First, I'd like to state up front that I am associated with Starsound Technologies, the maker of resonance control devices that address what isolation devices fail to do. They are the maker of the original Audiopoints, which do not cost anywhere near $450, have engineered geometry, and do the best job that a brass cone can do. However, when looking for a speaker device, the Sistrum Platforms are the best that I've found for my system, and they work really well on it, and many others' systems too. There are platforms or racks made by Sistrum that are even more effective than the Audiopoints for components. The platforms and racks provide a much greater degree of vibration evacuation than even the very good Audiopoints do. But the Audiopoints are used as contact points in all these platforms and racks, due to their great effectiveness.
You'll find some users on this forum, who have the Sistrum racks, platforms, Audiopoints, and Sonoran cables. They have posted their happy results many times in the past, on these pages. A cone is not a cone, a rack is not a rack, and a wire is not a wire. The engineering of these things makes a difference, and they cannot all be lumped into the same category. If you want the best, at reasonable but not cheap prices, then look into the Sistrum stuff. It is not the most expensive, but it will be the most effective at removing unwanted vibrations from your system, in nearly all cases.
Energy seeks ground via the fastest route possible. Provide a rapid-transfer path to ground, and the vibrations will move away all by themselves. This is basic physics. It's like a "short-circuit" for vibrations, and it works. Try one piece, and you'll come back for the whole package. I've seen it time and again.
I know some people promote other vibration control methods. But I feel certain that they have never tried a Sistrum. It is not possible to group this product in with other products that claim to do "similar" things. This product line stands alone in what it can do so effectively.
I'm confident about this because I use it, and I know what it does. I'm not speculating. In a world of hype, there can be things that really do what they claim. This is one of them. It may not be the answer to all things, but if vibrations, and their effects on your sound are your concern, you should investigate these products.
Mitchb - caps lock is on the left, near the shift key.
My favorite line of isolation products come from Symposium. I have my speakers on their Svelte shelf. This does a very good job of tightening up the bass and making the sound stage lock into place.
I use an Ultra shelf under the preamp. This has a very subtle effect on the preamp, but this may be the case because my preamp requires relatively little extra isolation (Levinson Ref. No. 32 has a thick case and power supply in a separate chassis).
My CD player are on Rollerblocks that couple it to the shelf that comes with my Zoethecus rack. The Rollerblocks make a fairly substantial improvement in making the sound much cleaner (perhaps a bit leaner sounding) and more dynamic.
Cheap, easy & effective would be to add a wall shelf (could be mounted directly above the rack) for the CD player.
Ask Ken @ Greater Ranges/Neaunace if there is a model he can recommend to be used in combination with one of their Neuance shelves. Can't imagine such a combo being too expensive as the shelf alone is only around $165.
The wall shelf should offer "adjustable" upturned spiked shelf supports in order that you can easily maintain an even keel on the CD player as the house/building settles. Spiked shelves are desirable for other reasons as well, but adjustable spikes are what make sense with TT's and CD players.
CD players (the transport sections) are better off leveled (just like a TT) for optimum performance. Doesn't make much sense considering the weight/mass of a CD, but level your player, if it's not, and you should hear a difference/improvement in the HF's. Most new/older buildings continue to settle (our 40 year old building supported by steel "I" beams just keeps on moving).
If a wall shelf is out of the question (they can look quite nice if centered over a rack), then look into a rack that offers like features to the wall shelf described above (for the CD player shelf @ least). A wall shelf however, by isolating the player from the PS/Pass gear is your best bet, IMO.
I'm am only familiar with the little 30 watt Pass single ended amp (not your Biguns:-). The Aleph 30 that I played around with for an afternoon sounded pretty much the same when placed on any hard/solid surface (not so good when resting on either the carpeted floors/shelves @ the shop). The Mapleshade cones I tried (in combination with a rack) lightened the bass up too much (no one cared for the change in the sound).
Other than looking for stands/racks for the heavy gear, maybe just try removing the PS unit from the rack in the meantime? You might try coning it to the floor if you have any spares on hand.
Racks/stands are a good focus area, IMO, which is where you are headed. I have gone through 3 systems in the past 3 years, in the process of downsizing, and the original rack/shelves have done duty for all of these systems. I traded down electronics only, not the racks/shelves/cables which make even lesser gear sound better than it normaly would.
