What do you use for vibration isolation?

DaveyF

Active Member
Aug 1, 2010
5,625
4
38
La Jolla, Calif USA
I just substituted some Grand Prix Apex footers under my Monaco amp stand...replaced the stock steel spikes. The spikes were able to pierce the carpet and impact the slab below. The Apex feet do not do this, yet they are still an able stabilizer and isolator. I haven't listened too much to say that they are a big improvement, but they certainly are no worse. IMG_7816.jpg
 

Ron Resnick

Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
5,051
29
48
Beverly Hills, CA
I acknowledge completely that there is no objectively "best" vibration isolation table top. What works well under one turntable in one system in one room may not work well in another situation. Every combination of turntable, room and preference is different.

There is no way to divine in advance, based on theory, what will actually sound best in one's system.

It would be great if I could have three or four different table tops of different materials and properties and weights to compare A versus B versus C in situ but that is not practical.

So I am narrowing the choices down to three different options by one company which will fabricate a custom table top.

This company specializes in steel and lead and every combination thereof. I am considering:

1) 3/8 steel (it can be cold rolled or hot rolled -- is one better than the other for vibration damping?) on the top and on the bottom with 1" of pure lead (sealed in urethane) and laminated together and then machined laboratory-grade flat as a complete sandwich (340 pounds)

2) Solid steel, 1" or 1.5" thick

3) A sandwich of multiple layers of 1/4" or 3/8" steel or lead or both in any combination

Are there any vibration engineering experts here who could tell me the theoretical pros and cons of each of these designs?
 

Ron Resnick

Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
5,051
29
48
Beverly Hills, CA
Mike L suggested that too. I researched fabricators but I could not find anyone who will make what I am looking for.
 
Mikel is a smart man. One not afraid to swim against the prevailing tide of Audiophile 'wisdom' when he gets a sniff of something interesting. I respect his opinion. No-one need respect mine.

The key to success in hi-fi audio is: Investigate. Don't take anyone's word for anything. Keep and open mind and do your homework.
 

LL21

Active Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,548
2
38
I acknowledge completely that there is no objectively "best" vibration isolation table top. What works well under one turntable in one system in one room may not work well in another situation. Every combination of turntable, room and preference is different.

There is no way to divine in advance, based on theory, what will actually sound best in one's system.

It would be great if I could have three or four different table tops of different materials and properties and weights to compare A versus B versus C in situ but that is not practical.

So I am narrowing the choices down to three different options by one company which will fabricate a custom table top.

This company specializes in steel and lead and every combination thereof. I am considering:

1) 3/8 steel (it can be cold rolled or hot rolled -- is one better than the other for vibration damping?) on the top and on the bottom with 1" of pure lead (sealed in urethane) and laminated together and then machined laboratory-grade flat as a complete sandwich (340 pounds)

2) Solid steel, 1" or 1.5" thick

3) A sandwich of multiple layers of 1/4" or 3/8" steel or lead or both in any combination

Are there any vibration engineering experts here who could tell me the theoretical pros and cons of each of these designs?
hey Ron,

Fascinating project! I find with really great technical advisors, this can be money very well spent. No marketing budget, allocation of significant overhead...just money spent on materials labor and margin for a specific project. And if the advisor makes his money doing larger commercial projects, then there can be often a lot less 'margin' padded in because it is audiophile. (kinda like the cost of flowers for a party...vs flowers for a wedding or a baby shower. Somehow the flowers for the latter always seem to cost 3x.)

One area i would look at is HRS and Von Schweikert...both use multiple layers of DIFFERENT materials in order to create isolation/vibration 'free' walls, structures. I do like HRS a lot, and i think Bergmann used to sell their top TT with an HRS designed table? Aluminum, granite, steel and elastomer material combined in layers.

In my own personal experiments with no manufacturing capabilities, i have found that steel/granite alone are not for me. I like some level of elastomer with it...but I like the steel/aluminum with elastomer...plus a LOT of sheer, dead weight.

As a result, i use a fair amount of HRS...and I also have combined all of my Stillpoints Ultra 5 with an HRS Nimbus Coupler (elastomer encased in aluminum) on top, and all of my Artesania dampers (some form of elastomer-like surface with steel) with a TON of sheer weight (200lbs) in the form of solid brass or steel on top. Interestingly, since both of these 'homemade combinations', I have noted that both companies have started selling properly manufactured versions that seem similar: Artesania now sells a damping plate in Asia with what appears to be 10kg of dead weight on top, and HRS now sells an aluminum cylinder with spike...that has an elastomer on top.

I am no techie, but just some food for thought as you design your custom table.
 
Last edited:
May 30, 2010
13,937
19
38
Portugal
(...) 3) A sandwich of multiple layers of 1/4" or 3/8" steel or lead or both in any combination

Are there any vibration engineering experts here who could tell me the theoretical pros and cons of each of these designs?
I love this idea and I am considering it for another project - the lead would damp the steel and add mass. However bonding the lead to steel seems a critical part of the project. Although I was told that epoxy glues can be used for it I could not find any specific brand to be used with lead.
 

Ron Resnick

Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
5,051
29
48
Beverly Hills, CA
Why do you like the idea of thin layers of lead and steel rather than a thick slab of lead between two sheets of steel?

and how do we know for sure that lead is a good vibration absorber?
 
