Symposium Rollerblocks + Svelte platform gives a vast sonical improvement
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Noticed improvement after replacing Atlantis stock spikes w/ Polycrystal (large) spk. cones. Noticed a bigger improvement after replacing the stock shelf w/ a Neuance shelf. Ejlif,(a guy who has tried alot of stuff) recommends and uses a Vibraplane. These are used in electron microscopy where good isolation from vibration is a MUST. Vibraplanes are NOT cheap so unfortunately I can't speak from experience about them. Good on ya' for aiming high.
Proy- Since you've already considered Sistrum for your amp, why not consider them for your other electronics? They are very effective. However, isolation isn't their design goal, but rather high efficiency coupling to ground. The best isolation plate I've found for CD transports is made by Precision A/V in Moorpark, CA, but it is very expensive.
As you may have read in my previous threads, I replaced my older Krell-dac/EAD-transport combo. I bought the Marantz SA-14 SACD player. It surpassed the combo in every respect except for inner detail. When I placed it on the Neuance plaform, all my prayers were answered.
Go to either:
or contact Ken at:
He makes an unbelievable product, custom made at a resonable price.
Proy, may man, I am very confused. I think your choice to go with the Sistrum (for your amp) is great. Obviously you're going with coupling and not isolating. Why o why don't you want to do the same with your cdp? Much easier to couple than decouple(isolate.) Go with the Sistrum for your cdp, as well, and you'll be a very happy camper. Give Robert a call and get down. peace, warren
Isolation is not possible so the platform you are in search of does not exist. Sistrum makes no claims of being an isolation platform. Sistrum effectively collects and then presents a high speed path for resonant energy to exit to ground. Electro-mechanical as well as airborne energy will modulate all hi-fi components. These resonances will be re-amplified and regurgitated over and over again..Dampening only compounds this problem. Dampening is like a storage capacitor in that stored energy will have a memory and will linger and blurr and darken the sound. Much of this stored energy will still be present in the chassis because it has no exit point. Sistrum on the other hand will make your component more efficient because the chassis and all thats within it will not have work thru and amplify extraneous noise in the signal path. The result is a louder more dynamically textured and revealing piece of equipment..Tom
We've had good success with the Acapella Fondato Silenzio platform and the HRS (Harmonic Resolution Systems) Isolation Base (we carry both of these), Damping Plates and Nimbus feet. Others we have not had such good success with.
Some vibration control solutions just seem to work in certain specific situations (what equipment racks you are using, what kind of floor and floor foundation you have, what components are you using them with, etc.) and others seem to work across many different situations.
Many have negative side-effects (usually reduction in PRaT and micro-dynamics, resulting in compression of the sound and hardening of the mid-range). To some extent, you will just have to try a few solutions and see what works best for you.
Well stated, as usual, Tom. That's why I did not go there. I knew you were out there. Tom is dead on Proyster. Couple to mother earth and your system will be free. Free of those nasty microphonous meanies. How, (with isolation), can you isolate your cdp from those, very, inherent, resonances found in your cdp/disc drive)? You can't! By coupling, with the Sistrum System, all those little evil nasties, have a place to go. peace, warren
i tried as a platform (under my cd players burmester969,C.E.C tl-0 mk2,metronome Kalista) vibraplane,symposium,polycrstal,hrs,acapella.(any many different spikes,rollerblocks,Q damper.....).i think platforms (like a cables)depends your system and your taste.
i prefer symposium,polycrstal and acapella over vibraplane and hrs.
also shunmook Mpingo disc was wonderfull on burmester 969
Now i will try grandprix monaco
Your tuning with timber and the result is a change in timbre accuracy. All are storage devices with various time delays and resulting colorations. Recipe for a soup sandwich with the resulting stains being tainted with each added ingredient..You have never truly experienced what is already yours..Tom
The most impressive system I have seen was at the Chicago Audio Society gathering a couple of months ago.
