Isolation feet/cones for PS Audio NuWave DSD DAC


Hey all,

I am debating between Large DH Cones and Herbies Tenderfeet.
Anyone have experience specifically with this DAC?

Thanks!
itsikhefez
I'm using (3) Herbies Tenderfeet under my NuWave DSD DAC. Whatever footers you decide to use, I suggest using three rather than four due to the dimensions of the unit and to have minimal contact with the shelf.

On my Perfectwave transport I use 4 tall Tenderfeet with an Edensound damping weight over the transport.
My latest set up: DH Cones under a medium size 14x10 glass bowl filled with 20 lb of perfectly smooth glass microbeads, and on top of the glass mirobeads a 12" glass tile that supports a constrained layer damper and on top of that a small 6x6 aluminum slab. The aluminum slab has four super soft cryo’d steel springs on top that support a 6x6 glass tile which serves as the top plate. This whole "Woody the Woodpecker" iso stand isolates a portable Sony Walkman cassette player or a Sony Walkman CD Player. A Shun Mook Mpingo disc and a large DH Cone sit atop the large glass tile. Better safe than sorry.

@lowrider57  Thanks for the response. How did replacing the stock feet with the Tenderfeet influence your system?
You may also want to consider the footers that use ball bearing(s) in them. That is what i'm using under all my equipment currently. They replaced the DH ceramic cones. Although the DH cones are good, the bearing design presented a better stage & more detail, without the slight amount of haze (in the upper region) the cones were offering. 
Itsik, I placed the Herbies in the front corners and one in the rear. The sound is more defined, most noticeably in the low-end. I’m thinking about trying a damping weight on top, but it may not need it since the NuWave is pretty heavy for its size.

My components sit atop wood shelves, so the Herbies work for me providing vibration absorbtion. 3 cones may work well depending on the shelf or platform you have.
BDR cones also work well, but for my pine wood shelves, I keep going back to Herbies.

https://www.musicdirect.com/vibration-control/bdr-cones

Thanks for the additional input.
My system is on a custom rack made of Baltic birch plywood. Each shelf is about 30 mm thick and the feet have 4 stainless steel spikes on the bottom.
Seems like a similar situation

As far as cones go, their effectiveness is directly proportional to their hardness on the Mohs hardness scale. Thus you’ll find super hard DH Cones are at the top of the food chain and softer materials like carbon fiber, brass, steel and aluminum are farther down the food chain. DH Cone ceramics being 9.5 on the Mohs scale (where diamond is 10.0). Brass and most other typical cone metals are down around 3-4. For non-cone type footers it's a whole different ballgame as their method of operation varies.

@itsikhefex; I had Herbie's Tenderfeet under my Dac and Transport, I switch to the Large DH Cones and heard a great improvement. If you should decide to go with the Herbie's Tenderfeet, I might know where you can find a few pair at a reasonable price.
Not trying to be contentious but isn’t the question of DH Cones vs Herbie’s Tenderfeet also a question about the relative merits of vibration draining vs vibration damping/isolation?

I’ve read at least one "expert" recommendation to use both: a hard cone (brass in this particular article) under a component (point facing down) to drain vibration into a wood plinth and a softer elastomeric footer between the wood plinth and the equipment rack shelf to provide vibration damping/isolation.

I’m not arguing for or against anything here, just wanted to provide a slightly different context for considering the OP’s question.
ghosthouse
Not trying to be contentious but isn’t the question of DH Cones vs Herbie’s Tenderfeet also a question about the relative merits of vibration draining vs vibration damping/isolation?

I’ve read at least one "expert" recommendation to use both: a hard cone (brass in this particular article) under a component (point facing down) to drain vibration into a wood plinth and a softer elastomeric footer between the wood plinth and the equipment rack shelf to provide vibration damping/isolation.

>>>>A valid point. However, it is actually the case that when DH Cones are used in BOTH locations, under the component AND under the plinth, the sound is even better. This is not to say damping doesn't have it's place as capacitors, CD transports, transformers, chassis, etc. should be damped.

Thanks, Geoff.  The DH site's shopping cart is out of service right now.  Anyone know if the prices shown for the various cones are for individual pieces or for a set of 3 (as sold)?  Might have to try some.  
Do you mean the DH site or Golden Sound? The DH (Diamond Hardness) Cones are sold by Golden Sound. 
Yup...the Golden Sound shopping cart seems to be down.  Curious how these things are priced.  See link here and scroll down to see their message about the cart.

http://www.goldensound.com/store/c3/DH_Cones.html
PS - Music Direct has 'em too.  Price looks to be for a set of 3 (NOT per individual cone).  Pretty affordable as such things go.
@ghosthouse - you could always contact Golden Sound directly, via CONTACT on their web site. 

