Why are vibration isolation products still considered accessories?

stehno

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Jul 5, 2014
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The vibration isolation methodology has had a dominating presence in high-end audio for 30 years or more. Yet, a very recent thread in the General Forums section ended with someone stating vibration isolation remedies and results being all over the map. I agreed with his portrayal and also suggested a few possible reasons including perhaps the vibration isolation methodology's principles are also all over the map and perhaps our understanding about vibration mgmt is far less than we think when it should seemingly be elementary. Then there's also been a few recent "the room's the most important component" threads and believe or not many of these controversies are intertwined.

Anyway, that got me thinking. The vibration isolation methodology presumably has a few tenets and if such tenets exist, no doubt its first tenet would have to be something like,

"Of the three primary sources of vibrations, floor-borne vibrations induce the greatest sonic harm and therefore it is paramount that we isolate our sensitive instruments from this most harmful source of unwanted energy."​

I've included an in-room video recording containing snippets exhibiting various types of authoritative bass where the in-room volume levels ranged between 103 - 106db (note the in-room gestalt is far greater than what's exhibited in the recording). In the video you should also notice that the distance between my rack and my single 15" subwoofer is a mere 24-inches between closest points making superior contact with the sub-flooring and the rack and sub even share the same floor joist and maybe even the same sub-floor plywood panel.

I should also note that my components are so tightly coupled to their shelves with previously unheard of insane levels of compressive forces as is each shelf to the rack's base. For example. There is roughly 1000 lbs. of compressive force just on the amps toward its shelf. IOW, metal tightly coupled against metal with no intended isolation anywhere. No doubt, the death knell for my playback system if indeed floor-borne vibrations induce the most sonic harm, right?

Given my configuration and assuming floor-borne vibrations induce the most sonic harm,

1. Then why aren't any of these recording snippets wreaking even a hint of perceived sonic havoc on the playback presentation especially with in-room recording volume levels in the 103-106db range?

2. Given that my metal components are without doubt the most tightly coupled of any components to my all steel racking system which in turn is tightly coupled to the sub-flooring exactly as the subwoofer using the exact same coupling method and products (my own) and given these same listening volume levels, shouldn't my playback system experience more ill-effects of nasty floor-borne vibrations than perhaps every other playback system in the world?

3. Better yet, why aren't the distortions and playback fidelity going up and down in opposition to one another like yo-yo's before and after every significant deep bass note? Wouldn't that be indisputable evidence that floor-borne vibrations induce at least some sonic harm? Especially since many isolationists purport that lowest frequencies induce the most harm?

Yet, no perceivable audible evidence exists in this video or perhaps anywhere else and as such I can only think of three distinct but still inter-related possibilities:

1. Floor-borne vibrations are inconsequential to all of us.

2. One vibration mgmt methodology is based perhaps entirely on folklore and is so off-base it's first tenet or principle isn't even in the ball park.

3. Floor-borne vibrations induce little or no sonic harm but somebody decades ago experienced their 400 lbs. party guest dancing in front of their turntable causing the stylus to jump 14 grooves and confused vibrations with shock and impact. An entirely different problem requiring an entirely different remedy that's entirely outside the scope of vibration mgmt but still that mindset has prevailed to this very day. See #2 above.

So if I can demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt (as I think I have here) that floor-borne vibrations are inconsequential, some obvious questions might be,

1. Why might so many others claim their vibration isolation products are providing sonic benefits by isolating components and/or speakers from floor-borne vibrations?

2. If the isolationist has been addressing the less harmful source of vibrations what might be happening with the most harmful vibrations?

3. Given our concerns are limited to 3 primary sources of vibrations, if I have successfully demonstrated here that floor-borne vibrations are inconsequential, how much closer might the vibration isolationist now be toward discovering the true source of vibrations that induces far and away the most sonic harm?

4. Haven't people claimed they can measure differences based on their newly installed products that isolate from the floor?

To which the answers should be somewhat obvious to the open-minded.

I can appreciate how all this goes against the grain of everything we think we know about vibration mgmt. In fact, I entertained entitling this thread "Death by Firing Squad." because I've no doubt I'm gonna' take some serious heat for this.