It is a 'stand' for lack of a better term that is designed to 'Isolate' (neutralize the degrading effects of ground borne vibrations) and to 'damp' (neutralize the degrading effects of air-borne vibration) the piece of gear.
Each one is designed for the particular piece of gear with which it is used. I don't know if the gentleman is advertising his product. Someone from the Chicago area might have more details.
Everything I saw about them was remarkable. All the info I know about them was from a paper called: "Isolation Systems for Audiophiles."
The system that Nrchy is refering to was devised by Joe Lavrencik, a member of the Chicago Audio Society. I'll try and contact Joe and see if he can contribute to this thread and / or at least provide a way for the public to contact him. As far as i know, he does not have a website set up as of yet but is working on it.
Joe does have a set of papers that he's put together that demonstrates the effectiveness of these devices using vibration of the component itself as a point of reference. These tests were conducted and measured at various frequencies to show just how well they do at dealing with different types of resonance transmission. Obviously, the more that the device is "vibrating" or "oscillating", whether it be from floor-borne or air-borne excitation, the less effective the device is. Sean
you need to get in touch with a fellow audiogoner that makes the best isolation platform for CD players, transports, amps, etc...i didn't believe in this kind of tweaks (tried cones, rollerblocks, innertube), but after i tried his Ginkgo Cloud Nine platform, man was i wrong!...truly a stunning tweak!...good luck!
Sean describe to Us your rack? Are you still using the high mass, high storage Michael Green rack? Or perhaps some new cosmic State of the Rack maybe consisting of exotic timber, lead shot and pneumatic hot air bags. Does It couple? Does It Isolate? Or is It a confused implementation of Both? Please tell Us? Inquiring minds want to know..Tom
I sold the Michael Green Deluxe Just-A-Rack two years ago after running it for a couple of months. To my ears, it did horrible things to the sound of the system that i had it in. I would have never believed that a rack could have that much of a "sonic impact" on a system if i had not heard it with my own ears. The person that purchased it from me was quite happy with it and in fact, bought another one not that long after purchasing that one from me. He is a respected member of the Agon community and has gone through more than his fare share of high quality gear. I guess that different people hear and like different things. Then again, due to the racks design, it's quite possible that he was running it in a different manner than i was and getting different results.
As far as the racks i'm using now, they are kind of a customized hodge-podge of what i wanted as an individual and parts that i could find to work with that were already on the market. As such, i'll try to give you a brief description.
The uprights are solid metal of low to medium mass and are directly spiked to the floor. The frame for each shelf is rigidly coupled to the uprights and are of a relatively lightweight welded tubular design. The shelves themselves are all free-floating on upturned spikes and are comprised of a low mass material.
I've played around with a few different materials in terms of the shelves, but have yet to find what i'm really looking for. There is one material that interests me, but i can't find a local source for it. I'd like to try some of Ken's Neuance shelves, but the price for the quantity that i need would just about bankrupt me. This is not to say that his prices are high for what you get, but that i need a LOT of them.
Does that help any ? Sean
Sean: Agree with you on the Justaracks; I got some a few years back because I liked the ability to change the shelf spacing, which I needed for my setup, but wound up using all sorts of other vibration isolation devices, including decoupling the racks from the floor on a constrained layer damped platform and racketball feet and using isolation damping bases (KWorks IsobaseKs, innertubes with silicon in them in a sand and lead filled base) under all equipment on the rack in order to undo the adverse effects on sound that came from those racks. I never heard as pronounced a difference in sound as you did, but (particularly with all my tubed equipment) there definitely was an audible difference; I think that the theory behind that rack of taking all vibrations from the equipment and channeling them down the threaded rods into the floor through spikes just did not work in my setup; in fact, I think those spikes just rechanneled all the floor vibrations back to the equipment.
theaudiotweak, your statements are inflamatory, not to mention foolish.
Even if a stand or piece of equipment does not operate at 100% performance does it mean that the piece is of no value? Are you currently getting 100% from all of your gear?
