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Passive or not, every component is near equally susceptible to capturing air-borne vibrations which are typically far more prevelant than floor-borne vibrations. However, if a component has a motor and/or power supply, that is simply additional vibrations and resonance generated from within (rather than without). Regardless of the source of the vibrations, they still need an exit path away from the component.
I'm aware of only one mfg'er who considers MDF the material of choise for any serious type of vibration control and I know of no mfg'er who considers aluminum the material of choice for a cone, spike, or point.
If your budget is tight, perhaps the best little DYI project might be to pick up a smaller 1" thick hard maple cutting board, perchase three appropriately sized Audio Points from StarSound.biz that are tapped for perhaps 3/8"-16 or 1/4" thread and then purchase the appropriate carriage bolts or set screws to secure the Audio Points to the bottom from above.
You're probably looking at about $60 or so in materials and I doubt that you'd find any better performance at this price.
But this methodology is not isolation. This is mechanical transfer.
To the best of my knowledge, there is no such thing as total isolation from unwanted air-borne vibrations. Often times you can dampen by placing your component in a sandbox but the sonic effects should be a bit more unpredictable.
The reason I emailed you on the side is because you expressed a desire to isolate (decouple) and I didn't want to change the flavor of your thread, but the seed has already been planted so: I use the Sistrum SP-1 under all my electronics, including my Audio Magic Eclipse. This is a much discussed, heated, archived topic: coupling vs decoupling(isolation). You'll find oodles of opinions. Coupling works (much easier to attain compared to decoupling) for me. Starsound Technologies has a money back guarentee. You got nothing to lose. I don't know, yet, of an audiophool returning them because they didn't deliver. peace, warren
Thanks all for the input on the topic. When I used the word 'isolation', I suppose I was incorrectly using this as an umbrella term and was really looking for ideas on how to support the PLC, whether it be coupling or decoupling. And BTW, Warrren, I do appreciate the tips/info you passed along and I will say that I have looked at the Sistrum stuff in the past and have wavered on the edge of picking up one of the platforms here on Audiogon a couple times. Perhaps I'll take up Stehno's idea as a good starting point, and will seriously consider taking up Starsound's home audition offer as well. I've messed around with a few 'isolation' tweaks in the past and it's been rather interesting. I'm a pretty big fan of the Art-Q damper blocks to a degree that I simply consider them magical black squares...components of some strange alchemical process. I've got a Symposium platform under my amp that seems to work nicely, but with the consideration of the line conditioner as a passive unit (not even a buzzing transformer), I was a little stumped and looking for some direction.
Jim Weil, the designer of Sound Application, has worked extensively over the years to try to limit the effects of mechanical resonances on his passive line conditioners and he is never fully satisfied with their immunity. This is a testimony to the fact that passive plc's sitting on the floor are subject to micro-shaking, resulting ultimately in some smearing of the audio signal. Whether isolation devices help more than they hurt is another question; I've never found external treatments to be overly helpful.
A related comment - I've often found the passive network boxes on networked cables to be quite vibration sensitive. Setting them directly on the shelf of a rack has resulted in very audible smearing, which is eliminated by hanging them or attaching them to the wall.
This is a subject I would really like to understand - and don't.
I continue to disagree with Stehno. Floorborne vibration is a far bigger problem, especially on raised hardwood floors, than airborne. The surface area of a network box for airborne interactions is small.
It does make a significant difference. Those airborne resonances have the same deleterious effect as those microphonous meanies in amplification and the like. go figure. 'tis why I go for coupling. Attainable. And all resonances go to mother earth. Even from ICs, power cords, and particularly, my Sonoran speaker cables. peace,warren
It's my experience that you should play with vibration control at any place you think it matters and also where you don't think it will.....
I have vibration treatment in the power conditioner and the MIT network boxes. Have elevation / vibration in my speaker cables and have found interesting changes in the sound that I like. This is system dependant as I have tried in some friends some of the tweaks that have worked for me with less success. Flex good point on the controversy.
My mains two blade switch uses plate type fuses so all current getting in the house passes through this thin metal sheet (vibration prone right!) so I changed them for elastomeric tweaked ones and I liked the change Just to give you an example of thinking out of the box.