So why even bother sharing any of this? Well, I've tried sharing some of this numerous times before, but without in-room recordings, it was just my word going up against others' lifelong beliefs. I share primarily for performance reasons but also because high-end audio is just loaded with folklore. A number of subject matters we take at face value without researching and often times we're left chasing windmills for decades even. Once this worst folklore is conquered, then others should start to fall like dominos in parallel. But mostly because to the best of my knowledge every last high-end audio playback system suffers immensely from a severe and universal performance-limiting governor or glass ceiling which is caused almost solely by inferior vibration mgmt methods. And though some playback systems might eventually bump up against that glass ceiling and even push it up a notch or two, it's still impossible to obliterate it. Except when employing superior and extreme forms of vibration mgmt methods, namely resonant energy transfer.

IOW, this very subject that so many seem so enamored with lately, dabbling with, consider themselves experts with, and are so pleased with the results has been the very thing that keeps our components operating far closer to their base performance levels rather than their optimal performance levels. If any of you are enjoying sonic benefits from your supposed vibration isolation endeavors where even its first principle falls flat on its face, imagine how much more you just might benefit with just a slight change in direction and mindset.

But this is why isolation products remain accessories and can never be anything but.

Just sayin,
 
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Testy Troll

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There are more problematic vibrations than the floor induced type. (since I have cement floors, not an issue to me)
1) Airborne Vibrations. (Especially caused by Low Frequencies)
2) Internal equipment induced Vibrations. (CD drives, Transformers)
3) Resonant Frequency Vibrations (Especially affecting Speakers)

The first two can be addressed by the use of massive stands and isolation platforms.
I use Mapleshade Samson Racks.
To anchor each piece of gear to prevent lateral movement, I use large brass cones.
To absorb internal induced vibration I also use Sorbothane/Navcom rubber underneath.
A VERY important principle is mass loading of each component.
Every piece of equipment has a nice heavy chunk of lead on top.
I also line interior of each chassis with sound deadening material.
Trust me. The second coming of Hiroshima would have no effects on my gear.

Resonant frequencies affecting most speakers are a problem.
Not only will panels resonate and produce sound but it will time smear the signal.
Plus it will vibrate the crossover causing induced voltages.
My solution was to pick up a pair of Hales Signature Two's.
2" thick walls, top and bottom and a 4" front baffle with tons of bracing. They are Tanks!
Plus the crossover is external.
Had these pups for close to 30 yrs and have no intention of replacing them.

My system is far from perfect, but it is NOT due to vibration problems...
 

sbnx

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Mar 28, 2017
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In high resolution systems vibration matters. Playing a true 24 bit recording the lowest level signals are in the microvolt range. It doesn't take much shaking to produce a microvolt.

For skeptics the best demo for me is to place my esoteric P02 on 3 stillpoint ultra 5's. The difference in sound is very dramatic to even non-golden eared audiophiles. Whether or not you like the sound is a different question.
 

JackD201

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Vibration feet have been turning up in some products as OEM for the last few years. The only US brand I can think of is Aesthetix which offers some products with HRS Nimbus feet. EU manufacturers seem to have embraced these as components as opposed to accessories a little more. My TW had Stillpoints, Valvets had Milleniium, so on and so forth.

As for me, I've looked at rack systems as essential components for years now, not just for turntables but for everything.
 

Mike Lavigne

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i think we simply cannot generalize about how gear is built. so a 'clamping' or 'mass loading' approach is very situational. personally i don't clamp gear, but most of my electronics are excessively built with solid billet construction (MSB), or swiss watch like attention to construction (darTZeel-Studer). i do have my tape repro boxes (King-Cello) which i do mass load and their construction is less robust that the others.

otherwise i treat the shelf or floor interface for resonance attenuation, some of which is active. and i can easily turn these active devices on and off and hear the musical consequences, which i have written about ad nauseum. suggesting that these devices do nothing is just ignorant. what precisely they do and why they do it is a question. they don't care where the resonance comes from, they attenuate it. but they are scientific instruments and there is real science behind them.

i think any approach blindly applied is miss guided. everything is contextual. it either makes the music better, it has no or neutral effect, or it makes things worse. and i proceed accordingly.
 
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DaveC

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Nov 16, 2014
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Accessories are accessories because they are not absolutely required for the system to produce sound.

It's obviously an important factor in system performance though, and most audiophiles tend to spend a lot of time and money on accessories like footers, racks, etc.

Vibration feet have been turning up in some products as OEM for the last few years. The only US brand I can think of is Aesthetix which offers some products with HRS Nimbus feet. EU manufacturers seem to have embraced these as components as opposed to accessories a little more. My TW had Stillpoints, Valvets had Milleniium, so on and so forth.

As for me, I've looked at rack systems as essential components for years now, not just for turntables but for everything.

