Various Bearing Isolation Devices

After you have spent a fortune on Audio components, interconnects/cables, AC power cord/line conditioner, room treatments, and even good equipment rack......playback isolation is critical for good sound. You can only go so far with cones and soft compond feet. The new bearing designs such as Symposium Rollerblock and Aurious MIB, seem to offer the next step by offering horz and vert isolation while simultaneously draining vibration from component to base, which should be one of many aftermarket products by Symposium, Townsend, Rosanite etc which absorb vibration. CD players and turntables have motors which develop internal rotational vibration which must be drained off.........I want to buy a base and bearing supports, anyone have some feedback on what is a good set-up, regards Sam
Hi Megasam; Redkiwi has more practical info. and experience with vibration control and management than anyone I've ever heard of-- haven't seen his name here lately, but I imagine you could contact him through Audiogon. Redkiwi is/was really big on Townshend Sinks. He helped me a lot with my dedicated AC and ground system. Good Luck. Craig.
I won't pretend to be and expert, but I've listened a lot to equipment placed on the Symposium bases and rollerblocks. My experience gives me these general impressions: (i) The Symposium Rollerblocks to good things with solid state equipment - sharpen focus, quiet the background; (ii) Be careful with them under tube equipment - to my ears they "sharpen" too much and tend to cause the sound to have an upward tilt (I think tube equipment does better with soft feet); (iii) The bases are good, make some difference - mainly in detail, but I'm not sure they are better than other price equivalent bases made by others; (iv) I haven't perceived any particular synergy between the bases and the rollerblocks; the latter clearly make a more dramatic difference (+ or -) and pretty much do so on anything. I'm also curious about the Aurios(so?) devices, but haven't heard them. I'll be following this thread to see what others have to say.
I see a lot of typos in my previous remarks. Actually, I'm not quite as stupid as my comments may make me appear.
the Aerios (sp?) are supposed to outstanding at $299 per set. They have reviews on and Sir John at commented on them. The company is in Tempe AZ and will sell them to you and allow you to return any or all of them w/i 30 days.
Honoluluan, for what it is worth, I was so amazed at the similarity of your response to my own experience, that I failed to notice the errors. Have you tried the Iso Bearings? They are soft like Mod Squad and other "soft" feet, but share the bearing principal with the Rollerblock.
Part one of my upgrade is complete, my Target VR5 rack now has Symposium Shelf platform under CD palyer. Shelf is same 18 X 14 as existing shelf, which are vinyl wrapped composite. After inserting Symposium 1.25 thick multilayer shelf I used included metal blocks to couple CD player to polished aluminum shelf surface, thus draining rotational vibrations from CD player. Sound is now firmer, more powerful, with more air and seperation. Instead of metal mounting blocks you can use metal or composite cones to couple CD player to shelf, I have some polycrystal standard cones I will try. I am waiting for my rollerblocks, but factory is back ordered a couple weeks, can't make them fast enough. I decided to go this route because Symposium system is much more elegant than Bright Star mass loading/air bladder concept, of course there are other air platform/bases at various higher prices......Townshend, Vibrapalne, Aricci Suspense etc. but Symposium is affordable and you can go one step at a time......will let you know how roller blocks work, regards Sam
I'm clueless about which are decent isolation devices especially when there are so many screeming for attention. Would like to know which are the best value? Also, under which components (other than a tt and t/port) are they of additional benefit?
I just received 2 sets of the Vistek Aurious mib isolation bearings and the detail and soundstage are jaw dropping !Everything is in tighter focus and more information is realized .I used one set under my tube digital gear and another under my tube pre amp. I have owned almost every type of cone and soft device,Polycrystal, Marigo ,BDR ,Golden sound, Audioquest Big feet and vibrapods.I have tried all sorts of DIY isolation tables(sand inner tubes)I even got creative and used combinations with added MDF shelves as well as different materials such as slate.They all made a difference and some sounded better than others but none to the level of the Aurious bearings.Happy listening.
Lihifiguy: Where do you obtain the Vistek Aurious bearings? How much do they cost per set? Under what components do you find they work best? Are you a hermit, by any chance, as you seem to be such an expert on ISOLATION?? Kidding!
I use the symposium platforms under all my equipment, which includes CJ premier 12 tube amps. I have roller blocks under my CAT preamp, my Meridian cd player and the power supply for the CAT. They definitely make a big improvement with everything. I am also planning on getting a divided platform for my Basis turntable. The only problem I ever had with the symposium, was when I used it under the audible illusions 3a. This preamp seems to use its internal vibrations to add body to the music. They are definitely worth a try.
Euphorbia, did you go for tungsten carbide bearing upgrade for rollerblocks (I bet you did) and what is difference in sound?.........Marlec, CD player/turntalbe are first priority, Delve Audio is selling "B" grade Aurious MIB 3/$250, check their add on this site accessories/tweaks/classifieds...........also go to and read 6/12 review of Aurious MIB, Symposium platforms and rollerblocks were reviewed in Stereophile last year, regards Sam
Hi,Euphorbia,Megasam nailed my source and the price that I paid.They can be a little tricky to set up.Check the topic,"Aurios Media Isolation bearings yes/no",which is dated 7/21/00.Mikeg turned me on to these bearings.
