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Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help? (Read 31738 times)
flargosa
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Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
11/28/16 at 02:01:49
 
Anybody tried vibrapods or something similar on their amps or speakers.  Was there noticeable improvements in sound?
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Sources: 2Qute, Hugo 2, Rega P5, Marantz SACD 8005.
Amps: Decware SE84UFO2, Nelson Pass Aleph, Elekit 8600s
Speakers: Klipsch Palladiums, Golden Ear Triton Two, HD800S.

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Tripwr1964
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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #1 - 11/28/16 at 11:39:45
 
i use herbie audio products under my decware zp3, csp3, and zmc.
tenderfeet and babyfeet.  yes i like the products for under gear and speakers.  (tube dampers, i've never warmed up to).
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CSP3 25yr, CAD 120s MKII, Sunfire Signature600, Sota Star Sapphire, SME309, Hana SL, JC3+, Schiit bifrost multibit, CXC, MG1.6QR w/ ext xo & mye stands, OB Augies. herbies iso, VH audio flavor diy pwr cords, Beden 8402 & Dueland IC's,
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Lon
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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #2 - 11/28/16 at 13:47:36
 
Vibrapods cause smearing in my experience, give you warmth though handicapping detail and nuance.

I've used Herbie's Audio Lab products for years, finally settled on the Iso-Cups as best and these now reside in my second system; in my main system I use VooDoo Cable "Iso-Pods"--love what they do.
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV;Rega RP3 all GrooveTracer mods;PSAudio:PST+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls,Reference spkrcbls; Mapleshade SamsonV3;VooDoo:Cremona+Amati interconnects, IsoPods; headphones:Sennheiser HD800S,ZMF Or
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flargosa
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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #3 - 11/28/16 at 14:28:39
 
Do you use isolation feet on your speaker as well?  What I read is that it improves imaging and resolution, but someone said speakers should be anchored to solid floor with nothing soft in between.
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Sources: 2Qute, Hugo 2, Rega P5, Marantz SACD 8005.
Amps: Decware SE84UFO2, Nelson Pass Aleph, Elekit 8600s
Speakers: Klipsch Palladiums, Golden Ear Triton Two, HD800S.

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will
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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #4 - 11/28/16 at 15:12:38
 
Feet definitely matter if your system is revealing.

I like using different feet these days, but Herbie's isocups were a standard for me for a long time too. I use the tenderfeet I have in less critical areas, and where the gear is lighter, generally finding them too "soft" sounding...a little thick/dark for me, and isocups sounding more neutral, transparent and real. I also have some Synergistic Research MIGs. They really are a clear sounding foot, so may not work everywhere, but if you need clear and complete, they are interesting in the blend.

I use Herbie's small gliders under my speakers with some added Soundcoat "hard" damping material improving them, making them more transparent.

My Torii is on a Madscientist Black Pod Tungsten Carbide set now. His feet are very good. I don't think he mentions it, but they look like they may also employ some of his noise reduction tech, presumably using special blends of minerals to draw off noise, like semiconductors. He has some interesting discussion on the theory of feet here:

http://madscientist-audio.com/footers.html

If you search this forum (the search button above the movie links, and under the Decware logo at the top of these thread pages) using herbie's without case sensitivity, and "all posts," you will get loads of comments, and also various threads discussing vibration control generally... And not just about Herbie's things, but other feet coming up in the discussions.

Here are a few threads with vibration and feet the primary discussion:

https://www.decware.com/cgi-bin/yabb22/YaBB.pl?num=1457565174/0

https://www.decware.com/cgi-bin/yabb22/YaBB.pl?num=1467317794/8

https://www.decware.com/cgi-bin/yabb22/YaBB.pl?num=1351532450/0
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All Modified: PSA P5, Brickwall/Shunyata Defender>RevolutionMacMini/Amarra>Kitsune Singxer/Gustardx20pro or NOS Tranquility; CSP3, ZRock2, Torii IV, HR1, DIY ZBIT; 1 Pi PC, DIY PCs, ICs, USB, I2S, Speaker; Feet- Archie's platform, alum/ball bearing, SR+
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flargosa
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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #5 - 11/28/16 at 17:15:47
 
thanks for the links
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Sources: 2Qute, Hugo 2, Rega P5, Marantz SACD 8005.
Amps: Decware SE84UFO2, Nelson Pass Aleph, Elekit 8600s
Speakers: Klipsch Palladiums, Golden Ear Triton Two, HD800S.

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Lon
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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #6 - 11/28/16 at 17:41:35
 
flargosa, a quick answer: yes I do use isolation under my speakers--but nothing soft--I use Ingress Audio Engineering "Roller Blocks"--aluminum discs suspended between bearings.
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV;Rega RP3 all GrooveTracer mods;PSAudio:PST+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls,Reference spkrcbls; Mapleshade SamsonV3;VooDoo:Cremona+Amati interconnects, IsoPods; headphones:Sennheiser HD800S,ZMF Or
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Archie
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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #7 - 11/28/16 at 19:06:08
 
This excerpt is from Will's link:

Quote:
BlackPods take a different approach; firstly they provide a secure path to ground in the vertical direction, so that vibrations generated or picked up by the component are chanelled to earth.


I don't have these footers and if Will says they work then I take that as truth.  However, I can't help questioning the "science".  A footer's greatest source of energy in is from what they stand on (SPL dependent).  To somehow assume that the energy is "channeled to earth" but ignore the constant input seems to misunderstand the physics involved.  These are essentially a "spike" and would couple between the component and stand.  That they work may be a credit to Murphy's Law and some good upstream engineering but this "channeled to earth" kind of explanation rings false, in my opinion.  

If the "science" doesn't offer a proper explanation of how a device works than it is much more of a shot in the dark to come up with a proper isolation solution.  I have a hunch that these footers tune more than isolate.  (filter some frequencies while passing others)

A "tuning" device may be perfect for a given system but it is not necessarily "isolating."
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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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flargosa
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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #8 - 11/28/16 at 20:15:53
 
I have an ERRx speaker which my wife already thinks looks odd, when my tube amp came she was staring at it with a confused look.  Now I'm adding isolation feet, not sure how to explain this to her without sounding crazy.  :-X
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Sources: 2Qute, Hugo 2, Rega P5, Marantz SACD 8005.
Amps: Decware SE84UFO2, Nelson Pass Aleph, Elekit 8600s
Speakers: Klipsch Palladiums, Golden Ear Triton Two, HD800S.

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will
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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #9 - 11/28/16 at 20:53:25
 
There is likely nothing in our systems that does not combine technical "conventional science," theory that stretches those boundaries, and listening! Semantics and theory aside, all serious audio gear makers "tune" what they make, in order to make it sound the way they want it to sound. This is most often aligned with the maker's ideas of theory and science, but also ideas of "transparency," "neutrality," musicality, effectiveness in transferring signal, solving issues like vibration, activating emotional involvement, etc, etc.

Any assumption that we have all the theory on anything is obviously dreamy...creative minds finding new information all the time. So when someone's "newer" theory, based on creative thought and trial and error, sounds dreamy compared to the ideas of the science establishment, isn't it in part the establishment that has determined static facts as static, as if they will never be expanded upon...

That something is based in lack of "facts" as defined by belief in static reality can also be considered dreamy. Is nature static? And through time, breakthrough science is often considered hoodoo by conventional thought as it develops.

