cones or amp stand-???

hey- which is better- I have a concrete floor covered with carpet-Am I better off putting my amps on a stand or using something like audiopoints directly to the amps?? thanks gary
Either would more than suffice. But if you use an amp stand, I'd highly recommend using AudioPoints under it.

I don't know whether you have tube amps or SS but I can think of no real benefit of coupling any amp to a concrete floor, nor do I see any downside from doing so. BUT, I would get the amp off the carpet to increase air circulation, using any kind of cones or stand. Could be a good Saturday project in your work shop if you are so inclined. You need not spend a lot of bucks on this unless you are just doing it for appearances. IMHO.
Newbie, the benefit of coupling the amp to the concrete floor using AudioPoints, or an amp stand with audiopoints under the stand and under the amp is to minimize the affects of vibrations and resonance on the components and ultimately on the sonics.

By coupling the amp directly or indirectly to the concrete floor, he is essentially creating a mechanical conduit for internally generated resonace and externally captured vibrations have an expedited exit path draining the the resonance energy away from the component and rack before it has time to accumulate and wreak havoc on the sonics.

This coupling methodology is quite simple and when executed completely with all components, rack, and speakers will produce an incredible increase in performance. In fact, the gains are in my experience equal to or better than a serious component upgrade.

Personally I've never had the pleasure of coupling to a concrete floor. Only hardwood and wood subflooring systems. But those I've worked with who know far more than I tell me that concrete is the best flooring system for coupling.

Stehno, with all due respect, your post sounds like nothing less than a recitation of all of the advertising and promotion by Starsound for their products. When it can be demonstrated that any vibrations that will drain from an amp thru any kind of points or spikes, let alone "Audio Points", to/into a concrete floor and dissapate therein and be of sufficient magnitude to in any way affect the sonic properties of the amp, I'll buy you a steak dinner. Theory is cheap...

Frankly this kind of claim, IMHO, is absurd unless one can benefit from the sale of a product, and then its to be expected as routine product puffery. But I'm sure the Starsound folks appreciate your loyal support. :-)
Now, Newbee, you're not demonstrating an open mind here. :)

I'm so convinced that what Star Sound says works, that I started my own company. Here's a couple of urls for my exhibit at THE Show:

I'm just a country boy when it comes to this stuff, but I know what works and it's pretty incredible when done right.

Theory is cheap, steak dinner is more expensive, and your plane ticket to fly here to take me out to dinner after I prove a cheap theory to you?

Priceless. :)

Hi Stehno, You are right re closed minded - it never dawned on me that you had started up your own company. Nice looking stuff you've got there. Far more intriguing to the eyes. :-)

By the way, I'm just an old country boy as well. Grew up on a chicken farm. Guess what I got to shovel on a regular basis! :-)
As one country boy to another, I imagine we have a lot to chew the fat about when you fly out here to take me to dinner while I prove my theory to you.

I ain't yet herd a country boy welch on a bet. :)

Thanks for the compliments.

Stehno, I've sent you an email thru the Audigon users page. Get back to me when you can.


My cheap theory is that the drain theory is not a theory, but marketing assumed to be most palatable for common-sense physicists.

From Stereophile's Bad Vibes!, Shannon Dickson, November, 1995:

"Unfortunately, once we've built or purchased our dream platform, we then have to connect it to a stand or floor and place a component on top. This is the kicker: When you couple the most ideal practical platform to the floor with cones, spikes, or any other rigid footing, even at the ideal locations with respect to each, the best vibration performance you can achieve is nearly 100% transmission of floor-borne vibrations through the platform, without amplifying them or generating any new resonances in floor or platform! The same applies to component-generated vibration. At the very best, the combined structures will roughly approximate the "ideal rigid body" we mentioned earlier, moving through space in synchrony relative to each other so that the motion of the floor is matched by the motion of the shelf, with nothing added.