Even your TV set if you apply some vibration tweak to it you'll find nice changes in picture quality
Onhwy61- I totally agree with warren that when dealing with power conditioners with delicate gems stones hot glued to the bottom of a plastic box, isolate becomes a very important consideration. These devises need to be directly coupled to mother earth, in order for them to effectively dissipate the destructive energy the electric companies pump into our AC power to change the essence of our music. It's all about the magic. peace, ;-) kana.
Warren's point about microphonics is certainly part of the theory and explanation, according to extensive discussion in the past at cable asylum and to a number of good cable designers. This view says that vibration influences cables only if there are strands or parts that can micro-move relative to each other, setting up microphonics in the process. It would be difficult to build any plc that has totally rigid parts. I can understand this explanation most easily in signal carrying components, Still thinking about it for a/c cords.
Interesting comments by all, although I take with a grain of salt the comments by Warren and Tbg about the "substantial" and "significant" levels of improvement offered. It's been my experience that in a well put together system that a substantial or significant improvement in sound reproduction quality is not so easily achieved. Regardless of the level of improvement, even if you mechanically ground the audio component and mechanically ground the power conditioner, then isn't the power cord between the two just flapping in the breeze of those deleterious airborne vibrations (also know as music)? Clearly if you truly believe in mechanical grounding then you'll have to address this issue.
Can anybody comment on the experiences with using isolation or grounding techniques on the main electrical junction boxes.
onhwy61, it's been my experience that in a well-assembled system, nearly every positive system improvement is significant and substantial and rather easily acheived.
I believe that would seem logical and I'll demonstrate by using the following analogy:
If I were racing an old jalopy that had an out-of-round wheel, I might not even know that the wheel is inferior even at top speed. But if I were racing a finely tuned Indy car and I had an out-of-round wheel, I'd probably recognize a problem before I reached 10 mph.
And if I'm racing that Indy car at 220 mph but corrected the deformed wheel, that car's performance improvement should be rather significant and substantial in comparison.
In other words, a well-assembled system as you put it, should have fewer and smaller bottlenecks/governors.
But properly addressing just one of those fewer and smaller bottlenecks can be akin to completely removing a govenor.
Whereas a poorly assembled system with so many governors, properly addressing just one usually makes little or no difference.
That is why I believe so many people try a new product or tweak, don't notice any improvements, and then make sport of those that do notice a difference as if they've bought into a snake oil (of course snake oil products can and do exist).
As for your issue with dangling cables being susceptable to air-borne vibrations? I'm not that familiar with the issue but I realize that it is a potential area of concern.
Nevertheless, by it's constructive nature and shape, a cable should be less susceptible to air-borne vibrations than a larger square boxed component that may have minimal internal bracing, as well as a cable not having a motor, spindle, transistors, capacitors, power supplies, etc..
Though a cable's reaction to vibration is still potentially valid, I don't think it's quite to the same degree.
And again, on that truly well-assembled system, properly addressing vibrations within the cables could make a rather significan and substantial difference.
I did not imply that I was unconcerned about power cords, "flapping in the breeze." Every cord and interconnect in my system has a Rightway Audio Suspender at its center. This helps both for the vibrations but also for the bleeding to ground. The topic, however, was whether there was benefit for isolating ac filters.
I have measured the effect of Sistrum under my cd player, amp and pre-amp..with a 1.5db increase in gain. I have a LGE power transformer in my side yard 30 ft. from my main breaker box..I have never found a line conditioner that did not screw up the sound of my system..However I have sold Sistrum to clients who have used them with their line conditioners and they have stated they heard a marked improvement. Tom...I represent Sistrum, when people try it they keep it.
I have been selling electronic test and measurement equipment for the better part of 15 years. I sell some of the worlds most sensitive, high dynamic range spectrum analyzers in the world with bandwidths from 10 Hz all the way up to millimeter wave frequencies. These analyzers have dynamic ranges of 145 dB and noise floors of -130db to -140db. These instruments sometimes find themselves in both production environments (notoriously poor environments)and metrology lab situations (controlled near perfect environment). It's funny, but these analyzers don't have pointed feet or special power cords or power conditioners and rarely see clean power yet they always meet spec and look as spectrally clean as if they were in a perfect environment. Why do you suppose that is? Could it be that all the tweeks are just compensating for poorly designed equipment?
