There are a lot of vibration control devices out there for our electronic components as well as a lot of discussion as to what method to use on what component, but there is very little info that explains the vibrations themselves.

I think I understand how vibration control can be very important for a turntable, but what exactly are these vibrations doing inside of the other components to alter the sound? Is it as simple as, when parts such as caps and resistors are shaken that they just don't function as well as a non-shaken cap or resistor? Do they begin to operate "out of spec" when vibrated? I would be interested to check out some references and hopefully learn something if anyone has a link or two that explains this phenomenon. I'm not interested in the fixes, but the problem itself.
That's an intriguing subject Ketchup. Some pure objectivists would tell you that this phenomenon simply does not exist. There probably has not been enough scientific research in this area to explain the phenomenon as you have requested.

Yet, in my own trial-and-error testing in my own systems, it is clear to me that certain components clearly sound different with different supports (feet) and isolation materials.

I once took part in a scientific experiment to see if this phenomenon could be measured in electronics. What we did was to point a speaker directly at a preamp, subject it to loud sound and see if we could measure differences in its performance based on what type of bases and feet we had it sitting on. Based on that experiment, I wrote an article entitled, "Electro-Mechanical Convergence: How can it affect your audio gear?" for It can be accessed from the archives page under the heading "Commentary" or by following this link:

Not surprisingly, we did see some differences in performance when using a tube preamp. But the differences were much harder to pin down when using a solid-state preamp.

Still, in my own listening, I feel that certain feet and platforms alter the sound of electronics, whether they are tube, solid-state, or digital.

Tweak companies seem to be approaching the problem on a haphazard, trial-and-error basis. I would certainly like to see some comprehensive scientific testing in this area that would yield some more concrete and predictable/repeatable results.

I think the problem is related to many variables in consumer audio products. In addition to the variability of the precision of the individual electronic components themselves (capacitors, resistors, and active devices), there is much variation in the types of materials used in chassis', the physical size and gauge of the chassis', mounting of the components within the chassis', etc. All these variables (and probably more) can affect the resonant nodes and effective resonant tuning for each individual component.

Its a long article, but worth it if you're interested in "Bad Vibes."
Hi Ketchup and Plato, probably vibration control devices alter sound like dither does in digital reproduction of music or second harmonics distortion in tube gear. By emphasizing certain resonance frequenties and reducing other perhaps one can induces small distortions that when not present in huge amounts can make reproduced music even more "natural" sounding. Maybe it's the second harmonics distortion again that emphasized or induced by the vibration control or the resonance control devices. Forgive me for these rather weird and non scientific explanation.
Dazzdax, you may be on to something, because in the case of the particular tube preamp we tested, it was actually the feet that resulted in the most deviant performance that I thought sounded the best (or most natural)... So it may be the euphonic distortions that the ear prefers rather than the most technically perfect reproduction...? I find a direct correlation with these results and audiophiles' general love of tube sound, since tubes are generally rich in even order harmonic distortions.

Recently, my quest has taken me to search for amps that measure very well, and actually come across that way from a subjective sonic standpoint. My recent fascination with the NuForce amps is case in point. These diminutive digital amps are VERY MUSICAL -- and their distortion levels are VERY low -- the opposite of how it usually works in the world of audiophile componentry. It's all very interesting.
Hi Ketchup,

We know that vibration acting on an an audio component does affect the signal flowing through that component which changes its sonic performance. It follows that an audio component will only be able to faithfully reproduce the sound of an instrument as it has been captured in a recording if the effects of vibration are eliminated. Allowing vibration to have an effect or using a vibration control device that adds its own sonic coloration may be pleasing to some people or in some systems, but it guarantees that system will not be able to faithfully reproduce the sound of the instrument.

Best Reagrds,

Barry Kohan

Disclaimer: I am a manufacturer of vibration control products.