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

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  1. Henery
    Vintage DT 770, 880, 990 and Koss Portapro to name few. IEM`s dont have this problem, because there´s no headband at all [​IMG]
  2. edstrelow Contributor
     Maybe that's why IEM'S are the only dynamics I have bought in recent years.   Anyway I think we need some opinions from other listeners about whether they think the headband is causing problems. 
  3. richard51
    i dont know if i am fooled by my ears, in fact i trust them, but the gluing process of the sorbothane take more than a month to deliver the best of results.... I detect 2 stages : one were the sound is more greatly improve after a week, and the surprizing second  improvement after a month or so ....Wait and enjoy!
    The sorbothane i have put more than a month ago around the drivers of my speakers seems to gluing more  thightly now in place.... I am amazed by my imaging...[​IMG]
  4. edstrelow Contributor
    I agree., but it may depend on what glue you are using. I think superglue works fastest, but as I have noted previously, it does not seem to work well with high frequencies.
    The other adhesives I use are the self-stick and 3M 80. Both seem to need several hours before they start to improve sound and the benefits seem to get better over weeks. My reservation about 3M80 is that it doesn't always hold, this is especially a problem with pieces I have glued to speakers. I also note that if the glue works well, i.e. it actually holds, it holds much more firmly over time and is harder to remove.
    But overall I agree with you, the sound seems to.improve over time as the adhesive sets.
  5. richard51
    it is very surprizing, because it is so better in the beginning, and  after sometime suddenly  a subtle but clear improvement....i think that the sorb. is the most useful audio product ...I have never think that all my gear would sound so good...At this point enjoying music is all....when something sound right it is no more painfull if you dont have the money to upgrade anything... thank to your thread, and thank to you i am very happy....[​IMG] 
  6. Henery
    1) I found this DIY hifi web site which has few useful pages about vibration damping.
    Vibrations in hifi gear:
    Car vibration damping sheets:
    Bluetack as damping material:
    Noise Killer: ProDamping compound:
    Using stethoscope to detect problematic vibrations:
    2) All vibration damping methods in Audioquest Nighthawk uses:
    - Liquidwood earcups which have elastomer coating applied on innerside
    - Earcups and headband arc mechanically separated by four elastomer strings
    - Drivers have urethane rubber surrounds that absorbs vibrations
    - Biocellulose is self damping diaphragm material
    3) My idea for loudspeaker vibration damping. Metal stick could be screw adjustable to compress sorbo patches against drivers and back wall. This could be done to cabinets floor and ceiling panels too. Can be modified to dynamic headphone drivers at least. Not so sure about electrostats.
    richard51 likes this.
  7. richard51
    i dont know for your idea Henery, i am no engineer, but it seems very interesting  and promising for the least .... Some designer must read that and thinking about it, for me i cannot implemented it and test it alas!( a bit complex to implement for the unpractical dreamer that i am, i dare not to open my speakers, if you take the task i will be waiting for your impressions) It is my experience that the damping of all gear is NECESSARY, and the damping of the speakers i have were spectacular , in terms of all the spectrum of sound....Your first adress about tnt-audio articles is interesting and says all...Thanks for your interesting discoveries....[​IMG] 
    In some articles they mention the use of stethoscope for detecting vibrations, original idea! I know that ALL pieces of gear vibrates for a fact, in the basis if this fact i simply recommend to all to apply sorb. on all pieces....
    In a general mood i must say that behind the upgraditis virus, there is the problem of generalized vibrations in the gear pieces, hence no product works at his optimal high quality  level, because vibrations act and cause  negative resonances, some parts of the spectrum of sound is more affected than others, sometimes it is subtle but it is there, and the results cause with time passing  some severe insatisfaction in the customers, and he think about an upgrade like about the only solution....The Solution is buying good products in the first place yes! but damping them with sorb.  is an imperative... When you listen to a relatively good sound spectrum , you dont think to upgrade on the next week...After all the sound of a trumpet is the sound of a trumpet, isn't it?[​IMG] 
    Before using sorb. on all my gear i have never listen to the true  natural sound of an instrument  with my different pieces of gear,  in the last 3 years i sold some, bought anothers, without true satisfaction, my inconscious were never truly  satisfied by the sound because the sound were never natural,the musical timbre were bad, the imaging not very good, for example i almost dump my headphones he 400 before applying the sorb. on them...After the sorb. i love all my gear Stax, hifiman, amp, dac, speakers etc....i can wait for the next  upgrade,without any frustration or without the anguish of knowing  that what i have is bad, i will upgrade in the future for the better and not because what i have sound bad.   A piano now  is a piano....[​IMG] 
  8. edstrelow Contributor

    Good to see these links. I wonder about the liquid earpads. Old Koss Esp 6 and 9 electrostatics, both of which I owned, and still own, had such things and these phones showed less harshness than the Stax line. Koss stopped using them because they tended to puff up and then leak, so my current ones have conventional replacements.

