Can I go wrong with Stillpoint Ultra Mini anti-vibration isolation feet?


I am researching what anti vibration isolation feet to add to my components. I came across a Galen Carol article which compared and rated various isolation devices. The Stillpoints rated the highest among isolation feet with at 9 out of 10 rating. If purchased used I could afford Stillpoints bottom of the line Ultra Minis for my Marantz KI Ruby CD/SACD player and Luxmann L507u Mk2 integrated amp. Maybe later some more for my Shunyata Hydra Denal 6000/S power conditioner. Do you think these would be a good choice for my system in their price range of maybe $350 or more a set used.

If it makes a difference the rest of my system is a VPI Classic 2 turntable with an Ortofon 2M Black cartridge, and a pair of Magico A3 speakers. The components are sitting on built into the wall shelves. The top shelf for the CD player and turntable is a slab of marble floating on a cushion of that rubbery shelf liner you can use for kitchen drawers, which is on a floating slab of 3/4" Baltic Birch plywood on another piece of shelf liner over a fixed 3/4" plywood shelf. The integrated amp is on the middle shelf similarly designed but without the marble level. The bottom shelf, the same as the middle has the power conditioner and my DISH box for watching TV.

So what do you think? Would the Stillpoints be a good choice or should I be looking elsewhere and why. Again I’m only looking for feet, not shelves or platforms. I’m sure some of you have some experience with these devices and could help guide me along as I’ve none. Thank you for your thoughts and I'd appreciate your advice.

Below are some of the more affordable higher rated isolation feet I’ve been taking a look at from the Galen Carol list along with his 1-10 rating on each. The Stillpoints are a bit more pricey, but have the highest rating, so maybe are worth the extra investment. The full list is at https://www.gcaudio.com/tips-tricks/a-brief-survey-of-isolation-devices/

Aurios Classic- Roller Ball (8)

Pro Max- Roller Ball (7)

Decouplers- Roller Ball (5)

Black Diamond Racing (BDR) Cones- Rigid (5)

Clear Audio Magix- Other (7)

Daruma IIIi- Roller Ball (7)

DH Cones- Rigid (7)

Isolation Bearings- Roller Ball (7)

Finite Elemente Ceraball- Roller Ball/Other (7)

Cerapuc- Roller Ball/Other (8)

Gingko Mini Clouds- Viscoelastic (8)

Marigo Small Cones- Rigid (6)

Reference- Rigid (6)

Stillpoints- Other (9)

Symposium Rollerblocks - Roller Ball (8)


Thanks for looking,

Mike



skyscraper
I had the Stillpoints then my dealer let me try some Ingress Engineering roller blocks that surpassed the Stillpoints and at less cost. Check them out.
If you purchase the Stillpoints mini used there is very little risk if you don’t like them and have to resell them. 
Rsf507, I’ll look uo the Ingress Engineering roller blocks you mentioned today. What did you like better about their performance?

Testpilot, good point,

Mike
I have them under a massive plinth built by Russ Collinson of Layers of Beauty housing my Garrard 301. Before getting the Stillpoints, I was using edenSound Bearpaws under the same plinth. I usually hear differences with footers, In this case, I heard none. I bought mine from Steve Dobbins of Xact Audio in Idaho, after buying a VdH Crimson Strad from him for the same deck. Steve advised me to ignore the instructions-which say that the footers should not be screwed all the way tight and to tighten them anyway. I might try loosening them a bit. It has been a year now!
Galen Carol really knows his stuff and is a joy to work with. I have bought from him multiple times. Major components and small items. 
@sky I found the Ingress had better bottom end and were a bit more open.
I presume that comparison was made before Isoacoustics came on the scene in a big way.  A selection of their Oreas (not oreos) might prove tempting.
I use them and like their performance. I have them under both Hydras. Currently trying them under my phono preamp, replacing DH cones.

The minis sound better using 4. This becomes agrivating however. You quickly find out how flat your platform/casework really is.
Fsonicsmith, you didn’t mention how you liked their performance. I’d be interested in your input on that.

