What's the best isolation system?

Let's hear your ideas on isolation. I'm hoping this will be a survey of systems featuring the different cone products including Mapleshade Triplepoints and heavy hats, Audiopoints various sizes and their footers, Black Diamond, DB Systems etc; through products like Vibrapod and the sorbathane gel feet,include the bearing type products like Aurios, and how you implemeneted or combined systems for the best sound.

If anyone has tried the Van Slyke Engineering Tri Orbs that have been heavily advertised I'd like to know also.

For instance I'm now using a hybrid Vibrapod sandwich which includes a set of Vibrapods (tumed for each component) a quarter inch piece of plate glass, and then Audiopoint or Mapleshade cones (I'm trying to decide between the two.) I have arrived at this combo by a couple of years of listening in a friends and my system by carefully substituting one product at a time.

Hope to hear from you all.

My ideas on isolation? This will anger a lot of folks but here goes. Best: Concrete floor, rigid stand(s) with spikes, 3/4" MDF shelves. Second best: Wall mounted 3/4" MDF shelves on a load bearing wall. Turntables should be isolated from other equipment by having their own stand or shelf. The only thing one needs to worry about with this concept is airborne vibrations and that can be minimized by strategically placing the speakers in relation to the electronics.

I certainly believe that anti-vibration devices can work and are desirable for tubes and CDP's. I question the use of glass in thicknesses of less than 1/2".

I'll share a little trick I learned 30+ years ago to check vibrations and it's cheap. Buy one of the laser pointers and tape it to a tripod which is placed on the ground outside of an open window. Use double sided tape to attach a very small mirror to the item to be checked for the effects of vibration. The goal is to reflect the light to a surface as far away as possible. Watch the reflected beam of light with and without music and you will observe the vibrations.

As for glass, do this test on an exterior window as far away from the music as possible. You'll see instantly why glass is an audio no-no.
Bravo Lugnut. Another thing, which I actually do, is to move my turntable/phono preamp into a separate room on the ground floor (concrete) and run balanced lines from the phon pre to the preamp in the music room.
I have tried several things from Iso-Bearings to Vibropods and have had the best results with AQ Sobethane Feet under my turntable. On my CD players I use the Paulsen Platters which are no longer made bu are in breif a platter riding on apposing magnetic fields. These seemed to enhance the bass on my CD and DVD players
Symposium is the only way to go.
Yo Lugnut! I'm pretty much on the same page with you about concrete slab construction, spiked stands and 3/4" MDF, but will add aluminum cones work better than brass or stainless on concrete....I moved into the new old house a couple years ago and figured I would have a lot of trouble with the 3/8" glazed in place windows behind my system and that just has not been the case at all....As far as very sensitive items like transports (the clock) and turntables I really like an active air suspension, but these aren't cheap.....I'm sort of in the cone business as an outgrowth of the preamp business so I have had access to a machinist to make up various cones for me of aluminum, brass, stainless and combinations with Delrin, a machinable hard plastic....On concrete slabs aluminum or stainless/Delrin combination works best and on pier and beam flooring brass seems to be the material of choice....No set rules for any of this other than active air suspension which is the cat's meow....
Audiopoints and the sistrum racks are great. They have audiopoint spikes with shelves that all have adjustable spikes. The metal support rods are filled with microfil miniscule metal bearings that all serve to transfer vibration into the ground. audiopoints.com. Concrete floor is great but if you don't have that try using a subfloor cork subfoor combo with fiber carpet pad and of course carpet.

I really am interested in your comments about the points since I'm in the process of building a new equipment rack. Would you say that aluminum points for a rack would be the way to go with a mild steel frame? Do you think aluminum would be a better material for the frame itself? Also, my comments about glass were limited to shelving material. In no way was I being critical with whatever works. Also, a world without windows would be an ugly thing, indeed. It doesn't surprise me that windows behind your system have little effect especially if you have floor standers out in the room as is the norm. Is there an aduible difference between the drapes being open and closed? Just to clarify on my turntable recommendations; what I described works extremely well with suspension turntables. I understand that suspension-less tables want lots of mass.

