I cannot comment on the other potential solutions you are exploring, but can share that I am extremely pleased with Stillpoints Ultra 5s under my Tidal Contriva G2 speakers (225 lbs. each). Compared to Stillpoints Ultra SSs (which were quite good), I immediately noticed more precise imaging and better defined bass.
After using Stillpoints and a few others including 2" Audio Points under my 215 lb Eggleston Works Andra ll's, I then tried the large SS pointed footer version from Amcan. I was impressed and I am still using them.
Here is a link.
Depends what you are trying to do. The suspended wood floor can complicate things, and may require decoupling for the best result.
With my carpet over concrete floor, I try for as solid a base as possible for my 100+ pound speakers, and I like edenSound Bearpaws under custom Sound Anchor stands that are coupled directly to the speaker.
My new Super Stiff Springs are intended for *very heavy* objects, like Verier and VPI turntables and big amps but speakers like the 400 lb Magicas have such a high center of gravity it would necessitate a very large platform/plate under the speakers to be able to spread the springs out as wide as possible. Nevertheless the isolation, assuming it could be achieved mechanically, would be spectacular. The new Super Stiff Springs are low profile (2 inches tall) so they have excellent lateral stability. It would require about 8-10 SUPER STIFF SPRINGS to isolate a 400 lb. speaker. I estimate the platform would have to be 4x4 feet and could be say maple or Baltic birch plywood. It would be less challenging but interesting to isolate a large, heavy subwoofer using Super Stiff Springs.
My Legacy Signature III's weigh 140 lbs apiece. They sit on a raised wood foundation. They really came into their own when I put them on one of Mapleshade's 2" thick, unfinished maple platforms. The platforms are spiked to the floor though the carpet ... and the speakers are spiked to the platforms. It was very cost effective to do. If I remember correctly, the unfinished platforms were $175.00 ... and I already had all of the spikes on hand. I bought the unfinished platforms because of the cheap price. I wasn't sure they would work as I intended them to work. Now I wish I would have bought the finished platforms from Mapleshade. They're quite beautifully finished.
Thanks for all your input!
Adding a wooden platform may not be a good solution on my suspended floor so I am still debating between converting the vibration into energy a la Stillpoints or Finite Elements or conducting them away fast a la Star Sound.
There may be a point to isolate the speakers as Tim and Geoff suggested. But I wonder what happens to the remaining kinetic energy stored if you isolate such a big mass like the Sovereigns?
In the meanwhile, I have bought a pair of Sistrum SP004 for my monoblocks (see my other thread about decoupling my mono blocks) that I can carefully try under the Sovereigns first to get a sample how it affects the sound.
I have Stillpoint Ultra SS under my DAC and could buy another set to try them for a couple days under the Sovereigns. If that works better than Sistrum’s approach, I will probably be heading towards Ultra 5 with base, hoping someone with deeper pockets is upgrading to the newer Ultra 6, putting the U5s for sale (wink here).
Has anyone compared the Finite Elements Cerabase with Stillpoints Ultra SS or Ultra 5? It may constitute a viable and less costly alternative. Ditto goes for the Black Diamond Racing Super Jumbo Pucks; I like BDR for the excellent value/money.
Luckily I have less of a problem in my home theater where the lighter but not-so-featherweight like Duntech Black Knights (only 154lbs each) sit on Symposium Svelte shelves on the wooden floor which is directly on concrete (tight bass).
Last thing I would do is to couple the speakers to a wooden floor, as it will act as a sound board and muddy the bass. Cement floor, yes, couple them to.
For a wooden floor you need to de-couple, with some sort of heavy duty (for these speakers) Sorbothane/rubber type pads. If you do a search you will find many types around, but it will be hard for this weight speakers.
I just ordered 6 Herbie Titanium Cone/Spike Decoupling Glider for my speakers before forking out big $$ for Stillpoints Ultra 5. Thanks George!
