HRS M3X isolation base or Minus-K?


Hi All,

I'm looking for some input about these two platforms under a non-suspended turntable. Anyone have experience with both?

I have a Brinkmann Oasis on the way, for which HRS makes a custom platform. I could buy a Minus-K MB100-8 at roughly the same cost.

Minus-Ks are a known quantity to me because I've used them under two non-suspended decks with great results. I have no experience with the M3X. Either platform will sit on an Adona rack, spiked to a concrete floor.

Minus-K does a great job of isolating from external resonance, especially in the vertical plane, but does nothing for self-noise from the turntable. I found that an additional shelf is needed between the turntable and top-plate of the Minus-K, both to damp this source of resonance and to add enough weight to reach the upper range-limit of the suspension for best performance. An Adona multi-element shelf (granite bonded to MDF) resting upon Vibrapods works very well. (Vibrapods, believe it or not, were better than anything else I tried, including myriad combinations of sorbothane disks, Herbie's Big Fat Dots, etc.)

My sense is that the multiple damping layers of the HRS would address this self-noise better than the Minus-K in combination with an Adona shelf and Vibrapods, but I'm not sure. On the other hand, the HRS almost certainly will not be as effective against external resonance as the Minus-K.

I'm kind of tempted to go with the HRS because Brinkmann recommends it, and because HRS told me in an email, "We know the Oasis table very well. Our custom designs...are based on direct experience with this turntable. Our chief engineer is currently using this table as one of his test turntables."

It's a conundrum.

I welcome any suggestions but I'm especially interested in direct experience comparing these two platforms.

Thanks,
Bill
wrm57
I think you will find that isolating the component from low frequency structural vibration is considerably more important than damping or offloading internal vibrations of the component in terms of sonic results. And it's much more difficult to reduce vibrations with frequencies on the 0-5 Hz range than it is to reduce vibrations produced by the component that are farther up in frequency. So, go with the platform that has the lowest resonant frequency and the most directions of motion.
My own understanding is that the US distributor of Brinkmann (and several of the dealers) now sell and recommend the Vibraplane over the HRS products. Have you looked at a Vibraplane?
Rsf507, I know Vibraplanes are a great option. I'm a bit put off by the idea of bladders and compressed air, probably because I had an irritating time with a leaky seismic sink long ago. No comparison between the two products, I know, but still.

Geoffkait, That's a good point about the importance of low frequency structural isolation. Minus-K reduces to 0.5 Hz vertically, much lower than HRS, which I think is 5 Hz.
Wrm I understand your hesitation regarding air bladders but with over 6000 units sold and many now over 25 years old and all still working as designed, there have been less than a handfull that an isolator required replacing and almost all due to sliding the units. My own units have worked flawlessly for 26 years, yes I needed a new pump but we have since changed pump manufacturers.
To note there are 6 air chambers and 3 have bladders but the Vibraplane also uses a slip plate technology (which is why it requires mass and weighs the 150 pounds) to get isolation in both the vertical and horizontal planes.

Dealer disclaimer
Sksos1, I hear your pitch.
Wrm57,
Forget the Vibraplane or the HRS platform; go with the Mapleshade Vibration Control System (brass footers, maple block, and Isoblocks). I quote from the Mapleshade catalog: "In independent head-to-head listening tests, the Mapleshade [VCS] invariably sounds better than $5000 Vibraplane air suspension platforms-much warmer, more detailed, and more naturally dynamic at less than 1/20 the cost. Ditto for expensive composite platforms, sandboxes, and air tube/bladder suspensions from Symposium, Ginko, HRS, Seismic Sink, Bright Star, Nuance, Sistrum, and Silent Running."

I jest of course.
Brinkman was showing two of its turntables on Vibraplanes at the latest show in NYC. The sound was fantastic.

I tried the mapleshade Vibration Control System, then a Townshend Seismic Sink and now use an active Vibraplane. There is just no comparison. I did have custom steel ballast plates made to preload the Vibraplane so that with the turntable and amps, the total supported weight is close to the maximum design load. Excellent results.
Forget the Vibraplane or the HRS platform; go with the Mapleshade Vibration Control System (brass footers, maple block, and Isoblocks). I quote from the Mapleshade catalog: "In independent head-to-head listening tests, the Mapleshade [VCS] invariably sounds better than $5000 Vibraplane air suspension platforms-much warmer, more detailed, and more naturally dynamic at less than 1/20 the cost. Ditto for expensive composite platforms, sandboxes, and air tube/bladder suspensions from Symposium, Ginko, HRS, Seismic Sink, Bright Star, Nuance, Sistrum, and Silent Running.

That sounds great :-)
I bet, this Mapleshade "solution" is a result of endless research, sleepless nights and a deep understanding in technical knowledge. Real Engineering. Just the best after sliced bread.

The Mother Of High End
Yeah, I'm especially convinced by "invariably" and "ditto."

Anyone have experience with the HRS M3X platforms? They're the unknown quantity to me.
Think Pierre might just know a thing or two about engineering,Syntax?

