It all depends on the player. If its something mass market, try putting a big book (textbook) on top and some cones underneath. It can make a big difference.
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For my Oppo BDP-83 SE which I felt vibrated too much when playing I took some extra sound damping material from a PC build put that and a 5 lb weight on top of the Oppo. I also put some computer hand rest wristpads on the feet of the Oppo. It stopped a lot of the vibrations but for sonic performance improvement I'm not really sure because I implemented a lot of tweaks at one time.
Why does it make a difference and what should be expected?"
If I knew that, I'd make my own like of super expensive products, and you guys would have yet one more mystery brand that everyone complains about.
My best guess is that the combo of cones and the book dampens the CD player from vibration. Keep in mind, though, I said mass market. It worked on a cheap Pioneer Elite universal player that weighed about 2 lbs. The same tweek has no effect on my Wadia. It already comes with cones from the factory and weighes a little over 50 lbs. Its one of those things that youy just have to try. Its not expensive and you may get lucky and get something out of it.
I've found at my modest listening levels my Lexicon RT 20(electrically well isolated and conditioned) does not vibrate from the bookshelf speakers I am using( and there is 16 feet from the speakers to my solid hi fi stand (wood); but, it does vibrate from its own turntable, more with some discs than others.I will try your suggestion tonight. PS. I once heard Wadia (581 I think)played through very nice horn loudspeakers in a very large (18'w x ~35' long by ~ 17 feet high) nicely treated (not overdamped) room. I was very impressed by the reproduction of classical music from the 60's ,on CDs, that I had previously only heard on vinyl. I was very engaged, satisfied and impressed with the musicality,detail and dimension of the sound. At about $6000 it was and still is out of my price range-so I envy you-well not exactly envy- but I'd probably trade you players in a flash!
+ 1 for how Zd542: mass and build quality matters
" ... My best guess is that the combo of cones and the book dampens the CD player from vibration. Keep in mind, though, I said mass market. It worked on a cheap Pioneer Elite universal player that weighed about 2 lbs. The same tweak has no effect on my Wadia. It already comes with cones from the factory and weighes a little over 50 lbs..."
My REGA ISIS Valve cdp is also around 45+ lbs., and these types of tweaks have no effect.
Similarly the Mapleshade 4" maple block platform and Heavyhat Triplepoionts brass cone footers were also bust with it. Again it works with my B system ARCAM kit.
Instead what did have a profound improvement effect was an introduction of a premium audio rack. In my case, a custom bespoke modded rack patterned after the NAIMFRAIM)
ZD. I put a heavy book on a marble tile (on a piece of heavy cloth to protect the player)(no cones) on my Lexicon RT-20 and have been "very" pleasantly surprised. I was using a very "average" CD-- Portrait of John Williams (MK37791)-- as my test.
There had been a very minor degree of harshness in the higher treble notes that I had attributed to being the sound of his guitar (I should have known better-John's ear would probably be as sensitive as that the most ardent audiophile). With the added mass the harshness was gone! The CD all the more enjoyable. Without question this was due to "damping of the vibration to the player caused by the rotating disc" as there is absolutely zero vibration transmitted from the speakers to the player.
The added musicality on strings, as well as orchestral, is very much appreciated. I have exceptional separate ac isolation/conditioning for my pre, amp and the RT-20 and I probably am in a better position to evaluate this effect than most as I'm also using reference Spectral & MIT products. There is no question of the result-so I guess this confirms why the serious attention paid to ridgidity and mass among the high end players. I of course will now look to further avenues for sound improvement as I am not able to buy an Esoteric, Wadia, Spectral or other top CD or combo player at this time.
Any suggestions on my next experiment?
Generally speaking then, the level should be placed directly on the spindle or another place on the transport compartment that is the same level as the spinning CD. Using the top of the CD player chassis or even the CD tray is unreliable. Unfortunately, unless the player is a top loader the cover of the player must be removed to gain access to the transport compartment. The reason level is critical is that a spinning CD will flutter more if not level, especially when out if round as many are.
