The Big Fat Dots do work well when used under a stand or between shelves; the vibration is absorbed.
They will absorb vibration, but don't forget, the speaker itself is resonating and you don't want to stop that.
It might be possible that the Fat Dots affect the bass purity and detail by absorbing the speaker's vibration. But I doubt it, since the Dots are a porous material and not a solid, they should let sound pass through and not be absorbed. Besides, I trust Herbie, I say give them a try.
More importantly, you should isolate your NAD amp from causing vibration, (even a CDP causes vibration). The best way is to use Herbie's Tenderfeet or Big Tall Tenderfeet under the amp and other components. I use them under all of my components to great success.
Tvfreak, do you realize that the Dots are made to adhere to the flat bottom of the speaker? They are used instead of the original feet.
I used these under my Spendor 3/5 on the top of a shelf. Gave me a slightly clearer sound and tightened up the bass. I had experimented with other things like brick and stone slabs but these were the best.
Eventually bought some Skylan stands and those were even better, of course.
Lowrider57, Thanks for your answers and yes, I do realize that the Dots will replace the original feet of the speaker. My expectation is that it will help to improve the bass. Should I expect other improvements too?
I will give them a try. If it does some damage to the sound I can always go back to the original feet that came with the speakers.
They worked for Andysf, so I think you'll have good luck with them. If not, don't go back to the stock feet; they are usually made of rubber or sorbothane and are only there to level the speaker.
If you don't like the sound, contact the website for advice and Herbie (Steve) will answer. Look thru the Q&A at the bottom of the Isolation pages for ideas. (Interesting reading, in fact some of my questions regarding products are still posted).
FYI, there are many other companies who make footers for speakers.
I don't think dots are nearly enough to isolate vibrating loudspeakers from a
large wooden resonating credenza. Have you thought about trying Auralex
Monitor Isolation Pads
They are designed specifically to isolate desktop monitors from
I don't think you can predict how different footers will affect the sound of a speaker. There are just too many variables involved. However, Herbies offer a money-back guarantee on everything, so you're at minimal risk.
I don't think you can predict how different footers will affect the sound of a
Herbie's dots are made for a variety of
applications, particularly so cabinet resonances don't transfer to speaker
Auralex pads are made primarily for setting mini-monitors on large flat
surfaces, isolating them completely from the surface below via a specific
density of foam, and have a front dam to block soundwaves from surface
bounce on a table top.
The vendor I linked to also has a 30-day return policy. You can also get them
at your ubiquitously local Guitar Center.
For an interesting take on component isolation (including speaker supports), go to the Barry Diament Audio site, under "Articles", then "Vibration control for better performance". Barry is a proponent of the "roller bearing" theory.
I don't know anyone in Audio whose advice I regard more than Mr. Herbie .
The issue I have with roller bearings is their rather poor vertical isolation performance however I am a big fan of roller bearings on top of a good vertical isolator such as springs.
Exactly Geoffkait. In Barry's writings he describes the roller bearing as an isolator in the horizontal/lateral plane, and a coupler in the vertical. He makes the argument that most vibration travels horizontally, the waves moving across the floor, just as the movement of the ground in an Earthquake is horizontal/lateral. He recommends an air bearing for vertical isolation, something as cheap as an under-inflated bike tire inner tube under a piece of plywood up to the old Townshend Seismic Sink. Townshend himself now sells a spring isolator (the Seismic Pod) which he claims isolates in both planes.
But most vibrations aren't in the horizontal direction. Townshend and I both built Isolators that isolated in all six directions. There are three rotational directions. Technically the roller bearings don't isolate in the horizontal only the rotational directions, you know, given the cup is curved. If there is motion it must be rotational not horizontal.
For turntables ease of motion (isolation) in the rotational direction around the vertical axis (twist) one obtains with roller bearings is not good for turntable performance since the platter rotates in that direction. For turntables it's actually best to disengage isolation in the twist direction and keep the support frame stable/stationary. For turntables one should apply isolation in the vertical direction and the horizontal plane and two rotational direction. But not in the twist direction.
The Earth crust motion actually produces waves on the surface of the Earth with horizontal, vertical and rotational forces. So the house is actually moving like a small boat on the ocean with a wave passing under it.
Mapman, one assumes they don't teach that stuff in map school.
Geoff even more bad news...
The earth is hurling around the sun at incredible speeds and through the universe even faster towards God knows what. All while wobbling around on its axis like a misshapen top!!!
Thank The Lord for acoustic isolation gadgets. ( and machina dynamica). We be in some deep s--t otherwise. 👏👏👏
Let me ask you a serious question for a second, Mapman. Have you been watching a lot of Beavis and Butthead videos recently?
