anybody buying into magnetic levitation "eliminates the effects of any vibration" ?


it is a cool idea but the claim is preposterous, if the bottom magnet moves that forces the top magnet to move.  If the bottom magnet vibrates, the top magnet follows suit. As an extreme example lift a corner of the base and the top moves right along with it. It may  dampen the motion and act like a spring, but they are still coupled together,

They say it is not attached in any way to the bottom, but it is because you also have the vibration from the base plate through the posts to the top plate. Without the posts the top would just slide off to the side so they have to be mechanically coupled

To read the hype you would believe it is like a magic carpet that just floats in the air, but it is definitely coupled to the base. I'm not saying it might not be the best sounding base in the world, I'm just saying what they are claiming is  impossible, and if someone is making claims that are absolutely not true it makes you leery.
herman
Putting powerful magnets near electronic gear sounds like a bad idea in general to me.
Hey, nothing’s perfect. You could do a lot worse than magnetic levitation. You could do nothing. 
herman
They say it is not attached in any way to the bottom ...
Who is "they?"

It isn’t clear if you’re dubious about the technology in general, or if you are referring to a specific product.
Cleeds, Relaxa is making the claims of complete decoupling here

Geoff, but they do claim it is perfect.  I didn't saying anything about the effectiveness of the shelves. I'm just saying their claim of complete decoupling is bogus. Kind of like saying a little digital clock even when the battery is dead can transform the sound in a symphony hall. BTW, your claim that nothing would be a lot worse is  conjecture unless you have tried it.. perhaps you have. If so, did you find it effective? AND it is impossible to do nothing.. the component has to sit on something.
Who is they? People say lots of things. It’s called puffing. As I said, regarding isolation, nothing is perfect. But that is not the same as saying there’s no such thing as isolation. The issue with opposing magnets is the large sideways forces. I built a mag lev stand 25 years ago. I’ve also compared spring based iso stands to Relaxa stand, fifteen years ago. Springs are better.
herman
Cleeds, Relaxa is making the claims of complete decoupling here.
Thanks. I've never heard of this company and I haven't seen the claims. Is this a real product, or is it vaporware? Can you tell us more about the manufacturer, and perhaps include a link to the website?

Cleeds, they are selling here so I suppose it is a real product and you can get more info from the listings
Of course it’s a real product. They’ve been around a long time. 
I agree, the top is not isolated from the bottom at all. To prove it, obtain two magnets and hold one magnet in each hand with the same poles facing each other so they repel. Move one magnet back and forth slightly to simulate a vibration. Do you feel the movement in the other magnet? If you don’t want to do the experiment, the answer is "yes".

A lot of audio products are designed for gullible audiophiles.
geoffkait
Of course it’s a real product. They’ve been around a long time.
Really? I've never heard of 'em! Does the manufacturer have a website?
At the risk of repeating myself I compared one of my products with the Relaxa stand 15 years ago. I agree it’s not a household name. Nevertheless.....
At the risk of repeating myself


Every one of your posts is you repeating yourself.
Whoa, Nellie Belle!! Speaking of air bags. 😀
Magnetic levitation is used to isolate the heavy platter for the Verdier Turntable and for the turntable popular on YouTube last year. Air bearings have issues, too, but are a little easier to deal with than mag lev. Been there, done that. 😛

https://youtu.be/se0XO3780Pg
Magnetic levitation is used to isolate the heavy platter for the Verdier Turntable

The point of this thread is that magnets don't isolate something from vibration, though.  Any (or at least some) of the vibrations in the Verdier's plinth will transmit through to the platter.
Actually, mr. smarty pants, you’re wrong. Mag lev is an effective isolation technique. That’s why Relaxa is still in business after all these years. Why do you think Verdier went to the trouble to use mag lev? For the isolation! Hel-loo! Same reason air bearings aren’t perfect. The strong air flow produces some vibration. That’s why I had 500 feet of air tubing and two air buffers when I had a Maplenoll air bearing turntable.
The product ad that popped up here on Audiogon recently costs about $1300. You can clearly see the retaining posts so there is no way it is completely isolated.

So sure it has limitations. Everything does.

I guess the question is: Would this product be superior to any other $1300 solution?

The concern about magnets of that strength near sensitive electric equipment has been mentioned but no one has confirmed if it is a real issue or not.

