Vibration control question....

If I have access to a 18"x12"x3" block of granite for my CD player, would it be best to use spikes or can I keep using the vibrapods that I am using now ? Thanks in advance for any input.
I am using the same size Granite Block myself,Its actually a Starret measurung block 20x20x3" and I have tried both.I depends on what your looking to do.With the Vibrapods the sound is warmer but has less air and definition,than with spikes.Using BDR racing cones , are somewhere in the middle of the Brass spikes and Vibrapods.My system is all tubes,so for me I stayed with the Audiopoint brass spikes under my cd player..You really need to experiment to really find out for sure.It really depends on your ears and what your loooking for.There are also many other variations of footers to use......Good luck
Thorman, Did you try the coupling disc for use beneath the point, or just the Audiopoint directly onto the granite surface?

Have you ever been to the AudioPoints website and looked at reviews on the Audio Points and Sistrum stands

This is what I use with fantastic results!

If using granite, try sticking linoleum to the underside, which can be an effective way to damp vibrations without sucking the life out of the music. Try cones or tiptoes in addition, the material of which depends upon what's underneath.
Millenium,is the transfer from energy to heat using these LAT vibra-killers explained clearly?I need to learn more about this as my curiousity[SP] is piqued.Thanks for your time and energy and sorry for hijacking this thread,Bob
I second Chuck's suggestion. Call Robert at Starsound. He'll make you an offer you can't refuse: Money back quarantee if you're not happy. Can't beat that with a stick. You won't return a thing. Amazing....warren :)
Just straight underneath the cd player into the Granite.It took me awhile to get use to it.It just seems to give more air and definition. I fought with it for awhile,but in the end the Audiopoints were and are the clear winner for me..I think we all tend to not try something long enough.For the price its a bargian for sure.
I got a tip from Warren ( pretty sure it was him ) on the Audioponits and went back and forth with the Vibrapods but eventually agreed that the Audiopoints were superior in deed....God Luck
Adona Corporation's brass cones and coupling discs are just as effective as Starsound but less expensive. Check them out.
I have been very satisfied with Starsound's Audiopoints. Been using them for years. Can you tell me more about Adona. What components did you hear them on? Were you able to AB them directly on the same rig? I'd be very interested to hear your specific experiences with Adona vs Audiopoints. Inquiring minds want to know....thanks in advance, warren :)
I'm glad you're happy with the Starsound products. I know you own the speakers too. Suffice it to say I had both brands here for a couple weeks and noticed no difference between them on my transport, preamp, and mono blocks. It's not important to list brands and models as this, IMO, is unnecessary. Bottom line is, the Adona products performed well and all things being equal I always go with the less expensive choice. Check them out for yourself. That's the only way to know. Enjoy Warren.
Audiopoints and granite...better go for linoleoum.
If you move your hands around in concentric circles at 60rpm while you apply the polish to the linoleoum you will reduce the occurence of Coloumb friction at the intersection.Tom
I'm using brass Mi-Rollers, Jrs. and sand ceramic tiles.....

go to the lat international website and read what is printed on the theory on these devices. i again have had black diamond racing cones and then went to the stillpoints. they really added brightness to the sound of my gear. this was very noticeable after i had my gear upgraded by david schulte at he was the one that exlplained the physics behind all these devices. when i reported what i was hearing he has special feet that is used in measuring equipment that needs to isolate vibration. these were a big improvement over the stillpoints and few dollars a piece as well. i then tried lat international vibra -killers. what i liked about them is they are neutal in sound like david's feet but you can stack gear on top of each other without it vibrating down to the piece under it. no jump out at you sound change. if this happens at least to me its adding its own sound to the equipment . like black diamond they have cones made for tube and solid state ??? it should tell everyone that its doing something to the sound for them to make up two cones. the biggest gains i have ever made is getting all my stock gear upgraded by david schulte. this is the same man that i emailed clement perry numerous times about davids improvements and another reviewer who took my advice and had david upgrade his tact millenium mk3 amp and lexicon rt-10. well clement perry's boz amps as well as his reimyo cdp777 and 2.2x room correction have been done by david. clement just added a upgraded genesis lens that i have been using as well to his system. in short i believe you can go back and forth with all types of gear and never be satisfied. one piece will always do sonething better than the other in areas but never completly satisfy you in the end. david 's upgrades not only put a stop to this but really shows in listening how bad stock gear is and how good it CAN be made to sound at a tenth of the cost of changing gear. the hardest thing is getting someone to say ok i will let him upgrade my digital source first and that is where i would start as digital really sounds awful until david upgrades it. he also has some of the best speaker wire and interconnects you can buy period without spending $$$$$$.

