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Damping Mechanical Energy Distortion of STAX and other phones with SORBOTHANE and other materials.

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  1. edstrelow Contributor
    102_3673.jpg
     
    I am definitely going to be using 70 duro sorbothane from now on instead of the softer 30-40 duro I have used to date.  I finished several days of listening to the Stax STXII pro alternating between the metal cover damped with 40 duro pieces or 70 duro and the 70 was clearly better.   As soon as I tried them out the soundstage was wider, the bass cleaner and the separation of instruments as well as dynamics even more pronounced.  Several people here had kind of figured out that smaller pieces were more effective than large, but the use of denser sorb is a new finding.
     
    We have discussed the issue of the duro of sorb  a bit in this forum and I assumed that the softer lower duro material would absorb vibrations better than harder material.  However some months back I spoke with a technical rep for Sorbothane who told me that the higher duro might be better because it was heavier and more dense. It seems he was right.
     
    I have a few more varieties to listen to and it now appear blutak needs to be considered too.  I should be able to stick pieces of it on the SRXIII just like sorbothane..
     
    .
     
    Quote:
     
    I agree with this comment and that of Sc0ttstax, above that we are looking at improvements in sound of the sort that audiophiles will pay thousands for. As much as anything done with the various Stax and ortho phones discussed here I recall  some months  how placing 2 little bits of sorb on an otherwise crappy set of earbuds suddenly brought them into the high-fi category.  This makes me hope that we can yet do even better when starting with higher quality phones.  II expect that after I get more information from these comparison studies that I will go back to my various Stax phones and apply what has been learned.
     
    And the improvements we are seeing cannot be obtained just by throwing money at the rest of the system since damping distortion will remain in the phones unless treated somehow.
     
    It seems as if few in this forum are ready to look into this problem.  The need to damp mechanical vibrations in audio is not discussed very much.  There is some discussion of speakers, and sorb has been sold as footer for many years for speakers and equipment, but I have never had the kind of success with footers that I am getting with thin  pieces of sorb attached to the body of equipment.  Similarly I read years ago that Naim was using sorb inside its equipment and one of the Schitt engineers personally told me that they also used it, although I didn't get the details of what equipment.  But the need to damp headphones seems to have been mostly missed.
     
    Even now when we know that Sennheiser is damping the HD800 and that Grado has a new line of damped phones, the message is not getting out.
     
    There is a fanboy, flavor-of-the-month mentality in many of the forums, people are convinced that their preferred phone is the best and the posts just feed on each other. They don't follow the field very broadly.  Stax people seem convinced that quality has all to do with the driver and little else.  And having spent hundreds, if not thousands for a phone people don't want to hear that it still  has design issues.
     
    However as the manufacturers start competing in this area I expect that the importance of this aspect of design will come to the fore and then buyers of current phones are going to realize that their current models are obsolete unless they can figure out how to damp them.
     
  2. richard51
    i will add to this interesting and some  profound general remarks (about duro 70... i wait for mine ) that i have apply sorbothane to all my gear with means to obtain optimal pressure (solid bricks or granite plate for weigh ) with great success, no going back....the modification of all the other pieces of gear is less spectacular than the headphone, yes, BUT after the modification of the headphone very clearly audible....[​IMG] 
     
    P.S. i know for sure that Edstrelow has a point : this sorb. mod is the equivalent of thousand dollars in audiophile money...
     
  3. Hutnicks
     
    You are doing a large number of forum members here a diss service by posturing like that.

     
    Read through the orthodynamic roundup thread, the Fostex T50 mod threads and particularly any of the vintage ortho threads specific to the model. Blutac has been used and discussed to death in those and elsewhere. There is a wealth of information to be had if you just look for it.
     
  4. richard51
    it was said to means no harm i think , only that not enough people are trying, but it is true that they are many more than before  that were trying now in these last months , thanks to you  and some others also...[​IMG]
     
    ps. By the way  i cannot thank you enough for all this connected  posts here about all that...It is very important to partake information...
     
  5. richard51
    I have found this about damping resonance in loudspeakers using blu-tak ....I was damping my sub-woofer  and speakers with sorb. already....I think blu-tak must be very useful in some application and sorb. in others to determine with experiment... The texture and composition of the 2 products are different to say the least but the 2 are very important damping produts ... The article is long but very useful i think [​IMG] ...
     
     
     
     

    The Sound of Surprise (the loudspeaker/stand interface)

     
    http://www.stereophile.com/features/806/index.html
     
  6. edstrelow Contributor
    Duplicate post
     
  7. edstrelow Contributor
    This forum is of course the High-end forum and as best  I can tell this  is the only thread in any forum specifically dealing with mechanical damping. I am highly interested in reports of the use of other materials such as Blutac, but the first report in this forum, or even my previous thread going back to 2013 on the SR007,  is one  a few posts above.   My response to that is to order blutac myself to see how it compares to 70 duro  sorbothane, which should be easy to do with the SRXIII set-up show above.
     
    I did a general search of all forums for work on damping more than a year ago, and in the Ortho forums only came up with the damping of drivers using backing materials. This is a different kind of damping than what we are doing here.  Evidently there are other posts related to mechanical damping  with blutak.  I am glad to know this. Your contribution is welcome.  Possibly you can link to some that you consider most important. 
     
    Years go Spritzer used blutack to plug the port of the SR007's. I guess if you use enough it will provide some damping as well, but  it was reported as such.  I tried this myself and decided  that the port should stay unplugged.
     