Any technique that does not provide isolation of external vibrations will only vary the amount of resonant stimulation added to the components concerned. It cannot reduce at all the level of baseline vibrations in the floor or those coupled from the air!

This principle is illustrated by both the "ideal rigid body" line in the compliance curves shown in sidebar 1, and the horizontal unity-gain line (labeled "1.0" in the various transmissibility graphs of sidebar 2). A perfectly rigid structure would not diverge from this unity-gain baseline in either direction, indicating nearly complete transmission of all vibrations between both the floor and the coupled elements.

At first glance, transmitting nearly all of the floor vibrations to a component might seem to be of no benefit at all. On the contrary, this would be a significant accomplishment compared to most real-world coupling schemes, due to an appreciable reduction in random levels of resonance affecting key components, as described above.

Indeed, it is the degree of deviation from this ideal that defines the wide variety of subjective sonic changes experienced by audiophiles using various non-ideal rigid coupling devices, stands, shelves, and components in actual audio systems. Also, when you consider all the ramifications of this scenario, it appropriately undermines the claim by certain purveyors of cones and spikes that these devices have a directional "diode-like effect," forcing discrete vibrations to flow like water from a dam: out of a component, through a coupled shelf, and then into the floor, where they are finally dissipated..."

Read the rest; its good.
Ohlala (aka Pleasure Boy), just skimming thru your first page, I see no mention by the author of air-borne vibrations captured by the components or racking system.

Why do you suppose the author omitted that element?

Ohlala et al:

It is simple, just try it in your systems. Who
cares what Shannon Dickson wrote in November, 1995? What mkes him an authority on vibration control? I happen to agree with Stehno.

My previous house had concrete slab on the ground floor. My present listening room is on sprung hardwood floor. I have experimented in both environments.
My guess regarding the first paragraph of the portion of the article I quoted (I assume "skimming" means "reading the first paragraph") is to make his point about the relationship between floor and component as they are attached. Dickinson mentions vibrations via air in the second paragraph and more in the article.
I just read it. It appears the article was written with the express intent of promoting certain products which kept getting mentioned over and over again.

Of course, I could be "biased". :^)

A couple of points I noticed. He is quite right about some things like the need for rigidity and structural integrity of solid type stands. He's also quite right about some of the various damping materials and their limitations.

Where I seem to have difficulty agreeing with him, are the parts where he seems to be convinced that vibrations can be transmitted up from the floor, but cannot be transmitted down from the equipment "like a hose"(as he puts it).

Part of his reasons seem to stem from his description of "cones" as having a good function at the tip, but a poor function at the broad top surface. This is actually one of the main aspects that we(Starsound) address in our product(Audiopoints) design.

The Audiopoints design uses reduction of the Coulomb Friction at the top surfaces of the "cone" to improve the ability of these vibrations to move continuously(in real time)from the component through the Audiopoint. A high coefficient of Coulomb Friction at the top of the "cone" will cause delays and inefficiencies in this vibration transmission, reducing effectiveness. By lowering Coulumb Friction(using proper materials and mechanical grounding) this allows a real-time continuous transmission of vibrations without the buildup or reflection of the vibrations back into the component. Additionally, the use of rubbery materials or air bladders just aggravates the problem instead of curing it, by creating more resistance(Coulomb Friction) in the juncture, and thus causing the equipment to behave as a "resonance capacitor" or resonance storage device, storing and returning the vibrations back to the equipment instead of effectively dealing with the airborne resonance problems.

For another bit of interesting reading, complete with mathematic scientific calculations and proofs about how reducing Coulomb Friction can improve vibration management in the audio environment, please refer to the Coulomb Friction White Paper on our website, written by a Mechanical Engineeer.

As you can see, there is more than one side to this story, and much has transpired since that Stereophile article has been written. Perhaps the author himself may even have some different opinions today.