If we get caught by the rules we have established as "real," in a world that is fundamentally transformational, are we not out of sync with the nature that has created us. Nature that is fundamentally transformational is fundamentally creative. So isn't being creative a factor of being aligned with reality?

When it comes to things that work, within reason...I really don't care all that much about the semantics and resolution of the theory of good developers. In this case, "to ground" could mean different things. If the material of the feet effectively transforms energy to heat or to very low frequencies associated with ground (like the Schumann resonance or something), and disperses it, on a particle level, I suppose a literal proximity to ground may not be critical???

No idea what he is talking about. But if the feet solve issues I associate with vibration, clarifying noise based grunge, and leaving the music more articulate and pristine across the spectrum, and they do this in a naturally sounding, musical way, I figure it works.

I really like your spring platform Archie. But as you know, to get it to sound as good or better than other feet I had, I had to do some tuning! Wink Tuning that made the platform help my system more clearly convey the beauty of music. Tuning based, not on my personal science, but on materials and method I have found to work.

Isn't most really good stuff a blend of art and science, of ever-developing theory and creativity....
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All Modified: PSA P5, Brickwall/Shunyata Defender>RevolutionMacMini/Amarra>Kitsune Singxer/Gustardx20pro or NOS Tranquility; CSP3, ZRock2, Torii IV, HR1, DIY ZBIT; 1 Pi PC, DIY PCs, ICs, USB, I2S, Speaker; Feet- Archie's platform, alum/ball bearing, SR+
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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #10 - 11/28/16 at 23:17:49
 
"Any technology that I don't understand is magic".
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Archie
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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #11 - 11/29/16 at 00:10:17
 
Will,

I don't think I disagree with anything you said.  My issue isn't with something that works although the "why" can't be explained.  Rather, I take issue with sloppy "science" that seems to fundamentally miss or misrepresent what is going on.  If I am to have a hope of a systematic approach to tuning my system I need, at least, a working hypothesis of how system changes might effect things.  I guess my only real contribution to this topic is to advise clarity when looking at isolation vs damping and to understand which is which and why one might want one over the other or a combination of both.

As I said in my previous post, I don't doubt that that vendor's feet work in your system.  But that said, I think some of what they say on their web sight is hogwash.  

I still keep wondering why some TT manufactures put their TTs on solid plinths with spike feet!   Cry
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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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Tal
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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #12 - 11/29/16 at 00:12:38
 
I've been looking at Mapleshade Microppoint Heavyfeet for my TT. Anyone have any experience with these?
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SE84UFO2 x2 25A mods, ZP3 25A mods, CSP3 25A mods, ZRock2 25A mods, Rega P3-24 Incognito tonearm rewire and Groovetracer mods, Denafrips Pontus, Bluesound streamer, Zu Soul VI, Omega DeepOmega8 sub,
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Archie
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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #13 - 11/29/16 at 00:31:29
 
I dug up this link to a footer supplier that, to me, is a good example of using "science" to help understand what goes on with different footer options.  They do a nice job showing that spikes do not isolate and both explain with theory and show test results.  Now, spikes might be just what someone likes in their system but there is no harm in actually understanding how they work.  When I first set out to stop vibration from my isolation transformer unit I tried spikes since I was told that they isolate.  Turns out, they don't.

http://www.sonicdesign.se/sdfeet.html

I realize that spikes are not the issue in this thread but they are an easy example of some of the confusion surrounding this topic.
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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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Lonely Raven
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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #14 - 11/29/16 at 20:23:22
 

I agree with Archie - the pseudo-science is irritating, and that particular vendor is rife with it.

I would hazard to say my system is pretty revealing, and I might even go so far as to say that I'm a decent listener - and all the products from that vendor that I've tried did absolutely nothing - double checked myself by using the devices with other listeners, not telling them what was happening,and they all said "what? I hear no difference". Granted, I've not tried those isolation feets - which can easily make a difference.

I've played a lot with different feet under my Zen amp, and I think the harder feet sound better than a softer feet like the Vibropods. I use Vibropods when I'm trying to isolate a piece of gear from transferring it's own vibrations into a table or stand (like a spinning CD or turntable).

Speakers, it depends on what your issue is. Speakers on a concrete slab have a different issue than speakers on plush carpet and padding, are different than (my situation) a bouncing wood floor with a certain lack of support.

I put my giant subwoofer on an Auralex Great Gramma and it seemed like it sucked the life out of the room, but when I took some measurements and realized I had flatter response extending deeper, it caused me to re-evaluate and retune my setup. I was so used to it dumping energy into the floor rather than into the air, that once that energy was where it was supposed to be I realized my definition of bass was off. Hell, I was even able to turn my sub down a bit!

So figure out what your issue is and address it, or see if you can borrow devices and try them out to see what works with your setup, *in your room*.  Remember, the room is as much a part of your system as the speakers themselves.

P.S. Get Room Treatment!   Cheesy



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maddog07
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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #15 - 11/30/16 at 04:12:26
 
Help?  Hmmm…. Define “help”.  Some of the footer/feet products absolutely do have an effect, and others have none.  What “effect” is a whole other story.  If we’re talking “isolation”, the best isolation is to not let the vibrations get to/in our components to start with, rather than trying to deal with them after they get in.  To complicate matters, the source of those vibrations, whether they be mechanical or sonic induced, is likely coming from the same components we’re trying to keep from getting vibrated.  So put your components in a separate room behind a eight inch thick concrete wall that is encased in foam!!!!

Short of that, I believe in starting with the lowest common denominator and starting at the bottom of the food chain with methods/products that you can easily obtain, inexpensively and actually see/hear/feel the effect of.  If you have some friends, have them help you do some  A/B/X testing of the vibration control products – psycho-acoustic preference is a real thing.  It has been proven so many times that if a person knows what they are supposed to hear – then they will think they hear it.  And, after all, hearing is a perception and an individual perception at that.  If you think you hear something – then you do – nobody can tell you or convince you otherwise.  That’s why a group of audio buds is so important to help you determine if you really hear differences in components/products and 1) if you do hear a difference, 2) is it a preferable “difference” or just a difference?

If your components don’t have vents on the bottom, get some sheets of “foam” and place under them.  Foam comes in various forms, open-cell, closed-cell, etc. and densities.  There are also dozens of different thicknesses and densities of memory foam available too – which is one of the most vibration absorbent materials ever made – it was created by NASA to absorb vibration and shock and isolate the human body from extremes of each.  One of the best components to test your “isolation” products is a turntable or a CD player – especially if your equipment is sitting on a rack that sits on a suspended wood floor.  Drop something heavy on the floor and see if the turntable or CD player skips.  Now place the foam or other material under it, and repeat the test.  If it doesn’t skip – the product is effective.  

Another product I have found to have good dampening qualities is “cork”.  I reckon there’s a reason turntable mats are made of the stuff – hugh!  You can buy cork in about any size, shape and thickness imaginable from Bangor Cork.  And of course everybody knows about Sorbothane, which is great, but also leaves an oily residue on everything, and I do mean EveryThing it touches.  And in many cases leaves a permanent stain on the surface – but it can perform miracles.  Back in the late 90’s there was a material known as “Navcom” and there was a footer marketed by SIMs called a Navcom Puck.  Stuff seems similar to Sorbothane, but not as greasy.  I don’t know much else about it – I have a whole pile of these SIMs pucks that I obtained back then – they do work.