May 30, 2010
13,937
19
38
Portugal
Why do you like the idea of thin layers of lead and steel rather than a thick slab of lead between two sheets of steel?

and how do we know for sure that lead is a good vibration absorber?
Mainly being pragmatic - I can not locate anyone working with thick slabs of lead! I work with lead blocks and lead sheet for radiation protection and do not find differences in sonority between a thin or very thick slab of lead - both are inert - unlike steel. Probably my approach will be something like 1/8 to 1/4" lead and 1/2 to 3/8" steel.
 

Ron Resnick

Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
5,051
29
48
Beverly Hills, CA
So whom are you going to have fabricate this multi-layer sandwich for you?
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
3,447
6
38
Utah
Why do you like the idea of thin layers of lead and steel rather than a thick slab of lead between two sheets of steel?

and how do we know for sure that lead is a good vibration absorber?
Ron, what we discussed with lead or steel is mass loading the rack to control vibration nothing to do with vibration absorption qualities of these materials. There's also Resonance control that one needs to think about, what and how you introduce other materials is based on the equipment sitting on this steel shelf. There's absolutely no reason to introduce layer or layers of lead into a this slab of steel, what is it supposed to accomplish?

david
 
May 30, 2010
13,937
19
38
Portugal
Ron, what we discussed with lead or steel is mass loading the rack to control vibration nothing to do with vibration absorption qualities of these materials. There's also Resonance control that one needs to think about, what and how you introduce other materials is based on the equipment sitting on this steel shelf. There's absolutely no reason to introduce layer or layers of lead into a this slab of steel, what is it supposed to accomplish?

david
Good points. My multilayer dual material approach is mostly due to the fact that I can can have a local firm to cut layers up to a maximum thickness of around 3/8" and I want to have some vibration absorption in the table, as I am going to put it on Fabreeka pneumatic insulators - my turntables do not have any suspension. Remember that lead sheet makes an ideal sound barrier, it has excellent mechanical vibration absorption qualities.

My approach is intuitive, I am not an expert in vibration control!
 

Attachments

Ron Resnick

Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
5,051
29
48
Beverly Hills, CA
David, at 340 pounds I think my Frankenstein platform also satisfies a mass-loading objective.

If, in fact, lead absorbs vibrations why not also have the table top dampen vibrations traveling through the table top from either direction?
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
3,447
6
38
Utah
David, at 340 pounds I think my Frankenstein platform also satisfies a mass-loading objective.

If, in fact, lead absorbs vibrations why not also have the table top dampen vibrations traveling through the table top from either direction?
Your rack isn't the problem it's the top shelf that we wanted to improve.

Lead doesn't absorb vibration it's used for mass damping like steel. Because of it's density lead has more mass than steel so a sheet, bar or lead shot will weigh more but it doesn't matter when you're talking solid 3/4" steel plate.

david
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
3,447
6
38
Utah
Good points. My multilayer dual material approach is mostly due to the fact that I can can have a local firm to cut layers up to a maximum thickness of around 3/8" and I want to have some vibration absorption in the table, as I am going to put it on Fabreeka pneumatic insulators - my turntables do not have any suspension. Remember that lead sheet makes an ideal sound barrier, it has excellent mechanical vibration absorption qualities.

My approach is intuitive, I am not an expert in vibration control!
I like the the Fabreeka insulators, I use thick o-rings under the steel shelves. 1/2" - 3/4" is pretty inert you can use it with or without the lead sheets.

david
 

LL21

Active Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,548
2
38
Your rack isn't the problem it's the top shelf that we wanted to improve.

Lead doesn't absorb vibration it's used for mass damping like steel. Because of it's density lead has more mass than steel so a sheet, bar or lead shot will weigh more but it doesn't matter when you're talking solid 3/4" steel plate.

david
Yes, in our case, we tried to find lead due to its significantly greater density (more compact, same weight) but no one will sell it here so we used brass which is the denser of the commonly available metals. It rings like any other metal, but on top of elastomers from HRS, or damping plates from Artesania, the ringing stops, and otherwise it works incredibly well to mass dampen amps, source equipment and especially the Velodyne...keeping away a good amount of vibration.
 

DasguteOhr

New Member
Sep 26, 2013
48
0
0
Germany
Hello Happy New Year,

Good points. My multilayer dual material approach is mostly due to the fact that I can can have a local firm to cut layers up to a maximum thickness of around 3/8" and I want to have some vibration absorption in the table, as I am going to put it on Fabreeka pneumatic insulators - my turntables do not have any suspension. Remember that lead sheet makes an ideal sound barrier, it has excellent mechanical vibration absorption qualities.

My approach is intuitive, I am not an expert in vibration control!
Three Feets from Fabreeka you need min. 95kg for 3-4 Hz Isolation...
The Best Way is a Schiefer Slate no Metal or Layers of this it sounds no good.
I have a 2 inch thick Slate 70cm x 55cm x 5,5cm weight 58kg.
My Feets from here..you need 80% from Mass Loading for a good Setup

http://cplusw.de/de/din_luftfeder.php
http://cplusw.de/zoom.php?datei=resonanz_luftfeder_gr.jpg

20170101_082623[1].jpg


20170101_082637[1].jpg
 
Last edited: