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I have done experiments with a few items mentioned above and have come to the conclusion that hard coupling items like brass & ceramic cones or spikes, work better in rooms with concrete or carpet over concrete floors. Isolation devices like Isoblocks, Herbie's tenderfeet and other softer products work better with suspended floors, wood or carpeted.
Yes, the idea is to form a triangle under your component. Put two in the rear and one in the front center or visa versa. Either remove your existing feet or put the cones next to them, contacting only the bottom of the chassis. By using (3) feet, you are concentrating more weight on the three points and makes it easier to level.
there are two reasons cones are usually sold in sets of 3. one is that the flat top surfaces of three cones determine a (flat) plane under the component whereas four cones can be a little bit wiggly due to imperfect flatness of the underside of the component. the second reason is that 3 cones almost always sound better than 4.. Flipping the cones over to tips up position won’t solve the problem of 4 cones since tips should always point down.
Lak - I always separate maple plates using DH Cones, as well as use DH Cones under component AND under the plate. If budget permits I use Supers, but if a more cost effective solution is required Large DH Cones work very well, and the Small DH Cones are not chopped liver. It goes without saying some springs should be part of the equation.
I suspect minimizing the area where seismic vibration can be transmitted to the component to tiny points AND using very stiff materials to resist bending forces) for the cones are good for isolation, especially when used in conjunction with "real isolation" devices like springs, as I mentioned in my last post. In addition, I’ve always maintained DH Cones or other cones should be used under components that are placed on isolation stands as well as under the isolation stand itself. So, it’s probably accurate to say cones are coupling devices AND isolation devices, no? They're TWO, two mints in one! Click! Click!
I use Vibrapods under the feet of my little SEP amp that dwells in the middle of my rack (put here so I could stare at it without leaning over as much…I’m old)…raises it up for more air, allows room for the spades I use for my 2 RELs (cables joined together inside the largish AQ spades) and makes me feel better.
Footers are getting insanely expensive, for those of us in the current "mid fi" zone of a $30000 to $50000 system. I just re read that, $50000, Mid Fi!! That's the world we seem to be living in though. If you are in that zone, then say, Stillpoint Ultras, become difficult to justify.
My remedy, go second hand, it seems an ideal area to consider second hand. How do most footers wear out?
I agree that Herbie's are great, sensible products at a sensible price. If you are going for Stillpoints, then the original version are an excellent choice. I compared them with my one set of three Ultras and yes, the latter were better, but not massively so.
I use Stillpoints, but have collected (and still have) many different points, rollers, etc., etc., etc. They all do something...sometimes you like what the ones being tried do, sometimes, you don't. It may take a few months to realize a particular brand has the sound you like or don't. It takes time.....and you might very well change your mind when the warts are exposed.
I've used many Herbie's products but didn't get the results that would make me endorse or recommend them. In almost all cases they did nothing to improve sonics and maybe made things worse. I know they have a dedicated fan base, but I don't give my money to some one just cause he's a "nice guy", there needs to be results as well.There may be a lot of "expectation bias" among buyers at work here, if you believe in that stuff. IMO buyers are better to save up for the higher level stuff. Where's the beef?
I was blown away on first hearing Sort Kones and Stillpoints. Definite improvement over stock feet. Different models of each give different results, but even the cheaper ones do what most other other isolation products do not, adding more solidity, impact and resolution to the music. The Symposiums look interesting as well but have not heard them.
I still have several sets of Herbie's Tenderfeet and, Herbie's Tall Stiff Tenderfeet. These were the last tweak I was using under the Integrated amp, Transport, and Dac.
At geoffkait's advice, I switched over to the Super DH Cones from Golden Sound. Wow, huge positive difference.
I'm not knocking the Tenderfeet, @dill (above 6/14) might have said it correctly. My two systems are as follows:
#1 Rack sits on carpet, on a wooden stage, on concrete.
#2 Rack sits on carpet on concrete.
I'm looking for advice/recommendations for isolation footers for my amp -- an Audio Research D300 (solid state)
Oh well somebody has to say it: Don't Bother. Isolation from vibration is absolutely critical for turntables. Less so but still worthwhile IMHO for other spinners - DC players, Hard Discs. Also a good idea for any electronics that have tubes. But how this can affect solid state equipment is beyond me.
@andrei_nz Vibration/resonances are the enemy of ALL audio equipment. Doesn't matter whether tube or solid state. Don't know if you've ever tried to treat for vibration but if not, why not give it a shot? Herbie's Audio Lab has a 90 day full refund policy, so nothing ventured nothing gained. Perhaps try a set of regular tenderfeet and a set of "stiff" tenderfeet and assess the sonic results?