I have been a proponent of “spiking” speakers with various footers over the years….especially on suspended wood floors.  Always tightened up the sound, punchier bass, etc.  And even with most speakers on carpet covered concrete slabs…. Until I discovered open-baffle speakers with single-driver, wide-band, crossover-less drivers in them.  Assuming spikes were always a “good thing” I built my DIY OB’s with ¼” steel plate outriggers on them with giant 2 lb brass footers from Eden Sound bolted to the steel plates.  Then the steel plates bolted to the base of the baffles.  Not too long after I got them up and running, I heard a “buzzing” sound and found that my 12awg Teflon insulated driver hookup wire was vibrating against the back braces – easy fix.  Thought all was well until awhile later I heard the buzzing again – only worse this time.  This time I discovered that the back braces themselves were resonating big time – nearly as loud as the speaker drivers themselves – I could hear the “buzz” over the sound coming from the drivers!  These are full 1” thick by 4” wide solid red oak braces running from the top of the baffle down to the base and securely bolted on both ends.  Well…. due to another recent learning experience, I decided to try something.  So I removed the steel plates and monster brass footers from the bases of the speakers and then put a two foot square “anti fatigue” foam mat under each speaker base.  Low and behold, all resonance and buzzing gone!  Haven’t heard it since.  So in this case, the footers and steel outrigger plates appear to have been trapping resonance in the baffle structure – removing them let the resonances drain away or be absorbed ( I don’t know which ).  All I can tell you is that I no longer hear the resonances, I cannot “feel” or “see” the vibration either – which I could before.  So…. Experimentation is key.  And if you can’t see or feel the vibrations and A/B/X testing with your buddies doesn’t reveal  a statistically significant result that you can actually “hear” a difference and you perceive the difference to be an improvement…. Keep your money instead of giving it to the Voodoo science marketers.
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Archie
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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #16 - 11/30/16 at 17:09:46
 
Maddog,

You make great points.  The TT and speakers sort of bracket the problem.  I would add that for a TT, skipping is the grossest manifestation of vibration and isolation can never be enough if the goal is to extract the maximum detail, since even micro-vibrations, at any frequency, will cause interference.  Your speaker example illustrates how hard it can be to isolate from the entire audible band.  Even the best visco-elastic materials have their own resonances that can color the sound.  Hence the "tuning" properties of various footers and materials.

I'm a proponent of a combination approach using tuned springs to "bulk filter" vibration and damping material to "mop up" spurious vibrations that seem to always get through.  

As a starting place, vibration = distortion is a good rule of thumb.  Although, sometimes the challenge can be to decide which is music and which is noise.   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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maddog07
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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #17 - 11/30/16 at 18:42:51
 
Archie, I think I read a past post of yours about some "spring" devices you engineered for isolation - am I remembering correctly?  Sounds interesting, and I suspect pretty effective.  I would be interested in learning more about your creation.  I have played with footers made from a combination of different materials (cork, rubber, Sorbothane, HushMat, etc.) before, but I've never thought to employ "springs"... should work though - some turntables are sitting on or suspended by springs from the manufacturer.  this would isolate the component from the rack, and the rack from the component.... now what do we do about air born vibes getting into the component?  Or mechanical vibes, like the transformer, in the component from contaminating things?  I have several 12" square 1/4" thick navcom sheets.  And I bought a whole case of 40 durometer 12" square Sorbothane tiles years ago from a guy who apparently worked where the stuff was made or something - he had lots of it for sale.  I still haven't used it all.  I have put it under transformers inside components before and used it for all different kinds of vibe-killing purposes.  But it does stain, so it's not good to place directly in contact with the exterior finish of a component.
I have even read about guys taking steel cabinets, like a safe, lining it with foam, putting their components in it, and run the speaker wires out the bottom, in order to isolate the components from air born vibrations.... there's just no end to obsessed human creativity.....  :o
I've also read about guys making small cabinets out of concrete/cinder blocks, lined with foam in the quest for component vibration isolation!  The possibilities are only limited by the imagination...!!!!!.
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Decware Torii MK3, Wyred4Sound DAC2, Theta Digital Miles, Emotiva XMC-1, Emotiva XPA-5, Aesthetix Calypso, Wyred STP-SE, Martin Logan Vista, Audio Nirvana 12" Alnico's, PS Audio PW P5, Goertz, Kimber, Nordost and DIY wires, PSA pwr cords, Cary SLI-80, DM945's.....
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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #18 - 11/30/16 at 20:52:16
 
I've thought about relocating my gear in another room since I do 98% of my control of the playback via laptop, or now with Roon I can seamlessly control with my Android phone.  I doubly like the idea since I have a large audio rack, and I'd much rather just have diffusers there instead.

I bought some spring things -

http://www.ebay.com/itm/4PCS-Audiophile-shock-spikes-spring-damping-pad-HIFI-aud...

I thought they worked quite well, but still preferred hard feet like the Herbies Iso-Cup balls for my ZMA amp....but I can't seem to find them on his page....I wonder if they are even made anymore.

Palomino uses these home made roller cups that I think he made with concave drawer pulls with steel balls. He seems to really like them, but it just seems too precarious to me...but then, I don't have 4 cats and 2  big dogs anymore - so that's not as much of an issue for me.
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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #19 - 11/30/16 at 20:54:38
 
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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #20 - 11/30/16 at 20:58:43
 
I was talking about this with Gregg/Pale Rider recently, and found that there is a page for the middle-style I guess you'd call it (not the earliest, not the latest) Iso-Cups with some balls (I like the Deep Moss quartz balls a lot).

http://herbiesaudiolab.net/special.htm#iso

The Iso-Cups work really well imo. I have them throughout my second system now as I like what I use in the main system now better, but the Iso-Cups are really good for heavier tubed and source components. (I have always used them as part of a multiple stage set-up: stable rack, platforms, Iso-Cups.) I think I'll write Steve and ask him, perhaps he has run out of stock and is having a materials supply issue.
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV;Rega RP3 all GrooveTracer mods;PSAudio:PST+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls,Reference spkrcbls; Mapleshade SamsonV3;VooDoo:Cremona+Amati interconnects, IsoPods; headphones:Sennheiser HD800S,ZMF Or
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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #21 - 11/30/16 at 22:21:09
 
Got a reply back from Steve Herbelin:

Hi, Lon. Iso-Cups are featured on our website here:

http://herbiesaudiolab.net/special.htm#iso

Best regards,

Steve


So I asked him if he was going to offer again the black bases and super hard balls, etc. Will post his response.
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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #22 - 11/30/16 at 22:46:56
 
Maddog,

Although an old idea, I first came upon the idea of using springs to tune resonant frequency when I was working on a launch-lock problem for a space based instrument back in my Aerospace days.  It is hard to design for a resonant frequency outside of the launch spectrum of the Space Shuttle and it seemed easiest to tune it down below it.  The vibration problem with audio is probably worse since the spectrum is so wide.  I put my speakers, amps and TT on homemade spring platforms that have very low resonant frequencies.    For my amps I added a top layer of foam to absorb (damp) vibrations that make it through the springs.  There is a higher frequency ring from the springs and although of lower order, I thought the foam might attenuate it.  My TT has fancy suspension feet in addition to the platform.  A while back I sent Will a platform to try under his CSP3.  He liked it but found that if he used some of his customized homemade rubber compound feet between the amp and platform that it got better.  I'm not sure if he stuck with it or went back to what he was using before.