Hey Lugnut! The speakers are out from the wall about 6' and there are no drapes, but mini blinds.....First reflection fires into record shelves 8' wide by 7' tall on each side wall.....Go to Audio Asylum and go to rcrump Photo Gallery and you can see how it is set up....I had Marty DeWulf here in March and he took measurements as the room is just sensational, best I have ever had....It was an add-on to the house about ten years back before I lived here....15'7" x 23'7" x 8'6" with an 8' opening at the back that drains bass into two other rooms for another 30' or so....I'm sort of in the cone business (obviously not real serious about it) and have some 1.5" tall x 1.5" diameter cones with a .5" shoulder at the top drilled and tapped for 1.5" long 3/8-16 case hardened steel hex socket set screws...These are black anodized aluminum.....Made some speaker stands out of .5" aluminum and had them grain sanded and black anodized to match the Speaker Arts speakers we used at the CES a few years ago.....These were boxes about 12" x 15" x 24" as I recall and they were completed a day or two before I had to leave for the show.....These weighed about 60-70 as I recall and I filled them with old clothes or whatever to keep them from ringing.....Bottom line is I had about 2K in these and they sounded worse than the steel stands I had for the little speakers...TAS wrote us up as having nice sound at the CES, but think I would stick with steel tubing....Regarding turntables I think the way to go is an active Vibraplane or if under 40 pounds a Machina Dynamica Nimbus....My turntable has a built-in active air suspension BTW and is very heavy, well over 250 pounds as recall shipping weight was 550 pounds, but that included the 90 pound pump....(I have a sport model Rockport, a holdover from when I used to make a real living) Oh, if you can find some wide maple boards and have them put together with biscuits (hard to find maple more than 8" wide) you might give that a try as the 3/4" maple is actually a bit more open sounding than the 3/4" MDF, but don't go with butcher blocks......Geoff Kait has done the research on this when he was building the Nimbus active air bases at Machina Dynamica and you might want to go to his site, www.machinadynamica.com and shoot him an email regarding the maple....Good luck with the new rack!
I have tried all kinds of feet spikes and cones, and nothing can touch the absolute excellence of the Sounds of Silence Vibraplane. Expensive, but you won't want to listen to your CD player or turntable without it if you hear what it does.
I second that, Ejlif. deflating my V-Plane has the same effect on my soundstage. Nothing like it.
I'm quite happy with Ken Lyon's NEUANCE lightweight iso/absorb shelves. Much tighter bass than air suspension, and GREAT coherence without spectral shift. And good-looking too.
The Sistrum racks are really quite awful... bright and hashy and not mention UGLY. If you take the time to listen you will find the Symposium products to be the only real thing out there.
Deaf, dumb and blind kid sure plays a mean rollerbearing. Some rocker, also now in his fifties wrote a variation of the previous.. Its obvious that some people feel threatened when a new, unique and highly credible product based on science and not conjecture comes to the forefront. The Sistrum science is not based on the ordinary rectangle or the square. Or for that matter ordinary materials such as wood or rubber. How many people out there have actually heard Sistrum Racks? Some audiophiles need to think outside the box. Some of us maybe living on a flat earth. Ya know, its been spherical all along. I have been an audiophile for some 33 years now. I have seen and heard the latest and greatest manifestations of audio and video come and go. Nothing in my years has so impressed me as the application of Sistrum science in my system. After all, the triangle is the basis of all complex shapes. Think again!
I wonder if Chellingworth has the symposium devices mixed up with the Sistrum racks. I wonder if he has ever heard the Sistrum rack. If he has maybe he didn't follow the directions in set up. This is a product that will show what your components are made of. Sistrum along with the Neuance, IMO are as important as any of your audio gear. To fully realize what your gear is capable of, these products are a must. Subaruguru, Theaudiotweak, and myself have done a lot of homework on these kind of isolation products.
No need to take any of my opinions as fact. And please do not take anything that Chellinworth has said as fact. I believe that both Sistrum and Neuance offer a 30 day trial.I think you will find that this could be one of your best upgrades you have made in your quest for audio realizm.
Ya got nothing to lose. If you don't like it just send it back. I mean no offence to you Mr. Chellinworth. As the song goes " It's just you and me and we just disagree"
Sgr- I stand with those who have had great success with the Sistrum stands. They are nothing short of amazing in my system on my amps and speakers. When funds permit, I'll be buying a couple of racks for my tt and front-end electronics. As for aesthetics, everyone has their own idea of beauty. Personally, I find the visually minimalist design and functionally effective Sistrum stands to be very appealing, but to each his own. Chelillingworth is certainly welcome to his opinion and no product will work equally well in every application, but with no other details describing his exhaustive experience with the Sistrum products, I would be inclined to give it little weight at this point. Good luck with your isolation/coupling search.
You guys all crak me up. wow did I go and hurt someones feelings did I possibly put down a product that a dealer is carrying. Yes I have heard the sistrum stands, I have heard a lot of products and will be happy tom comment them as I please without resorting to infantile personal remarks.
I don't think that it is really worth a lot of time hemming and hawing over these things. I am not afraid of new technology and hey buddy I like triangle just as much as the next guy... just look how many championships th Bulls won... oh yeah and those darn pyramids are pretty cool.
Truth is y'all I just told you what I think of these products and did so with out a bunch of pseaudospeak and audiotalk. I really believe sistrum to make sonically and aesthetically poor products. I find symposiums products to be outstanding and to be the only product that has been universall positive in all apllications. Draining the vibrations from the components withou reflecting them back and coloring the components.