Tom Lyons
Starsound Technologies
Since the entire house/apartment structure is moving due to the sesimic vibrtation, rigid structures will only ensure the component vibrates along with the seismic motion. That is the point of Shannon Dickinson's article! -- that something besides rigid structures is required to isolate the component from the very low freq. vibration (0-10 Hz) caused by traffic, Earth's crust motion, etc. Recall this article was published soon after advent of Vibraplane, perhaps the first highly effective isolation device, one that set audio on its ear (as it were) as isolation was quite a new concept back then.

Geoff Kait,
Machina Dynamica, maker of Nimbus Sub Hertz Platform
Right Geoff, and I also noticed Dickson's references to the lowest frequencies(like you mention) are not at all effectively dealt with by the rubbery stuff which passes whatever is below its resonant frequency( and also reaches overload very quickly in the freq's that it does work at).

It seems as though this issue quickly becomes one of what vibrations we would like to deal with. If we "isolate"(using traditional methods) we interfere with the normal vibration pathways that would allow an escape route which could be faster than normal decay patterns. If we use rigid frames, we are subject to the movement of the earth's crust.

Our approach is to deal with the most prevalent vibrational effects which occur during audio playback(which is really the only time we are concerned about it). These effects are primarily airborne effects of large amplitude which, in turn, excite everything in the room. We have chosen a method which very effectively deals with this issue, while maybe not being ideal for controlling the movement of the earth's crust. It was our premise that providing a good solution for the airborne resonances to be evacuated was more important to system performance overall than de-coupling from the earth's crust motions. As an engineer, I'm sure you are very familiar with the process of deciding which aspects are the most important to deal with, and leaving other aspects as secondary.

While some may not agree with our premise that airborne vibrations are the most important ones to deal with, it is the basis of our designs, and we executed a design which was primarily focused on this significant part of the problem. Note that we do not state that our products will ever be 100% effective at dealing with all vibrational issues, rather only that it is quite effective at dealing with the ones which we see as the most detrimental ones to the audio system reproduction.

We are well aware of the excellent designs which are meant to "isolate" machine equipment or electron microscopes from floorborne vibrations in industrial applications. They do that job quite well, and are good at it. Our audio applications are quite different, and we differentiate which vibrations that we will deal with, in order to maximize our designs in certain parameters, primarily airborne vibration management affecting the audio band. We have found that these designs do in fact provide very good audible results, because of how we designed and executed them. Are they perfect? No. Are they good enough to be consistently considered as contenders for the best performing stands available? Yes.

So, while people may differ with our premises, and the solutions that we implement, the end result of our efforts is as valid or applicable in real-world use, as anything used for audio purposes today. The systems that deal with floorborne vibrations typically fall somewhat short in dealing as effectively with airborne-induced vibrations. Our design which is maximized for dealing with internal electromechanical,and airborne resonances may be somewhat less productive against earth's crust movements. It was an issue of what made more impact on the audio system performance, and we made our choice.

Storage and re-circulation of the vibrations which is typical in "isolation systems" today, made no sense to us. The Zener Viscoelastic Model shows us that this is what happens in practice.

So basically, we "paid our money" and took our best shot, using different ideas than were normally accepted in this industry, but which have a basis in science. And they work. Whether this is exactly what any particular consumer wishes to purchase, is up to them individually.

We have a concept, scientific foundation, and products which are based on these. We offer them to the public for sale. The eventual success, or failure, will be determined by how well it performs in the eyes(ears) of the consumers.

As far as anything else is concerned, there's always tomorrow, and there's no telling what we might learn that can help us to provide even more satisfaction for audio listeners. We are always listening to the input from our customers, and the industry.

Tom Lyons
Starsound Technologies
Respectfully disagree that airborne vibrations are the chief culprit in most audio systems. In fact, I would go so far as to say that airborne vibrations are significantly less critical than seismic vibrations. So we disagree substantially on this point.