Back to original topic take a look at Isoacoustics pro monitor stands on
"The earth is hurling around the sun at incredible speeds and through the universe even faster towards God knows what. All while wobbling around on its axis like a misshapen top!!!
Thank The Lord for acoustic isolation gadgets. ( and machina dynamica). We be in some deep s--t otherwise. 👏👏👏"
I was wondering why my loudspeakers keep sliding around on my living room floor! All this time I was thinking I had a foundation problem.
I lifted my Silverline Preludes up about 4 inches on butcher blocks (tweeter level with my seated head…and there's nothing like seated head) and put Vibrapods under the "outriggers" on top of the blocks…made the Preludes sound even better, zero speaker resonance goes into the wood floors, or comes up into the speaker from my sub. I think Spikers are simply misguided sheep (although I do admit to having some old "high end" cones under my preamp as it looks cool, I admit sheepishly).
I use to be a heavy tweaker and spent tons of money on audiophile products.
I bought 12 sobothane 1 inch diameter and about 1/4 inch thick washers on eBay for $8 shipped. They are very sticky and don't slide around. They are used to keep washing machines and other stuff from vibrating.
If they were a "audiophile" product, they would cost 10x's what I paid. No clue what fat dots cost, but I'm sure these are just as effective.
I very much like Sorbothane running shoe insoles. But for audio not so much. In fact, I'd say Sorbothane ranks right up there with lead as being a material foisted on unsuspecting naive audiophiles as supposedly good for sound.
Well, I ordered the Dots and will let you know my impressions at some point next week.
TVfreak, the problem with the dots (as well as Sorbothane, etc.) is their rather high resonant frequency (see the technical info on Townshend Audio's site, where graphs of the resonant frequencies of Sorbothane, spikes, and Townshend's Seismic Pods are shown). It is not down where it should be, in the low single digit frequencies, but rather high enough that it causes resonance in the audible frequencies, leading to the well-known bass bloat heard with rubbery isolators. Spikes don't isolate at all at very low frequencies, being very efficient couplers below a certain frequency. The theory of a spike being a mechanical diode (allowing vibrations from the speaker enclosure to travel down the spike, but not vibrations to travel up it) has been proven to be untrue.
If you want to try roller bearing isolation, you can make a set on the cheap (see Barry Diament Audio for details), or pick up a set of three from Ingress Audio Engineering for $75 plus shipping. If you do make your own, and want the lowest resonant frequency possible, make the surface the ball bearing rolls across flat, rather than bowl shaped. The surface the bearing sits on will need to be perfectly level to prevent the speaker from being able to roll off the bearing---you may want to add a ridge around the flat plate! That's fine in theory, but not a very good idea in practice. If the bowl has shallow enough "walls" (Barry suggests the bowl be formed to the profile of a 2" diameter sphere), it's resonant frequency will be in the very low single digit range, providing excellent horizontal/lateral isolation (but coupling in the vertical plane) for any loudspeaker, or even subwoofer. With a slight bowl-shape, the ball bearing the speaker enclosure sits on will still be able to move horizontally/laterally (contrary to what you may have read in a previous mistaken posting), it will just have to "work" at climbing the incline of the bowl's wall, which it is obviously free to do. That merely raises the resonant frequency of the roller bearing slightly, which will none-the-less still be very low, much lower than the dots. A set of three DIY roller bearings good enough to test their theory for yourself will cost you only five bucks or so.
"The theory of a spike being a mechanical diode (allowing vibrations from the speaker enclosure to travel down the spike, but not vibrations to travel up it) has been proven to be untrue."
Really? Since when? This is huge, Jerry, huge! ;-)
It's a shame these forums have sunk to a level where a member can't share their experience and opinion without being attacked and ridiculed. But then again, its become a PC world for the narrow minded.
Geoff attack away, but I won't respond back to your boorish behavior.
Nothing personal, just expressing my opinion. Which actually supports the idea that spikes and cones are acting like diodes.
Herbies Fat Dots are a composite, much different than plain Sorbothane.
I use 8 under my Totem Model 1 Signatures on lead/sand loaded Target stands and they are a significant difference .
Max Townshend has a 25 minute video on You Tube discussing the topic of vibration and it's effect on hi-fi (he has done a lot of research on the subject, and is considered an authority in the field). In it he covers spikes, and states as fact that they are just as efficient at transmitting vibration up them as down. The video is definitely worth 25 minutes of your life.
Max makes a great isolation product, the Seismic Pod. Unfortunately, it costs about $200 for one, and you need a minimum of three for any item placed on them. A set of six (three per speaker) will cost you almost as much as the LS-50's, eight more than the speakers!
