It is useful to use isolation devices under every component. There are countless types, they all sound different, and you will definately have to experiment to decide what works for you. Start with cheap things like small myrtle wood blocks. There are so many good things. The brass cones by Mapleshade are also very good.
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I use some form of vibration control or tuning under just about every piece of equipment. ( Many times people use the term "vibration control" when the item in question actually just varies resonant frequencies.) As Roxy54 says, they all sound different. Plus, every piece of equipment is different as far as how much vibration control or tuning affects it. My Marantz Sa11S1 is greatly improved by the Boston Audio xl tuneblocks I use, but they make only a slight improvement under my other gear. I also use three maple plinths, one under my turntable, phono stage gain stage, and phono stage power section.
If you don't want to drill too deep, a good place to start is by making sure you have solid, non-ringing support for your gear, and then trying Herbies products (start with the simple isolation feet );
i don't get it with all these "vibration control" devices: is the idea that they prevent the vibrations from shaking up the electrons, which would (presumably) affect the sound? the idea of it all just sounds ridiculous to me. but many of these "tweaks" sound ridiculous to me. the only component in which i can see a legitimate need for vibration control is a turntable.
I think that what is ridiculous is making the comments you make without having tried any of these devices. It isn't always possible to explain why something works, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't work. That isn't to say that there isn't good science behind some of these devices.
Anyway, why don't you give it a try? You may have a pleasant surprise.
believe it or not, i actually have experimented with different components (although not "tweaks") and have found that there wasn't a lot of difference. on the other hand, i have made substitutions where i was able to tell a difference, really served to establish in my mind that there is a difference between high end audio and some run-of-the-mill audio equipment. but in general, my take on high end audio is that you rapidly get to a point of diminishing returns to scale.
for example, last year i bought a wadia 381 cd player to replace a krell kav-300 cd player. since i decided to sell the krell, i felt that i owed it to a potential purchaser to send the unit to krell for reconditioning. when i got the unit back and did side-by-side comparison between the wadia and the krell, i had a hard time telling much difference. in fact, if it had been a blind test, i don't know if i would have guess correctly which was which.
but my experiences, and general way of looking at stuff, leads me to discount statements that rely upon "magic" for their operation.
I don't believe in magic either Paperw8, and I have tried several tweaks that yielded little or no positive result for me. It is really too bad that we need to waste sometimes substantial amounts of money to find out that it was for naught. I have had sidesteps as well as backsteps with amps, speakers etc., but we were talking specifically about isolation/vibration devies here, and I was saying that I have had very positive results in some cases.
The most extreme case for me was Starsound platforms underneath my speakers. Expensive, but worth every cent.
speakers are mechanical devices, so i can believe that vibration control devices can be useful (i don't know this for a fact, but i can see some plausibility in that case). so let me revise my previous remarks to include both turntables *and* speakers. i guess what i am getting at is that i just don't see any reasonable explanation as to why vibration control devices would have any impact on a purely electronic device like a solid state amplifier. some have claimed that tube devices are influenced by vibrations, but i don't know enough about the matter to debate it one way or the other.
It seems pretty clear than any wire or cable or electronic element such as a capacitor or resistor is subject to vibration. Tonearms and cartridges as well as the platters of turntables are also subject to vibration, since they resonate at their natural frequencies. The chassis of any electronic component is also subject to vibration. It is less obvious that transistors, ICs, the CD disc itself as well as CD laser assemblies are also subject to vibration. A spring system is used to provide some level of vibration isolation for the laser assembly but the spring system is not a perfect. Lifting cables and power cords off the floor is often effective in reducing the effects of the floor's vibration on the sound. Isolating a solid state amp will usually produce better sound, a rather unexpected result compared to tube amps, which seem like an obvious candidate.
Vibration control consists of two elements- isolation and dampaning. Isolation, as it implies means putting barriers between the source of the vibration/sound and the component. Stacking components on rigid and massive platforms are a good way to isolate them from the floor. Cones are also a form of isolation. They also have the added feature of being like a diode- vibrations can travel in one direction, but not the other. Cones are a good way to sink motors and transformer vibrations into the floor. (Speakers are motors too.)
