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post #16 of 29
Originally posted by punosion
...ok, I understand isolating a turntable and maybe a CD player, but why a freaking pre-amps and amps and the like? How is the signal going to be affected by reduced vibration? HOW?
Oh yes, preamp and amp sound are negatively affected by vibration distortion. That is the reason there are so many expensive rack systems and isolation devices sold. Cap nuts are just very cheap isolation devices, as I stated try and you will be pleasantly surprised with results, cost allmost nothing to try. This is just a cheaper much smaller variation of an upturned cone.

Wouldn't the amp slide off the caps if the rack/table/etc were to shake a little bit?

You have to use your own judgement, as individual set-ups/conditions may vary. Use 3 capnuts and place them 1/2" in from the sides, nudge your unit to see how easily it slides and then make your own judgement. If it slides too easily you may not want to use, depends on weight of unit and surface texture of amp bottom
post #17 of 29
What are them ball bearing things you got under the cdp? Do they reduce jitter or something? How much, where to get? Can you use them things for heavy stuff, if not then what? (Cary CD-303/200 cdp is like 30+ lbs., I imagine the CAD-300SEI integrated amp is twice as heavy)

Also, any suggestions to stabilize my big ass Lexmark Z51 printer that shakes like there's an earthquake (it's on a rack with flimsy legs, no room for real table)?
post #18 of 29
I use Daruma bearing isolation devices, cost @$85 set of three at Galen Carol Audio, under large components:

The careful set-up is needed for bearing isolation as all cable push
pull forces need to nuetralized, or bearings won't float unit. There are other similar, more expensive products like Aurios MIB or Symposium Rollerballs

As far as ink jet printers vibrating, you might try vibrapods, or even a folded towel underneath to dampen vibrations
post #19 of 29
Wholey **** that's expensive. They just look like two machined knobs with a big bearing in between. Soundstage says they're good for solid state stuff, what about tubed gear?

I just have a rubber mat and old hard cover books underneath it, still shakes the damn rack, lol. The prints come out fine, I think the printer has internal stabilizing or something, but even after careful alignment, it still seems slightly off.
post #20 of 29
i second dark angel's advice. also consider that my preamp is tubed and vibrapods (theoretically) help prevent the tubes from vibrating. the theory of vibration isolation extends to microphonics in the component's components. i believe jude's done a write up on audioquest's sorbothane balls.


i have no advice about your printer, but i made psuedo rllerblocks by using ball bearings and a concave cabinet handle glued to a block of wood. works very well under my alpha 9. in my system the "real thing" (had mibs and darumas on audition) was only beneficial under source components.

don't be afraid to experiment once you get your setup together. keep in mind that rollerblocks do cause the component to slide around quite a bit, even after mass loading.

post #21 of 29

The need for vibration isolation

I am fortunate enough to live in a very old house built with brick exterior and plaster interior walls.My basement listening area has plaster walls and ceramic tile over a concrete floor.I am spoiled as far as resistance to vibration goes, I have never had any major problems.In my work as an electrician I have worked on a quite few homes that are not as well constructed.My brother lives in a very nice house,it is of "brick construction" as defined by modern building techniques.He lives in a busy part of Chicago and has buses running up and down an adjacent street.As some of you may know he has an Orpheus that I sold him.I sometimes go by to listen to it when I really miss it.At reasonable volume levels when there is a lull in the incoming signal(changing a disc or record)there is an audible humming when a bus or heavy vehicle drives past.This noise can be heard when the door to his listening room is shut very hard as well.When he placed the amp on a very large,heavy butcher block placed on top of a trailer tire innertube the vibration problems disappeared.Isolating a turntable or cdp has obvious benefits and I don't think that needs to be discussed at length.

Try something,turn up the volume on your amp through speaker or headphones and have someone else slam a door or jump on the floor in another room(it's too easy to do this in the same room) if this makes an audile noise through your speakers or phones,you need vibration damping.I have been experimenting with solid vs. shock absorbing damping and have found that solid damping works best in my applications(turntables).When I placed all my amps and tables on heavy butcher blocks I did in fact,notice some sonic improvements.there were no "astonishing revelations of unheard music" as I saw one reviewer claim after spending $2,200 on a air and sand isolation platform,but there were improvements.the most noticeable improvements were in a more silent backround,especially with a few of the unsuspended turntables and slightly tighter bass,also mostly with the unsuspended tables.I think there is merit to the damping theories but like most of the audio world this problem is also subject to voodoo fixes.
post #22 of 29
Butcher blocks as in wooden cutting board? Which type of grain? Or plastic? Do you use caps on it?