Spikes are not mechanical diodes unless they are conical in shape. Cones are mechanical diodes as are spikes that look like cones. That's why when you flip the cones upside down - with points up - the system sounds worse. Hel-loo!
I used to like Herbie's footers as they worked wonderfully under my components in the past. It was when I got my Marantz Reference gear that it all sounded better without them. With my first and present pair of monitors I tried the ones recommended for speakers and to be honest about it, my monitors sounded better without them, sitting directly on their maple stands. There is more focus, detail, tautness and extension without them.
I'm presently awaiting delivery of some 22 gauge stainless steel sheets to insert between the monitors and the stands that have the same dimensions as the bottom of the speaker to see if this can be a poor man's Symposium Shelf.
After reading Bdp24's post on the Ingress Audio roller blocks, I just may try them if the stainless steel sheets don't further the improvements that placing the speakers on a harder surface does.
And I thought I was done with all of this. :-)
All the best,
Nonoise, the Ingress Audio Rollerblocks come in sets of three, each having a top and bottom cup. The provided 3/8" ball bearing is placed in the bottom cup, the top cup is placed on the ball, and the component on top of that, just as Symposium Acoustics RollerBlock Jr's. Using both cups makes for a slightly higher resonant frequency and more damping that using just the bottom cup (as with the Symposium original model). Barry recommends using only the bottom cup, with a hard smooth surfaced object (a stainless steel disc, for instance) on the bottom of the component, for the ball bearing to roll against. You are free to try them both ways, of course.
Ingress also offers a newer model Rollerblock, made from harder 7075 aluminum, and with a larger, shallower bowl, the bowl being machined as part of a 2" diameter sphere. The less steep walls of the bowl provides a lower resonant frequency and less damping (the ball rolls for a longer period of time) than the original model, and this model is sold in sets of three, intended to be used on the bottom only. The ball bearings are the same 3/8" diameter, and the set of three is $90 plus shipping. The aluminum of the bowl of the 7075 model is also more highly polished than that of 6061 aluminum original model, for less friction. The 7075 model provides more isolation than either of Symposium's models (as well as the Ingress 6061), a result of the bowl's dimensions.
Isolation in the vertical plane, if desired, needs to be dealt with separately. The cheap DIY method is an under-inflated inner tube on a piece of plywood, which works as well as any commercial product, including Townshend's original Seismic Sink, which was not cheap (and is no longer available new). You can even put a piece of ply across the front of the platform, to hide the inner tube, paint the whole thing black, and have the best isolation known to man, for only a few bucks.
Bdp24, Thanks for in depth info. The stainless steel sheets should arrive this weekend and I'll try that for starters. It's nice to know you can get them on the cheap on ebay. If the improvement is enough to get my aural juices flowing, I'll look into the Ingress Rollerblocks and most likely the highly polished 7075 aluminum ones (in for a penny, in for a pound).
It's just that there's only so far I'm willing to go with cabling and I feel there is more to accomplish with situating the speakers as I've had more than enough experience with my Tonian Labs TL-D1s: they were so sensitive to footers and bases, let alone cabling, that I came away knowing that until you properly situate the speakers, you'll never realize their potential and that you don't have to spend a small fortune on cabling.
All the best,
Probably the most important consideration in locating the speakers is to have them right at the front edge of your credenza, so that you don't get a reflection off it's top surface. The isolation devices will help the speakers "disappear", the speaker enclosures being less of a sound source.
Well, the dots arrived and in my view they really make a difference. I'm not good with the audiophile jargon, but the sound seems to be much cleaner and detailed, while the bass lost it boominess without losing impact. I don't know if they work as well in all situations but in my setup (with the speakers on a credenza-like piece) they are a real improvement.
Sounds like mission accomplished. 🖖
"Loss of boominess" is a sure sign that they're isolated from the table. Trust in Herbie.
And what is amazing is that I hadn't realized that the boominess was there in the first place. The bass sounded clean to me...
I ordered the Big Dots and am curious if they would be an improvement over the cheap isolation solution I devised. I have B&W Nautilus 804 speakers (towers). Each sits on one AA battery and two chrome balls.
The result is extremely satisfying from sound quality standpoint but it’s not safe - if I push the speaker even gently, one of the isolators would roll out of the bottom of the speaker. Temporarily took care of the issue by placing thin books here and there under and around the speakers. But temporary nonetheless.
Can’t wait to receive the Big Dots and do some AB comparison. Big Dots would be MUCH more stable than a battery/two chrome balls so I hope the former wins.