Sistrum or Neuance or...?


I'm considering some isolation for my transport and DAC. Which of the Sistrum or Neuance do you recommend? Or what else? I'm certainly open to suggestions. Thanks.
budrew
I to am very curious about this- there seems to be a large sistrum following, however not many have experimented with different racks. I am considering the mana/neuance combo or sistrum and I can not decide myself.
This is a big can of worms. I asked the same question a while ago, and the whole subject of stands/platforms is enshrouded in the greatest audiophile mystique (which says alot). Perhaps it is the 'inner circle' of audiophilia. Also, beware, since I think that there are a number of people that sell what they brag about.

Anyway, Sistrum might be good because of the money-back guarantee. I went with Mana, but admit that I cannot help you decide since I never compared. Come to think of it, Mana also has a money-back guarantee (not sure if for custom build). Mana will build custom racks to your specs (which is what I did), and Teresa at Flat Earth Audio was always very nice. Mana seems to have a religious-like following in some parts. Also, Mana has the upgradability factor as well (it's really quite complicated). Part of my decision to go with Mana was the option to upgrade in the future (potentially with Neuance), and that my system will not be changing for years to come. I have some pictures under 'System'.

Rob
The Mapleshade Samson is one to look at. Exceptional performance and much better looking than Internet pictures capture. Price is reasonable as well.
I have measured a 1.5 decibel increase in gain with the use of a Sistrum Sp1 platform and 3 Audiopoint apcd2 coupling discs under a Krell 280cd player. I new I could always hear a big increase in detail, staging and dynamics but never tried to put numbers to what I heard. I had a fellow co-worker dare me to measure what I professed to be hearing. My co-worker and I took our stores Audio Control Rta ran several test tones thru the Krell player at a preset pre-amp level and recorded this to the memory of the rta. We then placed the Sistrum Sp1 platform on 3 apcd coupling discs and then placed the same Krell player on the platform and repeated playing the same tones thru the cd player without any alteration to the pre-amp level. We recorded between 1 and 1.5 decibel gain in level when using the Sistrum Sp1 platform. The rack that all the equipment was on, was a Furniture Works 5 made of steel with wooden shelves resting on steel points on carpet over concrete. I have never attempted this test on any so-called isolation shelf or racking system.. Tom
I understand that what sounds best is the point, but after reading Ken Lyon's posts, and dealing with and reading the posts of those associated with Sistrum, I know what I choose to buy, given little other information. I am thinking that Budrew might benefit from getting an idea of the people behind the respective companies.

Neuance also has money back, btw. Maybe talk to each company and audition both devices. Post again if you get the goods. Good luck.
Tom: That was a very interesting post and test results. I do have some questions for you though. I am NOT doubting the results, just curious as to your thoughts on the subject.

1) If the Sistrum system of resonance control claims to drain both air-borne and chassis generated energy away from the component and sink it to ground, how could using such a device increase the amount of energy generated by the system itself? Wouldn't your test infer that energy was being ADDED to the system as a whole rather than being drawn away from the component on an individual basis?

2) When taking these measurements, was the boost / reduction a broad-band effect, concentrated over a narrow spectrum or quite random in nature?

Either way, i'm sure that your buddy was quite impressed one way or the other. The fact that you were able to measure ANY difference with a "doubting Thomas" seeing the results for themselves had to be an eye opening experience for them. Sean
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I have gone with a Neuance and Mana combination, but at the same time I'm using Audiopoints between the Mana stand and the Neuance platforms. A bit of a mixup since I love all three, but if you give the Neuance a try first you will probably not be disappointed. Best of luck, E
Sean this test/experiment was done over two years ago. From what I can remember most of the gain was in the 200 to 2500 hz range. We also did a pink noise test with the same methods and the Sistrum seemed to have a flatter in room response thru the mid bass on up into the midrange as stated. The graphs stored on the rta made for easy comparisons..The mic was set up at the best listening position for that particular system..Sean the Sistrum and Audiopoints are coupling devices and not isolation devices. I believe when placed under devices that Sistrum somehow helps in the alignment of electro-mechanical fields so they are less random and more focused. And because they are more properly aligned they are more efficient.. I believe this focus point is ground hence the coupling. Has anyone measured or tried to measure any gain in output or a change in response on devices that were cryo'd..Many brass players have stated that their saxophones and trumpets were easier to play and so much more lively after being cryo'd that they had to reduce their breathing levels by a third. Maybe Sistrum provides the same benefit..Tom
I second the Samson from Mapleshade. Very elegant and by far the most cost-effective of anything in the high end. It's really a design extension of Michael Green's racks (with infinite spacing adjustability), although on a more massive scale. The great thing is that you can custom order the heights and widths (for an upcharge). I feel completely satisfied with mine.
Thanks everyone. I'm not looking for a full rack solution right now since I already have a Salamander rack that my wife likes plus it keeps dogs and kids out of the system. Someday though.

Both Sistrum and Neuance offer single platforms, as well as other companies. Sounds like they are both well liked. I've dealt with Neuance before and was happy with the result but I wanted to hear about other options.

