 3, 2012
1,586
15
38
Austin
#10
I'm using Grand Prix Audio Silverstone F1 racks. Interesting that most of us are using passive designs...at least those that have posted so far...
 

Johnny Vinyl

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
May 16, 2010
8,571
9
38
Calgary, AB
#11
I can't afford the Herzan's or even Stillpoints, so I've had to improvise. I've been using butcher block with hockey pucks/felt pad coverings for years. Recently I changed to a butcher block that has feet and added the bottom portion of some Vibrapods (inverted) with very pleasant results. So if you're like me and my situation I would definitely recommend you give this a try.

IMG_0469.JPG
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
5,629
495
83
North Shore of Boston
#12
I use three Vibraplanes. Two for my amps and one for my turntable. Each is preloaded with a 136 lbs. steel ballast plate and hooked up to a compressor.

DSC_1711.JPG

DSC_2351.JPG
 
Jul 5, 2014
670
19
18
Salem, OR
#13
Hello All,

I work for a company whose expertise is in environmental isolation (i.e. acoustic, vibration and electromagnetic isolation). We primarily support the nanotechnology community achieve maximum resolution for their research data, however, I have found more people who own high-end audio equipment contact me lately inquiring about our types of vibration isolation systems.

This thread is not a solicitation for business by any means, but I am interested in what users of high-end audio equipment currently use to solve their vibration noise problems. I understand popular methods to mitigate vibrations from affecting audio clarity are: decoupling equipment from the vibration source, utilizing some form of dampening material (i.e. sorbathane or other rubber material), or suspended bunjee set up. Are there other, more effective alternatives to increasing the audible quality of high-end equipment?

If you are interested in learning more about my company (Herzan) and what we do, I will be glad to discuss.

Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing your feedback.

Best,

Reid Whitney
Hi, Reid. Since the vast majority of distortions plaguing our sensitive instruments are induced by mechanical energy (vibrations) I figured this unwanted mechanical energy is best addressed by a mechanical solution. Especially since isolation methods most always trap the vast majority of unwanted mechanical energy inside our sensitive components forcing them to release their full energy and wreaking havoc within. Below is my mechanical solution to a mechanical problem.
Green Thing.jpg
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
5,629
495
83
North Shore of Boston
#14
Hi, Reid. Since the vast majority of distortions plaguing our sensitive instruments are induced by mechanical energy (vibrations) I figured this unwanted mechanical energy is best addressed by a mechanical solution. Especially since isolation methods most always trap the vast majority of unwanted mechanical energy inside our sensitive components forcing them to release their full energy and wreaking havoc within. Below is my mechanical solution to a mechanical problem.
View attachment 21964
Interesting support device. Could you clarify your statement in bold?

I was not aware that the vast majority of distortions are induced my mechanical energy as opposed to distortions from circuit designs or metalurgy in cables, etc. Are you saying environmental distortions, such as floor and air born, cause much more distortion and degradation to the signal than does the mechanical energy created from the components themselves, say a transformer in an amp or the rotation of a turntable platter? Do you mean the speaker drivers' movement as mechanical energy that is causing the distortions in speakers?

Have you measured distortion levels in, say a tube amp or source component, and then measured the same tube amp or source while it is placed on your rack device? If so, is there a measured difference in the amount of distortion?

I assume that my Vibraplanes lower distortion because I notice an improvement in clarity and definition in the sound through listening tests. I have never actually measured the distortion levels with and without the Vibraplanes. I would not know how to do these type of measurements.

If this device addresses the vast majority of distortions in a system, does it essentially rid the typical system of distortion, thus dramatically improving the sound? If it does indeed solve these issues, what then do you consider to be the next major unaddressed problem in the typical system?
 
Last edited:
Jul 5, 2014
670
19
18
Salem, OR
#15
Interesting support device. Could you clarify your statement in bold?
Hi, Peter. I could clarify but let's wait until one day perhaps when there's a consensus.
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
5,629
495
83
North Shore of Boston
#16
Hi, Reid. Since the vast majority of distortions plaguing our sensitive instruments are induced by mechanical energy (vibrations) I figured this unwanted mechanical energy is best addressed by a mechanical solution. Especially since isolation methods most always trap the vast majority of unwanted mechanical energy inside our sensitive components forcing them to release their full energy and wreaking havoc within.
I wonder if there is a consensus on this topic. Do audiophiles and others in the industry agree that the vast majority of distortions plaguing components are induced by mechanical energy?

The statement seems to imply that there is a consensus.

I think that there is a view that distortions are the primary reason that audio systems do not sound more like live music. If that is indeed the case, then in the current thread about system priorities, vibration control or now distortion control, should rank as number one on the list, if these mechanical vibrations are the leading cause of distortions. I placed it near the middle of my priority list, and the subject seems to be completely missing on other posters lists of priorities in that thread, unless they are including it in "tweaks" and rank it at the bottom of their list.