Vibrapods are inexpensive, many other isolation products are not and I think the pods do the same damn thing as the expensive stuff…had to note that…and one use that actually works is to place them under my speakers (mains, not subs) as I have wood floors and the pods are excellent for keeping the vibes out of the floor. Note also that there are more and more powered speakers systems…are those amps decoupled? They’re in the speaker box so that would be a resounding No. And they can sound fabulous. Concert "phased array" speaker systems contain super powerful Class D amps…seem to work fine. I use 2 amazing sounding REL subs which also force the amp to suffer…*sniff*…it's a cruel world for internal amplification. My "combo" tube guitar and bass amps? HA…another bass amp sitting on top of a 500 watt 15" speaker? Again…well…you get it. Vibration seems to be everywhere, and leave it to audio geeks to be afraid of it…very afraid…or some are simply smart enough to market bits of metal and goo of some sort as "feet for the fearful."
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my new Super Stiff Springs are on the high end of the performance scale but on the low end of the price scale, coming in at a mere $12 per spring. Each 2" cryo’d spring can handle around 40 lb. Super Stiff Springs are just the ticket for heavy amps, heavy turntables, and subwoofers. Our Cryo Baby Prometheans can handle almost all other isolation projects, they are rated at 10 lb each. Now you can isolate everything for a song.
Vibration begins as soon as you switch on the electronic component. Alternating Current provides the startup of energy movement known as electromechanical vibration. Then the transformers and capacitors begin to function (physical movement) forming mechanical vibration and finally the loudspeakers fire forming heavier amplitudes of energy known as acoustic or airborne. All this vibration builds on all surfaces forming resonance.
Resonance propagates everywhere throughout the system and musical environment. From the smallest of parts such as transistors, circuit boards, resistors, etc. on up to cables, electronic and loudspeaker chassis, racking, walls, floors and ceilings vibrate as well. A lot of listeners do the touch test to feel if their chassis are vibrating in attempts to see if they are eliminating or killing vibration. No need for that test as one can never stop or truly isolate vibration from occurring in hi-fi components or musical environments.
That being said, you are now left with attempting to manage the negative effects of resonant energy formed from vibration.
Two of the most popular methods are direct coupling (mechanical grounding) or decoupling (isolation).
Sorry I did not mean to go there as Pandora can easily take control of this thread… ⌣
Hope this information helps your understanding how solid state equipment is affected by resonance. It begins on the inside of the chassis.
Robert - Star Sound
You’re absolutely right, Robert. You can’t isolate anything 100%. Only about 99%. Let’s put it this way - perfect enough to be able to detect gravity waves, the amplitude of which are on the order of the diameter of an atomic particle. Hel-loo! And certainly perfect enough for such relatively mundane endeavors as electron microscopy and high end audio. [Note to self - Wow! It’s like he’s channeling Michael Green. Spooky.] Sigh, I fear it’s a little too late for the hystrionics as the Genie got out of the bottle a long time ago.
+1 audiopoint I couldn’t agree more. For the reasons that you stated, I have treated the insides of all of my components with vibration absorbing material to mitigate as much vibration from within and without. It takes some time to treat every capacitor, resistor, transistor etc but the benefits ( at least to my ears with my components) are worth it. As always, YMMV.
Glad to hear you are finding success with your damping experiments. Anyone can see that you have put in the time to do so because overdamping the smallest of critical parts is an incredibly easy thing to do. One can lose that “live dynamic” in a heartbeat simply by applying too much material and once the “live” is gone, it’s gone for good. It takes a lot of effort and a ton of listening trials in determining how much damping is just enough so hats off to you for your dedication and labors. What materials are you using in your damping techniques?
We mechanically ground all critical electronic parts to the chassis by applying various Audio Points, prototypes thereof or smallish types of Sistrum Platforms then follow that initial process by grounding the entirety of the chassis to the rack or flooring.
I never had the opportunity to hear someone else’s system other than our own where the resonance is damped focusing on the smallest of parts but would literally jump at the opportunity to do so. Please keep me in mind the next time you invite someone over for a listen. I would like to hear more about the improvements you made to the system.
@geoff - We discuss and share information via real world situations involving MUSICAL Reproduction, MUSICAL Instruments and MUSICAL related environments - staying on topic. We refuse to get involved with the isolation of electron microscopes that have no sound quality relative to audio performance along with your multi million dollar 99% perfect isolation vacuums because we cannot relate to them in a musical context or affordability. This is an audio forum involving audio gear and sharing experiences from listening - not that of Popular Mechanics®.