A Mana rack may work in my headphone system where I could use some isolation as well. However, looking at the Mana web site is confusing. it's hard to know how all those pieces fit together. Rtn1, your 3 tier Mana rack looks like it might work though.
Budrew, I have a twin 40 too. I spoke with Robert at Star Sound. He said that he will make audiopoints with custom threads to be used as the 6 footers. I am ordering these plus two platforms for my transport and dac. I think that regardless of what I end up using under of my components it makes sense to replace the standard feet. Robert was very helpful. His number is 877-668-4332.
I have never heard any shelf that compares with the Neuance. The only problem is the 65 pound weight limit. I second Metonymie on their use with the Manas-outstanding.
I have ordered a apir of Sistrum platforms for my speakers and a platform for my transport. Because of the height of the Sistrum platforms I can only fit one into my rack. I'll try it out and see what happens. I can fit 2 Neuance platforms into my rack which I may try later if there is no appreciable difference with the Sistrum.

Robert at Sistrum was very helpful and went into all kinds of detail beyond the basics that was way over my head.
How much weight can the Sistrums take? This is a problem with Neuance with for example my turntable.
250lbs. or more. Have used with Krell mono's, Bat multi-channel .Dunlavy SC4's and SC 5's, Thiel CS6. Weight does not seem to be an issue..Tom
Budrew, take a look at the Machina Dynamica Promethean Base. They offer astounding performance. I have 3 and like them a lot. Please note, they are 8" high and therefore problematic in most racks.
TBG: The Sistrum SP-1 and SP-004 platforms will support in excess of 2000 pounds. The Sistrum SP-101 will support 300 pounds.

Sorry I was away for a couple of weeks, so I couldn't answer timely.
I have noticed that the Sistrum is just double points. It will not absorb any internal vibrations of the component which is the strength of the Neuance. A Neuance on top of a Sistrum might be outstanding.
TBG, to the contrary, the Sistrum platforms do transfer the vibrations from the component to the ground very efficiently. The points do not function as a "one way" device or "mechanical diode". This is a misconception.The vibrations move toward ground because that is what energy does. Not because there is any "mechanical diode" implied by the cone shape. In the Sistrum platforms, the entire platform is designed to work as a system. In this configuration, it was designed-in to have the upper points contacting the chassis of the component and the lower points contacting the floor. It is only on the Sistrum Platforms that the Audiopoints are arranged this way, because of the presence of the platform in-between them. This does not mean that they are less capable of transferring the vibration to ground, but in fact makes them more capable of doing that. I recognize that this seems different, but I assure you that it is engineered this way because it works better. It wasn't done like that for appearance or other purposes. These platforms are designed by top-flight engineers(with engineering degrees) for a single purpose of vibration transfer, from overall geometry right down to specially specified materials content and finish type. These aren't made by an interior decorator, although they have a nice appearance, fit and finish.
Twl: If the shape or size of the cone doesn't come into play with the quantity or direction of energy transfer, why did they choose what they did to work with?

What i'm getting at is that you can't have your cake and eat it too. The marketing that Sistrum has chosen for their products tends to point out the merit of using cone points but then uses them the opposite of what their claims state. They do this as they see fit to suit their marketing purposes. As such, consistency in ideology and products doesn't seem to be one of their strong points. Sean
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Sean, I think you are reading more into what I wrote than what I intended. I never said that the shape doesn't matter, I only said that it does not act as a mechanical diode.

To clarify, the resonant energy will seek a ground state, just like any other energy, and this is why the Audiopoints go under the component, and not on top of it. This is the route that the energy will take on its trip toward ground. So, that is why the movement of the energy seems to be one-way.

As far as the materials and geometry are concerned, they affect the ability of the Audiopoint to be more effective than a simple foot. The material and geometry are designed to reduce Coulomb's Friction(with regard to the resonance characteristics) in the Audiopoints, which allows the Audiopoint to rapidly transfer the resonant energy toward ground without damping. Damping could deaden the live dynamics of the music. When using a simple set of Audiopoints, the point is downward because there is a maximum contact of the top of the audiopoint to the component, and a focal point for energy transfer under the point. When using a Sistrum Platform, there are 2 points being used in opposing vertical configuration with a platform sandwiched in-between. The upper points in the upside down cofiguration serve to maximize the contact to the platform, while the lower points serve to drain the resonant energy. When the platform is not used, then this orientation is not necessary. It has been determined that this orientation of the Audiopoints with the platforms provides the best combination, when used together. Since we have pioneered this concept, designed, tested, and used these products in the field, and we are in the best position to determine what works most effectively with these items.

We recognize that this is a different approach than what has been used in the past, which has pretty much been a variety of deadening concepts in the hope of absorbing all ambient energy in the listening room. However, since the introduction of the Audiopoint in 1989, it has been shown that there is a different(and we say MORE EFFECTIVE) way of dealing with resonances, which is reflected by the more than 300,000 Audiopoints sold into the market during the last 15 years. Audiopoints have become one of the most popular form of resonance treatment with consumers because they work. And they work because they are engineered using the concepts that I described above, as well as some other technical concepts. The designs are engineered using accepted laws of physics, and not snake oil.

