Simple TT isolation.....nice sounding result

I made another "improvement tweak" to my Rega P3-24/Exact 2 front end --- a simple "DIY" isolation platform. Following the suggestions of the "Vibrapod" website, I took a perfectly flat solid 3/4" thick MDF shelf (from an old Atlantis rack that I no longer use for my gear), and placed it on top of eight Model 1 Vibrapod isolators on a shelf of my current Sanus rack. The Rega table, with its original three rubber feet, now sits on this platform, and I'm very happy with the subtle improvement in how the music sounds. Audible ? Psychologic ? Both ? I'm not sure, but this type of stuff makes our hobby a lot of fun.
I don't think it's psychological, the better the isolation the "cleaner" the sound becomes. The more "hash" you remove the bigger the improvement to leading edge detail throughout the scale making the sound "richer" and more enjoyable!!! BTW thanks for the Holiday wishes!!
Try it with a bicycle tube below the shelf...
You are not imagining anything.

I had some freefall issues with my Raven AC3 and that sits on top of a Symposium Ultra. The Symposium Ultra does absolutely nothing in isolating a turntable.

I too have put about 10 or so Vibrapods under the Ultra platform and it has cleared my freefall issues, so clearly these little buggers isolate and work.
An absolute bargin.

The Sympsium Ultra - well it looks nice.

Thanks for the feedback, guys............As I sat and listened last night (Coltrane, Red Garland, Ella, Mulgrew Miller, Dire Straits, and old Grateful Dead) I realized how lovely the music sounded as it came through my cartridge, arm, table, amp, and speakers. I think I'm really hearing an improvement with my easy and affordable isolation platform. I hope you all have a great day, and, as always, HAPPY LISTENING !!
Hi Adam - nice to hear about your improvement. Which Sanus rack do you have, by the way?
Hi Aaron....Thanks for your comment. I have the Sanus AFA four shelf rack (Audio Advisor -- $149.99), and it seems to do the job quite nicely. Take care, amigo.
One wouldn't consider using a screwdriver to drive nails or, for that matter, using a hammer to turn a screw, but in a very large sense of it, that's exactly what's being suggested when we hear complaints about the Ultra Platform's inability to correct severe low frequency vibration problems.

Regardless of what any preconceptions might lend it, Symposium has never claimed that the Ultra should be used specifically as a low frequency isolation device. What exactly IS it, then?

The Ultra Platform is "officially" called an "Energy Absorption Platform." It is meant to be used as a damping platform to improve virtually all aspects of sound reproduction across the audible frequency range with components ranging from turntables and CD players to very large loudspeakers. It was never meant to be an isolation-only device for extremely low frequency (below about 20 Hz) vibration; in fact, the Ultra Platform was designed purposely to be a "mechanical DC conductor" at frequencies approaching zero Hertz for purposes of achieving efficient mechanical grounding at DC, and therefore, using an Ultra by itself to eliminate extremely low (below 20 Hz) feedback issues will result in virtually no perceived difference - just as was described. However, if you want to get the best sound quality possible from your analog playback system, the Ultra WILL make a difference - a big one - when deployed as per recommendations.

If one has serious low frequency shock or vibration problems, these must be addressed first before the Ultra's benefits can be appreciated. Using an Ultra Platform to correct the extreme problems caused by, for instance, a sprung floor, is akin to putting superior tires on your car to address a problem with engine compression. The tires do one job; use something else for the other job. If someone has misled an end user to think that something else might be the case, let us apologize for such an inappropriate description by others. The Ultra is meant to be used as one aspect of an interrelated system of vibration control elements; by itself, it will not perform all aspects. While there are products which claim to be "all in one" devices, none do everything as well as can be realized by dividing up the whole system into specific jobs and applying the best technology to a specific function. This is why "all in one" stereo systems sold in department stores can't measure up to the typical "high end" system, with its separate source, preamplifier, amplifier, and speakers.

Symposium makes different components which work best applied to different problems; sometimes they can be used together to solve a set of problems. If one is looking for a comprehensive solution to the problems of low frequency vibration isolation, damping, mechanical grounding and RFI/EMI isolation, we would recommend they consider the Isis Rack, which addresses all of these problems in one system.