Good analogy Stehno, but you're contradicting one of your earlier posts. Either "every component is near equally susceptible to capturing air-borne vibrations" or they're not. I see no logical reason to except cables. Even though I say it somewhat mockingly, why wouldn't a house's main electrical panel be susceptible to the same claimed improvements heard by isolating and/or mechanically grounding a power line conditioner. The electric panel is just as much in the music signal loop as is the power conditioner.
Am I the only one would finds Theaudiotweak's comment about the effect of Sistrum platforms on circuit gain as absurd? As audiophiles are we so desperate for performance improvements that we'll accept any claim, no matter how lacking in logical explanation, as potentially true?
Let see I own an RTA and I play a test tone thru my system with out Sistrum..and I measure the output and I record it on the RTA..Ya got it?..Now I do the same except this time I insert a Sistrum platform..and I measure it and I record it..Now I compare the two measurements in memory and the one with Sistrum has more output....And now for even something more absurd at least to you with the name that does a disservice to Bob Dylan. I have developed an acoustic device for some acoustic musical instruments that greatly extends the frequency extremes, coherency, focus and the output by 55%..All documented in my provisional US patent application..with photos and recordings not required..Its so absurdly good that when I first heard it with my ears, tears escaped from my eyes. You Sir need to always doubt and have no imagination..Tom
Onhwy61, you do err in the assumption that the quote from my earlier post included cables. It did not. Sorry for the confusion and perhaps the word 'component' should always imply everything. But until now whenever I mentioned the word 'component' I always meant in the context of the traditional source, pre, amp, turntable, etc.. Thanks for pointing that out.
Also, my stance in this post has been consistantly to address the original topic of line conditioners, not cables. Others brought up the cables topic and I simply offered my very speculative opinion on that.
But thanks for validating my analogy.
For most, the eletrical panel is not located in the same room as the speakers. Therefore, it would odd to try to include that in your argument. And I still stand by my statement that to the best of my guessing, an electrical cable, ic, or speaker cable in the same room as the speakers simply is not going to capture the same intensity of air-borne vibrations as the cdp, tt, pre, or amp. But I don't doubt that cables would capture a percentage of that intensity.
The reason for my seemingly contrarian nature in this thread stems from the fact that Centurymantra already had a form of isolation under his power conditioner and the responses indicated that he would reap substantial and significant benefits by switching to an alternative form of isolation (or mechanical grounding). Some even offered explanations as to why their recommended alternatives would work better. My harping on the cables and electric panel is to simply point out a weak area in their explanations. If vibration is a problem, then address it everywhere. Anything with mass is subject to the forces of external vibration, cables included. And yes, basements filled with mechanical equipment (furnaces, water heaters,, well pumps, etc.) subject the electric panel to vibration. Or just maybe, the farther away you get from components (I use the term all exclusively) that are directly in the audio signal path, the less benefit isolation becomes. Is it totally unreasonable to suppose that a power conditioner is far enough out of the signal path to not warrant sophisticated isolation techniques? If it's not, then where do you stop?
If my name is a disservice it's a disservice to Sunnyland Slim. Mr. Dylan only revisited the highway which originally Sunnyland rode. Also, what I lack is gullibility.
My electical panel box is coupled to the wall in my audio room with Audiopoints as are all my audio components with Sistrum. My video projector is coupled to the ceiling with Audiopoints as well as the acoustic lenses I built and installed on the ceiling,on these 33Apcd coupling discs were used with 33 .2in discs. ....Tom
I would have thought the thread on magnets would have attracted you away from your aquatic origins.At least sucked all the ferrous materials from your lair..That would be a good thing. Are you now thinking outside of the fish tank? You have all the answers already..Your name says it all. It must be so..Tom
Who's better in bed, Faith Hill or Martina McBride? See, that's an interesting topic, not Audiopoints sales pitch. I would place my *coins* on Martina...
Tom, since you're in Kentucky you should go to Covington Hall this Friday and check out El Gran Combo ( THE funkiest salsa band ever ) and all the Latin mamis with *lifted* and *half-exposed* breasts. Get a life.
With psychic power and primal intensity,