Our concept, and the central concept of all our products is improving the capability of audio systems to operate at higher levels of performance, using the science of Resonant Energy Transfer, by reducing the Coulomb's Friction in the resonant energy path between the components and the ground. This allows the resonances to move most efficiently and rapidly out of the components and into the ground state. Our materials and geometries are all engineered around this basis, and that is what defines these materials and geometries. While we have pioneered this science, there are still new breakthroughs to be found, and improvements to be made in the future.

We don't expect anyone to simply accept our explanations or ideas. We simply ask that people try them out for themselves. We have a 30-day money back guarantee of 100% total satisfaction on every product we manufacture. We put our money where our mouth is. If our products don't do exactly as we say they do IN YOUR SYSTEM, then we will give you a FULL REFUND OF YOUR MONEY. We have a very low rate of return on this guarantee, although we admit that there are rare occasions that we do get a product returned. We take it back cheerfully, and refund money promptly. For the vast majority that keep our products, we have a LIFETIME WARRANTEE on all of it. And we are a company with over 15 years in the industry, so we have stability and a track record of not being "fly by night".

Truthfully, this is all any company can do. We provide a well engineered, useful product at affordable prices, with a money-back trial period, and lifetime warrantee. We feel that this is the best way to serve our large user base, and attract future purchasers.
This thread seems to have turned into doubt about the Sistrum product,
but let me tell you they work! I just received mine late yesterday --
speakers platforms and a platform for my transport -- and set them up
last night. I turned the music on and immediately noticed a clear
improvement in transparency, attack and decay, dynamics and dynamic
contrast, tighter bass, and crisper highs. The music appears out of
nothing and fades into nothing. I played a space music CD where the
music comes on very slowly and quietly and decays the same. Minute
details were more clear in this music and it just seemed to fade infinitely
to blackness. It was really enthralling. Keb Mo's slide guitar snapped
crisply, his voice sounding a bit more nasal like it does in life. The sound
was more live than before. The effect is greater than the sum of the
parts. This tweak is a great value.

To be fair, I also installed some homemade cable elevators made of
cardboard and this could have contributed to the improvement. (BTW,
the styrofoam that comes with the Sistrum platforms would probably
make a great cable elevator.)

It is tricky to get heavy speakers aligned on the speaker platforms, but I
was finally able to get it virtually perfect. My only concern is that when
the big earthquake comes to California it won't take long for them to
topple (but they would probably topple anyway).

I only wish I had room in my rack to put a Sistrum under my DAC. The
platform under my transport is about 4" high and the transport is
a top-loader so this package takes up a lot of space.

One thing this exercise solidified for me is that there are so many
inexpensive (relatively speaking) tweaks that can bring any system to
life. It's a package deal.
Twl said: I think you are reading more into what I wrote than what I intended. I never said that the shape doesn't matter, I only said that it does not act as a mechanical diode.

Sean: If such is the case, energy is transferred equally in both directions up or down a cone. Okay, we'll have to keep that in mind.

Twl: As far as the materials and geometry are concerned, they affect the ability of the Audiopoint to be more effective than a simple foot.

Sean: "More effective" in what way? If they transfer energy equally in both directions, what is taking place here other than some form of "coupling"?

Twl: The material and geometry are designed to reduce Coulomb's Friction(with regard to the resonance characteristics) in the Audiopoints, which allows the Audiopoint to rapidly transfer the resonant energy toward ground without damping. / When using a simple set of Audiopoints ( by themselves ), the point is downward because there is a maximum contact of the top of the audiopoint to the component, and a focal point for energy transfer under the point.

Sean: If the cone is not a mechanical diode, offers no damping and conducts energy equally in both directions in a linear fashion, how is it conducting energy to ground more efficiently than it is from ground to the component? In effect, there is nothing to stop the energy that has accumulated at what you refer to as "ground" from flowing back up into the component? If what you said above is true, mechanical energy would be travelling in both directions in a highly efficient manner.

Twl: When using a simple set of Audiopoints, the point is downward because there is a maximum contact of the top of the audiopoint to the component, and a focal point for energy transfer under the point.

Sean: In effect, you are saying that cones are "polarized" i.e. have specific sides and orientations. From this statment, we can also gather that the flow and conductivity of mechanical energy is manipulated as it traverses through the cone due to the specific shape that has been utilized. If this were not true, there would be no need for a specific orientation.

Since you stated that one side is designed to "collect the energy" due to increased surface area at the point of contact and that the other side is designed to act as a "focal point", that would lead one to believe that there is a difference in conductivity from one direction to the other and vice-versa. Hence, the cone IS acting as a "mechanical diode" based on your own description and suggestion that they need to be oriented in a specific manner. Either that or there is so much "double-speak" going on here that i'm completely confused.

Twl: When using a Sistrum Platform, there are 2 points being used in opposing vertical configuration with a platform sandwiched in-between. The upper points in the upside down cofiguration serve to maximize the contact to the platform, while the lower points serve to drain the resonant energy.

Sean: As we all know, a rack, shelf or "platform" is susceptable to both air-borne and floor-borne vibrations. This point is NOT debatable, at least if someone has one iota of common sense.