To say that isolation is not possible since 100% of vibrations are not eliminated is to ignore the benefit of all good quality isolation. Should we use nothing regardless of the sonic benefit, since whatever we choose is not 100% effective?
You haven't even looked at the product mentioned, but that doesn't prevent you from condemning it, how is that possible???
The product is designed to isolate the componant from vibrations. The componant rests on a surface with a high damping coefficient designed to drain vibration from a componant. The stands are designed to have a natural frequency below the listening level of any componant, the best being at 3Hz. This is well below the resonant frequency of any piece of stereo gear.
I wish I knew more about this, but these facts are what I have been able to learn. My admittedly limited information though is more than some who have condemned the product without the first bit of knowledge about them.
I don't own one of these stands, but I do plan to buy one!
Tom aka Audiotweak: I'm holding my breath until you respond with your thoughts and comments. Please hurry up as it has already been over 24 hours and i'm well past turning blue in the face. My guess is that you didn't get the answer that you wanted or expected. None the less, i'm still waiting : )
Nrchy: I'm with you. When it comes to this kind of "undocumented" stuff, i'll give something a try before passing any form of judgment. I've learned the hard way too many times before and as such, have learned to "try" and keep an open mind. Then again, if your mind is completely open, your brain falls out when you bend over. As such, it is best to be open to new ideas but conservative enough not to lose your mind over them : ) Sean
Nrchy can the rack you are speaking of, isolate equipment from airborne as well as self induced electro-mechanical noise and vibration? If the answer is yes then how does this rack disapate said captured energy? If it is sitting on a absorbent surface can this resting surface capture and disapate said vibrations as quick as it is refilled? If this rack captures quickly and cannot disapate as fast then you have a new storage medium!!! Gee think of the sonic benefits of this? I'm not trying to be a BUTT-Head about this whole isolation thing. In my mind I came to the determination that isolation is impossible and dampening is another storage medium that in this instance is a sonic blurr. Racks that claim to be isolation devices are like a bath tub filling with water. The taps are on full the drain is all the way open but the tub fills faster than it can drain. And what are the sonic results of all of this? If my comments on isolation are inflamatory then I feel thats a good thing. Controversy and discussion may stir further insight and open new avenues for new and more effective products..Tom... Foolery
Tom: There are many different approaches to damping / isolation / energy transfer. When one concentrates on a specific approach, all of the benefits can be achieved. At the same time, there is nothing left to counter the drawbacks that any "less than perfect" approach brings along with it. Since not all energy can be transferred or absorbed at 100% efficiency, either method will leave you with some drawbacks. By using a combination approach, one can minimize drawbacks of any single approach and gain the benefits of each IF properly implimented.
As a side note, what happens to the energy that isn't transferred from the component to the shelf or from the shelf to the rack or from the rack to the floor when working with coupling ? I have yet to see a design that can honestly claim 100% energy transfer at any / all points of contact. Since there IS residual energy left behind and / or possibly stored due to lack of transference and / or passed back into the component, why would "coupling" be any better than any other "half-fast" approach ? Given the sentiments and attitudes that you expressed above, it would appear that we should chuck such a system out the window. Right ?
The key here is to transfer as much self produced or air-borne energy away from the device as possible, minimize energy transfer from the support structure back into the component and dissipate any residual energy that could not be transferred in an efficient manner. In order to do that, you'll have to incorporate some type of "damping" or self-absorbing" device somewhere in there. If the "damping device" is properly designed, it will "eat up" the residual energy by being as "lossy" as possible. Since energy can be consumed via thermal losses, mechanical vibrations that are converted to thermal losses are not subject to the "rebound effect" that most "damping devices" produce.
The trick here is how to impliment all of this technology with one simple to use structure. Since the meeting point between the support structure and the component is typically some type of shelf or platform, that is where the majority of "work" must be done. The shelf must be rigid enough to transfer energy away from the component and support it, but at the same time, it needs to be able to "eat up" any residual energy that is not transfered and "damp" vibrations that try to come up through the support structure itself. Obviously, the material used for the shelf and how the shelf mates to the support structure and component are where most of us are "tweaking". I hope that this explanation somewhat explains why that is to those that aren't familiar with the "science" ( or is it "art" ??? ) of "tweaking".
