Isolation of my chair, am I crazy???

Many of you know I am a tweaker, and often over the top. Well, I discovered something last night that was worthy of sharing, and I hope others might try this to help verify my sanity. Actually there are two issues at hand, first is isolation of the listening chair from the floor, and the second is brass weights on the shoulders.

Let me back up. I received a variety of Mapleshade brass footer and weight products for Christmas. I asked for them in that they were one of a small list of products I have not tried. As I was listening, I began touching furniture with and with out the weights to see vibration differences. I noticed my chair and therefore my shoulders were vibrating. I tried placing the 2 ½ pound weights on each shoulder. The sound clarified subtly…

OK, I looked a bit goofy sitting with weights on my shoulders, and yes my wife and son got a good chuckle, but…

Then I decided the chair was a far bigger issue than my shoulders, so I took four Aurios 1.2 isolation bearings and put them under the Lazy Boy. There was a marked improvement in clarity. I then tried with and without a number of times, the results were quite quantifiable. I discovered there was a small smear in the higher frequencies that was not previously perceptible.

A couple examples, the violin on Greencards “Weather and Water” and Natalie Merchant “The House Carpenter’s Daughter” (Both assume folk/ rock) had far greater definition. The separation of strings and thus notes was much better. It was much easier to feel the emotion of the interment and sense the resonance of the violins body. Vocals were clearer in the same fashion as the violin. The most profound sonic change was on Natalie’s fourth track. Near the end there are four or five tones that sound like a deep/rich church bell. Here the clarity and naturalness was far more significant. Before the tone was simply part of the presentation. With the chair on Aurios the tone was isolated, rich and dimensional. The rest is subtle stuff, but in one word I would say “natural” was the effect.

I’m writing this in hope of other people might experiment and share what they find. I assume this is more for those who have already addressed the major issues in isolation and have a very high degree of resolution, but it would be interesting to see what people find.

In answer to your question, this time I think you're crazy, JD. :~) In a slightly more scientific vein, did you factor in the increased height of your listening chair vis-a-vis the tweeters of your speakers due to the added height of the Aurios--could that account for some or all of the changes you heard? And were they double stuff Aurios? (Sorry, couldn't resist that, as I am munching on one right now)
Hmmmmm......... I'm now thinking about having Shun Mook discs surgically implanted in my tympanic membranes. Or maybe Mapleshade can carve me a 60-70 lb hat made out of solid maple that I can wear while listening. An even more effective solution would be to sit in a vat of damping fluid ( just up to my ears, of course. ) Guys, at some point we just have to sit back, relax, and enjoy the music :)
Have had good results with super dh cones and or dh squares under couch and chest of drawers in the room in customer's room; IMO no question that the furniture resonates, esp. with suspended wood floor...
Double stuffed, half and half. Mmmmm.

Clearly this one inch could have an effect, but it was more in the height of the sound stage. When I put my speakers on Aurios, Black Diamond pucks and tungsten balls the tweeter raised about a half an inch from original. Now my relative height is a half the other way. Of course none of that really matters because my ear height changes far more if I'm reclined vs upright. The sonics do not change with the chair relining so I doubt that is the issue.

If you think about it, live music and/or the recording environment is most likely solid with a concrete floor. My house has wood joists and wood floor. There certainly would a great deal more vibration in my house than the venue the recording was made in. The point being, my ears must be vibrating along with my bones as the chair vibrates. Wouldn't it make sense that this vibration distorts the shortest wave frequency?

It certainly is an intriguing question.
I swear my LP'S sound better after being cleaned with a 16.5 resting on audio points.........
May I suggest balancing bowling balls on your shoulders?
I agree with RcPrince - you are crazy ;)
Well, I don't know, not having tried it, but I am more surprised by your comment that reclining your LazyBoy has no audible effect, whereas putting isolation under the chair does. I would think this would have a much more dramatic affect than ocnes under the chair.
The effect of the weights on your shoulders may have been due to the acoustic effect of hard reflective surfaces just under your ears (maybe - just a guess - just throwing it out there!)

The effect of cones under the chair is a bit more puzzling. I would guess it has little to do with stabilizing your ears, since your body (nothing personal - anybody's body, even Arnold's)is quite flexible, as are the chair cushions. I don't think clamping the bottom of the chair to the floor with cones will prevent high frequencies from rattling your noggin.

My guesses are:
1. The real sonic effect is happening at the low frequencies, and by clamping yourself to the floor, you aern't getting shaken up by the low frequencies as much, which unmuddies the whole sound spectrum. I would expect this to be the case if your chair is on a rug.
2. Maybe the chair was vibrating against the floor, introducing extraneous sounds only when certain notews were hit. This would tend to be masked by the music as a distinct sound, but would still muddy things up as it blends with the signal.
Interesting post. If you have access to a tone generator, you could do some experiments to see if there aer effects at specific frequencies. It's much easier to hear resonances against a pure sine wave than a music signal.
perhaps some sort of vibration damping for your skull? unwanted resonance of the tympanic bones would conceivably blur fine detail. this was possibly accomplished indirectly by the weights on the shoulders via the trapezius muscle and it's attachment to the base of the skull. judicious (and temporary!) application of dynamat (hmmmmmm, maybe not--that stuff is made from petroleum products), or better yet some type of "audio hat" containing a damping material such as lead shot (potentially toxic), sand, or the like may prove beneficial. something in the shape of a yarmulke (sp?) could channel unwanted vibrations up and out while still being aesthetically pleasing (not to mention warm to those such as myself who are inexorably balding). my $0.02
I found a special hat that reduces skull vibrations.

