Can I Live With A Hardwood Floor?


Hi All,
I could certainly use some advice on this matter. I have Quad 2905 ESL's in my attic and my attic has hardwood floors. I recently moved into this residence never having experienced hardwood floors previously. My speakers are on cones and isolated with Herbie's titanium gliders. I've been able to position the speakers so that they are given enough room to operate effectively but those hardwood floors are brutal at times. My thought leads me to the only obvious solution, 12 feet by 12 feet carpeting. Are there more cost effective ways of approaching this?
Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks as always!
goofyfoot
sure - just put a rug in between you and the speakers

that’s what I did (Maggie 3.7i)
Thanks Randy. I was thinking that the rug needed to extend behind the speakers as well as in the front. What about the sides. how far to each side would you suggest?
My new stereo room has marble floors, no drapes or carpet and typical drywall and had a nasty slap echo. I installed 25 Synergistic Research HFT's according to their recommendations and the slap echo is gone. I probably didn't need that many but I had them from my previous room.
"My new stereo room has marble floors, no drapes or carpet and typical drywall and had a nasty slap echo. I installed 25 Synergistic Research HFT's according to their recommendations and the slap echo is gone."

lwin- that explains why there is a tread with hundreds of posts. Amazing a fuse has the ability to control reflections. 

Your post is a goof right? If not, those fuses have ears. Takes the YMMV phrase to a new level.

"What about the sides. how far to each side would you suggest?"
goofyfoot-my listening area is hardwood.
A width equaling  the distance speakers are spread apart(outer edge of speakers) is probably fine. Diffuser panels L/R for first reflections really made a difference in my situation. 
I removed wall to wall carpet for hardwood for aesthetic reason, but find the sound more pleasing(realistic)  once the balance was established between 
echo and damping. 

@tablejockey i think you have your threads twisted. The HFTs are resonators hence ideally suited for the situation @lwin describes

there is an extensive discussion of the use of these types of kit here
https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/placement-tips-for-synergistic-research-htfs

And to echo @lwin experience I found the same results in my prior setup where the SR ART and HFTs helped greatly with a large room with lots of glass

folkfreak-yes, I did misread lwins post. It wasn't that fuse I was thinking about.
Ooops!

A quick read of your link clarifies.Thanks
Speaking of fuses, I added a Synergistic Research Black to my Ayre QB 9 DSD. Then I added an Akiko XLR Tuning Stick. I'm very impressed with the Akiko products. They've also come out with Tuning Chips and I'm thinking that the Speaker Tuning Chips placed near the cable inputs at the base of the Quad's will help considerably however a large rug or rugs may still be needed. I'm thinking that the Synergistic Research HFT's won't work for me given placement issues.
Innocent question: are the Akiko Chips quantum mechanical in nature, you know, like the WA Quantum Chips of the recent past?

I have maggies and no rug behind them - any bipolar speaker should have a fair amount of diffusion behind it for best sound.

My "Persian" rug is not as large as I might like but has been in the family for 3 generations.  If it extends beyond a line drawn between you and each speaker (a triangle) that should be fine.

For high freq.a, which are the issue here, you can just use ray tracing to analyze the room.  More info is in the master Handbook of Acoustics, which every audiophile should read a couple of times...
@goofyfoot to your original question you should have no problem with hardwood floors as long as you treat them with rugs as others have suggested. Make sure to use a natural wool rug, probably not too thick. Synthetic rugs sound terrible - I thought I could save a few bucks but they really don’t work

Personally I pefer not having the rug under the speakers, it makes it easier to use whatever spikes or other isolation device you prefer (I use the Tonwnshend podiums). My current setup has two 4x6 rugs that fill the space between speaker and listening seat and extend a few feet beyond the edge of each speaker. 
Thanks folk freak your suggestions help significantly however wool rugs are too expensive (based on my knowledge) for my current budget however other organic fibers can be found. So I'll keep visiting Craig's List in hope of finding a good deal.
geoffkait. I'm not too savvy on the nature of how Akiko designs there products. Me and science are like oil and water. Here's a statement from their site;
'The recently developed energetic Tuning Chips are able to harmonise energy currents in places that were previously inaccessible to our other tuning products. The Chip is able to do this by permanently applying harmonising energy there where the Chip has been placed. This improves the signal transmission.'
Thanks again Randy for clarifying
@goofyfoot Thanks for info on Akiko Chips. I guess they prefer not to come right out and say they’re quantum mechanical as it might scare away potential customers. Can’t say I blame them. 😀
@goofyfoot there are nice cheaper wool rugs available. Something like this is a good price and fits with my decor but there are others you can find on eBAy (which btw is quite a good place to get rugs from!)