I think I may just try both at this points. If I like the DH cones better I'll move the tenderfeet to my integrated amp
The Cable Company has the DH Cones by Golden Sound, at least thats where I purchased mine. The Golden Sound website has been screwed up at least since this thread was started.
 http://barrydiamentaudio.com/vibration.htm
@geoffkait - Did just that, Geoff.  Thanks.
Thanks for the Diament link, Randy.  I love the DIY option.  
If I'm not mistaken I was the first to employ the springs and roller bearings combo that Barry Diament is obviously so fond of. That was about twenty years ago. No biggie.

There is a machinist in Canada making roller bearings very much to Barry Diament's specs---Ingress Engineering. For design details and ordering info, go to the company's website.
Post removed 
Post removed 
Non-audiophile approved roller bearing alternative....

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00S1N47G6/ref=od_aui_detailpages01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000GA802O/ref=od_aui_detailpages00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
I’m going to give the DH a try. PS Audio uses a large toroidal transformer in this small device.
The rubber caster cups ghosthouse suggested are too soft, but a cheap alternative is available---chrome nickel plated, bowl shaped, drawer pulls. Screw each onto a little block of mdf or plywood, or a trio onto a small sheet of same.
@bdp24 - Curious what you mean by "too soft"...
Too soft as in won’t adequately act as a conduit for vibration? or too soft w/respect to deformation under the load of a component??

If the latter, not sure that is the case. Each cup can support up to 500# (so the product literature says) and the cups are some sort of rigid, hard plastic, not soft rubber. I have on in hand.  Only the bottom O-ring providing "grip" is rubber.

I do like your concave drawer pull idea. Another possibility is an "acrylic dimple block" used for displaying baseballs, mineral spheres, decorative eggs, etc. The "dimple" is a concave depression that can accommodate a bearing. They come in various sizes.
The reason both the metal balls and the curved based should be as hard as possible is because friction should be reduced to as close to zero as possible. This is why you see tungsten and cryo'd steel used for the balls and cups. I suspect NASA grade ceramics would work well, too. Remember, isolation can be defined as the ability to move freely in the direction of choice. In the case of roller bearings that means freedom of motion in the horizontal plane and twist (rotational) direction and to the event the ball can travel up long the curved surface of the cup in the other two rotational directions. The roller bearings don’t provide much of anything for the vertical direction, hence their use with springs. But five directions out of six is not chopped liver.
Ah. Thanks Mr. Kait. Okay. No doubt those plastic floor guards won’t be as smooth as the Ingress Audio pieces bdp pointed out. For the price though, worth a try. Certainly at least on par with Diament’s wooden egg cup suggestion; maybe better with the application of a little silicone to the surface. That should help get things rolling.

Apologies to the OP for contributing to the detour the discussion has taken.  Hopefully some of this extraneous discussion will be of interest.  
@ghosthouse  all is good. In general I am really interested in DIY and the topics discussed.
In this specific case, given the responses to the effectiveness of the DH cones and their current price, I don't think its worth the effort.
For pure experimentation though, maybe.
@itsikhefex

The DH cones do seem like a good buy at current pricing.  I don't know for sure but the Taranis amp I'm running seems to have them for footers (as supplied/stock) OR at least something that looks a LOT like them.  I have a mishmash of inexpensive isolation treatments throughout my system.  After I satisfy my curiosity about this roller bearing thing, I might well get a set of cones to try.  Big bucks for me!  ;-)  but not in audiophile terms.  Hope they work out for you.
Just to note that’s it’s highly unlikely DH Cones would be found on any random component, stock or otherwise, unless they were glued there (unlikely), as there would be no way to drill a hole in the bottom of the DH Cone since, you know, it’s the next hardest material to diamond. DH Cones. Accept no substitutes.

Someone else had the furniture caster cup idea way before I did.  Just found this...

https://www.stereophile.com/content/make-your-own-roller-bearing-isolation-system-1650-1

Maybe not DH cones under the Taranis, Geoff.  Does look like 'em though.  

Yup ghosthouse, Geoff already stated the case---it’s a matter of friction. The plastic of the caster cups isn’t smooth (on the microscopic level of the vibrations we are talking about) or hard enough to provide a friction-free surface for the ball bearing to be free to move across.

But I agree with you, Diament’s wooden Easter egg cup suggestion is worse than your plastic caster cup one, wood being way too soft and textured to work well as a bearing cup. Barry proposed it to anyone wanting to try the roller bearing idea on the cheap, before spending any money on real ones. A poster on his site is the one who suggested concave drawer handles/pulls, the best idea for ultra-cheap bowls. The good news is that Ingress offers a set of three top/bottom cups for so cheap that the even cheaper alternatives aren’t necessary.

