We recommend spending time on the phone with various manufacturers, knowledgeable dealers and such if you wish to learn more as there are no third party laboratory tested performance validations known at this point in time leaving only opinions regarding coupling and decoupling techniques in audio.
The most important part of any vibration management formula is realizing there are thousands of variables with another few thousand coupling and decoupling methodologies used in audio. Add to that if you elect to combine these two directly opposite theorems, expect to add on another infinite amount of possibilities to the previous order. Then the decision on what choice of products to compare that matches your budget for evaluation processes. The only people who say resonance caused from vibration is not that difficult to understand or manage are the ones representing vibration control products in need of a quick sale.
Vibration management is not a proven science by any means and can be argued without end.
This we do know and is easily proven:
Equipment foundations define the end results related to the musical performance of any sound system. The racking support system will also determine the sonic results attained from coupling or decoupling speakers and components. The rack can be a blessing or a fault at the outset and could easily be the defining factor governing your wallet over time so if you own a poor to average functioning racking system and/or speaker plinths or monitor stands, you may never hear how good the electronics and speakers you already own actually sound.
Equipment racks influence the sonic of every piece of equipment you purchase regardless of the room design, flooring type, electronics selection, loudspeakers, coupling/decoupling accessories, cable products, etc.
The equipment rack design functionality determines the level of component operational efficiency. Unfortunately, for most, the equipment rack and speaker supports are deemed a very low consideration and/or minimalist-priority as equipment selections take place. IMO - Big Mistake #1.
The first question should be; does your equipment rack direct couple or decouple resonance build up or does your rack play a different type of functional role in vibration management or does the rack look nice, feels heavy and is rigid? Most do not know if their racking is highly functional for vibration management since they may have never compared it to another brand or materials type.
Every rack manufacturer in audio says their version is the best at isolation whereas isolation is but only one concept in design. There are a lot of misbeliefs in the marketplace; for example did you know solid wood racks do not isolate resonance? At the very least, there are ways to step-up the performance of any racking system, regardless of build and materials as one should really explore those possibilities as well.
The reference to the isolation speaker video at Rocky Mountain (link posted above) where a company compares a few hundred dollars ($ 400.00+) worth of speaker “decoupling” support products to just four dollars ($ 4.00) worth of steel nailhead spikes “coupling” the speaker to the flooring; is that really a fair comparison between the two techniques? IMO - Definitely Not!
There are videos where people are stomping on floors putting up thousands of dollars worth of an isolation product (decoupling) against and dare we say it again, $4.00 worth of speaker spikes (coupling). The results prove nothing whatsoever other than hundreds or thousands of dollars always beats four. These are not comparative tests but more a demonstration in order to sell more product. Never compare coupling to decoupling without some type of fairness towards each individual product cost or you will be marketed out of your money for sure.
Why do so many audiophiles match the term “coupling” to generic spikes or cheap cones? There are thousands of various types of spikes and coupling devices available and they all sound and perform totally independent of each other. No two products sound nearly the same. Should we match up the term “decoupling” to a $4.00 tire inner tube, spring or a furniture moving coaster and compare them to an extremely well engineered coupling product? Guaranteed coupling wins!
Our company is about to release an Industry First new product and category in all of audio. We are presenting an engineered mechanically grounded structural sound environment. The equipment and loudspeakers are coupled to coupling racks, the structural walls; floor and ceiling grids are also direct coupled to earth’s ground along with all AC distribution, cabling and networks. There is no need for digital room correction or add-on acoustic control products as volume does not overload, over damp or reflect surface energy hence there is no slap echo or any known acoustic issues within this environment. The wall surfaces are smooth without anything hanging or attached to them in order to satisfy any cosmetic objections. The sound experience deserves an audition as proof in performance.
If you listen inside this product, guaranteed you will become a supportive voice for “coupling”. But again, is this a fair comparison because a “decoupled” sound room is impossible to build?
I’m not here to argue pro or against the two methodologies or get tangled up in personality conflicts. We represent a group of professionals who devoted their livelihoods to understanding sound and resonance management.
Our advice is to call on manufacturers, listen to their pitch and have a conversation detailing the methods, technical discoveries, techniques and products as that is the only realistic way to gather knowledge in forming your own opinion or testing protocol.
The bottom line - finer companies who know their product’s value and performance capabilities always offer financial return guarantees whether you spend $10.00 or $10,000.00 and that business model definitely assists your discovery process. These few companies offer trade up programs so you do not lose your capital investment along the way. They also provide education and that is where your time involvement really pays off.
A manufacturer’s opinion,