Other than that, one can minimize the "rebound effect" of a damping device if the damping device is quite large in size and / or phenomenally "lossy". The effect of dropping a rock into a fish tank can be seen as ripples and the associated repurcussions that travel throughout the entire tank and then back towards the point of origin. Taking that a step further, one can increase the "vibration making device" to the size of a boulder and drop it into the ocean. In effect, the same thing takes place, but since there is so much more area to absorb the shock or "energy" of the boulder drop, it is barely noticed except for the surrounding area. Since the energy has been consumed ( efficiently damped ) before it can rebound, the side effects of "damping" have been minimized due to the lack of rebounding repurcussions. The drawback to this type of approach ? BIG size and a lot of weight.
As such Tom, you never thought "BIG enough" when thinking about damping and isolation. You answered your own question when you said "can the rack you are speaking of, isolate equipment from airborne as well as self induced electro-mechanical noise and vibration? If the answer is yes then how does this rack dissipate said captured energy? If it is sitting on a absorbent surface can this resting surface capture and disapate said vibrations as quick as it is refilled? If this rack captures quickly and cannot disapate as fast then you have a new storage medium!!!". By making the devices BIG, there is enough surface area to dissipate pretty much whatever you throw at it, so there is no storage or "rebound" effect. The energy is "consumed" via calculated thermal losses in the damping / isolation base. According to Joe's literature, he had help from several different engineers on this project.
For those that are interested, these "damping & isolation" shelves / platforms are 50+ lbs apiece ( from what i can tell by picking one up ). On top of that, each shelf / platform is specifically "fine tuned" for the actual device that you will be placing on it. While i can't even begin to fathom a guess at what a multi-component rack would weigh ( or cost ), according to Joe's test results published in his literature, a 3 Hz system shows a reduction of vibrational resonance in the component by 97% when "bombarded" with a 25 Hz signal !!! He provides a chart as a "rough estimate" of what to expect out of the various isolation devices that he offers when confronted with various frequencies.
Needless to say, i was impressed with the system that i saw but i still think that there might be a few tricks that can take it a step further. Sean
PS... I have NO affiliation with these devices or the individual(s) making them. I met Joe and talked to him for the first time at the CAS meeting that he displayed these at. I'm working on contacting him. Hopefully, i'll be able to catch him on Friday and see if he can post information here.
I believe the deleterious effects of airborne resonances and internal resonances can best be handled with coupling. Percentages? I'm not going there. Don't have a clue. I do know that the very principles of dampening (decoupling) will store those very energies we're trying to dissipate. Measurable? Again, no clue. My system is coupled; right down to the speaker cables. Works for me. Also, as I've said before, it is a goal (coupling) that can be attained. Not a 100%, of course, but more than decoupling. Less (well, a little less?) expensive, as well. peace, warren
I have also met Joe and talked to him very briefly. He was at the CAS meeting to listen to the music and products, while I unfortunately was headed for the door at that time. I left the meeting with a profound respect for the person who had developed the Isolation stands that were being used that day. The design was unlike anything I had seen before, and there certainly was more 'science' involved than one typically encounters.
I hope Joe can be persuaded to weigh-in one the subject.
Tom I still don't understand how you could so roundly condemn this product. Have you studied the design and determined that it is flawed or was it just your bias for coupling? I just find it very frustrating that people who know nothing about a product are generally the ones to praise or condemn it in the strongest terms. My experience with this product was impressive, but ultimately I am still learning, so the jury is still out. I am willing to admit this!
Proy, I hope some day you are able to check this out, it is an eye-opener!
