Vibrapods and Speakers

After reading a Soundstage article couple years ago by Greg
Weaver I have been experimenting using vibrapods to decouple
speaker from stand/floor. In the original article Greg was amazed at the improvement in sound of his Von Schweikert speakers when he replaced the cones between the bass cabinet
and mid/high cabinet with vibrapods. I am very impressed using vibrapods on monitor speakers between stand and speaker to decouple speaker. Very noticeable increase in bass extension, more 3D sounding, and richer more natural sound. I will not go back to rigid coupled speaker/stand.
I am now experimenting using large vibrapods for floor standing speakers between speaker/floor. At first you will reject this out of hand because we have been told over and over that speakers should be cone/spike mounted, but I am not so sure. Any other members tried this approach?
I have not tried this, but I do remember reading something recently in one of the high end mags, (TAS/Stereophile/Listener/Ultimate Audio) can't remember which one. That explored the same thing with similar results. I believe you have confirmed their "claim", or vice versa. To say the least, this is interesting and worth trying. It will be interesting to hear from other Audiogon members. Thanks, Doug
Hi Sam: I have tried both Vibrapods, Mapleshade Surefoot brass cones and Racing cones in the past though I have not tried the Vibrapods on my new Reynaud speakers (thanks for reminding me). The Pods do extend the bass and tend to smooth the overall response from my experience. I tried the Pods with my Castle speakers with good results but never ordered more and am using what I have under equipment platforms. I would also like to try the E.A.R. feet that Redkiwi mentions in a couple of threads but have been lazy and have not yet ordered them (they are even less expensive than the Pods). The large brass Mapleshade cones were quite remarkable, IMO when used between my metal stands and the Reynauds. Very smooth and detailed but with a somewhat thinner/cleaner bass than I had expected. I kept turning up the volume higher than I usually do (not sure if this is a good thing). As I mentioned in another thread though, using the cones is out of the question as the speakers are to precarious when perched upon them and a small earthquake (I live in LA) or a good bump from a passerby would send them falling to the floor. The Pods lower profile and larger contact area seemed to be a more secure type of installation. I had suggested that Brulee try the Pods with his B&W 805's (think it was Brulee) in another thread due to his complaint about the bass response in his room with the speakers, but don't know if he has tried them. The Pods "seem" to be a little woolier (is that a word?) or thicker in the bass than any cones that I have tried (Racing and now the Mapleshade's) though I am in a position to A/B both at this time and will give it a try. Anyway, I did like the Pod sound with my brighter Castle speakers but got sidetracked somewhere along the way.
Doug, it was TAS that raved about Pods under speakers. I tried them at the time but rejected them. I will try to find the time to try them again, but if my memory serves me correctly, there was a significant benefit in that cabinet resonance seems to all but disappear. Images seem more independant of the speakers. But as with most compliant vibration control stuff, all it was doing was moving the resonant frequency lower. With my Thiels it took me a few days to realise that I was no longer quite able to engage with how a female vocalist was singing - hard to describe, but the loss of musical engagement was very real. At the end of a week I was convinced that my musical enjoyment was greater without the Vibrapods than with them. This is not dissimilar to my experiences with bladder products - that they improve some of the sounds, but do damage to the music.
RedKiwi: I read somewhere about a speaker designer that did not go out of his way to eliminate speaker cabinet resonance and vibration, he instead tuned the speakers using the existing vibration. It may have possibly been Reynaud the manufacturer of my speakers, but I cannot remember. I have always suspected that removing too much vibration (on any component) may actually degrade or "un-voice" the sound. It all boils down to what we specifically like as far as the sound goes, but the logistics of it all (tweaking and fine tuning) gives me a headache sometimes.
The type of floor in your room has to do with this because if it´s suspended it vibrates and the pods isolate this. But if your floor is concrete and you don't live in a heavy traffic area or close to vibration sources it is an advantage to spike. I was using the bladder type for decoupling but have found more detail spiking to my solid tile floor. This is I think similar to what Redkiwi has found. It always depends on your equipment and listening environment been a comlex system what we all deal with considering interactions with environment and gear there are no totally correct alternatives ....
As happens with over dampening a room too much dampening or absorption of vibrations might lead you to less desirable results.
Dekay, FYI, I do not about Reynaud but Sonus Faber speakers are made in a way that purposely does not eliminate all the cabinet resonances. They claim the sound is more musical for this reason.
My single experience was kind of like Redkiwi's. I use Linn Sekrits, which are monitors but not a normal kind of box. They have a dedicated steel stand that bolts onto the back of the speaker. I tried V'Pods under the stands (suspended hardwood floor) and was really impressed at first. Better, more extended bass. More detail against blacker background. But I took them out about 2-3 weeks later. I had begun to be annoyed by a subtle raggedness in the midrange, which especially got to me when listening to female vocalists. At first, I was puzzled and didn't even think of connecting the problem with the V'Pods, but when it finally struck me to try taking them out, the problem was solved, and I was a happier man, even though I lost the V'Pods' benefits.
I have found negative results with vibrapods under my Avalon Accoustics producs. The cones they come with (Rigid) seem to work the best. I think the solid cones provide a more rigid support for the cabinet, hence reducing cabinet resonance. I touch the cabinet and put my ears close to hear what the speaker cabinets are radiating to validate my approach. As with the above posts, I think this is very dependent on environment. Bottom line -- they didn't work for me -- they do wonders under my cheap DVD player for HT.
Doug and Redkiwi, it think it was my speaker system that was referred to in the TAS article, if it was Anna Logg's article. I've been using Vibrapods, with some success, under the 180 pound woofer/subwoofer parts of my speaker system, and I've been pleased in that they have made the bass region of my system a little more articulate. Poor things are probably squished, although we did use a lot of them. The main reason I use them instead of spikes, other than to avoid wrecking a nice hardwood floor, is that my living/listening room is a suspended floor, over a 10 foot deep basement. I found spikes made my floor something of a sounding board; the vibrapods have been helpful in decoupling the speakers from the floor. Cheaper than putting additional supports and a beam under the speakers in the basement. If I had a concrete or other non-suspended floor, I would probably use cones of some sort.
RC, I believe Anna Logg was also mentioned in the Sounstage article by Greg Weaver couple years ago, they both had Von Schweikert speakers and she told Greg to use the vibrapods on the speakers instead of the Black Diamond Racing cones that came stock with speakers, they both were very positive about the results. I am very positive about pods and monitor speakers where the pods are inserted between the stand and speaker. With floor standing speakers I am not sure if the overall effect is superior to spike/cone mounting, it definitely is different sounding. I am continuing my evaluation in this area, but appreciate any other members experiences.