Machina Dynamica isolation stands actually address vibrations higher up the frequency scale (as well as the very low seismic type) produced by airborne or motor noise, etc. by utilizing "selective frequency damping" techniques (for both Nimbus Sub-Hertz Platform and Promethean Base.) So I won't say airborne vibration is a non-issue, only a "secondary" one.

Geoff Kait, Machina Dynamica

Geoff Kait, Machina Dynamica
Well Geoff, differing viewpoints are the spice of life. That's why there are many different products of all types on the market.

We wish you all the best in your endeavors, now, and in the future.
Exactly! Same goes here.
I always enjoy a arguement that uses Stereofool as a reference ( after all all those advertisers can't be wrong!!). The diode effect does work on concrete floors since I've used both points and the Sistrum 101 stands throughout my system. What they are cpaable of is stunning for both products, the pionts are a good value( a friend just bought 1.5 audiopoints for his Totems and was schocked at the difference they made compared to stock.)I also liked the points but was able to afford the Sistrum 101 whish I use for all my components, I also purchased sp-1's for the speakers. This gave me staggering dynamics as well as a big increase in resolution, detail and speed. So if you need a cheap tweak call 1877-668-4332 and talk to Robert. If you don't like them I am sure that you may send them back, if you can !! Take care Dennis
"It appears the article was written with the express intent of promoting certain products which kept getting mentioned over and over again."

Tell me you get irony of this one.

"Where I seem to have difficulty agreeing with him, are the parts where he seems to be convinced that vibrations can be transmitted up from the floor, but cannot be transmitted down from the equipment "like a hose"(as he puts it)."

This was not the point as I read it. Dickson relates vibration transmitting in both directions. The operative phrase in the "like a hose" sentence is "containing a one-way check valve".

I was not going to write this paragraph, but now there are three posts amounting to the same point. My stance is: (A) what is odd/funny to me are users who believe their consumer experience necessarily gains them knowledge of an accurate physical explanation. (B) I did not post about a thing but a "theory". (C) I didn't start it; the door was soooo wide open for my post.

Celine: "The diode effect does work..."

Twl from the thread I can not believe hasn't been deleted:

"The points do not function as a "one way" device or 'mechanical diode'."

PS - Twl, what happened to parts two and three of the white paper trilogy Star Sound was going to create?
Like always, Pleasure Boy(aka Ohlala), you're just performing your usual mental masturbation trying to see how many you can get to chase their tail around the mulberry bush.

This would be an excellent time for everybody to take a break and allow Pleasure Boy to share his real world experiences and end-results on this topic.

Surely you have some thoughts and experiences of your own, don't you?

Instead of demanding documents and manipulating others to spend lots of time defending a position that you obviously know nothing about nor care to, Pleasure Boy, why don't you contribute something worth while yourself for a change of pace?

That is aside from your 'time to masturbate' post in another thread, which is certainly nothing to be proud of unless you're 12.

Ohlala, my comment was just pointing out that a certain magazine that you apparently regard as having valid articles can be just as prone to promote certain products as company reps can be. In fact,it is quite apparent that your position has for a long time, been one of general "anti-Starsound" sentiment, yet you attempt to masquerade as a general member, and try to use your forum as an negative influencing factor on other readers. At least we make ourselves publically known on this forum as reps. You are the one with the apparent "ulterior motives". Now that we realize that it(promoting or detracting) is done by alot of people with various motives(divested, or not), can we move on?

