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Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion (Read 19281 times)
Lon
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Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
10/29/12 at 18:40:50
 
I know more than several of us are acquainted here with the products from Herbie's Audio Lab, and I thought maybe a thread discussing them might be in order.

I started using the "Halo" tube dampers way back when, and after that started buying the Tenderfoot and Iso-Cup products, as well as Grungebuster dots.

For amps I find the Iso-Cup to be the best isolation feet to use. I have both the frosted clear and the earlier bases (which have "Db Neutralzer" on the bottom). I've not yet needed to buy any of the new version (black). I've found that with these older bases the "frosted acrylic" balls are very neutral, and I have experimented with and shifted to the Deep Moss gemstone balls as a nice tune for my system.  I use the "High End Base" under each Iso-Cup.

I have "Halos" of various sorts on all tubes except lately I've removed them from power tubes and prefer to have those free of dampening things. I used Isocups under my PS Audio Duo (each on four Iso-Cups) and my SACD player and DVR. I use Tenderfeet under my turntable, CSP2+ and phono preamp and my Power Plant Premier (the ones for heavier components).

I used to use Little Fat Gliders under my speakers, but after reading a lot about "decoupling" speakers written by recording engineer Barry Diament, I decided to experiment along the lines of his preferences and now use Frosted Acrylic balls sitting inside a 2" automotive freeze plug between the carpet and the speaker bottom. I never have liked spikes under speakers and though the Little Fat Gliders have worked well, this set up, which allows the balls to move a bit, is both very tedious to set up properly (mostly because my speaker wires are not running along the carpet) and also give a very focused, nuanced and tonally appealing sound which really works for me. I have thinnish carpet, and a hardwood floor on a pier and beam house built in '32, not the most solid place on the planet! This has been a great discovery for me, the ball and freeze plug. Not at all expensive to try.

I confess I really don't know why all of these work, but I find they do for me in my system, and whenever I've taken them out I find myself missing what they "do" and putting them back in. Steve Herbelin is a wonderful person to deal with, and you can always return these if they don't satisfy. I've never returned any.

Anyone else want to talk about Steve Herbelin's products?

http://herbiesaudiolab.net

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« Last Edit: 10/29/12 at 19:10:04 by Lon »  

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Donnie
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #1 - 10/29/12 at 23:20:36
 
I've always wondered how or why vibration control works.
As there are 2 camps on this discussion, isolate and couple, who is right, both, neither, or some combination thereof?
As I am always skeptical could someone please explain why I should isolate or couple my equipment.
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Lon
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #2 - 10/30/12 at 00:08:11
 
Why?

Because, Donnie! BECAUSE! Cheesy

In some circumstances decoupling is best, others isolation.

There's a lot of literature out there. I just tried it out, liked it, and as usual with me, went whole hog. My system is better for it. Your mileage may vary if you test drive that beast.
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HPDJ
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #3 - 10/30/12 at 00:14:53
 
I must say that vibration control is something I need to keep exploring...I have a few products from Herbie's and I've communicated with him through email a few times before my eventual purchase and he is excellent with communication and getting right back to you with your questions.

But, I haven't noticed an appreciable difference in MY rig with his products. And he has a really great return policy that I could have used anytime during the period it was still in effect after my purchase...so no real complaints from me...I tend to try and make sure that it's not MY fault when not getting the results I want from some product or some kind of tweak before I decide that I've done everything I could (not that I've tried a wide variety of either up to this point)...

Anyway, I have his tenderfeet (8 of them) I used those under my CD player which comes in two separate chassis (transport and DAC). I have his isocups (4 of them) that I was using under my MT for some time...and finally I have some of his super sonic stabilizer's (2)...

I've tried them all in a multitude of ways...moving them around etc. I really didn't have much time to play with them when I got them all because I got busy with work, but I've had them all for a while now and I can't say that I ever noticed any changes. I mean, maybe if I strained I would have noticed something, but I was looking for something more easily noticeable...maybe I just don't need the stuff at all...of maybe my system isn't revealing enough. But my system is like, 75% Decware so that shouldn't be the issue...maybe I need to be using a power conditioner of some sort so that I'm getting better power to my components and thus will make them more revealing to any changes upstream........maybe this all makes no sense and I'm just making excuses haha!

I realized, while using the isocups, why using 3 of them is your best option sometimes because of the uneven nature of a lot of the bottom's of some components. This was true for my MT. Otherwise, one of them is not getting much weight at all. And just because I didn't notice any changes (YET quite possibly) doesn't mean I don't think these sorts of things work. I'm still working on my system as a whole and issues with some of the components themselves have hampered my ability to really zoom in on what the Herbies stuff was truly doing I feel...or maybe I'm just WAY to optimistic :/

But I will hold on to the Herbies items and continue to experiment with them once I get some of my main components back from repair/"inspection". Again, he's a real nice dude and I dig his website and all the info he has for folks to digest. Vibration control makes sense to me in theory, and I hope that I will notice it's effects on my system at some point. His products are prices great in comparison to some of his competitors, so even if it never does anything for MY system, I won't feel jipped. I could always sell some of it at some point I guess...I do remain curious about his tube dampers, but until I've settles down on some tube configurations that work best for me, I don't wanna take it there yet because they are to be used with specific sized tubes...of which he has MANY sizes to suit practically any tube you have.  

Oh, I should mention (before someone asks maybe) that I was looking for a blacker background, some improvement in the details of the music and maybe some more solidity and firmness in the bass...the stabilizers haven't gotten much play at all after I moved recently, and I didn't pull them back out the box to try them again. And the isocups are taking a break from their duties under the MT......my desktop is a particularly vibration prone environment mostly due to the Trapeziums and their down firing bass port. So there is some trade of when using these speakers on a desktop I guess (for ones concerned with vibration control) because you get GREAT bass and great low end punch from the little speakers and no worries about having them close to a wall behind them...but the whole desk does tend to vibrate with the bass (probably an issue with most desktop speakers). This might even add to the bass "feel" in a way which is great...but  the other components are susceptible to the effects of those vibrations if one subscribes to certain vibration control theories. My exploration with the Herbies gear was to try and circumvent the issues of vibration that I'd read about and to hear what I had gained in applying some preventative/more controled measures.....my final assessment is pending I suppose Smiley
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Lon
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #4 - 10/30/12 at 03:46:09
 
Interesting. The blacker background I got from power treatment. The biggest differences I get with the Herbie products I'd say are dynamic contrasts and level of detail (mostly instrumental separation) and a refinement of tonal qualities. Soundstage depth to seems to be a bit improved. My components are on racks that do some isolating and I also use maple platforms under components, and put grungebuster dots under these and I feel that makes a difference. The Sonic Stabilizers I'm not sure make much of a difference to be honest.

I'd recommend putting some small grungebuster dots under the corners of the Trapeziums, that may help eliminate the vibrational transfer to the desktop and help the Iso-Cups' effects be clearer?

I might be imagining all the differences I hear, but I enjoy the fruits of my imagination if I do.

Anyway, thanks for your input!
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« Last Edit: 10/30/12 at 03:54:15 by Lon »  

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HPDJ
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #5 - 10/30/12 at 04:12:25
 
Hey Lon,

Thanks for the suggestion about the Trap's but it's a no go with this particular unique speaker. It relies on being on a completely flat surface to create it's port for the bass...there is a little space on either side of them at the bottom that you can feel air from the bass pushing through. Once you lift the speaker you loose that effect....the gift and the curse??? haha!

I may get the Decware rack at some point, but I feel silly doing that right now because the desk I purchased for my system has two levels and I bought it so I could have everything within arms reach and also have my speakers at ear level....maybe I'll get a rack when I get a bigger room and some bigger speakers Smiley

And maybe I'll find some purpose for those stabilizers....I even tried them on top of the MT's transformers just as Herbies site suggests.....but I heard no difference :/

I've been really looking into PI Audio's conditioners for a while and there is a company in NY that will give a FREE demo of their stuff in my home! so I'm gonna take them up on that offer once I get some of my equipment back Smiley
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Lon
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #6 - 10/30/12 at 11:17:08
 
Well, Grungebuster dots would just lift the Traps a fraction of an inch off the tabletop, and couple it to the top, I really doubt if that would influence the bass output significantly, audibly. I could be wrong, but I've used them with tabletop speakers when I was in Houston for months for my late wife's cancer treatment and didn't notice any diminution of bass output.

I've never done any serious listening with a desktop system so can't really offer any further suggestions. I'm surprised, from my experience elsewhere, that there's little or no effect from Herbie's products on your system, but there you go. I am fairly certain I get a lot of result due to my very house itself, it's old and creaky and resonant, perched on "pier and beam" and not solidly rooted on the ground. One day I'll probably have the system in another home and will be able to compare.