bill l
while you're at it, try Lat International's speaker cables and ICs. Excellent dollar cost ratio to quality. My very first high end cabling experience. Had them for years...
Muskrat, using 160 lbs/cu ft for granite, your granite slab will weigh about 60lbs. Vibrapods are designed to support very specific weight ranges. If you intend to put them under the combined weight of the granite slab and the CD player you probably will need different vibrapods than you have now.

A cheap and effective isolation method is to put sand-filled baggies under your CD player's feet. You can get play sand at your local home improvement store for about $3-4 for 50lbs. I put 1 cup of sand in a sandwich size zip-lok baggie, squeeze the air out, seal it, then fold it over and tape it. The result is about 6"L x 3.5"W x .75"T. Looks like crap, but works well. I use these under a Meridian G08. I haven't noticed any tonality changes, unlike many vibration control devices. The primary effect is a little better low-level resolution and more soundstage depth. Try it, you may like it. Thanks to Jon Risch for the idea.
I take my cat box fill it, with what else.. cat litter, mix in some sand and stir in some lead shot and some brazen ball bearings. I then place this upon a lead sheet under which are 3 gigantic coil springs one tuned to 3hz the next to 6hz and the final one tuned at 12 hz.As punishment for breaking her curfew when my daughter comes home late from a date, I make her place her practice cello {I wouldn't want her to damage the integrity of her concert instrument} within this cat box contraption and tell her to play the night away..Of course she hates the sound because I killed it with all this crap.Well not crap the real thing, just all the crap that takes the life out of the music. Oh when I really want to punish her I add some sorbethane to the mix.Where goes the vibration there goes the music. She has as a retort.. said she would place similar non musical materials under my hi-fi. How dare her try to undermine my music. Tom
Wow funny stuff. Cracks me up. Haven't laughed this hard since Waco. Don't quit the day job.
Millenium,will do, and thanks for the tips as I am always searching for the best sound I can get from this ever-evolving system,Bob
Multiple examples of multiple dissimilar materials used in Waco ways not dissimilar to multiple home grown methods of Granny Clampetts conjured up backyard brews. All of which decouple the listener from the reality of the music. Direct coupling happens at the event so bring it home.Leave the sand bags at the levee and hope they work there.Tom
If what I understand is correct, vibrapods (or vibra killers) will isolate the CD player from the granite (and whatever else the granite is placed on) while spikes will drain vibration from the player to the granite. If this is correct, will using spikes make the player more susceptible to footfalls ?
Or what about using cones between the CDP and the granite, and large vibrapods under the granite ? And what's all this about sticking linoleum under the granite ? Are you talking the 12" x 12" flooring tiles.... between the granite and the MDF shelf of my VTI rack?
Thanks for any input,
My favorite, only when listening to Italian operas, is to use 4 empty Chianti bottles as legs, and weave a hammock-style platform of "al dente" linguine(boiled 5-6 minutes), and use that as the base under my player. It imparts just the right amount of "mediterranean flair" to my sonics for that type of music. However, it is totally unsuitable for Wagner, and I must change it to the Braunschweiger pedestals with woven sauerkraut platform before I put on any Wagner. I've tried cooking the Sauerkraut and the Braunschweiger in Beck's Oktoberfest Bier for effect(before assembly), and I do like that sound, when in it is in season for Oktoberfest Bier.

You guys really must try "indiginous" materials under your players for your various ethnic music style listening. For example, I played some mariachi music yesterday, and found that placing a pair of "exact replicas" of Pancho Villa's pistols under the player, brought out alot of previously missing dynamics.