So I am curious about just how important the subject of this particular thread is to people and their ideas about system performance.
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,770
920
113
#17
I wonder if there is a consensus on this topic. Do audiophiles and others in the industry agree that the vast majority of distortions plaguing components are induced by mechanical energy?

The statement seems to imply that there is a consensus.

I think that there is a view that distortions are the primary reason that audio systems do not sound more like live music. If that is indeed the case, then in the current thread about system priorities, vibration control or now distortion control, should rank as number one on the list, if these mechanical vibrations are the leading cause of distortions. I placed it near the middle of my priority list, and the subject seems to be completely missing on other posters lists of priorities in that thread, unless they are including it in "tweaks" and rank it at the bottom of their list.

So I am curious about just how important the subject of this particular thread is to people and their ideas about system performance.
I've done as much as anyone related to mechanical isolation......

I've just spent the last 2 weeks completing my acoustical tuning of my room. some weeks/months back I posted about 2 (fabric treatments and closing a ceiling bass trap) other (acoustical) steps I had taken. in the last 2 weeks I made 4 significant changes acoustically to the room performance, and 1 significant speaker adjustment.

as much as I respect what my isolation solutions do (2 Herzan's, dozens of A10-U8 footers, 16 2NS speaker footers, and a mag lev shelf); the effects of those things pale in comparison to what I've done acoustically. orders of magnitude difference. acoustical distortions are what is in the way of musical truth to our ears. period. the gear is fully capable.

I will fully admit to being under the spell of the results of my recent work, so maybe I'm a bit too close to my apparent changes for proper perspective. YMMV.
 
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jfrech

VIP/Donor
Sep 3, 2012
1,586
15
38
Austin
#18
I've done as much as anyone related to mechanical isolation......

I've just spent the last 2 weeks completing my acoustical tuning of my room. I had posted earlier about some other 2 other (acoustical) steps I had taken. in the last 2 weeks I made 4 significant changes acoustically to the room performance, and 1 significant speaker adjustment.

as much as I respect what my isolation solutions do (2 Herzan's, dozens of A10-U8 footers, 16 2NS speaker footers, and a mag lev shelf); the effects of those things pale in comparison to what I've done acoustically. orders of magnitude difference.
I'd have to say the room is on top also of my list of priorities. I found with my Rive's acoustic package everything significantly benefitted. With my isolation...it was primarily in the areas of noise reduction, allowing more details, dynamics and effortlessness. The room changed all parameters...tonality, soundstage height width depth, balance across frequency spectrum...and the area of quietness, transparency, dynamics and effortlessness.

Don't get me wrong...Isolation is a crucial element...but I do agree with Mike's main point...the room is #1.
 
Oct 12, 2013
1,779
66
48
Essex UK
#19
I use Stillpoints thorough-out my system. They have provided an amazing, jaw dropping improvement in the sound. I started the process on a limited basis, and expanded their use as the improvement was not subtle. Each addition has achieved more, as impressive as a component upgrade, while not changing the basic nature of the system.
I believe this is mainly due, not so much from external vibrations, but to the dissipation of internally generated vibration in transformers, etc.
Agreed.
I have found the range of Stillpoints very effective under components and speakers, particularly the Ultra 5s for speakers and heavier components.
The rack is a Naim Fraim for practical and aesthetic reasons but the Stillpoints really made a difference.
 

ALF

Active Member
Mar 15, 2012
316
31
28
Southwest
#20
I've done as much as anyone related to mechanical isolation......

I've just spent the last 2 weeks completing my acoustical tuning of my room. some weeks/months back I posted about 2 (fabric treatments and closing a ceiling bass trap) other (acoustical) steps I had taken. in the last 2 weeks I made 4 significant changes acoustically to the room performance, and 1 significant speaker adjustment.

as much as I respect what my isolation solutions do (2 Herzan's, dozens of A10-U8 footers, 16 2NS speaker footers, and a mag lev shelf); the effects of those things pale in comparison to what I've done acoustically. orders of magnitude difference. acoustical distortions are what is in the way of musical truth to our ears. period. the gear is fully capable.

I will fully admit to being under the spell of the results of my recent work, so maybe I'm a bit too close to my apparent changes for proper perspective. YMMV.
Hi MikeL,

Nice...quick question for you, did you find that linen or silk, tight weave or loose, absorbtive or relective, high or low count fabrics worked better for your acoustical wall coverings?

In the past I used randomly arranged kitty toys, cotten mice and feathers worked the best. However, the results were not repeatable...every listening session, they would always be rearranged.

Cheers!
Alan
 

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