Are they 'better'? Who knows?
But, at least another choice that won't break the bank.
Besides that, maybe something from Herbie's.
I tried a whole bunch of different things under the tube power supply to my phono stage about 5 years ago. Wound up with Stillpoints SS. But, believe it or not, the Vibrapod cone plus puck did add a clarity without any stridency- not as much as the Stillpoints, but cheap. Among the things I tried were Herbies Tall footers (softened the sound), Aurios (like an enclosed roller block- unbelievable clarity but added a bite that quickly became intolerable); HRS footers and plates (fine, didn’t do much); a set of old Goldmund cones I had from biblical times (didn’t do much) and maybe one other.
E.V.A. Anti-Vibration Pad, 2" x 2" x 7/8"
Box of 48 for $26.40. Best darn vibration blocks I've ever used!
" . . . they did change the timbre and tonality for good."That’s the goal. I use these in a custom DIY design. I also have 3 sets of Symposium Rollerblocks 2+ and several Symposium Svelte shelves and Symposium Point Pods that are in use.
Here is my Amazon order:
Here is the product I bought:
OP: After installing the S.A. Rollerblocks under the component, allow some time for your hearing to adjust to the new sound. Later, try stacking the Rollerblocks on top of the EVA Anti-Vibration pads. The sound will be subtly different. Much depends on the weight of the component. Here’s an older review.
I’m a big fan of bungee cords for suspending components. And of suspending all cables and cords from the ceiling. One spring can be quite interesting under a thing, since it can isolate in rotational directs as well as vertical direction and has a very low resonant frequency compared to multiple springs. Getting a thing of some size to balance on a nice springy spring can be quite a challenge sometimes.
Symposium Acoustics is the best known maker of roller bearings, and their Rollerblock Series 2 and Rollerblock Jr. are fine products at a fair price, really well made. Before ordering either, consider the roller bearings offered by the Canadian company Ingress Engineering. They offer three models, the best (and most expensive of course, but still cheaper than both the Symposium models) of a decidedly better design and build than even the Rollerblock Series 2.
The bowl carved into the Ingress cup is of a larger diameter than that in the Symposiums, producing a lower resonant frequency (and therefore better isolation). The bowls are then polished to a mirror-like finish for lowest friction. Also, the cup is manufactured out of the harder 7075 formula aluminum, as opposed to the softer 6061 of the Symposiums and the cheaper Ingress’. Three cups with ball bearings for under $200, a good value imo. For those preferring a top and bottom cup, the bottom-level Ingress is of the dual-cup design. As good as the Symposium Rollerblock Jr., at about half it's price.
The original, cheapest Ingress is indeed a Symposium Jr. imitation. The higher priced Ingress are a very different story. Larger diameter bowl with a shallower slope for the ball bearing to climb (that climb the most important isolation design element of the roller bearing), 7075 aluminum in place of the softer 6061 used by Symposium (harder and smoother), and superior polishing. State-Of-The-Art in roller bearings imo. I have the cheap ones (double cup design) and the more expensive ones (single cup, with a stainless steel disc on the bottom of the component for the ball bearing to roll on), as well as a couple sets of the Symposium Jr's. They're all good. Still need a spring though, as roller bearings do not isolate in the vertical plane.
And then there is the Townshend Audio Seismic Pod!
A friend of mine, GH, turned me on to a much less expensive alternative made out of furniture cups and ball bearings. Bought the parts on Amazon for around $15. They are:
Slipstick CB605 Furniture Wheel Caster Cups / Floor Protectors with Non Skid Rubber Grip (Set of 4 Grippers) 1-3/4 Inch - Chocolate Brown
Ten 3/4" Inch Chrome Steel Bearing Balls G25
The ball bearings sit just above the top of the cup. I use four for stability. I’ve tried them under an Oppo 105 with a mild improvement. I also used an Ikea Butcherblock cutting board underneath the cups/bearings. I also tried blocks of maple on top of the cutting board instead of the cups/bearings but the maple wasn’t as good as the cups/bearings.
I have an Aurender N10. The isolation on that component is not very good and it picks up significant vibration during spirited listening. The cups/bearings work very well in this application. Not exactly sure how much sound improvement I’ve realized since I’ve never removed them. But I can tell you that nearly all of the vibration during modest to loud volume is removed as tested by resting my hand very lightly on top of the N10. If you put weight on top of the player, such as a heavy hand, it picks up the vibration; so the isolation on top of the circumference of the four ball bearings seems to work well.
BTW, if you look at the Ingress Engineering product, the cup/bearing method talked about above is the same concept.
Final Daruma offered ball bearing type isolation before Symposium and Stillpoints if you can find them they are a better sounding alternative just my opinion on my own experience.
Herbies audio Labs are OK for the money but soften the sound to much if you use on all components.
If you would like to use the best isolation products on the planet then check out Townshend Audio.
Max Townshend has devoted over 40 years to research and development on illuminating harmful vibrations that can affect your systems performance. His first product was the Seismic Sink Platform.
Start off with a pair of Seismic Podiums for your speakers then sit back and be amazed, after that you can use the Seismic Isolation Pods or Seismic Isolation Platforms to isolate individual components.
Or you can do the hole lot in one and sit your rack on top of a set of Seismic Corners S type or F type depending on what rack you have.
Ask GK why spring type isolation is best he has been selling them for years, you can add bearing type isolation as well but bearings alone will not completely isolate anything and your spending multi thousands of pounds attempting it.
The Townshend Audio Seismic Pod is 99 GBP each they will isolate your component from all the damaging effects of seismic vibrations.
My best advice is start with your speakers checkout Max Townshend youtube video on the damaging effects of spikes.
When your ready to experience Townshend Seismic Isolation go to ebay.co.uk and you will see discounted prices.
Hi thyname: According to the system picture you have posted you're using wooden shelves on your rack. Although they look really nice, wood is not the best material to use sonically. Keep the Stillpoints Ultra SS footers you have for now and try upgrading one of your shelves first. There are many brands to choose from, although the better ones can be quite pricey.
Yes @yoby I do use wooden shelves and rack. But those are not your warehouse woods. My rack is made of 4” and 2” thick air dried solid maple wood from Mapleshade:
They are excellent. So may I suggest you take a look before you put them down?
I actually make a dual layer mass on spring iso stand, the Nirvana, Revelation Audio has one, it’s two stacked layers of heavy masses on springs. The trick is keeping the resonance frequency of each mass on spring layer far enough apart to avoid any untoward interaction. It’s how the big boys do it.
No problem @yoby no offense taken. I am pretty happy with Mapleshade and don’t see myself changing anything anytime soon. Are there better things out there? Sure are, but I have to stop somewhere and be satisfied. Like with everything in life. Honestly, I had been very resistant on racks and platforms over the past 15 years or so, and only used cheap racks before from VTI and Pangea. It took getting the Samson rack locally from someone last year to change my mind. So yes, racks matter, and I do realize I can do better. But not for now. Mapleshade will do.
The Symposium Rollerblock 2+ arrived! Very well built, and effective! Damn... though they had like four pages of instructions to read 😂😂. So, I moved my Stillpoints Ultra SS to my power conditioner, and using these for my ZENith MK3 server. My system never sounded so good! Not sure whether from “equipping “ my Power Conditioner with footers in general, or from Rollerblocks.
I just ordered a set of three Level 3, V3 from Ingress Engineering. For less than half the price of the Symposiums, worth trying and comparing.