Interesting timing. I just got three sets of different springs to try under mine. Do you have them directly under the turntable, or under the wood shelf the table is on? Does it bobble around under torque when the motor starts up, or when changing records? How long does it take to settle down? Does it move freely in all directions, or is it mostly up and down?
My DIY Spring Thing worked so well under my Moabs I tried the same only with rubber bands under speaker cables. That worked so well I used the same rubber band suspension under power cords and interconnect. That worked so well the plan is to suspend everything in the whole darn system!
Whether rubber band or springs the thing seems to be to allow freedom of movement, ie not so weak a spring it compresses too much, but not so strong it doesn't move freely either. These with the ability to use different numbers of springs to adjust is pretty clever. Its probably slightly better to have one properly tuned spring but that is easier said than done! And this looks a lot better than a plain old spring.
These cost more than the ones I was buying on eBay but not much especially not factoring in how they look, the adjustability, the pads, etc. So what the heck you only live once I just ordered a set. Then I'll have several different ones to compare.
Just a simple MDF platform with a spring in each corner that I built to test the concept. A very crude version of a Townshend spring platform but it gets the job done. Will make another better looking one in a few weeks and then maybe post some new system pics. Its amazing how much improvement there is to be had from such simple inexpensive tweaks.
Our old mia pal Geoff Kait claims his springs provide isolation superior to that of the Townshend Seismic Pod. If you watch the video Max Townshend made (and posted on YouTube) in which he compares the Pod against the bare spring used within the Pod, you can judge the theory behind the Pod for yourself. The rubber sleeve within which the spring is placed, and the small hole in the top cap of the Pod which allows air to escape in a controlled manner, act to damp the resonant behavior of the spring.
Forgetting isolation from footfalls for the moment and concentrating on SQ and detail retrieval.
WHAT is going on?!
After a very short listen yesterday, I've given this an hour or so and played a few favs. Zappa, Watermelon and Green Rosetta. Cohen, LYM, CH and FBR. Fairport C. My Girl, Wooden Wand DS.
Goners know I am a big fan of suspended turntables. I will never own anything else. There are two big issues. First, the resonance frequency has to be below 3 Hz both vertical and horizontal. If you get to close to the tonearm’s resonance frequency fun things will happen. Next, a mass placed on top of a spring is unstable. Not only will it bounce vertically but it will wobble side to side and if the mass is large enough it will fall right over. This tends to be the case when you get the resonance frequency low where it should be. When you hang a mass from a spring the pull of gravity always returns the mass to vertical, a much more stable situation. So, the best way to do this is too hang a platform from three or four springs and place the turntable on the platform. Or, you could buy a MinusK platform or you could buy a SOTA, SME or Dohmann turntable. Isolation is critical for turntables and a properly sprung turntable is much quieter and impervious to almost anything. You should be able to hammer on or kick your equipment stand and not hear a thing. All of the above tables will do this and if you are clever you can get the same results. You can dampen the springs by inserting foam rubber into them.
I am new to decoupling and springs in the past two weeks and have been very pleased with the results compared to spikes on a concrete floor. I have noticed similar sonic improvements as those you have listed.
I considered the spring device you are using and opted for single springs under the corners of my amps and speakers. I will also be using them under my subs soon. For me, the single springs work great with the key being to determine the right combination of diameter for stability, total load capacity per spring, rate of compression for the desired stiffness, and finally the compressed height that is appropriate for the equipment or speaker being supported.
I had good luck finding what I needed from Century Spring Company, that has an interactive specification tool to help you find the appropriate springs. One other thing you can try if using single springs is to encase them in heat shrink overlapped at the top, which not only hides the springs but also provides a bit of protection against scratches for both the gear being supported and whatever you are supporting it on. If you believe air needs to escape from inside the spring, simply poke a hole in the heat shrink.
Thanks for the replies. I did some more critical listening. Some notes below.
I've always been a cones and rigidity man.
Me too! Everything on BDR. Everything! https://systems.audiogon.com/systems/8367
Even so I always was aware of the drawbacks, just never thought this could possibly be the solution. Did not help AT ALL that the least credible biggest joker in all of audio was pushing springs. Oh well. Under the bridge.
