Are all "Floor Protectors"& TipToes Created Equal?

I'm looking to protect the wood floors of my 18th century house. They've been there much longer than ever I will be, and from respect I'd like to leave floors without spike holes to the next steward of this house.

I need 16 of these items: four under my TT platform, three under each speaker, three under the equipment rack and three under the CD player.

Is one 'floor protector' or 'footer' (placed under equipment spikes, racks and the like) better than another?

Is one type better for speakers than for equipment racks? (my speakers weigh about 100 pounds apiece, all told)

Why? (just personal preference, or is there a musically relevant reason?)

Is one material preferable to another?

What has your experience been?

Thanks for your time and your thoughts.

David Kellogg
put them on hockey pucks, low cost, very effective.
David - if you go about this by setting the TT and the CD on the rack, then the rack and the speakers on the floor you will probably want a mix of things.

Generally there are two conflicting goals at work. In the one case you want to isolate the unit from vibration (typically airborne) This is particularly important with the TT.

I am not a TT guy, but I have observed that many folks favor a very heavy shelf to go on the rack - something like a Black Diamond Racing or Symposium. Then they may put the TT itself on something to help with the second part of the problem which is to drain internal vibration. The Seismic Air Sink and the Clouds seem to offer a best of both worlds solution but I only know that from reading, not experience.

In my experience anything with a motor - CD, DVD, BD, even hard drives benefit from draining vibration. Here you are looking at things like Symposium Rollerballs, Aurios, Stillpoints and the like.

When it comes to putting stuff on the floor, things change. First to state the really obvious, if it were me on an antique floor, I would want something as wide as possible to spread the weight - think diameter here for a better chance of avoiding a dimple.

Second consideration is the floor itself. Is it on a solid slab or is it just on beams with air underneath. If the latter is the case, it will probably be desirable to decouple the speakers from the floor to avoid undue bass buildup.

I have suspended wood floors and have been very happy with two different approaches.

Upstairs, I have carpet over plywood. Here I use spikes. I really like the Soundcity Outriggers. They add a lot of stability to the cabinets which are pretty narrow, they tighten the bass and they allow leveling. They probably offer some kind of tip protector. (Herbie does - see a bit further down)

In my HT rig, the speakers sit on a suspended wood floor. Here I am using Soundcare Super Spikes which is basically a spike mounted into a flat surface so no floor damage. For additional decoupling I put them on Herbies Fat Dots. Considering that they are sitting on a hollow sounding board the result is excellent.

Check the Herbies Audio Lab site, he has a number of new offerings which will meet your needs.

I would treat the rack the same way as I treat the speakers.

BTW both solutions use four footers because they use the threads that are generally installed in the base of the speakers. Both manufacturers offer different size threads - depending on where your cabinets are built, some will be US standard, some will be metric.

Obviously if you are handy you can drill and tap a new one in the center of the front or back and go to three feet.

The other solution I have used that I feel is really exceptional are the Sistrum platforms. Again you will have to shield the tips - I would talk to Star Sound about this since their pieces are carefully tuned.

If you look at some of the virtual systems here, you will also see that some guys are using a piece of 2 inch granite or maple under the speaker. Typically you would want the base to be about 2" wider all around then the cabinet. For some interesting ideas, take a look at what Mapleshade does - Pierre has been out in front of this for a long time.

If you to maple, you could decouple it from below with fat dots and then spike into it from above. I would check and see how level your floor is since there really is no good way to level a piece of wood or stone that big.
There are many good products available and it would be difficult to say one is better than another as an absolute. Some might do one thing a little better than another one.

For speakers, I use spikes with cups under the spike to protect the hardwood floor. I prefer a cup that has the thinnest, tiniest bit of rubber or felt underneath it. Otherwise the cup can leave an impression; although it is less than the impression that would be caused if somebody walked across the floor with high heels. Older hardwood floors that do not have the mulitple layers of factory applied finish, as is found in modern hardwood floors, are not as hard and are more susceptible to dimpling. So the wider the cupped base, the better.You might even try a stone or granite square base to increase surface area, with the spiked speaker or stand placed on top of that; although that can introduce other problems.

Generally you want something that has a good connection with the floor but a small surface area to minimize vibration transfer into the equipment from below. That's why spikes are good. The flat base or cup for the spike is then added only to protect the floor.

There is no reason why the stand needs different protectors than the speakers. The same purpose is being served. Individual component products, which are smaller than stand/speaker stands, can be useful in protecting vibrations from one component travelling through the stand into another component. Personally, I have not found any advantage in isolating individual components other than a turntable. A turntable may have a good isolation base with a suspension system anyways. Others do notice a benefit from isolating individual components. I think it would benefit tubed equipment in particular, in addition to turntables.

Here is an interesting product that is not expensive but very good.

It is an integrated spike and cup in one unit. It avoids the problems of having a spikes speaker/stand bunmped out of the cup. I have noticed that this can easily occur with shallow cups. It also makes moving speakers about for tweaking positioning a lot easier.
You might want to check out the coupling discs that Starsound Technologies (Sistrum) offer as well. I use their stands and they are superb and make a significant difference, especially in front-end performance.
Marigo Audio Mystery Feet would change your musical life. Very expensive, but there's no comparison to anything else. And the manufacturer will give you a 30-day free trial period. There are separate designs for different applications.