Cheap Speaker "Isolation" Solution for 300 lb. Speaker
Good Afternoon All,
I am looking for advice on a cheap and simple isolation solution for large, heavy (325 lb. each) floorstanding speakers.
I've read much advice on granite or marble slabs, multiple layers of cork, springs, etc; while this has been helpful, it is neither a cheap or simple solution.
Ultimately, I am looking to protect my wood floor from damage these very heavy speakers might do, as well as decouple the speaker from the floor in order to reduce bass resonance (I am in an apartment complex and worry about noise complaints). I've looked into sorbothane pads, but they never seem to be able to hold this much weight.
That's a good suggestion. I've see a lot of debate regarding the spikes + discs combination and whether it couples the speaker to the floor or decouples it; I can't say I know enough to confirm it either way, but I certainly could use help with positioning such large speakers and it sounds like wheels would do the trick. Thank you.
Sorbothane can easily support this weight, it is just a matter of choosing the right hardness of Sorbothane and the right total surface area of the Sorbothane. Springs are easy as well, again, just need to pick them correctly. It is easier to get a low resonant frequency with a spring to cut-off all higher frequencies. There is another thread running now about DIY platforms with a lot of ongoing "discussion" about springs, sorbothane, etc.
The problem you face with springs is the same old problem - the springs need to be widely spaced, so that means you would need some structure to allow the springs to be placed in a wide pattern, pattern outside the dimensions of the speaker footprint. Otherwise the speakers will topple over.
It is feasible to construct a large 3x3 CROSS that the speakers sit on with springs of the correct stiffness under the CROSS at each of the 4 corners. Tricky but feasible. That’s a DIY Townshend Podium. But something that heavy is dangerous on any support IMHO.
I agree with you, Geoff; beyond the complexity of building such a support for such large speakers, I'd have fears over their stability.
The washing machine anti-vibration pads seem like a genius idea. They sure would be able to hold the weight, and while I'm not entirely sure what their impact on the sound will be, it's worth a try at the cheap price!
Seems to me that one of the simplest, easiest, and relatively cost-effective solutions to what you’re looking to accomplish would be Herbies Giant Fat Gliders. If those alone don’t provide enough isolation, maybe consider adding Black Diamond Racing Jumbo Pit between Gliders and your speakers. Just a crazy thought.
Herbie's products are a good place to start; cost effective with some science behind them IMO. I have tried many other soft and hard iso gear under my 115 lb. von Schweikerts and like Herbie's the best so far.
Not cheap, I used Gaia l on my Joseph Audio Pearl 20/20. Well made product that really does isolate. I have pine floors throughout my cabin. They have rubber (almost like suction cups) on the bottoms. I have outriggers, so after running them through the threaded outrigger, I finished the top with a stainless steel acorn nut. They really tightened up the base. 30k plus speakers (they are great speakers) and they only come with spikes! Insane! I payed 1200.00 from Crutchfield for the Gaia I, I hope this helps?
I know the Gaia I are only rated up to 220lbs. However I can assure you, those would be a much better application than Herbies Products, Washing machine feet, coasters, or anything else that was remotely suggested here. Good luck man...
The dampers from teo audio are world class. Big time. Put them up against anything, in a technical and test oriented set up, and in a sound quality test, and they will win out in all ways and areas of testing.
Go ahead, call me on it. Test them to your hearts content. Good luck with that. :)
When one of those pads is loaded with about 45lb per square inch, that is just perfect ...and it acts like 2hz damped spring/buckling isolator.
I can take one and drop it on its edge and it will bounce like crazy. When I drop it flat... it just goes ’splat!’ and stops. I can make a video to illustrate.
In the earliest example of their use...Mark Doehmann of continuum (at the time) had a chance to play with them when their turntable was first introduced at the NYC show.... and he thought they were pretty dang special.
If people want we can have people pay $500 for them by adding the jewelry part and hiding the damping material inside... but that would be less than honest in my book.
alucard19, the price is certainly right on those pads! For that price, can't hurt to try em. Not high on the physical appeal value, but function is function.
