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Do isolation components work ? (Vibrapods, Cones, bearings, feets)


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#1 of 56 OFFLINE   Samson

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Posted August 14 2001 - 07:10 AM

Do isolation components work ? (Vibrapods, Cones, bearings, feets)

#2 of 56 OFFLINE   Elbert Lee

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Posted August 14 2001 - 07:29 AM

Yes - to varying degrees. For most HT setups (mid $2-$4k systems) results will be minimal. However, as indicated by these isolation companies, you should start with the SOURCE component. I used one on a cheaper HT system (Panasonic A110 dvd player) with a Denon AVR 3300 and there was noticable improvement in overal resolution as well as an increase "tightness" in bass. Most noticable was more precise imaging.
I used ceramic cones by DH Cones. The purpose is to reduce internal vibration casued by your player's internal devices (transport and yes, even power supply vibrations)
I've heard different degrees of improvement. I've had the best luck with ceramics.
I would suggest purchasing one set ($20-$50) of cones and try them on your transport. If you like what you hear, get better ones and try them on different components.
Of course, you could always make your own.
Elbert

#3 of 56 OFFLINE   Ryan_D

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Posted August 14 2001 - 11:22 AM

I've heard of people using small inner tubes under components and sand bags on top. It's supposed to give the same effect, and it sure wouldn't cost $50.

For CD and DVD players I think the theory is that the player doesn't have to work as hard to track the disc. I have no idea why people isolate amps though.
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#4 of 56 OFFLINE   Saurav

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Posted August 14 2001 - 11:28 AM

Quote:
I have no idea why people isolate amps though.

Because some components can be microphonic, i.e., they pick up air-borne vibrations and convert them to electrical effects. There have been cases where people reported being able to hear music from inside their amplifiers when no speakers are connected (and this was with solid state electronics, not tubes). This would be caused by mechanical vibrations induced by changing electrical currents. The reverse of this effect would cause the electronics to pick up vibrations and have an effect on the electrical signals generated, which would color the sound.

At least, I think that's the theory Posted Image


#5 of 56 OFFLINE   Brian OK

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Posted August 14 2001 - 03:50 PM

Samson,

The question you ask should lead you down the road to a lot of personal research. There is no way a complicated question like this is going to result in quick, easy to implement answers. Not in 2 paragraph posts in this forum, or any forum, that is for sure !

Best place to start is the search function at www.audioasylum.com Start with the tweaks forum as your selection. Also go to www.avsforum.com and check out the audio/video improvements forum. And there are a wealth of other sites, and links, that offer direction.

You will get a wealth of insight from many people who have traversed that coupling/decoupling/damping road before.

Keep in mind that there are many approaches to achieving uncolored sound, but that ultimately, you may have to "color" it to your personal preference.

I use Vibrapods under some of my components and speakers, sand bags on my components (and inside my DVD player), Dynamat, Blue Tack (inside my components as well), innertube under my Power Conditioner, and a few other "additions". I am a neophite compared to the serious !!!

Do they enhance my sonics, or my video image ? I have moved, added, deleted, modified, so many times .....it never seems to end. Satisfied, am I ?

It never ends...... just try to get to the sound that you enjoy........


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#6 of 56 OFFLINE   Kevin C Brown

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Posted August 14 2001 - 05:53 PM

Another cheap solution:

Rubber stoppers. You can by them by size, don't have any links at the moment. (I am using # 5's under my turntable at the moment.)

But I specifically buy the same size from different batches, so that any resonant frequencies present will be different for each stopper.

You can get solid ones, and ones with holes in them. Haven't really considered which ones there would be better.

Also helps to increase the space between stacked components to improve cooling.

As far as I can tell, the best improvement seems to be an increase in detail and "air" in the midrange. Bass seems a little tighter, and maybe a little less "brashness" in the upper frequencies.




