Be careful with anything rubber-ish as they can leave marks.
Well since you don't want expensive doodads, and the best aren't made any more anyway, then my comment would be what you're doing, quit doing it under the factory footers. Use three of whatever. Place them directly in contact with the underside of the component. If there is a heavy transformer try to place one under that. If not then usually one end of the component is heavier, use two under that end leaving one under the lighter end. If there is a CD transport try one under that.
Factory footers are all crap. The more impressive/expensive they look the crappier in reality they are. Remove them and screw whatever you want to test in there instead. But only two- the third goes wherever. Four can teeter, three never will.
Place them directly in contact with the underside of the component.
I've been recently using the Symposium Precision Couplers in this way. The soft footers obstruct coupling of the component chassis to the shelf. These things aren't crazy expensive either and I believe retail at $35 each.
However to get back on topic.
I am quite happy with results from an el cheapo test I did using old ham radio ceramic cones approx 1 inch tall.
Using 4 under my phono stage and 4 under my C.E.C CD player. These sit on top of some Les Audio pads.
A very fair improvement for not much cash, think they were like $1 each off eBay.
Miller and 3easy.
Normally I would completely agree but....
I placed some Herbies glass balls and footers under my Ayre EX8 directly under the amp.
Then I tried with them under the existing amp rubber footers and it sounded quite a bit better like that.
More depth and good lower and mid bass kick.
Just goes to show you should always experiment as NOTHING is written in tablets of stone.
Funny how you never hear about the Stillpoints anymore. They were awfully expensive, so of course Robert Harley at TAS pronounced them essential. The Townshend Audio Seismic products have gotten a lot of press coverage in the UK, but Max’s U.S. distributor doesn’t seem to be very aggressive in marketing them here. The same cannot be said of IsoAcoustics, whose GAIA are the new hot ticket. Not TOO bad at $400 for the GAIA III if your speakers are under 70 lbs. but if you have heavy ones, the GAIA I will cost you $1200. That will buy a pair of Magnepan LRS and a coupla subs!
Nice and fun topic. I use a variety of items from expensive to dirt cheap:
Isoacoustics Gaia I feet under my Magico A3 speakers.
I have hockey pucks (authorized game quality!) under heavy amplifiers and integrated amps.
I have Vibrapods underneath some other lighter components.
Underneath Schiit audio small units I have used the cork or cork-like inserts that come in the box with Shunyata stainless steel feet.
Under small components I used to use wine corks that I would cut in half lengthwise.
<5Hz isolation. Cheapest and most effective, probably why cars, motorcycles, trains...
You don't have to be as elaborate as Townshend, but they sure as heck look the goods!
Geoff certainly doesn't need anyone defending his springs (and may take umbrage at me doing so), but if you look at the smaller ones (for loads up to 45 lbs.) you will see that they are 1" in diameter, and stand 1.5" tall when unloaded, compressing to 0.75" when loaded. Not much chance of them falling over, as they are wider than they are tall, and pretty stiff (to be able to support 45 lbs. they have to be).
But if that doesn't persuade you, what can be done is to: 1- remove the components' stock rubber feet (which all suck); 2- put a fender washer (slightly larger that 1") on the bottom of the spring, insert a flathead bolt into its' center hole and run it up through the middle of the spring, and screw it into the threaded holes of the stock feet. Select a bolt which will be long enough so as to not itself compress the spring or interfere with its' movement in any way. Problem, if any, solved.
I'm with you Elizabeth. I use the old Lg. Mod Squad Tip Toes under my amp & preamp (Muse Model 100 & Model One preamp) and under my speakers (Rauna Tyr II & Focal Electra Chorus 807V) I use 3 rubber stoppers that you get from Home Depot or Lowes for a few bucks. I've used the lg. Audiquest Sorbothane Dampers in the past as well as the weird feet from my old Rega Planar 3 TT. The rubber stoppers seem to work very nicely
I have used every type of footer available, for a complete 3D realistic natural sound you can not beat Max Townshends Isolation products. Max has been designing Isolation for over 50 years, since his days working on Airplanes and Submarines, All ways start with your Speakers then front end.
nothing under equipment, i have discovered this after purchasing Bassocontinuo Reference line rack. Any really good rack will justify this. Speakers are different and need decoupling, where any material with elasticity absorbs too much from enjoyment, and hard material as spikes (better metal better results) gives speed and tighten things up. The best i have used by far, under equipment, are Acoustic system footers (equipment foot topline and classic), with amazing results and Herbie's Iso-cup with good results (a very affordable option).
The reason (my) small springs are very stable when used as directed is due to the very low center of gravity of the isolating system AND the springs’ stiffness, which is matched to the load. This is the reason my small Baby Prometheans are not (rpt not) appropriate for large heavy speakers. The speakers would be unstable since their COG is very high. The only way (any) springs will work under tall heavy loads like big speakers is to be able to spread the springs out in a very wide pattern - wider than the footprint of the speakers - using a board or frame, which is what Townshend does. That’s the only way to obtain sufficient lateral support for stability. Even then, the springs would have to be quite stiff in order the support the load.