Dampening, converts vibration energy into something else, such as heat. Dampening materials such as rubber and constrained layer dammpening material convert vibrations into heat. Applying both of the methods in strategic ways on all components can produce satisfying results.
i don't understand these comments at all. let's say that a wire or cable does indeed vibrate: so what? are you suggesting that you believe that these presumed vibrations will somehow affect electronics signals as they travel through the cable/wire? if so, what is the basis for such belief?
the only case in which i can even remotely see a potential legitimate reason for using "tweaks" that lift the cable/wires off the floor is if the cable/wire is running over carpet, because in this case it is possible that the carpet can accumulate static charge, which would potentially induce an interfering electric field within the cable. but even there, if you have a problem like that, then your cable if probably poorly shielded, but at the price of audio cables, you have a right to get well shielded cables. furthermore, if you've got poorly shielded cable, the bigger problem that you are likely to face is that adjacent cables are going to cross-induce interfering electrical fields.
you write of "the effects of the floor's vibration on the sound". i certainly can believe that the floor (and walls and ceiling) can have an impact on what you hear, but the vibrations in the floor/walls/ceiling are the result of energy from the acoustical wave (i.e. sound) produced by the speakers. so i can believe that the vibrations in the wall affect the sound that you hear. what i don't believe is that the vibrations in the floor affect the electronic devices. if that is what you believe, then would you explain exactly how this is supposed to work?
An electromagnetic field is subject to a number of things, including as you suspect, static electric fields. But we have learned that the electromagnetic field - the audio signal carried through wires and cables is also subject to magnetic interference as well as mechanical interference.
On need only look at vibration isolation of turntables, CD players, DACS, solid state and tube amps to conclude that the seismic type vibration - due to Earth crust motion, subways, trucks, etc. - that affects the entire house is making its way up into the component and degrading the sound (without vibration isolation). When the component is isolated from the structural vibration one can appreciate that the vibration must have been degrading the sound.
Perhaps you've seen the experiement when a magnet is shaken the magnetic field lines that normally appear stable and uniform around the magnet become disturbed and move around and can even become detached from the magnet.
In normal operation a capacitor vibrates, thus damping the capacitor reduces the vibration, resulting in better sound.
So, we have acoustic vibration from the speakers to worry about, also vibration generated by the component - motors, transformers, capacitors, etc. - and structureborne vibration that vibrates the walls and floor. The structureborne vibration is a form of mechanical feedback when it makes its way from the floor to the component. Footfalls on wood floors are a good example of this mechanical feedback, or a bus passing over a manhole just outside that causes the needle on the record to jump out of the groove. The vibration of the walls and windows is another problem, producing acoustic signals that interfere with the primary signal from the speakers.
I undestand the need to isolate a turntable, and to properly seat a speaker to a solid stand or the floor. But I do not understand how an amplifier will be affected when almost every speaker company uses a passive crossover in an environment with constant vibration, and exposure to the electromagnetic field of the drivers and the wire in the speaker.
i have to admit that this is a *truly* creative explanation.
My experience with isolation and dampening of stereo components has yielded more focused images, more detail and tighter, more detailed bass response. First, a very obvious improvement is cones under the speakers. My Thiels come with cones, as do many speakers. When roughing in the position of the speakers on initial set-up, I left the cones off. Images became focused and crisp once I put the cones back on. Very obvious change. The other big change was when I remodeled the room by replacing the carpeting with a 7/8" Hickory wood floor. The bass response was the biggest improvement. I know the additional thickness of the wood made the floor much stiffer. Room response can be a key element in good sound. I have had my stereo on a concrete slab years previous in a different house. I think a concrete floor is too stiff and deadens the music. Of course, speaker type may play into it too. And a carpeted floor can be fine too, provided the sub-flooring is stiff enough. I had one buddy who added braces to his sub floor. He had an unfinished basement so he could do that. It made a difference.