What I meant was, in a sarcastic way of speaking, that most people would probably be inclined to say that level of the transport/disc is not critical since any unnecessary motion of the disc due to its non level condition during play or any other reason is accounted for by the servo mechanism that controls the laser when it gets off the nanoscale spiral data track. And, of course, Reed Solomon Error Correction Codes are supposedly going to correct any errors that occur anyway.
I used to use bricks (6 to be precise) on top of the CD player. It just looks ugly, though. As an alternative, I took the player apart and used a vibration-damping adhesive popular in the car-audio industry: Dynamat. You simply apply it anywhere in which it won't inhibit the natural function of the player--everywhere. It can be purchased at either Best-Buy or Futureshop, I do believe, and is a more aesthetically pleasing than bricks or other materials on the player. Also, if you can use footers with similar hardness between the bottom of the player and the stand surface, it should aid in draining other vibrations away from the player. The effectiveness of the latter will obviously depend on the materials and implementation involved.
Thanks Dave. Interesting but I think far from complete analysis. There are probably more technical articles worth reading-if one knew where to find them. I think I will open the player and observe/feel for points of vibration and possible improvements.
The value of having put the vibration absorbing/reducing mass on top of the cd player is very apparent on all music. I am very impressed and pleased. It has added significant enjoyment to my listening. Nice cost-free improvement for anyone. The clarity, depth, dynamics and transparency improvements are very satisfying.
PTSS ... many years ago I came to the realization that even with premium state of the art equipment .. you still had to pay the proper Homage to the Holy Trinity of .. Power Delivery .. Room Acoustics and Vibration control if you want your equipment to reach its fullest potential
Nothing can add more deliberating unwanted side effects and confusion than these three Deities impart on your equipment and each must be addressed in a separate manor individually
3 things that stick out in my mind are .. Math and Physics are what really effects our equipment .. even if we cant comprehend some of the principles
Heck we are still trying to get our heads around Dark Matter and Dark Energy that drives the Universe ... but they are there and formable forces to deal with
Next is ... the first step to problem solution is problem identification ... to many audiophiles try to put the cart in front of the horse and ask for the solution without completely understanding the inherent problems ... I am also a firm believer in that .. Problems that remain consistently unsolvable should be viewed as being the wrong questions being asked
The last is ... if you cant measure it you cant mange it
There is 3 things that are very common and basic to all three of these deliberating Deities ... They all have a source generating the deliberating interference ... they all need a conduit to transmit this interference down or through ... and they all need a Target to receive and be effected by the forces of evil being transmitted
If you can eliminate any one of these elements .. Source .. conduit or receiver ... you can reduce or eliminate the problem that is causing the interference ... but this is not as easy as its seems
Lets look at the Vibration issues and how to counter them .. vibration attack all our components from 3 different avenues and each requires a completely different approach to dissipate
According to basic Physics energy can neither be created or destroyed .. only altered in form .. E=MC squared ... + or 3db (;-
You can never completely eliminate vibrations and only hope to reduce their magnitude or shift then into a plane where they are inaudible
Lets look at the scope of the problems first identifying the offending perpetrators and what techniques are needed to exercise them
First we have vibrations caused by the normal operation of our equipment .. spinning drive motors in CD players and turn table .. Transformers operating under normal condition and all the chips in our components circuits clicking on and off can all add unwanted micro voltage back into the circuits that is eventually reproduced as NOISE as this unwanted micro voltage is added to the original signal and reproduced
In this situation your sources normal operation is causing the vibrating interference ... your equipment in this case is also the conduit that these vibrations travel along and your component is the recipient of these vibrations ... SOURCE CONDUIT and RECEIVER
Now that you have properly identified the Source of the issue you can correctly apply the proper solution ... (the first step to problem solution is problem identification)
To reduce or shift the vibrations caused by your equipment's normal operation out of the audible plane you must directly couple the offending component to a platform of higher mass, this way the offending vibrations have a path way to migrate through and to
Vibrations travel from the lower mass (of your component) to the higher mass (of your rack) through the direct coupling of your components footers