My Super Stiff Springs can support three times the load of my softer springs. But even my very stiff springs would not work directly under tall heavy speakers. But they would work if a 2x2 board was placed under the speaker and the springs placed under the board in a wide pattern.
The advantage of independent springs is that one or more spring can be added to bolster lateral support if needed for a particular load. Of course, every time you add a spring you raise the system spring rate and the resonant frequency. That’s why you really want to minimize the number of springs, match the spring rate of the spring to the load. If the springs don’t match the load the resulting iso stand will be too floppy and unstable or too stiff and unable to provide isolation. Isolation is defined as how easily the component can move in a given direction. In the case of my springs or any springs the directions that are isolated are the vertical direction and two rotational directions - but not the horizontal plane and one of the rotational directions.
Having said all that, there is no stability issue for all the usual things that should be isolated - turntable, CDP, amp, preamp - where center of gravity is not an issue.
Give me a strong enough spring and I can isolate the world.
Advanced Audio Concepts
I have always had a thing for different isolation devices, like some people have for power cords. I have tried all sorts of things over the years from exotic and expensive to affordable and as is often said, they all have a "sound". Having said that, when I found Starsound products, that was it. The speaker supports make speakers disappear and the equipment stands make amps and CD players perform better, and it's not subtle. I waited until 2 years ago to put an Apprentice rack under my DAC, and I regret that, because when I did, the music which I thought was just fine snapped into focus.
Call me a shill or a fanboy, but if you're serious, spend the money and you'll get your money's worth.
I have a suspended (and bouncy) floor where my main system is. I recently bought an old JVC QL-Y66F turntable that has a big hollow box for a plinth and springy feet. I couldn't turn it up very loud at all without woofer pumping. I put some plasticclay inside the plinth and put these feet on it https://mnpctech.com/pc-computer-stereo-desktop-case-feet/technics-turntable-replacement-custom-feet/technics-sl-1200mk-1210-dj-turntable-riser-anti-skid-pedestal-feet.html and put it on a Symposium Ultra 19X18 3.5" thick platform and that all combined to make a tremendous improvement. There are still some airborne vibration issues, but I have a lot more leeway with the volume and sound quality is much better (tighter, more detailed).
I use Boos blocks under my monoblocks (mainly to keep them off the carpeted floor, less so for vibration isolation) and have one under one of my turntables that's on a glass rack. That turntable (a Clearaudio Emotion) came with the heavy aluminum feet http://www.elusivedisc.com/Clearaudio-Emotion-Aluminum-Feet-Upgrade-Set-Of-3/productinfo/CLEAEFEET/ and did really well with vibrations when I had it in my main system. I bought it second hand and it came with those feet, so I can't say how much of an upgrade they were over the stock feet, but it is very stable with those feet.
I've also put hockey pucks under some of my components. I've found they seem to work better than sorbothane and don't leave marks.
I can't say I've experimented with everything or spent a lot of time looking at the science of vibration control, but of the things I've tried, I've had better luck with harder materials than things like sorbothane. The sorbothane has helped with vibration issues, but it has resulted in less detailed and muddy sound in my systems.
I value the ability to move my ProAc’s around on a wooden floor so I went with Herbie’s gliders. Did not notice any SQ change, plus or minus, over stock spikes into floor protectors. I have been intrigued, however, with the Isoacoustics footers so maybe some day I’ll try them. I still have Nuance platforms under my amp and cd player - remember those?
If you want to try something good that member stevecham recommended in January, try these. They're almost free, and they are better sounding than many more expensive alternatives. (but not the Starsound racks of course.)
I’m not sure that I understand your comment Elizabeth. What does it matter if they’re "too stiff"? Aluminum tip-toes are pretty "stiff" too. What matters is how they perform. I can understand that you may or may not like that, although I find it surprising that someone with your experience has any use for sorbothane, which I find terrible sounding under anything.
I have tried a few different feet on all of my components...
Ash wood Cones of various sizes - large ones on amps small ones on
- enhanced details and imaging
Steel ball bearing "feet"
- Made the sound very "brittle" and harsh
Glass marble "feet"
- less harsh than steel
Brass and bronze cones of various sizes
- improved details and clarity over all of the above
- improved dynamic performance
- all components sounded more natural
Regards - Steve
I've tried everything in the book too. Large sorbothane half domes under heavy amps which are up on amp stands which are spiked to concrete through the carpet. Speakers are spiked the same. Amp, tuner and CD are on sorbothane footers for their size and weight and almost everything has additional lead ballast added to help damp vibrations.... LOL, it can get pretty loud in here. I use Yorksite memorial candle holders inverted to lift cables off the carpet. It is what it is.. .. besides an occasional tube roll every few years the system (vintage) is fully developed and will stay as is unless something breaks or we move.