A lot of people also put cooling fans near (even on top of) their equipment. I may do so soon. Seems like that could be bad for SQ too. Better than roasting your gear I guess.
I suspect whether the Relaxa performance is equal to or better than equal priced devices would be rather difficult to prove. It would be an interesting undertaking to compare the top 10 iso stands. Good luck to whoever volunteers. As for magnets interfering with electronics, they could if they were in close proximity. But magnetic field strength falls off according to the inverse square law. That’s why when you hold two strong magnets at some relatively small distance from each other they no longer attract/repel. Plus magnetic fields are directional, obviously, thus one could actually place magnets near electronics if he knew what he was doing.
Also, be aware that if you’re really clever the “stops” on a mag lev device, like the ones on the Relaxa, that prevent the top plate sliding off onto the floor can be very slender steel threads, greatly minimizing contact between the lower half of the device and the top plate. After all, thread is an excellent isolator itself. That’s why I oft suggest suspending cables and cords from eye hooks in the ceiling using fishing line or thread. LIGO used to use or maybe still uses suspensions of sapphire thread as part of a comprehensive isolation program; the only noise produced by atomic motion in the suspension.
Mag lev is an effective isolation technique.

Yeah, well, it doesn't "eliminate the influence of ANY external vibration" like the ad claims.

They also claim"
This allows you to mount the bottom RELAXA platform on any surface and that surface will have zero effect on the top RELAXA floating platform. Zero resistance equals zero vibration.

Crapola
Hey, ketchup, we already know that no iso technique is perfect. Give the guy a break. There’s no harm in puffing. Most good audiophile iso devices are only about 50% or less effective for vibration below 10 Hz.
Opposed like magnetic poles act like a spring. Vibration is transmitted, but excursion is reduced and damped. The spring constant determines the stiffness of the spring.

Maglev is a great technology, but not close to a cartridge, IMO.
I don't buy it at all. The people who have an economic interest in vibration isolation aren't playing around with magnets. They offer products that work:

https://www.newport.com/c/table-top-isolation-platforms
Magnetic levitation has worked like clockwork on my Clearaudio Performance turntable for years and has never presented any issues to cartridges. I don't see why this should be an issue for your application which is so much further away from sensitive equipment.
Common sense dictates that levitating the turntable would increase its susceptibility to airborne vibrations.  It may decouple the table from its mooring, but that isn't the only source of vibration.

jnorris2005
46 posts
03-21-2019 11:36pm
Common sense dictates that levitating the turntable would increase its susceptibility to airborne vibrations. It may decouple the table from its mooring, but that isn't the only source of vibration.

>>>>I’m glad you brought that up. The reason airborne vibration is not very important for turntables is because the resonant frequencies of the tonearm and cartridge are very low, by design, circa 10 Hz, much lower than the lowest frequency generated by most speakers. That’s why it’s the very low frequency seismic vibration in the range 0-30 Hz that is the real issue, you know, since that range contains the Fr of the tonearm and cartridge. Of course, other components ARE susceptible to airborne vibrations. 
gs5556774 posts03-21-2019 9:07pmI don't buy it at all. The people who have an economic interest in vibration isolation aren't playing around with magnets. They offer products that work:

https://www.newport.com/c/table-top-isolation-platforms

>>>>Newport Corp is the mother of all isolation. They were the seed for Vibraplane and Minus K audiophile iso stands. But they are not the only game in town for audiophiles. There are many ways to skin a cat. Mag lev, compression Springs, airsprings, squash balls, air bladders, inner tubes, bungee cords, spring or fishing line suspensions, forced air, negative stiffness (Minus K), leaf springs. 
Of course it doesn't provide complete isolation, the question is whether it does a reasonably good job of isolating whatever is on top from vibration originating from whatever the platform is sitting on at its price point.  It is not going to do the job that a platform built for an electron microscope sits on, and even that wouldn't qualify as "perfect." 

My speakers came with magnetic levitation, like the Relaxa, for the platform that held the midrange horn and tweeter.  I eventually removed the magnetic levitation feature because it was hard to keep the upper platform balanced correctly, particularly if one tried to tilt the speaker a little bit.  I have no idea if the sound changed that much.

I have seen Gabriel, Verdier and ClearAudio tables with magnetic levitation.  All of these tables sound good, but, I have no idea what this form of suspension contributed to the sound.

I would not fret so much about theoretical considerations.  The bottom line is what it does to the sound, and that is a quite complicated matter where "less" is not necessarily better.  I've heard demonstrations using the same brand and type of isolation where, in a particular application, the model capable of better isolation/damping sounded worse.  I've heard systems sound worse after being put on to very expensive rack systems, and I've even heard sets of microphonic tubes sound better than tubes that are less microphonic.   
I'm with mapman. Electromagnetism caution.
geoffkait "The reason airborne vibration is not very important for turntables is because the resonant frequencies of the tonearm and cartridge are very low, by design, circa 10 Hz, much lower than the lowest frequency generated by most speakers."