Good deal on the free in home demo!
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« Last Edit: 10/30/12 at 13:58:18 by Lon »  

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marky
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #7 - 10/30/12 at 12:15:48
 
I think you may have answered your own question HPDJ..
Decent power conditioner.
The cleanness they give you is real.
You`ll find you have to turn the volume up a notch or two to
compensate the drop in the noise you didn`t know you had.
Then you should notice the benefits of the vibration products.
Syd.
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ZYGI
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #8 - 10/30/12 at 14:03:45
 
Here is an interesting article about what we are talking about. Maybe a different way of doing so than using  Herbie's  Audio Lab products.

Diffused vibrations
We’re in the middle of our mini series on power and vibration control for our hi fi systems.  Yesterday I explained that vibrations, caused by the loudspeakers in our listening rooms, were inevitable and instead of focusing on minimizing or eliminating them we would be better served to treat them like we would room reflections.
When you play speakers in the room you get reflections off the room walls.  You can try and absorb and minimize those reflections or you can scatter and diffuse them instead.  Over the years we’ve learned that diffusing them is a much more effective tack than absorbing and this is because when the reflections are diffused, our ear/brain mechanism will interpret them as random unrelated noise and easily ignore their contributions.
If we use the same technique on vibration and microphonic control we get the same results – that of the ear/brain ignoring their contributions.  Diffusing is far better than reducing and here’s why.
If you try and damp out the vibrations occurring in your room you will be only partially successful – because you simply cannot eliminate them all.  Whatever is left is still a focused and related ghost image riding on your music and, although reduced, it will still be perceived as distortion and smearing in your listening environment.
Cones and spikes under equipment, for example, reduce microphonic effects but don’t diffuse it – in fact they probably make it worse and here’s why.  Cones and spikes work by reducing the contact area between the equipment and the vibrating surfaces.  They are, by their very nature, extremely rigid and transmit specific frequencies to the equipment – thus further focusing the unwanted energy.  Several manufacturers have used varying hardness materials within a cone to help this issue, but in the end their purpose is to reduce contact area and thus reduce surface-borne vibrations.  The second problem they have is that they do not address airborne vibrations.
In fact, at least half of the microphonics issue comes from the airborne vibrations and, unless your equipment is in an acoustically shielded environment, there’s little any of these isolation bases and cones and feet can do to help.  They are valuable under the speakers but I would recommend not using them under the electronics.
So the best answer is, again, diffusion and masking rather than absorption, isolation and futile attempts at vibration reduction.
Tomorrow I’ll show you how this works.

Please help me spread these ideas by clicking here to post a comment.
You can also help me engage more readers by clicking here to share.  I would appreciate the support.

   

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End of part 1

In my room in AZ, I set up my Torii in the office that was separated from the listening room by two closets back to back. It was hooked up to the speaker in the listening room. With my office system  playing the music, and the speakers pointed at the Torii as if it was in the listening position one meter away, I was able to hear what the air born vibrations from a set of speakers can impale on the amp and tubes. An eye opener for sure!!!  So much so, that while not perfect, I placed the amp/system  in the closet. In my room here in NC, I have used more diffusion than I had in AZ, I've just never found a way to see if it is better with the added diffusion, or if the system would be better out of room.

Besides, who doesn't like see the tubes glowing while listening to music.

Zygi
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Lon
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #9 - 10/30/12 at 14:21:44
 
Interesting Bob, thanks for sharing.

Steve Herbelin has really researched vibration control and his products are more sophisticated than just cones and I think he's addressed some of the issues that the authors of this piece have encountered, and his products can accomplish both isolation and decoupling and I too have compared untreated and treated amps with loud speaker airborne sound and the contrast is large enough that I pursue the Herbie's Audio Lab pathway, along with the isolation that my audio racks bring.

I imagine that putting the equipment into a closet or another room would be one way to go and should yield big benefits. Won't work logistically for my listening world without insanely long cabling, which has its own issues and with the type of cabling I favor a big expense!

There's always more than one way to skin a cat supposedly, I'm committed monetarily and systematically to this direction of vibration control and enjoying the results.
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« Last Edit: 10/30/12 at 14:22:32 by Lon »  

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ZYGI
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #10 - 10/30/12 at 14:54:31
 
Lon,

I couldn't agree more......

BUT!!! If you also add diffusion to the room, not only do you have the benefit that Paul speaks of, you are also gaining room treatment which stop early reflection that your ears hear as well as what the tubes are getting.

In the end, doing both (Herbie's and diffusion) would double the benefit.

Here is a link to the rest of Paul's morning blog.

http://www.pstracks.com/pauls-posts/counterintuitive/8695/

Zygi
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Lon
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #11 - 10/30/12 at 15:06:52
 
Thanks.

Yeah, just not able to do diffusion panels in my room. Wish I could but. . . just can't squeeze it in.
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Mark
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #12 - 10/30/12 at 16:26:11
 
With all the talk about mechanical vibration coming through base units and such, I'm left wondering if anyone has given much thought to airborne acoustical energy getting into components... Sympathetic vibrations, resonance inducing acoutical energy, whatever... ???...  

Sidebar: Also, it was well known when I was selling audio, that if you placed various speakers close together, the dead speakers, esp. the cones of woofers, would operate 180 degrees out of phase with the speakers that were on-line... This would color the sound of the speakers you were demo-ing... ???...  (m.)
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Lon
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #13 - 10/30/12 at 16:35:32
 
Isn't that what Bob was addressing with the article he posted, and its theme of "diffusion" of vibrations?

I believe that Herbie's Audio Lab "Sonic Stabilizers" are designed to play a hand in coping with some vibrations of component top and chassis. Other companies have similar "bricks," "stones," etc. I'm not convinced these are really effective, but I have some in use (Herbie's) and believe they may contribute subtly.
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #14 - 10/30/12 at 17:02:13
 
I'll have to read that, Lon... (m.)
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Fireblade
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #15 - 10/30/12 at 18:01:43
 
Let me just say up-front that I do not have any experience with vibration control, except for spikes in floorstanding speakers I used to own back in the day, and at the time I could feel the difference when I had to remove those spikes temporarily, for some logistical reasons.

But, from the physics I studied back in the university, I would assume that trying to contain those vibrations (by limiting their natural discharge), is also bad for the sound, as these stay inside the body of the vibration source and accumulate to saturation.  

Limiting the natural release of vibration going to the floor or airborne, makes it stay in the component and ruin the vibration equilibrium achieved by the component's designer surrounding the signal (in electronic components) or the analog pathway (in speakers).

Now, sound is all about vibrations.  If it wasn't for it, we could not hear anything.  Of course, we would want to segregate the dissonant vibrations (or those mis-aligned with the music) from the actual original music source, but I find it difficult to achieve as end users.

I think that all vibrations coming out of audio equipment (electronics, tubes and drivers) are to be harnessed and/or channeled by design, so that those vibrations do not damage the final sound arriving to the listener.  It is not something you need the end user to take care of, nor is it really feasible.

This is completely different to aiming at diffussing the sound vibration (sound waves) hitting the walls, furniture and floor, in our listening room.  It is compulsory for us listeners to take care of this, as it usually stems from improper reflection pattern geometries cancelling or duplicating the original intended stereo sound distribution sequence arriving at our ears over time.

Before trying to isolate an audio component from its own emmitting vibrations, we need to take good care of the diffusion of that emmitted sound by room conditioning techniques.  Otherwise, I feel that we may be making the problem worse, adding cumulative vibrations (saturation) to the circuit boards, topology, chassis, driver oscilllation planes and speaker walls baffles, and resonance structures, for example.  This would also not correct the diffusion problems of a bad reflection pattern in the room.

Physics also tells us that once those contained leves of un-released vibrations (kinetic energy) arrive at saturation inside the component, they start to go airborne again, not solving the original problem and damaging the equilibrium in the emmitting components.  Not to mention the intrinsic life-span shortening of many of the components affected by this saturation wave.

I'm probably all wrong here, but this is what my reasoning takes me, intuitively.  I would just like to learn how to improve my beginner's conception on the matter, and be corrected where I'm wrong.  I recognize I still don't have an answer for the better results obtained by using spikes in the past.

Thanks, and please don't flame me if my views tend to be against the accepted thoughts on this issue!   Smiley
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« Last Edit: 10/30/12 at 18:03:25 by Fireblade »  

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Lon
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #16 - 10/30/12 at 18:42:31
 
Actually, from my understanding, these isolation and decoupling pieces don't limit the release of the vibration but facilitate the removal of the vibration from the component.