.....an no please don't take what I say hear as fact...please don't find any value in dissenting opinions....just go buy what they all tell you to buy........

.... and above all just go ahead and assume that I don't know what I am talking about......

Oh and while we're at this silly business which on of you as "exhaustive" experience with symposium..

oh and sorry I don't like your stuff
"The Sistrum racks are really quite awful... bright and hashy and not mention UGLY."

You might want to try a different approach to realize credibility of your comments, just something to think about Chelillingworth. Something like "I tried the sistrum and neuance, etc and IN MY OPINION or IN MY SYSTEM the symposium worked better and this is what I heard. Providing more detail as to the specific results in your system would be more beneficial than your slam which tells us nothing other than you just might like to invite high handed controversy.

I have also listened to the symposium shelves under the tt and thought it did a very good job in providing greater image focus and placement of instruments and vocalist on the stage than without. I haven't used their isolation bearings. I am currently evaluating the Still Points but the verdict is not in yet, pluses and minuses but there appears to be a change in character at certain upper frequencies that I didn't note before, maybe a problem elsewhere or a resonant peak. These devices take time to get a handle on. I haven't heard everything out there and even if I did there are just too many considerations for one product to better all others in every application. I am much interested in the neuance and sistrum as well.
I will also vote for the Sistrum. I love mine. The science behind it makes sense to me. I think it's beautiful. Even my wife, who had no comment when I got the beautiful Audo Meca Mephisto II and the gorgeous Syrah Supratek, commented "Wow! Thats cool looking!" To each his own, as it should be.
there is no doubt that the best isolation system is a combination of mass and air suspension, tuned properly and in layers. the concept is the extreme example of a constrained layering. the mass keeps the air from influenceing the next layer.

my Rockport Sirius III turntable seems to be an excellent example of this concept. if you consider what a siesmograph does then it is easy to understand that to some degree a phono stylus acts as a siesmograph. in addition to earth movement you have low-frequency vibration thru the floor from the speakers. the Rockport starts with a 250 pound stand, has an self-leveling air suspension, then a 200 pound plinth, then an air bearing, then a 65 pound platter, then the stylus and arm, then an air bearing on the arm. only the platter, record, stylus and arm wand (not the arm assembly) have any contact during play.

the influence of air born vibration is minimized by the mass of the platter and the arm design. when you hear the result of this over the top approach it is clear that it surpasses any other approach. i think it safe to say that a turntable is the item most influenced by vibration.

is this approach practical?...maybe not....but it is the best isolation system.
I tried the sistrum rack with the encouragement of a dealer and in my opinio they are really quite awful... bright and hashy and not mention UGLY.

