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Vibration control (Read 34076 times)
Donnie
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Vibration control
03/09/16 at 23:12:54
 
At the risk of starting something that could cause differing opinions to argue, I would like to ask about vibration control.
I've already witnessed the divide between the couple the vibration camp and the damp the vibration camp, but I have another question altogether. What vibrations are we fighting, and why are we fighting them?
I can't imagine that any vibration that is present in my room would cause any sonic problem to my amp or DAC. My car goes down the road vibrating and shaking and all of it's electronics work fine, the ignition is timed to .020 of a second at 3000 rpm within a couple degrees of crank rotation.
I read everyone's posts about the great thing their footers, vibro pods and stands do for them. I'd like to know why. I'm just naturally curious  about such things.
What is the science behind it?
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Adriankn
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Re: Vibration control
Reply #1 - 03/09/16 at 23:24:15
 
Science and hi-fi don't belong in the same room. Grin

But despite your analogy, there are plenty of reasons vibration in electronics and cables effect sound. Liken it more to RFI or EMI than your car. It's just more interference that can cause audible effects.

I'm no scientist. But if you want an experienced audio technician to convince you, ask Steve about microphonics and isolation benefits.
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Archie
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Re: Vibration control
Reply #2 - 03/10/16 at 01:46:26
 
The easiest to understand is with turntables.  The stylus is tracing a microscopic groove and vibrating microscopically to induce varying electric signals of a barely discernable power that get amplified tremendously before even feeding into the amp.  So, add a little spurious vibration at the source and how will proper sound reproduction even have a chance of occurring?  

I think vibration control for sound is analogous to focus of a visible image.  The image can be very blurry and still be identifiable but sharper and sharper focus brings out more and more detail.  

The reason I am pro isolation is that once the vibration gets in, the damage is done.  Damping is sort of a band-aid approach.  For example, I isolate my TT but I also have damping on my tone arm to help with what I can't isolate from.
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ZLC
Technics 1200G TT w/ Ortofon Jubilee MC cart
ZMC1
ZP3 (25th A Mods)
ZR2 (25th A Mods)
CSP3 (25th A mods)
ZMA (25th A mods)
Homemade Big Betsy Speakers (F15s)
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Donnie
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Re: Vibration control
Reply #3 - 03/10/16 at 02:01:51
 
Archie, I can understand the need to isolate a turntable and possibly a CD player, they are mechanical devices with moving parts. My stereo has no moving parts, solid state hard drives, DAC, amplifier. I suppose that the speaker's drivers are the only moving part.
I'm just trying to understand how vibration would affect those items?
I know that it works because so many people say so, but why?
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Adriankn
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Re: Vibration control
Reply #4 - 03/10/16 at 02:47:38
 
I believe that in equipment with no moving parts vibrations can cause distortion due to electronics being disturbed as they would with electrical noise. Moving caps, trannies and wiring will transmit far less audible distortion than tubes and cartridges. But I'm sure the cumulative effects are audible to some extent with some equipment more than others.
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Syd
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Re: Vibration control
Reply #5 - 03/10/16 at 09:19:52
 
It`s one of those `Your Life In Their Hands`thingies Donnie. You have to believe there`s a world of micro vibrations happening. It`s when you address them that you understand there must be something to it. Decwares silver in beeswax i/c`s and Jupiter caps with beeswax are using beeswax for micro vibration control....and you notice the difference before/after.
Lets say that the transformers are the main source, I`d go with that. So you feed the output transformers via the bees wax jupiters = smoother in smoother out.
We`d have to be like Tron to experience the turbulence that must be occuring.
It`s the fine tuning and each to their own on what they use to drain those pesky vibrations.
If your car didn`t have all manner of dampers and springs you`d have a bone shaker.

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Decware: Rachaels x 2 bridged, C. SP2+, ZP3, ZMC1, DHC-1 pw/cbl`s Michell Orbe + SME V + M.Benz LP s, Arcam CD33, Nakamichi LX5, Lowther acoustas DX2`s, WE 16g sp/cbl`s, Isotek mains substation, M & K subwoofer, Belden 8402 interconnects.
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DB2
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Re: Vibration control
Reply #6 - 03/10/16 at 15:48:04
 
"What vibrations are we fighting, and why are we fighting them?"

There are two classes of vibrations of concern. There are external vibrations from speakers, walking around the room, etc. For these you want a good rack and isolation devices. The other source of vibrations are internal to your electronics. Movements of anything with electric currents produce magnetic fields which can then produce currents in other wires and devices. Thus, you want to drain these types of vibrations away from your equipment. Hence the development of Stillpoints, MIGs, etc.

For what it's worth, here is an interesting study involving a potato chip bag:
www.csail.mit.edu/node/2291
"Researchers at MIT CSAIL, Microsoft, and Adobe have developed an algorithm that can reconstruct an audio signal by analyzing minute vibrations of objects depicted in video. In one set of experiments, they were able to recover intelligible speech from the vibrations of a potato-chip bag photographed from 15 feet away through soundproof glass."
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Archie
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Re: Vibration control
Reply #7 - 03/10/16 at 17:07:56
 
So, now I have a question.  I keep seeing "vibration draining" references and based on DB2's post I think I understand what is implied but I don't see the "how."  Using my Decware ZMA as an example, when I first got it and powered it up while sitting it directly on my solid and but very stable equipment counter top, I got bad feedback through the speakers at higher volumes.  With isolation under the ZMA the feedback was eliminated.  (Good isolation effectiveness example.)  But beyond tube damping rings, how do I "drain" other internal vibrations?  Even without music playing things will vibrate.  I'm sort of in Donnie's camp thinking it might be of such a low order as to not be an issue.

Ideally our equipment should all be sound and vibration isolated from the listening environment but that's not very practical.  (Or should we switch to headphones?)


