Under my tower speakers -- Isoacoustics Gaia, other options?

I have Ascend towers (45lbs each) on a concrete floor covered in thin wall to wall with an area rug on top of that. I am looking into different footers for my speakers and am curious what people with towers on concrete have tried and liked.

To my mind, something as expensive as Townshend platforms do not seem worth it, as they'd cost about a third of the price of the speakers themselves.

If you've tried Gaia III isolators or other kinds of feet for your speakers, especially on concrete floors, I'm curious to hear your observations. Thanks.


Lemonhaze and OP:

I recently saw an Illusory test posted here on 1-21-23 at 11:23 AM using an aluminum cone. Is anyone using aluminum cones for audio? That is not a metal we would ever use for musical designs. Aluminum cones are lightweight, sounds terrible, and the frequency range is nuts.

Next, I viewed a list of statements and found them fictional, posted on 1-21-23 at 4:59 PM. Since there are two sides to every story, here is some food for thought. I may offend some who believe they understand vibration management products but do they?

Spikes came about in the early days of wall to wall carpeting to prevent the cabinets from dancing around by anchoring it to the underlying wood. Beyond that, the audiophile world has been misled as to their purpose. Rigid coupling feet will operate and perform the same function as the bridge does in coupling the strings to the soundboard of any string instrument.

Misled is a dangerous word, especially for someone who has worked in this field for over thirty years. Listings of generic statements and believing one theorem is better than another does not work for me. Home team testing and results also register a big zero.

We manufacture acoustic bass, cello, and violin parts. Attaching a string to a soundboard requires tension and tuning of some nature. This statement does not provide an appropriate analogy for whatever point you are attempting to make. 

The balance of these briefs appears as one man’s theory.

Vibration is a two-way street    

Vibration is sound. In sound reproduction, vibrations are infinite. Believing vibration is a two-way street describes an old-school approach to thinking and limits growth in understanding.

Spikes cannot drain energy to a heavier mass     

Metals are resonance conductive. The basic laws of physics dictate that all energy seeks Earth’s ground. When a resonance conductor meets the planet, does the energy force move upward to mars? Many here would like to see the testing methodologies that went into backing out this statement.

Our Company Founding Fathers, all well-written and published engineers, grew this business. The technical model based on the fact that resonance is in constant motion and is attracted to metallic conductive pathways is proven science. Resonance is formed by vibrations and travels on all surfaces regardless of size. From transistors to wall surfaces in music, energy is in constant motion.

Drain energy chosen by an audio marketing company seems so slow in motion. High-speed resonance transfer is more the norm when musical instruments, vocals, and sound reproduction are evident. Everything musical involves high speed and a timeline.

A small contact point actually amplifies vibrations    

Is this amplification effect audible? It has never affected our products or listening quality. What was the tip of your testing model resting on or into what contraption? What material does the test cone consist of, and what did the geometric design look like? Can we see those results? 

The bottom line is if humans cannot hear it, what is your point?

Spikes cannot reduce internally generated cabinet vibrations     

The speaker designer uses and relies on vibrations to create the tone we listen for in our speakers of choice. Why would the designer choose spikes to reduce internal vibrations? Damping materials make more sense.

On the flip side: The Audio Points™ reduce the vibrational resonance generated by electricity. Temperature is the control factor used in these experiments. How does decoupling a chassis take care of that vibrating transistor without a mechanical ground (coupling)?

Question one-size-fits-all and no lab report devices

Please rephrase your question.

Isolation will offer clarity that cannot be experienced with coupling because with coupling comes additional, unwanted vibrations     

Bullcookies. Coupling produces leading-edge dynamics and harmonic structures that are missing from many isolation and decoupling products. Salesmanship is the agenda without third-party testing and documentation to prove otherwise. We would prefer everyone use equal costing parts with appropriate testing labs to formulate comparisons.  

Stop using low-budget nail head spikes, handheld aluminum cones, little music boxes, and tuning forks in meaningless experiments. They prove nothing related to real-time musical performance. 

I grow weary of watching everyone test their dollar spikes against products costing more. It makes zero cents to me how a two-bit 1960s nail-spike design drives the conversation. Is this High End Audio, or is it high-end marketing? 

There is more to vibration than the tall tales presented for eliminating it. Why are some listeners so afraid of vibrations? Electricity has vibrational properties, so vibration patterns begin at the initial source we use to function as an industry. Electricity is a constant factor in understanding vibration.

Why do people attempt to eliminate vibration in a constantly vibrating environment? Like bailing water from a sinking ship using a teacup. You have become a victim of marketing if you believe this methodology.

