If you want rich/full/3D sound buy 12" bicycle innertube and partially inflate so tube compresses greatly but clears CDP feet when used under CDP. CDP should sway gently when touched. You can put sandbag on top of CDp to dampen chasis vibration. Heavy mass sand platform under CDP is for use with cones to drain vibration from CDP into sand box like "big rock". Unless you have very warm/bland sounding system cones are not for you.
Tx for the reply. I also tried BDR cones (#3) and had the same experience. Will try and locate a tube this weekend for trial. Like your suggestions - cheap tweaks first!!!
Any dept store that has small childrens bicycles will have 12" tubes for $6, you can also get hand air pump for $5, might as well get several tubes to experiment with.....sound effect is similar to vibrapods only better.
Megasam: you do anything to disguise the tubes or just let 'em sit there like techno-industrial artifacts? i'm not putting you down here; i really am interested in this. BTW, my cd transport weighs roughly 47 lbs. is that too heavy for the tubes?
Try innertube under and sand on top. Cheap solutions can work. Damping pads inside the top cover might help. Dont let anyone make you think you have to spend big bucks unless you want to.
CornFB because tube is 12" diameter under most CDP you will not see it. Because you control amount of inflation with hand pump any weight CDP can be accomadated. Put just enough air in tube so CDP feet are just cleared, tube will be very squished. When you touch CDP it should sway easily.
Cornfed: You can just make a rectangle (like a picture frame) out of wood trim (or whatever) and place the tube inside so that it does not touch the sides. The top of the rectangle should also clear the bottom of the player. This is pretty much what the manufactured gizmos are like. I use a wheelbarrow tube, which is even smaller, on my two box mini sytem in the spare room. I recently tried it on my CAL player in the other system and preferred the vibrapod/platform sandwich instead. However, the tube sounds better (than the Pods) on the cheap system. I guess that you just have to try it and see if you like it. The tube muddled the mid bass and midrange on the CAL but had the opposite effect on the little system. The little system is thin walled and resonates (even after I damped it) and the CAL is built like a brick.
If the bicycle inner tubes are not working, try using one of those inflatable hemorrhoid cushions that can be bought at almost any pharmacy including Target, Walmart, CVS, etc. They are a lot wider than inner tubes and made to hold a lot of weight, i.e. your ass. I put water in mine because water is more dampaning than air. Works for me.
Your statement that the music became more focused and detailed but forward/harsh/etc. sounds like your getting closer to the sound of real music which has a lot of energy. You may be on the right track and just need to fine tune what you are doing. When you say you put sand bags under your player do you mean that the bottom of your player was resting on the top of the bags and the bags resting on the shelf of your rack? If so, try putting the sand bags on the shelf of your rack then cone (Black Diamond cones works well) your component to the rack of your shelf and then damp the top of your component with your sand bags to the type of voicing you prefer. I have found that #9 lead shot is more effective for damping shelves and compnents then sand, but is also more expensive. Good luck!
I tried the innertube today, and had very good results! Instead of sandbags i had 3 heavy books stacked on the top of my cdp.
Well I tried the 12" innertube and the results were much more pleasing to my ears!!! The definition increased but not at the expense of increased harshness. Will now experiment with weight on top of the cdp (ensuring the tube has sufficient air to clear the cdp's feet) and hear if there are any differences. I still like the sound of nothing under the player - it seems warmer, more full and lush. Possibly you could call it "colored" as some say tubes "color" sound. I guess it comes down to what you have been listening to vs a new sound that takes some getting used to. All I know is that the sand or cones did not do it for me and the tube has offered the best return for dollar spent yet. Many tx Megasam for this very inexpensive tweak!
Am considering giving the inner tube tweak a try, but have a question. I have a transport and a tube DAC rather than an integrated CDP. Would you put inner tubes under both the transport and DAC? Mine are currently on BDR cones if that matters. Thanks!
Fpeel: I tried the tube on my Bel Canto (under a piece of MDF) and did not like the change in sound. I should be receiving a couple of sets of the least expensive Mapleshade cones later this week and will give them a try under the DAC. The Bel Canto is very light (like a feather) and I think that this is why it did not work very well, though I did not try weighting it down as I had run out of clearance in my cabinet. If you get a tube just try it on everthing. Like I said before it was the best tweak for my little mini system and really made a substantial improvement in the sound quality. I gues that it just depends on the gear and it's location. I wonder what the tube (under a platform) and cones on top would sound like as you would be isolating the platform, plus draining off the internal vibrations from the gear as well.
Spent an hour and $30 yesterday threading nuts onto 5/8" threaded rod to capture 4 mdf shelves between aluminum fender washers, no neoprene. BIG improvement in soundstage but my favorite female vocals became unlistenable: harsh, edgy, grainy, 1986 $99 cd playerish. Didn't have a bicycle tube handy so I grabbed the thin urethane mat off my workbench that holds small parts in place while I sand them, folded it double and put it under 1995 $200 cd player. Soundstage still excellent, speakers almost disappear and the electronic hash/grain is GONE. Gotta get me one a them tubes.