The Gaia line of isolators looks great but I just cannot justify spending that kind of money for isolation feet, regardless of how effective they are. I just don't have the budget for it.
The Teo Audio diamond isolators don't exactly look robust, but the description certainly fits the bill, as I absolutely need the bass dampening considering my apartment situation. The site doesn't describe much though, I can't find info on the max load weight per pad or the price on these.
I'm using 2 inch thick slate slabs on top of hockey pucks for my Monitor Audio PL300II's and works great. If your looking at stone I recommend slate, which I have read is the best for sound resonance, as opposed to Marble and Granite which are not very good.
I know you are gonna laugh BUT: for isolation under my 85lb speakers (Gershman Avant Garde RX-20), I am using tennis balls inside Tropicana Orange Juice bottle tops! - 4 per speaker (one in each corner). As long as your speaker bottoms are flat - for your speaker weight - I'd experiment with a muffin tin (12slots) with new tennis balls (colors your choice). Your speakers will look like they are on something Post-Modern, designed for a Portland Oregon municipal building in the 90's... I am sure that die-hard long time audiophiles - wordsmiths all - who contribute one-liners or tomes, should bring a chuckle in reply to my suggestion... But it works for me. Good Luck to you - and don't be afraid to experiment...
I get it, the Gaia's are expensive. Here's another thought, never tried them. Hockey pucks...Not expensive from Amazon. I would drill a small hole in the center of the puck. Use a gauge to make sure the depth is consistent. Not too deep, maybe.25"... This way the spike seeds itself into the rubber. Theoretically it should work. And it will not look BAD...What speakers do you have????
The Teo Audio diamond isolators don’t exactly look robust, but the description certainly fits the bill, as I absolutely need the bass dampening considering my apartment situation. The site doesn’t describe much though, I can’t find info on the max load weight per pad or the price on these.
Somewhere around 100-125lbs per pad is when they are at their optimal, as in the entire pad is being used. On both sides, with flat connectivity to the two full surfaces of the pad.
The way to use them with light audio gear is to spike/cone the gear and then place the center of the dull tipped cone (do not want to rip the material) in the center of the pad. And then you have maximum force in a small part of the pad. This gives a nice xyz type of damping effect, overall (the surface of the pad curves in and captures the cone tip) , and the preamp, cd player, etc, will be 2hz lossy spring damped. From both sides, essentially. Isolation and damping, combined.
sorbothane? No. Left that stuff in the ditch over 25 years ago, never looked back.
FYI, Taras, the other half of Teo Audio, his professional or day job, is doing world class acoustics and mechanical isolation, etc work. He’s the guy the best firm in Toronto calls in as the cooler for jobs they can’t tame. The firm who calls him in is probably the most original and oldest running company on the planet in taming all the known forms of mechanical and acoustical noise. Taras has done the acoustics on about 60 films and there is near a 100% chance that most of the readers here have heard his work, as some of the jobs are permanent acoustics installs for recording studios (Film, TV, etc). He’s taken on jobs that the best in acoustics refuse to touch --and walk away from. Their record (other acoustics firms) is one of not offering refunds for failed jobs (contracts state zero guarantees) and Taras always guarantees his work. If that does not say ’absolute unit’ in the world of acoustics, I don’t know what does. So good that the NRC can’t touch his skill set. 100% serious here. What I’m trying to say, is, that we say - the pads work. And that’s what stands behind the statement.
A hard damper like a magnetic one, or even done with elastic stranding, or springs of some sort... with hard shiny aluminum attachment... does not damp anything, really, it merely isolates.
The diamond dampers (just a convenient marketing name) works from both sides. It damps the connectivity to the given surface, so it isolates and it damps the device that is sitting on the pads with something analogous to their primary isolation function. double duty.
It is incredibly effective, and quite correct in what it does. The problem comes when people are so used to gear with noisy chassis that they’ve tuned their hearing and their system design/build/choices to the sound of rattly noisy gear with poor isolation.
So they try the dampers and some say the sound is too dulled. And we have to agree and go along with that... rather than state the obvious prior point.