Rsf507- thanks for the description of how the Ingress Roller Blocks sound better in your system. I have been reading about them today. They sound promising and at a much better price point. Do you have the black Version 2 or silver Version 3 Ingress Roller blocks? They look the same other than color and height but the newer Version 3 costs twice the price ($199 CA vs $95 CA). I wonder what you get for double the money.

Twoleftears, there are Aurios on Galen Carols list, but not Oreas. I’ll look into them. Thanks.

Slaw, I’d read about four Stillpoints being better than three. You’re absolutely correct about finding out how level and flat your shelves are, especially any wooden ones. They tend to warp over time, and vary in level and flatness seasonally with humidity too. Good you’re pleased with your Stillpoints. I read up on the DH cones you mentioned also.

What difference do you note when you place Stillpoints under your Hydras?. I’ve been wondering if there was any advantage to placing them under a power conditioner which would warrant the purchase of an additional set of isolation feet. Thanks for your advice.

Mike
@skyscraper,

They cleaned up the signal. Power conditioners need to be treated just like a component. By removing noise/hash, you hear a clearer presentation. There is a video out there from years ago where, I believe it was Roy Gregory, doing a demo of the advantages of Stillpoints under various components. The difference is easily heard on the videos.
Gents, is it permitted to just mention (name & website without embellishment), our isolation products to add to the above list for consideration? TIA.
@tt1man,

I don't know the rules but I'm not bothered by it.
I don’t know if its permissible or not, but since this is my post I don’t mind either. The moderators can always delete your entry if it’s a rule violation of some sort.

Mike.
critical mass systems have recently started offering footers in addition to their racks.  These are called 'center stage'.  CS2 for short.

It is not possible to make A/B comparisons with these as they sound horrible for 2-3 weeks.  At the end of that period you realise that what you are hearing is magic.  

Read the reviews.  It's all true. I am currently on my fourth set and going for more. 

By the way, it is not necessary to get rid of older footers.  I find it's quite often beneficial to stack new ones on top of older ones, if the form factor allows it.  If not interspersing a layer of marble or granite tile will do the trick. 

Best of luck


Scraper,

If you have $350, buy them and try them. 
You are vibrating my feet with such a question.


@skyscraper

Pneaunce Audio www.pneuaunce.com
Pneupod Pneumatic Isolation Devices NP-1 & NP-2
-David
Lol,  too much coffee-- should be www.pneuance.com
Chorus, I am in the process of learning about these anti-vibration devices, and trying to figure out who the top players are in and around my price point, before making a purchase. I think from the recommendations given here, and after some research I've thus far gotten it narrowed down to a top three choices of the Stillpoint Ultra Minis, the Ingress Audio Rollerblocks, and the IsoAcoustic Oreas I'm looking online for some more side by side comparisons tonight.

I also need to figure out why the Ingress Version 3 Rollerblocks cost over double the Version 2's when they appear to be almost the same other than color and height. If anyone know please share this info. Thanks.

Aubreybob, I'll read up on the CS2's you mention. Thanks for the recommendation.

Anyone out there who has any thoughts on Stillpoint Ultra Minis versus the Ingress Audio Rollerblocks Version 2 or 3 versus the IsoAcoustic Oreas please chime in. Your input would be appreciated. 

Mike









The thing about vibration control and decoupling is that the components themselves generate vibration along with vibration from outside sources.It can't be totally eliminated but can be 'tuned' to sound more accurate or pleasing to our individual ears.There's really not one brand or method that can be declared the best.I've tried the IA Rollerblocks V2 and didn't care for them at all,but others love them.I like the Oreas under my preamp but not under the other components.Ceramic is the best thing I've tried for under my Dac.You never know until you experiment a bit.
As @jtc925  eludes to, internal component vibrations and how to deal with them.........

Having said that, @tt1man, I've seen your product elsewhere. I wonder how an (air pod) can aid in eliminating internal component resonances?
Jtc925, what didn't you care for with the Ingress Audio Rollerblocks when you had them? And what components did you use them under? What do you use now under each component that works better for you.

 And I thought this was going to be easy to figure out. Its almost as crazy as figuring out which cables and interconnects to use. 