Much has been researched and implemented towards controlling resonances of the tonearm and cartridge, but, depending on it's construction, the actual table itself will vibrate and resonant well into the audible range.  Those resonances will transfer to the tonearm as well.
jnorris2005
Much has been researched and implemented towards controlling resonances of the tonearm and cartridge, but, depending on it’s construction, the actual table itself will vibrate and resonant well into the audible range. Those resonances will transfer to the tonearm as well.

>>>>>There seems to be some confusion - the tonearm and cartridge resonance Fr is not in the audible range. It’s below the aublible range. What did I just say? Hint: the tonearm and cartridge resonant only at their Fr. That’s why it’s called resonant frequency.

larryi Of
 course it doesn’t provide complete isolation, the question is whether it does a reasonably good job of isolating whatever is on top from vibration originating from whatever the platform is sitting on at its price point. It is not going to do the job that a platform built for an electron microscope sits on, and even that wouldn’t qualify as "perfect."

>>>>>Bad example. Electron microscope stands by and large by virtue of their rather mediocre resonant frequency are actually quite ineffective for frequencies up to around 20 Hz. By then the damage has already been done since most of the energy of very low frequency seismic vibration is below 5 Hz. And for frequencies below the electron microscope stand’s Fr the effectiveness is zero. Follow? The most heroic isolation system ever developed and built was the LIGO iso system. The Fr for the LIGO iso system is well below 1 Hz, most likely around 0.1 Hz IIRC. Vibraplane and Minus K are both examples of electron microscope stands that were converted to audiophile products.
we already know that no iso technique is perfect. Give the guy a break.

Ummm.... don’t tell me what to do? Besides, he claims that it is perfect!
This allows you to mount the bottom RELAXA platform on any surface and that surface will have zero effect on the top RELAXA floating platform. Zero resistance equals zero vibration.

I’m not surprised at all that you’re okay with false claims!
Geoffkait,

I don't see the point in quibbling with every comment, particularly when they are meant to just to illustrate a general point, which I think we all agree--nothing is perfect, so it did not make sense for the OP to harp on the manufacturer's claim.


As for the specific application of using a Relaxa under a turntable, I certainly think that it can work, but, I think there are way too many variable to say it will work under all or most circumstances.  For example, will it reduce or make footfall problems worse?  This would depend on the resonant frequency of the entire system and that would depend on a number of factors, including the mass of the table.  When a manufacturer builds a spring suspension, or in the case of Verdier, a magnetic suspension, the manufacturer at least has knowledge about that variable.  Also, most tables with suspensions allow for some tuning of the springs. I would be at least concerned that something like the Relaxa will not be quite as flexible in this regard.  
Then why are you quibbling? 😛
Ketchup is a little slow out of the bottle today. We’ve already addressed his concerns. 
nothing is perfect, so it did not make sense for the OP to harp on the manufacturer's claim

I disagree... the point is ... manufacturer claims that his product is perfect i.e. it "eliminates" vibration , he is lying or he is ignorant of the laws of physics.

It is one thing to engage in hyperbole such as "this is the best" or "you won't believe how better your system will sound", and quite another to make statements of "fact" that are blatantly false.

The RELAXA  530 eliminates the influence of any external vibration frequencies

Zero resistance equals zero vibration.

This statement is not hyperbole, it is blatantly false, and therefore it is perfectly acceptable to call him out and bring it to the attention of the community.



Hi,

As the worldwide distributor for RELAXA (except 4 countries) I find that there are some very interesting comments on this thread. I agree that there is no perfect anti-vibration platform but after trying over 50 different anti-vibration products we are really proud of the performance of the RELAXA platforms and on my personal system, RELAXA did make a massive improvement. Before we decided to represent RELAXA we tried all 3 RELAXA models on 6 different very good systems. Our original thoughts was that the platforms would only work on turn tables and tube equipment but the positive effects on solid state equipment was also easily audible. Every system we used the RELAXA on was improved and it was very easy to hear the improvements. I always ask the same question when I am installing a new piece of equipment "could I live without that piece of equipment" and I could not live without my RELAXA platforms.

I find it interesting that so many people have a hypothetical opinion but have never actually tried the product. We have sold almost 100 RELAXA platforms in the past month and we have had zero returns and most clients have ordered a 2nd unit. I enjoy reading the forums but I always trust my own ears and that is probably why I have A/B tested so much audio equipment. As the saying goes "I liked it so much I bought the company". Although we could not actually buy the company we did purchase the worldwide distribution rights and we are extremely happy with performance of all 3 RELAXA platforms.

The ads on Audiogon are to create attention to the product. We have edited the wording and I apologize if this has caused anyone to lose any sleep.

Cheers,