As always, YMMV.
Tom Lyons and Warren, we could make this a serious thread again with much information to give and much practical experience as well. However it may become a roosting place for those who think we are sharks or other critters sometimes called salesmen. Thats why I am so reluctant to respond on these pages anymore..The other Tom
Tom, the first thing you write, about you know what, you know, etched in stone, who will be here.
it's a jungle out there.....
Why not try jadem6 directly (sorry jd)? We've all played around with vibration & its control -- BUT I believe jadem6 is one who has reached PhD status on the matter:)
Great news. All of the "experts" are back. Good posting and selling to all!!!
Hey Stan its Tom. You are the finest example of a say nothing do nothing member of Audiogon. Your one liners are useless as well. I have noticed recently that other members have asked you or told you to BUTT out. You have been discussed in e-mails as well..You may consider your negative comments and total lack of manners to be some kind of asset, you are really only the first three letters of the last word..Tom
Tom, ditto.....
Tom I had no idea that you had a sense of humor!!! That was great. Can I replace my rack with linguini???
Only if that linguini is made of 100% sorbethane and not whole wheat. ... Darn that makes three one liners in a row. Anyone want to discuss direct coupling as it relates to vibration control? the other Tom
I'll give you some direct coupling!
forget it
I guess some serious answers are out of the question ???
(sorry......I'm having a bad day)
OK, Muskrat, good point. I would try placing the cdp directly on the granite; I wouldn't decouple the granite from its support with vibras. I'd try the vibras under the cdp and compare to cdp direct (above).
Given its mass, the granite's resonance frequency should be quite low -- be aware however that it can store energy so, you'd probably want to decouple yr cdp fm the granite.
You must try various combinations (granite is heavy, I know).
Sorry Muskrat, Stanhifi only allows serious answers from people other than me. problem. I set it up last night using cones under the cdp into the granite. Sounds good, but its a new house, new room so I still have to tweek speaker placement, etc.
Any other smarta$$ remarks? ;-)

By the way, I did try placing jello shots under my cdp first. Sounded a little muddy.
That's odd, when I tried the Jello shots under the CDP everything was real thick and overly sweet, kinda like tubes!
Ya know if ya move that sensitive piece of equipement to the center of the rack [preamp, cd, dac, or even turntable] you will hear a lower noise floor, more pinpoint focus and stage, deeper bass and more lucid highs.Vibration and coupling as it relates to inertia.Tom
OK folks, leaving cones, pods and other footware alone for a moment, have you experimented with homegrown platforms other than granite? I am thinking of sandwich construction: e.g. start with three or 4 layers of 3/4 inch Baltic Birch plywood, and top the wafer with a sheet of Dupont Corion or reconstituted quartzite, such as 30 mm slabs of Dupont Zodiac or Stylestone.
Years ago a member here and now a manufacturer of electronics and speakers use to have built and sold thru his retail store a platform made of laminated wood filled with a hot molten brew of lead shot and a plastic substance sitting upon feet of metal with delrin inserts .Or so I remember. Two versions, one weighing in at about 20lbs the other at about 80lbs..Had one of each for almost 20 years or so wound up in my closet about 10 yrs ago until I gave them away in the recent past.They did increase focus at the expense of stage size,tended to make things to dark the way high mass low reactive materials do. These platforms were of the high mass, sink school of design. These never really gave the equipment a way of dissapating their own internal self generated resonaces or for that matter airborne vibrations which would be picked upped by the chassis only to be slowed at exit by the mass and transfer rate of the materials of the platform.A storage device, with no exit strategy.Tom
I have just simply put sand in a custom made box made from maple. The best, I think, compared to any cones I have tried.
The fact that the support and interface we place under a speaker perceptively changes the sound clearly illustrates the insidious nature of vibration as it relates to an audio system. Almost every aspect of sound reproduction - tonality, spatiality, dynamics, coherence, etc. - is compromised by unwanted vibrational energy. That is the result of a disturbance in the relationship between frequency, amplitude and phase of the original signal that the audio system is reproducing.