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#7 of 56 OFFLINE   Mike Kao

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Posted August 14 2001 - 06:34 PM

Man, you guys are FREAKS!!! Posted Image

Seriously though, I think there comes a point when you have to stop and ask yourself, "hmm, maybe bringing these rocks and sandbags into my living room IS a bit ridiculous?"

Maybe these silly tweaks DO help, no one knows for sure, but my bet is that these improvements your noticing are just in your heads!!!!

BTW, don't take this post seriously... it's late at night, and I tend to make less sense as I become more sleep deprived Posted Image

#8 of 56 OFFLINE   Saurav

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Posted August 14 2001 - 06:54 PM

Quote:
but my bet is that these improvements your noticing are just in your heads!!!!

It's still worth it though, isn't it? Every time my stereo brings a smile to my face or makes a friend's jaw drop, that, right there, makes it all worth it.

IMO, of course.


#9 of 56 OFFLINE   John-D

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Posted August 15 2001 - 03:24 AM

Quote:
The purpose is to reduce internal vibration casued by your player's internal devices (transport and yes, even power supply vibrations)

Quote:
For CD and DVD players I think the theory is that the player doesn't have to work as hard to track the disc.

Quote:
The reverse of this effect would cause the electronics to pick up vibrations and have an effect on the electrical signals generated, which would color the sound

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#10 of 56 OFFLINE   Saurav

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Posted August 15 2001 - 03:59 AM

*grin* And your point is? Posted Image


#11 of 56 OFFLINE   Kevin C Brown

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Posted August 15 2001 - 04:04 AM

Mike- My post about the rubber stoppers was a joke.

(But I do find them convenient for increasing the space between components.)

I don't believe this stuff helps at all either.

But hey, if it makes people feel good to spend money on stuff like this, who are we to judge?

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#12 of 56 OFFLINE   Ron Boster

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Posted August 15 2001 - 04:46 AM

I concentrated on my DVD player. I bought a used bright Star platform and a placed a marble slab on top. A test disc was Event Horizon...particularly the deck scene in the beginning of the film.....without the isolation there was a lot of noise and shimmering (the vent fans at the deck's ceiling...couln't tell what they were=no detail). With the isolation in place, less shimmering, a more detailed picture. This time I could tell they were fans and see the detail of the blades moving. If you can get detail out of the picture, you can assume that the overall picture should improve too.

JMO

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#13 of 56 OFFLINE   Saurav

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Posted August 15 2001 - 05:29 AM

In case anyone is actually interested in this topic enough to read other people's experiences...

http://www.audioasyl....neral&m=111619

BTW, that's what I was referring to in my earlier post, and these are experiences of people who build and test electronics, not just end users like you and me. In my books that gives it slightly more credibility Posted Image



#14 of 56 OFFLINE   DaleB

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Posted August 15 2001 - 09:22 AM

I installed 4 isolators under my keyboard. If you look very closely at the screen as you read this you will notice the fidelity of the fonts is slightly improved than other replies you can compare it with.
Your next question is how can this happen through cyberspace, and that is a good question. I will be working on that question over the next few days, and should have a answer to that very question in about a week.

In all seriousness (?), a couple of years ago HT mag placed 4 vibrapods ($220) under a DVD player and 3 of the 4 editors had heard and seen perceptible improvements. They said they saw no improvements whatsoever on several other devices including a spray coating for CD/DVDs, putting coins at the corners of speakers cabinets, a special magnetizer for CDs which ran up in the hundreds.

It's interesting about DVD players, others have claimed improvements by using inner tubes under the player, etc.

#15 of 56 OFFLINE   HankM

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Posted August 15 2001 - 09:28 AM

My Sony 777ES SACD player sits on 3 Black Diamond Racing Cones which are carbon-fiber. I also have a VPI brick placed over the power supply. Couldn't be happier! Posted Image

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#16 of 56 OFFLINE   Saurav

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Posted August 15 2001 - 11:51 AM

quote:
4 vibrapods ($220)[/quote]

What kind of vibrapods were these? I just checked, and Audio Advisor sells these for $24 for a set of 4. I've seen them at other online merchants for similar prices.