I do use spiked shelves for the amps/preamp, but I do not believe that mine would hold up to the weight of your Pass gear in the long run. Mana and Sistrum racks, to name a few, look to be fairly sturdy.
I would highly reccomend the Grand Prix Audio racks. I have recently added a rack and some amp stands in two different systems. The benefits of these devices was simply amazing, really you'd have to experience it to believe what these can do for a system. There is a lot of science to back up their claims as well. After experiencing the improvments the Grand Prix racks make I move the importance of vibration control in a system up a notch, especially with top notch electronics that are capable of very high resolution. They aren't cheap, but what they will do for your system makes them a great value.
Also excellent is the Sounds of Silence Vibraplane. Source components benfit especially from the Vibraplane
The best so far I've experienced are Neuance shelves, www.neuanceaudio.com. I use one under my cdp and one under my integrated amp, and they can be just put under the component as free standing. The shelves are far superior to the BDR cones that I tried before, and much cheaper then most other platforms. Hope this helps...
I use a sandwhich of Audiopoints, half inch plate glass, and Vibrapods tuned to the weight of your equipment. I have tried both flavors of BDR cones and the Mapleshades (the shades do thin the bass) and preferred Audiopoints. This combo works well with my Levinson gear. I'm curios about the cones from Oregondv.com but have not tried them yet.
Your post is way too hard to read. Check out MWilson.
What works for me, under the source, is doubled-up rollerblocks and a BDR Shelf for Source. This was, by far, the best, although crazy expensive.
Before spending big bucks on audiophile grade isolation device, I highly recommend you try putting a half-inflated bicycle inner tube under your CD player and preamp. I have a 12 one under my Sony DVP-S9000ES and it sounded like a different player. The digital noise was gone, vocal was much smoother and everything came out effortlessly. I think you will like the result. But what if you dont? Well, you will probably waste a grand total of about $4 each.
You'll never be able to fully isolate a component that is in the same room as the speaker system. Nor will you ever be able to transfer all of the energy that the device generates or picks up to another device. Some energy will remain with that component and / or be reflected back to that component. Anybody that tells you something different either doesn't understand the basic laws of physics or has some type of agenda.
The best that you can do is to reduce the ampitude of the resonances / vibrations that the device generates or picks up and try to spread them over a wide frequency range. At the same time, you have to think about minimizing the potential for the devices being used to achieve those goals contributing their own sonic signature into the system. They can do this via reflecting the energy that they were not able to effecively absorb or pass on back into the device OR coupling other outside energy back into the system. After all, anything that is coupled to a device can transmit energy in both directions. While the energy transfer might not be equal in both directions, denying this fact would be nothing short of silly.
Having said all of that, please do a search in the archives regarding coupling and / or isolating. You'll find a wealth of information both here and on Audio Asylum. Sean
Thanks for all your input and sorry for the bold print of my origional post. I was frustrated in experimenting with different tweeks and forgot that it's about having fun and enjoying the music. After all it's only a hobby.
That being said I discovered that by putting better cones on my PS Audio P500 the sound dramatically improved. I did not believe the ac conditioner was as influenced by isolation as it is.I put brass under the PS Audio and BDR cones#4 under the power supply of my preamp and that seems to work for now.It's fun to be able to manipulate the sound of my system by simply switching cones around. I guess it's about trial and error. As I'm reading more posts on Audiogon I'm realizing that I have tons to learn about audio but that's OK as I'm always willing to learn. Thanks
Would an isolation shelf be significant under my Titanium cones under my CDP? My CDP is on Titanium cones and directly on the top shelf of my Atlantis rack. I'm thinking of putting an isolation shelf under the Titanium cones on the top shelf of my rack.
experiment till you find nirvana. similar to sidssp who used an inner tube, i placed a few of those air filled packing bags (about 4in x7in under my cdp. Imaging improved, bass improved, some detail improved...all to a fairly substantial degree...high end extension such as brush work on snare and some symbols vanished completely. a combination of metal and rubber cones under my tube pre with the pointy end up helped the imaging there with no adverse affects. Wish i had more time to chase the ultimate