MNPCTech footers?


Any forum members have experience/opinions on the sound quality impact of turntable footers made by a Minnesota company called, "MNPCTech"? I saw a cursory (favorable) mention of them in an older Michael Fremer column. I'm asking because I ordered a set for my VPI HW-19 turntable (to replace the first-generation TipToes secured and further isolated with Blue Tac putty) and received them recently. They appear very well made but I haven't formed an opinion on their sonic impact as yet, mostly due to the fact that I replaced my speaker cables (Kimber) and speakers (Vandersteen 2C with Magnepan LRS) and the new equipment isn't yet broken-in. Thoughts and perspectives welcomed, please!
Keith
kacomess

With the HW-19, more important than the feet on the wooden base are whatever is being used to isolate the floating sub-chassis from that base. Common replacements for the stock spring suspension are Herbies Tall Firm Tenderfeet and SIMS Navcom Silencers (no longer in production). And people are just now starting to install the IsoAcoustics GAIA III as suspension footers, and loving the results. $199 for a set of 4 ($189 on Amazon). They even come with a set of 1/4-20 threaded studs, the same size as the stock springs! The GAIA is adjustable, providing a means of leveling the sub-chassis. 

A lot of people have installed the 1.5" wide Mod Squad Tiptoes in place of the stock rubber feet on the wooden base of the HW-19, a good idea. But the Tiptoes extend past the edges of the bottom of the base, looking like Hell aesthetically. And, Tiptoes are machined out of aluminum, a very soft metal. A better choice is the Dayton Audio DSS2 foot, which is the same 5/8" height as the stock rubber foot, machined out of brass (somewhat soft, but people seem to like the sound of it), and offered in chrome, black chrome, and semi-gloss black (which matches perfectly the piano black version of the VPI base). Installed on the HW-19, a set of Dayton Audio feet looks really sharp. The foot is also available in a 1-1/4" tall version, model no. DSS3. Parts Express sells the DSS2 for $8.95 for a set of 4, $11.90 for the set of DSS3.

bdp24:
Many sincere thanks for the extremely useful and informative posting! I really appreciate it!!
I used TipToes and - as you wrote - the aesthetics were atrocious. I was able to achieve perfect leveling with the combo of the TipToes and the Blue Tack putty. I’m one degree off (not important, I’ve been informed) with the MNPCTech feet installed. I wish I’d asked this question a couple of weeks ago, though!

Regarding the IsoAcoustics GAIA III suspension footers, how much technical expertise is required to install them and do you know if comprehensible, step-by-step instructions are available? Are those the same feet as the isolation feet for speakers (on Amazon)?

Thanks again!!
Keith

Keith, the GAIA III is not at all complicated externally (internally is a different story, but you needn’t concern yourself with that ;-). It is just a circular metal foot 1-1/2" tall by 1-3/4" in diameter, and will fit into the spring cavity in the HW-19 base. Each foot comes with three threaded studs, one of them being 1/4-20, the same as the T-nuts installed inside the base for the stock springs. You just remove the springs, and install the GAIA. Simple and easy!

The GAIA is normally used "right-side up" (the top of the foot has internal threads into which the stud screws), but there is no reason why it can’t be used upside-down, which it can be in the HW-19 base. One end of the stud screws into the T-nut in the base, the other into the GAIA foot. And the threading allows the foot to be adjusted in height, by which you can level the sub-chassis. Perfect! Art Dudley reviewed the GAIA III in last month’s Stereophile, if you want to read what he has to say about it’s performance as feet for his Garrard 301 table.

There is another superior footer you may want to consider, the one I chose to go with instead of the GAIA: The Townshend Audio Seismic Pod. It costs more than the GAIA III (but less than the GAIA I, about the same as the GAIA II), and is larger in size. I don’t know if it’s dimensions will allow it to be used inside the base of the HW-19, but it can used as feet for the base. I have a set under my VPI Aries I, and l love ’em! They’ve gotten great reviews in the UK hi-fi press, and by Robert Levi in Positive Feedback.

