My favorite tweak involved hanging my Class A monos under the basement floor joists: thermal, acoustic and visual isolation in one shot! Enjoy the music.
16 responses Add your response
I'll second Ernie on this type of isolation tweak. I installed the electronics for the living room setup in the hall closet. Very little air born vibration and a lot less coming up from the floor. Also when the lights are out and the music is on, no glowing LED's or tubes to distract me from the music. Another bonus is that I can suspend and organize the cords and cables for the best sound as they are not in plain site.
Good going Ernie. I was going to try something like that with a power regenerator sometime soon. Glad to see that it paid off for you. Your feedback gives me more of an incentive to "get around to it" a little quicker.
As to Robedk's "door stop" tweak, i've found that using different size sorbothane footers works better than anything else. You can do a slight tilt downward AND minimize energy transfer from the speaker into the TV at the same time. Since my center channel uses two 8" woofers, it goes quite low and was causing "funky" things due to the vibration. Using a set of sorbothane footers, a layer of MDF and then another layer of sorbothane footers took care of the problem. Sean
My monster and panamax conditioners used to sit directly on the livingroom floor. I lifted them one day and placed a combination of thick styrafoam and bricks under them and was simply amazed at the improvement I heard. It was on the level of an equipment upgrade. A sense of ease and flow was there with more depth into the music hidden in the low backgound.....I'm humbly discovering, "everything sounds or affects the playback.....especially a nice merlot...." cheers, everyone. Bluenose
Kubla, Dekay, Sean: Cheers!
The basement idea: Wife couldn't stand the sight of Aleph 2 monos out in the open, nor did I want to accept their heating the room in the summer (600w idle)---nor asymmetrical speaker cables, as I have the rack on one sidewall. So...
I found VERY strong knock-down "L" rails and brackets at Home Depot, and screwed a pair each of these rail-hangers into my basement floor joists underneath each speaker. The rails then just slot into the hangers, hanging loosely, then the lower "shelf" brackets in turn. A parallel pair of these 10" apart provide the support for the vented plastic milk crates (1 ft cube ID), that are then bungee-strapped to them. The monos then just slip into these plastic "buckets!". As the rails are slotted, and can easily be cut to any length, I simply set 'em up to provide a good 15" air space above the monos' tops. I estimate hanging test-strength as at least 500 lbs static. If necessary I can dismantle the whole setup in less than 1/2 hour! It's cat-proof, bump-proof, etc. The fact that the monos are suspended perhaps helps convection-cooling, too (of course the basement is always cooler anyway), and perhaps compensates for slightly less radial cooling because of the
plastic crate ribs.
The setup necessitated asymmetrical balanced ICs from my Aleph P down the sidewall to each mono: 3m R, 6m L. Speaker cables are simply a normal 8' pair snaked up the baseboard, coming out of each sidewall 2-3' over to each speaker. I simply drilled holes in each hardwood baseboard, using a cheap plastic outlet cover with a rectangular slot in it (the kind sold for slider-dimmers) with the cables snaked through. Non-audiophiles are amazed to see the silver-ribbon Nordost RedDawn rev II "flowing" from the baseboard outlets over to my Parsifal Encores. Somehow they (and my wife, in her "visual" mode) think all the power comes from the visible Aleph P preamp on the sidewall rack, unaware of the monos hanging under the floor.
Interestingly, I use unshielded balanced Red Dawn 3+6m IC, which although they run only a few feet away from my basement 300 amp breaker panel, do not pick up ANY noise. Even with the gain and master volume wide open on the Aleph I hear NOTHING! (Phew.) I suppose having the cables delicately hanging from the joists is considered preferable
by some of the cognoscenti as well, eh? Well, let's just call it a happy consequence of gravity!
No, I cannot tell you that I performed controlled comparisons with the monos conventionally located on the listening floor (as opposed to suspended below them), but given what I've learned from you guys this year about isolation/coupling/vibration-vetting techniques, it appears
I've stumbled upon an installation method that's cheap ($15), quiet, safe, cool (thermal), and resistant to airborne AND directly transmitted vibration. The only additional tweaking has been to install a Neuance shelf under my CDP. I somehow doubt the massive Aleph P would benefit much by such a shelf or Rollerblocks, etc., but I'm
I toyed with the idea of mounting both monos together on one joist under the rack, and then running asymmetrical speaker cables, but learned that it's better to keep the speakers identically loaded and thus run asymmetrical ICs.
It's all worked splendidly. Now to get a proper digital front end...think Ellen will accept a Wadia 850 staring at her if I can hide the AlephP instead? OY! Good night, guys 'n gals. Ernie
Jayboard: indeed, I ganged two power strips upthrough the baseboard to a single one sitting under my rack, with just its switch and LED bulb visible. I thus can sleepily stumble over at 3AM and kill the monos' greedy thirst with a push of my big toe! And if I forget I can tell at a glance from across the room, so it works well.
I'm sure I'm engendering the wrath of the powercable upgraders with such a pedestrian arrangement, but so far I haven't otherwise conjured an affordable "Y"-shaped wiring ascheme that would allow easy switching. Nelson Pass assures me it's all okay, but also admits that there's been feedback from those who claim that aftermarket AC cables perhaps improve bass slam of the Alephs. Again, my priorities now rest with improving the digital front end. Cheers! Ernie