Airborne vibrations are tough.  I use a beanbag on my TT dustcover that should damp out vibration but I can't honestly say I hear a difference with or without it.  The whole dustcover debate rages on -- some saying none, some up and some down.  Personally I think you have to listen to music really loudly before airborne vibration becomes an issue.  Other than using tube dampers and damping large equipment enclosure panels (the bottom of Decware amps) I don't think much can be done by us end users.  I think initial component design needs to be done with vibration mitigation in mind.  I've mentioned before that when I first fired up my ZMA with it sitting directly on a (very solid) cabinet, I got bad feedback.  The spring platform eliminated that problem.

I don't do any "tuning" since my room isn't amenable to treatment and I can't really hear the more subtle differences others do.  I just try to eliminate as much induced vibration as I can and hope for the best after that.

Oh, and my spring platforms under my HR1s, with their down-firing passive woofers, pretty much eliminated bass boom caused by coupling to my suspended bare wood floor.
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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #23 - 12/01/16 at 00:16:31
 
My second reply from Steve Herbelin:

Hi, Lon. Though SuperSonic Hardballs are no longer available, black Iso-Cup bases are available as are Lampblack Balls and Deep Moss Quartz gemstone balls. Though the frosted clear version of Iso-Cup is pictured on our website, Iso-Cups can be ordered as either frosted clear or black.

http://herbiesaudiolab.net/special.htm#iso
http://herbiesaudiolab.net/isoball.htm

We do not expect to return any discontinued items back to our featured lineup because they have all essentially been superseded or replaced by other products. Iso-Cups have essentially been replaced by Big Tall Tenderfoot isolation feet as an essentially featured product in our lineup (whereas Iso-Cups are now delegated to "misc." status).

Best regards,

Steve
Herbie's Audio Lab
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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #24 - 12/01/16 at 15:15:16
 

That clarifies what I was feeling. He's basically phasing them out. I don't like the hard feet at much...I have the big tall feet he mentions and I don't feel they do anything for the ZMA - I've been using them under my DirectStream (no real difference there either), and I used them under my center channel to try and not dump energy into the rack all the gear (and center channel) is on.

Archie, I've been looking for a way to measure vibration in my equipment and racks. Especially since I'm thinking about building some racks for people as a bit of side income.  You have any thought on how I might measure them? I was looking for a way to use the accelerometers in my smart phones or tablets. I really don't have money, so running out and buying a $1500 fluke or something is not an option at this time. Smiley
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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #25 - 12/01/16 at 15:18:13
 
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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #26 - 12/01/16 at 16:56:02
 
LR,  I wish I did.  I don't even have a smart phone!   Cheesy

I can tell bulk reduction by touch but to measure really small vibrations with resonant peaks might take fairly sensitive equipment.

If you measure vibration of a rack and find various resonance peaks, what then?  I'm not sure spending a lot on test equipment would pay off.  I learned that my spring platforms have a higher frequency ring by putting my ear against them and rapping the main support.  Would some kind of microphonic pickup and an oscilloscope work?  Or is that what an accelerometer basically is?  You might need a test tone generator so you could walk up and down the frequency spectrum?  I obviously don't know much about lab equipment.   Tongue
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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #27 - 12/01/16 at 17:17:02
 
Lonely Raven wrote on 12/01/16 at 15:15:16:
That clarifies what I was feeling. He's basically phasing them out. I don't like the hard feet at much...I have the big tall feet he mentions and I don't feel they do anything for the ZMA - I've been using them under my DirectStream (no real difference there either), and I used them under my center channel to try and not dump energy into the rack all the gear (and center channel) is on.

Archie, I've been looking for a way to measure vibration in my equipment and racks. Especially since I'm thinking about building some racks for people as a bit of side income.  You have any thought on how I might measure them? I was looking for a way to use the accelerometers in my smart phones or tablets. I really don't have money, so running out and buying a $1500 fluke or something is not an option at this time. Smiley


I can't say that the Tenderfeet did "nothing" that I could hear, but I didn't like what they did in comparison to the Iso-Cups. Too bad the Iso-Cups seem on the way out. I'm glad I bought beaucoup of them over the years. I sometimes put them under my speakers and have eight for that purpose, plus I use them in my second system as component feet, and I still have probably six or eight put aside. They work really well imo in conjunction with a good rack.
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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #28 - 12/01/16 at 17:19:25
 
I downloaded a app on my phone that is pretty good for detecting vibrations amongst a lot of other nice features. It is called "Physics Toolbox Suite" . It was free, I got it for the SPL function and play with a lot of the other options.
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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #29 - 12/01/16 at 20:59:11
 

I saw that exact program today while looking for vibration apps. I think it was a pay version though.

The article I posted above, says the accelerometers in our phones are actually really high end stuff, but the whole rest of the phone kinda dumbs them down.

I know my Galaxy S7 Edge was made with VR in mind, which needs to be pretty responsive and decently sensitive for VR to have accuracy and not have lag. So I'm going to see if one of the free apps and my fancy phone might be a good start.

Archie, to answer your "then what" question - well, my goal would be to take a piece of equipment, and see what it does in my environment. Then change something that causes me to hear a difference, and see if the phone and app can help me correlate the change with a measurement. Once I start seeing patterns, I can further define what does what, and better develop a set of tools, or build my own racks.

For example - the rack I'm finishing up this month will have several shelves. One shelf will be thick solid maple (following Mapleshade theories), one shelf can be 2" of solid MDF - or now that I'm thinking about it, MDF with Green Glue (construction glue with acoustic damping properties) between the two layers, one shelf will be just plain plywood, and one shelf will be two layers of plywood with slots cut into the bottom layer that will be filled with sand or lead-shot. The shelves will be easily interchangeable, and I can choose to use a point, foot, or screw to mount the shelves to the rack.  

I have lots of ideas, I'd just like to be able to document them better, I just don't have a budget for lab grade test equipment.  :'(
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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #30 - 12/01/16 at 21:18:00
 
Doing some research, stumbled into this video - looks like these guys had the same idea as me - I can't watch the video with sound since I'm at work, but it looks like they thought this through the same way I did.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dW9-r83IvhI

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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #31 - 12/02/16 at 00:36:00
 
that's kinda similar to herbie's speaker decoupling.  most of time he recommends big fat dots (or square ones) between the speaker and stand, and gliders under stand spikes.

this is how i have my vandersteen 2c's w/ sound anchor stands setup and like this combo very much.
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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #32 - 12/02/16 at 00:47:27
 
Quote:


Great video!  Those platforms are much cooler than my homemade ones but otherwise are essentially the same.  It was interesting to see the measurements back up the theory and what I've experienced in my system.  The "tuning" aspect of different footers was shown (in an indirect way) by the transmission of higher frequencies through the concrete floor compared to the wood floor.

Fans of spikes need to watch this.   Cool
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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #33 - 12/02/16 at 15:37:17
 

Quote:
Great video!  Those platforms are much cooler than my homemade ones but otherwise are essentially the same.  It was interesting to see the measurements back up the theory and what I've experienced in my system.  The "tuning" aspect of different footers was shown (in an indirect way) by the transmission of higher frequencies through the concrete floor compared to the wood floor.

Fans of spikes need to watch this.   Cool



You appreciate the video for the same reasons I did. It makes sense why the Auralex Great Gramma works so well under my sub.

