I really like my Symposium Segue ISO platform for my VPI Classic 3 TT. I purchased it in a large size.
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I have the Mapleshade 4-incher with the heavyweight brass footers that I
had positioned under my source , a REGA ISIS valve cdp.
In brief.....it worked fine but the degree of improvement is entirely system
On the recommendation of a dealer to first test-drive it, I was slack-jawed to
witness and personally experience a better alternative IN MY SYSTEM..
First, I positioned the cdp -- by itself-- DIRECTLY sitting on a shelf in a
professionaly made bespoke custom made clone of a Naim Fraim audio
rack...... wow.... it was appreciably better in all aspects.
I then moved the REGA OSIRIS amp onto the next shelf, and voila....
another further positive improvement.
The combined effects are not subtle .
Can I explain "why does it work better?" easily and succcinctly
..... no..... it just "does" .... full stop.
The Mapleshade and brass footers isolation platform package is now doing
yeoman service in my "B" system. It is actually overkill in this setup with a
comparative definite stepdown in audio improvements when compared to
using the kit in my "A" system. I'm navel-gazing the thought of selling it
My initial take is that because the "B" source component is a fifth of the
price ( and a step-down in build quality and performance of the ISIS) , the
tweak benefit \ improvement result is a fraction also in lockstep.
The takeaway is that the Mapleshade system premium benefits hoped for
is also linked to the existence of using it under the high-end build quality of
a premium source itself.
To assume that it is a big, BIG magic improvement or "silver bullet" in
every system ....good luck on that one - I very much doubt it .
I bought the Mapledshade system with the platform and footers for under my turntable. It made no improvement what so ever. But my shelving is custom made with three layers of dampening material between the layers of wood used to build each shelf. I subsequently sold the Mapleshade system to a friend and he loves it. On the other hand, I bought Mapleshade platforms to put under my two floor standing speakers. I spiked the platforms through the carpet, then spiked the speakers to the platforms. This was one of the best tweaks I've ever done. Everything opened up dramatically from top to bottom. I wouldn't be without these platforms.
i had both the MAPLESHADE SAMSON audio rack and the maplebloc 4" isolation platform/brass footers .
They work: the only variable is that as in any tweak, the results are dependent on the system in question.
The prior capricious comment to actual characterize MAPLESHADE as a "joke" is just a heavily biased anecdotal personal value judgement that has been dismissed as such accordingly.
I sold the very heavy SAMSON North American "mass loaded isolation designed" rack and replaced it with a "light and airy" British design that channels unwanted vibration away that works better in my system.
they both work but very differently in design and approach.
I use the Mapleshade 4" under my REGA P3/24 and I use the Iso Blocks that came with it, under each corner of the wood block. I don't use the brass footers at all. The REGA just sits directly on the wood platform with stock feet. I found this combination to be most stable on the top shelf of my Salamander equipment rack. The noise floor was reduced substantially and the table is free of any noise associated with vibration. I really liked the brass feet under my tube pre amp instead. Mapleshade really gives you a lot for your money. I think I paid $130 + shipping. Highly recommended!
I used the same setup as Mattmiller(i.e., without the brass footers, although I may have used 3 Iso Blocks instead of 4.). I thought it made music from a sub-optimal setup of an Ariston RD110. That being said, I think a Mana Table is slightly better(There is so much info on the Mana, and I heard some of the best needle-drops from a Linn LP12 used on a Mana Reference Table[John]. Besides, my LP12 came with the Mana.). Don't consider my take on this as a real comparison. I've never heard a Gingko. As I remember it, the Mapleshade made the sound warmer, but it also made the sound more like music. From what I've read on Audiogon about the Mapleshade and turntables, the results vary, and for some, it's a total turnoff. I'd suggest, to get a feel for the change in sound(I've not tried this.), you might try some maple blocks first(cheaper, and I think Mapleshade might sell them.). I'm going to get killed for saying this, but I believe the air-dried maple(Mapleshade)might sound better than butcher-block maple(I have both, but of different thicknesses.).
Miner42, I would suggest that before you spend money on isolation, you might consider trying to figure out what are the specific requirements for your system in your listening room. Are you in an apartment or in the basement of a private home, for example? Where is your gear in relation to your speakers? Do you have a massive subwoofer or speakers that are light in the bass? Is there a lot of traffic going past your house or apartment? Once you have taken those and other factors into account, I suggest you take a walk down the aisles of your nearest Home Depot or Loew's. There you will find interesting materials with which you can experiment very cheaply in order to arrive at a home-made solution that might constitute an improvement on your Gingko platform. There's a lot of snake oil in this area of audio and/or a lot of products that are well made but also massively over-priced. Just my opinion and my experience.
From personal experience, I was pretty well sold on the Mapleshade approach, but I got all the confirmation I'd ever want when Pierre Sprey visited a friend. Starting with his run-of-the-mill CD player sitting on an end table Pierre first put 3 Mapleshade brass spikes under the player, then a 2" maple platform under the spikes, then some IsoBlock wood/cork footers under the maple platforms. Each step made a positive difference and the whole shebang was pretty much transformational.
