Damping Plates


Lots of discussions about isolators and couplers used on the bottom of components but not much said about dealing with internal resonances using damping plates on top of the equipment. Harmonic Resolution Systems (HRS) is one of many manufacturers that make such devices but, like all things with an audiophile label, they can get expensive. Low-cost alternatives such as scuba dive weights have been mentioned by some.

Have you tried damping plates and were there worthwhile improvements in sound quality?
turnbowm
I use them on all my tube components. I have various footers, mostly DH Cones with maple platforms to drain component and rack vibration.
I'm using Edensound damping weights on top to prevent acoustic vibration; 
two damping weights evenly placed on top.
https://edensoundaudio.com/shop/category/damping-weights/



lowrider57
3,504 posts
02-07-2020 11:24am
"I use them on all my tube components...."

Reportedly, tube equipment and CD players/transports benefit the most from resonance control, although I had good results on a DAC.
Lots of discussions about isolators and couplers used on the bottom of components but not much said about dealing with internal resonances using damping plates on top of the equipment. Harmonic Resolution Systems (HRS) is one of many manufacturers that make such devices but, like all things with an audiophile label, they can get expensive. Low-cost alternatives such as scuba dive weights have been mentioned by some.

Have you tried damping plates and were there worthwhile improvements in sound quality?


Hello! https://systems.audiogon.com/systems/8367

Look at the pictures. BDR Shelf and dive weights on top of Oppo CDP, Verus turntable motor drive, and Herron phono stage. Been like this many years. Written up in many posts. You might want to read them.

This all falls under the heading "Vibration Control" and represents the difference between the false notion of "isolation", of which there is no such thing, and control, which there certainly is.

Or if you follow mahgister (which you should, it is worth the effort) then its one of his three "embeddings". 

Either way its significant, and in a lot more ways than just a rack or a shelf or cones that are under a component. What's inside, and what's on top, are all equally important. It is all vibrating, after all.

You can spend money and buy stuff but I recommend that you first try as many freebies as you can. That way you actually learn something. I started 30 years ago with phone books. So long ago I almost feel obligated to explain about books being these paper things, with words and pages, only actual pages you have to turn with your hands not scroll with a mouse. You get the idea. What you are talking about is nothing new. A lot of us have been doing it a very long time.

Anyway you try whatever your imaginative little mind can conjure up and happens to be just laying around. You try, and you listen. You pay attention to what it was, where you put it, and how it changed the sound. Pay particular attention to its properties of mass, stiffness, and damping. Do this and I can just about guarantee that after a while you will notice some patterns begin to emerge. 
The false notion of isolation? Are you out of mind?

Dive weights. 👨‍🚀 Give me a freakin break! I already know what you’re going to say, “It sounds fabulous!”

Knowledge. That’s what’s left after you forgot whatever it was you supposedly learned in school.

Money is an excellent substitute for knowledge. - Harpo Marx
millercarbon2,876 posts02-07-2020 1:13pm
"....You can spend money and buy stuff but I recommend that you first try as many freebies as you can. That way you actually learn something. I started 30 years ago with phone books...."

I experimented with a dictionary before investing in scuba dive weights. I credit you with that idea from your Home Theater post.
I want to be clear, I'm not saying all or even any of these things are the way to go. I'm saying trying them is an experience that will help you learn to evaluate and select the really good stuff. 

Very little of what's out there is sophisticated, in that the properties are inherent in the material. That would be something like the carbon fiber and resin material in BDR Shelf and Cones. Inherently dense, very stiff, and highly damped. Its very rare to find something so across the board excellent as this. More often its combinations of compromised materials. VPI laminates acrylic and aluminum, for example, and lots of people laminate wood, or combine metals and elastomers. All they are really doing is what I did with my rack- combining different flawed materials in an intelligent mix that combines the best of each in a way that balances out or covers up each others weaknesses.

What I'm really saying is this is something everyone can learn to do. 
Fo.Q tape.

Start here.  End here.
millercarbon, I guess you did the best you could do with what you have. You cannot be penalized for that. As McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest sarcastically says to the inmates after he was unable to lift the 300 lb water cooler, At least I tried.  🤗
“I’m saying trying them is an experience that will help you learn to evaluate and select the really good stuff.”

One of the very few posts by millercarbon that is spot on...LOL. 
Most of the isolation, dampening accessories comes with return policy. I encourage you to try as many you can in your system and keep the ones that makes the most audible improvements.

HRS dampening plates are very effective and elegant, thus earns my recommendation but like you said, they can get expensive.
On equipment with contiguous top plates (no exposed tubes)  I spray painted 2.5 and 5 lb. bar bell weights and glued a thin cork sheet under. 

The brass damping weight mentioned by lowrider look nice and come with cork or some type elastomer base. For equipment with exposed tubes I would want a base that keeps these weights from slipping. 
Really? First you have to control the magnetic flux surrounding your ears so that it is perfectly symmetrical. Take any headband and using silicone glue two one inch neodymium magnets right above your ears. Amazing. And you won't have to worry about dripping sweat on the record.
My MicroZOTL2 benefits greatly from damping.Isoacoustic footers helped and two pounds of weight on top changes the sound for the better in this lightweight component.I'm currently experimenting with materials and figuring out how to incorporate a damper that's not hideous.The bayberry jar candle works well,but looks ridiculous:-)
VPI and the small HRS also Symposium makes some great ones they are best less damping is always better.Dive weights is a big cheap joke.
On equipment with contiguous top plates (no exposed tubes)  I spray painted 2.5 and 5 lb. bar bell weights and glued a thin cork sheet under.

