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Let's talk Isolation Devices (Read 517 times)
Lonely Raven
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Let's talk Isolation Devices
09/21/13 at 18:45:30
 
So, one area I've never ready researched is isolation devices.

In the past, I used to have my Zen amp on sorbothane feet, which sat on carbon rods (don't ask) which sat on a big marble slab. It was what I had around and I honestly didn't notice any difference.

Now that my system is a big step up from where it was, I might notice a difference. What are the basics I should be looking into to isolate my Zen Amp, Oppo Universal player, and speakers. I'm totally fine with DIY and I've made some lead and/or sand filled wood platforms for others, but never bothered for myself. Budget or DIY solutions are always a plus.

I've already put my MG944 on spikes using the existing 1/4" threads. If there was any sound difference, it was very subtle.

Thoughts?

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« Last Edit: 09/21/13 at 18:53:14 by Lonely Raven »  
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will
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Re: Let's talk Isolation Devices
Reply #1 - 09/21/13 at 20:16:14
 
LR,

Though not totally budget, good deals are found at Herbiesaudiolabs... Particularly good are the isocups for amps. Three should be plenty for the Zen.

When first checking this out I used sorbothane feet and found them to be effective in some ways, but off balance in how they effected the sound....darken/deaden was the overall impression if I remember correctly with my MkIII.

I think that Decware is so revealing that this stuff can make a relatively big difference. It most definitely does in my system/room.

But then there are the variations! Gear, room, cables, speaker placement, and so on.... AND interpretation of sound and words. That the spikes on your 944s were a "subtle" improvement concerns me a little since by my experience this same thing was stronger than subtle.

I am wondering if there is something hobbling your system. Even the sorbothane feet could do this in my experience, but since you don't find them to do much one way or the other causes me to think about looking elsewhere. Or maybe your vibration is already sorted out with your table or rack? Or is there some other less than revealing agent there...cables? Speaker placement...I know you have worked on room a lot...Hmmm
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Mac mini, Tranquility DAC, CSP3, TORII MkIV, Morrow SP-7, HR-1s...VHaudio DIY, Grover, MAC ICs...PSAudio P5 and Shunyata Defender, PI Audio and DIY power cables, HerbiesAudioLab isocups and tube dampers...
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Lonely Raven
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Re: Let's talk Isolation Devices
Reply #2 - 09/21/13 at 20:28:26
 

Oppo BDP=105 -> DecWare Silver IC -> Zen Amp -> Zen Styx -> MG944 -> Mild Room Treatment.

The rack is just a consumer grade steel and thick tempered glass horizontal rack so I can't imagine it's doing anything that good.

I hear the difference in ICs and speaker cables, but the noise floor in the room is a bit high - I can't do much about that right now.

Spikes on the MG944 tightened up the bass a bit, but nothing big. I hear bigger differences just moving a sound diffuser around.

Note: I no longer have the blocks of marble or any other sort of damping/isolation on my gear, that was at my old apartment, when I first got my Zen.

I'm just looking for budget suggestions to get me started in the right direction. As always, I still feel the room/treatment/position has a bigger change on sound than anything, but it would be good to know I've at least made the effort to isolate so other changes in the system are more clearly defined.
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will
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Re: Let's talk Isolation Devices
Reply #3 - 09/21/13 at 21:17:46
 
Sounds like gear that is good throughout. Have you explored four or more soft twists in the Styx. If your room tends toward mid-bass/bass modes, I think the Styx and Silver reference will enhance that. Tightening up the Styx sound could be an interesting experiment no matter what though.

Don't know what "budget" means but 3 isocup setups would cost about 90 with a good return policy. I thought that was a very good value when I went there for the Torii.

I start with Herbies big fat dots under the heavy teak cabinet my gear is in. Then, my selves are cut so they don't touch adjacent material and I cut up pieces of Herbies Grungebuster 1/8" sheet (35$) and placed these little pieces under the edges. One sheet will do a lot of damping. All my isolation starts with these.

My DAC has tropical hardwood cones that I seem to like best with it, but it sits on a piece of flagstone with Herbie's tenderfeet under it.

Tenderfeet are also under my power conditioner. Subtle but real.

I use Synergitic research MIGs under the CSP3 and Oppo for now.

And Isocups under the Torii. I like having enough stuff to mix and match occasionally, but the Torii always stays with the isocups.

Hopefully others will make other suggestions.
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Mac mini, Tranquility DAC, CSP3, TORII MkIV, Morrow SP-7, HR-1s...VHaudio DIY, Grover, MAC ICs...PSAudio P5 and Shunyata Defender, PI Audio and DIY power cables, HerbiesAudioLab isocups and tube dampers...
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Lon
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Re: Let's talk Isolation Devices
Reply #4 - 09/21/13 at 21:27:17
 
Isolation devices was the one area of audio that I explored DIY. I learned a lot doing so, but found that I disliked the looks of what worked (and the wife wasn't happy which was very influential).

So I moved into Mapleshade Audio products, which work really well, especially the Samson racks and the maple platforms.

Then I discovered Herbie's Audio Lab and that has been the finishing touch. I use the Mapleshade racks and platforms, Herbie's Grungebuster dots under the platforms, and either IsoCups (they are unreal under the Torii and every place you put them creates a different vibe) or Tenderfeet under my components. I use Ingress Audio Engineering Rollerblocks under my speakers. I also have Skylan stands for Decware components under my two CSP2+ and my ZP3. These sit on Grungebuster Dots.

All this works for me and my room. There is a thread here on Harbie's products that would probably be helpful; I'll see if I can dig it up.
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