Edit:  Referring to SYD's post, then are we dependent on the particular component design for the internal vibration aspect?  I have all the trick caps that Steve provides.  Beyond that, what can I do that's not voodoo?
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ZLC
Technics 1200G TT w/ Ortofon Jubilee MC cart
ZMC1
ZP3 (25th A Mods)
ZR2 (25th A Mods)
CSP3 (25th A mods)
ZMA (25th A mods)
Homemade Big Betsy Speakers (F15s)
Silver Cabling
DIY Isolation platforms under amps & TT.
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DB2
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Re: Vibration control
Reply #8 - 03/10/16 at 21:34:19
 
-- I keep seeing "vibration draining" references and based on DB2's post I think I understand what is implied but I don't see the "how."

Different devices worked differently and you can read about the ideas at the various manufacturers websites. The general idea is that the devices are linked by the weight of the amp/preamp/etc. to the vibrations being generated internally and they turn it into heat or otherwise dissipate the energy.
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Archie
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Re: Vibration control
Reply #9 - 03/11/16 at 00:45:26
 
DB2,

Besides having an amp or speakers on an isolation platform or feet, what can be done if a capacitor or wire is vibrating?  I've seen devices that attach to interconnects but I'm more thinking of what SYD said with respect to the internal components of an amplifier.

Maybe you could point me to a link since I don't have a clue as to what's out there.  I'm mostly just curious since I think with my current level of isolation I have other "weaker links" than component vibration.  (TT excepted since I think this is one component that always benefits from more and better vibration control.)
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ZLC
Technics 1200G TT w/ Ortofon Jubilee MC cart
ZMC1
ZP3 (25th A Mods)
ZR2 (25th A Mods)
CSP3 (25th A mods)
ZMA (25th A mods)
Homemade Big Betsy Speakers (F15s)
Silver Cabling
DIY Isolation platforms under amps & TT.
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vyokyong
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Re: Vibration control
Reply #10 - 03/11/16 at 09:21:27
 
One of most forget to do vibration damping is power conditioner or voltage stabilizer. It should be damping from micro-vibration from floor and sound wave from speakers. Because power conditioner and voltage stabilizer have transformers and capacitors which vibration can cause magnetic field shaking and affect to current of the other side of transformer.

And if all your equipment are done in vibration damping well, the synergy effect is stunning. If only one equipment in chain is not vibration damping, it causes blur to sound. It is like you have many pots that water have to pass through. If all pots are clean, your final water is crystal clean after pass through these pots. But if only one pot is dirty. Your final pass through water is dirty, not crystal clear any more.

In my case, I use Sound proof damping materials attached to stainless steel spike feet cone pad. It combines both camps.  
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Syd
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Re: Vibration control
Reply #11 - 03/11/16 at 09:54:29
 
I used to think that internal vibrations would be of such small order that no action would be necessary. Reading Lons `Herbies` posts, and with Will chipping in, the idea of doing something fermented. No way was I going to the jewellery shop because I hadn`t decided which path to go down.
A sheet of sorbathane, cut into small squares and placed under all the feet was the cheapest way to tick the box and give me breathing space.
Sorbathane isn`t the best, nowhere near it. Placebo for a while, while I checked out options.
I`d read on that site years ago where they show you how to build sandboxes, use half tennis balls, baseballs, innertubes.
Anyway, after reading about how springs do it by dissipating the vibrations into a frequency below what we can hear chimed with me.
Springs oscillate, they`re sensitive.
I do have a bugbear about points going into solid wood. Tiny as they are the points still convey all the weight and attempt to drain vibrations
courtesy of your platform. The vibrs. are meant to travel though your platform till they are spent. Too stiff and more than a possibility of the vibrs. just going right back up in to the equipment. Dont want to ruin your lovely platform with points ? Use the cups supplied. Using the cups increases the effective area of the points to that of the cups, defeating the selling point of the points.  :)
I have 20 spring units, very cheap, from Asia. Easy to find.
4 under each amp, and 4 under the TT. Yes, I unscrewed the decks spikes`in`cups. You can remove springs from the units and I have 9 single springs under the ZMC1. The ZMC1 is light, sensitive, and vital.
So how do they sound, or should I say not sound ?
Lower noise floor. Music just appears. Yes it always does but there is something else. Recently, after placing the units under the deck, moreso under the ZMC1, I noticed on some records that my left speaker seemed very quiet. Centre and right was good but why is it quieter on the left. Next track it would all kick in accross the plane. It seems that if the engineer hadn`t used the left so much and grouped the musicians just to the right, the left speaker sounded like it wasn`t working. It`s that quiet.

In future, after I`ve settled in to a new home, I intend to remove all the  springs from their units and make platforms to attach them to. 140 springs. Similar to Archies system I think.



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Decware: Rachaels x 2 bridged, C. SP2+, ZP3, ZMC1, DHC-1 pw/cbl`s Michell Orbe + SME V + M.Benz LP s, Arcam CD33, Nakamichi LX5, Lowther acoustas DX2`s, WE 16g sp/cbl`s, Isotek mains substation, M & K subwoofer, Belden 8402 interconnects.
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Archie
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Re: Vibration control
Reply #12 - 03/11/16 at 17:29:55
 
Thanks Syd, for reminding me that I don't have anything under my ZMC1 yet!

I cringe every time I read about "draining" away vibration.  I don't think the term is used to convey what goes on when vibration is dissipated.  Since there is no perpetual motion, vibration naturally dissipates if there is no outside excitation force to maintain or increase it.  The dissipation happens through internal and external friction and the result is no motion but increased heat.  There seems to be this idea that spikes only dissipate vibration but they are a two way street.  Vibration goes into the component as well as out through them.  Spikes will actually increase component induced vibration since they couple so well between the component and the support.

Since the audible range seems to be in the 20 hz to 20,000 hz we ideally isolate from those frequencies.  That's why a spring platform with a naturally frequency of vibration in the single digits works so well.  It will only move when excited at it's natural frequency.  Musical frequencies do not pass through it and into the component.  (Or out of the component into the support.)  If anyone has calculated TT tonearm compliance for a specific cartridge they should be well familiar with this concept.  The ideal tonearm/cart range is around 8 to 12 hz.  Footfalls and warps are under 6 hz and music starts above 20 hz.  The cart cantilever acts as a spring and the rest is a mass.  Like an amplifier sitting on a spring platform.

