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.
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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.
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
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. 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. 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.
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.
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 :-)
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 weve never done a back to back comparison.
The guys that use the SRA stuff, Ive never heard there systems without it so I dont 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.
"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.
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.