Agreed, relatively basic (by today's standards) Sony ES components have had a lot of attention paid to chassis and footers since ES components existed. I have a Sony ES music server and footers effect this component much less than most because the chassis and footer design is good to begin with.

Speaker manufacturers are the worst offenders because most simply don't acknowledge the issue beyond supplying spikes, which IMO are some of the worst footer options possible for speakers.

There are more problematic vibrations than the floor induced type. (since I have cement floors, not an issue to me)
.
.
.

My system is far from perfect, but it is NOT due to vibration problems...

IDK about that! Concrete floors absolutely resonate and sound really bad IME. Still far better off isolating speakers from concrete floors.
 
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DeadWax

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Not every listening environment benefits in a meaningful way from isolation. Designing a good circuit or power supply (eg) benefits all regardless of your room. Why integrate costly isolation design if it may not be needed in every application? Not good marketing...add as needed.
 

Testy Troll

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Dec 29, 2015
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"IDK about that! Concrete floors absolutely resonate and sound really bad IME. Still far better off isolating speakers from concrete floors."

Do you have any data about the resonating characteristics of a concrete floor?
I'd be really interested in learning about this.

BTW, my speakers sit atop maple platforms which are spiked thru the rug and 1/2" pad to the floor.
The Hales are then rested on top of Blu-Tack to couple it to the stands and aid in vibe mitigation.
Works for me....
 

Kingrex

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Feb 4, 2019
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I have gone through eack piece of my equipment and tried many types of alternative plates and feet under each. When I find the combo that clicks I move to the next. When all done I start over as things changed since the first was done. In all it cost me maybe $300 in parts. Be creative. If you want to dump big money on store bought items after you know the basics of what works, have at it.

I have shown these before. This is a cheap way to start. My preamp likes plywood and bead on corian. My server likes corian with another corian on insulation. My phonon pre likes felt under the corian and a bead on the corian block. You can very much hear every tweek here. You have to listen and more important, know what your trying to achieve. Its real easy to end up with a dead lifeless stereo that sounds hifi at best. 20200623_081625.jpg 20200623_081644.jpg 20200623_081704.jpg
 

Hear Here

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Accessories are accessories because they are not absolutely required for the system to produce sound.

Speaker manufacturers are the worst offenders because most simply don't acknowledge the issue beyond supplying spikes, which IMO are some of the worst footer options possible for speakers.

IDK about that! Concrete floors absolutely resonate and sound really bad IME. Still far better off isolating speakers from concrete floors.

Dave - It seems odd to me that speaker manufacturers would compromise the potential of their speakers by supplying only spikes that you desctribe as "some of the worst footer options possible".

Do manufacturers really test their products only when standing on spikes and don't bother to see if they sounded better on isolation footers? If isolation footers provided better sound, would they not be fitted as standard, or at least recommended by manufacturers as a worthwhile upgrade?

I've recently ordered Avantgarde Duo XD speakers with these feet (attached image) - rather fancy spikes that are normally standing in metal cups with "rubber padding on the underside" to protect wood floors. Have they got it totally wrong or should I be doing something other than following the manufacturer's intentions such as ditching those fancy spikes and looking at some over-priced (sorry but they all are) soft feet if I can find some that fit? Or does the rubber padding on the underside of the metal protective cups massively improve matters compared with the "worst option" spikes? ;) Thanks Peter
 

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stehno

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Thus far, it seems nobody has attempted to directly contest, reject, rebut, or otherwise disprove my illustration and claim that floor-borne vibrations (excluding shock and impact) are inconsequential from a sonic perspective. If so, that's a very good thing.

But make no mistake. For decades we've heard and read over and over again from enthusiasts and vendors and reviewers and distributors alike about how we need to isolate our sensitive instruments and even speakers from the nasty floor-borne vibrations. In fact, to this day we're not even considered serious audiophiles unless we engage in this practice.

What should puzzle all of us is, if (and it is true) that floor-borne vibrations are of no little/no concern, then considering the other two sources of vibrations (air-borne & internally-generated) continue to and will always be captured at the component, exactly which unwanted energy is everybody attempting to isolate their components from?

IOW, with floor-borne vibrations presumably off the table, the components are still open and naked to capturing air-borne and internally-generated vibrations and capture them they will and there's not a bloomin' thing anybody can do to entirely prevent it. But for those attempting to isolate their components, have they not trapped all air-borne and internally-generated vibrations and any other type of unwanted energy captured at the component by their isolation efforts?