https://www.ebay.com/itm/351167348799
geoffkait, maybe people would fear that they'll blow up or something. Honestly. I have more of an issue with my carbon fiber static brush as they claim to be carcinogenic. 
What I've noticed about the Akiko Products thus far, and I have a triple enhancer, a tuning stick and a fuse chip, is that everything becomes much clearer. The presence becomes richer as well but the little imperfections are noticeable and I'm thinking that I might break down and buy a Richard Gray line conditioner to plug my PS Audio conditioner into. Unfortunately I'm not in the market for a regenerator.
folk freak, thanks for the link. Yes, I've seem seen some things on eBay and Craig's List, so I will buy something eventually. Right now I've placed a cotton throw with wool fabric on top of that and a German wool military blanket on the floor and that helps considerably.
Aside from that, I'll talk to Akiko Audio about their speaker tuning chips as well as some of their other products. Occasionally, I'm getting a little shrill in he upper midrange.
if you have a line problem then go straight to an isolation transformer; buy used on ebay or somewhere else & you may need an electrician to wire it in

PS Audio will be glad to sell you one for 3x to 4x more and it will look nicer...
randy, won't an isolation transformer strip away some frequencies? I tried one many years ago and it didn't sound right. I remember that it was hospital grade.
I too have 2905’s. My floor is granite. A few thoughts.

Anything you can do to make the walls, floors, or ceiling a bit rough is helpful. I use a large Persian carpet on one wall, and 12" x 24" rectangular patterns of 1" wood trim on the ceiling.

Equally useful are non-parallel surfaces. You might be able to do something with your ceiling to make it non-parallel to the floor, like a peak in the middle.

Consider your floor; make sure it is as stable as possible. Re-inforcing may be costly, but it is something to consider.

I would absolutely forget about trying to tweek the Quads with power stuff. They use so little current, and anyway the RC time constant is so large, that it can’t make any difference. Further, I tested this theory with high class isolation transformers, and they made no difference whatsoever to the Quads. Big difference to amps, pre, and phono, but nothing to the Quads. Save your money for a better source, or better electronics, or a decent Burgundy.

If you want to improve the Quads, you will have to replace the step-up transformers or replace components in the signal path, like that ugly cap and resistor. Not recommended for a DIY, though - Quads can kill you in two ways. Get a tech to do it. Beware!

Good luck.

If you seriously want to improve the Quads, find a good tech who is experienced with high voltage equipment. Get him to install better step-ups (I use Plitron , based on a Vanderveen design), and replace the ugly resistor at the input of the circuit board. Don't do it yourself.

But you can get more bang for the buck in electronics, or isolating your electronics, or with an ultrasonic record cleaner. Experience talking.

Thanks Terry. Room treatments sound practical but the Richard Gray does also. I have a great amp, ASR Emitter II Exclusive and that runs on a battery so nothing to worry about there. 
My stereo certainly sounds good at night as to be expected. I just finished listening and can say that even having laid down blankets made a significant improvement. Any advice on wall panels?
SAC in Thailand has some isolation transformers that won’t break the bank. They are balanced transformers like the BPT series or the Equi=Tech and also have the added capacity of variable step up or step down transformer to change voltages. I discovered them when looking to possibly purchase some equipment from Europe.
The rug doesn’t have to be natural fibers but thickness is desirable.

If you’re thinking about conditioning, consider an isolation transformer. Plitron makes a good one - I use four of them - they were among the first to design in North America and build to the highest specification in China. The build quality is German, or better. But they tend to growl while they are doing their job, so a utility room is a good place to site them, certainly not in the music room.

Wall treatment could be Persian rugs, but a cheaper alternative might be strips of wood. I have experienced very good results, both acoustic and aesthetic, from strips of wood affixed vertically to the walls: 1", 2", 3", 2", 1", etc. with 1" or 2" spacing. Some knowledgeable architect specified it for a conversation room at the University library, and one could not hear a private conversation from a few feet away. They used black walnut - well, they would, wouldn’t they?

Another possibility is random lengths 1" to 4" of 2x2’s, 2x4’s or 4x4’s. Cut some (or all) with angled ends, and arrange aesthetically on a plywood backing. Then place the arrangement by trial and error, starting with the point on the wall midway between the 2905 and the listening position.

Different coloured woods could make that very attractive. I’ve seen pictures of that, but never experienced it, so can’t speak from experience. But it should work very well indeed. I’m considering something of the kind for a too-lively kitchen.