It would be great if components were designed to have vibrations drained from them. I doubt many are at all.
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« Last Edit: 10/30/12 at 18:48:40 by Lon »  

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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #17 - 10/30/12 at 18:49:25
 
Yes Marky, a decent power conditioner is in the cards for me..I have nothing to loose with a free in home demo.

And nice little article you shared Bob...interesting. I'm guessing some of the suggestions from the article would have less of an impact on my intimate desktop system, but it's something to keep in the back of my mind for sure Smiley
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #18 - 10/30/12 at 18:56:34
 
Here's the thoughts of a recording engineer whose work I admire and who has given this idea a lot of thought, and his implementation. I've used a similar type of roller-cup footer under my loudspeakers to better effect than any cone, etc.

http://barrydiamentaudio.com/vibration.htm
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« Last Edit: 10/30/12 at 20:11:26 by Lon »  

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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #19 - 10/30/12 at 21:59:15
 
Lon,

Thanks for that link.  It made me understand that the vibration you want to isolate from the components come from the sound waves themselves, hitting floor and walls in the room and returning to the components.

The inner tube is a wonderfull idea, as it is a relatively large volume of air that can expand and contract freely through the rubber walls of the inner tube, therefore neutralizing the mini-sismic vibrations until these vanish by heating up the air inside the tube.

This also explains the spikes or the little feet on balls inside resin-filled cups, as the contact area is so small (and with a high absorption resin to further mitigate vibrations in the Iso-Cup case), presumably the vibration won't be able to get inside the component.  

The author of your link won't buy the last two solutions, assuming the resin and spikes are still too rigid (lacking sismic resonance) to avoid the vibrations to be transmitted through them.

I guess Herbie's reply to that would be based on the properties of that super absorbing resin and the small footprint.

This is an interesting topic, I wish I could replicate the ideas on your link.
 
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« Last Edit: 10/30/12 at 22:00:55 by Fireblade »  

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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #20 - 10/30/12 at 22:12:51
 
Just read the article from your link Lon...the best part to me is ALL the way at the end when the author states that:

"Only when there is clean AC and proper cable routing has been attended to will the benefits of vibration isolation be evident".......just as I suspected haha..

Oh and also, funny how the author's home brewed isolation device sounds a lot like the iso cups that Hebie's offers...sounds like a fun project but I'm not much of a DIY'er really. I was impressed that I was able to change the power outlet in my room! The things we do to increase our listening enjoyment huh? Smiley

I DID try an aftermarket power cord a few months ago from a new company that was getting some great write ups and they had a different approach to their cables etc etc...it was a loan from a dealer and I tried it on each of my components and noticed no difference. My girlfriend even listened and heard nothing. She didn't even know what I was changing every time I told her to close her eyes as I switched the PC from one thing to the next and also tried taking it out of the mix completely.  And I have a good aftermarket outlet and a great power strip from VH Audio.....maybe I won't notice the difference until ALL my gear has a better PC than the stock one....I'll report back for sure. Smiley
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #21 - 10/30/12 at 22:40:29
 
David, I've tried the inner tube and it did "something" but . . .my late wife didn't like the looks of the darned thing and I started with Mapleshade and then Herbie's products. . . which improved the sonics far more than an inner tube, or the
"sand boxes" I'd tried, And Helen liked the looks.

I've had a bit of dialog via another forum with Diament and he's an interesting person.
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« Last Edit: 10/30/12 at 22:47:29 by Lon »  

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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #22 - 10/30/12 at 22:46:26
 
HPDJ wrote on 10/30/12 at 22:12:51:
Just read the article from your link Lon...the best part to me is ALL the way at the end when the author states that:

"Only when there is clean AC and proper cable routing has been attended to will the benefits of vibration isolation be evident".......just as I suspected haha..

Oh and also, funny how the author's home brewed isolation device sounds a lot like the iso cups that Hebie's offers...sounds like a fun project but I'm not much of a DIY'er really. I was impressed that I was able to change the power outlet in my room! The things we do to increase our listening enjoyment huh? Smiley

I DID try an aftermarket power cord a few months ago from a new company that was getting some great write ups and they had a different approach to their cables etc etc...it was a loan from a dealer and I tried it on each of my components and noticed no difference. My girlfriend even listened and heard nothing. She didn't even know what I was changing every time I told her to close her eyes as I switched the PC from one thing to the next and also tried taking it out of the mix completely.  And I have a good aftermarket outlet and a great power strip from VH Audio.....maybe I won't notice the difference until ALL my gear has a better PC than the stock one....I'll report back for sure. Smiley


I do think there's some truth to the fact that having addressed the power situation will allow you to have a clarity that will allow you to hear the benefits of these isolation/coupling or decoupling devices.

The "roller" feet that Diament makes are not really like Iso-Cups. He told me on another forum that because the Iso-Cup ball doesn't move and the cup allows no travel he doesn't agree that it's the same method that he's had so much success with. Though he hadn't heard the Iso-Cup he didn't think it would sound the same. The roller feet that I have come up with under my speakers (though not quite like Diaments, similar to his, they don't have a wooden base as that would raise the tweeter level too high for my seating) are different than the Iso-Cups, and the sound is a bit different, possibly mostly because of the tweeter height difference.
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« Last Edit: 10/30/12 at 22:59:02 by Lon »  

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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #23 - 10/30/12 at 23:46:07
 
I know that Lon had touched on another part of this complex equasion. The effect of the stand or table or whatever your equipment is sitting on. My Torii is sitting on a 4" thick Maple shelf on top of Mahogany legs. I would think that the mass of the hunk of wood would help damp out a lot of unwanted vibration. My subwoofer also sits on a 6" thick hunk of Maple, maybe helping absorb some vibrations from being transfered into the floor?
I'm toying with the idea of using some carbide cutting inserts to try coupling my DAC with the desk below. Carbide has a lot of mass, if that doesn't work I will try decoupling it with bouncy balls from the buck store. Onward and upward!
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #24 - 10/31/12 at 00:15:14
 
I went for a diffusion solution and have a 7 1/2 ft x 6ft cross hatched accoustic foam pannels behind me and 4  4 1/2 x 1 1/2 ft pannels along the side walls with 2 bass dumpers in the corners behind the speakers.
Not pretty, one day I`ll cover them with a very thin material that sound will pass through. It`s not the front room at least. As there would be no furniture etc in the room apart from the seating I went for it.

I did that after reading about accoustically dead rooms, and trying to stop pathways for sound to bounce around to go where it wants to, rehitting your ears milliseconds after the initial sound. If you want reverberation it should be on the recording.

You`ve probably all got this sorted...things on walls...drapes...furniture...irregular shaped rooms...and big houseplants
are supposed to be very good.

Vibration control is something I`ve only payed lip service to,
placing sorbathane squares under everything. The way I read it was
that all sound dampers are just that. They take the ( if you expand it to
one bump ) bump and return to original state very slowly, so as to absorb and not resonate.
I guess the more you pay and the bigger the proprietry materials used
the more area they have to soak up and release vibrations leaving equipment stable.


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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #25 - 10/31/12 at 00:56:15
 
Donnie, yes I really love wood and I have components on 2" or 4" maple platforms on 2" maple shelves on my main rack and thinner cedar or maple stands on my TV and phono stands. A good start to good sound.

Marky, I envy being able to use diffuser panels and make a really controlled audio environment that way. Sorbothane is commonly used, though Steve Herbelin mentions often that he has found it to not be sonically neutral and doesn't recommend its use. It's been so long since I had any around I haven't been able to do any comparisons.

There are so many ways to deal, or not deal, with this situation. Thanks for weighing in.
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #26 - 10/31/12 at 06:19:14
 
I love isocups on my Torii. I want to try these on my Dac:

http://www.canuckaudiomart.com/details/649019589-rollerblock_bearing_isolation_s...

Cheaper than Symposium and get good feedback.
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #27 - 10/31/12 at 12:24:46
 
Yes, I think the Iso-Cups work wonders on the Torii. Thanks for posting that link, those look very interesting.
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #28 - 10/31/12 at 13:18:30
 
Interestingly, PS Audio is working on a new product (about to go out to "beta testers") that is an isolation base for up to two components (45 pounds total weight) and also a power conditioning unit with two outlets. So you can put components on top, plug them in and enjoy clean power and benefits from vibration control. Should be a cool item. No more details yet.
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #29 - 10/31/12 at 15:32:42
 
Curious to know peoples opinion on audio furniture companies that people have had good luck with.  Currently have my torii III on a core audio black maple amp stand and love it.  Their racks are pretty pricey though.  I've looked at steve blinn's designs and others but wasn't sure if someone else is making similar products at a lower price point.  WHat are you guys using?
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #30 - 10/31/12 at 15:50:29
 
Also curious here if anyone has experimented with adding mass to any given component... That is, usually a weight or weights added to the chassis somewhere... Also, if anyone uses bitumen sheets inside any components... ???...  (m.)
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #31 - 10/31/12 at 15:54:45
 
I had one made by http://www.timbernation.com/

Solid maple, inexpensive, decent workmanship.

