Walker Valid Points.
23 responses Add your response
This may sound silly, but the valid points on the lead discs puts the player like 6" into the air. It looks horrible, IMO. I know this doesn't bother some people, but I think audio should look nice too.
I have never had consistent results using any isolation devices. On my Naim CDX2, the Neuance platform was incredible. On another player, it made the sound worse. It's all trial and error. Start with something (relatively) cheap like 3 Black Diamond cones and see if it does anything for the sound.
I tried both the Walker Audio Valid points and the Finite Element Cerapucs on My Esoteric X03-SE. Both made a nice improvement. I thought the Cerapucs gave an imporved soundstage, bass and low level detail over the Valid Points but my comparison may have been flawed as I put the Valid Points under the chasis (leaving the three point feet free-they wobble w/o the weight of the CD player on them-free to resonate freely--I didn't think that was optimum). The Cerapucs were put right under the esoteric's three feet.
I was a little apprehensive leaving the player balanced on the valid points as I have a cleaning crew come in a few times a month-just thought I was inviting an accident. The Cerapucs are much sturdier. I moved the Valid Points to under my Masterlink (nice improvement there as well); if it crashes down to the shelf it is resting on, it's only $800 and a few pounds compared to 50 pounds on the Esoteric and $7,000.
Tom, this is all true. Any one isolation scheme doesn't answer all the problems, so you have to go by what sounds best for you.
Actually, the best isolation for a cdp I ever tried was hanging my player with fishline from the ceiling. I would like to return to that again, the problem is I have a cathedral ceiling now, makes proper mounting a much more complicated affair. Still, even this does not totally isolate from air, ceiling or internal vibration.
I agree with you. What gets me is this.
The word isolation is such a poor choice of a descriptive term for a product catagory that fails to function well with one physical state let alone several at the same time. Designers need to look away from the so called isolation method and pursue other mind sets to describe and function within the world of electro mechanical resonance.Tom
The strange thing is: even when using a form of air isolation (pressurized air or magnetic levitation) the sound can actually degrade (less PRaT, less midbass slam, more laidback and uninvolving sound). Theoretically it shouldn't, but in real life it happens! Can anyone give some explanation? Could it be that audio gear don't behave like electron microscopes?
Dazzdax, there is more to it than just placing a cdp on an air cushion. When dealing with vibration there is something called a spring rate which has to change with the weight the isolator supports. One size does not fit all. Also, there should only be movement up and down not laterally or else it can hurt rather than help. Whether you like the sound character of a properly isolated cdp is a different issue. There is a very good reason why precision instruments and automoblie chassis are mounted with air suspensions and materials that have elasticity to some degree. Trust me, you do not want to sit in a car chassis suspended by metal cones rather than springs and shocks:)
I recently got creative with Finite Elemente and BDR cones on my APL-modded Denon 3910. AFter lots of trial and error using brass points, cerapucs and ceraballs, I ended up with a mix that really works for me.
I have 1 cerapuc in the center rear of the CDP, with 2 cerapuc bases (hollow end up) each supporting a Black Diamond racing cone, with the tips in the center of each cerapuc base.
I'm not sure why this works, but it just does. I am getting a more delineated soundstage, better depth, instrument placement, dynamics and overall balance and musicality than anything else I've tried. I also get lots of speed and detail without any harshness, while still retaining excellent bass and the great mids VAC gear is famous for. I was very surprised at the sonic improvements I could achieve with the right combination of supports under my CDP.
I use a previous version of the Cerapucs in some places in my system, I prefer the Aurios. In speaking with Bes at Music Direct just today, I was asking about sonic differences between the Aurios, Stillpoints and Cerapuks/Cerabase. I mentioned I heard a slight dampening effect with my Cerapucs. He responded that the Aurios allows much more movement in the horizontal direction, thus, equipment with greater amounts of internal vibration may prefer the Aurios. Essentially, it is allowing a greater amount of internal vibration to escape through it's greater horizontal movement. It seems to me it is preferable to have this horizontal movement with a cdp. The circular movement of the high speed transport creates horizontal movement of the player, this movement is allowed greater free play with the Aurios.
I'm not trying to say the Aurios is preferable in all cases, just something to think about.
With Finite Elemente,you do have to follow the manufacturer's recommendations with regards to the weight supported,quite closely.
If you have a heavy amp and put a ceraball for example,you might not get the desired result.
Anyway IMO ,having tried many support systems,I have found that the CERA range fr Finite to be the best by a fair margin,followed by the Harmonix tuning feet from Japan.Greatest invention in hi-fi,the CERAs IMHO.
I have used Vibrapods, Finite Element Cerapucs and Ceraballs under both a Rega Apollo and a Cambridge 840c.
Each of them do something slightly different to the overall sound. Vibrapods softened the edges a bit, I wouldn't call it smearing, but seemed to take a little of the upper edge off and relaxed the sound but imaging loses a small amount of specificity. The Cerapucs did nothing but thin the overall sound considerably in my system (both under SS and Tube amps and CD players). The Ceraballs had the best overall effect, improving sound stage depth and adding a sense of calm to the overall sound, but again had a SLIGHT thinning effect. I ended up using both CDP's on their standard feet. I do however use the Ceraballs under my Bryston 4B SST2 amplifier and it makes a really nice difference. They improve instrument and image placement (both across and front to back) snaps the bass region into awesome focus and adds really well formed heft, not that the 4B lacks heft, farm from it. They clear up the edge of base notes very nicely, leaving meat on the bones without any bloat, which my room can tend to encourage. They also smooth the upper highs and makes them very clear without sounding etched. A nice improvment in my system. I have to assume this is because of the two massive transformers operating in the 4B SST2 and the effectiveness of the Ceraballs to remove unwanted buzz and vibration.
Ceraballs are a wonderful tweak under the right component for the money involved. (my opinion and in my system).