It has a few very useful features:
-variable cranial damping
-independent Left/Right balance control
-special carbon dioxide infused damping weights
-adjustable on the fly
-user selectable interface modules

Here is the link:

You guys saw that one coming.
Jadem6, try the weights and isolation with earphones and see (hear?) if you get the same benefits.
Bob P.
Hey JD,,,How about a rubber room,,are you hearing voices telling you to "put the brass weights on your shoulders,,,music will sound better"just kidding!!!!The way you put it kinda makes sense!You may be on to something,, i can see it now; all the audio catalogs will have a section for"Body Isolation"Knowing you,you are going to research this,im looking forward to the results!Im going to give it a try,and im willing to bet that i wont be the only one with weights on me tonight!Peace,Ray
You are crazy.
Are you planning in the near future to become a sponsor of Mapleshade?
Hi Jadem6,

Perhaps the hard surface of the weights was reflecting extra upper-mid and high-frequency energy towards your ears. Many people would subjectively describe this experience as having "more detail".

Best Regards,

I mean, that you did indeed hear the difference. Everything affects perception of sound, so it is possible that vibration isolation of the listening place does as well. I can even think of a perfeclty scientific explanation of this. I am afraid though that it will not work if you have a ceramic tile or stone floor. You have a wooden floor and that's the reason why this tweak works for you.
I would think that isolating the listening chair from floor borne vibration could have some positive effect. It's as plausible as some of the other "effects" I've read around here.
Hi JD,
Most of your observed improvements are consistent with a lowering of the noise floor. Perhaps it was the noise floor of the brain's circuitry that was lowered (not the noise floor of the electronic equipment). If you think about it, the brain has to process and deal with the subtle vibrations in your body while it deals with the musical sound waves at the same time. If you reduce the extraneous vibrations on the body, more of the brain's resources are available to process the music. Based on other experience, it makes sense: When we are more rested, our cognitive abilities are sharper and the music is more enjoyable. On the other hand, when there are distractions, our attention is divided. IMHO lowering the noise floor of the brain is another frontier for audiophiles to pursue.
Best Regards,
Ever gone to a concert in a building made of wood? Wittgentsein said that explanation comes to an end (someplace) and I believe the same is true of tweaking. Sounds like you're having fun, though.
Geoffkait, I have indeed worked with various weights on different locations in my room. I have four 15 pound ½” thick steel plates with a rubber mat attached to the bottom and little rubber round feet. These were made for an audio dealer and I bought them from him. One is on a wood chest; this was quite a significant change in tonality of the room. One sits on my SCD-1, one is in a back corner on a shelf above the heat register and the last on leans against a large picture window treated with Margo dots, the window plate helped focus. I have quite a number of Walker disks (Brass and lead) on various pieces of furniture. As crazy as it sounds I have heard it on many occasions when friends come over and move the disks not realizing they were where they were for a purpose. Lastly I have my Great Grandfather’s tool box from his days as a gas company mechanic. It is made of ash and walnut with brass screws. It sits next to my racks, and needed to be set on rubber feet and weighted with Walker… I have not tried cones (too tipsy) and have not used any other “official” products. I do know all this stuff matters (good and bad), and a lot of the locations for furniture will affect the soundstage if it ends up in a frequency node that reacts with the furniture.

The point here is do not be afraid to try moving things around, even a candlestick on a table will effect the resonance of the table differently in different locations on the table. As I said with the weights, I also can hear it if someone moved an object in the room; my furniture is purposely not fully square with the room. Breaking up slap echo is very easy with the furniture 5 degrees skewed to the opposing walls.

Bob P. I have no earphones, but an interesting thought.

Honest1, I can not explain the Lazy Boy issue either. It would seem to be a big issue, but it really is not. As for the reflecting surface, your assumption was correct. The Sonics were cleaner with the weights under my outer shirt. (We ware layers here in Minnesota, so I did end up with the weights under cotton; I just skipped saying so knowing the fun people would have with my very serious post about a completely absurd topic. I like your assumptions. The same philosophy runs with cables. If the cable is changing the low end, we hear the relative differences in the opposite end (high frequency) and of course the bass is the frequencies most actively affecting my floor structure.

Marakanetz, sadly I think you’re serious and I resent the implied comment. I represent no one. I’m a hobbyist and have no plans to change that. I do however enjoy sharing my experiences, and I would appreciate not being under suspicion of…

For all the rest of you guys, I clearly deserve the flack. Enjoy, but please try and experiment (only when alone of course) As to the rubber room, I prefer Bubble Wrap!
Bubble wrap? I'd have expected Sonex panels for you!