I had my turntable, CD player and Amp sitting on Granite slabs for years. Of course, these components had additional rubber dampeners on top of the granite. One day, I stuck my wife's bamboo cutting board under the CD player. The change blew me away. So under the CDP is one cone about where the motor rests, and two Sorbathene feet. And then under the bamboo board are three closed cell foam pads. Then the granite then the cabinet shelf. The cabinet feet are on spikes on my precious wood floor.
So I tried the bamboo board under the turntable. It changed the sound too. I wasn't sure that I liked the change, but when I added three closed cell foam pads between the wood and granite, then I liked the sound.
So here is the kicker. I put a bamboo cutting board under my big brute of an Amp and the improvement in sound was again astounding. So the amp sits on the bamboo board which is on a granite slab, then four isolation disks and then the wood floor. I never expected a change just by putting a wood board under the amp. One conclusion I have is, granite slabs are good for adding stabilizing mass, but components do not react well when coupled to the granite, even with rubber isolators in between.
Another experiment that did not yield good results: I tried subsitituting 70 durometer rubber strips in place of the closed cell foam pads between the wooden boards and the granite. I did this under the CDP. The highs sounded awful and even had a shrill sybillance. I left them there for a couple of weeks. I almost forgot about them and actually was starting to wonder if my CDP was going bad. Then I remembered putting the rubber pads under the wood. I pulled them out and the highs returned to normal. A remarkable difference in sound and I have no clear idea why. I would have thought those rubber pads were too far removed from the CDP to matter much.
So, experimentation is required. One type of dampener might produce good results in one system but not so good in another. I recommend not investing too much money in these materials. The brass cones and Sorbathene feet are the most that I have ever spent. The bamboo cutting boards were not too expensive. They were certainly cheaper than some special audio boards or even carbon fiber boards. Not saying those wouldn't work even better. Just trying to keep costs down.
I just read about the granite.
I used to get severely criticized when I poopooed the effectiveness of a slab of graite under a component.
Granite can induce ringing not soak it up like wood or rubber can.
All components vibrate. some transformers have mechanically noise and can vibrate, hence the use of isolation washers.
Everything is in movement.You may not hear the sonic degrdation of one cap resonationg along with the music, but add up all the little separate parts used inour gear and things get into perspective that it's the sum of all these parts ringing and vibrating that causes a loss of clarity and detail.
Of course if you are multi tasker or background music listener, then this won't make a difference to you.
I find so much of the denial of anything but stock out of the box,quite fascinating.
The only way you can tell if a vibration control device works is to try one, then take it out of the system and listen again.
If one device didn't do it , try another.
If scientists gave up after the first failed experiment and made up their minds that nothing works, it's all snake oil, then we would be deprived of some very important and beneficial advancements.
Last week I decided to change the type of connector on my speaker cable. New bananas. Measured off two 6 ft lengths of 12 gauge wire from the same spool the current cable came from, terminated it and hooked it up. I would have sworn my system somehow sounded different / better. Just shows how easy it is to self-delude. It lasted about 3 hours. Its common to think that if you do something, then the sound must change.
The self delusion is that you think there shouldn't be difference.
The wire is the same but the terminations are differnt, and how did you terminate them?
You used bananas.
Had you said you used bare wire termination and noticed a difference I might have said there would be likely to be a marginal nod to the newer less tarnished run of wire.
I suggest you take the bananas off and listen again.
You may also hear an improvement and if it lasts longer than 3 hours then you know your not delusional and that the bananas did affect the sound of identical lengths of the same wire.
I would also suggest that you try a set of bananas from WBT such as the nextgen and have a listen to their effect and compare them to the sound of the bananas that you tried, but something tells me you won't bother with that.