Following your description, you have the side of the cone with the most surface area coupled to the platform pointing up. Since the side of the cone that is contacting the support structure is the side that offers the most surface area, wouldn't the energy that is coupled to the larger surface area want to travel from the support structure back into the component? This would especially be true due to having the component resting directly on the point of the cone. If we look back into the text, this is where you stated energy naturally tends to "focus". One would tend to think that focusing the energy INTO the component would be the opposite of what was trying to be achieved after reading all of the Sistrum sales "hoopla".

If the above is NOT true, what "magical" properties have been instilled in the Sistrum platform to keep it from being sensitive to both air-borne and floor-borne vibrations and self oscillation once it is excited?

On the other hand, we have to keep in mind that we've been told that these cones aren't "mechanical diodes" and supposedly transfer energy linearly in both directions. As such, what purpose do these cones serve in this design other than cosmetic purposes?

Twl: Since we have pioneered this concept, designed, tested, and used these products in the field, and we are in the best position to determine what works most effectively with these items.

Sean: From what i can remember, i think that Steve McCormack aka "The Mod Squad" was the first to introduce "cones" to the audio industry. I could be wrong though. On top of that, this claim wreaks of pompousity. It is as if one is saying that nobody can improve upon or refine a design that someone else initially devised. I personally don't buy that as i make my living by proving that idea to be false i.e. improving / revamping what are already existing designs. I will admit that your later statements pertaining to "breakthroughs and improvements to be made in the future" somewhat softens the previous statements though.

I won't go into the rest of Tom's post. Most of it has to do with advertising hype / policy for the company that he represents and is employed by. I'm not interested in any of that, so i won't go there.

To keep things in context, i have NO problems with Tom personally and am not attacking / insulting him. I am simply "arguing a point" and trying to better understand a product that makes phenomenal claims. As i have shown, many of these claims are self-contradictory and / or speaking out of both sides of one mouth as the situation best suits their marketing goals. You can't make a specific claim for a product and then refute it within the same product and not have questions asked. This is not to say that the product doesn't work as claimed, only that if it does, the manufacturer and those selling / representing / using them are not even clear as to how or why it works as it does. From an educated consumer's point of view, this is not very encouraging. Sean
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I am watching...
I would like to see the data on the linearity of energy transfer in this device. The only way I'm aware of to attempt to selectively choose between the tendency of floorborne vibrational energy to flow into the rack vs. the tendency of component vibrational energy to flow out is to choose materials with selective resonant frequency response. As everyone knows, this produces the colorations commonly associated with cones.
Sean, in the case of the upside down Audiopoint on the Sistrum Platforms, it was decided by the engineers that this was the better orientation for performance. It has been explained to me that the better physical coupling of the upper Audiopoint to the platform was more critical to the performance of the product than having it the other way around.

If you would like to discuss this with the engineering staff, please call Brent Riehl at 1-402-464-4777. He is the inventer of the Audiopoint, graduated near the top of his engineering class a Lehigh University prior to embarking on his lengthy career in audio, and can satisfy any questions you may have regarding the engineering and performance of this product. He is the one that should be discussing this with you for the clearest result.
Flex: you are right on the money. Since one can't "channel" or "couple" ALL of the energy at every frequency universally equally, there will always be "residual energy" at various frequencies left behind. What does the Sistrum do with the "residue"?

This is not to mention that ANY hardened metal in itself is quite resonant and tends to ring once excited, contributing its' own "sonic signature" to the situation. While mass loading the metal by stacking components on top of it will alter the amplitude, center frequency and bandwidth of resonance for the rack / support structure itself, that resonance and mechanical energy is still there and has to be dealt with. This in itself contributes more "residue" to be dealt with.

Given that the component is rigidly coupled to the support structure along with all of the residual energy that it wasn't able to "channel" away to "ground", guess what gets to "absorb" or "deal with" that energy? If you guessed that it was your components, you would be right. In my book, this is where "selective damping" comes into play. If properly applied, coupling and isolation compliment each other, not work against each other. Neither solution ( coupling or isolation on their own ) is an absolute, so you have to combine the best features of each while minimizing their drawbacks if you want to achieve optimum or near optimum performance.

The Sistrum approach seems to forget about all of these factors while bad-mouthing any attempt that doesn't follow their line of "rigid coupling" double-speak. It is one thing to lack consistency in a point of view and not be able to fully explain why you have that specific point of view, but it is another to try to use your own inconsistencies and lack of understanding to your advantage as a weapon against your competitors. If some of you can't tell what is going on, that is just what is happening with this manufacturer.

Once again, please bare in mind that i'm NOT doing this in order to throw my "support" behind Neuance so much as i am trying to point out flaws / hypocrisy in the design and marketing approach taken by Sistrum. I have NO affiliation with Neuance, have never given Ken a penny of my money and never received any "complimentary" or "demo" products from him. To be completely up-front, i do own a Neaunce shelf, but it is still sitting in the same box that it arrived in when i purchased it used several months ago. Given that bit of info, i hope that you can see that this "debate" is more about ideologies and principles than it is actual recommendations or specific products. Sean
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Twl: Robert of Sistrum has posted in these forums before. He has never responded in a coherent manner to any of the same questions brought up here in those earlier threads / responses. Given that he should consider this a golden opportunity to advertise his products and "explain away the myths" supposedly being promoted here, i can't understand why he or someone else in a suitable position to do so hasn't already been all over this thread. Given that a public education on the subject could only bring in more business for them, the only things that Sistrum could be avoiding by doing so would be the truth and public scrutiny of their products, ideologies and marketing techniques.

