thoghts about isolation.


Our discussion has to take place with mechanical isolating non-source components such as amplifiers and preamps.

My thought was wether we realy need to mechanically isolate non-source components or not. The impact from internal vibrations caused by the mainly power supply transformer will less-likely affect the operation of active elements fo the circuit such as tubes or transistors imo. The same thing comes onto mind about passive elements such as resistors and capacitors. What can affect the performance is the electrical isolation of power transformers especially in the power amplifier domain(that's why I prefere not using integrated amps). That's why it's very often beneficial to have an outboard power supply(not necessary battery) for the preamplification(phono, line or DAC)

I want to give some example where I've seen the PS300 power plant placed on the tip toes and I wonder why?

If we take source components, there are certainly good reasons for it such as mis-recepting the laser beam by CD transport or mis-tracking the record that can even be cause by the measurable amplitudes. In addition for the turntables the amplitude of a signal can somehow be matched and certainly cannot be neglected with amplitude of intermal vibrations caused by friction of a platter, motor that is transfered to the tonearm and cartridge as well.

IF YOU'RE LAZY TO READ THE WHOLE THING YOU CAN ANSWER JUST THIS GENERAL QUESTION:

Do all audio components need to be mechanically isolated?
Convert?fit=crop&h=128&policy=eyjlehbpcnkioje1mdg1nzy0njcsimnhbgwiolsicmvhzcisimnvbnzlcnqixx0%3d&rotate=exif&signature=b6186c25077c3a2f4a369d3d46c54e568e93392ecce93d110a7b298d86a05d65&w=128marakanetz
Rumor has it that the mechanical isolation of energy tranfer is really a two-way street.

I don't know much, but it is my understanding that mechanical isolation serves two purposes. In addition to preventing the transfer of energy of all outside vibrations from entering into the components, it can be just as important to retain the engergies generated inside the component by preventing their tranfer to the outside world.
with isolation, is it a good idea to weight down the components that are on points? ie: use shot to stabalize the component?
Why try to isolate anything, it cannot be done. You will waste your time, money, and only be frustrated with the results. Oh yeah, there will be a difference, but how often do we mistake differences for genuine improvements? Common to all systems is ground. There are products that collect spurious noise, those generated both internally as well as externally and speed their exit to ground. These devices have made a marked improvement in every system device I have tried them on. Rubber does not improve reality, it only detracts from its ultimate sensation. The transfer of energy must not be impeded but must be inhanced. Do you buy speakers because they are slow and sluggish? Have you replaced all of the high speed output devices in your mega-buck amp with 1960's technology? Increasing the sensitivity and efficiency of any device can be provided by a high speed transfer of resonance to ground. Remember the phrase "Get the lead out"? Well grandmom was right about that, it also slows energy transfer down.
The simple answer to your question is YES. Different components react differently, in my experience, but this is more to do with the quality and type of the construction of the component than with anything else. All seem to benefit from a supporting structure that is light, rigid and damped. Some people have preferred heavy and damped supports, but my experience is that this is usually a preference for the damping that is easily achieved with a heavy support, over the superior pacing (or PRAT) of a lighter support. Up until the day I tried a shelf that was truly light, rigid and damped, I had experienced difficulties with light supports because of peaky resonances. Now I know the ideal combo is achievable I stick with the light/rigid/damped approach.

In any case Marakanetz, I don't believe that one's enjoyment of this hobby is enhanced by trying to deduce what will be musically beneficial from one's understanding of general physics principals, and that you are best to retain a more open mind that there are influences and trade-offs that are not immediately obvious, and therefore mix your scientific musings with a healthy dose of "suck it and see".

I can attest, from experience, to the fact that good vibration isolation should be considered for all of your components, including power conditioners.
For good article on vibration isolation, see

http://www.stereophile.com/showarchives.cgi?52

Heavy reading, but will make you think. Article probably has some things you've never thought of & weren't really interested in. Article appeared in November, 1995 Stereophile & is by Shannon Dickson.

beavis
Again you cannot isolate vibration ,you can only change the amplitude and its frequency.The best way to dissipate it, is to speed its path to ground.You can bet this method is based on sound physics.
Theaudiotweak, I'm not as conversant about tweaks as I'd like to be. I'm also not sure what keywords to use to do a search on your suggestions. Could you give a few examples of the devices that take spurious noise in various audio devices (e.g., preamps) and move them to ground? Thanks.
http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?aamps&1019227623&2&3&4&
I'm laughing so hard at myself right now that I thought others could enjoy a good chuckle too. I've been so focused on researching isolated circuit power delivery that I interpreted Theaudiotweak's comments as transferring spurious energy to "electrical" ground. How in the heck did I miss technology like that? Now I get it ...
At the same time, I had always thought cones were isolation devices rather than energy transfer devices so, as usual, these conversations open up yet another world for me to explore. Thanks for the response Bob!! I'm still laughing.
Theaudiotweak, I am interested in thsi remark:
"There are products that collect spurious noise, those generated both internally as well as externally and speed their exit to ground."

Can you elaborate? I have hum/RFI issues.

KP
Audiotweak, if a platform dissipates energy, then would it not be inappropriate to regard it as providing some isolation?

If the only changes are amplitude and frequency, then if a platform reduces the amplitude of the energy, might it not be inappropriate to regard it as providing some isolation?

I have never seen the term isolation as an absolute term, but a relative one. Perhaps that is the issue?