'I would also suggest that you try a set of bananas from WBT such as the nextgen and have a listen to their effect and compare them to the sound of the bananas that you tried, but something tells me you won't bother with that'
You missed the point of the post. I was replacing locking bananas because they were a pain to remove from the amps while in the rack. My point was to show how easy it is to imagine something that does not exist. I was not seeking or expecting a difference in sound. So to save you the trouble of sending a reply, I'll just say it for you....... 'Never Mind'!!
As far as trying the plugs from WBT, something told you correctly.
The BEST vibration control I found was inside the gear not under it. I took off the top cover and put four layers of Wal-Mart brand of teflon tape all around where the screw holes are on the top chassis for the top cover.
Next, I took off the bottom plate and put four layers of teflon tape all around where the screw holes are on the bottom chassis for the bottom plate.
You don't put any teflon tape on the top cover or bottom plate parts, you only put it on the top chassis and bottom chassis of the gear only.
I did this tweak to my Yamaha a-s2000 integrated amp it now sounds much more musical !..
This is a must try tweak for all your gear !!
"If some don't believe in the effects of vibration on electronics, or can't hear the results: let them enjoy their, "bliss."
Some may believe in vibration, but some may have a little trouble believing it changes what comes out of the speakers. At least any vibration not strong enough to register on the richter scale. Thanks for the links. You remembered the 'bliss' thingy. :) Your memory would do an elephant proud. Merry Christmas.
"A solid slab of concrete will, because of its mass, minimize transmission of vibration to the floor. A hollow concrete structure "rings"
Thank you, I thought as much. BTW, that other fellow is just a true believer. Next thing you know they will be trying to neutralize the effects of the gravitational pull of the EARTH. That pesky gravity wreaks havoc on the high low mid bass, and sucks all the 'air' out of the music.
Mr E- I don't need an explanation. As I stated earlier: If you don't believe it, or can't hear it- enjoy your bliss! (Just for the sake of response though) There are quite a few things in audio that create audible effects(time smearing, loss of image specificity or ambience info, etc), that cannot be measured with the equipment now available. The human ear has been shown, time and again, to be very sensitive to aberrations, that are not quantifiable. BUT, like everything else in this hobby; whether your ears, brain or system, are up to the task of such discernment, determines your mileage.
Everything vibrates,from transformers to caps to resistors.
Some you can hear with the ear, like transformers when the electricity goes a bit wonky, or sometimes just because no care or thought was taken when fastening them down without a damping material,hence metal to metal vibrations.
Then consider all the other more subtle vibrations(not to mention the speakers effect and the room)and when all is factored in and added up there is a whole lot of shakin goin on.
It maybe measureable, it may not, you may notice it, or as many here would suggest you may not.
The only time you notice that it was there is when something has been done and takes some away.
In other words, you notice it because of it's absence.
Much like improving the power to your gear, it's cumulative and you only notice the improvements when you go back and re-insert the gear before the upgrades and then re-insert the improved devices.
I've used several Target racks and some nice DIY wood units and lots of butcher blocks etc.
I think most folks would say that this usually has a noticeable effect on what is placed on top of it.
I am old enough to remember the fuss that Tip Toes created.
Lots of naysayers back then, perhaps the same folks as today.
Some things never change, some people never change, even as the world changes around them.
But as good as the shelf units I used, I wasn't prepared for the calming down effect that my first real audio rack had on my sound.
Some folks like granite,and I've been scoffed at before for saying this, but I wouldn't use it under anything unless the top had some sort of damping material.
It will reflect vibrations and ringing back into the gear and not absorb it, or drain it away.
It's great for damping out external vibes,but it rings unless you damp the surface.
Some gear benefit from having weights placed atop them, like cd players.Some gear have cheap flimsy cabinets of stamped sheet metal which will amplify and transmit vibrations.Some gear is housed in thick heavy billets of aluminum,and not just to up the price as fancy eye candy.
Perhaps this can be measured, but if not it's easy enough to try for yourself.Just be sure to protect surfaces from scratches when placing the weight on top of a component.
A few years ago Micheal Green was into clamping the components to his racks to prevent vibration and transmitting it form component to component.