As the speaker drivers are radiating acoustic energy into the room (the energy that we want - music) they are also sending energy into the speaker cabinet because of air pressure from the inward motion of the cone and by conducted energy through the frame and mounting flange which becomes unwanted stored energy (USE). This USE causes the cabinet walls, the crossover components, the connected speaker cable, etc. to vibrate (the drivers are also subject to compromise by their own vibrational energy that they've sent into the cabinet that is then reflected back towards them after a delay in time). The cabinet vibration has the most consequence towards corrupting the speaker's performance. If we were able to quiet the driver's acoustic output into the room and just hear the result of the cabinet walls vibrating I think we would be shocked as to just how much audible acoustic energy the cabinet would be radiating! THIS version of the audio signal would have a different frequency balance than the driver's output (it would sound muffled being dominated by the primary and secondary resonance frequencies of the cabinet) it would be lower in amplitude (but not uniformly lower because of the non-linear nature of the cabinet materials) and would be delayed in time (the amount of time it would take for the energy to leave the drivers, be absorbed by the cabinet and then be released into the air) thus affecting phase integrity. If we think about this 'smeared' version of the signal (which contains corrupted frequency, amplitude and phase) being mixed back into the original signal it is no wonder that USE significantly affects the reproduction and that altering the USE has an audible effect!

Now, just imagine if we make a significant reduction of USE in the speaker cabinet. The amount of audible difference would be profound. Placing high mass on top of the speaker cabinet will significantly increase the resonance frequency (a good thing) and decrease the amplitude (also a good thing) of the top panel. The weight load will then be translated onto the side panels with a related change in their resonance frequencies. Furthermore, the added mass will more effectively couple the speaker bottom to the top plate of the speaker support, the floor or more suitably to a high-mass high-absorption platform so the USE can be drained from the speaker cabinet.

If we use laser infrarometry to measure the displacement of the speaker panel we would see a noticeable reduction in displacement (vibration) when high mass is set on top. In addition, if a high-mass high-absorption platform is placed under the speaker, this multi-stage vibration control system forces the speaker to be more effective in its main task of reproducing music - the drivers do not waste their energy in making the cabinet or internal parts vibrate because the cabinet is far more resistant to displacement. The drivers have no choice but to use their energy more efficiently in creating music.

The most effective method for supporting a speaker would be a high mass element on top of the cabinet, a high-mass high-absorption platform directly under the speaker (on top of a rigid and strong stand for a mini-monitor) and a pneumatic base on the floor to decouple the speaker's energy from entering the floor and being transmitted to the equipment rack (the pneumatic mount must be designed in the correct manner so that it does support the speaker to "rock" or "wiggle" which would allow Doppler shift to occur). This configuration is highly successful in eliciting the peak performance from the speaker without a redesign of the cabinet or the component parts. We do have labaroratory measurements that show the improvements to speakers with such a vibration control system.

The other components in an audio system will also benefit by a reduction of USE in their chassis. Besides speakers, turntables exhibit the largest degree of improvement by proper vibration control. Since they are electro-mechanical devices it is almost intuitive to us that this be so but the purely electronic devices also benefit: tubes are microphonic, the master and sub-clocks (which are based on oscillating crystals) in digital devices are affected, a spinning disc inside a digital player will exhibit non-linear movement, all component parts (transistors, ICs, capacitors, resistors, wire, diodes, etc.) that process the signal become microphonic, motors, fans and buzzing transformers induce vibration into surrounding parts, and the list goes on.

What are the sonic results of vibration contamination? As we discussed, frequency, amplitude and phase are corrupted. Frequency balance is skewed: one portion of the spectrum is highlighted or diminished as compared with another. Brightness may increase, midrange may become too forward, and bass may bloat and become ill defined. Amplitude of the signal is changed: the dynamic range of an instrument and indeed the dynamic relationships between the instruments are altered. Phase integrity of the signal is deteriorated: the spatial relationship of the instrument with its environment and the spatial relationships between the instruments are altered. In fact, frequency, amplitude and phase are interrelated and changing any one affects the other two. If all three are affected at the same time (by the presence of unwanted vibration) the resulting cacophony significantly reduces the ability of the system to convey what is actually contained in the recording - and that's what audio is all about. Not just what sounds pleasing because it makes someone feel fuzzy all over but what is musically and emotionally fulfilling because it reflects the actual sound of the instruments as they have been captured in the recording.