Devices that change the frequency of a vibration tend to do so by having a very specific resonant frequency of their own. As such they tend to add more of a problem than they take away.
Killer...check this product out...

http://www.shakti-innovations.com/

Its refreshing to see companies post actual test lab results in this world of snake oil sales. I have not used any shakti products, but certainly intend on trying them soon. If any one else has used them, please let me know what you think.
Imagine just for a moment ladies and gentlemen,that your son or daughter or some other special loved one was playing at a cello recital. Imagine that your loved one ,who trained for so long, and who was so dedicated and was so gifted, was required to place and then play their cello on a leaded base,or a kids sandbox,or a inner-tube or place upon it a leaded piece of wood or how about a stone.Your loved one would probably be disappointed with the texture and dynamic character they had trained so long to convey, from their selves and then on to their audience.
I don't know a lot about the physics behind it, but Black diamond racing products are the only things I have used that really seem to work. I use them under my speakers and under my cd player and they really add a razor sharp sense of focus to the images on my sound stage. I think the point about the lead or sand base under the stage of live musicians is an interesting point. Except that with live music you don't need to focus the image because it's there in real life. On a stereo system you do what you can to create a representation of the real thing if only for a few fleeting moments. My rule on tweaks is this. If I'm not absolutely sure I hear a difference that I judge as an improvement I do not buy, unless the investment is so inexpensive that it doesn't bother me just to spend the money to do it. I would definitely advise you to listen for yourself and judge weighing cost versus benefits. A good example for me is power cables. To date I am not hearing huge improvements with the use of fancy power cables in my system. I decided though to invest in a good quality value cable (Sonic Horizon) because I think they make a small improvement and don't cost an arm and a leg.
I'm just not goinng to spend 500 or more for a power cable.
As regards the Shakti products for automotive use - the differences quoted (approx. 2-3 rwhp) fall well within the normal test variations expected of such equipment, hardly a ringing endorsement of the products. In addition, the 0-60 times that supposedly "improved" show a distance difference of 10 ft. (110 vs 120) which would, OBVIOUSLY, take more time to traverse. Smells like snake oil to me, droogies...
The devices I am using can be described as reactive devices that collect and then pass to ground, mechanical, electrical as well as airborne vibration. These designs are not isolation devices and are not designed to store energy in a box or a shelf or a bladder. These products are designed with the Coloumb Law of Friction in mind. Remember, all things are always in motion. This motion creates friction,which in the realm of audio creates noise, distortion, and a loss of efficiency. The proper chosen ratios of inertia, mass, frequency and correct materials dictates the the size and shapes of these devices. Because these devices have such a wide bandwidth they sound as if they work in a linear fashion across the full frequency spectrum. I have been using the Audiopoints for the last 8 years. They blew me away then and they still do. In the last 2 years I have been using the Sistrum stands and platforms which is a huge continuim of the whole Audiopoint workings. The difference is staggering and is broadband and in no way frequency selective. Once you have tried these products you won't go back to the clamp racks, the lead, the crystal, the solid steel,or the rubber. They have it all wrong in trying to kill vibration. It can't be done.
... and, of course, you have no commercial connections to the purveyors of these products...
No more than writing about valid upgrades to Dunlavy products in the speaker forum.Tom
I don't know what tweaks connection with the industry is one way or another, but I just picked up a pair of racks from star sound tech. based on these principles and have been A/Bing them with fixed shelving. There really is a difference in the depth of sound. I haven't finished since I am still breaking in equip and wire, but the idea makes sense. It is impossible to isolate anything since it comes in contact with the earth. The resolution would seem to be the use of physical laws to transfer mechanical impediments.
Audiotweak,

Why would the makers of the Systrum support recommend the use of a damping material for the vertical leg members if not to damp?
I'm in agreement in the logic of rapidly spreading excess resonant energies over a broad spectrum as well as the reality of ultimate failure when attempting to completely "isolate" from internal and externally sourced vibrations but am puzzled as to where the leg filling fits in the concepts.
Using the principles as I would understand them, would it not make more sense to use vertical members with varying wall thickness or solid members of varying material, shape or density to efficiently transfer those energies to the substrate?
From my vantagepoint, it appears that the upper component support spikes are collectors and filters of component generated and airbourne vibrations.
The horizontal framework appears to a broadband frequency modifier and energy transfer conduit with the vertical legs serving to sink,damp and dissipate these energies both from the component as well as to damp and block those vibrations sourced from the floor.
Please correct me if I am misunderstanding what's going on here.Thank you.

Best,
Ken Lyon
GreaterRanges/Neuance
sorry- my reply to Audiotweak should have been attached to the Symposium thread where I've reposted it.
nevermind.....
;0)

I'VE ALAWAYS WONDERED HOW MUCH OF AN IMPROVEMENT A SET OF AUDIO PIONTS MAKE. WELL I ADMIT AT FIRST I WAS VERY SKEPTICAL THAT I WOULD NOTICE ANY IMPROVEMENT AT ALL,SO I GOT ME A SET OF THREE TWO IN THE FRONT AND ONE ON THE REAR CENTER OF THE CD PLAYER. THE RESULT WAS NOTHING SHORT OF AMAZING. IT WAS LIKE I HAD A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT SYSTEM. FIRST, THE BASS WAS NO LONGER MUDDY IT WAS DEFINED AND TIGHT,SECOND THE SOUNDSTAGE WAS AWESOME WITH A HIGHLY FOCUSED CENTER IMAGE AND CLEARLY PLACED INSTRUMENTS. THIS IS THE BEST UPGRADE THAT I HAVE MADE. GIVE THEM A TRY YOU WILL BE GLAD YOU DID..