We really don’t give a hoot whether you believe Live-Vibe Technology™ is worthy of NASA’s grade of payscale or not. The multiple Music related Industries back our claims and products from musician to recording engineer to listener. You can go on and on with your rants about Green or whatever color of the day you choose. I personally refuse to become any part of your past failed love/hate relationships.
I work with a Pro-Vibration technology. It is quite obvious the majority of historical beliefs and products involved in the Audio Industry are based on Anti-Vibration methodologies where ours is somewhat the opposite. You prefer isolation where the interfering resonant energy remains stored or trapped inside the component where we prefer the interfering resonance be transferred out of the component at high speeds via mechanical grounding. You build parts and things for audio where we too build parts and platforms for audio, endpins and parts that improve the sound of musical instruments and design and build mechanically grounded structures for musical playback, musician rehearsal environments and recording studios. The difference is, our technology can and is being adapted and used in a few more MUSIC related fields.
Hey, nice read though - first recommending fairly expensive cones of a different brand name, earning a few listener’s approvals then closing in on sales announcing ‘your very own’ much less-expensive springs…and Price Points too! Hmmm shilling used to require a bit more talent on this forum or quite possibly no one is reading or affected by your 'same old - same old' anymore. It’s not like we heard it all before - 5,832 times.
Robert - Star Sound
Robert, I’ve had this same discussion with Michael Green a hundred times. No, more than a hundred times. We argued until we were both blue in the face. Night and day for at least two years over on Stereophile Forum. Don’t believe me? Go look, all the discussions are still there. So, you’ll have to trust me on this, you are channeling Michael Green. It’s the same situation, exactly. Let me be more specific. Obviously it’s possible to over-damp something or to use the wrong materials. Noone is recommending either. Anything can be done wrong, no one is recommending doing anything wrong. If you are not getting good results with damping you are doing something wrong. Michael used to repeat the mantra, speakers are musical instruments over and over as if repeating it over and over would somehow make it true.
Also, nobody has suggested it’s not a good idea to evacuate vibrations from components as rapidly as possibly. Certainly not me. I’ve always recommended a combination of vibration isolation and rapid evacuation of vibration from components. Have you been sleeping through the discussion of NASA grade ceramics? Why are you and Michael Green SO dead set against vibration isolation? Why are you both so stubborn? Is it the Backfire Effect? It just makes you both seem a little like Col. Kurtz in Apocalypse Now, operating without any connection to audiophiles or physics way up the river in Cambodia. One assumes the seismologist you hired or were going to hire, whatever, was unable to straighten you guys out and you fired her. Lol you saying it’s my way or the highway. I say it’s the Lost Highway.
I am very familiar with both of those cones and have them in my system at various times, as well as a great many other cones. One difference between the DH Cones and the brass cones is the hardness; the NASA grade ceramics in DH Cones is almost as hard at 9 + as diamond 10 on the Mohs hardness scale and brass is much much softer at 3-4 on the hardness scale although you wouldn’t intuitively think brass would be that soft. As I intimated previously hardness is directly related to effectiveness. The shapes of both are ballistic which is a good thing, both somewhat resembling the nose of an ICBM. Effectiveness is probably due to several things, most particularly rapid transfer of energy and isolation. The NASA grade ceramic cone would also be stiffer, I.e., more resistant to bending forces (isolation) than brass.
Geoff, since taking a class in tile, I have been fascinated by the fact that ceramic tile, which of course is clay, can be hardened to the point that it has properties, versus all others, to with stand reentry heats and pressures on space equipment reentry.
Yes, thermal tiles (glass) on the Shuttle could withstand enormous temps circa 3000 F during reentry circa 17,500 mph. Assuming the tiles remain in place, of course, which actually wasn’t the case in the second Shuttle disaster when the vehicle disintegrated over California or wherever.
Regards to your previous insults, I feel the need to reply:
I grew up ‘Isolating and Damping everything’ from 100mm faders on high quality mixing consoles, guitar and power amplifiers for use on and off stage, electronic crossovers, gates, delays, reverbs from the inside and out, designed - built and sold subwoofer systems that required limited damping, reinforced a few speaker chassis using materials other than wood (constrained layer damping), was working sound when concert reinforcement systems first left the stage for ceiling grids (isolation or mechanical grounding or both?), damped and overdamped recording studios (learning valuable lessons), discovered how 1.5” thick milled rosewood walls took the sound of a concert grand piano to a very special place indeed, so isolation and damping techniques are not new to me and to the best of my knowledge, I never said ‘my way or the highway’ and never once mentioned isolation does not function. Isolation in musical applications just lacks efficiency. (All this before you ever became involved in audio as a business)
For the past decade my focus has been working on mechanical grounding techniques. In comparison, these newly discovered methods have taken me, my understanding and listening to a higher place of “LIVE” sound quality and achievement in music reproduction. If I appear to come off as a single one sided personality, I apologize. Like everyone else who is involved with audio and music, we do tend to get over excited from time to time. Please understand, I am a long time retired sound man and when it comes down to listening to music, “LIVE” is Everything!
