Vibration - What are the Main Sources?


A current thread discussing the best tweaks gave consistently high ranking for component isolation. I am curious to know where all the vibration is coming from that we are addressing with isolation. I understand that high volume listening can create significant vibration, but for the sake of this discussion let's assume we are listening at moderate levels. Can the vibrations from moderate sound levels affect the quality of sound? Are there other common significant sources of vibration that we are guarding against that can dramatically affect sound?
zlone

From Clark Johnsen's Diary: Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On
by Clark Johnsen

"....good source sound is inextricably linked to isolation from the low-frequency horizontal component of our seismic environment.

It's not just seismic – it's cosmic"! It's Mother Earth!!!!!

https://positive-feedback.com/Issue50/vibraplane_clark.htm
There is also vibration created by gear with moving parts.

Some examples would be TT's, CD decks and laminated power transformers.

In the case of TT's/CD decks I attempt to drain off the vibration instead of "isolating" it to the component.

If you look @ my listed system you will see that all the electronics are located outside the listening room (that's how I approached isolation, plus it's a safety feature for our cats as I use exposed tube gear).

DeKay
The main source of physical vibration is the speakers which can interact with certain floor types and muddy the sound. Also can cause noise and distortion to be picked up by turntables in particular.
The other important form of Isolation I have found is  isolation from Electromagnetic fields created by transformers both in amps and in nearby appliances, wires,  and digital gear/circuits in general. 


All about the vibrations

All things in our universe are constantly in motion, vibrating. Even objects that appear to be stationary are in fact vibrating, oscillating, resonating, at various frequencies. Resonance is a type of motion, characterized by oscillation between two states. And ultimately all matter is just vibrations of various underlying fields. As such, at every scale, all of nature vibrates

Sorry but I can’t post the link to this. Phones is so stupid
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I'm more and more getting the feeling that there is more than a little quid pro quo happening on this website, name brand advertising for benefits.
So far I am hearing: the earth (was wondering about that), motors/gears, the components themselves, and of course speakers. As for components, are there certain types of internal components/transformers that are greater offenders than others? e.g. traditional vs. toroidal transformers?  
With something like photography it’s obvious that keeping the camera as still as possible is of great benefit.

You only have to look at 100 year old photographs to see just how much detail any camera on a decent tripod can capture.

With audio playback the vibration phenomenon seems less clear.

For example, with equipment that has no moving parts, are there any measurements that can reveal differences between signal output between isolated and non isolated products?

Of course there are plenty of measurements detailing the differences when it comes to mechanical devices such as loudspeakers and turntables.

Those devices have by far the highest rates of measurable distortion and by nature must also produce vibration of their own accord.

To this day some will insist that belt drive turntables have the advantage over the so called direct drive because the isolation properties of placing the rubber belt between the motor and the platter.

In my experience there’s no doubt that some form of resonance control is essential when it comes to speakers and turntables but the rest I’m not so sure.

For me there’s also no doubt that solid floors in buildings situated away from busy main roads must be of great advantage.

Unfortunately I don’t have those advantages, but I have heard systems in rooms where they have.

The result is usually a palpably cleaner sound. With or without any additional isolation.

It's also worth bearing in mind that most HiFi equipment does come with some form of prior decoupling, usually it's the almost ubiquitous rubber feet.

Therefore it can get tricky to work out whether you might need some more, and if so, just how much more?
@jetter,

Pretty shamelessly, if I may say so! 
I will open the door to shameless promotion. I have limited vertical space in my rack, any suggestions for low profile feet/dampers that are actually effective?
@zlone,

It would be helpful to know what are the components in your system to suggest effective isolation / tuning. Your goal should be to seek out devices that do not offer a flavor or house sound. Isolation is all about less being more. Basically, products that have no effect on what should be in a musical presentation by eliminating more of the things that should not be. 
It would be helpful to know what are the components in your system to suggest effective isolation / tuning.
 Primary components are Schiit Gungnir, Schiit Freya +, Coda #8. Primarily looking at more isolation for the Schiit components for starters.