Enjoy your experimenting. You've got the right attitude for this hobby!
Try putting 4 by 4 wood under your chair....4 of them about 4 inches tall.....nice improvement! Also try mass loading on all your components and speakers.....two five pound weights on each component and three outdoors sand pebbles ceramic tiles on each speaker...size of the tiles 7 3/4 by 7 3/4 by 1/4 . Also try putting 20 oz. speaker magnuts on all your power cables...two of them on each power cable....big improvement now!
Let me be the first to suggest that you find something to push your ears outward. You can cup them with your hands, but that will simply convince people you're hard of hearing :-)

Jd , this is my favorite thread on this site for some time now as it offers a fresh perspective on acoustical control issues as well as invites the occasional chuckle. I was waiting for john " puremusic " to chime in before I did as you and he are two of the most dedicated and intelligent listening fanatics I know. I am going to give this a try myself . Thanks for something new to grill my brain on. Geoff Kait is another posessed demon of audio and is so very into discovering the unearthed areas of acoustics. Many scoff at his "little clock " for instance . I have 2 and can say that without question , it has a dramatic effect on my perception of the music coming from my stereo. After you have settled into your final system , this is the area thats the most fun.
The best thing I have found are the Aurios Pro, and I understand they have come up with a new and improved model. Isolating your ears is as important as anything else.

What cable are you using on your chair now?
You're in good company Jadem. I beat you to it by a couple of years my friend: (WARNING: contains some written material that may offend those brought up on the right side of the tracks)

Marco my friend, you are one sick dude! Let me know where they hospitalized you, I'll be sure they send me there too, we tweaker must remain supportive of each other, and you clearly need my support.
Thanks Jadem! With regular use of The Perch™ my sphincter has been giving out and I may indeed need some extra support. Glad to know you'll be there for me! I knew you were a stand-up kind of guy! I'll get in touch when the dark area on the broom stick gets within 6" of the base.

I just had totally different meaning seing you as a potential client of Mapleshade or similar tweakers...
JD, For your next vibration control project consider what my lady-friend said when she saw a lot of Aurios PRO and Symposium ball bearing devices under my equipment. She suggested that I put my entire house on ball bearings in order to reduce the effect of seismic vibrations. That would be the true test of your dedication. And speaking of dedication, Brainwater is Mr. Dedication himself and fanatical to the Nth degree. John
Man with water on brain, thanks, and good to hear from you. I'll have to remember to write you, it's been awhile since we talked. Pure, I refer you to the following post from years back.
I must report my latest findings, using ankle weights from a sports goods store work very well on the shoulder area and do have some marginal effect. The chair hass a greater effect, but it has twice fallen from the Aurios 1.2. I need to find someone who can bend some metal bars for me to create a holder for the chair legs. I can then have it bent to be just above the ground, thus keeping my ear and tweeter at the same height. I figure I could bolt the bar to the Aurios so it would work very safely. I could even screw the bar to the chair I suppose.

Anyway the entire concept is certainly food for thought as we spend another winter in front of our speakers. I hope this thread provokes other ideas, there does seem to be something behind this.

Hello JD,I just want to say that i enjoy and learn a lot from your contributions,,i was just having a little fun!I do think you may be onto something here!Respectfully,Ray
JD, Thanks for the link; that was funny. Since you have already tried bubble wrap under the house footings, perhaps you can now A/B bubble wrap versus ball bearings under the footings:-) John
Ball bearings under the house is no joke. These are available. There is a very stately Victorian stone courthouse in San Francisco that was retrofitted with them. They cut all the columns in the basement and inserted the bearings to protect it from earthquakes. I think you also need to have a trench around the building so when the big quake hits, it can roll around before settling back into its original position (or, really, so the earth can move around the building while the building stays still).
When my system is firing on all cylinders it sounds its best with the most impact, the sensation of not only seeing the music but also feeling the music at my fingertips. When I make a change for the better it is what I see and hear and also what I feel. I notice this physcial change by my reaction to the vibration in my chair mainly thru the arm rests and on thru to my hands. Nothing in my system is isolated, even one of the walls and a large acoustic device on my ceiling which serves double duty as a retractable movie screen housing is direct coupled to the drywall and the rafters above. I try to maximise and focus the acoustic energy at my listening postion rather that to tame it or kill it,to do so I feel robs the music of its realism. My listening chair chassis is not direct coupled to the concrete floor below, though I have tried to do so in the past. Previous casual attempts were some what laughable and downright dangerous. I have a different chair and will take a different approach this time around.Tom
Hi Tom, I tend to agree with you, but in my situation the chair must be overly resonant. I expect it is partially due to the wood joists and my seating location being closer to the mid span than the bearing. It sounds like this is not your issue. In my case, if my arms are resting on the arm rest, the vibration actually tends to distort the focus. It's very interesting how two experiences can be completely opposite, but in our case it might be predictable from the structure of our rooms. It's fun none the less to learn of others experiences.
JD , my computer crashed and I lost your e mail. E mail me something so I will have it and lets talk about CES.