If the component support does not tune for frequency then it likely depends on damping which might reduce the vibration intensity but it wont eliminate it.

I think Syd says this in his post but the concept is simple and I thought I'd restate it using different terms.  To me it looks like most (not all) vendors don't understand vibration and consequently push a lot of worthless (at best) and harmful (at worst) "vibration abatement" devices.  Why speaker manufactures push spikes I still can't fathom.

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ZLC
Technics 1200G TT w/ Ortofon Jubilee MC cart
ZMC1
ZP3 (25th A Mods)
ZR2 (25th A Mods)
CSP3 (25th A mods)
ZMA (25th A mods)
Homemade Big Betsy Speakers (F15s)
Silver Cabling
DIY Isolation platforms under amps & TT.
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Archie
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Re: Vibration control
Reply #13 - 03/14/16 at 00:45:32
 
I put my ZMC1 on a spring platform that took about 20 minutes to build and now I'm sorry I didn't do it earlier.  It hadn't occurred to me that EVERY component matters when it come to isolation.  It's hard to say exactly what difference it made but I think the sound stage is spread out more and possibly I have more clarity/detail.  My isolation platforms use no damping and are tuned well below the audible frequency range.  They are simple, inexpensive and work great.
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ZLC
Technics 1200G TT w/ Ortofon Jubilee MC cart
ZMC1
ZP3 (25th A Mods)
ZR2 (25th A Mods)
CSP3 (25th A mods)
ZMA (25th A mods)
Homemade Big Betsy Speakers (F15s)
Silver Cabling
DIY Isolation platforms under amps & TT.
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DB2
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Re: Vibration control
Reply #14 - 03/23/16 at 13:49:14
 
"I cringe every time I read about "draining" away vibration.  I don't think the term is used to convey what goes on when vibration is dissipated.  Since there is no perpetual motion, vibration naturally dissipates if there is no outside excitation force to maintain or increase it.  The dissipation happens through internal and external friction and the result is no motion but increased heat."

I think the point of the devices is to dissipate the energy more quickly, more efficiently. When the electronics are being used, new vibrations are created all the time. They can also build up through resignations (is that a real word?) creating even more 'micro-noise'. Faster, more efficient conversion of the vibration to heat lowers the level of noise.
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Archie
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Re: Vibration control
Reply #15 - 03/25/16 at 22:21:34
 
DB2,

That makes sense.  I guess there are the induced vibrations due to external stimuli and internal due to component ... something I don't understand.  I would use isolation for the former while I would think damping is the only answer to the latter.  I'm still not convinced that vibration "draining" is more than a meaningless buzz word though.  

Edit:  Or does, "vibration draining" = vibration damping ?
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ZLC
Technics 1200G TT w/ Ortofon Jubilee MC cart
ZMC1
ZP3 (25th A Mods)
ZR2 (25th A Mods)
CSP3 (25th A mods)
ZMA (25th A mods)
Homemade Big Betsy Speakers (F15s)
Silver Cabling
DIY Isolation platforms under amps & TT.
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DB2
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Re: Vibration control
Reply #16 - 03/29/16 at 01:21:00
 
"I guess there are the induced vibrations due to external stimuli and internal due to component ... something I don't understand.  I would use isolation for the former while I would think damping is the only answer to the latter.  I'm still not convinced that vibration "draining" is more than a meaningless buzz word though."

Well, internal vibration is happening continually. The more efficiently, the more easily, you can create routes for that energy to dissipate the less the equilibrium level will be and the less electronic noise you will create.
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DB2
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Re: Vibration control
Reply #17 - 03/29/16 at 01:29:27
 
"Edit:  Or does, "vibration draining" = vibration damping ?"

I see them as different things. Damping is good, but one one has designed a unit the internal vibration is a given. You could go inside the equipment and make modifications -- something some of the mod-meisters do. If you're not doing that, it is certainly much easier to make outside changes to convert/divert that energy being continually produced.
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Donnie
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Re: Vibration control
Reply #18 - 03/29/16 at 01:59:19
 
So what is vibrating inside a amp? There is nothing mechanical moving.
Even if there is vibration, so what? The electricity still flows through the wires.
I don't understand how anything mechanical can affect how an electrical circuit works.
My original analogy still stands, my car is vibrating at many different frequencys and everything is still timed to milliseconds.
Maybe my understanding of the mechanical world is flawed. There are several schools that owe me a bunch of money.
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DB2
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Re: Vibration control
Reply #19 - 03/29/16 at 16:18:49
 
"So what is vibrating inside a amp? There is nothing mechanical moving."

Well, for example, transformers vibrate as all that wire heats and cools depending upon the amount of current. One reason why some audio designers use a two-box design. Also, of course, there are vibrations induced inside by the very sound waves of one's speakers.

" Even if there is vibration, so what?"

Currents in wires and components inside the chassis produce magnetic fields, so the inside of your amplifier is a complex magnetic field environment. Moving any wire in a magnetic field induces currents in that wire which become noise in an audio system.
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Archie
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Re: Vibration control
Reply #20 - 03/29/16 at 17:11:47
 
Quote:
"Edit:  Or does, "vibration draining" = vibration damping ?"

I see them as different things. Damping is good, but one one has designed a unit the internal vibration is a given. You could go inside the equipment and make modifications -- something some of the mod-meisters do. If you're not doing that, it is certainly much easier to make outside changes to convert/divert that energy being continually produced.


See, I have a problem with this and like Donnie, there may be a University that owes me a refund on my engineering degree!   Smiley

I never came across "vibration draining" in grad school -- only vibration damping.  I think this "draining" concept is a fiction.  Either keep something from vibrating of stop it as soon as possible -- Isolation and Damping.