That seems to have slipped under the radar.
Your ears will tell you if added mass or weight to a component improves the clarity, and that yes indeed that component was compromised because of vibrations from both it's surroundings and from the component itself.
If you notice you can make out the background vocalists more clearly and actually hear the words they are singing for the first time, you'll know you are on the right track.
You'll have all the proof you need
Mr E- I am NOT the one with a TOTAL lack of COMPREHENSION. Try to FOCUS this time: There are quite a few things in audio that create audible effects(time smearing, loss of image specificity or ambience info, etc), that CANNOT BE MEASURED with the equipment NOW AVAILABLE. The human ear has been shown, time and again, to be very sensitive to aberrations, that are NOT QUANTIFIABLE. BUT, like everything else in this hobby; whether YOUR ears, brain or system, are up to the task of such discernment(which I have doubted, based on SO MANY of your previous posts) determines your mileage.
You(and you fellow Julian Hirsch clones) are welcome to the INEVITABLE, "last word." I couldn't care less about your(or anyone else's) opinion(s). Flame away!
It's sort of hard to prove a negative, so I can't prove what I don't hear. But all of you that believe in vibration, wire, cable, pc and all other nonsense based on 'false' logic, can prove it in one afternoon. And some people will pay you to do it! BTW, what instrument was used to measure or detect resisters and caps shaking? Details!
Creed of the true believers:
ANYTHING, that can be detected, measured, theorized or observed, WILL BE heard by humans,(at least those that own high-end systems) and will have a negative impact on reproduced music.
Short version: That sounds like it should be true.
Mr Rok2id, if vibration in resistors and caps is news to you, then there is no instrument that can prove it to you.
What sets a true believer apart from a non believer?
Well to be a believer ,you have to have some working knowledge or concept about how things are made and what external conditions can affect them.
And that means you have to try the stuff that folks are talking about.
People post to inform others about things that worked for them,NOT for any monetary gain, but just so that others can try and perhaps have a similar positive experience.
They aren't telling people to stick bare wire into a wall socket while standing in a pan of water.
However, the more expensive wire you use the better the experience.
I'll leave it to the measurers to prove me wrong.
The human ear is a very sensitive instrument. No argument. However, what our ear hears comes out of a loudspeaker. A loudspeaker only responds to voltage. Voltage is measurable. If the voltage (waveform) applied to the speaker is identical, with or without vibration, then the sound it emits is identical regardless of what Rodman thinks.
So the construction of the speaker cabinet has no effect on the sound?
Does the amount of bracing not matter? Or the type of materials used to make the cabinet not matter?There's no difference in vibration control between an inert aluminum cabinet and a presswood one?
It's all marketing, a myth ?
Maybe I don't get it,but I think the waveform would be altered by any of the above.
Also,a full range speaker on a suspended wood floor compared to the same speaker on a solid concrete floor will sound the same if the voltage stays the same?
There are some very sophisticated vibration control devices used in industry and in the lab that I guess aren't necessary then, all that's necessary is to make sure the waveform is kept stable?
Am I missing something?
Is the holy grail then voltage stabilization?
I would agree that the quality of the power to our gear needs as much help as it can get, and I am firmly in that camp.
But unless you work on vibration control,including the speakers, room, components and the wires,you won't know how good it can get.
The issue is the SOUND that reaches your ears. Vibration control can be crucial in other endeavors, but we are talking about SOUND produced from a loud speaker. How much vibration, if any, can there be in a stereo amp. And if there is virbration, how does that effect the sound. And if the inputs into the speaker are identical, why would the outputs be different. Even if one input came from a vibrating amp.
Lacee... The purpose of a loudspeaker is to produce vibration (of air). Management of enclosure vibration is perhaps the most important part of speaker enclosure design.
But, as Rok2id points out, we are takling about the effect of vibration on the electronics that provide the electrical signal. The speaker is the same, with or without vibration on the electronics.