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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #32 - 10/31/12 at 16:07:55
 
My main audio rack is a Mapleshade Samson rack. Pricey, but exactly what I wanted and I love it very much; have had it a number of years now and can't imagine being without it.

If I didn't have this I would probably have the Decware stand.

These things are always more money than you want to pay, but worth it imo.
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #33 - 10/31/12 at 16:20:25
 
Mark wrote on 10/31/12 at 15:50:29:
Also curious here if anyone has experimented with adding mass to any given component... That is, usually a weight or weights added to the chassis somewhere... Also, if anyone uses bitumen sheets inside any components... ???...  (m.)


Mark, I've had some experience toying around with adding weight to a component top, mostly Mapleshade brass feet and Herbie's Audio Lab Sonic Stabilizers. There's a very thin line between improved sound and deadened sound is my experience, and I settled on the Sonic Stabilizers as not being overkill, and giving possibly a subtle difference.

I found this review of your amp stand and the reviewer also mentions mass loading both a component, and a stand itself without adding weight to a component:

http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue31/racks.htm

I've used this latter recently. I have my turntable on a extremely strong maple end table that has two shelves. On the top shelf I have my Rega RP3 on top of a 4" maple platform. On the middle shelf I have my DVR on top of a 3" maple platform, and these two platforms add a lot of weight. On the bottom shelf for a spell I just had the TTPSU power supply for my RP3, a tiny little thing that I had sitting on a 1.5" mytlewood stand I bought from ebay. Later I added a defunct PS Audio P300 Power Plant that had been in the closet for years. Not only did the added mass make a difference, imo, to the sound but I also had a great place to ground my phono preamp and CSP2+ to. I was surprised at the benefit.
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #34 - 11/01/12 at 03:19:48
 
I find that mass, like isolation is variable and suspect in has to do with many things, not least of which, the level of vibration, the component design, the mass composition and surface relationship to the component...and whether it compliments the voicing. But generally, I think both can be good.

I use a 2lb rock on my Mac Mini, and with carbon feet, I definitely get a better sense of solidity and body. I have some of Herbie's Sonic Stabilizers on my DAC and remember liking this effect with a similar feeling.

I like Herbie's stuff in general. But I had vibration problems using a cabinet in an alcove behind my speakers to put gear in...I had resonance damping on shelves, cab walls and between shelves, hard fiberboard in it to chill/absorb the vibrations, and several bass traps and other absorption stuff built into the alcove, but Herbie's stuff improved things.

I don't know why, but I can hear everything, including location changes with the Iso-Cups under the Torii MkIII. HDJP that you (and your wife) can't hear the isolation when your amp is on the same surface as speakers, and can't hear a better cord, is definately worth lookiing into. I think you must have a bottle neck somewhere that is truncating your sound. May be speaker cables or ICs, your computer, or cables to the DAC. Are you using good software in your computer to cut off extraneous operations and as a player? Are you using a USB cable that isolates computer noise? Solving the problem (s), and being able to hear these things will make your music way better...the potential magic of Decware.

I have four of the older "high end" bases for the Iso-Cups, frosted silicone cup, and lampblack balls. I have tried the frosted Acrylic balls and find they sound good, but a little "plastic" and slightly unbalanced to me...leaner mids up, and a bit full in the bass. I keep trying, but end up finding the lampblack balls best for me...richer, balanced, and natural sounding. Location definitely matters though, and this could explain my not preferring the frosted balls to some degree. Who knows if I would like them in other locations, but I like the lampblacks where they are...under the center power tubes, and near the outside/back corners of the outside transformers.

I have used a couple sorbithane based feet, and they sound like they feel...sort of rubbery and veiled. I can't say why, but to my ear, there is no question at all that different feet sound different. I have four or five kinds and they all impart characteristic sounds.

But back to Herbie's...I use thick grungebuster cut from a sheet for cabinet shelf isolation, and to keep cables from the cabinet structure.

I use Fat Dots under the cabinet (here the difference was sort of subtle, but I had done a lot of isolation already... I did however keep them), and Little Fat gliders under HR-1s. At first I did not like these, sounding a little too smooth and warm, but more inner detail was there too...HMMMM..... if I recall correctly, later I realized the spikes sound a bit too hard and bright for me once I adjusted to the isolation, the gliders being more complete and less edgy (my floor is brick on sand, so the spikes were active with this mass).

Same sort of thing happened with RX tube dampers for me...first too "warm" and smooth, then I realized the bright edges were probably distortions....finally I got to really liking the subtle information that was under this. I use them on the inputs, rectifiers and power tubes, though like Lon, the power tubes have often left me on the fence....the undamped tubes seem a bit more textural, softer, and give more impression of brightness. Damped there is more solid/inner information, but it can get a little bit defined and a little too smooth/warm. I find that my current preference is in between for the power tubes...I damp them, but have the damper about half way down the glass. The most damping is roughly right on the top mica, so this sort of splits the difference between damping and not by my ear. Finally, I think this stuff can be a matter of degrees...if the gear is isolated well, then tubedampers become less of a thing, but I like them.

I tend not to prefer tenderfeet (they generally sound a little soft and warm to me...), I use the ones I have for my hard drive, and under my EQVOX USB power brick, though I do like them under my ZDAC...I use hardwood cones that come to a fine point under my Tranquility, but it is on top of the ZDAC, so the tenderfeet are isolating what the Tranquility is on.

I think the main thing between decoupling and isolating is they sound quite different, and presumably, to truly couple, It seems you need serious mass, and the mass is going to pull off certain frequencies. So I find isolation a little easier and like it...but I also use some half baked combinations and like it on some parts....Finally seems it must be a matter of the sound we like best.
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« Last Edit: 11/01/12 at 03:23:44 by will »  

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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #35 - 11/01/12 at 05:27:05
 
will, thanks for weighing in. It's amazing how the locations of the Iso-Cups influences the sound from the Torii, and the different balls as well. I had all Lampblack balls for a while, but when I moved the the AC-12 power cords on the Torii and PS Audio front ends (digital and analog) and the CSP2+ I found they were too alive for me and too bright, and I went to the Acrylic, and finally settled on the Green Moss Quartz. The Acrylic are perfect under my speakers though, where the Lambplack were brightening and thinning the sound.

Like tube rolling these products are almost like a "set." The rack, whether there are platforms, etc. all are factors. This can draw one in the way that tube-rolling can. This can be a very rewarding hobby, as well as a sometimes frustrating one.

Winding up a night of DVR and DVD watching with a friend with some Monday Michiru, everything sounds so good.
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #36 - 11/01/12 at 16:05:45
 
I agree Lon. For tuning a system to the exemplary, and to suit our personal tastes, these are very real tools.
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #37 - 11/01/12 at 16:38:32
 
Hey Will, thanks for the suggestions...all my wires (speaker cables/IC's) minus my power cables which are stock, are from Decware. I don't use my computer at all yet for listening to my music...it's either through my Opus 21 CDP (which is being repaired) or my vintage Denon turntable with Musical Surroundings phono preamp...all into my Mini Torii, into the Trapezium speakers...so I haven't used any computer software or usb cables up to this point...I will probably explore all that terrain in the near future since I got some great advice from folks on these threads...

The Bottleneck is most likely power related, which is why I will be demoing some gear from PI Audio/Triode Wire Labs as soon as my CDP get's back....that's when I'll probably order some DAC to demo for a month as well....speaking of which, how do you like your Tranquility DAC? I'm also looking into Audio by Van Alstine's vision hybrid DAC...

Lon posted a link earlier in the thread to an article on vibration isolation etc and at the end the author notes that he only had one instance where he heard no changes to the sound of a system when he used vibration controlling mesures....that particular system did not have clean power feeding the components and the cables were all tangled up or something....I'm definitely guilty of the former so I have to experiment with that and report back. Smiley
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #38 - 11/01/12 at 19:36:23
 
HPDJ,

Interesting thought about the power...Mine was pretty good to start with I guess, as I have always had very revealing sound. But everything I have added to improve the electronic environment, from direct power conditioning, to room devices like schumann resonators and other magnetic field "cleaners", to little boxes of crystal "semiconductors" (that draw off line noise at outlets and cable ends, to good cable configurations, it all increased resolution and revelation enough to keep whatever the device at the time I was checking out beyond the trial period for me. And as to what this thread is all about....vibration control's reason for being is vibration effects on electronic parts!

