You can overdamp but isolation helps. I use FIM cups with tungsten carbide ball bearings under my DAC and transport. Use only one with marble tile on top of the ball bearing. Based on Barry Diament's design. I have a Star Sound rack which is also very heavy and filled with steel dust. Still helped.
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I have never experienced "over dampening". Only with speakers, not components. Isolation will make a difference IF the situation calls for it. Heavy components, that have isolation designed into them, will likely not improve with additional treatments. Also, are you thinking of isolation from external sources OR from the same source? There is a difference.
Isolating always leads to depression, or stems from it, for me..
Withe CDPs though I've found nearly anything you put under or on top of it, and what you place it onto does matter as changes will occur.
The 'flavor' of the change IMO comes from more than just those pods, cones, pucks, or balls in direct contact with the player. The rack or resting place plays as much a part too. Some simply buy platforms for players. Simple.
I like the herbie's Audio Labs wooden Ebony balls atop the iso cups so far as the best I've used. Jesus I am cheap come to think of it. $60-$75 for 3.
Like Stan said though, and I've heard from a LOT OF OTHER PEOPLE those roller cups are a viable solution.
Find those folks who allow a trial term and get startted trying 'em out.
You might look into NOS Reflector 6H30-DR in the output stage, my experience is they are much better than Sovtek 6H30p. I haven't used them in an ARC product only my C/J pre where they made a big improvement.
Personally I would go for the tubes first, at least research them, then deal with leading edge grunge with isolation second.
The ARC equipment I've had,CD3 MK11 and VS-115, didn't need much isolation so be careful not to over isolate and lean out the sound.
some other throughts:
ISOLATION refers to the process of preventing (minimizing) externally generated vibratory energy from reaching a structure or component. Although this includes acoustic or air-borne vibration that is difficult to manage in exposed audio/video equipment, we are primarily concerned with the transfer of mechanical vibration. And, it is essential to understand that there is no significant mechanical isolation provided unless there is relative movement between the component and its supporting structure to prevent sympathetic movement with the supporting structure. Therefore, only a device or material that can compress like a spring or deform like an air-bag or a viscoelastic part, or roll like a bearing, can be an isolator. Exceptions to these passive examples include active systems that have electromechanical self-leveling capabilities. Obviously, hard spikes and (bare) "platforms" or "shelves" are not vibration isolators.
DAMPING is the dissipation of energy in an vibrating structure or component. It refers to the process of removing (minimizing) internally generated vibration that is inherent in a component AND any external vibration that, for lack of adequate isolation, may enter the component, by converting the mechanical vibratory energy of solids into heat energy - a process called hysteresis. Vibration damping is generally accomplished by the bonding of viscoelastic materials to the (vibrating) internal surfaces, mechanisms and parts of a component and by external coupling to viscoelastic materials or damping devices.
Very nice, Buconero117. Thanks!
I have found great success isolating with Symposium Rollerblocks. The effect is clearly noticeable. The sets come with three blocks and three steel balls, with the option to upgrade to tungsten balls. Some people double the blocks, putting one on top of the balls upside down. The additional blocks upside down and the tungsten ball upgrade make a difference to my ears, but YMMV.
The appeal of isolation is that it is not that hard or expensive to accomplish and can only help, not hurt. So it is worth tending to. Throwing mega dollars at esoteric technical solutions often marketed it is of marginal value IMHO because it is not rocket science to physically isolate devices. Isolation against nearby electric or magnetic fields is very important, especially for low level devices, like phono step-up devices or pre-amps, and can be a bit trickier to deal with, but straight forward cost effective solutions (like mu metal) are available for that as well.
total isolation I quess would be to put the components in another room away from the speakers..Since this is not practicle what do most of you guys use under a cd player to maximize sound?I own the Pass labs x600s and the x1 preamp..For the amp I had some 2" thick granite cut to size for the amp stands and I'm not too sure this was the best thing after reading some things on this site..As for the x-1 it's on my rack,the power supply feet are on 4 metal tubing pieces cut to about a 1"1/2 thick and filled with lead..The control unit is resting on 3 brass cones with the cones in the disc filled with lead..Alot of people say that using granite makes the sound sterile or dry.Has anyone had any experience with this in there equipement??