While some people have corrected feedback problems with an Ultra (it works very well as an isolation device throughout 9 of the 10 octaves of audible sound), we have specifically stated time and again that it was never intended to correct footfall problems. When set up properly, with efficient mechanical coupling between the Ultra's top layer and the component chassis, the Ultra Platform can and does provide a significant upgrade in musicality with analog turntables. Aspects most often reported by users include a quieter background, improved bass dynamics and resolution, more midrange bloom, eliminated or reduced high frequency harshness and a marked improvement in microdynamics. In the instructions, we recommend its use in conjunction with low frequency isolation devices ranging from extremely compliant feet to active isolation tables when placed UNDER (whether "down under" or not) the Ultra. The first review of the Ultra Platform by Michael Fremer, in the May 1997 Stereophile, gave rousing testimony to the Ultra's effectiveness with analog turntables when used IN CONJUNCTION WITH such a low frequency isolation device - in this case, a Vibraplane. I urge anyone who isn't familiar with this to reread the review, if not in its entirety, than at least the relevant passages on our website (

Effective vibration control is not merely isolation; it is the intelligent combination of interrelated disciplines. Extremely low frequency isolation is merely one aspect of a more complicated problem, and to focus down only on one small region - that below 20 Hz - as being the only aspect of vibration control which determines a product's usefulness or value is - well, shortsighted, at best.

Thanks for the opportunity to clarity a few points.

Peter Bizlewicz
Hi Peter

I am not going to debate whether the Symposium isolates low frequency footfall, clearly as I have found and you have confirmed, it does not.

That is a pity as most of the reviews and even your web site is not clear on that premise and give the impression of TOTAL isolation.

Don't worry, Symposium is not unique on that respect. At least some manufacturers now provide specs of the frequencies their products provide isolation to. Perhaps you could do that to stop any confusion and frustration amongst customers like myself.

Anyway, outside of buying an expensive Vibraplane or having your turntable sitting on top of 5 feet of different isolation devices so you need a step ladder to reach it.
Is there any recommended low frequency isolation device that works well with the Ultra platform and will fixx all the low frequency footfall issues?

Your response is appreciated, since we value feedback as an essential tool to improve both our products and our relationship with customers. We apologize for any confusion and frustration that you may have suffered due to inadequate explanation of the Ultra Platform's design function, and have made this aspect of the Ultra Platform clearer on our website. At the risk of sounding glib, the best solution to a severe footfall problem (usually caused by a "sprung" floor) is to avoid it - that is, get the system support off the floor, and use a wall-mount bracket; this completely avoids the source of the problem and thus eliminates all such problems without introducing any additional blurring or resonances. However, if this solution is not possible, many users have found Rollerblock Jr. effective under the Ultra Platform as long as the footfall vibration is not overly severe. The wider the placement of the Rollerblocks, the more effective they will be in addressing these problems and dealing with vertical waves. For more low frequency isolation, it's possible to "compound isolate" a system by using two Rollerblock sets, one between the turntable and the Ultra, and another between the Ultra and its support (the Isis Rack uses a similar, patented design to deal - very effectively - with footfall problems with analog turntables). Our aim is to develop products which solve problems with minimal sonic signature, and to that end, we are currently working on an affordable solution for this common problem which will NOT resort to the usual rubber/ sorbothane / polymer answer, since we have observed that this material, while inexpensive and simple to implement, too often creates new problems as it solves old ones. However, there is, for the present, the reality of the lesser of two evils, since there's no music if you can't play the system, and we recognize that putting out the fire must be done before getting rid of the smoke!
Hey Guys.....My intent with this thread was certainly NOT to incite such a vigorous discussion as the one taking place between Symposium and Downunder. I simply wanted to share my enthusiasm about how a relatively inexpensive tweak to my analog front end has quite noticeably elevated my enjoyment of listening to LP's. I just think that it's very cool that, in our hobby filled all kinds of super-expensive accessories, a simple $50 investment can reap such a happy result.

I certainly hope that Symposium and Downunder can "kiss and make up," and that we can all continue to enjoy the music. We share a wondeful hobby, where great thrills can be had by spending anywhere from a few dollars to many thousands. Let's all share our excitement politely, with grace and dignity. HAPPY LISTENING !!
I wouldn't characterize the Downunder and Symposium exchange as even close to needing to "kiss and makeup".Hey, it wasn't even that vigorous.Just a good ,detailed,polite exchange of ideas.
I know Pete(Symposium) very well -- and he can be vigorous--but always opened minded and a gentleman.I wouldn't want to see him wrongly characterized when all he was trying to do was keep others from filing away Downunders misconception of his product.Any parent would defend his child if he/she was truly being misunderstood and then picked on.I thought his touch was just right on this.