I guess I am chatting with folks who have never experimented with some of the different "feet" one can use on their gear.
Maybe it's just me, my ears or my gear, but I can hear the differences when I use the stock feet with the amp,and when I substitute BDR cones,and Roller blocks for the stock feet.
I can also notice the difference in sound when I use a Townsend Seismic sink or a butcher's block, or a glass shelf.
I also notice the improvement in sound when I weigh down my Audio Aero Capitole cd player.
There's two schools of thought in vibration control, you either absorb it or you transfer it away from the source component.
Both work well, and depending on how your system and room sound, you stick with one or the other.Or you mix it up.
For instance, if you have an overly warm sound,you can lighten it up somewhat with using less absorbing types of footers.
Now lets get back to loudspeakers again.
Most of them made in the last decade come with some kind of footers.
Mostly it's cheap spikes, meant to go thru the carpet.
On hardwood floors there are spike protectors, or flat footers which are non spiked.
Yes part of the answer is for stability,but it's also about vibration control.
I haven't seen very many loudspeakers that don't use footers and that are just plopped on the floor.
I once had a Sunfire subwoofer that danced across the room.
That thing needed spikes and something heavy to keep it in one place.Vibration control was not in that components design.
And even though louspeakers vibrate and send the music through the air to our ears, it certainly is a more pleasant experience when just the air and from the speakers is vibrating. Saddly that's not how it is.It gets worse because the speakers are also vibrating the floor. Second story listening rooms with suspended wooden, uncarpeted floors brings new meaning to following the bouncing ball.
And speaking of vibrations coming from the speakers thru the air,most turntables are either sprung or solidly well damped to control these air born vibrations and those from the floor.
So if the vibes are large enough in scale to affect your turntable I am sure they are doing the same thing with all your other components,which includes the wires to the speakers and the wires to the amps and the amps themselves.
Again worst case scenario, is a supended wooden , undamped resonant floor.
One huge vibrating membrane, like an avalanche of vibration sweeping over your system.
The same floor you've laid your speaker wires or interconnects or power cords on.
So they are also vibrating along.
And this shouldn't matter?
Maybe not to some folks it appears.
So with everything vibrating at different frequencies or even worse at the same frequencies, that's a lot of extraneous noise that is interfering with the music.
As I've stated I've used some pretty decent isolation devices and made my own, yet I wasn't prepared for how big an improvemnt my Grand Prix audio rack made.
But you don't have to spend that much to hear what vibration control devices can do.
You can get pretty good results on the cheap if you know what to use and where to use it.
You'll know you are on the right track when there's more clarity to the music.
There's also another way to skin the cat.
Isolate all your electronics in another room or in a soundproof closet,preferably on a floating floor.
I guess I was mistaken to think that in the waning days of 2011 that things like spikes and component footers would still be controversial.
I thought people had moved on to power cords.
This is my first attempt at posting so please approach with caution.
My understanding is that Vibration of any type creates inefficiencies throughout all mechanical, electromechanical and acoustic signal pathways. Therefore why would caps, resistors, circuit boards, wire that are subjected to vibration NOT become affected?
All electronic parts along with everything else vibrates from the three conduits mentioned above within a musical environment so my perception is that even the smallest of electronic parts, chassis, speaker drivers, walls, floors and ceilings are vibrating and are heavily influenced by the effects of Coulomb friction which is caused from vibration.
In searching audio this paper is the only one that I was able to locate that addresses the phenomenon.
Page 5 and 6 provide some understandable and worthwhile information on the subject.
I am a fan of mechanical coupling in audio reproduction, moving resonant energy continuously away from components and speakers and using hard environmental surfaces in recording environments.
I do not follow or agree with the theorems of true isolation in trying to avoid or eliminate vibration in audio reproduction and have learned from experience to stay away from most absorptive soft materials and techniques.
Disclaimer: My father works with a commercial company that employs various forms of vibration management so I am biased, have had greater access to knowledge from experience and have applied these principles in recording studios as a testing ground.