That was Michael's Nov 2018 Stereophile cover article on the new Technics SL1000R. He preferred Mnpctech's Sorbothane isolation feet over Technics factory feet.

Mnpctech is now making isolation platforms,  https://mnpctech.com/turntable-feet-replacement-isolation/vibration-isolation-base-platform-for-turntables.html
bdp24,
Thanks for the update. Pardon (again) my obtuseness but permit me 4 points of clarification:
1)  Do these GAIA III replace the MNPCTech feet as supports for the turntable chassis (i.e., do they screw into the holes in each of the 4 corners of the turntable base and serve as "feet" for the chassis to rest on)?

2)  Or, are the GAIA III inserted somewhere else in the turntable under-carraige?

3)  If they are replacing some sort of spring, do the MNPCTech feet continue to support the entire turntable chassis?
4) And finally, are the GAIA III items you're referring to the speaker feet listed for $199 on amazon.com or are they some other GAIA item I didn't see when I searched the site for GAIA III?
Thanks in advance,Keith

Keith, the GAIA are indeed listed on Amazon for $189, and B&M stores are selling them for $199. They were developed to be used as feet for loudspeakers, in place of the stock feet (if any) or spikes. But they are also appropriate for turntable, including your HW-19. The GAIA III can be used in place of the stock VPI rubber feet that came on the tables base, in place of the suspension springs inside the base of the table, or both.

You can read the review of the GAIA (and some other IsoAcoustics feet) in the June Stereophile by Art Dudley for any other clarification you need, or read about them on the IsoAcoustics website.

bdp24:
Many sincere thanks for that information! Maybe an optimal combination (especially since I've already purchased and installed the MNPCTech feet on the 4 corners of the turntable chassis) is to buy a set of the GAIA speaker feet and use them in place of the suspension springs inside the base. I'll look for Art Dudley's article and - if the instructions are absolutely idiot-proof (as applies to me!) - I'll give them a try!
Thanks again,Keith
bdp24:
Just a moment ago, I also found an entire thread on the VPI Forum on this topic. Here is a sample posting:
Re: IsoAcoustics Gaia III feet on my VPI HW19JR

by Glotz » Sat Jul 27, 2019 1:27 pm

Update-

IsoAcoustics is now making the 10-32 threaded inserts for the GAIA 3. Contacting IsoAcoustics directly is the only way to get quick, professional and comprehensive customer service. Sean at IsoAcoustics is very helpful, considerate and totally dedicated to helping customers!

Use the contact page, despite how retailers or others may direct customers to the distributor. (I have Sean's contact info if any are having issues.) They are currently making stock of the 10-32 locking threads for use with the HW-19 and will ship in the coming month or so.

The Herbie's Audio Lab suspension kit (XFirm, Regular height Tenderfeet with HE Booster Base- 38mm /1.5 inches total internal height as a replacement for VPI Isolators / sprung suspension ) should be here shortly.

All great information. Overlooked however are the Townshend Audio Seismic products, imo the best "reasonably" priced (less than the cost of the Herzan and Minus-K platforms) isolation devices. The line includes individual Pods, Platforms (which incorporate the Pod), Podiums (likewise), and Speaker Bars. Well known in the UK, not so much in the U.S. (Townshend Audio products are distributed in the U.S.A. by Dan Meinwald of EAR-U.S.A., which may explain why they remain largely unknown here ;-) .

By the way Keith, I am a participant in the VPI Forum thread you provided a link to.

Thats good news about IsoAcoustics
The Gaia III set have been doing duty under the base of my Nottingham Analogue Spacedeck for a couple months now after reading Fremers column and a post or two from bdp24.

For $199 I am impressed!

Very easy to level, I was tempted to just use 3 which would make levelling even easier but as I had all four , installed one under each corner of the base. This involved me drilling and tapping the base for quarter/ twenty but not too arduous a task.

Supremely easy to level and very effective at damping out any vibration total.

A little more air and definition was noticed, the stage did appear to open up some more too.

Fit and forget and unless I sell the TT will not be coming off anytime soon.
try three, you may hear difference