As far as problems with electronics vibrating, I can only say that some of my gear seems to be microphonic so vibration can cause feedback (did in my case with my ZMA pre isolation).
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ZLC
Technics 1200G TT w/ Ortofon Jubilee MC cart
ZMC1
ZP3 (25th A Mods)
ZR2 (25th A Mods)
CSP3 (25th A mods)
ZMA (25th A mods)
Homemade Big Betsy Speakers (F15s)
Silver Cabling
DIY Isolation platforms under amps & TT.
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DB2
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Re: Vibration control
Reply #21 - 03/29/16 at 20:07:45
 
Definitely isolation and damping are an important part of the design process, and there are people/companies who go back inside and improve that side of things. But for those of us who do 'go inside' the vibrations that are generated inside are a given.

If one does nothing, then those continually created vibrations will reach some sort of steady state where creation equals the decay/dissipation. Resonances can build up. If one can increase the dissipation side then the steady state level will be lower.
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Archie
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Re: Vibration control
Reply #22 - 03/30/16 at 00:12:48
 
It's pretty hard to avoid all resonance given that the inducing frequency spectrum runs from say, 20 Hz up to 20,000 Hz.  Since I'm not one to attempt  tube or amp redesign, I isolate from what I think are first order vibrations (transfer from my house structure) and hope for the best after that.  Beyond tube damping rings and various TT tonearm mods and dust-cover weight, I don't do much damping.

There may be self-induced electronic vibrations but they must be small (and hopefully random) compared to those from outside influence or I don't see how we'd get coherent music from our amps and speakers in the first place.  Getting down to basics, it's all vibration anyway, right down to the sub-atomic level.  I say, let it vibrate so long as it doesn't resonate.  This isn't Donnie's example but try different driving speeds on wash-boarded roads and see the effect of resonance vs destructive interference.

Edit:  Here's a thought, to hear if the internal electronic vibrations are a problem, turn up the gain without a source playing and see if there is noise through the speakers.  Although I suppose the source electrical signals causes an increase in the internal vibrations?  Damn this structural engineering degree!  I really know nothing about electricity other than it melts cutting pliers.    >:(
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ZLC
Technics 1200G TT w/ Ortofon Jubilee MC cart
ZMC1
ZP3 (25th A Mods)
ZR2 (25th A Mods)
CSP3 (25th A mods)
ZMA (25th A mods)
Homemade Big Betsy Speakers (F15s)
Silver Cabling
DIY Isolation platforms under amps & TT.
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will
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Re: Vibration control
Reply #23 - 03/30/16 at 01:46:38
 
I imagine how vibrations contribute to distortions something like this.

Our standard view of "audible" is read as different frequency waves - 20Hz to 20,000 Hz give or take. These waves are vibratory. Electrical flow is also read as waves or lines before our speakers transform them into molecule vibrating audible waves. These "lines" of current are made up of sub atomic particles traveling through component parts.

Since gear vibration is clearly a factor, as heard by those of us who have explored vibration mitigation, I assume this is from transformers, wires, resistors, caps, tubes, fuses, etc vibrating. As these convey flows of particles of energy, if agitated by resonance/vibration, subtle distortions show up. Seems distortions are generally read as little spikes emerging from the edges of the line of energy flow...the lines and spikes made up of the same energetic particles. If the power can travel freely, it is smooth, but if there are disturbances from less than ideal (distorted) transmission, from RF or EMF infiltration, or from vibration, little jaggies emerge from a smooth line. The more divergence from smooth, the worse the distortions and unless mitigated, the distortions effect the signal from wherever they begin all along the path to the speakers.

I imagine those little particles ideally vibrating as a smooth line of current, and then if we introduce resonance (whether electronically induced, airborne, or other physical vibration...mechanical or that coming from the rack or cabinet) by “shaking those particles up,” the smoothness is disturbed.

And it does seem it can go both ways...electronically induced distortions can cause vibration in the gear, and physical vibration can cause electronic distortions. So when we say “smooth” to describe a clean signal, it seems pretty literal, and  “distorted” also literal.

I have not studied this, but this is how I imagine it. Wink
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Syd
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Re: Vibration control
Reply #24 - 03/30/16 at 11:41:35
 
It seems logical then that the `vibration` from units is a continual stream.
Thats where my logic says springs. If the continual stream is passing through whatever you use to mitigate some/most of the vibration then the `stream` will back up to the base and then right back to the source. A spring would resonate and then emit a sound wave which dissipates the vibration in the form of sine waves. These waves are below hearing frequency. Seems good to me, and a cheap solution.
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Decware: Rachaels x 2 bridged, C. SP2+, ZP3, ZMC1, DHC-1 pw/cbl`s Michell Orbe + SME V + M.Benz LP s, Arcam CD33, Nakamichi LX5, Lowther acoustas DX2`s, WE 16g sp/cbl`s, Isotek mains substation, M & K subwoofer, Belden 8402 interconnects.
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will
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Re: Vibration control
Reply #25 - 03/30/16 at 17:37:55
 
Yes springs conceptually make sense to me also. I need to get myself some and try though what I have works really well so have not gotten around to it. Conceptually for me, the way I think of your system Archie, two boards with springs between creating the platform the gear sits on...since you were focused on isolating floor vibrations, it makes some good sense. But for power, gear and airborne induced noise, a potential issue is likely the resonance of the board the gear sits on interacting with the room sound waves and gear before the springs dissipate the vibrations. I suppose this is why most vibration reducing feet seem designed to dissipate/absorb in both directions and with relatively minimal contact.

With a variety of more typical types of feet, I find that in most cases, they sound different enough, some warmer or brighter, some more clarifying in some areas than others...it is pretty handy to mix and match by component for sound preferences. I don't have any feet that sound the same and I suspect, spring systems would be similar.

I wonder what springs might sound like with and without platforms...playing with putting them directly in contact with the gear and shelf using minimal, vibrationally transparent materials particularly on top, but probably top and bottom to seat the springs to gear and shelf minimally. And unless they are totally efficient in dissipation, it would seem that the metal, tension, height, thickness, etc would have sound impact.