Mike
Regarding ball 'n' cup devices... I like them. Stillpoints are essentially the same thing. With my Symposium Rollerblock Jr's, in order to increase transparency, I use a ceramic ball
OP,
What are you hoping to achieve ?

Is their a problem with the sound of your system ?

I have over 40 years tried probably all the Isolation footers/Platforms out there, from my experience in my system with my ears i heard changes in presentation almost all for the worse

Ball type offer a thinner more pin point sound but my system lost the energy and body of the music that i love, 

Various wood type blocks/platforms changed the overall tone to a darker presentation images lost spaciousness sound became closed in.

Granite gave a very hard tonal balance but was OK if you mixed with other footers to tweak to your liking but i found this was pointless so removed quickly,

The very best which offered isolation down to 3HZ and improved my systems performance in the areas that i liked was Townshend Audio Seismic Pods, Seismic Platforms and Seismic Podiums, under my equipment the sound opened up becoming more 3D, Dynamic and spacious but no negative effects to the tonal balance that Balls type and other various materials offered.

Max Townshend has taken vibration Isolation control seriously for over 40 years, here is a link to the Seismic Isolation products
http://www.townshendaudio.com/hi-fi-home-cinema-equipment-vibration-isolation/hi-fi-home-cinema-equi...#

You will not be selling them on, the Seismic Isolation products are keepers but it can be more beneficial to start with your Speakers on the Seismic Bars or Podiums. YMMV but i very much doubt it.

Good luck!



I believe the difference between the Ingress version 2 & 3 is the version 3 is more highly polished and the ball is harder. I've only used the version 3 myself in fact use 4 sets
@skyscraper yes it's just like choosing cables,it's all personal taste.I tried the roller blocks under every component,couldn't hear a difference at all though I expected to.Regarding the air pods mentioned above,I haven't tried them - but I've got an air platform under an ss integrated amp in another room which I like,tightened up the sound.Under tubes components it was awful!
What I personally like(which you may not) are sand boxes.The Dac sits on a ceramic tile, on a sandbox,on Orea mini pucks.The pre is on Orea pucks and then the sandbox.The amp is on IsoAcoustic Aperta200 speaker stands.I actually bought those to use for my speakers but once again,didn't like the sound.I like a spruce board under the speakers.All of my components are tubed.

I guess my point is to think about trying many things before spending $$.Corks,marbles,metal screws,bricks,mouse pads,dishes from the kitchen,sponges,etc.It gives you an idea if a springy footer is what you might like or something firm or spiked.Before I went with sand platforms I filled a plastic storage container with sand just to try.The sound was really night and day,so then I could move on to something more aesthetically pleasing.
@select-hifi,

Spoken like a good salesman. Not that I disagree. ,,(I own a Rock 7).

I think like most of us audiophiles, we strive for more. We've heard things...and we like it.
@fsonicsmith ,

May I ask the total weight of your TT that the Minis were supporting? They are rated @10lbs .each. I have a feeling that you overloaded the Minis.
As fate would have it the best AND most cost effective way to get outstanding iso performance in all or almost all directions of motion is by combining roller bearings of sufficiently good design with simple springs of appropriate design. The springs afford excellent isolation in the vertical direction 🔝 - probably the most critical direction - and roller bearings in cups afford excellent isolation in the horizontal plane 🔛 (infinite number of directions, no?) PLUS twist, rock and roll rotational directions. 🔄 Problem solved! 🤗

For the advanced student try a double layer mass-on-spring system for extremely low resonant frequency.
I use townshend speaker bars under my speaker stands and they make a big difference to imaging.

I have stillpoint ultra ss under my down firing sub, makes a big difference to the sub performance.

I also have black ravioli mk 2 big pads under my isotek sigmas mk2 power conditioner, again big difference to imaging and much more relaxed presentation. Beware though that I had to wait a week for the sound to settle and on day one and 2 the sound was muddy.