On top of that, and as i've mentioned many times before, i would far rather discuss things publicly for all to learn and share from, as this accomplishes so much more than individual enlightenment. As such, i won't be calling anybody privately that can't say the same things publicly for mass edification. They can feed us all the excuses that they want, but there is a bottom line and many of us know what it is. That is, it is impossible to logically defend "double-speak". Sean
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Sean. Regarding "double-speak", my stating that the Audiopoints are not a mechanical diode does not preclude the items from having certain characteristics that may differ somewhat directionally, nor having characteristics that may behave differently when operating in conjunction with other devices(while being able to conduct in both directions). I feel that you have set up a "straw man" and then knocked it down, while claiming to have "defeated the argument". You placed words in my mouth to suit your own purposes.

I clearly stated that the Audiopoints operate as a rapid conduit for resonant energy, and never stated that they cannot conduct in both directions. I stated that the resonant energy would seek ground via the path of least resistance, as the 2nd law of thermodynamics states, and that is how the directionality of the movement would be defined.

Your concept that the vibrations are moving up the point is muddy, because the energy that affects the component on the Audiopoints is simply a side effect of the floor transferring its vibrations toward the greater mass or ground. Everything standing on the floor will be moved along with the floor's movement.

The problem with this idea that floorborne vibrations are more deleterious than airborne vibrations is that one should then sacrifice the ability to properly deal with airborne vibrations in order to try to tame floorborne vibrations with a rubbery storage device. In our experience, it is the airborne vibrations that are considerably more deleterious to performance, and that the proper handling of these airborne resonances is far more important than floorborne considerations. Now maybe you don't agree with this, but that doesn't make us wrong. I have often stated that it makes no sense to reduce the performance of components by blocking the airborne resonance evacuation path, in order to make up for a deficiency in the construction of the floor. If the floor has a structural problem, then fix the floor. Don't wreck the sound of your system trying to make up for a floor problem.

Again, maybe we disagree on this, but I feel you have tried to create a perception here that I am speaking in a contradictory manner, and I am not. I have stated my position, and the company's position on the basic workings of this product, and given the reasons. If you don't agree, fine.

And regarding other methods such as damping, how many rack company salesmen can recite the Zener Viscoelastic Model and explain how it relates to their O-rings or rubber feet, complete with amplitude and frequency ratings in every person's listening environment. Really, I think you are being pretty hard on us, given the fact that nobody else has to back up any of their statements on this subject. I'm trying very hard to give a good explanation of this, and I'm only the salesman.
Twl writes:
"In our experience, it is the airborne vibrations that are considerably more deleterious to performance, and that the proper handling of these airborne resonances is far more important than floorborne considerations."

Are you really saying then that Sistrum's product is intended only for audio systems that
a) are cited on slab flooring
b) become mostly useless if the equipment is in a closet (no airborne transmission)

I also infer then that your rack would offer no help for a turntable where the stylus tends to bounce around with footfalls? (One obvious example of the importance of floorborne vibration).

If floorborne vibration isn't important, then why in the world do you suppose that studios and listening room designers use specially reinforced flooring?

Twl, I suspect that there is more to your product's design than you are communicating here, and that it really would be good to have one of the designers answering questions. Salesmen have a difficult position, understandably.
Twl: Regarding "double-speak", my stating that the Audiopoints are not a mechanical diode does not preclude the items from having certain characteristics that may differ somewhat directionally, nor having characteristics that may behave differently when operating in conjunction with other devices(while being able to conduct in both directions). I feel that you have set up a "straw man" and then knocked it down, while claiming to have "defeated the argument". You placed words in my mouth to suit your own purposes.

Sean: Much of my response was directed to your rebuttals, but quite honestly, it probably looks like i was badgering you personally rather than "attacking" the information ( or lack of ) that Sistrum has provided on their website and in these forums on previous occassions.

Twl: I clearly stated that the Audiopoints operate as a rapid conduit for resonant energy, and never stated that they cannot conduct in both directions. I stated that the resonant energy would seek ground via the path of least resistance, as the 2nd law of thermodynamics states, and that is how the directionality of the movement would be defined.

Sean: You basically stated that the cones are NOT mechanical diodes and at the same time, alluded that they conduct mechanical energy in a more linear fashion better in one direction than another. To me, non-linear transfer of energy in one direction as compared to the other is "diodic" in nature. As such, comments of this nature seem to both cloud the issue and be of a "double-speak" nature.

As to the comments about energy seeking ground, let's look at this with some common sense. Anything that mechanical energy comes into contact with will end up dissipating some of that energy in one way, shape or form. As such, you can "couple" all that you want, but some of that energy will be lost through motion, heat, etc... and passed on to anything else connected to what is acting as the "coupling device". As such, anything that is capable of moving or disippating energy as heat WILL do so. How much energy makes it to "ground" will depend on how "lossy" the path that it takes to get there is. This means that a component that is easier to resonate will absorb and dissipate more of the energy than some other material that is higher in mass and less resonant.