I've been thinking about picking up a set of these for some small speakers I have around the house, but I'm wondering if I can find or make some for my MG944 or Zu Omens.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Acoustic-Foam-MiniMO-88s-Monitor-Focusing-ISOLATION-RIZE...

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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #34 - 12/02/16 at 16:54:24
 
Quote:
You appreciate the video for the same reasons I did. It makes sense why the Auralex Great Gramma works so well under my sub.

I've been thinking about picking up a set of these for some small speakers I have around the house, but I'm wondering if I can find or make some for my MG944 or Zu Omens.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Acoustic-Foam-MiniMO-88s-Monitor-Focusing-ISOLATION-RIZE....


I haven't had good luck with foam type isolation alone.  With your shop and a few dollars worth of springs you could DIY a platform to try.  Might be worth comparing to your present platform.  I didn't see what the platforms in that video were made from but they sure reacted like they were sprung.
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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #35 - 12/02/16 at 17:09:46
 

I assumed they were sprung, either metal or some sort of elastomer.

If you have any DIY suggestions, I'd like to try them out if I can find time and funds.

Right now I have my MG944 on stock spikes, through the carpet and into the poorly supported floor. My El Camino have nothing and are just wedged into the carpet, and my Zu Omens were on some junky Home Depot tables.  ;D

So I obviously haven't been too serious about isolating the speakers thus far. I've been more focused on room treatment which is far from subtle in improvement. But once I'm further along there, I feel I'll better be able to hear the miniscule changes other tweaks bring.
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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #36 - 12/02/16 at 19:15:42
 
Quote:
Right now I have my MG944 on stock spikes, through the carpet and into the poorly supported floor. My El Camino have nothing and are just wedged into the carpet, and my Zu Omens were on some junky Home Depot tables.  ;D

So I obviously haven't been too serious about isolating the speakers thus far. I've been more focused on room treatment which is far from subtle in improvement. But once I'm further along there, I feel I'll better be able to hear the miniscule changes other tweaks bring.


I sent you an email with some pictures.

I found speaker isolation to be a very big and obvious (to hear) improvement.  I'd start there so any room treatment doesn't end up fixing a problem that shouldn't be there to begin with.  That said, I have a bare wood floor whereas your carpet may help absorb speaker induced floor bass.
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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #37 - 12/03/16 at 15:35:29
 
And now for something completely different. http://www.synergisticresearch.com/mig-mechanical-interface-grounding/
They say that you have to ground, not isolate.

After looking at these I've determined that I'm in the wrong business. $250 for something that I would quote at less than $50 to make. I really need to learn marketing, it pays way better than manufacturing.
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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #38 - 12/03/16 at 20:47:14
 
My wife and I were professional potters for over 30 years. We sold about half retail and half wholesale for many years. The wholesale standard was 50% of the retail, hopefully giving the galleries enough to keep their doors open, but pretty painful to us!

Eventually we ended up more like Decware, selling mostly retail, people coming to our workshop to buy most of the pots. This was good, because I was seriously disabled in a car wreck, and even after a year of inability to do any work, and then slowly getting up to a little over 1/2 time before the pain became overwhelming, the number of pots per year really dropped. Luckily, we were quite skilled by then, getting a very high percentage of well fired pots from the kiln, and faster at making. Eliminating wholesale, and raising the prices a little, we actually did a little better financially, thank goodness!

Most potters had to sell mostly wholesale (I suspect like Synergistic Research), basically having to make their part off half the retail value.

Even selling direct, you have to get folks in the door, need a good showing space, also needing good presentation of ideas, website, pamphlets, etc...making "marketing" costly enough. But with a middle man, it is doubly costly... "marketing" being well beyond sales talk!

Another story, I think may be fitting for a lot of us Decware folks..... I had a good friend of Russian Jewish decent. Tongue in cheek (sort of) she sometimes said: "Retail is for Goy (non-Jews)" Well, I am Goy, but very rarely do I buy at retail. I would be surprised if I paid even 70% of current retail value for my system. Though I think the design is improved now, years back, I got some MIGs on a pretty deep sale (and returnable)...I think the large were selling for 150 and the small 100, from http://highend-electronics.com/

Alfred, the owner, has a lot of pretty refined audio equipment, as well as lots of personal experience with more "esoteric" seeming things that work. I occasionally check his site for used things and sales.

In my systems, MIGs can be really good if I want to get a piece of gear to read more clearly, more ambience, and more revealing. I would not call the ones I have "neutral" in comparison to many feet, but would call them quite revealing and very useful if their particularly clear presentation is wanted. I am not sure what neutral is though....These feet fit into SR's sound as I have heard it in a few other things ...some speaker cables and fuses...very open and revealing across the spectrum.
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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #39 - 12/03/16 at 20:47:49
 
Quote:
And now for something completely different. http://www.synergisticresearch.com/mig-mechanical-interface-grounding/
They say that you have to ground, not isolate.


Well ... at least the cartoon is cute!   Tongue

By the time the vibrations are "grounded" the damage is done.  And how does "grounding" help vibrations coming from the ground?

Did you watch the video Raven posted the link to?  I think that says it all when you see the ring that is the decay of vibration going to ground.  The ring is distortion and not music.  I'm not saying that some may like the sound of it though.
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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #40 - 12/05/16 at 17:56:46
 

Quote:
In my systems, MIGs can be really good if I want to get a piece of gear to read more clearly, more ambience, and more revealing. I would not call the ones I have "neutral" in comparison to many feet, but would call them quite revealing and very useful if their particularly clear presentation is wanted. I am not sure what neutral is though....These feet fit into SR's sound as I have heard it in a few other things ...some speaker cables and fuses...very open and revealing across the spectrum.


Sounds like another useful device for "tuning", not grounding. I've seen them come up before...I'd really have to try them to believe them. But like I've said before, the ZMA sounds better on harder feet, so maybe it's worth trying. Hell, I could also cobble some wood blocks and other stuff to try out, all in the name of "tuning"
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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #41 - 12/07/16 at 23:25:14
 
An audio system/room is just so complex, the variables can be huge! That is why I am not comfortable "recommending" anything!

That said, theory, beliefs, and incomplete use of words aside…if a system/room is relatively clean and capable of resolving fine detail, the benefits of noise reduction and how evenly it effects the frequency spectrum can be easily heard.

To this end, where even one tube choice or cable can limit transparency and resolution, resolving impediments can clearly improve our musical experience. Associated, with so many ways to introduce noise (vibration and electronic), the likelihood of better sound through solving noise is a big player.

Signal complexity and integrity compromised by noise is more a given than an anomaly, and about anything can contribute...from design weaknesses in each component, noise filter, foot …Qualities of resistors, caps, wires, dielectrics, connectors...ICs, PCs...Fat single wire speaker cables that introduce slurring...Vibration and electronic noise... Room based amplification and attenuation issues...You name it. Even with good equipment, there can be dozens of unnoticed impediments to optimal presentation, and when added up, these can easily define what can or cannot be heard in a system.

I recently changed the IEC inlet on the Torii, and the volume pot on the CSP3, and those alone made my system notably more resolving and quiet.

If the resolution is not there to begin with, and/or if there is slurring and distortion of any information, we lose (or never hear) deeper nuance, complexity and speed. And if enough areas are compromised, restricting spaciousness and resolution, the cumulative effect could be enough to make it hard to hear subtler changes brought about by feet, or power filters, or anything else with subtler effect than the qualities and magnitude of noise needing resolution.