Energy's primary behavior is first and foremost to travel away from its point source which is now the component. And when unwanted energy cannot travel or exit, it will release ALL of its energy (energy's secondary behavior) somewhere within its trapped space at the component, usually the most easily excitable internals?

Do you see what I'm getting at here? With floor-borne vibrations presumably off the table, perhaps the sole purpose for the existence of the vibration isolation methodology, doesn't this most popular method with an almost unanimous consent collapse? What's the definition of folklore again?

Or might it be something else? I've tried to share for years how the entire industry including mfg'ers routinely confuse their "isolation-based" verbiage with the types of materials and methods and designs they use. For example. A metal cone/spike/point is no more an isolator to mechanical energy than a copper wire is an isolator to electrical energy but with inferior applications both can behave as though they are isolators. If the copper wire is not connected securely at both ends, it's performance is severely compromised and the same goes for the metal spike/cone. But even a copper wire with compromised connectors at either end is a better than no connectors and the exact same goes for the metal cone/spike.

IOW, might it be that for many instances, very limited variations of resonant energy transfer principles are unknowingly being practiced under the guise of "isolation" and THAT is where at least some of the gains have been occurring while still mislabeling it as "isolation"? Without doubt it's happening 24/7/365.

Here's another little tidbit. If it's impossible to demonstrate the audible fluctuations (yo-yo) of distortions supposedly induced by floor-borne vibrations because they are of little/no audible concern, well guess what? Like floor-borne vibrations, air-borne vibrations are also off the table because to the best of my knowledge nobody ever has nor ever will audibly demonstrate any type of yo-yo effects induced by the fluctuations of air-borne vibrations.

How can I say this? Because based on all my experiments, remedies, and performance results over the past 18 years. the distortions and remedies are always, always, always a constant that never fluctuates. I could make another video with examples of authoritative bass to demonstrate this little known fact, but I'll just refer the reader to the same video above to prove air-borne vibrations also are of little/no concern. If you can't hear any audible fluctuations of distortions giving any kind of yo-yo effect, then air-borne vibrations are also off the table.

Think about it. If either floor-borne or air-borne vibrations were guilty of inducing any audible sonic harm whatsoever, one could run a simple test by playing string quartet music at lighter volume levels and they should hear far greater fidelity in the playback presentation. But nobody can demo this either because there's nothing to demo. The fidelity or rather infidelity remains exactly the same regardless of frequencies, genre, and volume levels.

Hence, our only primary source of vibrations that is a constant regardless of frequencies, music genre, and/or volume levels is the internally-generated vibrations. From the moment you power on and/or push play until the moment you push stop and/or power off. Internally-generated vibrations is the single source of vibrations that utterly cripples every last one of our sensitive components. I can't prove it but based on the results alone, I estimate these internally-generated distortions greater than all other forms of distortions combined. And it's not just power supplies and internal motors, it's every internal wire, transistor, op-amp, tube, circuit board, etc that has electrical current flowing through it. When electrical current flows through an electrical object the flow of current will cause that object to resonate.

These internally-generated vibrations are the very vibrations that the isolationists have been unintentionally trapping within the component for as long as the vibration isolation methodolgy has been practiced in high-end audio. Yes, the isolationist has been shooting himself in the foot all this time. Why? Because if alarms haven't gone off yet, it's because vibration isolation isn't even a valid methodology. It's impossible to isolate against all sources of vibrations simultaneiously although many will go to their graves trying. More importantly, if you successfully isolate one source, you've successfully trapped at least one other source. You may not realize it yet, but isolation is what has for decades kept nearly every playback system in the me too hi-fi category due to its performance-limiting governor or glass ceiling.

In conclusion, simple logic along with a few recording demos alone proves the vibration isolation methodology is nothing but a grossly inferior perversion of the one true methodology known as resonant energy transfer.

And when the one true vibration-controlling methodology is taken to the extreme, after a settling-in period of time most any component will perform far closer to their real optimal potential rather than near their base level of performance due to the universal performance-limiting governor induced by the isolation methodology. So vast are the performance gains that in my case anyway, it is the components that have truly become the accessory.

Does any of this make sense? Nobody has to be a scientist or even be a science-minded type to realize how we've all been dup'ed for decades by this folklore called vibration isolation.

As I've said since 2011 when my discoveries and resulting performance gains were still very much in there infancy,

"When taken to the extreme and staying entirely within the laws of nature, the performance gains are massive, they are many, they are across the entire frequency spectrum, and there are no negatives whatsover."

Exactly the types of benefits one should expect when staying entirely within the laws of nature.