The topic mentioned just above ,dated 7/21/00 is here at Audiogon under Sound Advice.
Talked to Cable Co today, they said Symposium will soon be offering "super ball" for rollerblocks. The current tungsten carbibe upgrade ball is round to within 12 millionths of and inch, new supper ball using even more sophisticated processes, acheives perfect round within 5 millionths of an inch, further reducing microscopic friction, life is good........still waiting for my back ordered rollerblocks, regards Sam
My rollerblocks arrived finally, and I put them to the test. Beautiful looking precision pieces, I got the tungsten bearing upgrade and used the drop of teflon/silicon oil tweak. I used them on a Symposium Platform Shelf under a Musical Fidelity CDP, set in a Target VR5 rack. When installed CDP will float effortlessly and easily rock back and forth with light touch. Sound becomes more solid and clear, bass is faster and firmer, imaging and transients improve....... the important thing is sound is very natural, no upward tilt was noticed (unlike many cone devices).....this was my main fear. These units have a permanent home under my CDP! This is a very elegant system that solves CDP isolation by providing coupling/decoupling both at the same time. I would like to have compared to Aurios MIB, I think both are probably good solutions for CDP, becomes expensive to deploy on multiple components though........any other people using these?
Recently acquired MIB Aurios for my CDP and DAC. I was truly amazed at the immediate difference. Bass was much much tighter and the treble smoother and seemless with more bloom. Music became so effortless and made me feel more at ease too. Depth also improves. Unfortunately, I have no other isolation devices with which to compare these. I definitely hope to "float" all my other components. Pricey, though, at nearly $300 a component! MIBs require meticulous levelling to realize their isolation benefits. One hassle with these is when using a chunky custom power cord on the same component - this tends to "brake" the easy to-and-fro movement that is so critical to the bearings. Interested to know if others have had similar problems (ie using either the Symposiums or MIBs together with a "fat" powercord) and how they have solved this?
Marlec, congrats on your discovery, rollerblocks do not have to have perfectly level surface, but both Aurios MIB and Symposium Rollerblocks to freely float CDP, must have cable weight/forces nuetralized so as not to impede CDP. Short ICs are usually no problem, but heavy AC cords must get special attention......Tape/strap loosely to your equipment rack (careful not to pinch cord) so AC cord weight is nuetralized and does not impede free float of CDP.....this is what I did with my PowerSnake AC cord..... yes it is very expensive to float multiple components, but the vast majority of improvement comes from CDP isolation, regards Sam
Megasam - many thanks for your interest and thoughtful response. In the process of attaching the King Cobra V2 PC (this is the most obese 'reptile' I know) to my CDP (while perched on the MIB Aurios), the CDP almost got "catapulted" off the equipment rack as the PC has so little bending ability. The compromise with which I presently remain, is that of the CDP sitting rather obliquely on its shelf (atop the 'cookies') as there is no other arrangement possible to obtain the desired vibration isolation set up (while using the PC, too). I'm afraid to bend the PC anymore for fear of damaging it. I count my lucky stars that I'm still single; these tweaks are so ugly and time-consuming, no self-respecting spouse would tolerate the "spagghetti" and the rest of the "junk" on my rack! Of course, I enjoy it - why would I tolerate the mess?
Marlec, KC2 is a fat heavy snake! You will have to be creative and maybe move CDP to lower shelf and use hanging support straps, or create some support arms that extend from rack......experiment and be creative, results are worthwile, BTW sounds like you have great system.......regards Sam
As posted in mid July, I have been enjoying my Aurious under my SACD and Bel Canto Evo. Sold my Rosinante Dark Matter Shelves. I have a less obese Powersnake (Black Mamba) connected to the SACD. I first leveled the granite plate base sitting on top of the wood shelve in my cabinet, placed the SACD on the MIBs and check/readjusted the level. I then reconnected the Nirvana interconnect (stiff), tied a string loop around the ic and then connected the string loop to a thumb tack. I then counter balanced the force the ic imparts by enlarging/shorten the string loop length and angling the loop (the ic pushes the SACD out, the string loop pulls on the ic). Once the MIBs are recentered I locked the string loop in place with the thumb tack (there will be a few thumb tack holes in the wall from trail and error). I connected the mamba and repeated the same procedure performed for the ic until the MIBs are recentered. I also had to reposition the Black Mamba so the it can come straight out of the SACD. All time spent was well worth it.
Mike, why did you replace Rosinante with granite, was this your idea or did Visitek recommend this as surface for Aurios MIB? I thought you were happy with Rosinante, please fill us in......Sam
Mike: Thanks so much for sharing your ingenuity - I hope to be as successful.
Megasam, At first I tried the Aurious with the Rosinante Dark Matter Shelves, but the Auriuos was not leveled properly. This sounded good. In an effort to save money, I did my darnest to level my SACD player with the $500 Rosinante Shelve and on a $6 piece of granite tile. The net outcome was the MiBs w/ Rosinante wasn't any better that the granite tile. In fact, I seem to loose some of the low end bass output using the Rosinante. The Rosinante seems to add its own flavor (maybe it injects its own resonent frequency). Since vibration in the xy direction is 99% of the problem, there may not be a need the Rosinante Shelf. Besides I now have extra funds to squeeze more performance out of my system employing another tweak.