This is a question which cannot really be answered. As bizarre as it sounds, each of the isolation devices has a sonic signature. Aurios bearing sound different than navcom feet, and brass cones sound different than sorbothane. The only thing you can really do is try each of them and decide which one you like the best. Of course, that's not as easy as it might sound. If you can, borrow as many types as possible from your friends.
Do a search in the Tweaks/DIY forum at AudioAsylum.com
Some forms do a better job or a different job of dissipating energy. Nothing is perfect. Do a search on Neuance shelves here or on the net and you will find info on the direction I have taken, and do not regret, and have not fiddled with for a year or so now (which is saying a big something by the way).
Cones and sorbothane disks are based on two different theories. Although there are those who would claim differently, I believe you negate the effects of cones using sorbothane anything. A cone is a coupling device, sorbothane disks are a decoupling and energy absorption device.
A cone, by putting the weight on a very small point, makes whatever is on top of the cone vibrationally couple to whatever is under it. In other words, if you put a heavy speaker on cones on the floor of your house, the speakers act as if they are a much heavier object. That means that vibrational energy will have a smaller impact on the speaker itself, because the vibrational energy is attempting to displace a much greater mass (your house).
A sorbothane disk, on the other hand, is designed to decouple two things by absorbing vibrational energy and turning it into heat. In other words, if you have something that is vibrating one one side of the footer, the footer absorbs the vibrations instead of transmitting the vibrations to whatever is on the other side.
Thus, if you put a speaker on cones and put the cones on a sorbothane footer on the floor, you may couple better to the footer, but you aren't coupling to the floor. You might as well just use the footers.
So, if you are trying to prevent vibrations from one piece of gear on a shelf to get to other pieces of gear, pucks may be a better solution. If you are trying to keep things from vibrating at all, cones may be better. I'm a believer in cones myself. YMMV.
thx for the replies. and yes there has been a forum thread in audioasylum just like this one.
the challenge in my case is;
i am living in a 100 year old house (hwood floors). my room is very small, so there is no room for audioracks, speaker stands etc. my system rests on a wooden desk (yes, even the monitors). i think i will try sorbothane hemispheres under my speakers and cones for the cd player. my heavy unico amp also stands on the cd player, is that a bad idea? shall i also put something in between them (like pucks)? edesilva, do you know a supplier of effective and cheap pucks?
In my humble opinion, the best, easiest, and not necessarily most expensive, is Zoethecus. No need to fuss with cones, blobs, etc. A really well engineered rack should be all you need, and I think Zoethecus fits the bill.
Contact Ken at Neuance. He does a shelf that does a fantastic job without a rack.
Hey, what about sorbothane layers between stainless stell washers (the interface between different materials should send a reflection of the vibrational wave back into the sorbothane for further dissipation). The place stainless steel ball-bearings at the top to couple your system to the washer-sorbothane sandwiched structure. I think ones can do this for about $8 for four sets with three layers of sorbothane. I am tring it this weekend.
You can either transmit vibrations, or absorb them. Most soft or rubbery materials absorb the vibrations, and then re-release them back into the equipment. If you provide a direct coupling to allow the vibrations to exit, then you do not re-release them back into the equipment. I use Audiopoints, which are more than a simple cone, and are patented and engineered to do the job of evacuating the vibrations better than others I have tried. They look like simple cones, but the materials and geometry make the difference.
Correction to TWL. If a rubbery material absorbs the vibration, the energy is disipated in the form of atomic vibrations. Once the energy is absorbed, it will not be "re-released". This is based on the visco-elastic model of vibrations. Some energy will make through the rubbery material either if it is in a frequency where the material can't absorb it (i.e. the resonance frequency) or if the energy coming into the material is to high for complete dissipation.
Salsero, I think your last statement is the critical one. According to my understanding of the Zener model, the damping must occur completely during the relaxation time of the material in question, or the vibrations will not be fully damped. In such a case the remaining portion of the vibrations will be re-released into a suitable adjoining layer.
Earthquakes can be felt hundreds if not thousands of miles away from epicenter. Is the Earth direct coupled or is it absorbent under these circumstance? Molecular transmission? Yea I think so! Where did all that energy go? You are still living with the effects. You cannot isolate anything. Direct audio coupling to Earths ground is the most effective path to the best of sound. Mixing one ineffective material with the science of resonant energy transfer makes for a misguided and misjudged outcome. Tom
Theaudiotweak, I don't comprehend. Is the earth direct coupled to what? The vibrations don't go on forever, so ultimately its turned into heat from internal friction--the earth is thus, in fact, absorbent. Also, things *can* be effectively isolated. I doubt, for example, vibrations from your stereo are affecting mine...
Twl, I have to believe, in Karabiyikoglu's odd position (no real room for racks, everything on a desk), there might be *some* benefit to pucks. While they certainly don't isolate all vibrational energy, some of it has to be turned into heat...
Anyway, Karabiyikoglu, if you are still listening, sounds like you have a problem because of space constraints. If everything is on your desk, try some experimentation. How resonant/flexible/wobbly is your desk? If it is really solid, you might be better off with cones--if the desk is solidly coupled to the floor, you are basically coupling to the floor if you put points between the desk and the gear. On the other hand, if the desk vibrates or resonates, you might have the only instance I can think of where isolation makes some sense. As I said before, I'm a cone-guy myself, so I can't help you pick pucks. I would try, as much as possible, to avoid actually stacking components on each other. Any possibility of getting some shelves you could mount on the wall? At least that way the gear wouldn't be in direct contact. I know target, for example, used to make a fairly heavy duty wall mount turntable shelf...
thanks everybody. i will tweak with cones and sorbothane and post my experience on "my system" page.