I have also had the opportunity to try the nuence platforms and while I find them to be OK and an improvement over nothing they pale in every regard to the Symposium products which I feel excel in every regard.

Now I won't anybody's feelings, man this is boring ... I'm going to go sit and spin on my rollerblocks
Mike, I HANG my Aleph 2 monos from the joists under the speakers in my basement! Does this meet your MASS+AIR SUSPENSION qualification?
Subaruguru, if YOU think it qualifies....then it does.

strickly speaking, whatever assembly that is holding your amps onto the ceiling (some sort of bracket or strap) would be the suspension. if they are rigidly attached....there is no isolation.....especially if the speakers are on the suspended floor above....any vibrations would travel into the amps.....which may or may not be a big deal.

btw, good idea for space efficiency and WAF effectiveness.
Chelillingworth,when you set up the Sistrum rack did you use the proper Delron insert isolators and did you load sand or lead shot in the support rods?
Chelillingworth, I agree with Theaudiotweak. Maybe you didn't tighten the support rods enough. Depending on sand or lead,-- does make a difference. Also, the Delron isolators are essential to proper setup. Are you sure they are inserted properly? Thanks in advance.
The Aurios 1.2s with 5/8" tungsten balls do a good job. Using a stiff cord is not recommended though.
Due to airborne vibration, there is no such thing as isolation. Direct floor coupling is the only thing that can work. If your component is truly isolated, then it will absorb all airborne vibrations, and have no load path to dissipate them. They will be dissipated into your component and affect the sound.
I suggest reading info at www.avisolation.com There is a wealth of info there.
the very best way to isolate your hifi with amazing results that will keep you smiling forever is to place your speakers on townshend audio seismic podiums , audiophiles and reviewers are going crazy about there amazing performance,
once you have completely isolated your load speakers down to 3hz , isolating the rest of your equipment is a doddle,
if you stay with townshend audio go for the seismic pods or even better the seismic isolation platforms again isolation is down to 3hz . 
all you need to do is find out what each speaker weighs , measure the speakers footprint that will then tell you what size is needed and what size seismic podium springs are required 
for great prices check out emporium hifi in the uk some items are 40??% off retail you cant go wrong your system will be completely isolated isolated from seismic vibration down to 3 hz the difference using these products are ground breaking do not bother with anything else its the best thing you can do for your system but start with the speakers townshend audio podiums you just need the footprint size ans the weight of each speaker job done
I’m surprised that magnetic levitation hasn’t been brought up.  Really helps with digital and tub equipment.  HigherFi made some great strides in this area the last few years.
this thread is so ’2002’; if you scroll up you will see posts of mine from 18 years ago. but things have changed and technology has moved on. there is a new sheriff in town, it’s called ’active isolation’.


as far as magnetic levitation; it’s passive and has it’s pluses and minuses. i used to own an SAP Relaxa 1 mag-lev table, which was just ok. there are other passive approaches that are better. mag lev and hifi are best together with turntable drive systems, not isolation from feedback resonance.....IMHO.

but no passive can touch active when your situation allows active to be used. active has limitations which the thread i linked address. it’s not a one size fits all solution. but it is the best isolation solution yet devised. it’s what state of the art science and industry uses
When the details of the devil reside within then isolation will never exist.Same as it ever was and will be.
Exactly. What I been sayin'. Vibration inherent in the component. The task is control. Not isolation.
The devil’s greatest trick was getting people to believe he didn’t exist.
Vibration isolation is a two-way street 🔛 That’s why a vibration isolation device can be an upside down pendulum, for example. It’s the combination of the mass AND springs that is the key, not just the springs or the airsprings. For example, an isolation device underneath the speakers does three things: (1) prevents mechanical feedback to the front end electronics via the floor, (2) prevents low frequency seismic type vibration from entering the speakers from the floor AND (3) reduces cabinet resonance. It’s three, three mints in one! As fate would have it vibration isolation DOES reduce self-induced vibration. If there was no such thing as vibration isolation they wouldn’t have been able to reduce the background noise enough to detect gravity waves, the amplitude of which are on the order of the diameter of an atomic nucleus. Hel-loo!
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there is passive, that in essence is a spring. it floats, settles, overshoots, and is soft. even the best possible passive isolation works like this.