------------------------------------

Mapleshade was founded in 1989 by Pierre Sprey, who had been recording since 1986.[1] Prior to his career in jazz recording, Sprey had worked as an aeronautical engineer in The Pentagon, designing A-10 and F-16 fighter jets.[1] The label is based in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. A sister label, Wildchild Records, was founded in 1995. In later years the label branched into R&B and blues.
Or this might be of interest.
___________________________________________

Boyd, defense analysts Tom Christie and Pierre Sprey, and test pilot Col. Everest Riccioni and aeronautical engineer Harry Hillaker formed the core of the self-dubbed "Fighter Mafia" which worked behind the scenes in the late 1960s to pursue a lightweight fighter as an alternative to the F-15. Riccioni coined the nickname, a joke on his Italian heritage that harkened back to the "Bomber Mafia" (whose acolytes still occupied the upper command positions of the Air Force), and dubbed himself the "godfather". In 1969, under the guise that the Navy was developing a small, high-performance Navy aircraft, Riccioni won $149,000 to fund the "Study to Validate the Integration of Advanced Energy-Maneuverability Theory with Trade-Off Analysis". This money was split between Northrop and General Dynamics to build the embodiment of Boyd's E-M theory - a small, low-drag, low-weight, pure fighter with no bomb racks. Northrop demanded and received $100,000 to design the YF-17; General Dynamics, eager to redeem its debacle with the F-111, received the remainder to develop the YF-16.[2]
______________________________

So I'd say Pierre has a pretty solid engineering background, wouldn't you. In fact, far more than many, many other high-end designers. And no, I don't own any his products.
One last reference:

http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-dewline/2008/11/pierre-spreys-ideal-us-airpowe.html
No Patents pending....?
(This is normal in this "Business). I think, the Ikea unit is the best deal, threw some spikes in it, think you spent $3495,-- instead of $34,95 and it will sound better immediately.
I doubt that these guys have any idea from what they write, a VP has no sound ...what a nonsense. They also have no idea about what-is-responsible-for-what in damping. When a piece of wood is all they have to offer ... Maybe they were in real life some clever guys, here they simply show that they are among hundreds of others who offer some 'ideas' branded with the High End Label.
And the reviewers (let's replace them with Product Placement supporters) normally switch their brain totally off in the hope to get something for free or ads. But this is my private opinion of course :-)
A defense analysts is not an engineer.
Myles, I'd be interested in your opinion on the OP question about HRS platforms and Minus-K. You've probably listened to more turntables on isolation platforms than most of us.
Bill -
U want your minus k back?

Just kidding.

Just got in an Anna from Jeff last week for your old Innovation.

Mark
Pierre has one thing even better than some high-fallutin' engineering degree or engineering background - good ears! I'm especially fond of his idea of suspending all cords and cables from the ceiling using thread with a little rubber band on the ceiling end to hold the thread .
Hey Mark,

Jeff told me you've been in touch. Glad things are working out. I just couldn't resist another turntable!

Bill
An engineering degree high-fallutin' ?? Now that made me chuckle!
Bill, to get back to your original post, the two other brands I would put on the short list are SRA and Critical Mass. I know people locally who have both and they are both very good even though we’ve never done a back to back comparison.

The guys that use the SRA stuff, I’ve never heard there systems without it so I don’t have a good delta to go by. One has a SRA rack with the component bases and the other just has the bases. I think they are both using the Ohio class bases. The guy with just the bases added subs to his system last year. For logistical reasons, he had to place his tube amp on top of one of the subs. He stuck the SRA between the amp and sub and has never had an issue. I think that speaks to how well those isolate from external vibration. I think they also do a good job from component generated vibration.

I was familiar with the other friends system before he got the Critical Mass stuff. The difference there was profound. The noise floor dropped like a rock and the amount of resolution he got was amazing. If I could afford it, I would have this is my system.

Regards,

Scott
Sbrown wrote,

"The guy with just the bases added subs to his system last year. For logistical reasons, he had to place his tube amp on top of one of the subs. He stuck the SRA between the amp and sub and has never had an issue."

I think I probably would have tried to come up with a little bit better location. He never had an issue that he was aware of, anyway.
Hi Scott, thanks for the response. Both brands are unfamiliar to me. I'll look into them.

--Bill
I whole heartily agree that the location was less than optimal. I posted it because it’s a testament to how effective the Silent Running bases are at isolating a component. I wouldn’t try that with a chunk of maple masquerading as an isolation device.
If you are open to more suggestions, I would add Vibraplane to the list. I have three active units under my turntable and each amp. They are extremely effective.
There is a drastic mismatch between the claimed technical / analytical claims of Mr. Sprey and the products he puts forth. Further, the writing and claims of these products are absolutely ridiculous and devoid of any real scientific reality.

Another note, any claim of a single person being "the designer" of the F-16 should be met with a very healthy dose of skepticism. There is no single "designer" of any product like this, and verbiage intimating or directly claiming such says a lot about the claimant.