That sign located on your very narrow sighted road depicting our company as being on a “Lost Highway “, you forgot to include: Population +1 amazing seismologist, and +3 new US Patent Pending mechanical grounding devices that we are hoping to release for public consumption by year’s end.
Pretty cool work hailing from a group of people who are “Not connecting with Audiophiles and Not connecting with Physics” a statement most recently documented by you.
In my personal opinion:
You really do like Michael Green don’t you? That is all you rant about every time I communicate with anyone or provide any information on AudioGon. It’s rather obvious that you can’t get him out of your mind. My my…
To the readership, I am sorry for wasting your time having to defend our company and people against this rather angry and highly motivated insultive participant.
We would like to provide you with some background to our development process and hopefully deliver more insight on the topic.
First and foremost:
Differently shaped or constructed cones, even those made of identical material will not sound the same. The body shape changes everything.
Example: Someone purchases a brass cone for $15 and therefore classifies or places all brass cones in the same category regardless of price, material science or applied geometry are missing the boat. If they group all the different types of brass cone products into one collection figuring they all sound the same based on that $15.00 brass cone listening experience, they too are missing the entirety. The same holds true with steel, aluminum, carbon, lead and even ceramics.
There are always very audible differences in performance between all footer designs.
Materials Selection and Functionality:
The methodology we work with is commonly known as mechanical grounding. There are a few, not a lot of well known companies such as Goldmund Audio and Linn Audio who are proponents of this understanding.
Our particular applications involve channeling and moving resonance at high speeds (not simply draining) to a greater sink or grounding plane of greater mass while maintaining all energies such as airborne, floorborn, electro-mechanical and mechanical in a state of “constant motion” (vibrating). We require materials conductive for resonance. Metals immediately become the resource whereas rubber, sand, ceramics, polys or carbons do not quite fit the profile required for function.
There are a multitude of different grades in steel, brass, aluminum alloys and I imagine ceramics too, where every type of material contains a completely different set of damping factors due to the chemistry make up of the material. Those damping factors affect the sonic presentation related to ALL footer devices.
Example: As a research and development company, we spend months of time over many years listening to a seemingly endless list of various types of brass and steel (in the company of our specific geometry) where every version distinctly sounds different from the other. Again, it is NOT just any old piece of steel and a chunk of brass that provides a newfound listening experience.
A more difficult part of the equation is determining the amount of material needed for the design to establish the frequency range capabilities from using the material or combinations of materials.
In our case brass became the clear choice - Not because of frequency, musicality or hardness as one might predetermine. We chose brass because the tips of the Audio Points are NOT designed to stay sharp. They mould into a different shape based on the equipment mass placed atop. That advantage provides us the luxury of added frequency range capabilities no matter what type or how heavy the equipment profiles demand. After 28 years in production and with our technology advancing daily, one of the five Audio Point primary design criterion cats are now out of the bag!
The most difficult application in making a cone or footer is inventing the geometry (shapes) that ultimately determines the functionality and sonic performance of the device.
Geometry plays the more important role in the musical profile of the product. It establishes the speed of attack, capability to sustain and the all important length of decay characteristics you will hear resulting from using the footer and/or racking device.
The combination Audio Point™ and Coupling Discs:
Designing the specific shapes of the Coupling Discs took a tremendous amount time and was more difficult than that of any Audio Point body style. The geometry has to match the speed of resonance moving along the surface of the cone shape in order to maintain sonic without altering the audible performance. Adding the Coupling Disc provides an increase in performance.
Our original opinion was that the Coupling Disc provides a resonance sink or better ground matching capability while adding more brass weight to the design moving energy at a higher speed across a wider surface area. We recently changed that opinion based on advancing the technology where our latest understanding is now considered a trade secret until proven via third party testing data. We did attempt to manufacture the disc and cone together as a one piece offering but failed miserably.
Proving function of any SST Coupling Discs is easy. Simply replace one with any other discs available in the market, any coin or any other material available and this will dramatically limit the Audio Point’s performance and/or change the character in sonic you are hearing.