Alternately, if space and resolution are mostly there, source to speakers, empty background enhances resolution and definition...micro dynamics, subtle harmonics and ambient information, subtle textures and nuance...all the little things that make it possible to hear a quiet breath of a singer, subtler parts in complex material we could not hear before, the wood of a cello vibrating, the sound of the skin of drum, the physical sensation of a clean bass note after the sound of the finger plucking the string, the vibration of string on neck, the side and back wood of a bass, the breath of the player...exceptional soundstage saturation, etc

Clarifying noise can allow the sense that there is no real beginning or end to a note ….more complete, natural, and “organic.”

I don’t think the level of transparency I am pointing to is possible without an exceptional source, exceptional cables and amps, exceptional tubes, exceptional speakers, exceptional vibration and electronic noise mitigation, an exceptional room, and all of the above carefully tuned individually and together.

Feet from Experience

Every foot I have tried, including Archie’s, has a sound. Especially less transparent ones tend to sound like the material they are made of...thick Sorbothane blobs, mushy and uneven...closed cell foams (the few I tried) a little veiled and thick in places, while clearer in others, and a little “foamy” ...Herbie’s Tenderfeet, good spectrum balance, but soft/warm/thick sounding, a bit “rubbery.” I can believe there may be good variations using these materials, but my 1st experiments didn’t stimulate pursuing them.

The most effective feet solve vibration in a complete, neutral and transparent way. And there is little doubt that most serious foot developers think they have done that!

Yet effective feet sound different. This indicates how varied and subtle the effects of noise can be, how different materials and designs pretty obviously effect the sound, and how personal sound preferences effect materials and designs used. Under these conditions, how can feet be any different than any other component, cable, room treatment, etc...Optimal sound is inevitably about tuning all that makes up the system/room sound.

Less-than stellar Communication

If the interest is in finding better transparency in our systems, do broad judgements and accusations intended to dismiss something really help, especially without having all the scientific or theoretical details from which to draw these conclusions? If words like “grounding,” from feet rankle, why not ask the makers what they meant using the term? Obviously, if a foot resolves vibration, the energy has to be transformed and/or go somewhere, be it heat, “to ground” or whatever. Finally, innovators not explaining (or even understanding) their theory fully can be a drag, but it does not necessarily mean the theory or product are irrelevant.

I think reaction to ideas and words being enough to throw out a potentially good tool (or developer) without clarified investigation, and/or hearing, is unfortunate. If it is good, and can’t be checked out due to biases, who loses?

Obviously science does not approach human perception, and though we may not fully understand what makes a good foot, if we can hear it, we can make design or placement decisions based on hearing.

And when one can hear something, and others cannot, why is it so easy for those who don’t hear it to call it “snake oil,” or psycho acoustic delusion? Is it not equally possible that system impediments or imbalances can reduce transparency and resolution enough to cause subtle things not to be heard?

If I can’t hear something in my system, it stimulates exploration.


Of course there are scammers, but realistically, most innovative audio developers started as audiophiles, their considerable explorations in listening and DIY leading them to become pro. From them, less-than-ideal communication of thoughts does not stimulate “the judge” as much for me, especially within a context of good reviews and if similar things have worked for me in the past. I just don’t see the benefit of jumping first to skepticism if real answers are the goal.

Transparency and Hearing

Here, as things become cumulatively cleaner and more resolving, changes are generally more noticeable, though sometimes subtler if they are somewhat redundant. And considering all the noise from our house power and appliances, from the audio system, and mechanical vibrations...It is hard for me to imagine, but I suppose it is conceptually possible to have a system/room so free of noise, that noise filtering and feet have little or nothing to solve, rendering them irrelevant. Maybe this is what you are experiencing Raven.

But I suspect most systems are like mine, where after things are clean enough to hear deeper subtleties, more refinement reveals subtle changes more.

Finally, the last few percent are as important to me as the first 95 in terms of the sense of “real.” There is nothing like the fine detail empty space can allow to “finish” the sound (assuming relatively complete resolution is not truncated elsewhere). I am coming to the conclusion that for deeper refinement, subtle noise (and other resolution maskers) that are hard to notice until gone, can add up to pretty big impediments.

Speed has become a reliable read toward this end. If a noise change makes the pace feel slower, the slowed pace is caused by sounds coming and going more quickly from within a greater “black,” revealing more subtle note beginnings and ends with more space between. But this reflection of better noise management and high level resolution only shows up here when the system is revealing enough to begin with. It is clearly relative to the levels of noise we begin with as to whether something working in subtle areas can do enough to hear the change.

Madscientist

I have tried a number of madscientist things over a few years, and as he says, the effects depend a lot on placement and size. In my experiments, they are sometimes quite subtle, sometimes pretty noticeable, sometimes good sounding, and sometimes not as good. But in the right places, they all are capable of clarifying the signal musically here. Just today, I noticed some lack of clarity I attributed to burnin, then I found one of the discuss sticks had fallen off one negative speaker terminal/cable connection on the amp. Replaced, the clarity I was missing returned.

Not necessarily night and day, here they are meaningful, especially for those difficult last few percent.

Clean Power

Relative to noise and hearing, I think I have what is likely an exceptionally clean electrical environment. Helping resolution, this helps hearing.

Having sensitivities to electronic pollution, and loving sound, over many years I have tried numerous variations on noise reduction...both whole house, and system specific. And the house ones help the system. One of my first EMF/RFI filters clarified my sound while being plugged into the adjacent kitchen circuit (though in the same room as the audio.) Now, coming at it from many angles has a progressive and cumulative effect.

Dedicated circuits and power regenerators can definitely help, but from my explorations it would be a miracle for these to be enough for optimal resolution. My PSAudio P5 on its own is incapable of ultimate transparency, even with measured pre regen THD usually around 2.5 and the final .1. Finally, with a lot of effort adjusting it, filtering my source components separately, optimized power cords, and by carefully using various noise filters, my power management seems quite transparent….But the stock P5, with normal settings, and PSAudio’s best cable feeding it, was simply too dull and colored in my system and had to be carefully adapted to utilize the voltage regulation I needed from it. Since most folks like PSAudio regenerators right off, and on their own, I am guessing the P5 weaknesses showed up for me because my house and system power were extra clean before the P5.

Back to Feet!

From Archie referring to madscientist BlackPods: Quote:
These are essentially a "spike" and would couple between the component and stand.  That they work may be a credit to Murphy's Law and some good upstream engineering but this "channeled to earth" kind of explanation rings false, in my opinion.  


Language from the MadScientist site with his take on issues with vibration control:

"There are many theories as to how to control vibration in audio systems, along with a plethora of footers, stands, supports and so on. Two themes that come up regularly are 'rigid pointy things' like cones and spikes, and 'squashy rubbery things' like damping pads, etc.Both of these suffer big problems.

Firstly, resonances. Just about any stiff, pointy device (cone or spike) is going to have a slew of resonances of varying Q factors - in other words they 'ring like a bell', usually at several different frequenicies, and this will pass through to the system. The effect can be overly etched treble with some notes being particularly screechy.

Second problem is 'delayed energy release' - anything that is springy or rubbery is going to store energy and release it at a later time, smearing the music. Often using soft footers results in muddy, soft music that lacks bite.