I wonder if you Syd or Archie have explored these areas?

Didn't someone here come up with some Ebay spring feet?

Just brain storming...One thing is for sure here...vibration mitigation/dissipation is a big deal in terms of system sound.

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All Modified: PSA-P5>DIY Strip/Shunyata Defender>RevolutionMacMini/Amarra-KTE Singxer/Gustardx20pro/ZBIT/CSP3>OldChen 300B/845, Torii IV>Omega S-A-H-O monitors/SVS Micro3000>Pi PCs-DIY PCs, ICs, USB, I2S, Speaker-SR and aluminum w ball bearing feet
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Archie
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Re: Vibration control
Reply #26 - 03/30/16 at 17:38:07
 
So, what can we do about it?

I would think that the best we (ordinary end users -- not equipment designers) can do would be total component isolation.  If our amps could be suspended in a vacuum in a closed container then no outside vibration could reach them and we'd be left with only the component self induced electrical vibrations (which I sill think are of low order and importance).  Assuming this is the ideal then it follows that the better we can isolate, the less will be our vibration-induced distortion.

I think that the biggest problem are the vibrations that come from the equipment supports.  Like most I do not have a separate component room so I use "isolation platforms" under each component to separate the componet from the vibrations coming from my rack.  I think Syd is right about using springs but not for the explanation he gives.  In simplistic terms a spring has a certain Natural Frequency of vibration that depends on the size of the spring and the weight applied to it.  Other frequencies don't get it moving.  Therefore, it acts like a frequency filter.  If we have a spring platform that naturally vibrates at 10 Hz, it will exclude all other frequencies; it doesn't dissipate them, it doesn't even see them.

I realize that this is a bit simplified and that there are 2nd, 3rd, etc. fundamental frequencies in addition to micro-vibrations but these are, once again, of much lower order and effect.

Constructive interference, aka resonance, is the enemy.  Damping resonance is an imperfect solution and can never be as effective as isolation.  Post-isolation platform damping may still be necessary, however, to help with the higher order (but smaller) vibration effects.  Destructive interference is not the problem since those vibrations naturally cancel themselves out and damping is not required.  Every component has extremely complex vibration harmonic signatures so chasing down every resonance would be extremely complex.  I think it makes more sense to eliminate the input vibration all together.

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Technics 1200G TT w/ Ortofon Jubilee MC cart
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ZP3 (25th A Mods)
ZR2 (25th A Mods)
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Homemade Big Betsy Speakers (F15s)
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Re: Vibration control
Reply #27 - 03/30/16 at 17:48:54
 
Hey Archie. Guess we were thinking on similar tracks. Sorry to have more-or-less crossed posts. Anyway, Any more thoughts?
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Re: Vibration control
Reply #28 - 03/30/16 at 17:51:52
 
Quote:
... a potential issue is likely the resonance of the board the gear sits on interacting with the room sound waves and gear before the springs dissipate the vibrations. ...



I was busy typing away and didn't see this post.  This is a huge debate in the TT world relative to using a dustcover or not since some think the dustcover acts like a big diaphragm and imparts sound into the tonearm/cart.  While I can't hear a difference with dustcover up or down, I still put a heavy beanbag on mine to kill induced vibration.

Similarly, I do have large MDF platforms under my amps.  I maintained Steve’s rubber feet so there is a gap between the amps and the platforms.  I would argue that the MDF gets an insignificant amount of excitation from the airborne sound waves and then imparts an even more insignificant amount of that energy into the amp bases.  That being said, Will hears things beyond that of us mere mortal men!

I have seen individual feet like Will describes and if they weren't so darned expensive I think they might be better that platforms.  That said, I did cut out a major portion of the platform inside that my TT sits on, thus eliminating most of the problem, if it exists.  (I did this for power cord issues though.)
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ZMA (25th A mods)
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Re: Vibration control
Reply #29 - 03/30/16 at 19:46:04
 
 I like this subject. It is intriguing in the way that vibration can be a problem to chase, somewhat like trying to discover the best way to eliminate hum in a system. Perhaps not related, but the most fascinating demons that I discovered over time standout. One of them arose when I couldn't figure out what that 'one occasional noise' was. In short, it was the Lampshade vibrating to only a certain frequency on some songs! Another problem was a picture hanging on the wall doing the same thing. I guess my observation here is that this problem can pop up outside of the system in question.
The vacuum/isolation suggestion makes me wish that it was possible.
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Re: Vibration control
Reply #30 - 03/30/16 at 20:58:36
 
I agree about expense Archie. Even quality, less expensive feet can be a little daunting when you add up for a whole system. But put in context, next to cable and component costs, feet can be pretty inexpensive.

Also, I bet you would hear a lot of what I hear in the same system, in the same environment. I guess hearing A LOT requires getting things to where you can hear it all, where room,  components, tubes, cables, noise mitigation....where all is working well together...revealing without daunting masking. As you have found, the more refined the signal gets, the more you hear. And if all else is good, source on, at some point of tipping the balance away from induced noise, things can get quite revealing!

My equipment is in a sturdy teak cabinet. Air, and little plugs of Herbie's thick grundgbuster material combined with another denser damping material separate the shelves from the cabinet. Herbie's Giant Fat Dots are under the cabinet feet. This is on a solid red brick floor, the bricks floating on a bed of sand. Also, my speakers are on Herbie's gliders, further reducing floor activity.