For isolation from EM fields Start with physical distance between components. Especially keep preamps and source devices well away from power amps and powerful amps from each other. Also from any nearby appliances with transformers as well if possible.
Low level phono amps are most sensitive. For example I placed my step up transformer in a mu metal foil tube to shield it from noise induced by nearby electrical devices.

Avoid running power wires parallel to each other and ICs if possible.
For physical isolation isolate speakers from floors if needed as in case of suspended plywood floors. If things in the room vibrate when you jump up and down speaker interaction with the floor is a likely issue.
Turntables are a whole other story when it comes to physical isolation.
If you address these things in most cases should be on very good shape. If gear rests on any solid foundation to start additional physical isolation will likely not add much if anything.
I've used inner tubes on heavy bass bins on concrete. It really effected the way the TT worked.. Radio stations by the freeway trick.

Over air the tube get craft foam blocks put them in the corners under the subs box. THEN let some air out until it just rest on the craft blocks.

I isolate, multi springs in holders and some type of soft silicone platforms. Adding weight works. Wrapping a quiet brick vs a noisy one help too. 

For "Rack mount" spring load between components, that works very nice. It adds load but not to much weight..

There are some VERY effective low cost solution to vibration control, how they do look vs how they should look is a different story.. 

There is some easy effective more expensive alternatives to.
Great looking, easy to install, easy to adjust and very effective is appealing.

Regards
MC provides good information as usual. But what is he talking about in the rest of his comments? Airing personal grievances, paranoia? It has nothing to do with the subject matter in this thread. 
Anybody else confused and tired of reading it throughout the forum?


I’m more and more getting the feeling that there is more than a little quid pro quo happening on this website, name brand advertising for benefits.
is this an admission of guilt? You can tell us, we’re all friends in here, aren’t we?

Maybe one of the haters is having second thoughts
Haters, haters, we see no haters. Much.

He uses isolation. https://systems.audiogon.com/systems/615 and cable lifters, what the? Shill?
If you're going to insult someone, because they may be haughty at times, it may not pay to dismiss truth.
I'm more and more getting the feeling that there is more than a little quid pro quo happening on this website, name brand advertising for benefits.
That, and some major rotator cuff strain from all the patting oneself on the back. 


rubbed the wrong way nonoise?

Vibrations, the good the bad and the ugly. Obviously we want the good vibrations, and reduce the bad ones. And doing that selectively takes knowledge, and effort and an attitude that will allow for learning.

Sometimes people have vibrations, and these vibrations meet with our own nodes, they are recognised and well, the reaction can be pretty uncomfortable.

Interesting that you chose such a specific injury, close to home perhaps? Repetitive strain injury in your past in the shoulder joint perhaps nonoise?
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I have found that component isolation always thins out the sound and causes a weak tonal quality, it is for the detail oriented listener, it is not for me at all, you lose too much body to the music from it.
I have found that component isolation always thins out the sound and causes a weak tonal quality, it is for the detail oriented listener, it is not for me at all, you lose too much body to the music from it.

If those are your results, you aren't using the right devices or techniques for isolation and anti-vibration.
If setup correctly music will have more body, more weight to it. Bass will be extended and tight, music should present as more open and spacious.

Check the archives, there are many threads on system and component isolation.



If setup correctly music will have more body, more weight to it. Bass will be extended and tight, music should present as more open and spacious.
Yes to all that and more.


Vibration is not a simple topic. It is far too complex for this forum. IMO
Or maybe speakermaster has a flaw in his system. Such as a speaker or cable being out of phase.

A list of your components will help the forum decide how revealing your system is.

