This is a post of mine in response to a question posted by "grannyring" back on 10-16-2018 regarding IsoAcoustics Gaia Footers that you may find helpful:
I would not use Isoacoustics Gaia Footers, i have tried all the various types over the years and the way to go is Townshend Podiums, they are in a different league to the Isoacoustics.
You mentioned pucks, but believe you mean the Gaia footers and possibly carpets spikes. Isoacoustics does both.
I run the Gaia II with ATC 40 active and the difference from the stock provided spikes is enormous. They provide all of what one looks for such as better resolution, more controlled bass, blacker background and lower noise floor. The carpet spikes better the performance even more. They are real.
Anybody out there tried using vibration control tweaks under GE Triton One speakers?What's your floor?
If cement slab then just spike (couple) into it, don't worry about any BS vibration control.
But if it's suspended wood or composite sheet, then you need to isolate (decouple) from it, so it doesn't act like a sound board for the bass.
The Townshend isolation video illustrates very clearly that isolation works even when the floor is a cement slab. This is because the quotidian Earth motion 🔝 is so powerful it moves the cement slab like it weighed nothing as well as the entire building. And because isolating speakers reduces cabinet vibration, allowing the speakers to produce a purer acoustic signal. Isolation systems are two-way systems 🔛 It’s two, two mints in one! 🤗
VPI’s Harry Wesifeld has GAIA feet under his KEF Blades, and highly recommends them. If you study the diagram of the structure of the GAIA on the IsoAcoustics website---which reveals the foot’s interior, you will see that any isolation it provides is only that by the thin piece of rubber that separates the top and bottom "plates" of the GAIA. Hardly hi-tech! The metal housing you see is just that---a metal housing. Might as well use one of the Herbie’s Audio labs products , or SIMS Navcom Silencers (if you can find some).
Now watch the You Tube video wherein Max Townshend explains the design of his Seismic Pod, then demonstrates it’s effectiveness. THAT’S more like it! I’m not on the Townshend Audio payroll ;-) .
...the thin piece of rubber that separates the top and bottom "plates" of the GAIA. Hardly hi-tech! The metal housing you see is just that---a metal housing. Now watch the You Tube video wherein Max Townshend explains the design of his Seismic Pod, then demonstrates it’s effectiveness. THAT’S more like it!
What was the difference you heard between the two products?
Did you use the optional purchase of the metal coupling feet with the GAIA?
Possibly it’s the material’s damping factors of the rubber membrane and stainless housing used in combination with the internal air chambers that make the product functional? We found there is a clear and defined difference in performance when the optional coupling feet are used with this product.
The other product you appear to favor when analyzed uses rubber, metal and contains a spring.
Both products are highly restricted by weight tolerances that dramatically affect the pricing structure so please include model numbers so listeners can make a fairer comparison.
I would like to hear more info from the readership with regards to any listening comparisons between the two designs.
A qualified soundman who designs vibration management accessories, speaker stands and equipment racking sold by a manufacturer.
Robert, I have no experience with the GAIA. There are three models of that foot, each of which covers a pretty large weight range (GAIA III: up to 70 lbs., II: up to 120lbs, I: up to 220 lbs). Prices are $199/set of 4, $299, and $599 respectively. The Townshend Pods are closer together in range: 2-4 lbs., 4-8, 8-16, 16-32, 32-64, 64-128, iirc. Unlike the GAIA, all models are priced basically the same.
I had no intention of buying both the GAIA and the Pods, so chose between them based on my evaluation of their design. Everyone is free to do the same. All the IsoAcoustics speaker isolation products are based on the use of rubber as the means of providing that isolation. All rubber, whether the plain old stuff feet have been made out of forever, Sorbothane, Navcom, EAR Isodamp---and to that group I’m going to add the IsoAcoustic rubber---DOES provide isolation, but down to a not-very-low frequency. And it is somewhat reactive, leading to the well-known "spongy" bass that spikes eliminate.
While the GAIA may afford sq improvement in some or even many situations---and I don’t question that it does---I don’t view rubber as the optimum route to take in the endeavor to find the optimum speaker (or any other component) support. Again, everyone is free to follow the path of their own choosing. If I had the $, I’d have Herzan or Minus-K platforms until all source and electronic components. Since I don’t, I’m going with the Pods and Machina Dynamica Springs, which are replacing some of my Townshend Sinks and roller bearings. As should be obvious, I believe in true isolation, not "tuning" via resonant materials, which add their own sound to that of the source and hi-fi components. That path does not align with my personal understanding of the nature of the "problem" and how best to address it.
By the way, the rubber of the Townshend Pod is used to create a semi-sealed enclosed air space around the spring, which, used in tandem with the small air escape hole in the top of the Pod, creates a "bellows"-like design. That enclosed air DOES afford damping, so in that way the rubber used in the Pod IS involved in damping, but not at all in the manner of the rubber products named above. The full explanation and demonstration of the design is viewable on the Max Townshend You Tube videos.
Bdp24, Thanks for the detailed explanation.
I’m in search of personal listening experiences and comparisons to see if the differences between the two name brand devices matched my findings.
I agree where applying various materials that produce audible frequencies commonly referred to as a ‘tuning methodology’ was not the best option for me either however, there was a lot of knowledge gained by going through that educational process.
My colleagues and I have been working a wood rack design where we have significantly reduced the audible sonic and rack noise established by vibrating wood shelving and succeeded in moving resonance to ground. We plan on showing this product at the Capital Audio Fest in November.
Hoping your career pays off and you acquire those active isolation tables and when that time arrives, there are additional products you may want to consider auditioning that improve on their performance capabilities as well.
Disclaimer: A qualified soundman who designs vibration management accessories, speaker stands and equipment racking sold by a manufacturer.