Twl: Your concept that the vibrations are moving up the point is muddy, because the energy that affects the component on the Audiopoints is simply a side effect of the floor transferring its vibrations toward the greater mass or ground. Everything standing on the floor will be moved along with the floor's movement.

Sean: Poor analogy. You forgot about air-borne vibrations resonating the rack or platform. The floor would be harder to modulate / resonate due to having greater mass / being less resonant. On the other hand, the rack is nothing more than a resonating metal mass waiting to be excited. As such, the rack would act as a "net" to capture air-borne vibrations and pass on that excitation into the gear. Given that your previous description of how cones work, the upturned points would actually "focus" that energy into the component, regardless of how much was drained away using other methods within the support structure.

Twl: The problem with this idea that floorborne vibrations are more deleterious than airborne vibrations is that one should then sacrifice the ability to properly deal with airborne vibrations in order to try to tame floorborne vibrations with a rubbery storage device. In our experience, it is the airborne vibrations that are considerably more deleterious to performance, and that the proper handling of these airborne resonances is far more important than floorborne considerations.

Sean: Proper damping does not use "rubbery storage devices". Smart folks use high loss, low mass devices. These devices are quite efficient by nature due to high internal losses, but at the same time, they are too lightweight to store and release energy. As such, the "rebound" reaction that "rubbery" devices bring with them i.e. stored and released energy is avoided.

To take that a step further, any energy that is fed into the component via airborne vibrations that the "high loss, self damping device" can't dissipate would be passed onto the support structure / rack that it is coupled to. The support structure / rack should be a "coupling" design by nature, letting us take advantage of its' own "energy draining" design. This is why i said that "damping" and "coupling" are complimentary IF properly executed.

Reversing the flow of energy from the floor would mean that the energy would have to travel all the way up the rack, being dissipated along the way, and then have to go through the "low mass damping device" before making it into the component. In effect, a well designed damping device acts as a "buffer zone" regardless of where the energy tries to enter the system.

Twl: Now maybe you don't agree with this, but that doesn't make us wrong. I have often stated that it makes no sense to reduce the performance of components by blocking the airborne resonance evacuation path, in order to make up for a deficiency in the construction of the floor. If the floor has a structural problem, then fix the floor. Don't wreck the sound of your system trying to make up for a floor problem.

Sean: You won't get any argument from me here on this specific subject.

Twl: Again, maybe we disagree on this, but I feel you have tried to create a perception here that I am speaking in a contradictory manner, and I am not. I have stated my position, and the company's position on the basic workings of this product, and given the reasons. If you don't agree, fine.

Sean: As mentioned, i'm not attacking you. I'm trying to explain my point of view, which happens to conflict with yours. At the same time, i'm also providing rebuttal for those that are interested in comparing notes and ideas on what works best as a component supporting device and why it works as it does. Since we are coming from different vantage points, my job is to both clarify the flaws in the opposing team's platform AND provide credible information as to why my points of view are more valid. The fact that i have no vested interest in this field means that i have NOTHING personal to gain and everything to learn from reading / studying various points of view.

Twl: And regarding other methods such as damping, how many rack company salesmen can recite the Zener Viscoelastic Model and explain how it relates to their O-rings or rubber feet, complete with amplitude and frequency ratings in every person's listening environment. Really, I think you are being pretty hard on us, given the fact that nobody else has to back up any of their statements on this subject. I'm trying very hard to give a good explanation of this, and I'm only the salesman.

Sean: This thread and subject came about because someone posed a specific question. Like most of the other threads that i participate in, i'm simply sharing my point of view based on past experiences, education and the powers of deductive logic. The fact that we are on "opposite sides of the fence" on this one may seem like i'm "gung ho" to bring you and / or Sistrum down, but that is far from the truth. As many others will attest, i have shared MANY "negative" points of view concerning a wide variety of well respected products. If you doubt this, try taking a look in the archives concerning my comments pertaining to Analysis Plus, PS Audio, Bryston, Pass Labs, Philips, Michael Green Designs, etc... The fact that you are "feeling the heat" of my big mouth is probably something different than what you are used to. Like i said though, this isn't about me and you, it is about some specific products and ideologies that we don't agree on.

In effect, this is nothing more than a "debate" about specific products and ideologies. Debating to prove that you are "right" means disproving / discrediting the opposing point of view. I have simply responded to the information provided via this thread, other threads like it and resources on the web. I'm sorry if you feel that i've gone out of my way to "harrass" you and / or Sistrum, but i'm not doing anything any different that i haven't done many times before. Having said that, i wouldn't expect you to do anything differently than what you have normally done in the past if you disagreed with something that i had to say. If that means confronting me with flaws in products that i've recommended or incorrect statements that i've made, all the better. My goal is to learn and share, not to spread mis-information. Sean
>

Sean, it's your day off and look at what you've done! TWL, you should seriously consider my suggestion regarding those *mature* waitresses...