Put springs under the subs last night. Not all the subs just the 3 closest to the turntable. Replaced BDR Cones with springs. At first was like, well this is underwhelming. Bass was maybe a bit better, but also maybe a bit less. Probably because eliminating bass being transmitted through the floor leaves only bass in the air. So it feels different. Which makes sense. But then, wait a minute, what the.... midrange presence, top end extension, holy crap the springs under the subs just massively cleaned up everything else and the detail is so much more natural and amazing! Al Stewart isn't just singing he is RIGHT THERE in freaking person!
My cones and rigidity thinking had me convinced that my 750 lb rack of solid concrete, granite and sand was impervious to acoustic and even mechanical energy. Evidently not! Not even close! The subs are putting out the same acoustic energy. More. I turned em up!
The only logical explanation is mechanical vibrations from the subs had been transmitted through the floor to the rack and right through its 750lbs all the way to the turntable. Crazy!
Why this works has to be what Max Townshend says in his video. Look at a record, the light pattern tells you there's sub-micron scale squiggles. These unbelievably small details are where the sense of 3D placement and room size acoustics are. They're easily blurred over by even the slightest vibration. That's what I'm hearing. That's what noromance is hearing:
This is insane. Sound is getting better as they bed in OR as I acclimate to the new presentation. It's the delicacy thats amazing. Like going from an okay MM to a superb MC. It's also showing me that I was wrong about the limits of the Garrard/Decca as being a touch shy and rough and ready in the upper range. Nope. This is see-through detail. Best part is that the music isn't sharp and seering - it's warm and beautiful and very detailed.
Hello,I have been experimenting with springs for sometime and I have the Nobsound springs/disks as well. What is important here, in my opinion, is to get the correct set of springs that for a given load bring the resonant frequency of the platform with the load to below 5 hz. Without that you are likely not going to get much benefit although they might sound better than any tightly coupled solution.
Also you have to pay attention to asymmetrical load distribution of the component which would require different set of springs under the platform. I prefer putting the springs underneath the platform instead of directly coupling to the component because that allows you to design isolation in the horizontal/rotational directions on the platform like roller bearings.
The good news is that none of these challenges are insurmountable if you have time to experiment. In the end I agree with you all that isolating your audio/video components and addressing the seismic vibration challenge is the way to go...Thanks.
@noromance- A few tips on using the Nobsound springs. This unit is a clone of a much expensive item called Iso Black manufactured by a Swedish company Solid Tech. Here is the URL: https://www.solid-tech.net/isoblack/. They used to have a manual which documented the most effective layout of the springs when you are not using all 7 springs. You can download a copy of that manual from the Audio Advisor website who is one of the Solid Tech dealers in the US. Here is the link:
Follow these layouts for the maximum performance.
Also be careful about putting the black rubber mat on top/bottom of the aluminum discs. In my case they added too much damping effect to the sound. You might want to try the discs w/o the black mat first and use it only if there is any audible ringing.
Hope that helps.
Noromance, If it is bouncing less than three times a second you are fine. You can use the same springs all round but you have to locate the center of mass and place them equidistant from that point unfortunately a tricky thing to do. If you use springs of unequal rates and they do not bounce at the same speed you can create an unstable situation. Correct, in this type of situation it is difficult to hand Q the record. This is one resaon the SOTA tables are so nice. The hung suspension is inside the plinth so you can put a hand down on it. you can even rap the plinth with a hammer no problem. Designs like the SME you have to use the Q device.
If you think this sounds better you may want to consider a carefully engineered product like the MinusK stand or the SOTA turntable.
Many of us know for a fact it sounds better including Michael Fremer who puts his $100K turntable on a MinusK stand. he designer of that turntable now has a MinusK stand built into his turntables!
i dont own a turntable...
But i know first hand how vibrations can kill sound...
My speakers are on my desk and all my other gear parts...
My "sandwiches" of different materials were good (quartz/granite/ bamboo/ sorbothane/ cork) but not enough it seems, adding springs under the speakers(i keep the sandwiches under the spring tough, makes an audible clarity increased...