then there is active which reacts to perceived resonance; it’s stiff since is can start and stop. passive cannot start and stop. at it’s best it can only self level.

active is very effective at low frequencies, but over 200hz it’s benefit diminishes.

passive struggles to attenuate at really low ’ground noise’ frequencies (under 5hz). it get’s down there but it’s level of attenuation is marginal. that is where active is ideal. OTOH passive is much better than active at higher frequencies (over 200 hz).
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Active might be nice for millionaires and LIGO. Passive is good enough for everyone else. 🤗 By the way, active also floats, settles, overshoots, is corrected, floats, settles, overshoots, etc. Also, if you train a camera on a passive iso device whilst music is playing the camera will not detect any motion. 
in a micro-nano particle context i agree active has the same weaknesses, simply much much less than passive.

but science and industry accept the precision of active isolation to help them accomplish appropriate tasks effectively.

agree it’s expense is prohibitive. i got a little carried away. i do appreciate having it though. someone has to be at that end of the music reproduction resonance isolation bell curve.
Most people don’t know isolation is an art as much as a science. There is a wrong way and a right way to implement isolation, even passive isolation. If you could hear what I’ve heard with your ears. 🤗 Look at the sentence I added to my previous post regarding the non- movement of passive iso devices. It’s not as if they - the passive devices - are moving up and down as you intimated. They are also micro nano movements.
Material science and geometry. You cannot correct for motion artifacts with devices that also have motion artifacts. They will never respond the same even as a polar opposite. Shape...and shapes help determine direction. Material selection determines signal speed/shear wave velocity on and thru the material. Thats why everything sounds different and makes a difference. Tom
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Oh where did it go where did it go??
Most people don’t know isolation is an art as much as a science. There is a wrong way and a right way to implement isolation, even passive isolation. If you could hear what I’ve heard with your ears. 🤗 Look at the sentence I added to my previous post regarding the non- movement of passive iso devices. It’s not as if they - the passive devices - are moving up and down as you intimated. They are also micro nano movements.

Which one is this? http://www.machinadynamica.com/machina24.htmArt? Or science? Right? Or wrong? Micro? Or nano?

Hey, that tickles! 🥱
doesn't "active" require a pump? which makes noise? So it changes the signal/noise ration for sound that reaches  your ears?  so the pump needs to be in another room? 
    Mike Levine has an awesome listening room.  My apartment doesn't lend itself to having a custom designed listening room in a separate building, with an isolated pump.  (Same for the a/c system which bring noise through the vents.  Same for isolation transformers, which hum.)  Sure, active is the only way to go, but I can only admire it.   

the active devices i use (Table Stable TS units) use piezo electric sensors to sense the resonance in 6 axis, and piezo electric actuators to compensate for that resonance. they only make any noise when they level the load when fist turned on; after that they are dead quiet as far as ambient noise. i have 5 of these units in my system, they are turned on 24/7 and are dead quiet and all within 7-8 feet of my listening position.

when you say ’pumps’ i would expect you are referring to an air bladder type of resonance control. that type is passive, the air bladder acts like a spring and will float and settle. the pump would only be used to level the bladder, and would not actively react to resonace, only the level.
I would judge active devices over-engineered. Passive done right is divine. Less is more sometimes. The real problems with air bladders are (1) they have the wrong geometry, (2) they leak air through the rubber fabric, (3) they have too much internal damping, (4) they generally don’t have low enough resonant frequency Fr and finally (5) they generally don’t isolate in more than one direction. 🔝

thanks, that's interesting. 
I clicked on the topic thinking somebody wants advise on the best sound system for self isolation...