For whatever reason(s), Sistrum cannot sustain their methods and the more they defend them the more they mess things up. Just a simple observation.
To get back to the original question. I personally prefer the Neuance to the Sistrum. However, there is no perfect solution to vibration isolation/tuning, just as there is no perfect cable for all systems. For example, the Neuance could sound too laid back or have too light a touch in some systems. On the other hand the Sistrum may sound too forward in others. While I have been a big advocate of the Neuance, there are items that do not sound better on the Neuance. I have never particularly liked the Sistrum (maybe due to prejudice given their marketing BS about Coulomb this and that, and their unethical behaviour on this forum), but I could see its point when I tried it, and can understand how it could be the best there is for some systems. That's just the way audio is.
Hey if you haven't tried it in all these years of bickering about It, try going to your bank and taking out a signature loan. Or maybe your just afraid the results will give you nothing more to bicker about. Sistrum that is..Tom
Psychic - I understand those mature waitresses can do wonders for your resonance AND perform with little impedence on a faulty floor. :-)

Audiotweak - a "signature loan" to buy? Scared me right off! ;-)
Try placing a Sistrum Sp1 under your Sony Sacd player and it will make a greater difference than any of the hot rod electronic upgrades you will invest three times as much in..Tom
TAT, I'm not sure if you were speaking in my direction but, just in case you are confusing me with someone else, I do not have a Sony SACD player.
4, I am sorry. I thought in one of your reviews you stated you owned a Sony Sacd player..I myself have the new Krell Sacd player which I love..of course I have it performing atop Sistrum..Tom
I used to, but if you remember that you have a good memory or are adept at searchin' me posts! :-)

Not to challenge anyone's design. I figure Sistrum has researched what they think is best and some folks seem to like them.

But let me ask this. How would the dynamics change, if any, in the event something like the ceramic DH cones were used in place of the Audio points?
There are a lot of egos in this thread. Nothing like pumping up is there!
One thing I've learned is never comment on something unless you've
tried it. I'm assuming all the negative comments on this thread about
Sistrum are from those who have tried it and found it didn't make a
difference in their system. I remember a lot of engineers arguing in the
comfort of their gov't offices that a small piece of foam couldn't damage
the space shuttle. I don't know, did they try it?
Does one have to ingest manure to know that it tastes like ....? Then again, maybe it doesn't taste all that bad. Anyone up to eating a few heaping bowlfuls and reporting back with their findings? Ten bucks says i can guess the results without lifting a spoon. Sean
>

PS... This was NOT meant to allude to Sistrum's being comparable to manure. It was meant to prove a point i.e. that God gave us the ability to think rationally and the capacity to deduce things logically so that we WOULDN'T have to think twice about some things. Obviously, the Sistrum has a lot of time, effort and thought put into it. Anybody that says otherwise is foolish.
Like I said 2 weeks ago, "big can of worms".

Rob
Good-day to all,

My name is Robert from Star Sound Technologies, LLC.

Please accept this simple invitation for all Audiophiles, veterans and novice alike, to pick up the telephone and call me at 1-877-668-4332 (toll free) or my personal line is (740) 922-0459.

I will answer all of your questions.

No sales pitch will be presented as our gracious return policies dictate all of our products performance capabilities. I will provide you information that will increase your core of knowledge while opening up a few new thought processes as well.

Should I not be able to answer any question appropriately, I will immediately direct the question and/or client to a specific Star Sound engineer. They will provide you the correct information in order to help further your understanding of exactly what it is that we have discovered and how we are applying these newfound technologies to the recording sciences, sound reinforcement industry, musical instruments and of course the audio reproduction processes.

However, please realize in advance that we will not disclose any sensitive information with regards to our proprietary technologies.

Star Sound Technologies has always strived to provide our callers a greater understanding of resonance profiles and the control thereof. After fifteen years of research and product development, we along with some very qualified and dignified Industry reviewers have positioned The Science of Resonance Energy Transfer as a functional vehicle within the terminology associated with resonance control methodology.

Providing the public an education of our newfound technical breakthroughs has been one of the most difficult and expensive tasks we have ever embarked upon. The majority of our advertising budget is spent on verbally communicating with Audiophiles from around the world. Believe me when I state that we truly enjoy every personality, conversation and every penny we have invested to date on this format. We believe that public opinion and word of mouth still carries the majority of weight and holds the true secrets to success in the music business.

Should some of the members here remain committed to attempting to aggravate us by using simple terms like technical BS, or wish to call us out onto these forums to simply accuse, argue or ridicule – please, dial us in first?

The advantage of a phone call is always in your favor. I will not know who you are yet you know who I am. If I do not have enough time to discuss your agenda due to my additional responsibilities, we will set up an evening appointment.

I will spend as much time as required of me in order to advance your understanding of resonance profiles and how this Science of Resonance Energy Transfer establishes a more efficient state of operation.

We can also discuss the expected results from employing this process and the merits associated with the increased flow of information and how more information flow will increase your systems musical performance along with the more important bottom line; enhancing your enjoyment from listening.

We thank you in advance for your time and very much look forward to speaking with you.

As always – Good Listening!