Under these conditions, the differences between stock component feet and feet that were carefully designed to resolve vibration are quite noticeable. This implies to me that there are a lot of various vibrations at various frequencies, and from various sources that can effect lots of different materials toward notable vibration induced sound problems.
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Re: Vibration control
Reply #31 - 03/31/16 at 17:14:36
 
I think you guys might find the http://vertexaq.com/ site interesting. They have a rather different perspective the subject of acoustic vibration.
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Re: Vibration control
Reply #32 - 03/31/16 at 23:28:54
 
I've noticed that all of the information about vibration control comes from people who have something to sell you to fix it.....
I hate salesmen.
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Re: Vibration control
Reply #33 - 04/01/16 at 01:24:27
 
Quote:
Under these conditions, the differences between stock component feet and feet that were carefully designed to resolve vibration are quite noticeable. This implies to me that there are a lot of various vibrations at various frequencies, and from various sources that can effect lots of different materials toward notable vibration induced sound problems.


First, I really think that listening is a skill and might be improved with practice and a good teacher but just as there is a difference between a professional and amateur that can never be breached, some of us have to be content with grosser discrimination than others.

I do not readily hear differences in things that some on this Forum claim are glaringly obvious.  This debate about isolation is of course an extremely subjective one and I think the effects of isolation and damping get mixed up with the "tuning" of room and equipment to give a particular sound.  I once asked if all we really do is approximate Steve's environment when he tunes the amps in the design process.  Short of having true isolation I think we make trade-offs until we find the sound we want.

Will's set up seems to have some obviously good isolation -- brick-on-sand floor -- and some components that to me look like quasi-isolation/damping -- let some vibrations pass while filtering others.  This latter situation would lead to "tuning" the sound by changing things around, such as footer location and materials.  In my mind I cannot see how different footers can make a difference so long as they are on the other side of really effective isolation.

It's all an evolution and I think the only real mistake that one can make would be to ignore the subject entirely.  (Or use spikes thinking they isolate from vibration!   Cheesy  )


Edit:  Will, I think we are saying about the same thing.  For me I don't see going much further with isolation/footers etc, since my room is untreated and is really untreatable.  I think that would be the area that I would hear real gains at this point.
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Technics 1200G TT w/ Ortofon Jubilee MC cart
ZMC1
ZP3 (25th A Mods)
ZR2 (25th A Mods)
CSP3 (25th A mods)
ZMA (25th A mods)
Homemade Big Betsy Speakers (F15s)
Silver Cabling
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Re: Vibration control
Reply #34 - 04/01/16 at 11:33:12
 
With 5 amps asking me to do something you can understand that the named products were always going to be sceptially looked at, so my reasoning softened towards springs. Of course, when the price X 5 was well within my budget, hey-ho.
Then the TT....now a cd player.
The proof is in the pudding, I`m delighted as many who use the other remedies will also be.
But, some thoughts recur when I hear that someones bass has tightened or become more focused. Is that what you want ?
Did you have poor bass before ? Is your new tighter, more focused bass how it`s supposed to sound ?
If you`ve had a ZP3`s caps upgraded to Jupiters you`ll know how the bass becomes freer and breaths even more. I get that with the springs. In short, more natural, or retaining the flow and unveiling a little more. And there could be some kind of proof ; the Jupitors use beeswax with vibration contol as a central `good` objective.
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Re: Vibration control
Reply #35 - 04/01/16 at 17:32:54
 
I've found the easiest way to listen for the effectiveness of a power cord or isolation device is to use it with a good headphone amp.
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Re: Vibration control
Reply #36 - 04/01/16 at 18:34:16
 
Syd,

Sounds good. Did you use boards and springs between? Or are you using another approach?

Archie,

I get your thought about room, and I think we are saying some of the same things. But in terms of vibration control "theory," I am saying that with reasonably good conditions, and my "quasi" isolation, (each part covering relevant areas of vibration sources from below) feet still matter. And I understand you to say that your isolation platforms are complete, and the MDF on top of the springs, and feet probably do not matter.

I would be glad to be proven wrong, but the implication of my experience is that there is enough other vibration beyond that from below to be meaningful and could have more impact than you suggest. Also, that all materials/structures I have put under my equipment so far can be heard to a degree that it presents a valid choice, though admittedly some are pretty subtle, but others are not.

This is not to say your setup can or cannot be heard! I don't know. But even if the springs and bottom MDF add no signature, the top MDF and rubber feet above the springs might well be effected by vibration, creating a signature.

On another note, I think your thoughts on hearing are well taken. I guess it is semantics in one way, in that, unless there is a physical impediment, likely what we would hear in the same room (or headphones as DB2 suggests) is at least close. But I agree, discernment of what we hear is a different matter, and practice and developed skills can definitely help most to differentiate more aspects of the sound. Together in the same system/room though, I wonder...if I could hear something and you could not, I am guessing that if I could point you to it, you may well be able to hear it.

On the other hand, my wife has not spent any concentrated time to carefully hear and learn to articulate subtitles, but without fail, she can tell me what changed in the sound without knowing what I did in this system. Her words are usually a little different than ones I may use, but what she hears and describes is the same stuff I hear...even with subtler things like audiophile fuse direction, she hears enough to make a choice valid. And we almost always agree on the choice.

Relative to the reality of whether this or that has meaning in a system, this supports my feeling that one reason "skeptics" do not hear some things can be that it is not there...That many systems/rooms cannot retrieve, or mask a lot of potential musical information from the recording, and if it is not there to begin with, nobody can hear it.

But back to the vibration conversation. Smiley

Combining our theoretical conversation about isolation theory, with our conversation about hearing...I wonder if you would consider making a spring setup based on your experiments, and mail it to me to test. This way we would be talking about exactly the same isolation setup. Say a smaller one for the CSP3?

Then I could explore your invention as-is in this system/room; perhaps try some variations on the same theme; and perhaps play with a selection of different feet and damping materials I have on hand integrated with your platform....see if I can answer some of these questions, and perhaps find refinements (if they are possible).

If it works here, I would be glad to consider buying it for what you consider a fair price if that suited you....or I could send it back...

This is the best I can come up with for bringing this conversation to the next level, but I totally understand if you prefer not to mess with it. Wink
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Re: Vibration control
Reply #37 - 04/01/16 at 22:03:24
 
I made a vibration platter a few years ago. It is just a couple of oak boards with dollar store rubber balls cut in half as my damping "springs. I also put felt floor gliders on the bottom to further isolate the amp.
I took it out when I changed over to my 6" thick maple table.
It really didn't sound different to me either way. Maybe my ears are defective?
A pretty picture of it...