And so simple that the exact same methodology and princiiples and products are consistantly used everywhere even with turntables. Except that many TT's are so bogged down with layer upon layer of isolation built into their designs (think shock and impact) that I'd prefer to not even discuss.

My favorite analogy has been the purpose of a lightning rod when tightly coupled to a grounding wire and grounding spike. You cannot suppress or isolate the unwanted energy but you can redirect it before it induces its catastrophic harm. Here the component (or speaker) is the lightning rod attracting unwanted energy, the rack is the grounding wire, and the sub-floor is the grounding spike. BTW, catastrophic is the correct word for either application.
 

stehno

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Accessories are accessories because they are not absolutely required for the system to produce sound.

...

So using your logic everything over and above an AM transistor radio is an accessory?
 

WeatherB

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Mar 18, 2017
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Because isolation products of any kind are not required to play music through your system.

Having said that, however, the owner of a highly resolving system should desire something to make the ill effects of vibration negligible.
 

stehno

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i think we simply cannot generalize about how gear is built. so a 'clamping' or 'mass loading' approach is very situational. personally i don't clamp gear, but most of my electronics are excessively built with solid billet construction (MSB), or swiss watch like attention to construction (darTZeel-Studer). i do have my tape repro boxes (King-Cello) which i do mass load and their construction is less robust that the others.

Actually, Mike, we can generalize. Either a method and its principles work consistantly throughout or something is wrong with the method and/or its principles. If a component were unable to allow for serious mass loading, there's often times ways around that but I wouldn't hesitate to replace the component. Regardless of what one might think of its performance, it should still pale in comparison to the effects of superior forms of vibration mgmt applied to most any replacement component.

Also, I think you're missing the primary purpose of mass loading. Sure some less solidly built components could actually vibrate in sympathy with vibrations captured and thus make a bad situation theoretically worse and mass loading can minimize this. But since the primary focus is internally-generated vibrations and the primary intended purpose of mass loading in my designs and executions is to create a vastly superior mechanical conduit between normally disparate objects to become as congruent as reasonably possible for mechancial energy to more efficiently and expediently travel away from its point source before they can induce their sonic harm.

Hence, if my components' chassis' were built using solid billet construction, I'd probably be using closer to 2000 lbs. of compressive force rather than 1000 lbs. But believe it or not the quality of chassis construction isn't as important as we think. One could possess the most superior constructed chassis in the world but if unwanted energy is not provided an efficent exit path, the construction and materials really matter very little.

otherwise i treat the shelf or floor interface for resonance attenuation, some of which is active. and i can easily turn these active devices on and off and hear the musical consequences, which i have written about ad nauseum. suggesting that these devices do nothing is just ignorant. what precisely they do and why they do it is a question. they don't care where the resonance comes from, they attenuate it. but they are scientific instruments and there is real science behind them.

As for turning your active devices on and off and hearing sonic differences, which source of vibrations do you suppose they are addressing? More importantly, which sources of vibrations are the mfg'ers telling you they are addressing?

I've no clue about your devices but as for "real science", hasn't everybody claimed real science has been behind vibration isolation for maybe 30 years now?

i think any approach blindly applied is miss guided. everything is contextual. it either makes the music better, it has no or neutral effect, or it makes things worse. and i proceed accordingly.

I agree about approaching any subject blindly is misguided. I think I've sufficiently described that's exactly what the isolationist has done these past 30+ years. Even if they hear nice but limited improvements along the way.
 

Testy Troll

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Dec 29, 2015
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Stehno,
I too believe the most problematic vibration is the internally generated type.
Floor vibration can be mitigated by using concrete.
Airborn vibration can be mitigated by cones and various vibration absorbing materials and most importantly, mass loading.

BTW, cones are used to couple the gear to a hard, massive, low resonant platform to avoid lateral motion. They are not an efficient method to drain vibrational energy thru themselves and into the platform.
That is why energy absorbing footers are also necessary to complete the job.
The final step (if physically possible) is mass damping on the top of the component.
Lead is the best (and really the only preferred) metal to do the job due to it's low ringing characteristic.

Finally we get to internal generated vibration. As you say, very tricky!
The worst offending sources are transformers and CD drives.
I line the walls, floor and top with sound absorbing material.
Do the same with CD drives.

The transformer is a real bear. Especially if you have two or three of them as in tube amps.
If you can wedge a piece of lossy material between it and it's mounting surface, it can help a bit. Also, lead (or stick-on lead weights used to balance tires) can be attached which will mass load it a bit. I've heard potting the interior top of the transformer with some lossy material helps, but have never tried it.