Regarding the "one way check valve" issue about "cones", as you pointed out later in your post, this is not how Audiopoints work, and I've stated as such(more than once, and thank you for pointing that out). I can't help that this inaccurate terminology is prevalent in the public domain regarding "cones" in general, or even in relation to our products. You can probably thank your magazine writers for that. We have always stated that the flow direction is determined by the laws of physics, and not our technology. Our technology simply provides an efficient pathway for the energy to flow(and not be seriously impeded, or horribly reflected, or stored)away from the components, and toward the high mass ground state of the earth, where it is damped. If you have a problem with this, then you are welcome to discuss it with whichever scientist discovered the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. Energy will seek the ground state via the path of least resistance. If the path to ground is not the least resistant one available, then it it will propagate thru the other least resistant paths, where it will continue to exist until exhausted via gradual dissipation thru heat. If the vibrational energy path of least resistance is provided via reduction in Coulomb Friction at the junctures, and proper materials and geometries are employed, so that the vibrational energies can move toward earth ground, they will do so. A "lesser" cone(or other support), which does not utilize these properties, will not provide this "path of least resistance" as well as Audiopoints, and thus will not perform the intended task as well(if at all).

"Your stance, (A)" is a very interesting point. Perhaps it applies to you?

Regarding the follow-ups to our published White Papers for Audiogon readers, we will post them on our timetable. Right now, we have our hands full with trying to fill the strong demand for our Harmonic Precision Caravelle speakers. Considering that there are less than 5 Audiogon members(including yourself) that we know of which seem to be disputing our technology, this makes it a fairly low priority for us at this time.

It seems that the reviewers and public are finding out that our technology works so well, that it has spawned a new performance leader in the monitor speaker world. While this is very exciting for us, it is simply another case where our technology has provided a pinnacle product in its respective arena, just like our Audiopoints and Sistrum Platforms have done. Our Caravelle Monitors are an example of how we could take normal "off the shelf" quality European drivers, and make them into a loudspeaker that is gaining world acclaim. Why couldn't others make these speakers from these drivers?. Because it is the Starsound technology of vibration management that makes them work the way they do. That is the difference.

So there you have it. 3 product lines using the similar technology, all highly acclaimed by users and reviewers alike. Coincidence? I don't think so. A few vocal "nay-sayers" don't change the facts.

Have a nice day.

Tom Lyons
Starsound Technologies
I wanted to post this, but do not have the time to read Twl's post and to address Stehno's issues ( I will later). In my last post I was not looking for a debate with Twl's points (I liked his post), I just wanted to address comprehension of the article.
Hi Twl, I already understood your point about the mag's motivation. No blame, but it would be great if you understood my post.

"You are the one with the apparent "ulterior motives"."
"At least we make ourselves publically known on this forum as reps."

One could get more base and realize every action requires motivation, but the quality of the motives is what is really pertinent. There is major difference between Star Sound's and my circumstances in which we post, profit v. personal experiences. That is why you put the rep tag with your posts. If I was to use a disclaimer, everyone should ala slippery slope. I am not copping to an ulterior motive, but I realize none of you buy that. The problem, I think, is that my experience was bad. No one would care if with equal force, I posted good experiences. But yes, let’s move on.

Regarding your second paragraph, I already read it in your past posts. I got it regarding the valve farce but not to be self-centered now maybe more will. Its just there's no longer that disagreement between you and Dickson. I appreciate the response; it was nice to see an attempt to sort of correlate that article, which I have used to draw my conclusion, with your position.

""Your stance, (A)" is a very interesting point. Perhaps it applies to you?"

It’s not interesting. I get what you’re saying - no.

"Considering that there are less than 5 Audiogon members..."

Good company.
Stehno, my joke in the “why I love digital” thread was a contrast between the time investment required for analog and the instant gratification character of digital culture. I could not have imagined, in a thread where people were making fun of their respective "camps", someone not only taking my joke literally but perceiving it as prideful. You didn’t even get a joke that has no subtlety; no wonder your expression of what you believe how I think comes across as an unintentional sideshow. You try, but you don’t understand me.
Against my better judgment to re-generate this thread, I am compelled to state that Twl does have a good point regarding one post I made, which is about my consumer experience with Star Sound. While it was made out of frustration from re-experiencing on audiogon what is in experience and judgment a gilded company, it was wrong to describe aspects of my experience which were outside the topic of the “what tweaks didn’t work” thread.