The mat sounds pretty good too. If you get a chance play them off and post the results.
Tube people to maximize benefits of inner tube under CDP, be sure and use torpedo level and make sure CDP is level when sitting on inner tube. If you put dampening weight on top, just shift it around by hand to get perfect level. For tube alone it may have to be located off center under CDP to get perfect level. For a small DAC unit I would go with vibrapods if you want to use sonething to make sound fuller/richer.
With so many positive reports I had to give the tube a try. Picked up a couple of 6"x4" wheel barrow tubes. Almost perfect size for my CAL Alpha and Delta. After one evening of trying various combinations:
The Alpha tube DAC sounds better on the BDR points than a tube. There was a very minor loss in resolution with it sitting on the tube. That there was little change is no surprise as that was the case with the BDRs. They improved the sound slightly, adding just a bit of resolution and slightly darker background. Also tried a tube/hardwood/BDR/Alpha sandwich. No discernable difference from the DAC on the points alone.
The Delta transport was another story. On the tube alone the sound was noticeably fuller and more musical, though a bit soft at the extremes. Putting it on a sandwich of tube/hardwood/BDR/Delta seems to give the best of all worlds. Want to load the chassis, but lacked space due to closeness of self above. Suspect this would further improve things as that was the case with the BDRs alone.
Will certainly want to listen to this longer, as well as let everything settle in as I had to disconnect and move a couple of components to make room for the tubes. Also want to try sand bagging the transport, too.
Price of this tweak was less than $25 including the hardwood board (actually a cutting board) and wheel barrow tube.
I posted elsewhere that the tube I tried did nothing at all but now I see from some other posts that it wasn't wide enough. Too much air, not enough squish? The urethane mat is still sounding good, you can get one anywhere that sells woodworking tools or possibly the non-skid mats that go under area rugs. Anybody in the fastener business know where i could get urethane washers to go between the mdf and the washers I'm using on the threaded rod equipment rack? Already tried Depot and Lowe's, nada.
Yet another follow up in this saga. Now have the Delta on the tube alone with a bag of lead shot on the top. It really needs the the chassis loaded because the case rings like a bell. The space constraints didn't allow this with the multi-layer set up described above. The shot bag has a side benefit in that it also allows for convenient leveling of the transport.
The extra cones are now under the preamp. While we were listening one day I slid the cones into position. Everything was left on during the precess and the change was immediately noticeable to both sets of ears in attendance. The annoying sibilance previously attributed to digital glare, room acoustics (slap echo) and other whine du jours was suddenly almost (but not quite) completely gone, replaced by a greater sense of AIR. Much better resolving and most lucious!
Let me add that by far this site has helped in my audio journey more than every other source of information combined. Thanks again to you all for all the myriad suggestions and brain storming.
I've replaced my wheel-barrow inner tube with a Neuance shelf. Bass is better controlled. Treble is perhaps more detailed and cleaner. I found that sticking a couple of sheets of self-stick asphalt (unpeel it from the trunk of your car!) on the CDP lid is easier, more stable on an air bladder, and takes much less space than mass-loading. Ernie
Rgd...just noticed that you have an Arcam. I demoed an ARCAM 9 last summer and although I was impressed with its tonality and resolution, I repeatedly felt it lacked PRAT compared to my old Rotel, (alone or with the 'Canto DAC1). As I've read some complaints about compromised timing with air bladders (see "shelf" threads) I wonder if the light-but-rigid energy vetting absorbers (like the Neuance) might clean up your sound WITHOUT further compromising its rythmic
abilities. Just a thought....
Compared with what has been suggested here (Subaruguru excepted) you will get a similar magnitude of improvement as moving from stock cords to kilobuck PCs if you buy a welded steel rack, spiked to the floor and spikes supporting a Neuance shelf, and no fancy footers or cones. There may be other shelves such as Torlyte that will also work, but I have tried the bladders, sand, cones etc, and while they all change the sound, none of them come close to removing the effects of vibration. Someone will accuse me of plugging Neuance too much soon and so I will keep quiet, but you guys don't know what you are missing.
Gawd, Kiwi, you are doing some heavy breathing re Neuance ;-) ... but of course with your exhaustive testing you are pretty persuasive. With my little mostly Linn system, I have decided that heavy brass cones are quite useful. But their price gets close to that of a Neuance shelf, and, since I've got an old-style Sound Organization rack that would work very well with Neuance, that's probably the next logical step. If I can replace two elements (a composite board shelf and brass cones) with one (a Neuance shelf), that would suit me very well. I'll put some brass cone comments on another thread.