@mesch , great minds think alike. I needed to damp a new  component but didn't want to spend any more money so I used 2.5 lb. weights and added a cork bottom.

 

@lowrider57 which base type do use on your Edensound brass damping discs. I would want to keep than from sliding on surface of any component with exposed tubes.  
@mesch   Eden Sound offers their brass 'weights' with a protective surface to prevent movement and scratching/marking.
@ Yes, I looked that up. Which have you used, cork or elastomer? 
Brass, another low end material. Not a big fan. They should call it Low Eden Sound. 🤗
@mesch   The Isodamp Elastomer.
@mesch , I have the cork on the bottom. They stay in place just fine with no scratches. 
I didn't want to use rubber, even synthetic, in case of residue. But @david_ten can speak to that.
@lowrider57. Thanks. Just to let you know, I have a UV-1 on the way. Looking to use the damping as you did with yours. I thought that the brass would look nice spaced in front of tubes and between tubes and transformer. 
@david_ten  In your opinion does the elastomer prevent slippage to an extent greater than cork?

To better understand my interest, I wish to use these damping devices as much to add mass to the UV-1 as for the damping per se'. It is very light and presents a need to counterbalance cabling. Thought I do have my cabling routed in such a way not to add too much strain.
@mesch I’d ask Eden Sound. I cannot offer direct comparative insight since I don’t have the cork base. The elastomer is very grippy. The surface of the (your) component will also play a role.

I’m sure you will be fine with either application, however, Energy and Entropy do have their ways. : )
I found 1# bars of copper on Amazon that I'm going to order to replace the ugly candle on the pre.Exactly the same weight.I thought a black pyramid would look cool but the heavy ones are all huge.
Wouldn't iron weights on or close to an amplifier cause interference from eddy curents and other induced EM?
@noromance , dont know. But maybe not a good idea to have bare metal touching the amp.
My weights are lined with cork and are on top of sources.

Micheal Green used to sell these roomtune platforms that you’d place around your component and adjust the pressure being exerted the effectively tune the resonance inside the component to your room/system/ears.

Eventually he extended the concept to use rods inside his speakers and external countersunk bolts that would be turned to tighten the walls of the speaker to your likening.  It did actually work quite well.

In playing with my latest acquisition, an EtherRegen, I tried various ways to make it sound even better. At first I put it on cones (it’s a very small light case) with heavy weights on top.

i liked the effect, but as I experimented further, I put it on top of an old sistrum stand, which is an iron platform with brass cone feet.

Once in that, I began to try adding lots of different levels of weights (mostly copper or a other metal) and what I found was that with any weight on the unit, the sound became a bit more focused but lost it sonic freedom, bloom and wonderful staging.

I can’t say which is correct, only that I preferred nothing on top of this very light Ethernet isolator/reclocker. (Not even a few copper washers)

I began to think about the old roomtune products and felt I was doing the same thing with weights, effectively Tuning the product to your environment and preferences.

That stated, I am generally a fan of mechanical grounding as opposed to isolation.  However I’ve had good results using mechanical grounding but sitting on top of halcyonics type platforms, which are in essence a stiffly sprung spring with piezo actuators to move inversely with vibration that comes from under the unit. It’s most effective under turntables.
There have been many ideas down through the ages for using things on tops of speaker cabinets and electronic equipment - e.g., the now defunct Tekna Sonic dampers, Totem Beaks, Super DH Cones, Brilliant Pebbles, Golden Sound’s Acoustic Discs, and stacking 4” ceramic plates on Small DH Cones. Not so obviously perhaps a spring-based isolation system under speakers and components kills two birds 🐦 🐦 with one stone - damping internal resonances and isolating from mechanical vibration - acoustic and structureborne.
@lowrider57 Not so much touching but close to it. I know that removing the metal cover from my tube phone preamp improves the sound enough to have me leave it off.
Correct geoffkait and absolutely none of it did anything for anybody. The audio fad of the day. It is a shame that legitimate manufacturers do not rail against this stuff. They don't because they have to remain politically correct to sell equipment. The mythology is allowed to continue because it sells equipment. Sounds like politics to me. 
Huh? Are you out of mind? Manufacturers have always (rpt always) been two paradigm shifts behind the power curve. Advanced audiophiles have always (rpt always) been the pioneers of this hobby. Manufacturers never got the memo for power cords, fuses, isolation or wire directionality. They’re too hyper focused on circuits. 👀 And perhaps too busy admiring their own handiwork to pay attention to what’s going on. This is the sort of debate that easily distinguishes the mid fi fanatics from the high end. A myth is as good as a mile.
@noromance  I believe much of the benefit of removing the cover is thought to be the prevention of resonance within. May be off on this.