Combining a spike/cone device with damping does not solve anything, and just gives you both problems. This is why damping and isolation efforts are often akin to a crap shoot."
[end quote]

Sounds pretty real and logical, and similar to what you talk about Archie. Why he is vague as to why his feet are different, only he can answer, but he was obviously out to solve real issues. He is also clearly caught by proprietary nervousness, resulting in limitted explanations, which in turn contributes to suspicion. But that he is not clear on technical solutions from his discoveries, and that he uses a lot of tongue and cheek, these do not rule out his audio intelligence, his extensive experimentation, or the potential for quality from his discoveries.

“Essentially spikes,” for me would require more explanation. I think of spikes as spikes...one material, typically metal, cone shaped, pointy...and for the most part, I have not liked them.

Though the BlackPods are hard, they appear to have 5 layers of what look like three different composites, finished with an embedded ball of either Tungsten Carbide or Zirconia. We don't know what the layers are, or if there is anything else hidden in the casts, but metals, magnets, composite choices, densities of layers, minerals, and who know what, may contribute... From back in the day, I seem to recall his discusses utilizing minerals, presumably drawing off/absorbing, and transforming/dissipating unwanted energy....noise...vibration.

Finally, it seems vibration and noise are totally interrelated. Mechanical vibration causes noise and distortions, and noise/distortions cause vibration. Since BlackPod feet came after his noise reduction discusses, and since it looks to me like he is likely using similar materials in the feet, I guess the electronic noise tech may be helping to resolve both ambient electronic noise and sheerly mechanical vibrations in the feet. This may help explain the "transparent" resolution these feet can help create, at least here.

This also points to listening...the bottom line.

For me, hearing is finally the only real test. And I hear most everything here, implying few serious impediments to resolution, transparency, and neutrality. This includes the feet I use. They must be good enough in their individual and cumulative effects to resolve noise and reveal subtle beauty.

One could get caught by words and ideas that are less than fully fleshed out forever. But no matter the maker, if we can “tune” with their feet to reduce noise evenly, and without losing something on the way, we win. Take the noise away in complete ways, and you can hear the space and subtler information that distortions were masking.

To this end, Archie’s tuned platform (CSP3) and the BlackPods (Torii) individually improved my sound over isocups. Both had similar overall effects, sounding good at solving noise across the spectrum. I had tuned both, the platform with homemade feet, to my tastes for “no sound,” and the Pods via placement under the Torii for best musical resolution (with individual feet under the Torii, the sound can vary quite a lot depending on placement).

But here is the catcher...I recall the BlackPods increasing resolution and transparency “better” than the platform. To me, something so difficult to get right, working so well, does not imply pseudo-science, or snake oil, or whatever, but rather good perception, knowledge and skills.

Since both “feet” were put in a while ago, I guess I need to verify this though...maybe I can get to that soon. With new mods and cables, I am about due for some tuning.
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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #42 - 12/08/16 at 00:13:55
 
Will,

As usual you kind of lost me.  You have a real advantage over me in that you hear subtle changes while I do not -- or at least, I don't seem to recognize them.  Consequently I don't have a basis to argue the finer points.  But I do think Isolation means a fairly specific thing.  It would be interesting, if you could achieve real isolation, (the suspended in a vacuum type) whether you would like the result.  I think the video that Raven posted the link to illustrates isolation vs coupling beautifully.  I may be taking too simple an approach though since our equipment (Decware anyway) isn't voiced using isolation platforms -- as far as I know, that is.

Nevertheless, I think the answer to the original post is, "Yes! But it sort of depends on what you use."    :)
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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #43 - 12/08/16 at 02:45:29
 
"Anybody tried vibrapods or something similar on their amps or speakers.  Was there noticeable improvements in sound?"

This is a good question and as some pointed out not easy to answer due to the many opinions and variables that will exist in ones system including the room.

I will try to answer your question based on how you seem to be asking it and say up front I m not an expert and have only tried a few products with varying results.

After experimenting and using bases for my components such as granite and sand filled boxes  I settled on products from Mapleshade. Under my components I have brass feet to a maple platform to their iso blocks to finally rest on my heavy wood table. I have noticed improved sonic results by using this arrangement under my source and placing some of their small weights on top.  I cannot say for sure or can hear if using this same set up improved the performance of my amplifier. Now my component table is not against any wall nor is it between my speakers with the amp close to the floor so it is possible the ZMA design itself is not affected due to placement. I did order and tried Herbies tube dampers and again no discernible improvement in sound.

For my speakers which do weigh a bit over 1oolbs each I did notice improvement by using the maple platforms and brass spikes.

Sonic improvement mentioned consisted of enhanced detail in the high and midrange, tighter bass with less boom.

So I find some tweeks work and some don't but it could be either the tweek is no good or the conditions it is being applied. I seem to lean towards a try it and see type of evaluation.  I don't think it will be easy for someone to tell you exactly what to use in each situation but there are some basic starting points to try and it is not difficult to work out.
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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #44 - 12/08/16 at 15:04:18
 
I really appreciate everyone's viewpoint on this aspect of the audio adventure. I think I side with Will in that the science doesn't matter to me as much as the results in the listening. Science is always an evolving experience anyway, theories toppled when new information or tools arise, and things that were voodoo before are "science" next.

To be honest I think if we adjusted the semantics and instead talked of "tuning" the system with components in the isolation field a lot of the conflicting viewpoints dissipate.

My goal is different than Will's in that "transparency" as the ultimate goal works against my listening enjoyment in many instances. A lot of what I listen to is not great-sounding and I look for a system congruence that allows all my recordings to give me a non-fatiguing sound revealing their strengths and beauties and downplaying their short-comings. On top of that my system is audio and visual, analog and digital as far as sources go. So. . . I've come up with some different components to use, as we all have come up with different ways to reach our sonic goals. I really envy you who are able to have large rooms with room treatment, but I can't (I don't want to live alone and no woman I've ever lived with has allowed room treatment along the line of diffusers, traps, absorbers etc. unless in a separate small room and I'm sorry, I'll never listen in a small room near-field again if I have to, too many years of that and it's not to my liking). So I'll have a different choice in tubes, cabling, isolation even sources and amplification than those who can treat a room.

I agree that an improved, clean power foundation is a key building block to hearing what isolation and tuning components "do" in the audio realm. I've enjoyed an ascending improvement from isolation transformers to four different power regeneraters (and I am still surprised at the jump from a P5 to a P10 in all aspects of the sound). And yeah I agree there's a subtle coloration as there is with all ampficiation but what the P10 delivers serves me very well. And I thank the stars every day for the tonal shaping the bass and treble controls on my Torii Mk III offers, this too is a tool that allows me to tune electrical, isolation and tube-rolling influences.

I find the Mad Scientist feet interesting as they seem to combine the formats of the VooDoo Cable Iso-Pods I use (and the first version of these are VERY similar) and the PS Audio PowerBase platforms I use (the only time I've really liked the implementation of Sorbothane). I may try a set one of these days. . . the only implementation the height may work for me would likely be under my Blu-ray/Universal player.

There are many roads to audio enjoyment, and most of us here are the type of person who walks their own, with a shared amazement at the vehicles Decware manufactures that take us a long way down the road. . . . Happy holidays everyone.
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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #45 - 12/08/16 at 17:56:19
 
I have a thought about the "science" vs "voodoo" approaches that ties into my level of audio expertise (low) vs those of say, Lon (high) and Will (high).  When first approaching isolation/tuning the "science" gives a reasonable starting point that can be built on with "voodoo" as one's experience/expertise increases.