A turntable is so sensible, like a little seismograph, than imagining driving it without special precautions against vibrations is illusory and vouching for disaster S.Q.
+1 indranilsen - Solid-tech & Townshend were pioneers, and are now being copied, probably cheap Chinese knock offs.
Next level is AMG toppers, or similar technology TMD dampers for the cabinets, in conjunction with isolation for speakers.
My next big thing is quasi-zero stiffness on my stand mounts.
There's no real shortcut here, it's going to require engineering and more math study to get this correct, and look pretty.
My previous employer has used isolation under turntables for over 30 years, and still manufactures mass loaded shelves with springs.
Happy experimenting, I am enjoying the sounds too!
I bought those springs months ago. I put them under my TT and did not hear any significant difference. I did notice my TT became a little unstable and would skip if I accidentally bumped into my cabinet. Since I owned them at this point, I experimented and tried them on other equipment. My only noticeable difference was on my sub woofer, everything seemed a little clearer and the bass is tighter. That's where I left them.
Interesting discussion on damping and isolation.
I am going to buy some Nobusound springs to experiment with on some components
Currently my Garrard 301 plinth is on Nordost SortFut footers and sits on a Vibraplane. The combination of the SortFut draining mechanical vibration from the turntable into the massive Vibraplane combined with external vibration isolation from the Vibraplane, results in a great presentation.
The Vibraplane is on a heavy wooden rack which sits on engineered wood over concrete foundation
I'm not about to argue with whatever one wants to try putting under one's turntable, but I think there is a "logical" argument against putting springs or anything spongy (e.g., sorbothane) under speakers. The amplifier is putting energy into the speaker drivers. Ideally you want all that energy to be converted into the motion of the drivers, so as to capture the nuances of the music signal as much as that is possible. If the speaker cabinet is sitting on a surface that can move, then inevitably (as in Newton's Third Law of motion) some of the energy of the signal delivered from the amplifier is converted into motion of the cabinet, rather than into motion of the driver cone. That can't be a good thing.
I’m not about to argue with whatever one wants to try putting under one’s turntable, but I think there is a "logical" argument against putting springs or anything spongy (e.g., sorbothane) under speakers. The amplifier is putting energy into the speaker drivers. Ideally you want all that energy to be converted into the motion of the drivers, so as to capture the nuances of the music signal as much as that is possible. If the speaker cabinet is sitting on a surface that can move, then inevitably (as in Newton’s Third Law of motion) some of the energy of the signal delivered from the amplifier is converted into motion of the cabinet, rather than into motion of the driver cone. That can’t be a good thing.An argument that seems logical do not equal an experiment...
Have you ever try sorbothane in the right condition? No more than springs i think, no?
«I can state flatly that heavier than air flying machines are impossible.»
— Lord Kelvin, 1895 one of the greatest scientist of not only his time but of all time also ...
«It is apparent to me that the possibilities of the aeroplane, which two or three years ago were thought to hold the solution to the [flying machine] problem, have been exhausted, and that we must turn elsewhere.»
— Thomas Edison, November 1895
I will not add that i myself use springs under my speakers, and i will not confirm that this is a great increase in clarity... Nothing of the sort, because this is my opinion but after my own experiment indeed...
And someone will come with some concept only looking sound and will contradict reality....
I will keep silent and smile listening music....
«Opinions were for Plato entertaining illusions in a cave, is it not TV ?» -Groucho Marx
Right, lewm, and that was my objection as well. Problem is, the speaker is going to move and vibrate anyway. There's no stopping it. Its not just the drivers going back and forth either. The drivers create pressure changes inside and outside the cabinet, this gets the whole speaker cabinet vibrating like a balloon with air rapidly being pumped in and out of it.
All this vibration is going on no matter what we put the speakers on. Even if we take the kenjit approach and mount them in 80 feet of solid concrete all that does is change the frequency and amplitude of the vibrations. Nothing ever really gets rid of them. Can't be done.