IMO, what Geoff has long suggested for isolation---the combination of roller bearings for lateral/rotational, and springs for vertical, provides a whole lot of isolation for not that much dough. To get more, one has to move up to the Townshend Seismic products (around $350 and up), and then up to the microscope isolation platforms by MinusK, Newport, and others. That’s some serious money, over $2k!

Hello bdp - I appreciate the discussion.  As a sometime microscopist in the past (optical and SEM) I certainly appreciate how surfaces appear under magnification.  Given the apparent quality of the Ingress roller block products (it IS pretty looking stuff)  C$85 for a Level 1 set does not seem unreasonable.  

One thing that does have me wondering about the practical value of a more highly polished surface (not to mention added cost) is realizing this evening how cabling hanging off the back of a component likely interferes with free movement in both horizontal and vertical planes.  I wonder if this sort of cable "inertia" overrides the benefit of a surface that is smoother at a microscopic level.    

In the short term, I'll experiment with the plastic housings and stainless bearings.  Thinking the addition of a bit of silicone (or even lightweight spindle oil) will help "smooth out" some of the bumps.  We'll keep the Ingress products in mind, however - as well as the DH Cones.   



I wasn’t referring to smoothness but to hardness. Smooth is obviously good, too. The surfaces shouldn't be all knarly. 😀

 it’s the next hardest material to diamond. DH Cones. Accept no substitutes.

So funny... (if you've seen the website).
lowrider57
Geoffkait: it’s the next hardest material to diamond. DH Cones. Accept no substitutes.

So funny... (if you've seen the website).

>>>> Huh? What? How so, Stringbean?

ghosthouse---Yup, the stiffness of cables coming from the back of components (especially lightweight ones) is a concern. A stiff power cord contacting a shelf can certainly "foul" the suspension, short-circuiting the isolation properties of any footer, not just a roller bearing. But those bearings, being so free to move, are the most susceptible. Careful cable dressing (delicious ;-) is in order.

One problem with softer bearing "bowls" is that the weight of a heavy component can actually cause the ball bearing to "dimple" the surface of the bowl, obviously not a good thing. If going DIY, I would give the steel drawer handles/pulls a try, in place of any plastic item.

bdp - I continue to look for a low-cost, concave metal option. Meanwhile, these furniture guards are very hard. I doubt dimpling is a risk using 4 of them with the relatively lighter weight components I have in mind. A valid concern, never the less.
It's the marketing that is funny to me; 
"so advanced it's used in the aerospace industry and by NASA...
almost as hard as diamond."

lowrider57
It’s the marketing that is funny to me;
"so advanced it’s used in the aerospace industry and by NASA...
almost as hard as diamond."

Not sure why you find that humorous since it is the extreme hardness that makes the DH Cones more effective than the competing products. It is the material’s hardness that determines the efficiency speed of energy transfer. Thus, a relatively softer material - even metal - allows energy to be stored or reflected. The particular ceramic used in DH Cones is actually the next hardest material to diamond, and is much harder than brass, aluminum or steel, even tempered steel, as anyone can plainly see on the non linear Mohs scale of hardness, as I’ve noted previously. Nothing funny about that.

Yeah!  I think I may just try both at this points. If I like the DH cones better I'll move the tenderfeet to my integrated amp.
Regarding the DH Cones:
Why is it suggested on the DH site to have the rear two cones with the larger base down (on the shelf) but the front cone reversed with the smaller end down and the larger base under the compoient?
Post removed 

lak
Regarding the DH Cones:
Why is it suggested on the DH site to have the rear two cones with the larger base down (on the shelf) but the front cone reversed with the smaller end down and the larger base under the component?

What I found is that tips of all DH cones should always point down. Same for any cones. It doesn’t make sense to point any tips up since that would tend to prevent energy from escaping the top plate or component as well as transmit structural vibration more efficiently. I.e., the diode effect. The other part of the suggestion you refer to that I disagree with is that the third cone be placed so as to make the component slightly unstable.

Thanks, geoffkait ;-)

Speaking of cone tips and hardness, I got a set of the original Mod Squad Tiptoes when they were introduced in the 1980's, and installed them under my 140 lbs. apiece loudspeakers, with steel discs under them to protect my hardwood floors. It didn't take long for the tips of the soft (aluminum) Tiptoes to become flattened. Oh well, nice try.

The DH cones work especially well under my Townshend Rock Elite turntable (even better than those by BDR), whose unsuspended plinth is an upside-down steel frame (like a rectangular cake pan) filled with plaster-of-Paris and bitumen pads---very non-resonant. The p-o-P and ceramic cones make a great coupling