Isolation means the mechanical path is either broken, or the form of energy is converted to another form

Explain how energy changes into heat and that form of energy become a gas. What percentage becomes heat, and where does the balance of resonance end up? Does the heat (ballistic resonance) return to the original conductive object of greater mass that generates it? Just because the energy changes form, it still seeks the greater mass of the closest ground plane. Energy always seeks the pathway of least resistance to Earth’s ground.

What happens to the energy when you “break a mechanical path”? It has to go somewhere other than the favorite scapegoat known as “turns into heat” and disappears like magic. 

We use coupling discs between the Audio Point tip on the carpet, tile, concrete, or hardwood flooring. For thirty years, we informed the public to put the pointed tip through the carpet and touch the flooring.  WE WERE WRONG. For more information, call us.

Isolation is easy to perceive

Do you mean easy to hear? 

Springs, discs, pucks, balls, pads, and all the materials have been in audio since the late 1980s. 

All these devices are coupling products according to the empirical laws. 

Two names have taken the modern-day helm leaving many methods of vibration management behind. Coupling and decoupling are the most popular marketing strategies used today. The only significant difference between the two theorems is coupling is based on the laws of vibration, motion, and gravity and is a science with history.

Anyone can argue that absolute isolation and decoupling cannot exist in the presence of gravity.

Decoupling carves new roads in the advertising gambit for repackaging and selling old stuff. The product designs and the packaging looks fancier today and still use coupling as their function regardless of storyboarding. The products sold long before the word de-coupling hit the market. The word decoupling has yet to gain any scientific meaning, despite the Sound Industry’s love for marketing.

Thank you for your time. 

Robert Maicks

Sound Engineer

Vibration Management Consultant




@audiopoint Thanks for weighing in. I am not sure I followed everything there. If you were to make your main point in a single clear paragraph, I'd be interested to read it. It might help me understand what you wrote, at length. I blame my own lack of knowledge for not following your points. 

I have used hockey pucks between spikes and carpet, not so much for vibration but to elevate the speaker height.

Now hockey puck with furniture pads (hardware store) underneath= poor man's gaya.


What isolation device do you recommend for speakers on carpet over suspended floor that allow for easy repositioning? I’ve looked at GAIA feet but am not crazy about prospect of having to stack them on top of the required carpet disks. 

I have been using Starsound Sistrum SP-101 stands on wooden floors for the past 10 years. These use the technology that @audiopoint describes above.  I originally had them beneath my Audiokinesis Jazz Modules in three different rooms with great success and just put them under my recently purchased Wolf Von Langa SONs.Colin King from Gestalt Audio Designs came to set them up for me. We first positioned them on the floor and carpet to start figuring out placement. Colin started zeroing in on a good placement and they sound very good. Then we started to try putting something under the speakers. I  also had decided to purchase some Gaia II footers so we could have them on hand to try. First we tried some rubber pucks that Colin brought. They offered little to no improvement over the SONs on wood floor or carpet. Then we put the SONs on the Sistrums. Right away there was a remarkable improvement in sound. Bass was tighter and more accurate without any of the slight boom we had been hearing. Highs were crystal clear and precise. Soundstage was wider and deeper. On some well recorded acoustic tracks that we had been using to test the set up, singers sounded very much like the were in the room. We didn’t even bother with the Gaia footers. One possible criticism was that the sound was now slightly on the analytical and lean side. This concerned dissipated over the next day as the stands and began to settle in. Since then I have been fine-tuning the placement of the SONs in the room and they sound wonderful on the Sistrum stands.

@dmk_hifi Regarding your question about recommendations for speakers on carpet, I previously had used the Sistrums with one or two of the downward facing spikes through the carpet and sitting on a coupling disc on the floor beneath the carpet.This worked great. However, after Colin positioned the SONs in their final spot in the room we decided to pull the rug back partially under the speakers so that the  front spike on the Sistrum was under the carpet. This rug was fairly thick and had a pad, which we couldn’t get the front spike through to make contact with the floor. This killed some of the magic we heard before. So we pulled the rug back in front of the Sistrums and the magic was back. I talked to Robert, who I purchased the Sistrums from,and he said the the latest version of LiveVibe stands are available with much more substantial coupling discs and the platforms sound incredible on carpet on these discs.I will be trading in the Sistrums for the new generation stands and will soon see how good they sound.

Although I can’t quite follow Robert’s (Audiopoint) description of their technology, it really seems to work incredibly well. I was tempted by the positive comments about the Townshend products and perhaps will try them sometime but for now I am sticking with a product that has worked incredibly well for me.