Switching the stock footers on your components for cones, wood blocks, or roller balls that will directly couple the component to the rack can change the rate of transfer from low mass to higher mass and the type and material of diode (footer) you use will also impart some of their own signatures due to their primary resonate frequencies ... dont concern yourself with the signature at this point .. only understand that you must create a pathway (lower mass to higher mass through direct coupling) to migrate deliberating vibrations created by your equipment's normal mode of operation
Another way vibrations attack our equipment is through floor born vibrations that will shake your equipment ... anything that shake the houses structure like HVAC and washing machine motors running also refrigerator can be a good contributor will add vibrations to the structure which will travel through the floor and into your rack and will travel up the rack to disturb your components ... children running around the house .. cars and trucks passing by your house and even the low frequency Geo Seismic shudder of Mother Earth can have an effect ... I live about 5 miles from Sikorsky Aircraft .. the helicopter builders and when one of those choppers flies near my house the whole place can shake noticeably
Again you have identified your sources of this type of vibrations .. the conduit being your floors and rack and the receiver of these vibes is your equipment
To eliminate or reduce the effects of this perpetrator you must decouple the rack (which can be a difficult task) from the floor ... the easiest way to do this is to find a platform that is heavier than the component ... place the lighter component directly coupled to the higher mass platform and then decouple the platform and component resting on it from the vibrating rack shelf
In this set up the directly coupled component to the higher mass platform will drain and dissipate the equipment generated vibrations into the higher mass platform and then you decouple that whole assembly from the rack buffering the component from the floor born vibrations traveling up the rack
The last pathway vibrations can find a way into our equipment and one you are enjoying success with is Air Born vibrations that are transmitted into the room by the speakers pressurizing of the room ... the room then take these pressurizing modes and increases them by what is referred to as room gain or boundary interference ... the speaker pressure is multiplied and transmitted through out the room eventually contacting our equipment and shaking it ... have you ever sat in a high powered home theater and have your pants leg shake when the sub went off ... the same thing is happen to all your equipment
They way to defend and defeat this as you have learned is to Mass load your component with extra weight to make the component appear to be heavier than it is because of the weight you added to it ... now the pressurizing forces have a harder more difficult time pushing your components around because they appear heavier than the original component on its own to these pressurizing forces .. the more weight you add the harder it is for the air born force to shake your component
lets see if this works My Cd player
Here you can see my 40 pound Denon with a 40 pound Bright Star Little Rock sitting on top of it to mass load against air born attackers sitting on double stacked Symposium Roller Blocks that directly couple the player to the 110 pound Vibraplan to drain the equipment generated vibes from the Denon to the Viberplan and of course the Viberplans air bladder footer completely decouple the player from the rack and the floor born vibrations that are traveling up it
Heres another more detailed article you may enjoy Bad Vibrations
Hopefully Ive provided you with some additional food for though and incite .. seek out the problem before applying a general solution ... look at the pathway from the offending source creating the offense to the conduit to the eventual receiver and be sure to apply the correct solution for the type of offending vibration at the proper location
Problems that remain consistently unsolvable should be viewed as being the wrong questions being asked
It should be pointed out that structureborne vibrations, the ones coming up from the floor, produced by Earth crust motion, traffic, etc., are quite debilitating on the sound and need to be dealt with in some fashion or another. The spring mounted laser assembly is not impervious to very low frequency structureborne vibration in the range 0 to 8 Hz.
dave, your understanding of the holy trinity (vibrations, AC & room) is impressive; if i had to boil down how to build a good sounding rig, you nailed it.
appreciate your thoughts on vibration control. FWIW, i got great results with AC by using the wall plates and dedicated vibration control of AC distribution boxes (critical!), and the addition of a technical ground as described on equitech's website took my resolution over the top. YMMV, but thought you'd appreciate these findings.
look at products by oyaide & furutech that are simply wall mounting plates for an AC outlet (which also must be upgraded to an audiophile-grade duplex on a dedicated line, to do it right). and, if you have a power conditioner / distribution box, you must address vibrations of it, likely before worrying about the preamp IME.