In my particular set up I have my speakers on isolation feet. I’ll keep the brand out as everyone has their own tastes. I rebuilt my house so I paid a lot of attention to insulation. I have 5.5 inches of closed cell foam in the floors. All exterior walls are closed cell! Attic is open cell. All interior walls are insulated! Also ran insulation down all the trusses! Have cork flooring throughout the house. Room is also treated with acoustical panels in corners where loading was an issue. Also all glass is double pain high impact! I am amazed at how controlled the bass is. I have nothing vibrating anywhere in the room. It’s awesome. I believe that the overall sound improved with speakers on feet vs not. There are so many variables unique to everyone’s set up, it will be trial and error until the golden combination is achieved imho. The constant pursuit of audio nirvana been fueling the industry forever!😎🎶
Vibration is not a simple topic. It is far too complex for this forum. IMO

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Well where should it be discussed? No it's not complex, no you don't need a degree, no it's not hard to learn. 

To complex for this forum.. To complex for some I'm sure. But so is plugging in two pieces of gear..  Complex to one is as natural as breathing to another..

To complex? WOW I've never hear that one. Complex yes but TO COMPLEX... :-)

Regards
many excellent, well engineered solutions available …produced right here in…wait for it……the USA.

My favorite for years and years with constrained layer damping and…in some cases.springs is HRS. No i don’t get anything for saying that.

Some of us remember the CJ phono sections hung with rubber bands, none of this..especially springs is new. Fletcher and the SOTA Sapphire…..
@oldhvymec

So, "No it’s not complex" in your second sentence, and "Complex yes" in your last sentence. Who can argue with that?

Guess you’re prepared to explain electronic oscillation? Those dumb engineers using complex numbers - what a bunch of dummies. Or maybe you could simplify Cox and D’Antonio (Acoustic Absorbers and Diffusers) down to a few sentences? Or how about the modes of vibration in a square sheet, and what to do about it (without differential equations, of course)?

I’m in awe, Oldhvymec.
Natural frequency - Everything on Ground Eart has them.. Just know which one it is and there will be No Vibration..
Diff Eq, yep no problem…just don’t expect speed, i am….rusty

can i use the Quantum computer at work ?
Sorry tomic. Not directed at you. Getting crochetty in my old age.
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Vibration - What are the Main Sources?
Possibly living to close to a brothel?

Vibration is not a simple topic. It is far too complex for this forum. IMO
My thinking so far: 
Electrical parts (capacitors, resistors...) vibrate when electricity is applied.  Vibrations are in waves.  2 near parts vibrating will have both constructive and destructive interference when the waves meet.  A component (preamp, DAC...) has many vibrating parts and thus a complex chorus of vibrating patterns.  Different components have different chorus of vibration patterns, thus it is highly unlikely that a universal fix exists.  However, improvements can be made by influencing the chorus of vibration pattern.  Use of Sorbothane deadens the sound - not all vibration deadening is sonically beneficial - only certain vibration control is beneficial.  I wonder if it's possible to create shelf that one can tune the vibration to compliment (make it sound better) that of the component?
Then we have CMS CenterStage2 footers that change the chorus of vibration pattern to another pattern.  I confident it works because reviews commonly report that a significant loss in audio quality but gradually gets better and within 2 weeks significantly passes the previous sonic mark-  placebos don't work this way.  Perhaps these footers are taking energy away from the system and thus lowering/changing the vibration pattern.  

At this point further vibration understanding is beyond my feeble mind, so I'm relying on the chorus of reviews when choosing my components.

One thing I do wonder though, who makes the best audio racks - HRS or CMS?  Maybe it's component dependent?  Probably best to NVM.
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Good Vibrations?  Try classic Beach Boys!
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Miller again:   "Putting the component on springs does not prevent anything from vibrating..."         Boing boing

Precisely.  Putting loudspeakers on springs positively ENCOURAGES them to vibrate.  Under Newton's Third Law, the moving parts in a speaker will create movement in the speaker box or frame that springs will permit.  Under Hooke's Law, the springs once deflected from their start positions will seek to return to them.  And so on...boing boing boing etc.