I wonder about tubes too...are you using stock MT tubes...you can very likely increase inner detail with tubes without sacrifice...perhaps just the inputs.

I really like the Tranquility, but mine is tweaked to the gills....using a tweaked Mac Mini in front, good cables all around, just the "right" feet and weight for my tastes, an EQVOX USB power adapter, tweaked Pure Music software for the player, a firewire connected external hard drive....

I have a lot of flexibility in this setup for fine tuning and I really like this. My original setup had all of the above other than the EQVOX, and it was great then too. The USB power thing bypasses computer USB power, and therefore noise. At first I did not like it...too much inner detail (in serious listening mode), but after adjusting to this voicing change, my system is more revealing, more flexible with tube and cable choices, and more musical. Very, very good to me. So much so that I am re-amazed every day.

I got an "open box" (much cheaper and broken in) and Eric Hider is an amazing and very accommodating resource which really helped me get the system optimized.

That said, if there are burned in units around, and your card can take it....why not check out both DACS when you get around to it....and really, I can't say from experience that I know a bunch of DACs...I read a lot before buying, and trusted the perspectives of most of what I read, and then got to know Eric Hider and was fully in agreement with his exploratory process, so I went for it. But this thing is leaps and bounds above my pretty seriously modded Oppo-83 and a Rega Apollo (comparatively they sound distant and like the sound is well made rather than well played!!!!), and all in all, I like the Tranquility notably better than the ZDAC. Also, I have always had a Mini, so can't speak from comparative experience there except that I believed the folks I talked with who had played the computer field, that the Mac Mini is a very musical and reliable server.

Whatever... I love my front end. The final thing is, does it sound real.... and I believe it sounds very real.

If you search this forum for Tranquility, you will find more of my thoughts on the DAC and setup. I might feel the same about many other DACs I suppose, but as I researched what is now an earlier version than mine (mine having an improved output stage from the original that improved an already great sound) the comparisons to the popular DACs of that time....made the Tranquility the one to check out for me. And thank goodness for trial periods with these innovative small companies.
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« Last Edit: 11/01/12 at 19:39:18 by will »  

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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #39 - 11/04/12 at 15:01:00
 
Got in the mail yesterday Halo tube dampers for my ZP3. Come on down ZP3! I'm hoping my ZP3 hits the bench very soon.
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #40 - 11/05/12 at 01:29:39
 
I just ordered the RollerBlock Isolation components for my Dac and also two sets of four, for my speakers. Mike is going to machine them with a 1/4-20 threaded hole dead centre on the back of the upper cup. That why I can mount the upper cup to the speaker for more stability. I will report back on how they work. His custom racks look really nice too.


http://www.canuckaudiomart.com/details/649025815-rollerblock_component_isolation...
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #41 - 11/05/12 at 01:33:56
 
Interesting. Hope you don't have to wait long!
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #42 - 11/05/12 at 16:17:17
 
Hi Lon,

Did you buy the titanium Halo III's for your ZP3?  I bought a pair of these for these for the 5U4's on my Torii III, and have no complaints
other than what they cost.  

Although in reference to the price, Steve H. the owner/designer of  Herbie's, told me he makes little money on these compared to his other models of tube dampers.

Considering getting a few for my ZP3, also.

Mike
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #43 - 11/05/12 at 16:40:19
 
No Mike, I haven't tried those out yet. Maybe when I'm more flush. I went with the UltraSonic RX. Used those on all my input tubes before.
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« Last Edit: 11/05/12 at 16:48:25 by Lon »  

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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #44 - 11/05/12 at 21:38:57
 
And, just got notice that my ZP3 has gone into "Parts Pulled" status! Cheesy
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #45 - 11/05/12 at 23:28:13
 
I know the feeling, Lon... My CD player is in QC...   Smiley  Now, what next to save up for?... (m.)
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #46 - 11/06/12 at 00:39:06
 
Cool! Getting closer...

Mike
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #47 - 11/06/12 at 10:12:01
 
Lol, I`m on the pre list.
A pair of `Rachaels` to bridge..but still
deciding what config...and trying to
convince myself I dont need the CSP2+
as well... I could be fighting a loser.
mmmm...that`ll be 3 power chords...
no tubes, cos I cant resist swopping
them...
choices, choices, choices.  :)
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« Last Edit: 11/06/12 at 10:13:34 by marky »  

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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #48 - 11/06/12 at 22:11:47
 
I was looking at the isoblocks on the mapleshades site.
Could be what I need under my rack if all the components
and shelves are stuck down with sorbathane. They are a
gimme price. Might do for my speakers as well. Sittting on
spikes which go into the old wood flooring I cant help
thinking there might be a sounding board effect which could
be cleaned up. ..Syd
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #49 - 11/06/12 at 22:25:04
 
Well, they're worth a shot. I used to use them under the maple platforms that sit on my rack. Steve Herbelin mentioned that others are suing Grungebuster dots under the platforms in place of the IsoBlocks and I tried that and. . .well I'm not sure it was a big difference, but I left the dots under the platforms.

May be a good thing under the speakers. In my case I think they would raise the speakers too high, effecting the ear/tweeter height ratio, which makes a difference to me that I don't want to hear.
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #50 - 11/06/12 at 23:22:21
 
This has probably been mentioned here, but bear with me, please:  Don't you want to dissipate vibration(s) from components and speakers?... That is, conduct them in a controlled way into some other medium?... I know that is what sorbothane does... Turns vibration into heat, right?...   (m.)
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #51 - 11/06/12 at 23:31:51
 
I find that Sorbothane dulls and muddies the sound. That's my experience, and why I started with Mpaleshade footetrs and then Herbie's Audio Lab products.

Yes, you're right, isolation products are of various types for various functions, from isolating from vibrations to coupling to transfer vibrations.

This from Herbie's Audio Lab may be helpful:

http://herbiesaudiolab.net/sqfaq.htm
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #52 - 11/06/12 at 23:35:03
 
That's what I thought initially too.  Apparently, the isolation is against incoming vibration generated by the actual sound waves generated by the speakers as these reflect from the surrounding structures, especially the floor, and not those inherently created inside the components.

So, the isolation is usually aimed at creating a vibration barrier, not a vibration drainage, with the exception, I think, of microphonic vibration generated by the tubes, which are mitigated by those rings at the upper mica edge.

I'm just learning here, don't take my word for it ... I think Lon's link (we crossed messages, sorry), may explain it much better.
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« Last Edit: 11/06/12 at 23:38:08 by Fireblade »  

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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #53 - 11/06/12 at 23:39:34
 
Well I`ve just ordered 30 grungebuster dots.
I thought job done with the sorbathane, but
you know, for $27 it`s worth an experiment.
Still not my final solution but that will be when
my system is complete and I start fine tuning.
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #54 - 11/06/12 at 23:52:25
 
I'm going to chime in here again:  When I tried tube dampers, I perceived a certain deadening of the sound, and removed them... I can only surmise that some of the errant energy reaching the amp and tubes was actually adding something that was aesthetically pleasing to the sound... Just like second order harmonics generated by single ended circuit topology enhance the sound somehow...

We all know that certain woods like those in a violin are critical to the overall sound presentation... So why not the woods chosen for your audio equipment to sit on?... Also, can the wood itself be responsible for producing its own sound when excited by acoustical energy?...

We don't seem to want a speaker cabinet adding artifacts to the room, but what if they were pleasing artifacts?... Like a good violin?... (m.)

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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #55 - 11/06/12 at 23:54:41
 
Thats what I thought FB. The idea was to damp external
vibrations and not electrical microvibrations. You might be
able to damp the chassis but the microvibrations are still
occuring and exiting the phonos. When units go on QC
these vibrations must be small enough to discount. Still,
fine tuning must have real results.....
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« Last Edit: 11/07/12 at 00:01:21 by marky »  

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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #56 - 11/07/12 at 00:19:20
 
I agree that wood can be euphonic, I use maple platforms, and one myrtlewood one. Each system is different, there's a balance that can be obtained different ways, and we all have different tastes.

I used to be more "scientific" in my youth but now I guess I care less about how or why things work than I do the results of their action. I find playing about with isolation/coupling to be as much fun, maybe more so than tube rolling. I like the tube dampers, in my system I don't hear deadening so much as . . .focusing? A clarity, less fuzziness. But that's in MY system, all I can really talk about with any credulity or sincerity.
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #57 - 11/07/12 at 00:35:50
 
marky wrote on 11/06/12 at 23:39:34:
Well I`ve just ordered 30 grungebuster dots.
I thought job done with the sorbathane, but
you know, for $27 it`s worth an experiment.
Still not my final solution but that will be when
my system is complete and I start fine tuning.


Marky, will be interesting to hear your impressions of the Grungebuster dots.