For my ss amp, ( Lyngdorf TDAI3400), and my Etheregen network switch I have black ravioli mk1 pads a stack of 2 plus and oak cone for eack footer (4 footers on the amp 3 on the switch). Tighter soundstage but less of an improvement than speakers and power conditioner.

Apple TV just has 3 black ravioli mk1 pads and I weight the top of the unit. Improvements as above.

All my isolation above equipment bought 2nd hand at 30% to 60% retail.

Buying 2nd hand let’s you try and you can move on for minimal loss.

I would like to try the stillpoint minis under my amp at some time but it’s not a priority.

If you want ultimate vibration control bang for your buck, I would reccomend getting some fo.q ta32 and ta102 from eBay Japan and research using it throughout your system including power outlet plates, cabling, equipment chassis (especially near iec inlet), speakers cabinetry and drivers including stands), pcb and electrolytic capacitors(careful it is conductive).

I had a pack of each so far I want to get another pack of each as it is incredibly versatile if you are careful and not concerned with warranty of your equipment you can really deliver much more SQ than what you could achieve with 1 set of stillpoint minis. If you are concerned with warranty then you can still achieve much on external chassis, cabinetry, plugs, cabling and sockets. It is adhesive but its very easy to use and remove.

Fo.q and oak cones may make a very cost effective footer option too.

Good luck with your vibration control journey.




@slaw

Hi,
The Pneupods are not designed to drain internal vibrations of a component. Damping these internal vibrations should be part of the original product design. Pneupods are designed to isolate the component from the platform/rack/cabinet on which it is placed (structure borne vibrations, especially in the critical audio frequency spectrum).
As a side note, I addressed this internal vibration problem back in 1993 by totally damping my TT-1 DAC case, PC board and many individual parts: electrolytic capacitors, toroidal transformer, PC board, and all IC chips with proprietary damping material. This had a significant, positive effect on the overall sound quality, especially reducing the noise floor and background noise.

Cheers.


Q pods from Magico sound much better in my system then Stillpoints better stage,focus,depth and bass detail.Symposium roller blocks are also much better sonically.

using ultra minis under my line stage and phonostage and love them. Saves me from spending lots on a rack

jtcf
yes it’s just like choosing cables, it’s all personal taste. . .

I guess my point is to think about trying many things before spending $$. Corks, marbles, metal screws, bricks, mouse pads, dishes from the kitchen, sponges, etc. It gives you an idea if a springy footer is what you might like or something firm or spiked. Before I went with sand platforms I filled a plastic storage container with sand just to try. The sound was really night and day, so then I could move on to something more aesthetically pleasing.

+1 Get creative. Learn elementary physics while having fun.

Intentionally, create vibrations by playing loud music.  Lightly put your fingers on shelves and components. There’s going to be a huge difference if your room has a suspended floor vs a concrete pad. Discover which vibrations are air-borne and which are floor-borne. There’s a different solution for each. Unfortunately, one size does not fit all. Just like power cords.

I’m a long time fan of Symposium. Yet, I never liked the Rollerblock Jrs - but love the Rollerblock Series 2+. Big difference between the two. Even with the pricier version, the vibrations still need to drain some more before hitting the hard shelf. So, I put rubber padding between the shelf and the Rollerblock Series 2+. This is a similar concept to the sandbox. Depending, I might sandwich both a Symposium Fat Padz and rubber padding above & below the Rollerblock Series 2+. I also am a fan of IsoAcoustics.

Any hobby is time & labor intensive. ($$$, too) Hopefully, it’s an enjoyable experience. (I wish I could say the same for golf.)


I wonder if anyone else has tried ( feel free to laugh but they work pretty darn well IMO)
rubber hockey pucks
as isolation feet, for < $2 each hard to go wrong I have several sets that I use under amps, UDP.
+ geoffkait
+ discopants

Townshend Audio (UK) uses springs.
Solid Tech (Sweden) uses springs.
Lenehan Audio (Australia) uses springs.