In our opinion, the science and ART involving sound and music reproduction including vibration management techniques and ‘cones’ are NOT based on the harder material is more effective theory provided here by one man’s subjective opinion and/or personal taste.
Example: Did you ever listen to a glass cone of any shape? Glass is much harder than brass based on the Mohs scale of hardness, however provides results that are not too good for musical reproduction. Likewise iron compared to stainless steel - two different hardness values, two different materials where there is an incredible difference in musical characteristics when applying the same conical geometry - we prefer iron.
Musical quality does not come from NASA grade ceramic, NASA grade brass or NASA grade steels (if they even exist) nor aircraft aluminum, alloys used in M-16 rifles or hardwoods used to build guitar necks nor exotic wood from the Amazon.
Footers and cones have to be designed and manufactured by humans who are committed to music, building a few hundred prototypes coupled with thousands of listening tests. You will be able to tell which companies actually put in the time and devotion simply by auditioning.
Comparing Sound Results and Purchasing:
When providing direct comparisons of products, one should always match and display pricing along with model numbers within the comparison. Too often people compare products to one another where the price points vary greatly. This commonality is not good for audio and not good for comparisons sake.
Being the oldest surviving ‘men on the block’ we always hear that cones and footers appear as a get rich quick product category in the Audio Industry. Not to sure how to reply to that one as over the years we have witnessed dozens come and dozens go. There are now more cones, footers, racks and companies turning out thousands more parts and products on a daily basis than (dare I say it) - wire and cable companies churning out cable designs. In fact there are a few wire companies now manufacturing footer systems. Furniture companies, speaker companies and electronics companies too have joined the ranks where the only single factor common among all of them is every one claims to be the “very best in vibration control”. Choose Wisely and take the ‘time and effort’ to audition prior to purchase commitment. If the seller does not offer a money back guarantee, then Choose Even More Wisely ⌣ .
A Challenge -You be the Judge: Telephone a variety of cone, footer or racking manufacturers and simply ask; how does your product work? You might be surprised to discover there are as many different answers as there are varieties of products available. Ask them about the benefits from the materials used in the products and how they relate to function and what details in sound quality you should expect to hear. Hopefully you do not end up hearing the term “Proprietary” too often. Then inquire about the return guarantee should you not reach your goals from listening.
Take the time to listen and the labors to return if necessary - it will be worth it in the end.
The chain of command regarding audio system performance demonstrates that equipment support foundations are the second source “totally governing” your overall system’s musical qualities and sonic performance; with the room environment being the primary. Like it or not, agree or disagree, vibration management is as critical as choosing a new amp or speaker system and we would definitely enjoy having the opportunity in proving that to you.
Hope this information helps a bit and thank you for your time.
Geez, you ask Robert what time it is and he tells you how to build the clock. Not to mention much of what he said (as if they were his ideas) I just said in my post yesterday. Can this possibly get any loonier? Note to self: That’s exactly what Michael Green would do, come back after feigning insult with some 3000 word retrospective of his life work. As if he suddenly has the right to bore everyone to death. As I intimated somewhere else we should maybe consider a firewall to keep the pro audio oriented folks from interacting with high end audio dudes.
Wanna buy a watch?
At least I make an attempt to educate where you always working to disintegrate. I just read your bio??? huh?
They are our ideas. Ours as in we, us, a company, specialists, people as in more than one mind. I imagine you are used to much different working conditions (pretty lonely at the top isn't it?).
HaHaHa - pro audio interaction? Your not worth their time (hourly studio rates apply).
But enough of this horse trading.
Exactly what are NASA grade ceramics?
Is there a NASA grade of anything else other than a posted NASA Paygrade Grade Scale?
I believe NASA® is a Registered Trademark. Since you represent a business and are promoting or advertising their good name, attaching it to another specific company and product repeatedly and often throughout this forum; do you have legal permission to use said Trademark?
I just was informed you live only 4.4 miles (a five minute ride) from the gents who manufacture those NASA devices. How in the world do they put up with you?
Over and Out!
I was a machinist before getting into management about 30 years ago. That said I am fortunate enough to have some precision metal cutting equipment in my basement & the ability to use it. I made aluminum "tip-toes" about 25 years ago & used them exclusively under all my equipment up until about a year ago when I tried the DH cones. That was certainly an improvement which led me to try some other things. In the last 6 months I've made a few dozen different footers of various materials. All of them use bearings. I've found in my limited experience that various different materials in the same footer yields the best results. As Robert (who has a lot more experience than I) states above, everything makes a difference. I find that fascinating & am not done with my quest yet. Bottom line is footers can transform a quality high end system. That was something I wasn't convinced of until I started listening to different configurations.