WAF Alert: McCormack DNA .5 on Vandersteen 2W sub?

My wife would like me to place my McCormack DNA .5 on top of my Vandersteen 2W sub for home decor reasons(I have to admit it does look good up there, all enthroned on it's own massive pedestal as it well deserves., kudos to Steve..). I have the amp on the McCormack supplied sorbothane pucks with the short tiptoes inserted in the recess, all resting on pennies which have funtak under them. So far sonically after a brief listen there seem to be no glaringly apparent negative effects. Anybody else doing this or am I crazy or perhaps deaf ? maybe I should build a custom sand isolation box like jax2 has done?
I would have two concerns: vibration and magnetic field interaction. Put your hand on the sub and on the McCormack during a loud bass passage. If you feel significant vibration, that's not good. Most 'philes would agree vibration of an amplifier is undesireabler. For magnetic field, see if the sub is magnetically shielded. If not, the magnetic field from a large speaker magnet could affect the McCormack's signal and eventually magnetize its iron-based components.

One way to have your cake and eat it too would be to put a large space between the two components -- raise the McCormack. For example, you could straddle the sub with a small, two shelf bookshelf or a rack and put the McCormack on top of that. Good luck.

Try a Symposium "platform" for your amp. It should take care of any ill effect from it's new location. Try it before you buy it from your local dealer!

You shouldn't be too influenced by what Marco has done with his sandbox. He isn't really using it in his audio system. He just needed an excuse to build one so he could play in it. He can also hide a lot of things in there too, like playing cards with naked ladies on them.

I bet the McCormack does look good on the Vandie sub! James brings up good points. Maybe you can have a nice solid maple platform built that shares the same dimensions of the Vandersteen and place the DNA on that. Or how about a piece of granite? Also, I think you'll need to protect the sub from whatever platform you choose. Instead of using things like rubber pucks or Blu-Tack which can mar beautiful surfaces, I use gray artist kneaded erasers which can be shaped like Play-Doh, stay soft, and never discolor or harm the solid surfaces they contact.

Good luck!
Thanks for the feedback guys. Wow, I never considered the magnetic field issues-what would Enid Lumely think(anybody remember her?)-the apparently "out-there" writer from Absolute Sound who has in restrospect proven herself way ahead of her time..I can recall that she described elevating her speaker cables on 2x4 blocks to get them off the carpet....now you can buy some manufactured tweak device to accomplish that.) As far as the vibrations for example when I crank up" Dafos" or the "Train Song" from Holly Cole's Temptation album (thanks Marco..) I do in fact feel subtle vibration on the top of the sub, but alarmingly I feel more vibration in the top of the amp case. Could this perhaps be airborn?!!! and the case is resonating? Steve McCormack once demonstarted for me his system years ago in the back of his shop-mind blowing, no-make that chest crunching surfable bass waves coming from his Vandys..Steve are you out there? As far as Marco(code name jax2, a good 'ol friend of mine..) perhaps I can use the naked lady card info as blackmail..of course Marco photographs naked ladies on a regular basis and digging in the sand may be akin to searching for WMD?
Hey Jon- I got more music for you to listen to.....glad to hear the Vandy's are working out and good to see you postin' here. What, ain't they given you enough to do downtown!? You can see by my number of posts here that I'm just sittin' on my hands waitin' for the phones to ring. Dean, my friend, you and Jon are going to get me in trouble with my wife..........again! Gunbei, or the slanted-head green man, as he is known round these parts, stares at naked ladies all day while figuring out ways to embellish their blossoming womanhood into gravity-defying jugs of wonderment for the likes of the great bullshit factory down in southern Cal known as L.A.

Don't give into the WAF J.J.!! Keep up the good fight for truth, justice and a big-ass soundstage!!! Actually, I NEVER put my amps on my speakers......well, it was only perhaps a week or two.....I built a shelf that goes over the top of the Scala's with some marble and inexpensive spikes. That and the sandbox did the trick. Don't know how tall your sub is, but you could do a similar treatment. Sandboxes are a snap to make, very inexpensive, and work very well. You can finish em' in all kinds of fancy plastic fruitwood veneers like they have inlaid on the dashboards of 78' Gremlins. It can match the side of your minivan! I also know a good place to buy inexpensive custom sized butcher blocks, but I have to look that one up if you want it. Play sand is cheap, but the purists are gonna tell you you've gotta get that silicone stuff they use for sandblasting that costs about 10 times the price of play sand. Don't listen to them, you've got mouths to feed. The play sand works just fine. You can hide that spare quad of Siemens Falcons for the Audible Illusions from Mindy if you make the sand deep enough. Just keep Otis away from it or you may end up recreating that scene Jorge used to describe with the cat and the Nye strobes.....remember that one?! I surely would not put an amp on a subwoofer, your just asking for trouble, as well as plenty of ridicule from folks round these parts, man they'll heap some shit on you here that is so foul you will wish you never heard of the Internet! Just kidding, they're a good bunch. Now over there on the Asylum....jeez, those folks are just WAY too serious about this stuff. KeeeRyst, it's just stereo gear! Right guys? Right....am I right? Hey.......where's everyone going........hey, wait......No, I didn't mean it that way..........Hey, guys, c'mon! I've got a bootleg Patricia Barber from Jazz Alley that got smuggled out by the sound engineer.......Aw, c'mon...I didn't mean what I said...I used to own a VPI Brick!