Circuit boards can have rubber (or some better lossy material) at the mounting interface.

Tubes can use damping rings to help with vibration.

Dabs of RTV can be applied to the tops of Capacitors to aid in damping vibrations.

These are the best solutions I've used in my 45+ yrs of tweaking various stereo systems.

If you have any additional solutions on defeating internal equipment vibrations I'm all ears!
 
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wil

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Gregm

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Thus far, it seems nobody has attempted to directly contest, reject, rebut, or otherwise disprove my illustration and claim that floor-borne vibrations (excluding shock and impact) are inconsequential from a sonic perspective. If so, that's a very good thing.



IOW, might it be that for many instances, very limited variations of resonant energy transfer principles are unknowingly being practiced under the guise of "isolation" and THAT is where at least some of the gains have been occurring while still mislabeling it as "isolation"? Without doubt it's happening 24/7/365.


In conclusion, simple logic along with a few recording demos alone proves the vibration isolation methodology is nothing but a grossly inferior perversion of the one true methodology known as resonant energy transfer.

And when the one true vibration-controlling methodology is taken to the extreme, after a settling-in period of time most any component will perform far closer to their real optimal potential rather than near their base level of performance due to the universal performance-limiting governor induced by the isolation methodology. So vast are the performance gains that in my case anyway, it is the components that have truly become the accessory.

Does any of this make sense? Nobody has to be a scientist or even be a science-minded type to realize how we've all been dup'ed for decades by this folklore called vibration isolation.
Do I understand correctly that your points are,
a) floor-borne vibrations do not impact the sound at all
b) wrong labeling: it's a case of energy transfer -- not isolation,

If so, I'm ready to take your word for a); I've never delved too deeply into hi-end marketing blurb anyway except to extract the rare chuckle ("...specially designed to isolate the TT from the Earth's Schumann frequencies..." anyone?).
I remember back when I had a Linn Sondek, I used to spend time tuning its annoyingly fiddly suspension -- i.e. "isolation system".

As to energy transfer, I couldn't agree more. I have consistently found that all types of support devices (or "energy transfer" devices) do affect the sonic result.
 

DaveC

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Nov 16, 2014
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Thus far, it seems nobody has attempted to directly contest, reject, rebut, or otherwise disprove my illustration and claim that floor-borne vibrations (excluding shock and impact) are inconsequential from a sonic perspective. If so, that's a very good thing.

No, I think this is a bit ridiculous.

So using your logic everything over and above an AM transistor radio is an accessory?

This is even more ridiculous. But, what else is new? :)
 
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DaveC

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Dave - It seems odd to me that speaker manufacturers would compromise the potential of their speakers by supplying only spikes that you desctribe as "some of the worst footer options possible".

Do manufacturers really test their products only when standing on spikes and don't bother to see if they sounded better on isolation footers? If isolation footers provided better sound, would they not be fitted as standard, or at least recommended by manufacturers as a worthwhile upgrade?

I've recently ordered Avantgarde Duo XD speakers with these feet (attached image) - rather fancy spikes that are normally standing in metal cups with "rubber padding on the underside" to protect wood floors. Have they got it totally wrong or should I be doing something other than following the manufacturer's intentions such as ditching those fancy spikes and looking at some over-priced (sorry but they all are) soft feet if I can find some that fit? Or does the rubber padding on the underside of the metal protective cups massively improve matters compared with the "worst option" spikes? ;) Thanks Peter


Spikes are interesting as they are conventionally thought to isolate by reducing the surface areas in contact with each other, but in real life the spikes usually deform the surface they are on and directly couple. But this does depend on the spike and the surface the spike is on.

For speaker feet I do think isolation is best, as IME speakers coupled to the floor cause the entire structure to "sing along" with the music, and in my case, isolation prevents many resonances throughout my home from becoming audible. I think this is the case even with concrete floors, they have a higher frequency component that is not nice sounding.

I have no idea how effective the footers that come with your speaker are going to be, personally I use IsoAcoustics stands, which are reasonably priced vs many options, although the footers do get pricey. If you have the vertical space the stands use the exact same tech and are less expensive. There are also some footers that isolate via bearings and are not soft, or have some combination of materials, I haven't experimented with every product as they can get really expensive.

This is just my experience, others may have different ideas, lol... ;)

Congrats on your new speakers! :) I build my own speakers and tube gear, my speakers are pretty close in overall concept to AG.
 

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