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Any weights work - solid brass and iron work best. Save yourself some money - be creative and look for something inexpensive, decorative. Check out Ross or TJ Maxx for brass nicknacks, or use solid brass bathroom hardware; use your imagination. Also, go to a local metal fabricator and have them cut 2" length of 2" thick round brass rod - should cost you about $25. apiece
I use solid carbon blocks, which I discovered at my dealer. There not only for vibration but they absorb heat. Placing on and off on my cd transport and dac and amps (over the transformer) blew me away. Only downside is there slightly pricey- around $80 for a half block and $160 for a cube. Check out Palmetto audio (an advertiser on agon)
I've got a pair of the VPI Magic Bricks also. Placed atop the power transformers of my main amps the result is an instant and profound improvement in overall focus. The Bricks contain a grain oriented iron that perhaps redirects the x-former's flux away from the rest of the electronics, or suppresses eddy currents within the x-former(or both). I'm certain the weight helps dampen vibrations too. Atop the output x-formers there is no difference at all. These were the first "tweaks" of their type that I tried(years back), and was astonished. I wouldn't think of parting with them.
Walker Audio Resonance Control Discs work well. Also, Marigo Audio Lab's Black 6mm VTS Tuning Dots--although they don't, actually, go on top of the component--are effective at dampening resonances. Small pieces of granite glued to wood (and not necessarily just maple) with the granite side down are effective, as well, for a "home-brewed" solution.
And, of course, VPI Magic Bricks are great on transformers, usually.
The danger with the use of any resonance control devices is overdoing it and over dampening the component in question, killing the life of the music. I'm an "ubertweak" and have tried just about everything over the years. . .
But, occasionally, I have run across a product that sounds best with absolutely nothing at all (like my Viva Solista) no matter what I've tried.
I completely agree with a comment I read posted once by someone I apologetically can't remember that, if one gets the acoustics, resonance control and AC delivery right, any halfway decent complement of components that interact well with each other can be very musical.
I still have a couple of VPI magic bricks. They are very well made, and look kind of sexy. I remember when they came out, a buddy and I were trying to tell by AB comparisons whether they made any difference. We decided it was important to be able to see them on the equipment in order to get the full effect. (But that was in the dark ages of the 80's; equipment is much more sensitive now.)
We developed on our own "magic towels," thereafter. You covered the top 1/3 of your dynamic speakers with them whenever the speakers seemed too bright. They were amazingly effective.
musicfile, you might want to check the Mapleshade website as they have some choices of brass weights (2 sizes) . I actually use them right now like them quite a bit and am considering upgrading to their micropoint brass weights. One interesting thing about the Mapleshade weights is that they have tiny points to minimize contact with the components to lessen reflection/interaction of resonance I think.
I accidentally found another (cheap) isolation fix.
I have a Zanden 5000S DAC with a very microphonic tube...waiting for tube replacement. (It is so microphonic, that the bass the combination of my SF Strads and Velodyne DD-18 sub causes to tube to whistle loudly through my speakers.)
Solution? I use a pair of ankle sandbag weights (the kind people attach to their ankles to work out) and I flatten them out and place them underneath the Zanden.
The combination of sand tightly bound in a heavy duty, extra tick nylon ankle band means you get both:a) vibration insulation from the sand b) fairly firm foundation because the ankle band keeps the sand from continuously shifting.
Nothing else I have tried keeps the tube from whistling thru the speaker. Hope that helps someone else out there!
It depends on everything. Your component and its case, what is under it, the metal of the case, the material of the weight, its location on the component, how it couples with the component, what the component is sitting on, what your flooring is like, where the component is relative to the speakers, how loud you play, what standing waves you have in your room, the positioning of the wires and circuit boards in the component, whether there are mechanical or ac induced vibrations in the unit, and your tastes all matter.
Trial and error is your only alternative. There is no reason to think that anyone's experiences here transfer to you and your system.