I still have Sorbothane in two places in my system: I have two "Zen Stands" and These have a layer of Sorbothane under the top piece of wood. These stands are nice, really well sized for Decware components, and sound pretty "quick" so in this instance I haven't been bothered by muddiness as I was when using Sorbothane feet in the past.
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #58 - 11/14/12 at 20:20:00
 
Okay...Mr Herbies grungebuster dots
With sobathane ;
Track1 side 1 G.Deads `Terrapin Station`-
As I`d popped in the RCA 5R4GY into the ZP3 I was wallowing
in the room filling sound. Bass was radiating into centre stage,
guitars chopping rythms both sides of stage with nice presence
This was the main focus of my attention. What was that playing
the solo break ? Electric moogy synth ? It was floating right to
front centre. The engineer had done a great job.

With Grungebuster dots.
I removed all the sorbathane from tt su ph p/p and 2 platforms,
top platform spiked. Replaced all with G/dots, and doubled up
on the tt with the 3 pieces left over. Replayed track.
The radiating bass was now more focused to where the player
stood and not spilling into the middle ( bloated?) There was also
more power shifts to be felt (moving air) More natural. Guitars
now had the ability to extend more back to front so that some
notes were heard a la head phones. More focused. That solo
instrument was now definately an alto sax ( I hope )  :)

Considering these are Herbies entry level product I was pleased.
Getting rid of the sorbathane and replacing it with G/dots was a
+ve. I could have been stuck with that c*** for some time without
this thread. Bodes well for Herbies in Spring after my new D/Ware
gear is firmly seated and I stop buying tubes.  8-)





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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #59 - 11/14/12 at 21:23:18
 
Interesting results, marky.  I wonder what types did you get (sheets, dots, thick or thin dots, square or round dots, an assortment)?  Looks like a good starting point if these are significantly more affordable than the more complete solutions (i.e., ISO Cups, Fat Dots, Tender Feet, etc.).
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #60 - 11/14/12 at 21:26:07
 
Marky, I'm glad you took a chance on the Dots and that they were a positive change. As you say, these are the entry level pieces and it bodes well for the future.

The last few days I've been playing around with the location of Iso-Cups under my amp, my Perfectwave Transport and my Perfectwave DAC II. These Iso-Cups are great, and moving them about is like tube-rolling, it's that much of a change in the focus and presentation. Always surprises me.

My ZP3 is arriving Friday and I have Halos for the tubes and will use the Tenderfeet under the unit that I am using with the PS Audio phono preamp. Looking forward to hearing the results. (I'll start off without using any of these and introduce them.)
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #61 - 12/07/12 at 13:42:08
 
The most amazing interaction between an isolation device and a component in my experience has been between Iso-Cups and the Torii Mk III. As will and OC have also noted, moving those under the Torii can cause a different presentation. My current favorite locations are the two front underneath the rectifier tube (5U4G in my case) and the rear just in front of the original rear feets' locations. Very ambient and enveloping sound, recaptures a bit more of what I had with the ERR as compared to the HR-1 Omnis now in the system. A mellow top end and a vivid midrange. Where I have a "needle drop" and the same LP this is an interesting comparison, quite similar in all important ways.

Locations of Iso-Cups are very interactive under other components, but most revelatory in my system under the Torii Mk III.
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« Last Edit: 12/07/12 at 13:43:25 by Lon »  

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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #62 - 12/07/12 at 15:13:06
 
Lon,
I've got them in the exact same places under my Torii and it really does enhance the sound,  without them the Torii is sitting on a well developed and very beautiful core audio amp stand.  It may be overkill to most but sitting the Torii on the isocups and the stand takes my music to a higher level. I took them out for a few days to see if I could recognize the difference.  WHen I put them back I knew immediately that they will stay.  Do you use any under the CSp2?  I am contemplating trying them.
You were also right about the breaking in period of the CSP2...it's just starting to flourish after 3-4 weeks.
JD
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #63 - 12/07/12 at 15:46:52
 
Hey JD, that's so cool that we both discovered that sweet spot! Smiley I think the Iso-Cups are amazing under the Torii, and yes on stands or racks helps as well. I'm always fascinated by isolation and coupling and audio.

No, at present I can't use Iso-Cups under the CSP2+ because of logistics. Where I have the preamp if I use the Iso-Cups and the PS Audio Perfectwave AC-12 power cord that I love on this preamp it won't stay in place due to the weight and the backwards pull of the cord. I have it (and the ZP3) now on Tenderfeet, which is an improvement over the stock footers. But soon I'll have another set of the Ingress Audio Engineering "Rollerblocks" and I'm going to try those under the CSP2+ -- my experience with these under my HR-1s is very favorable.
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« Last Edit: 12/07/12 at 16:19:52 by Lon »  

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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #64 - 03/25/13 at 23:02:01
 
Hi Lon, I'm curious, have you tried using the Iso-cups under your ZP3?

Steve at Herbie's, says you're not supposed to use them on components under 20 pounds in weight, still...I'm wondering.

Mike
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #65 - 03/25/13 at 23:10:50
 
Hey Mike, yes I've tried them. They work well actually. A bit better than what I do use (Tall Tenderfeet). BUT . . .  I use the PS Audio PerfectWave AC-12 power cord on these "half chassis" components and the weight of the cord prevents the ZP3 from seating on the Iso-Cups and staying put. Using a lesser cord yields less great sound than using this cord and using the Tenderfeet. So that's what I'm using. The Tenderfeet really get you  almost all the way there soincally, especially as I have these on my two CSP2+ as well, and all three preamps are sitting on the Skylan amp stands made for Decware, which are doing a good job of helping with vibration control as well.
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #66 - 03/26/13 at 00:21:34
 
Hi Lon,  Yes I'm using the Tall Tenderfeet on my ZP3, also.  My Torri III and both modded tuners, use the Iso cups with high end base and gemstone balls.  I really like these Iso-cups, and may spring for a set of four when the $ free up some more.

I have three Supersonic Stabilizers on top of mine, which adds another 1 1/4 pounds or so, so that may help out on the  total weight of the ZP3.

Mike
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #67 - 03/26/13 at 04:29:38
 
I have one stabilizer on mine, each of my components has one.

I think unless you have a thick and heavy power cord there's no issue with the Iso-Cups. Mine are just too thick and heavy, and with the IEC outlet on the top, and the cords arcing down to the PPP below, the unit just won't be stable on Iso-Cups.
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #68 - 09/21/13 at 21:28:22
 
Up for some fresh air.
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #69 - 09/21/13 at 22:09:34
 
Any new comments on Herbie's products?  I'm still in love with the half dozen products of his, that I use.

Other than the price, I especially like his titanium tube dampers on rectifiers and input tubes.  I'm not so enamoured of them on power tubes, it seems very easy to over dampen my two systems.

I've got everything dampened on my ZP3, just the inputs and 5U4G's on the Torii III (in the process of being converted to a IV, right now).


Mike
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #70 - 10/13/13 at 12:14:00
 
Any of you fellow Iso-Cup users try the "gemstones" series?

These are excellent way to fine tune the system, akin to the effect of a whole set of tubes rolled. I've found that for digital especially in my system that the "Deep Moss Quartz" are a great fit, adding a sense of body and depth that are akin to the addition of the CSP2+ to the Torii, though on a smaller scale. Slows things down just an enrichening tad.

Since I've moved to all VooDoo Cable interconnects (and especially with the Ultralinear feeding my first CSP2+ into the Torii) I found from experimentation that "Mexican Agate" balls under the Power Plant Premier adds a perfect "opening up" and dynamic to the sound. The VooDoo cables have brought a bit more dynamics and the "Mexican Agate" seems to catalyze that very well.

Have to say that before my Decware amps showed me what was possible in audio playback and I experienced all that power treatment, cabling and tube-rolling could do I would have scoffed at these gemstone balls as the most reptilian of oil, but . . . I really like what they do.
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #71 - 10/13/13 at 16:25:25
 
I've been using Picasso Jasper balls for over one year now, in both systems, with great results. Previously was using Mapleshade footers. Huge upgrade using Herbie's gemstone balls with Isocups!

After trying those, I threw out all my Mapleshade footers.  I have a local friend who use "imitation" Mapleshade footers underneath $25,000 worth of Ayre equipment.  I internally shake my head evertime I see those footers. I've tried to convince him to just try out Isocups or Tenderfeet,  but he's still "unsure".  Herbie's does have a money back warranty, and from what Steve at Herbie's told me this year, people RARELY return anything.

Presently I'm using the Picasso/Isocup combination underneath my Torii III (It''ll be back from Decware this  Thursday in it's new MK IV reincarnation), and both of my heavily  modded FM tuners (FM is very alive and well in the Pacific Northwest).