Good luck!
OK, thanks Terry!
dentdog, I can't find anything online that states the price tag on the SAC products. I do occasionally find Richard Gray products on the used market and am wondering if that wouldn't be a cost effective approach? Richard Gray makes good equipment, though it is expensive once one moves up the product chain. 
Concrete floor here.  I'd go with carpet/rug 1st before anything 'inline'.  Natural fiber over synth, thick over thin.  Put a non-skid backing under it, unless you like looking at your ceiling in a random unexpected interval.  Skid demons lurk in wood floors...

Proceed from there....;)
goofyfoot, if you're still looking for a good deal on rugs, Incredible Rugs and Decor has great selection and prices. It's where I get my rugs from, and yes, stick to natural wool. Not only is it better for sound but it feels so good underfoot.

All the best,
Nonoise
asvjerry and nonoise, that's my plan. I'm currently suing the US Postal Service, waiting to be put on the docket. After that, then I'll have some expendable cash flow. For right now as I've mentioned, I placed a wool German military blanket on the floor and a cotton throw with some Ukrainian wool fabric on top and it has helped considerably. Thanks for the link nonoise. It appears as though this would be a good source for not paying a lot of money.
I do still trust in these Akiko Products as careful trial and error positioning has offered a giant improvement to my system.
an isolation transformer is a device about the size of an amp that your equipment plugs into - it will not adversely affect your SQ

since you are on a budget (yet have Quads??) you will want to be very careful about wasting money:

- you probably do not have line noise - most noise is from bad gnds, gnd loops, or is generated INSIDE your own equipment

- you may well want to add some absorbers and diffusers (or a combination unit) - you can read about them extensively in the Master handbook of Acoustics (I saved money by checking it out from my city library (twice)).  And you can build both types of room treatments yourself - I posted some links on here somewhere before

Room Treatments will be by far the most cost effective way to get better SQ
'I posted some links on here somewhere before'
Yes, thank you.  
The top of the line 1,5 Kv isolation transformer called the Blitz is around $1200 plus shipping so probably in the range of $1500. I currently have a BPT 3.5 Sig+ on my front end but balanced transformers hefty enough for amps, and I have mono blocks, would be pretty costly. Hence the search for something hefty and price smart. 
I have searched for balanced transformers for a couple of years. There is a 24 amp Equi=tech on reverb for $1500 but I believe it requires 220 V.
Best deal I have found is SAC. If you email them they are very good about returning and will give you all the details. Best of Luck!
dentdog thanks for the info. My amp runs off a battery so no issue there. Akiko offers a Squeeze Box and DAC Power Supply for 350 euro and given that my sonic objections are confined to my DAC, I'm thinking that this would be an affordable antidote.The SAC interests me but I'm looking for a better college to teach in so $1,500.00 is a little steep for the moment.
I have been looking at acoustic foam to place along the slanting attic walls. The house is a shotgun style built in 1887 and so I;m hoping that $60.00 worth of foam will help with the occasional shrill and separation distortion in the treble. A proper wool carpet would be nice as well.  
goofyfoot
Can I Live With A Hardwood Floor?
Cement slab floors are the best, but some like myself and you have hardwood suspended floors, but the floor itself will become a soundboard if the speaker is coupled to it in any way, really screwing with the bass.

The best is to totally decouple the speaker from the floor, by ways of thick amounts of Sobothane type materials between speaker and floor to stop any bass energy from speaker being transmitted into the floor.
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Genuine-Sorbothane-4-x-64mm-Isolation-Pods-Domes-Feet-2-5in-Dia-LARGE-BIG-PODS-/370465792771?hash=item56417b6303:g:UA8AAOxy4dNS6cB0
It says 4 will take 34kg, which just happens to be your Quads weight, so I would use 6-8 per speaker so they don’t squash as much.
  
Also have a look in their ebay shop, as they have screw in Sorbothane feet as well and many others.
http://www.ebay.com.au/sch/m.html?_odkw=&_ssn=dang-good-stuff&hash=item56417b6303%3Ag%3AUA8AAOxy4dNS6cB0&item=370465792771&_osacat=0&_from=R40&_trksid=p2046732.m570.l1313.TR4.TRC2.A0.H0.TRS0&_nkw=Sorbothane&_sacat=0


Cement slab floors are the opposite, you want to couple the speaker into them via spike or cones.