Result: Rock and Roll.   But not of the kind we want.
Moving speaker boxes and frames = smeared sound and deteriorated imaging.
Millercarbon,

Do you honestly believe that I, and the others named on whatever letter you’ve received from some nut case had anything at all to do with it??!!
Just because said nut case decided to use our user names, you truly believe that we all somehow got together and conspired to threaten you?? You truly believe that enough to print our user names on this thread as if we did??! Good God man, think a little.
Get a grip. I had zero, and I mean ZERO to do with whatever it is you received. Yeah, we’ve all nothing better to do with our time than to forge a secret cabal against you. You are that ingrained in our lives. Ridiculous.
I appreciate this thread; I started the one discussing the best tweaks. Some there argued that the tweaks couldn’t be ranked; I suppose some will claim that here about isolation. This makes a certain kind of sense, if they’re all additive to affecting the sound, but someone who has limited time or budget would ask the smart question the OP did here, namely, "where all the vibration is coming from that we are addressing with isolation." In other words, what should be addressed, first, and on what is money best spent?

Regarding the question "Can the vibrations from moderate sound levels affect the quality of sound?" there is an unspoken and crucial additional question, "Under what conditions -- room, equipment, and listener abilities" is there an effect? Because this is similar to the question, "Can moderate amounts of salt affect the quality of the taste?" The answer will depend on what someone can notice and how they taste. Some people are trained to savor food, to look for certain attributes, etc. To them, it’s easy to notice "too much salt." Others are less sensitized or they don’t care that much; their focus is elsewhere.

In other words, vibration control is like salt control — it’s hard to measure without specific metrics for user experience and for the preferences of a specific user. The fact these elements are not regular parts of these posts lead to all kinds of disagreements. Pie fight! It's fun, but essentially it comes about because someone has asked too imprecise a question (perhaps unwittingly) and then been dissatisfied with the answers. Whereas others have taken the imprecision of the question as some kind of trap set for the gullible. Bar fight!

And of course if we are talking about adding too much salt by two, three grains, then the whole topic becomes absurd. Some measure of minima sensibilia must be provided to discuss differences.

This is why the concrete floor issue is a hard one for me. I have concrete floors under my gear. And I realize that concrete can transmit vibration of people walking around the speaker. But when I listen, no one is in the room and no one is walking around. The Townshend demonstration about people walking around is, for me, a red herring. It doesn’t dissuade me that there’s something good happening with the products, but the walking example doesn’t help me.
@hilde45 - have you tired isolation springs? Like even the inexpensive Nobosound type? I have a concrete slab under my system, which is all on springs.

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MC provides good information as usual. But what is he talking about in the rest of his comments? Airing personal grievances, paranoia? It has nothing to do with the subject matter in this thread.

Anybody else confused and tired of reading it throughout the forum?

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You’re doing great MC. If I got a beef, your the first to know it, not the last.

What's the deal with the letter to the work place or board of whatever. WTF that ain't cool AT ALL!!

I’m not confused and I’m not tired of reading it on the forums. Consistency counts!!

SPRINGS work, period.. It Smears NOTHING.. Try it.. It’s very inexpensive. One up from there is to dampen the spring itself spray them with a flexible coating or insert a gummy puffer inside the spring. One up from there is to dampen the top and base on either end of the spring, (a pod). This is not NEW, it has been around a LONG LONG time.

Horse and buggy and blacksmith come to mind..

It’s just been refined to use (with great success) on stereo gear.. The information has been out there for a long time. The way they look cost money... They way they work cost some money. :-)

Regards
OP,
"zlone" = Corvette or Camaro?
Regards,
barts
So now for the stupid question,  We isolate the speakers, the DAC and so forth.  Music is still vibrating the box, the parts, the speaker jacks, the everything.  Does this also affect the sound?  Why would it be different?  PS Everyone, almost, like the springs.  What about Herbie's products? 
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Given speakers are a source of vibration, what do folks think they are isolating their speakers from when they try and isolate their them? The other speaker?

Speakers sound best when they are firmly grounded to a solid base i.e. not isolated from their base. Best to spend the effort and $$ isolating other components from the speakers and the vibrations caused by the speakers. 

Transformers vibrate, so it's a good idea to isolate individual components from one another. Stacking components normally produces undesirable results.
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