    I hardly think my other comments constitute posturing.  I am making no attempt to mislead anyone, I stand by what I said.   There is virtually no discussion of the problems of mechanical damping  of headphones anywhere.  I have from time to time posted some in this thread that I though were related.  Some years ago I posted about someone who was doing expensive general mods of the I think it was the Sennheiser HD800.  He was not very open since it was his business but it seemed that this mod also included another material called dynamaxt. So there is a reason, I noted "other materials" in the title of this thread.  I also note that even though Grado and Sennheiser discuss what they are doing in their advertising I have not seen this discussed in the threads devoted to their phones. I have put in comments and got little follow-up.
     
  8. Hutnicks
    That right there is part of the problem. You will never get readership and input with it stuck in there. Mere mortals avoid it the same way they run from sound science forums and for largely the same reasons. Toss it in DIY and you might get some responses.
     
    Not surprising a search on mechanical damping does not turn up much. I doubt that particular phrase ever gets used. Most likely as is the vogue everything is "mod" so headband damping would be a headband mod, does not make things easier but the vernacular is what it is. 
     
      Read more and look for the user posts with the best inputs. Wualta was an excellent contributor and what he does not know about orthos or Electrostats is probably not worth knowing. His contributions were legendary. BMF or bluemonkeyflyer has some good insights and advice as well. The T50 threads are chock full of his stuff.
     
    It's not easy to ferret out a lot of the info but on the other hand an hour of reading may well save several hours on a :) mod and a lot of wasted materials or worse damaged phones.
     
    Dynamat mods always raise suspicion for me. There are much better materials listed in the forums for use in headphones. I avoid the stuff as if it has leprosy myself.
     
    You will find that Manufacturers will rarely if ever, get involved with any users messing with their products. The liability is huge and experience has proven that inevitably they find themselves in a position of justifying their designs to some unknown and usually unqualified spectre of the web attempting to make a name for themselves. There is a certain other site on the web that specializes in that modus and pretty much is marked as a biohazard by some professionals.
     
    I queried one of the European companies directly about a certain phone and a popular mod and the response I got back was. Anyone can do whatever they want with our phones as long as they don't cry for warranty or pass anything they do off as authorized by us in any way shape or form. I was told that they would never directly respond to an alteration of their products whether positive or negative, it's just not a productive use of their time.
     
    The final thing to consider and it goes to my initial point up above, is that at this end of the spectrum folks are more likely to pee away 2 grand on some custom cable offering astrologically aligned electrons and musical quantum elves than they are to doing an actual mod on their own equipment. Like it or not that end of the audio industry exists on consumerism and does everything in its power to sell a solution that could in most cases be had for a few cents and some common sense. DIY'ers in Mesoshperic Fi are about as prolific as Hebrew teachers in IS.
     
  9. waynes world
     
    I can't help it... LOL!
     
  10. Hutnicks

    There is a support group out there for ya! I think it's just down the road from you too. Problem is entry will cost you those shiny new batwing headphones[​IMG]
     
  11. waynes world
     
    And let him fill them up with leprosy dynamat? Not a chance! But he does have me thinking of trying out some sorb on them. He is evil lol!
     
  12. richard51
    For blu-tack i will wait for edstrelow experiment comparison with duro 70 sorbothane... i must say i am no sure that this will be interesting, if i understand correctly what i have read, blu-tack harden with time, hence it damp the vibration but do not react instanteneously with dissipating energy and returning to his original state like sorb. because blu-tack is harder with time...It is not only necessary to absorb vibration but necessary to absorb it with fineness, with his different duro, sorbothane act like a filter in absorbing vibration and resonance...
     
     
    « Sorbothane is a proprietary, visco-elastic polymer. Sorbothane® is a thermoset, polyether-based, polyurethane material. In addition to being visco-elastic, Sorbothane® combines shock absorption, good memory, vibration isolation and vibration damping characteristics. While many materials exhibit one of these characteristics, Sorbothane® combines all of them in a stable material with a long fatigue life. Sorbothane® has a low creep rate compared to other polymers (rubber, neoprene, silicone, etc.)
    Sorbothane® has a superior damping coefficient, over a very wide temperature range, compared to any other polymer. Sorbothane’s operating temperature range is -20° to +160° Fahrenheit (-29° to 72° Celsius). Unlike fluid-based shock absorbers or foam products, Sorbothane® absorbs shocks efficiently for millions of cycles. Sorbothane® eliminates the need for metal springs to return the system to its equilibrium position after absorbing a shock. »
     
  13. Hutnicks

    It'll be the angel muff first.[​IMG]
     
  14. richard51
    i think you are perfectly right... edstrelow also  said the same... All great spirits think the same one day to come [​IMG] ....
     
    But i will like to made this point: putting sorbothane under an amplifier or glueing it to an headband is a very simple mod, irreversible and possible to make in minute time, it is not like a DIY enterprise, by the way i am not a DIYer myself by a long shot...[​IMG] 
     
  15. edstrelow Contributor
    1. When I get some more data comparing different damping materials  with the SRXIII pro I should put that information there.
     
    2. At last year's Canjam one guy showed me his dynamics which used what he called soft copper as a damping material.  The phones sounded pretty good too. Sorbothane is at least designed to be used for damping  and comes in several grades but that doesn't mean other materials aren't good or even better.  Blutack is sold as an adhesive, still it will at least add some mass and that should help in and of itself.  Dynamat I don't know but  I  should eventually get a sample. Heck for all I know road tar or cookie dough could work.  
     
    3. That was somewhat of the point I was trying to make. I see fanboyism as the flip side of consumerism,  where the buyers have bought into the sales pitches.   However we may be looking at the end of an era of headphones if Sennheiser and Grado start a trend.  I don't see why it couldn't happen.  If other manufacturers start to make their own damped phones,  there are going to be  a lot of owners of current phones who will be feeling unhappy and may want to try some DIY fixes.  
     
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