Which is... ’go back to the start of the entire endeavor and set off on the correct foot from the get-go’. As one now has a better noise floor which means a better and greater dynamic range, so one is listening to less noise, noise that was previously mistaken for being signal. Ouch. The upside is that the door is open for better. Discernment is required.
In the case of this very large and heavy speaker, a total of 12 pads might be in order. Six per speaker might be the trick. Isolation will be the result with a side order of a bit of noise removal from the speaker cabinet.
What would the price point be for a 12-pack of the Teo Audio diamond dampers?
Jakesnak, the hockey puck idea is believable; I played hockey and certainly know how resilient that 6 oz of vulcanized rubber can be! As you own the Gaia's, is it indeed rubber sandwiched in there that's creating the positive isolation effect with the Gaia's?
a pm might be in order but for the record, about $150 for the 12 pieces, in this case. This is the only time I’ve pushed this product. We tend to like to keep it on the quiet side so we can use it to make audio miracles - where no one can understand how they came about. Think of it as a secret weapon made public.
These are good products and you can get them with cork instead of plastic in the middle, and I use them everywhere damping is needed, e.g. clothes dryer, garage air compressor, heavy isolation transformer, and my subwoofer. A word of caution is they’ll leave black streak marks if placed directly on light hardwood floors and loaded with heavy objects. If you decide to go this route, make sure you place a thin layer of something like plastic wrap between them and the wood floor.
Scorndefeat, yes the Gaia's have a rubber bottom. Its mounted and recessed around the the entire circumference of the Gaia. They are solidly built. And they look cool! You cannot just slide the speaker once they are installed. They really grab the floor, I used a piece of carpet to get them in place. Well made product but as I mentioned, not cheap. They come with 4 different size shafts that are inter-changeable. Its all relative as to how much you have into your speakers. I still don't know what speakers that cat has? 300lbs I'm curious what they are? If they weigh that much I can't imaging that they are cheap?
Love the hockey pucks. Muck like @insearchofprat, I am using balls - albeit street hockey balls. (when in Canada...) One on each corner, I cut "donuts" out of MDF, plopped the bright orange street hockey balls into them, put speakers on top and they work quite well! Was concerned about using tennis balls as the speakers are just over 100lbs. Thought about a LOT of racket ball balls, but didn't feel like having to cut out all those holes for them
Next, I'm going to try a spring loaded platform to see what if any benefit can be had.
It is pretty comical. Your either into this or not. You don't cut corners because true audio fanatics can never live with cut corners. This hobby or obsession has to be done sometimes incrementally. Wait until you can afford the proper application. This comes from experience. Some of those experiences not so good. Because I tried to save money and used some unintended substitute. But I must say, never any kind of ball was involved with my gear!
I'm going to have to disagree with the assertion that one must spend an inordinate amount of money in order to achieve some isolation benefit. It certainly doesn't cost IsoAcoustics $1,000+ to make isolation feet and neither should it have to for us. Their products are attractive and I'm sure certainly beneficial, but if I can get 95% of the effect for 5% of the cost, I'm going to take that risk. Even in high-end systems where money is being parted with quite liberally, there are limits lol
I agree with you however, some of these suggestions, balls, orange juice tops, are a little absurd. This cat was talking 300 lb speakers. The shear physics to accomplish true isolation is not as easy as one thinks. I have been down this road. I don't care if he uses Isoacoustics or not. The guy lives in an apartment, can you imagine the reverberation? LOL Placing a disc underneath the spike is not isolating anything. Here's an idea and it will work better than any of the suggestions. And its free! Cut some cardboard squares (nice for the decor) stack several of them together and walla! Just make sure you stack enough of them because the spikes will work their way through, just as they would do with those nifty looking pads...
Let the record show no one has come up with anything to challenge the trampoline. Super balls run in fear. Herbie's glide off into dark corners to hide. No amount of diamonds, springs, racquet or tennis balls can match the awesomeness of the trampoline.
Granted this is only because the Nimbus is no longer made. Sigh. Those were the days....