I don't want to upset ANYONE, but I can tell all of you out there who are reasonably handy with tools how to build an excellent device for isolation. Its theory runs contrary to Tom's sincere advice, but, in my experience it works well. It works at the root level, on the principal that the sum of the mass of the device, is greater than the amount of energy that one can transfer into it. The energy, within, say a preamp, converts from Kinetic to Potential energy. There is no device that I am aware of which can transfer 100% as someone pointed out, but this will improve the sound of preamps, cd players, and amps on several levels. The lead within it acts to shield RFI, which helps too. It contains lead shot, (not good healthwise) and a sorbothane like material, which when melted gives off noxious fumes, so making it is a bit of an issue, but overall simple. Also, hardwood, a couple of pieces of plywood, and finally teflon feet If you would like to know how to: just email me I am glad to share. It does really work. It is also about 80 to 100#'s, and very unweildy. This is meant to be helpful, and not in any way disparaging of anyone else's thoughts or ideas.
Thanks and good listening.
Larry R. Staples
Again there is no such thing as isolation. Dampening is another storage medium with uncontrolled time release of stored energy back into the devices on it, under it, and within it. Dampening is not selective upon the frequency nor the amplitude at which it covers... What about the natural dynamics with in the bandwidth that is to be damped? I have been around many moons. Coupling floats my boat!!! The direct path is the best path and shortest way to get there. Removing all the rubber material on all my chassis's is to me further audible proof that coupling is the best way to get there..Has anyone on this thread other than Warren tried direct coupling and resonant energy transfer? I for one have tried many so called dampening/isolation racks and even wall treatments, all were relegated to the used file or the giveaway file. Direct coupling all my mechanical devices has increased the reality of my listening experience..
What i find interesting is that Tom and Warren seem adamant in their support for their beliefs. Nothing wrong with that and i agree that products and companies that are well designed and have been a pleasure to work with deserve support and recognition. I do think that there is a problem in that both of these folks ( Tom moreso than Warren ) tend to disregard other approaches, even if they know nothing about them. They do this even though some of those other approaches ARE taking measurements and have verifiable proof that their design works AND works quite efficiently.
As a side note, a device that reduces measured vibration does so on a whole, not just on the initial point of excitation. This means that both initial excitation and ringing are reduced on a well designed product. As such, a device that suffers from "stored energy" may reduce the initial amplitude of resonance but it does so by spreading the energy out over a wider period of time / phase. This is not an improvement so much as it is a lateral or even possibly backwards move. The end result would be dulled transients ( lack of dynamic impact ) and a reduction in overall clarity and definition (due to un-natural decay characteristics as a result of massive ringing ). This is exactly what i experienced with the MGD Deluxe Just-A-Rack.
With the above in mind, i think that most "damping" or "isolation" devices on the market fall into the category that Tom and Warren are "complaining" about. Not only are most of them under-designed on the whole, they are not optimized for any specific component or situation. Given that Joe's approach seems to be relatively well thought out AND optimized for each component that it is used with, it seems only natural to achieve better results with it than with mass produced "generic" devices trying to achieve similar results. I don't think that anyone here doubts that a "one size fits all" type of device will typically be "slaughtered" by a custom built piece that is quite specific to the situation at hand.
Other than that, i have to admit that i have not personally used these devices and have no first hand experience with them. I am basing my thoughts on science being applied to the art of resonance control. Sean
PS... I just picked up an accelerometer today and hope to do some testing in the near future.
Anyone toying around with the idea of coupling? Does some of this make sense on paper? Hearing is believing, right? Get on the Starsound Technologies website if you dare. Read some of the white paper. Then, order yourself a platform. Just one for your cdp. Maybe two? Speak to Robert, first hand. He be da man over there. Smart, audio savvy, patient, low key and very patient. They have a FULL money back guarentee. Whattaya gots to lose? I was convinced. I'm coupled now. Hearing is always the deal. All you audiophoolish potential couplers know your systems intimately. Who better then yourselves, to hear if this coupling (jive?) is what Tom and I have been raving about. Try it. You'll thank us later. peace, warren
Rcprince is correct. The KWorks IsobaseKs were the best isolation designs I have heard especially for the money. The bases are designed to reduce vibration instead of the coupling and decoupling devices. The designer offers Power Cords (Empowered Cord), ICs, and other designs that reduce noise and vibration for your system at very reasonable prices, but very effective.