Good work knghifi, these Titanium Cone/Spike Decoupling Glider will be the way to go if you have a suspended floor and you still want to use your speaker spikes. Some very good feedback from purchasers with suspended floors. http://herbiesaudiolab.net/csglider.htm
As from what I can see the Stillpoints wouldn’t be right for a suspended floor as they don’t decouple from it at all, they actually couple, and nowhere on their site do they even get into decoupling for suspended floors.
Re-posting my experience with StillPoints and Townshend Audio Seismic Pods under the B&W 803 Diamond speakers.
For many years I used a solid plywood base platform with 3 spikes that went through the carpet into a chipboard suspended floor. This was consistently superior with dramatic improvement in sound-staging and more precise bass to using the standard 4 spikes that didn't effectively pierce the carpet.
I tried StillPoints Ultra Fives under the speakers without the platform resting on the carpet. Besides being dangerously unstable under the relatively narrow 803, it was inferior compared to the spiked platform.
I then installed the StillPoints between the spiked platform and speakers. Obvious improvement in microdynamics, improved clarity from midrange and up, but no change to bass quality.
I then also replaced the spikes under the platform with the Townshend Seismic Pods. This did reduce the bass boominess a bit and resulted in a bit more bass articulation, with minor softening of bass impact. I think it also may have improved clarity in midrange, but I can't conclusively confirm without further comparisons.
The combination of Seismic Pods and Ultra Fives made a significant improvement in overall clarity, and more importantly listening engagement.
Seismic Pods are diametrically opposed to spiking where the intent is to ground the speaker to the floor to minimise movement of the speaker. With the Seismic Pods the speakers wobble back and forth if touched, but surprisingly the sound-staging is not worse, and if anything is a bit more independent of the speakers.
I cannot say conclusively whether StillPoints or Townshend is better for a particular situation.
To put the improvements in perspective, optimal positioning of the speakers in the room has MUCH greater impact on overall sound quality than any isolation.
Yes your experience with the Seismic Pods, de-coupled the speakers from the suspended floor. As does Herbie's Titanium Cone/Spike Decoupling Glider.
When I isolate (de-couple) my massive Martin Logan Monoliths from my suspended floor, the bass becomes far tighter faster and deeper and without overhang, and the image is improved.
If I couple them into the floor with spikes, then the bass becomes one note'ish the floor vibrates through your feet, and the image is also shot to hell.
Also adding my more recent experience with StillPoints under B&W 800 Diamond.
The 800 Diamond is so heavy and stable that I initially left it with the steel ball rollers on the carpet (suspended chipboard floor).
I then replaced the rollers with StillPoints Ultra Fives which improved mid-range quality and micro-dynamics. No significant change to bass quality.
Unlike the 803 Diamond, I didn’t need to use a platform with spikes for stability due to the huge 800 speaker base!
Again my experience is that optimal positioning of the speakers is more important than any isolation.
Good work knghifi, these Titanium Cone/Spike Decoupling Glider will be the way to go if you have a suspended floor and you still want to use your speaker spikes. Some very good feedback from purchasers with suspended floors.http://herbiesaudiolab.net/csglider.htm
I changed my order to Giant Titanium Cone/Spike Decoupling Glider. Should arrive this week,
My 23'x33'x15' family room is all hardwood floor on top of garage. I don't have booming issues or one note bass with current speaker but curious if decoupling will yield any improvements
As from what I can see the Stillpoints wouldn’t be right for a suspended floor as they don’t decouple from it at all, they actually couple, and nowhere on their site do they even get into decoupling for suspended floors.I thought Stillpoints do decouple in TAS RH review?
I thought Stillpoints do decouple in TAS RH review?
Unless there’s a hidden "rubberized isolation" section within the two sections of the Stillpoint.
There is something between the two sections, but I was told this is just ball bearings, if so they wouldn’t de-couple from the floor.
As to de-couple you need something soft between the two sections that won’t transmit into the floor.
Think of engine mounts on a car, they are nearly all made with rubber de-coupling from the chassis, some esoteric ones are de-coupled using fluid. Any hard mount would make for a very uncomfortable ride.