The greatest improvement for under $100 I've heard are placing springs under speakers. Isolates the vibrations they create from the rest of the system, including the other speaker and electronics in the room. If the substrate they are used upon are suitably rigid.

http://thefunkfirm.co.uk/shop/accessories/bong/
I tried Stillpoints under numerous components years ago and found them very effective on some pieces and actually detracting under others. My point is that there is no one size fits all solution. Under my transport, I actually prefer my Symposium Roller Blocks. There is a Canadian company that makes feet to be used with speakers that are supposed to be very good that arent very expensive. The company is Iso.....something. 
Slaw, I’d been wondering about whether ceramic ceramic balls might be better in roller block applications. It’s interesting you’ve tried them. . I think McMaster-Carr carries them, but I’m not sure of the quality or smoothness of those..

Selecthi-fi, since you asked. I’m not trying to achieve anything specific with the anti-vibration devices. I’ve read that, like modern cables and interconnects, these devices can make your system sound better. I only bought my new system about a year ago. My older equipment was all purchased in the late seventies, where most of us used zip cords and I’d never heard of anti-virbration products. So if these anti-vibration footers work, like so may attest they do, I’ll soon find out. If they only make the sound different, not better, I’ll find out too. It makes sense they might work, so I’ll try them. I’ll look up the Townsend site you recommend too. Thanks

Rsf507, thank you.

Jtcf, maybe I’ll make up a sand box, I think I’ve a bag of sand out in the garage somewhere. I’m kind of leaning towards the Oreas you also use with the sand box too pending a bit more research and listening to everyone’s advice here. So maybe sand boxes could be a later tweak if I go with them

Geoffkait, I’ve been reading some of older posts recommending the springs for vertical vibation isolation. Do you recommend putting them under the component as footers under a roller bearing device, or under a floating platform. And if you have a minute, what do you mean by a "double layer mass-on-spring system". Thanks

Discopants, you’ve put a lot of thought and effort into your system. I’ll take a look at some of those products you mentioned as I keep learning here. Thank you.

Tt1man, you additionally have gone the extra mile way beyond my skill level. Appreciate what you have done.

Ebm, where are you applying the Magico Q-pods. I’d only read one comment on them while researching yesterday by someone not caring for them, so its interesting you prefer them to the Stillpoints.

Dodgealum, thank you for sharing your experience with the Ultra-Mini’s. Have you tried any other product to compare them with?

Steakster, thanks for your comments. I have been learning a lot by reading old posts and product reviews on these devices. I never expected it to so complex a subject. I was all set to go out and but a few Vibrapods not knowing all that was involved in ani-vibation devices. I had read up some to help design my cabinetry housing the components, but the footers were previously only an afterthought.

My flooring upstairs where the system’s located is 3/4" tongue and groove oak over 3/4" plywood nailed into denser SYP (Southern Yellow Pine) 2x10" joists. the nails are the steel twist type and located in the 3/4" oak planks to screw directly into the 2x10’s. So the floor is pretty rock solid, but not as solid as the slab on grade downstairs.

Thanks for you input on the Symposium Rollerball and Isoacoustic products, too. (By the way, get yourself a good pool table. Basically the same game as golf without all the unnecessary walking around, frustration chasing balls, or putting up with poor weather.)

Auditionaudio, Sounds sensible, but does complicate matters that different devices work better or worse with given components. Nothing good ever comes easily though. Kind of costly to be trying out different devices on each component though. I wonder if certain types of devices work better on certain types of components. Have any of you found that to be true?

Atagulkula, if I had some hockey pucks, I’d give ’em a shot on you say so.

Rixthetrix, maybe I could retrofit my floating Baltic Birch plywood and marble platforms to accept springs rather tham lay on the rubber like shelf liner they are currently on. sounds like a future experiment to consider for sure. I’ll wait and see what Geoff recommends on spring placement. Thanks.

And thank you all for so many replies today. I was really surprised and pleased to hear from so many of you, and will carefully consider all your advice.