Cheers George
Couple spikes to cement and energy just shoots back up.
This may be a good thing for rock, but is poison for acoustic music .
Best thing is to put Herbies threaded Gliders on your speakers, 8 are less than 200$ .
schubert, I'm using Herbie's Titanium Gliders. They are working better over a thick wool blanket than on the hardwood floor.
george hifi, I might try placing pieces of rubber mat under the feet. The rubber is made from recycled tires but that doesn't matter since I'm using titanium decoupler's.  
Hear ya goofy, I'm using mine on a thick wool rug over concrete, no synthetics allowed!
Was better over concrete alone too .
f. schubert, yes the gliders make for a vast improvement but it can't stop there. I'm in desperate need of an additional  line conditioner not to mention a proper rug, some acoustic foam along the walls and several more Akiko tweaks. It seems like once I add a tweak, then something else needs to be addressed. 
As for line conditioners, Akiko makes one called a Corelli which I would choose first however I've yet to see one on the used market so possibly a used Richard Gray until I'm more gainfully employed. The Corellio with power cord runs about 2,000.00 euro.
Just my thoughts.... For Echo slap an easy way to treat is corners at celings. I used to use room tunes triangles , but I’m now looking for larger coverage.

i used to have quad 63’s and had them on hardwood floors with no issues.

Now I’m using Tad cr-1’s on hard wood floors over concrete. I don’t use the supplied spikes on the TAD stands.

I do use real traps along rear wall and first reflection point in a 28x30 room with 15’ ceilings.

I recently tried large 3" latex foam from a queen mattress (each one is half the width of mattress ) on floor in front of speaker.

i was expecting a benefit but didn’t really hear one. Perhaps it’s the controlled dispersion of the TAD’s.
Thanks emailists, I like the midrange on those Quad 63's but I'm not familiar with the TAD's. I don't have corners to worry about because the room is so long. I do have attic slanted ceilings and the sides of my 2905's run into those slants about 5 five feet back. I'm thinking foam along the slanted ceiling in proximity to the sides of the 2905's, if that makes sense. Unfortunately, a good line conditioner is essential but I'm looking for one second hand.
Hi goofey.  I think the tri corners where the walls meet ceiling will definitively help if you clap and hear echo slap.  I sent you a PM.  
I have lived with hard wood flooring for 28 years with horns, ribbons, electrostatics, including the original Quads, big dynamic drivers in the BMC Arcadia speakers, and monitor speakers. Everything up front is on Star Sound Audio Points or their Rhythm platforms and racks. I am on a persian rug that runs from about a foot in front of the speakers to about a foot behind me and about four or five feet to my left and right. Finally, I have a set of Zilplex resonators in the room. The latter are the eight room treatments that I've tried.

One thing that I have definitely learned is that no cables should have contact with the floor and that a ceramic isolator is the necessary standoff.

Another is that I could get no bass out of the Quads nor could I find any subwoofer that worked well with them. I first heard Quads in 1962 and was shocked with what I heard. In the early 1970s, I had double Quads in a rack. They gave me much more satisfaction.

In short I don't think your hard wood floors are your biggest problem. A thick rug would probably help. I don't know about having Quads on rugs. I put my double Quads up on points on a concrete floor. I think they greatly benefitted from isolation on points.
tbbg, I appreciate your experience with Quad's. I've tried a number of different things and can narrow the problem down to two effective antidotes. A) put the ESL's, with spikes and titanium gliders on a wool rug and B) buy the Akiko Audio Corelli. This I believe, will resolve my issues to the best that my issues can be resolved. There will be tweaks along the way no doubt (because I believe in a few) and it will take some time to accomplish, given that the Corelli is roughly 1,800. euro. But that's just a part of my journey. 
I have a friend who a while back added bass panels to the Quad 63's and he said that the 2905's are in general the same however I tend to believe that the 63's have a little fuller midrange. I've never had the chance to hear a refurbished or mint original pair of the 57's. I do know that they were initially produced for monophonic listening so were sold by the single speaker rather than by the pair. A tech that I know of has a pair of Accoustats and brags about those and the inability to arc them. I'd love to hear those ESL's as well.
Check out the discussion regarding the use of posts to structurally add support to the floor from underneath, substantially stopping the wood floor from vibrating. If you are on 2nd floor, probably too much hassle. If you are on a suspended first floor with a crawl space or basement, its the way to go and inexpensive.
kavakat1, thanks for the advice but I do live on the second floor and I rent, so it's out of the question. The spikes, titanium decouplers and wool blankets have helped significantly. I also ordered some acoustic foam and so will begin treating the walls. 
Just to make mention of a recent change, I'm testing/upgrading the newest version of Audirvana Plus 3.0. The sound quality in this upgrade is significant and not subtle. It doesn't change the fact that I need to treat my room but I'm already sold on the applications improvements and believe that I'm now given more to work with than previously.