I'm glad you brought up the subject of the gemstone balls, Lon.  Think I may try switching from the Tenderfeet underneath my ZP3, to Isocups/gemstone balls.

Mike

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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #72 - 10/13/13 at 16:26:45
 

I'm still skeptical, but I might give some items a try.

For a long time, I had my zen amp sitting on a giant block of marble probably 40#), with carbon rods as isolation feet. I honestly can't say I heard any difference with or without. Currently I have my Zen amp "floating" on some nice soft silicon rings - I'm going to have to try a blind test to see if I hear any difference.
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #73 - 10/13/13 at 16:36:26
 
Lonely Raven,  You may want to try a set of four Tenderfeet underneath your amp.  If you don't like them, Herbie's will take them back and give you a full refund.

Mike
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #74 - 10/13/13 at 16:44:59
 
Mike, I bet the Iso-Cups and gemstones under the ZP3 would be great. As I'm sure I mentioned above at least once, I still have (Tall) Tenderfeet under my ZP3 and the two CSP2+ in the main system (and they each sit on a Decware/Skylan Zen amp stand, looks so cool all three of those lined up in the shelf of the Samson Ver.3). I think Iso-Cups give a bit better sound than the Tenderfeet on these components, but the power cords I use just don't allow me to use Iso-Cups--because the IEC inlets are on top of the chassis the angle that causes provided by the weight of the cords makes the setup too unstable. The sonic benefit of the cords far outweigh the difference between the two footers, so the Tenderfeet remain, and they really anchor the components in a great way.

My Dad's system now has Iso-Cups (the original style) under all components, with sets of Lampblack, Ebony, Mexican Jaspar and Picasso Jaspar balls. Made a difference from Tenderfeet, especially under the C amp and ZStage.

Regarding the Mapleshade footers, I actually use my old sets as chassis weights on some components, and I confess that when coupled to the 4" maple platforms Mapleshade sells they really do produce an interesting sound. For some components/systems they can be the cat's meow. I like Iso-Cups and Tenderfeet better for mine, but in conjunction with some components it's a closer call than I might like to think whenever I a/b them (I do that sometimes).

LR, take the plunge into some Herbie's products. I did a lot of do it yourself things in my early Decware years. . . Yeah, I saved a few bucks, but never got the results that Herbie's products bring. Marble in big form never quite did much for me, but these gemstone balls are another matter. If nothing else, try a set of Iso-Cups (I think four work better than three) under a Decware amp, and move them around. I've never heard anything better under a Decware amp.
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #75 - 10/13/13 at 17:23:33
 
Lon,  Thanks for the info/support on the Isocups, in regards to my ZP3. You've done a lot of experimentation with Herbies' products.  I've got extra gemstone balls, I'll order a set of four Isocups  for the ZP3 today.  

Yeah, I kept my Mapleshade brass footers to use as top weights also.  Some of them are also used as a "bookends" for my shelved LPs.  The rubber/cork Mapleshade isolation "footer's" are the ones I threw out.

LR,  I suggested a set of four Herbie's Tenderfeet because of their lower cost, but I agree with Lon about the Isocups being the way to go for Decware amps.
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #76 - 10/13/13 at 17:33:33
 

I'm reading up on the tube dampers right now. 6moons liked the early ones - and I have a guitar amps I've been wanting decent tube dampers for. So I might ask for some for my birthday next month (or maybe just dip into my Mystery amp fund and get *one* for my 6N1P on my Zen amp).

I don't want to blow too much money while saving up for the Mystery amp, but I wouldn't mind tweaking a little while I wait.   Cry
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #77 - 11/07/13 at 22:39:24
 

So, a small update...I did pick up tube dampers, the same ones Steve H recommended to another Zen amp owner in his forums - RX for input, and the expensive Halo on the power tubes. I left off the rectifier as I'm really not sure how much improvement that would make...and honestly, my old rectifier socket is rather loose and wobbly - I think I'd better upgrade the socket itself before I put a halo on the tube.

Lastly, last night I was doing some after midnight listening to a classical CD I picked up at Goodwill - I forgot what it was, but the CD literally had a warning about blowing speakers with the dynamics involved in the recording...yeah, that's what made me buy it! So I do what Steve H recommended and put my hand on the Oppo BDP-105, and honestly I was expecting a slight hum like vibration or something...but what I wasn't expecting was a WOBBLE. It felt like a car tire that was out of balance - wump, whump, wump, whump as the disc was spinning! CRAP!

It's no wonder FLAC files sound better than the CDs I ripped them from with all that disc wobble causing jitter!! Looks like I have more stuff to address!   Grin
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #78 - 03/14/14 at 19:31:48
 
Been tweeking the system a little as I'm now running KT-66 in the Mk III and it's a new ballgame in some ways.

It always continues to amaze me how much moving the Iso-Cups around beneath the Torii can siubtly influence the sound of the Torii!
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #79 - 03/14/14 at 20:14:20
 
I've been running five IsoCups under my Torii III/IV conversion (VCapped with two Jupiters), and also have found that shifting them around, makes a noticeable difference.

It's sometimes hard to believe, but my wife and daughter hear these changes  also.

Mike
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #80 - 03/14/14 at 20:34:54
 
Thanks for reporting that Mike, nice to have yet another confirmation of what we hear.

Five? Interesting.
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #81 - 03/15/14 at 02:06:16
 
Lon,

Thinking about how much the Torii weighs, I placed one IsoCup in each corner, and the fifth is centered between the back two. This was last year.

Actually, the fifth one is placed a couple inches towards the front.  I figured with all the weight the four transformers "impose", on the rear of the chassis, it might be helpful.   And it was!

I don't remember the exact difference it made, but I felt it made it worthwhile investing in the fifth IsoCup.

What I may try sometime, is placing a sixth IsoCup towards the front.  
Instead of considering them as four different "feet", using 5 or 6 may be more of a "platform" concept.

Extra stability up here in earthquake country. Usually get a few tremors every year or two.

And if it works, who cares what it's called...

Mike  

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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #82 - 03/15/14 at 02:16:41
 
That's cool, I never thought about that and should give it a try one of these days.

This sort of thing can be fun!
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #83 - 03/27/14 at 18:34:56
 
Lon, I went ahead and tried using a sixth Isocup (with High end base and gemstone ball) underneath my Torii Mark III/IV conversion.

Using The Tony Bennett Bill Evans album (promo LP, original pressing, VG+++) as my listening material, I slid the sixth Isocup underneath the front center area of the Torii, during the middle of a song, and promptly sat back down.

I immediately noticed the soundstage was deeper.   And this was not a tiny difference. Not a big difference, but not a tiny one, either.

Definitely worthwhile, I'm leaving that additional Isocup where I placed it.

Let me know if you decide to experiment with using a 5th, 6th Isocup.

Mike

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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #84 - 03/27/14 at 18:57:49
 
Mike, fascinating. Thanks for letting me know. I'll try it out, wanted to order some more gemstones before they are all gone anyway.
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #85 - 03/29/14 at 20:03:23
 
I'm so glad you mentioned using these fifth and sixth Iso-Cups Mike. I got in two Iso-Cups (the black ones, I find these don't need the high-end base as the earlier ones do) and more Deep Moss Quartz gemstones.

Definitely, more than subtly, changed the soundstage. Quite enjoyably so. Oh my.

I also exchanged the four gemstones under my Power Plant Premier from Mexican Jasper to Deep Moss Quartz. All my other components were on Deep Moss Quartz except Power Plant Premier previously, I had Mexican Jasper under that.

I wasn't expecting much of a change but I got one. A bit less tall soundstage and a bit less open midrange and a darker tonality. I both like it and not like it so much right now. We'll see how it settles in.
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #86 - 04/03/14 at 13:10:00
 
Well I decided to order four more Iso-Cup bases and Deep Moss Quartz gemstones and added these to the underside of the PWT and PWD Mark II. A subtle difference added to/in comparison to that of placing the extra two beneath the Torii Mk III and the PPP, but a further benefit. What seems to happen (to me) is that the sound becomes a bit less forward (which is a good thing for me) and the tonal balance a bit mellower (ditto). Quite happy with these results!
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #87 - 04/03/14 at 15:33:40
 
Lon,  I'm glad you're having such positive results.

I'm going to try another one or two under my ZP3, and am considering switching the four Herbie's Tall Tenderfeet under my Running Springs Audio Haley, to six Isocups.

Mike
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #88 - 04/03/14 at 16:00:49
 
Well, at least it's fun to play around with them!