Mike
Sorbothane Vibration Isolation Circular Disc Pads

They come in different dia sizes, th. and stiffness matching wt. of supported unit
For a truckload of money saved, upgrade you speakers/room acoustics...you'll benefit more
Talk to structural engineers/mechanical engineers about vibration, not audio experts..
Best Regards
Mike :-) nice job digesting and acknowledging all the inputs !! Consider HRS also
imo experience the founder Mike is on par with anyone in this part of the business. 
Vibrapods...got 'em under everything in my rack (even tiny ones under small items) and under my speakers on my wood floor...these things seem to accomplish what the far more expensive gizmos from various companies try to do (use the "feel it" approach to feel if the component isn't picking up vibration from the rack, or simply seems like it's not vibrating from sound, it's working), and note that I don't think a little vibration hurts anything very much anyway...the pods and little round smaller things keep components from moving around...now there's a benefit!
I just scratched Vibrapods off the list. 😀
Tomic601, I’ll do some research on the HRS (Harmonic Resolution Systems) Nimbus couplers and other products. I’m looking on their site right now. Thanks for the recommendation.There sure are a lot of anti-vibration products out there.Do you use any of the HRS products, and if so how do you find them to perform relative to others?

Wolf_garcia, the vibrapods certainly are an excellent bargain. I’m probably going to go with a product with a bit higher rating on Galen Carol’s scale though. I’m glad you’ve gotten good results with yours. I’m completely unsure of how much sonic improvement ant-vibration feet will provide, so I really don’t know how much improvement is to be had by products that are considerably more expensive.

Mike
I use a Townshend Audio seismic platform under my TT. Very pleased with the performance. Much tighter low end which also helped with the clarity of the mids and highs. 

Contemplating getting some IsoAcoustics Oreas and/or the Funk Firms boings for speakers and pre-amp.

Also thinking of getting some Townshend Audio seismic pods to support my main audio rack but not sure if they can be permanently attached via screws or other means. @select-hifi do you know if the Townshend pods can be permanently attached?
Mike: I use three Nimbus couplers under my Unitiserve / Pardo LPS and a damper on top of the server only Tightens up the bass and image depth improves. I have The M3 base under my Brinkmann Bardo TT - Nimbus couplers under the TT power supply. Table sits on plywood shelf w slate top and a constrained layer between. I make use of Ayre myrtle wood blocks on my ARC preamp and all over my Vintage system - more incisive sound for sure. As a wood dude, you should explore Myrtle. Finally I have a nice slab of walnut that will be a test bed for some of the devices listed in this thread. Oh I almost forgot, Isotek has Vibrapods under...
Audiorusty,seems a number of you like the Townsend products. My platforms are already built in is why I'm primarily looking at only footers at present. The IsoAcoustic Oreas you are considering for your set-up are still high on my list of possiblities. 

Tomic601, thanks for describing what you have. You've surely put a lot of effort into your choices. I hope I get the kind of results you've undoubtedly achieved. Have you used any other products you've since upgraded to achieve better results? Pardon me if I'm asking you too many questions. 




And the winner once again is twoleftears for suggesting the Isoacoustic Aureas. After much research they seem to best fit the parameters of both performance and budget. I ordered seven of their Indigos for the Marantz Ruby CD player and Luxmann 507uX Mk2, and three of the Bronzes for the Shunyata Denali power conditioner. For about $500 that accounts for a one portion of the yet to be received economic stimulus check. Might as well stimulate the audio industry first.

Seriously though, thank you all for your ideas and input. Two days of voluntary stay at home self quarantine (no, not sick, thank goodness) were hopefully well spent reading and replying to your advice, and doing research on vibration isolation and related products. Hopefully the Aureos will perform well and make an audible difference.

And to Geoff, reading some old posts of yours on vibration isolation in six dimensions, which referenced the LIGO gravity waves project were quite interesting. I couldn’t run down with certainty what if dimensions, including vertical, the Aureos addressed, so maybe I’ll have to retofit my floating platforms with springs under mass later on, rather than only the compressed layer of mat the shelves are currently riding on. We’ll see.

Again this has been interesting research and thank you all for sharing your knowledge on the subject. I wish I had the resources to try all your suggestions and recommended isolation devices.

Mike
@Atagulka. Hockey Pucks are HARD. You want SOFT for isolation feet. 
Yes HRS products are superb but they tend to be pricey. Mike knows his stuff!