PS Jon (Bibasset) is the very individual who got me addicted to this insane hobby some twenty years ago or more! He's the man who exposed me to those wonderful old Quad speakers playing with his modified Dynaco and AA pre. That was the tube sound I could never shake off that I wrote about in my system profile. They'd have to boot me out of their ground-floor Park Slope apartment cause I didn't want to leave those wonderful sounds coming from his speakers through those glowing tubes behind the cage.....like being kicked out into the cold away from a warm fire! I don't know whether to thank him, or curse the day he dropped the needle into the first groove on Jazz at the Pawnshop. Once the needle goes in, it never comes out! I'm hooked! Thanks Jon!
Wow! So Jon, you're the one that got Marco started on his downward spiral into Audiophile Hades? Personally, I think a highly creative goofball like Jax2 would have found another insanely expensive outlet for his creativity even if you hadn't let him listen to your system in the early days. He's the resident Audiogon kook and comedian!

Years ago, I had one of those wooden 240 disc CD spinners sitting on top of my subwoofer. I never heard any CDs rattling during scenes like the T-Rex vs. Spinosaurus battle to the death, maybe because my whole building was shaking too, but I did notice a few had gotten shaken out of their slots.

You're probably right about the amp case shaking from both physical contact and airborn vibrations. I was listening to my system last week and noticed a slightly hooty sound in the upper bass and lower midrange. It turned out it was caused by an empty box sitting at my feet. When I picked up the box with the music still playing I could feel the vibration in the sides and flaps of the box. Even when I moved it to the back of the room, I could feel it humming along to the tune. I put some stuff in the box and the noticeable vibes had stopped.

Since audio gear is all exposed to airborn vibrations, my guess is the only thing you can do to reduce the buzzing if your wife insists you place the DNA on the Vandie, is to create isolation between the two units. Granite or a two inch thick piece of hardwood with the kneaded eraser tweak I mentioned might help a bit.

And, since you're an old friend of Marco, maybe he'll lend you some sand or even let you in the sandbox. But don't go digging around for those nudie girl playing cards, who knows what else he's got hiding under there.

Good luck,
Goonbah- Yep, it's out in the open, Jon's the one who popped my cherry sending me into the dark netherworld of hi-end never to return to to 'normal' life again!

C'mon now, there is no question an amp on a sub is going to be detrimental to the sonics (not our basketball team Jon)...the question is only how bad does it get. Keeerist, MY amps are vibrating here in Seattle when Jon plays his sub and he lives across the sound on a friggen Island! I was wondering why my CD's were all falling out of their jewel cases....turn the level down on that sub will'ya Jon?! The magnetic question is a good point though. I had FedexGround deliver a Velodyne ULD15 years ago in several pieces, evil primates that they are, and MAN that magnet is huge and heavy! I got too near a 21 inch sub once and had to get three strong guys to help me break free. I had to leave my belt and watch there with the sub, but I was just happy to get away with my life!

Kneeded eraser tweak?! Hey Gunbei, I would've thought you had the Blockheads squished underneath your components for isolation? Or just hack off a few clay toes or sumthin'? Don't they just grow back instantly?

Ain't no nudie cards in my sandboxs. I rented it out to my relatives on the Lower East side. They pay me handsomely each month. They're keeping parts of Jimmy Hoffa in each of three sandboxes I have. Told me the dude was an audiophile and would have wanted it that way. Who am I to ask questions...my toes don't grow back!

Of course I can blame Marco for re-infecting me with this audiophile fever. I was happily minding my own business, content with my modest system while distracted by raising three kids. Then he tells me about Audiogon (my wife probably curses that day...) and here we go again...different speakers, an inexplicable exploration of solid state amplification, the search for new cables, and damn I'm sure the digital front end can be improved.. I need to fire up the Goldmund Studio..it's been too long in hiatus. So I wonder,regarding the magnetic fields issue with the sub: do I also need a slab of 2" thick lead ? Perhaps a big sandwich of maple, lead and sand. Or I could just take the damn thing off of there..of course switching to some nice quicksilver mono amps back and off to both sides would be all zenlike and fengshui too...
I have my BPT 3.5 power conditioner on my Paradigm sub with inverted polycrystal cones inbetween with the noticeable difference of the bass tightening up and cleaner, less booming.
What's with all these WAF stuff. My wife never tell me what to do with my audio gears nor how much money I spent on them. Maybe you should marry an Asian woman instead :)
LOL @ Krellcoda. You might be on to something.

I think Asian women are used to growing up with Asian guys that love their cars, stereo equipment and guns, so if they end up marrying a guy that is only into one of the three, they feel like they've made a good catch.
Hi Gunbei,
Actually my wife came here since she was a little baby. So she's very much Americanzized :) She just has no interest in my audio hobby nor she really cares for how much I've spent on the gears. BTW, she makes about twice as much as I do. Call me lucky, I guess :)
Hi Bibasset - I did not see your post until just recently.

Obviously, setting your amp on your subwoofer is not something we would normally choose to do, but I understand that we don't always have an ideal situation. In fact, the top of the Vandersteen sub is fairly "quiet," so if you have to put it on your sub, this one is better than most. The DNA amps have good damping feet built-in, so this will help to protect you from high-frequency vibration - there is not much you can do about low-frequency energy. (Please be sure to use a thin paper or plastic coaster to protect your subwoofer's finish from the damping feet.) Other types of feet may change the sound so you should feel free to experiment, but they will probably not change the low-frequency coupling. You have several inches of separation between the DNA-0.5 circutry and the subwoofer amplifier, so I don't think you have to worry about electric or magnetic field coupling at all.

Move the amplifier to a dedicated stand if you ever have the opportunity, but if marital bliss demands you leave it on the sub in the meantime, I suggest you defer to the wife ;-)

Best regards,
Steve McCormack
Tell her that her friends will think she's cheap for not putting it on a dedicated stand. Nothing to manipulate a woman like another woman's opinion of her.