He removed the tweaks one at a time and went back and forth until we could hear the contribution of each. Quite an evening.
My only experience with Symposium -- the Roller Blocks -- ended up with my returning them. They must work for some folks but didn't for me.
Thank you for all of the responses. My component console ha two galss ddors, six shelves and a marble top. A REL B1 sub is about six feet away. I do have some extra vibrapods and vibracones to ry before I decide which route to go - if I even have to 'fix' anything. My Rega was so light that i had to use the Gingko - the Aries will weigh about 70 lbs so I may not even need an isolation platform - maybe just some footer. We'll see. I should have my table in the next few weeks. I will report back with updates. BTW, I have seen those Mapleshade footers on other sites (non-audio) that sell fro about $3 each.
None of suggestion with the possible exception of Minus K actually address all 6 degrees of freedom which is actually required for true and thorough isolation. Even Minus K IIRC disengaged the twist isolation so that it wouldn't interfere with turntable rotational motion. One method that will get you pretty close to the sacred 6 degree of freedom isolation is a combination of say springs or airsprings or Ginko balls and set of roller bearing assemblies like Dhurama II. That way you achieve very good isolation in the vertical direction AND very good isolation in the HORIZONTAL and rotational directions.
I have the Gingko (though I do not use it a lot). It definitely gets a few things right. For a non suspended TT like Aries it will do the tricks that a suspension does, meaning a very black ground and airy clean imaging. Thankfully it doesnt screw up the PRAT while doing so. My only complain about it is the use of Acrylic platforms and base. To me acrylic always sucks out some life from the music. The Gingko also does that a little but not a lot. You will never get such clean black backgrounds and grainless imaging from a mapleshade wood platform.
I agree with Pani about the effect of the use of acrylic in Gingko platforms. Some may like the effect, as it does seem to drain some resonances, but others may perceive the effect as losing a bit of sparkle or life. The same has been said of turntables using acrylic platters and plinths. I wound up using a combination of the Gingko and a device with which Stringreen (and other NJAS and former NJAS members) will be familiar, Pon-Tunes, under my old Forsell CD transport, which was very sensitive to what it sat on. Using the Gingko made the sound a little dull to me, but the Pon-Tunes by themselves made it a little too bright and thin. The combination worked well for that piece, the Pon-Tunes adding back a little sparkle to the sound while the Gingko doing a good job of draining vibrations. As to why it should do this for a CD transport, I have no idea, but I could not deny the effects.
03-30-15: RcprinceRuss, anything that affects the "ease" with which the pits on the disc are tracked, including vibrations and mechanical resonances which may be affected by the platform under the transport, can in turn affect electrical noise generated by the servo mechanisms and circuitry in the transport, as it tracks the disc. Some of that noise may in turn couple onto the output signal of the transport, in turn contributing to timing jitter in the clock that is extracted from that signal in the DAC, in turn contributing to jitter in the timing of D/A conversion. The amount and the frequency characteristics of jitter in the timing of D/A conversion can of course affect the perceived "sparkle" and/or brightness, or lack thereof, which you referred to.
In the case of an integrated CD player, such as Akg_ca and Dopogue referred to, that noise may couple into unrelated downstream circuitry in the player via grounds, stray capacitances, power supplies, or other paths including the air. In turn not only causing jitter in the D/A conversion process, but possibly also having effects on analog circuitry. The degree to which that occurs will be highly dependent on the design of the particular player, of course, as well as on the condition of the disc.
From a post by Kirkus in this thread:
CD players, transports, and DACs are a menagerie of true mixed-signal design problems, and there are a lot of different noise sources living in close proximity with suceptible circuit nodes. One oft-overlooked source is crosstalk from the disc servomechanism into other parts of the machine . . . analog circuitry, S/PDIF transmitters, PLL clock, etc., which can be dependent on the condition of the disc.... One would be suprised at some of the nasty things that sometimes come up out of the noise floor when the focus and tracking servos suddenly have to work really hard to read the disc.Also, in the case of a tubed CD player such as Akg_ca described using I suppose that controlling vibrations and mechanical resonances could reduce low-level microphonic effects that may occur in the tubes.
Since the laser is suspended using a spring system with resonant frequency around 8 Hz, I'm guessing, then the laser itself is subject to structural vibration with frequency in vicinity of 8 Hz, no? So, there would be a good reason to employ an isolation device with a very low Fr, below 2Hz if you can swing it, since you want the mechanical low pass filter to kick in as soon as possible to reduce vibration at 8 Hz as much as possible.
Here is my rule of thumb: any type of rubber, sorbothane , any sort of lossy material will have the initial affect of being superior. However, later, you will find that you are missing transparency, transient response, PRAT. Upon extended listening you will be happier with a substance/material that has good musical qualities with a drain path. Maple/brass/Stillpoints/etc... If you are still having issues, look elsewhere... wobbly floors, underdamped walls, lack of proper acoustics...