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Re: Vibration control
Reply #38 - 04/01/16 at 22:59:05
 
It's not my fault. Last night, my wife mentioned that we should do something about the living room carpet. Yes, take it out and burn it. My immediate reply was a carefully worded 'idea' about getting REAL wood flooring. Something beautiful Maybe rosewood like what is in the hallway. I could clean it easily, hint hint hint, and it would make the room look elequant...push push push. No I do not know how to spell the word, but I do know how to push it. MY end goal is to stiffen up a lousy floor that most likely needs some bones replaced, and to rid it from the creaking. After that, if I need to apply area rugs etc, I have a chance to do it in sections, layers, and thicknesses (of course most of which would happen when the wife is on tour somewhere). It is a rare opportunity to make an acoustic change for the better.
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Re: Vibration control
Reply #39 - 04/02/16 at 19:32:44
 
Will,

That's a great idea and I'll be glad to do it.  The weight distribution is different for each amp but I have one for the CSP3 and it should work to just replicate it.  I'm guessing that my biggest cost would be shipping.  PM me your address and I'll see if I can get it in the mail early next week.  A-B testing is always hard for me since my sonic memory seems to be near zero but my two biggest isolation changes came with the ZMA (eliminated feedback) and my TT (tightened resolution).

Donnie, replace those balls with springs and you'll have essentially what I make.  Those balls let all kinds of frequencies through and do not, in my opinion, constitute isolation at all.  My first platform used spikes on half tennis balls and didn't work for me.
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ZLC
Technics 1200G TT w/ Ortofon Jubilee MC cart
ZMC1
ZP3 (25th A Mods)
ZR2 (25th A Mods)
CSP3 (25th A mods)
ZMA (25th A mods)
Homemade Big Betsy Speakers (F15s)
Silver Cabling
DIY Isolation platforms under amps & TT.
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Re: Vibration control
Reply #40 - 04/02/16 at 20:09:46
 
Sounds great Archie. Looking forward to it! I can imagine that the more complicated and heavier amp might benefit more...more parts!

I thought of the CSP3 because it is smaller and easier to make. But if you think it would be a better test using the MKIV, I will be glad to explore either way!

It looks like the ZMA is about 6 pounds heavier and looking at the top views, the bulk of the weight of both would be in the transformer/cap area. My guess is that most of the extra 6 lb for the ZMA is there and by design necessity they are positioned similarly on both amps.

I am glad you like this idea. I look forward to experimenting and will report back!




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Re: Vibration control
Reply #41 - 04/02/16 at 20:29:20
 
So I've been reading this thread and I have a fairly simple question. What exactly is causing the vibration, the music itself? And also are we trying to keep it out of our components?  I just bought and received a 3 pack of Voodoo Isopods today and did some listening tests with and without them under my Rega P3 TT.  Keep in mind my Tori Jr and ERRX speakers are less than a week into breakin. My wife said she could actually hear more sound around the room like coming off the back wall. I would have to say that I heard a subtle difference like it seemed a bit "bigger" or more alive or maybe even wider but it wasn't a huge difference from what I can tell so far. Now maybe if I isolated my Tori Jr it may also help. Oh and I also have a cheap Artcessories pre that seems to introduce hum when the TT is plugged in so that needs to be addressed because I'm sure that's a little hinder of the sound. I'm hoping the hum is coming from the pre and not the TT and it goes away when I get the ZP3 in a couple of months. Anyway, I'm just not sure if the Isopods are justifiable unless they turn out to be more noticeable when my other issues are resolved. Thoughts?
Thanks,
Rick
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Re: Vibration control
Reply #42 - 04/02/16 at 22:00:33
 
Rick, sorry the Iso-Pods haven't immediately blown you away. They really have been the best footers I've put under the Rega RP3, but as I noted to you in private correspondence I also am using a PS Audio PowerBase under the turntable which makes a big difference on its own and has really allowed me to clearly hear differences between footers on top of that. And my system also has a PS Audio P5 power regenerator feeding the PowerBase and the turntable's TTPSU is plugged in to that, as is the ZP3, and I have no hum at all, black black backgrounds from which dynamic and detail are exposed. So perhaps the hum is obscuring benefits the Iso-Pods may be making, or perhaps without the PowerBase the Iso-Pods aren't delivering what they are for me with the PowerBases? I don't have a definitive answer. Luckily I think you can return them if you wish. . . you may not be able to keep them long enough to get the ZP3 in the system. . . waiting for Decware components is long and arduous.
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Re: Vibration control
Reply #43 - 04/02/16 at 22:54:14
 
Will,

I'm excited.  I already made you a platform for a CSP3 which would probably also work for the ZP3.  I've exhausted the supply of appropriate springs in my little local True Value so I couldn't make this one identical to the one I use.  This one has only four relatively stiff springs instead of the 10 softer springs on mine.  It seems to react about the same under my CSP3 though.  It's a bit stiffer but I think the resonant frequency is still in the single digit Hz.

Since you hear such subtle changes in your system, I expect that you will hear something with this.  I am getting short of raw materials but in the future we can explore other platforms if this one works well for you.

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ZLC
Technics 1200G TT w/ Ortofon Jubilee MC cart
ZMC1
ZP3 (25th A Mods)
ZR2 (25th A Mods)
CSP3 (25th A mods)
ZMA (25th A mods)
Homemade Big Betsy Speakers (F15s)
Silver Cabling
DIY Isolation platforms under amps & TT.
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Re: Vibration control
Reply #44 - 04/02/16 at 23:07:18
 
Quote:
So I've been reading this thread and I have a fairly simple question. What exactly is causing the vibration, the music itself? And also are we trying to keep it out of our components?