But if the speakers, or anything else, is rigidly on the floor, well then those same vibrations transmit a lot more readily into the floor, and the floor gets excited and vibrates, and those vibrations go everywhere. Some of them come right back up into the speaker causing it to rock slightly. This produces the ringing you can see on the seismograph in the Townshend video. Some of it also goes through the floor, the rack, and all the way to the turntable.
I thought no way this happens with my 750 lbs rack of solid concrete, granite, sand bed, and BDR carbon fiber. But it does. Proved that by putting springs under subs and hearing the midrange clean up. Only way that can happen is what I just said.
So its like I've been saying all along, its about vibration control. We can control it one way with cones and mass and rigid solutions and that can certainly help sound a lot better. But we can also suspend things that vibrate in a way that lets each thing vibrate in its own particular way with less of it feeding into all the other things we have that are vibrating.
All this stuff is vibrating. Put your hand on a speaker cable while playing music some time. You will be shocked how much it vibrates. Especially if there's any bass. That's probably why the rubber band trick works so well. Its free. Try it and see.
Suggest reading Barry Diament research paper to start.
Seismic isolation is essential and often overlooked. Suggest Ingress cup and rollers/slate platform/vertical isolation such as metal spring or inner tube. Townshend products are good as well. Stay away from points and rubber of any kind. Any material change will alter the sound but not always in a good way.
That's exactly what we're talking about, putting them on springs.
The subject of your post, drivers going back and forth, that motion is included in all the other vibrations. If this goes off in a different but related direction maybe that's because its in the nature of vibration to not be confined to any one single motion. Nothing really ever just vibrates only back and forth. Its just not that simple.
Good noromance. Just don't sneeze:) Lewm is absolutely correct. For a driver to do its job correctly it has to be held rigidly in space. Any spurious vibration of the driver is distortion. The problem really does not become critical until you get down in the bass frequencies. There are several ways of dealing with this. First would be making the cabinet very heavy and stiff. Second would be spiking the cabinet to a very solid floor and third would be using counterforce design with the woofers. Best would be all three together. Putting springs or foam under loudspeakers is 180 degrees the wrong way to go. There is a huge difference in requirement for a device that is designed to pick up vibrations and a devise designed to produce them.
Miller, Stop trying to teach me physics. You can do whatever you like for whatever reason makes sense to you. I will persist in believing that putting speakers on springs or sorbothane pucks is NOT a good idea. "Vibrations" and their control is a subject for cabinet designers and the like. If you put the best cabinet in the world on springs, you will still magnify problems that are specifically due to the fact that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, in Newtonian mechanics. Moreso manifest in the bass region than in the treble, as Mijo says.
How do you explain my results with springs under speakers? with more clear bass and a better mid range and extension in the higher frequencies...
My system is already electrically and acoustically controlled and sensible...
It is not first a physics question, it is a simple experiment to do.... For the physics wait for a physicist who knows speakers design.... :)
Repeating a Newton equation like a mantra is not an experiment that take few minutes to do....
My ears tell me more about speakers on springs now, than any equation.... :)
Instead of arguing it seems more wise to try it.....Especially if more than one has vouched for it.....
But if you want to know if some physicist think that springs under speakers are a good idea, there is some equations here for you, i presume this physicist already know Newton equation.... :)
Vibration Isolation System For Near Field Speakers In Sound Recording Studio
Many others have also reported sonic improvements when decoupling speakers and the Townshend folks believe springs and air bladders are two of the better decoupling methods, although there are other methods such as using Herbie's products, roller bearings for decoupling in the horizontal plane, etc. I believe the physics are likely complicated based on the many variables involved with specific applications but regardless, quite a few who have tried decoupling believe they hear improvements including folks like Jim Smith, author of Get Better Sound
I'm guessing you're hearing more air around the instruments? Those likely are resonances we seek to eliminate.First thing I thought of. I know where you are coming from. But the sound quality is improved at low volume too. My rig is pretty solid and heavy in the right parts. Environment is concrete. Instruments are precisely focused and tiny details are more apparent without glare or blur. I think your guess may be incorrect. Thanks.