There is too much out there, both good and quackery, not to have a systematic starting point.  I would argue that even the least "scientific" among us still uses personal theories (science) to direct their system tweaks.  Otherwise it's stumbling around in the dark.

I'm still at the baby stage of rule based ABC's.     Cheesy

There is a scientific/psychological basis for the progression from Beginner -- Rule Based understanding to Expert -- Intuition Based understanding.
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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #46 - 12/08/16 at 18:15:12
 
I think a reasonable starting point is a very stable rack for gear. Tuning for me starts from there. That was a no-brainer for me starting out on turntables. And science doesn't have to be the guide for everyone.

Not everyone starts from the rules. I've always been a bit anarchic and rebellious.
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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #47 - 12/08/16 at 19:32:27
 
Quote:
Not everyone starts from the rules. I've always been a bit anarchic and rebellious.


I appreciate the sentiment.  Hopefully you didn't apply that when you learned to drive!   Cheesy
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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #48 - 12/08/16 at 19:55:20
 
I learned to drive when I was 18. Out in the country. Broke a few rules, sorry to say.
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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #49 - 12/10/16 at 22:59:26
 
I don't really have much experience in voodoo or quackery. As I wondered about "snake oil," pseudo-science, psycho-acoustic, etc, relative to the fact that most good developers began as serious audio listeners...I wonder about "quackery" in audio also. I imagine it exists, and maybe I have just been lucky, but I have never felt "quacked" from any audio things I have bought. I have tried things I did not completely fall for, but being able to sample, and send them back does not in general point to quackery either for me.

I wonder if these derogatory ideas are more just self-perpetuating popular concepts in audio forums, and based more on ideas than experience. Clearly there are a lot of very expensive things, and we can debate value versus effects, but if the effects are there, it is not bullshit.

Lets just look at the folks on this forum...a bunch of really serious listeners with good intelligence, and most of us relatively conservative financially, at least for “high-end” audio lovers. Most of this population being pretty serious questers for deep beauty in music, this alone can seriously mess with the ideology of pseudo/psycho for me, in that looking carefully for better sound requires real answers, especially if we are careful with money!

Why would you, (or I) buy (and keep) something because we want it to work when it doesn’t? I do want it to work if I make the initial plunge, and everything I return goes back after extensive experimentation. But due to good research and effort, much of what I bring in helps, improving the whole. Some does not, and off it goes. Same with DIY, always exploring with different implementations based on the results of prior experiments, from a relatively empirical approach, simple experimentation can go to musical places others have not quite found. And often this may not be very easily explained scientifically.

I would say many creative developers fall into this same group...folks who’s love of the musical quest led them to DIY, and then, developing skill in exploring good sound, they came up with good things, facilitating going pro.

I (and I expect, most of you) do not try something that is questionable in theory without knowing we can return it. Different “belief” thresholds for all of us, finally, if there is a decent glimmer of defining new territory of musical revelation from: interesting documentation; praise from listeners; or better understanding from talking with the maker, then I might decide to try it.

From this background, I have rarely had to send things back ...and cumulatively, I think the reason my system/room is so revealing and musical, is partly because I have used current wisdom in materials and design, but also, because I have tried some more “esoteric” parts along with the more easily accepted ones. But more...everything I have gotten has come in because of my need for a better musical experience in the home...a creative quest based upon years of exploration. It is the musical quest that drives me, not ideas.

But, like Karl Rove and Roger Ailes found, their concerted efforts to adjust how people think over decades can be quite effective. From decades of pressing the same feelings and ideas over and over as facts, ideas and beliefs can become "reality." Beyond quackery....this is downright manipulative. But it illustrates that if we hear something enough, we may begin to believe it is real.

Perhaps the habit of talking about some audio developers as con artists, and those of us who like some things that are harder to explain, delusional...maybe this is in part habitual dialog "creating" reality as well?

It just has not been my experience, and from most of what I read here, I suspect not that of most members either.

Round about, I guess this little rag supports your thought Archie, that we all likely use science on some levels to evaluate purchases and how they integrate in our systems. In my case, and I think most on this forum, there is a lot of research before buying, and a lot of trial and error to get where we have gotten in our systems. This is involves theoretical analysis, and comparative analysis, forms of science, even if for most of it, our "instruments of measurement" are our body/minds.

The "science" I can't buy is when it is static (denying that new information is always forthcoming), incomplete...not having all the information to arrive at "conclusions," and when the assumption is that we have it all sorted out at this moment. It is quite clear in our level of audio experience that science has not figured it all out as well as our body/mind instruments of measure and evaluation have.
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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #50 - 12/11/16 at 00:29:13
 
Will, while I admit that I generally don't read your posts in detail, as they are typically quite long, most of what I read in your latest post above sounds like "science" to me.  My idea of what science means is that something is reproducible by the investigator and others so long as proper conditions are maintained.  Also, predictions can be made about future performance that can be either confirmed or refuted through experience.  The "experiment" is the final arbiter -- as you seem to be saying.  If something goes against accepted theory then the burden is on the "odd" result to explain why the theory is incorrect.  I don't deny that someone might drop something and have it go up but I'd be skeptical until I proved it for myself.   Smiley
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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #51 - 12/24/16 at 20:35:58
 
I am having a moment of clarity here, perhaps even a viable idea.
On another thread Zygi mentioned the 1/4-20 NC threads that he puts in the bottom of his speakers so that spikes can be attached. It has been more or less decided that coupling a speaker to the floor is a bad thing, correct?
Why not make some spikes out of an absorption material to decouple the speakers? Maybe a laminate of rubber, sorbothane, maybe cork with a spike on one end and a 1/4-20 NC thread on the other end. The best/worst of each?
I know that the auto industry uses rubber isolators with studs on different applications. Time to do some research!
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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #52 - 12/24/16 at 20:50:33
 
Holy crap, that was easy! $1.67 each.




If I only knew someone who could run one of those lathe thingys. That is what they call those machines that go round and round, right?
Maybe make the spikes out of 4140 steel running around 900 SFM with a chipload of around .012"IPR using a DNMG 422 P20 insert, but I really don't know anything about manufacturing stuff. Lol
Edit:
I just found Sorbothane parts just like the rubber one. Maybe combine both together with a male-female pair. I would need to try them with different durometers, but the price looks to be negligible. You gotta love mass production.
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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #53 - 12/27/16 at 18:48:51
 
Donnie,

Something like that will still let a lot of vibration of various frequencies through.
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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #54 - 12/27/16 at 21:01:51
 
I'm going to be trying some spring and MDF isolation platforms once I get my latest subwoofer built. Maybe even try a spring and MDF isolation pad on the subwoofer itself.
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Re: Do noise isolation feet like vibrapods help?
Reply #55 - 12/28/16 at 01:54:32
 
 Just saw this post, and will add that I used thick Sorbothane isolators on my ZOB speakers, and truthfully, I don't hear difference. Really guys, I wish I did. Since I now have a wood floor, I used furniture cups to set the isolators in that were perfectly fitted (that never happens). Anyway, they are still being used that way, and will stay put, since spikes are not an option with these floors. You will find those on both sides of this issue/idea, and for me, I end up using what I prefer regardless of the masses and social protocol.
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