My rack is made of MDF, and absorbs vibrations quite well, but it doesn't isolate from all of them...

How would mdf board with rubber feet on top of a foam-rubber (or any other shock absorbing material) mat fair? What about ceramic tiles?
post #23 of 29
I use 3 or 4 inch thick rock maple cutting boards.the 4 inch thick boards weigh around 70 pounds.I place them on top of cone feet and cups.I use a 3 inch thick board mounted under my main turntable which is placed on a stud mounted wall turntable bracket.I can jump up and down right next to my table and get no audible effect.I have seen 3/4inch thick MDF used to great effect.A friend built a rack and mounted it to a wall in his house,he used 3/4" mdf, steel rods,and sorbothane.His system is dead silent.I have tried dynamat and like it a lot but I think solid,heavyweight isolation works best.There are,of course,differing opinions on this but this is what I have found to work best in my application.My brother,an electrical engineer,seems to believe that for extreme cases of structure vibration,(such as his house)shock absorbing damping should be used,such as gel or rubber mats and feet.This thoery pans out,if you are trying to islolate your equipment from structural vibrations.In my case, where I have a very solidly constructed home I am making an attempt to anchor my equipment to the structure,hence the heavyweight blocks and wall mounted turntable bracket.I think it all depends on the soundness of the structure your listening area is in.His use of a heavy block placed on a soft rubber innertube worked in his case,you will have to experiment.
post #24 of 29
Originally posted by DarkAngel

Oh yes, preamp and amp sound are negatively affected by vibration distortion. That is the reason there are so many expensive rack systems and isolation devices sold.
Any company will sell you **** you don't need just as long as they can convince you it makes a difference. I didn't ask the question, "does isolation improve sound?" I asked, "WHY does isolation improve sound" (when talking about amps and preamps)? That answer is obvious with turntables and CD players, but I'm talking about devices with mere current running through them.

An explanation that "companies sell it so it must have a point" just doesn't cut it. Especially when corporate America could sell a ****-popsicle to a woman in a white dress.
post #25 of 29
you may want to scroll through audioasylum's archives, as some very intelligent people have discussed the theories behind it. below is a link - most pertinent info are under bruce and shawn's replies.

i think i grasp the general idea of it all, but most if it goes over my head. will you try some suggestions here and report back?

hope this helps,
post #26 of 29
Originally posted by carlo
cement slabs (any home improvement store <$1) - fantastic amp stands. i've sprayed mine with dynashield spray (about $20/bottle). i like to use marble (<$15) for speaker stands.
I heard granite was better (although marble looks better).

Sand, theoretically, should be the best, but it would be hard to get your speaker stands to stay on them.
post #27 of 29
Thread Starter 
what is better for component isolation?

spikes/capnuts & the like where you have small load-bearing areas?
OR wide area damper mats like sorbothane (or other matrial with "give")?

I find trouble A/B-ing due to all the time in betwwen, changing setups...if 1 had 2 identical components & could just flip a switch I'm sure one could more
accurately detect differences-- or no diffs!!
post #28 of 29
dusty chalk,

i think it's a personal preferance thing... i used granite until about a month ago and can't tell a difference. in my system both tightens bass response and raises the tweeter to my ear level. sand (or a box filled with sand) wasn't practical for the stratus bronzes.


sorry, i don't think there's a definitive answer. you're asking about coupling vs decoupling though, and while i think trial and error is the best approach, you may want to try a search through aa's archives as well.

post #29 of 29
Here's a pic of the speakerstands I built for my LS 3/5a. They are fabricated out of 5/8" MDF, and the base consists of two laminated sheets. The column is sand filled (60%) with a cross section of 6"x5".

Despite the crude pic, they are actually well proportioned, with all edges roundovered, and all joints nice and tight. Since I do this kind of stuff for a living, I typically denied myself the finishing touches, but they improved the sound just the same. I'll spike them when I get around to it.

If anyones interested, I have plans for an elegant turntable base that should have great sonic qualities.
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