I think a line should be drawn between someone spending more on a dubious tweak than the cost of one of their components, versus something like a bicycle inner tube that costs a few bucks to experiment with. The difference between the two is, with one of them you have a chance of getting burned, sometimes for a lot of cash. I don't know if someone can be classified as a snake-oil salesman if (a) he's just making a suggestion and isn't making any money off of it, and (b) his suggestion is something that's practically free anyway.

IMO, that's the fun part of most of these tweaks - if you like the results, that's great. If you don't hear any difference but decide to keep the tweak anyway, that's cool too. If you don't hear any change at all, all you do is lose a few bucks. No matter what though, you get an excuse to spend an evening fiddling with your equipment instead of doing the laundry... that's worth a few dollars in my book Posted Image


[Edited last by Saurav on August 15, 2001 at 06:52 PM]

#17 of 56 OFFLINE   Elbert Lee

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Posted August 15 2001 - 01:20 PM

There's no denying that these vibration isolation products do affect the sound. Even HTM (a publication that shouldn't be taken too seriously, but is extremely skeptical when it comes to voodoo), admits that there are pluses to the cones. Whether you feel that they are worth it is up to you. By and large, if you place them unter your dvd/cd player, you will hear "tighter" bass (some will argue that it is LESS bass you are hearing) and better imaging to some degree. I'm pretty sure your guests won't notice unless you do an a/b comparison with them sitting in the sweet spot. They'll go unappreciated to all but the owner.
No - they won't turn a crappy action movie into an oscar contender, but they do affect sound. I personally couldn't hear any differences when placed under my amp, but definitely a positive under my dvd player. Yet- when watching movies, nobody can tell that I added $30 worth of isolation improvements. In the end, I kept my investment into cones at $30.

Elbert


#18 of 56 OFFLINE   DaleB

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Posted August 15 2001 - 04:18 PM

What kind of vibrapods were these? I just checked, and Audio Advisor sells these for $24 for a set of 4. I've seen them at other online merchants for similar prices.
__________________________________________________ _________


Sorry about that, they were not vibrapods, but the Symposium Acoustic Rollerblocks. And it was 3 for $220!
Made by Quest America Inc. Have no idea if they are still
around. They are blocks, with chromed little balls that were uniquely (of course) dampened at the base.

Here you go... have a ball!
http://www.audiophil...ollerblocks.htm

[Edited last by DaleB on August 15, 2001 at 11:26 PM]

[Edited last by DaleB on August 15, 2001 at 11:27 PM]

#19 of 56 OFFLINE   Saurav

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Posted August 15 2001 - 04:50 PM

OK, that makes more sense. Even rollerblocks can be constructed for much cheaper if one is willing to go DIY, it's basically a ball bearing on a concave surface. You can spend a little amount of money and get smooth shiny bearings built to tight tolerances, and cup-shaped metal bits.

Anyway, I always wondered about using rollerblocks by themselves, because they can only isolate from horizontal vibration, they wouldn't isolate the component from vibrations coming up through the floor - people walking around a room with a springy floor, subwoofers, etc. In my living room, the fireplace grille rattles every time someone walks through the room, even if they're 10 feet away from the fireplace.



#20 of 56 OFFLINE   Ted Lee

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Posted August 16 2001 - 04:18 AM

personally, i've never tried any of these tweaks yet, so i cannot say from personal experience whether they work or not.

but, i just have one heck of a time believing that my adding some feet to my amp or dvd player is going to make any sort of measurable sonic difference. how in the world will adding weight on top of my cd player make the sound better? i even had one guy tell me that, by opening it up and "loosening" the screws that secure the circuit board to the chassis, that it will improve the sound. Posted Image

again, i'm not dissing anyone who uses tweaks like this and have found them beneficial. as long as you hear a difference, then it was a worthwhile purchase.

i just can't see it. if anyone would like to open my ears, i'm more than willing to listen.

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