Wish I could eliminate the Tenderfeet from under my ZP3 and CSP2+s but I can only do that if I don't use the AC-12 power cords with them, but experimentation tells me that the AC-12 brings more benefit than the Iso-Cups into the equation.
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #89 - 09/08/14 at 20:35:39
 
I have my CSP2+ and ZP3 on a PerfectWave PowerBase now and am able to use the Iso-Cups under them, and the AC-12s. A huge combined improvement (PowerBase and Iso-Cups), wow, the sound is great. (Been this way several months).

This afternoon I played around with the location of the Iso-Cups under the Torii Mk III again. It always amazes me how much of a difference this makes! Way more so than any other footers I've ever used. A great fine-tuning tool.
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #90 - 09/09/14 at 11:23:49
 
Speaking of the PowerBases, the black ones are currently half price at Music Direct.  I have thought about picking up a few of these, but I'm not sure I am ready for this level of tweaking yet.  

http://www.musicdirect.com/p-112640-ps-audio-perfectwave-powerbase.aspx?source=i...;
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #91 - 09/09/14 at 11:36:40
 
I love 'em. Didn't expect to.
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #92 - 09/09/14 at 13:25:55
 

So, is it Ok to use a power base after a P10? I'd be afraid it might add impedance to the mains that the P10 is designed to not have.
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #93 - 09/09/14 at 13:29:40
 
I don't have a P10 but others report using it both before and after a P10 with improvements. Works before and after my PPP with improvements. There's electrical improvements and there's isolation improvements, both, probably the latter more profound. I experimened around with just one and liked it best under and feeding the PPP, if I only had one. But they improve any component, and the incremental improvement of additional ones is. . . seductive.

There are comments on the PS Audio forum here and there.

Fabulous under a turntable.
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #94 - 09/10/14 at 00:44:30
 
I read somewhere that McGowan actually uses a Power Base in combination with a P10 (where the P10 sits atop the Power Base).
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #95 - 09/10/14 at 00:55:47
 
here's an interesting review, that mirrors my experience except I enjoy what it does for digital front end and praemps more than he.

http://www.hifizine.com/2013/06/ps-audio-perfectwave-powerbase/
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #96 - 09/10/14 at 02:24:15
 
Dave1210 wrote on 09/09/14 at 11:23:49:
Speaking of the PowerBases, the black ones are currently half price at Music Direct.  I have thought about picking up a few of these, but I'm not sure I am ready for this level of tweaking yet.  

http://www.musicdirect.com/p-112640-ps-audio-perfectwave-powerbase.aspx?source=i...;


That's a great deal .. any idea what type of filtration/conditioning are used in these?

Thanks!
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #97 - 09/10/14 at 02:28:31
 
There's some info here if you can make something of it. . . .

http://www.psaudio.com/perfectwave-powerbase/
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #98 - 09/10/14 at 03:23:24
 
Thanks Lon, duh ... I should have checked that our before posting Grin
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #99 - 09/11/14 at 12:46:59
 
Lon...are you using a PowerBase under your amp?
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #100 - 09/11/14 at 13:05:09
 
Yes. I'm using a PowerBase under all my components. Smiley It's the icing on both my isolation and power cakes. I'm done in those regards. The only upgrades I hanker for are expensive ones: a better turntable, a P5 or maybe a P10, though I don't need the latter, and two more pairs of VooDoo Cable "Ultralinear" interconnects (one meter, one and a half meter).
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #101 - 09/11/14 at 13:10:35
 
Awesome.  Next question.  How are they connected?  Assume it varies by component, but I think it would be good to have as a reference here.
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #102 - 09/11/14 at 13:15:19
 
You'll realize where my bank account went when I say they are all connected with PerfectWave AC-12 cords. Bought most of them used, but still a big investment. But. . . they work best for me. All components are also connected to the PowerBases with AC-12 cords. With the PPP, all those PowerBases and AC-12 cords I have an incredible electrical foundation for the system. I see no reason to make changes in that regard.
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #103 - 09/11/14 at 13:20:02
 
I have heart palpitations just reading that Lon. LOL
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #104 - 09/11/14 at 13:20:35
 
So you are using the filtration in the PowerBases for every component?  Everything connected with AC12's?  

Wall-->AC12-->PowerBase-->AC12-->PPP
PPP-->AC12-->PowerBase-->AC12-->Component
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #105 - 09/11/14 at 13:29:59
 
Dave1210 wrote on 09/11/14 at 13:20:35:
So you are using the filtration in the PowerBases for every component?  Everything connected with AC12's?  

Wall-->AC12-->PowerBase-->AC12-->PPP
PPP-->AC12-->PowerBase-->AC12-->Component

Yes.
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #106 - 09/11/14 at 14:32:16
 
Sorry I had to ask twice.  I think I fell off my chair when I first read it.  That is one serious setup!
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #107 - 09/11/14 at 14:54:40
 
Like I said, palpitations. LOL
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #108 - 09/11/14 at 14:58:07
 
Well, when I had a window of both money and no domestic partner telling me what I can and cannot do with it or not to spend it . . . I invested in this. It's done a lot to make my system so very enjoyable, and I shouldn't have to buy much of this ever again.

It too has contributed to the "musicality" of my system that saves me so much, allowing me to just relax into whatever I put in. No futzing with software, etc.
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #109 - 09/13/14 at 09:00:53
 
Hey Lon,

I feel like I'm in school listening to you guys with all your knowledge/experience. I so appreciate this forum.

I have a question for you:
I ordered two of the Power Bases from Music Direct (thanks to the tip earlier in this thread), and I have a couple of two-meter AC-12s that I am planning on using from the wall to the Power Bases. I'm wondering about the length of the AC-12s that you use between the Power Bases and the components that sit on top of the Power Bases. Did you have shorties made? The marketing pictures show short jumper-style cords from the Power Bases to the components. Any advantage there?

Thanks for the help,
Randy
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #110 - 09/13/14 at 10:56:04
 
Hey Randy,

Cool! I think you're going to really like the bases.

I do use .5 meter AC-12 cords for some of the compponents on the PowerBases. These are very thick and not so flexible though, and it really depends on where the IEC inlet is on the component as to whether this will work or not. . . .

I wouldn't say I see any advantage other than tidiness and cost savings using a short cord. Sonicaly I haven't noticed a difference.

The PowerBases came with .5 meter power cords, but they were very unexceptional cords. . . I think I tossed them.
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« Last Edit: 09/13/14 at 10:57:43 by Lon »  

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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #111 - 09/13/14 at 21:05:11
 
Thanks for the reply, Lon.

Yes, I noticed the quality of the cables used in the marketing brochure - a lot like the red and white "interconnects" that we sometimes get with our components. (Notice I'm using that term loosely). I wondered about the flexibility of the AC-12 in a shorter length. I think that .5 meter might work with my dac, with the AC connection in the back, but with the Torii having its AC connection on the top, I'm not sure. I'll strategize once they get here and I can actually set them up and see where I'm at.

Anyway, thanks again,
Randy
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #112 - 09/14/14 at 18:53:08
 
Randy, if your footers aren't too tal (1" or less) a .5m AC-12 will work with the Torii on a PowerBase. . . barely! They are very stiff those AC-12s.
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« Last Edit: 09/14/14 at 18:53:42 by Lon »  

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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #113 - 09/15/14 at 08:29:49
 
Thanks, Lon. I put a bid in on a used 1 meter AC-12 that came up. We'll see if I get it. I'm looking forward to reworking my system in the next week or so. Thanks for the help!

Randy
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #114 - 09/15/14 at 13:09:57
 
Hope the bid wins. Keep us posted as things develop--interested in hearlng your opinions of the PowerBase.
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #115 - 09/15/14 at 15:56:08
 

Quote:
Thanks, Lon. I put a bid in on a used 1 meter AC-12 that came up. We'll see if I get it. I'm looking forward to reworking my system in the next week or so. Thanks for the help!

Randy


Just be cautious about all the fake AC-12 cables out there. I've heard it's usually the 2M ones from Hong Kong that are faked, but you never know, maybe they did 1M cables as well.

When I can, I try to ask the seller what the source is, if they bought it from an authorized seller, and/or if they have a receipt or invoice.

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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #116 - 09/15/14 at 16:17:55
 
Good point. And I think a safe cautionary rule is to not buy from Hong Kong or China.

Interesting to note that Music Direct is selling new ones a few 100 dollars cheaper than they were before (but still expensive!)
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Re: Herbie's Audio Lab products discussion
Reply #117 - 09/15/14 at 21:38:06
 
Thanks, guys. I agree, I saw a 2 meter AC-12 on eBay for $168, and then I saw that it was from Hong Kong, and I said no thanks. I did get the one that I offered on. It was on AGon, seller in CA, and the price was in line with what I'd expect to pay, so I guess we'll see when it comes.

Randy
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