Robert Maicks
Star Sound Technologies, LLC
Okay, but I think it would mean a lot more if you simply provided the information right here. Mass communications, you know.
He did it again! Talked a lot and said nothing...
I agree with Drubin. I took nothing away from the message of Lonelynote except more marketing, defensiveness, and resentment. And I really don't have anything against Sistrum at all.
My name is Joe Ciulla... I am the designer of EquaRack products. I am not writing to tout my own products or to contradict or agree with any of the posters on this thread. Instead, I wish only to make a recommendation that may benefit all interested parties.

It would appear virtually all of the Audiogon threads on the subject of vibration control are far less than informative and non-productive. They often spiral downward into an abyss of offensive/defensive dialogs, challenges, accusations, and arguments. At the same time, the subject of the thread is almost always forgotten as the “fog of war” envelopes the opposing armys. Who wins these battles? is it the last poster, or the person who quits first so he or she can go back to listening to music? One thing is for sure - readers and posters who genuinely want and need to get true facts go away dismayed and empty handed! Doe’s anyone profit or enjoy this?

I believe the solution lies largely in self-education.

Despite the fact that effective audio products are often based upon science and art, these designs rarely contradict established engineering and technological principals. In fact, the best designs usually rely on these principles as their underpinnings.

Doe’s the product in question embody such priciples? Do you understand the priciples? If not, would you like to understand them?

Like no other industry, high-end audio if absolutely rife with mis-information and hype. This plague flourishes largely because too many people rely entirely on manufacturers claims, subjective testimonials by those who own the gear in question, by those who don’t own it and haven’t heard it, and a swamp of anecdotal and hypothetical musings.

Instead of relying solely on others, why not do some independent reasearch on the web or in a library? One can read volumes of actual un-biased facts in textbooks and technical reports and “white-papers”. Using a search-engine like GOOGLE, one could enter appropriate key words such as, “Vibration Damping”, “Vibration Isolation”, “Viscoelastic”, “Internal Friction” , “Hysterisis”, “Loss Coefficient”, “Transmissibility”, “Coulomb Friction”, “Resonance”, “Frequency”, and many others.

In addition, a basic understanding of the nature of the materials used in audio equipment is of paramount importance. Read about metallurgy, plastics, composites, and rubber. Why are bells made of brass? Why is aluminum used as sole-plate material in quality cookware? Why do cars use shock absorbers instead of rubber bumpers? Why are musical instruments made of wood? You could answer all of these questions and apply the underlying principles to audio.

Armed with real knowlege, one could evaluate the audio gear in question with regards to the soundness of its engineering and technology. If the subject item “makes sense” based on one’s educated opinion, one can then consider the manufacturer’s claims, and the opinions of others in a new light!

Yours Truly,
Joe Ciulla
Equa Corp. / EquaRack
I think Lonelynote's response was perfectly appropriate. Often times manufacturers who participate in these forums end up either sticking their foot in their mouth by getting involved in petty arguments or they get harassed by people who seem to enjoy trying to outwit a product designer (presumably to confirm they are intellectually superior to everyone on earth). Lonelynote simply stuck his voice in to say let's talk. I thought his tone was upbeat and open instead of argumentive. I don't agree that this thread is the best way for a manufacturer to talk about their products. They have web sites for that and many will take the time to talk on the phone or email.

I think it can be more difficult to understand or accept the technology behind products like Sistrum instead of, for example, a simple amplifier circuit. This creates more doubters than usual because it seems pretty esoteric. But there appears to be a number of people on this forum that have tried Sistrum platforms in their systems and had outstanding results. There is one reviewer on Audio Asylum who claims installing Sistrum platforms in his system was his best audio discovery in 30 years of love for the hobby.
With respect to this thread, I would like simply like an answer to my question regarding the difference between something like ceramic cones (e.g. DH Cones) and brass points (i.e. Audio Points) visa vis a platform similar to the Sistrum. I thought part of the reason for forums such as these was that one could pose a question and receive responses without having to do all of the research which others have done. Such research may have been done by an audiophile with an abiding interest and knowledge of their hobby or by a designer/manufacturer (or should have been done by them if they sell this stuff). Obviously, it is up to everyone to weigh such responses with respect to their validity and/or worth.

I mean NOT to pick at Sistrum or anyone else with respect to this issue. There are clearly a lot of folks who have questions or seek edification regarding resonance control for their components. I, for one, think it is borderline insulting to be told something to the effect of "go look it up for yourself". I think all of us are aware of that possible avenue and most have at least a working knowledge of the issues and are interested in details or cause/effect experiences. Now, if all manufacturers choose to refuse giving answers to questions and will, instead, send to me a sample of their product without obligation, I can empirically decide for myself without knowing “how it works”. I don’t see that eventuality coming forth any time soon, though (I recognize Tom’s mention of Sistrum’s “money-back policy”).

OTOH, the more I research this subject myself, the more I come to the conclusion that some do not want to give a definitive answer to resonance solutions is because it would be subsequently revealed that one can achieve such without spending a ton-o-dough.
BTW, I know many parasites, bugs, and pigs for that fact, that love eating manure. Maybe they know something that we don't. You should taste it one day. It may just resonante with you.