Ball bearings can provide isolation, especially in the rotational directions, just like other roller bearing or ball and socket type isolation devices such as Dharumas and even steel springs which are not rubber type material now that I think about it. It would depend on how the ball bearings are implemented in the design as to whether they were an isolating element.
Ball bearings would transmit like a solid metal engine mount on a car, not isolate. Remember back to school Newtons cradle???
What a lively discussion and thanks for the additional suggestions!
Re Herbie's Fat Gliders, I tried them before, pretty good but preferred the Symposium Svelte.
Re StillPoints and Townshend Audio Seismic Pods combo: I read your comments yesterday, just before you reposted your experience as I was searching the Gon using selected keywords.
Before I try those alternative solutions, I solicited input from Symposium and Star Sound, both recommend only direct coupling between the speaker platform and floor, draining away the energy/vibration.
Peter of Symposium cautioned about adding footers: they can improve some aspects by disconnecting the return echo, but "putting platforms up on cones is not necessarily nor recommended on hard floors, because all you are doing is 1) elevating the speaker and creating a gap underneath, which reduces extreme bass response, and 2) reducing the energy drainage throughput capacity of the platform." So I could upgrade the Svelte to Svelte Plus under my speakers and maybe try Rollerblocks between the speaker platform and Svelte.
Robert of Star Sound made his point about coupling that increases the efficiency of any electronic device as it allows the component to vibrate but provides a fast drainage to the "ground". The fact that nearly all of the Sistrum platform users report a higher volume output with the same volume setting on the preamp/amp validates the assumption that the devices have become more efficient. Robert suggests I should try the Apprentice SP-SA-XL-4-1.5 but could try a smaller platform in lieu as a test (which I intended to do anyway).
On the other hand, the reports of Stillpoint Ultra 5 as footers seem to be uniformly very good, this is unfortunately the most expensive alternative.
I have been having problems in my current residence-dealt with a lot of high freq energy and very limited bass response initially-wood floor with B&W 800D. Upgraded speaker cable to Valhalla from Valkeryie (sp?) and this made a surprising diff allowing speakers to be moved further out from wall and a little further apart-a significant increase in bass energy and response. I also reconfigured the way I was bi-wiring my speakers. Have been thinking of decoupling speakers from floor with Nordost Sort Fut. Have been able to obtain very little info on them but what I have heard is very positive. Like some of the Townsend Audio decoupling products but I do not believe they are available in Canada. Any help or info with the sort fut would be appreciated.
As Geoff said, roller bearings give you isolation/decoupling in the lateral/horizontal/rotational plane, but not in the horizontal. As he also said, springs can be used to isolate in the vertical plane. That spring can be a typical metal one as found in the suspensions of AR/Linn type turntables and most automobiles, or it can be an air spring, like the old Townshend Seismic Sink. There's one on Audiogon for $300 right now, in fact. One can be made for much cheaper---it's just an inner tube between two platforms (Baltic Birch ply works great), inflated just enough to raise the top off the bottom. The lower the air pressure, the lower the resonant frequency and greater the isolation. Great for non-suspended tables, CD transports, and electronics. Tables with suspensions, I don't know. Does the air spring interact with the table's suspension? A metal spring isolation platform under a table with a spring suspension is supposedly not a good idea for that very reason.
For my Duntech Black Knights in my home theater setup with wooden floor on concrete, I have tried the following: BDR cones + pucks, Symposium Svelte shelves, and Star Sound Sistrum SP004. The BDR alternative is good (better than none) but also the least favored one, the Svelte shelves is a big step up with more clarity and better imaging. The Sistrum SP004, whilst sounding just a bit leaner than the Svelte, is a whole level better: much more liquid/faster, very precise imaging, separation of instruments is excellent.
The Sistrum platform provides an upgrade like replacing a great interconnect with an expensive one from High Fidelity Cables.
I will try the Stillpoint Ultra SS.