"Theres so many times I wondered in our effort for the holy grail if we might be making it worse..."
All components are isolated out of the box to some extent. I think further isolation can only help, not hurt, but in many cases it may make no discernable difference, so you have to be level headed about how to go about it. Its just a safe thing to do.
IS there an an example out there of where more isolation is worse?
Looking at the posters system pics, the thing that catches my attention from an isolation perspective are those monster amps. Amps with high power transformers emit EM fields that can induce noise in other low level electronics, so the physical separation of power amp from other components is key.
Also, I prefer to keep my components low to the floor rather than high up on elevated stands to minimize impact of vinrations trans mitted through the floor. MY stuff sits on a $30 (second hand) 80 pound heavy solid oak coffee table/bench that itself sits on a solid concrete floor/foundation. The phono step up device is wrapped in mu-metal for needed additional EM isolation. Pre-amp and step up device are located as far away from the power amp and other nearby transformers as my setup allows. I"ve found these simple cost-effective precautions to be very effective!
"Also, I prefer to keep my components low to the floor rather than high up on elevated stands to minimize impact of vinrations trans mitted through the floor. MY stuff sits on a $30 (second hand) 80 pound heavy solid oak coffee table/bench that itself sits on a solid concrete floor/foundation. "
All my main components are on a wood floor or very close to wood floor placed on high mass wood cabinet/bases. All my power supplies and components are at least 4 ft away from each other not to have EM field interaction. Especially pre-amps/phonos away from DAC/power supplies. It may not look pretty stuff spread out or impressive but gets the job done.
I use or have used Symposium shelves, couplers and rollerballs under CD players. The shelf provides both isolation from external vibration and dampening of self generated vibration. The shelf dissipates any energy transmitted to the shelf in its soft foam core. The couplers are made of aluminum and are brick shaped. They are designed to couple the bottom of the equipment to their shelves. The rollerblocs work on a different principle. With roller blocks vibrational energy is dissipated by the work required to roll the piece of gear uphill against gravity. These are very effective at reducing self generated vibration, such as from the mechanical moving parts in a cd player or from the power transformer vibrating.
I have heard the couplers, shelves, and rollerblocs under several different players. These are essentially tuning devices, so the result will be a change in sound, though not necessarily a favorable change. For example, in my system, the rollerblocs improved clarity a bit under a Sony SCD-1 player. Either the rollerblocs or the couplers under a friend's Aero Capitole player made his system sound too dry and analytical (a surprisingly big change). Either the rollerblocs or couplers under my current player, a Naim CD555, seem to make very little difference (the player sits on Symposium shelf).
Because they reduce what is supposedly unwanted vibrational energy, one might be inclined to think that isolation/dampening must be beneficial. I don't think that is necessarily the case. They can change the sound signficantly, but only a trial can determine if that change is positive or not.
Thanks for the tip on the granite.
All my equipment is removed from the speakers into an adjacent room. Meaning, lengthy speaker cables are used.
I've found that combinations of or with, wood and compliant materials keep the color in the music. Don't dry it out, over emphasize portions of it, nor make it too soft or listless sounding.
All spinning gear resides on one rack, while processors, preamp, and amps reside on another or on their own stands.
I like Mahogany & Ebony wood blocks as footer or as shelves/platforms. Also cups with large Ebony balls yield super results... in my own circumstance.
I prefer Bright Star Nodes over pods or other sorts of compliant soft rubbery junk.
Given all the comments from others here about isolating components, especially spinning ones, results will indeed vary, and therre's more than one way to achieve a better end.... otherwise everone would say the same thing wouldn't they?
I use the Nimbus couplers and spacers from HRS under my ARC CD7 and think they do a great job in reducing airborne and floor based vibrations. I found that my bass tightened up somewhat, and the resolution as well as image focus tightened up a bit. If you have an HRS dealer locally I would ask for some loaners to test out.