When we eliminate the sonic results of vibration contamination we more accurately hear what the individual components in a system are doing. It is possible that these results might be misinterpreted by some individuals. For example: if a speaker is providing excess out-of-phase elements the size of the soundfield might INCREASE beyond what is actually in the recording. Bigger is not always. This individual will have adjusted speaker placement and acoustic room treatment based on this exaggerated sonic view of the soundfield. Once the out-of-phase elements are properly controlled by reducing vibration the size of the soundfield may become smaller in this incorrect set-up and the listener may say, "Oh, this is not as good as it was before because things are not as large." What they should be doing is reevaluating speaker position and room treatment to optimize the now correctly operating speaker. Once that is accomplished they will find that not only is the soundfield as large, if not larger than before, but the instruments are in proper relationship with one another and ambience is cohesive instead of exaggerated. Frequency changes can also be misinterpreted: in a vibration plagued system a too forward midrange during transients is a typical symptom. Some people might misinterpret this as the system exhibiting "good presence" or a forward brightness region is often described erroneously by some listeners as "good detail". The removal of the vibration will eliminate these effects. Some may feel at first, that the removal of these exaggerated artifacts is a step backward in reproduction, but what they are hearing in the now vibration free system are the possible cumulative effects of previous tweaking and/or component choices made with a vibration drenched palette. Once the problems caused by unwanted stored energy are removed some system choices may need to be reevaluated.

Best Regards,

Barry Kohan
Bright Star Audio

Disclaimer: I am a manufacturer of vibration control products - I have been asked by Audiogon to show this disclaimer when I post a vibration control comment.
Very interesting Barry. Now, bringing all of this down to practicality, what materials and thicknesses will work best for the do-it-yourself platform maker? And why? E.g. granit, solid maple, maple butcherblock, other solid woods and butcherblocks, multilayered plywood to 3 inch thickness, Corion, Zodiac, Stylestone, others? And most of all. . . . why will one material be better than another? Oh hes, I was forgetting my favorite. . . heterogeneous sandwiches.
Hi Guido,

Optimally, a person should use a platform that has as little sonic character of its as possible AND that platform should absorb as much of the vibration and resonance out of the component as possible. Preferably, the platform would efficiently convert the mechanical energy (vibration) to a more benign form of energy (such as thermal energy - heat).

In addition, the support for the component should provide an effective barrier to stop vibration from entering the component from the floor/rack/shelf. In addition, there needs some mechanism to minimize the effects of air-borne vibration that is striking the component's chassis directly from the speaker AND addresses internally generated vibration within the component (motors, humming transformers and cooling fans).

Please be aware that natural wood, plexiglass, acrylic and many other similar materials are resonant and stone (granite, marble, corian, cement, concrete, glass, tile and other very rigid materials - IE: metal) will ring. The ringing and resonance will be transferred into the component and will negatively alter the signal flowing through the component.

Some people are confused about the fact that even though natural wood may be the right choice for a musical instrument (because it has distinct resonances) it is not appropriate for vibration control because of that very same reason. The components which comprise audio systems ARE NOT musical instruments. They should not have their own personalities (colorations) or have resonances imparted upon them by inappropriate choices in vibration control materials. The components in our audio systems are used to reproduce the sound of the original musical instrument as it has been captured in the recording. Anything that alters the signal flowing through our system's components takes us further away from being able to faithfully reproduce the signal in the recording.

As I am a professional designer of vibration control products I do not advise on DIY projects but I hope some of the guidelines above will be helpful to you.

Best Regards,

So Barry have you actually recorded and played back live musical instruments in the confines of your own studio so as to compare the tonal and dynamic influence your designs impart on the reproduction of the original? Tom
Barry, having been part of the world of music for the past 45 years, and having dealt with bowed strings for the past 15, I am relatively aware of the resonating properties of certain woods. That is why I was suggesting bonding 3 or 4 layers of poorly resonating 3/4 inch Baltic Birch plywood, finished by a top made by a 1/2 inch Corion sheet, which -- to the contrary of what you may believe -- does not resonate easily.

On the other hand, reading your initial article, and your response to my query, I am not quite sure why you are here. The article is regretably full of generalities, and your answer is rather condescending. I suggest that, unless you are prepared to foster the body politics with real practical knowledge or suggestions, if your goal were to promote your product and services instead, you may want to consider abstaining from posting to this discussion all together, as paid ads are more appropriate and especially suited for your very type of markcom. Regards, Guido D. Corona
I have five big pieces of 3" granite in my storage room. It just has too high a resonance frequency. I found the best way to use it was with sand under it in a wood surround. Soft isolators just steal the dynamics of music. I have found that a base with multiple resonances is best. Or one with none such as the Halcyonic electronic base.