Rick,

In my house the music causes my floors to vibrate.  Those vibrations go throughout the house structure and into the speakers, amps and sources.  TTs are super susceptible to distortion due to external vibrations but I think every component is to a more or less degree.

Dancing to the beat also causes vibrations and even skips in the record if bad enough.   Smiley
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ZLC
Technics 1200G TT w/ Ortofon Jubilee MC cart
ZMC1
ZP3 (25th A Mods)
ZR2 (25th A Mods)
CSP3 (25th A mods)
ZMA (25th A mods)
Homemade Big Betsy Speakers (F15s)
Silver Cabling
DIY Isolation platforms under amps & TT.
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Re: Vibration control
Reply #45 - 04/02/16 at 23:35:02
 
Quote:
So I've been reading this thread and I have a fairly simple question. What exactly is causing the vibration, the music itself? And also are we trying to keep it out of our components?


Hey Rick,

There are number of posts in this thread and a link that discuss your areas of question. Wink
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Re: Vibration control
Reply #46 - 04/03/16 at 23:56:13
 
For those with much deeper pockets then mine,  this may be the ultimate in vibration control
http://www.spatialaudio.us/silencer
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Re: Vibration control
Reply #47 - 04/04/16 at 02:14:52
 
Quote:
For those with much deeper pockets then mine,  this may be the ultimate in vibration control
http://www.spatialaudio.us/silencer


Funny that they say a negative with passive systems is the amplification of 1 to 4 Hz frequencies.  I mean, who cares?  my music doesn't live there!   Cheesy

I also wonder what happens above 100 Hz?  They don't show data past that.

I also wonder why no record clamp?  I think I'd invest in one if I had a $10,000 isolation device under my TT.

It really looks like it is an active DAMPING system as opposed to isolation.  It still lets the vibration through, even if only for a few milliseconds.  It might always be playing catch-up?  I think I'll go with the "Cone of Silence" instead.   Grin
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ZLC
Technics 1200G TT w/ Ortofon Jubilee MC cart
ZMC1
ZP3 (25th A Mods)
ZR2 (25th A Mods)
CSP3 (25th A mods)
ZMA (25th A mods)
Homemade Big Betsy Speakers (F15s)
Silver Cabling
DIY Isolation platforms under amps & TT.
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Re: Vibration control
Reply #48 - 04/04/16 at 10:25:24
 
Trickle down technology was always going to be made available for the money-no-object audiophile, from the " We cant measure results due to micro vibration on a molecular level" scientific brigade.
Another mechanical device....er, will it need isolating   :-?

$10K plus the cost of the TT pictured would get you a TT that didn`t rattle about.   Roll Eyes
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Re: Vibration control
Reply #49 - 05/26/16 at 17:22:45
 
Quite a while ago Archie kindly sent me a springed isolation platform he had made to experiment with under my CSP3. I have been busy, so have not tried all the things I would like to, but I like the platform. As it is, with some initial adjustments, it is good enough for me to not to be in a hurry about more experiements.

Replacing Herbie's Isocups with the platform and Decware feet, the sound was more articulate/defined and a little more spacious than the isocups. Though less smooth, the hallmarks of good vibration control were clearly there.... It was better to me than the Decware feet by a fair bit...nicely spacious, articulate and extended but it had a bit of a sound of its own, a mild resonance at certain low frequencies, and probably from the materials used, including Decware rubber feet. I liked it, but could hear how it could get better, perhaps better than the Isocups.

To replace the Decware rubber feet and see if I could arrive at “no sound” from the platform, I started playing with feet. In the theme of inexpensive, DIY, I started making simple damping feet rather than putting the isocups between the platform and CSP3.

The feet I ended up liking solved any sound I could notice from the MDF and springs. It is made up of 1/2" squares of Soundcoat damping material with sticky stuff on one side, and 1/2" squares of Herbie's 1/8" Grungebuster material, both cut from sheets. I started with these having established in the past that I liked the two materials together better than either one alone for what sounded like neutral, transparent damping without masking.

In my experience, the benefit of vibration reduction is reduced noise, noise that causes hardness mids up, reduced articulation, reduced micro information... With less noise/distortions, there is a better sense of resolution, articulation and definition, smoothness, extension, micro detail, micro dynamics...together allowing more subtle aspects of the music, the little things that refine edges, space, trails, etc...all critical to making recordings sound like music. Part of this is the emptier background, a quieter beginning leaving room to hear more...nuance, timbre, spaciousness, ambience…... For all this to be at its best, a sense of no signature from the materials or design are important. I tried a lot of configurations and liked the following best.

The platforms are MDF boards with springs set in between. I could not use the little silicone feet Archie had put on bottom because my shelf is too narrow, so can't compare what I ended up with to his. Under the bottom board I put four feet that have 2 layers, Soundcoat on the bottom and Grungbuster on top.

Separating the CSP3 from the top platform board I needed more height to clear the Decware rubber feet. Bottom to top are - 2 Soundcoat, 1 grundgbuster, 1 Soundcoat, 1 grundgbuster. I used a smear of Weldbond glue where needed to glue the non-sticky side of the Soundcoat to Grundbuster materail.

This rounded out the sound, becoming more “transparent” and "neutral" to me. Micro information was better as well as bass depth and definition. Hard edges smoothed, and subtler textures and liveness were enhanced within a resolving and smooth foundation. It feels like a natural sound to me. Apparently it is good enough that I stopped exploring my other ideas to potentially refine Archies platform, for now anyway. I will experiment more when I can give it some time, as well as directly comparing the isocups. I want to try this setup under the Torii also, likely a more challenging test. But for now, I really like Archie's platform.
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All Modified: PSA-P5>DIY Strip/Shunyata Defender>RevolutionMacMini/Amarra-KTE Singxer/Gustardx20pro/ZBIT/CSP3>OldChen 300B/845, Torii IV>Omega S-A-H-O monitors/SVS Micro3000>Pi PCs-DIY PCs, ICs, USB, I2S, Speaker-SR and aluminum w ball bearing feet
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