Here are brass cones for $19.75:
brass cones from MCM Electronics
bigger picture of cones
If you are going with the transfer method I don't see how four little cones are going to effectively transfer vibrations out of the component. I would think four 3" diameter brass discs would be better. Meaning as much of the case of the component is in contact with the medium which is transferring the vibrations.
Sure four little cones may be the right concept but I don't see them are being the most effective solution. Well, if you can locate the vibration nodes of the component's case and put the cones at those nodes they could work. Stereophile had a good article on this and find where the nodes are. As usual, I can'd find it now. If anyone cares, I will try to find it.
I found an accelerometer for $35:
Stereophile is good for something
In first the February 1991 issue of Voice Coil, then the November issue (footnote 1), Editor Vance Dickason described a low-cost accelerometer made from a strip of the piezoelectric polymer PVDF (polyvinylidene fluoride) that enables impecunious engineers to get a more objective handle on cabinet problems. Costing just $35 plus shipping (footnote 2), the transducer consists of a 4" by 1" strip of PVDF attached to a small plastic block from which emerges a short pigtail of coaxial cable. The strip is securely taped to the surface to be analyzed; the output can be fed to any of the standard industry measurement systems.
Footnote 2: For further details on this low-cost, $35-plus-S&H, PVDF strip accelerometer, see "High Polymer Piezo Film in Electroacoustical Transducer Applications," AES Preprint 2308, presented at the 79th Audio Engineering Society Convention in New York in October 1985 by Jesse Klapholz. Mr. Klapholz can be contacted at PVDF Transducers, P.O. Box 31718, Philadelphia, PA 19147. Tel: (215) 465-1975. Fax: (215) 336-7743.John Atkinson
Tom, you are again condemning something about which you know nothing! How can anyone believe anything you say based on these foolish assertions?
You have never seen Joe Lavrencik's Isolation System, nor have you studied his papers. Your comments make you look ignorant (at best) or biased against anything with which you are unfamiliar.
Isolation may be a new science, and this gentleman's products may lead the charge in a new direction, you don't know. This is as stupid as people ridiculing Thomas Edison's attempt to reproduce the human voice nearly 100 years ago because it had never been done before.
I don't question your enjoyment of "coupling" there is room for all opinions, some people even like Bose Acoustic Wave Machines. That doesn't mean though that 'coupling' is the only way, or even the best way.
Is the science of isolation never going to change or develop? Tom don't talk about things or about subjects of which you know nothing. You bring into question your own credibility, and add nothing to the conversation.
Check out the product and then weigh in.
Tbg, not sure what your basis of comparison was but I have found the Nimbus to be more effective at isolation than anything else, including some of the other products mentioned. It isolates in all planes down to about 0.5 Hz which is far better than some which only go down to 3 to 5 Hz, as microseismic vibration is the biggest culprit.
I saw my name used in the thread and thought I should craft some sort of response for anyone reading this. Tom (Theaudiotweak) is trying to help evryone understand how difficult it is to isolate audio components. The environment of a listening room is incredibly harsh. He is speaking the truth when he says that there is nothing onthe market that can do it.
Tom, however, is not aware that it has recently been done and there is something that works. I build it and I know intimately that it works. This should be a pleasant surprise.
I'm Joe Lavrencik. I've been referred to in the thread.
I don't want to monoppolize a discussion, but if there were any questions I could answer I would be happy to do so.
I am really pissed at you Nrchy!! Nrchy you Know nothing about me, my backround or my listening experience. Should I put together a list of references? Would you like to compare our respective audio backrounds? Sir I do know what I speak about and my credibility goes back 35 years. You really do not know me! or my level of understanding! Tom