    I compared blutac with sorb some posts back and noted that it does not damp well, but you may want to use it to hold loose parts in place, such as wires.

    I like your idea of adjustable pressure on sorb in or inside speakers. I have fiddled with a few small clamps on headphones. You can do certain amount of tuning by adjusting the pressure. Richard51 uses heavy weights in some applications to compress sorb but this will not work with phones and it is hard to find good spots to fit a clamp on most headphones. Your adjustable inside brace, as I call it, looks promising.
  9. edstrelow Contributor
    I am still curious about the Audioquest and B&W headphones reported by Henery  and that both manufacturers emphasize that damping eliminates crosstalk between the earcups. I had originally damped my Stax SR007 on the headband and found notable improvements. However I finally decided, and still feel, that if you can minimize vibrations at the earcup, you will not have to worry about blocking these between the two earcups, because there won't be any there. 
    Subsequently,richard51 pointed out that there were benefits to be obtained from applying sorbothane to the headband of the Stax SR-5.  I tried this on mine and agreed that it worked. In fact I started adding a fair bit of sorb onto the headbands of the Stax Lambdas, Sigmas and SR007. 
    After seeing the emphasis on crosstalk in the Audioquest and B&W  it occurred to me to check if there might still be residual cross-talk in these phones even with sorb damping on the headbands. This I checked simply by comparing the sound with and without headbands, just holding the earcups in place by hand. In fact there was still a noticeable improvement in sound by eliminating the headbands on these as well as on the Stax SRXIII Mk2 pro. 
    So it appears that it is hard to get rid of all the vibrational crosstalk just by applying self-stick sorb to the headbands. Previously I had also tried compressing sorb using small clamps to attach the sorb to the earcups.  This seemed somewhat effective on the SR007 but the basic problem about using them is that it is very hard to find a place to clamp anything on most earcups. However this is much less of a problem with a flat headband.  So it seemed worth a try again.  
    The photos show two clamps used to compress sorb on the headbands.  There is also a small slightly curved piece of steel over some of the sorb.  I am still looking for a bigger piece of metal to compress the sorb.
    The results seem pretty good, close to removing the headband itself.
    102_4059.jpg 102_4058.jpg
  10. richard51
    thanks Ed, i will buy  the same clamp as yours i think, it would be better trhan my paper clamp....Sorbothane made a difference in any duro and not compressed, but it is way better with 70 duro , as you already said  and as i experience after, the compression is mandatory if possible with duro 70, because the sticking procees is optimalized, and the absorbtion  of resonance and vibrations also....[​IMG]
  11. Henery
    My "inside brace" idea is not new. Vivid Audio uses it on their Giya G series speakers. They also have two woofers opposing eachother to cancel resonances. These speakers were designed by Laurence Dickie who also designed the legendary B&W Nautilus.
  12. edstrelow Contributor
    Well it would be new if combined with the use of sorb or some other material for damping, which I am not sure is being done with these speakers.

    I am interested to see if clamping sorb adds to its effectiveness versus just using adhesives. I have to add just how good the clamping is on the Stax Sigmas and Lambdas. While I still feel that you need damping in the earcups as your first line of defence, adding the clamps, adds a notable improvement. The soundstage is wider and the individual instruments are better localized. There is a reduction in upper frequency harshness and even the bass is cleaner.
    I am listening with the Sigmas to Frank Sinatra/Count Basie live at the old Sands casino in Las Vegas, It just sounds perfect.
  13. richard51
    If some people  still doubted that it is more than desirable to compress the duro 70 sorb. i have some new  experience  today to confirm it.... After applying some filter grills on the port of my speakers( the port is now neither open nor close) that makes, a few days ago, a great improvement in the imaging, i decide  today to add  15 pounds more  on top of my more than 40 pounds granite slabs that perch on top  my Mission speakers(for a total around 60 pounds)... Guest what?  It seems that the compression of the duro 70 sorb. were not enough last time, this time it is better and the result are no short of extraordinary (after all my experiment i think that between 50 to 60 pounds is the best compression pressure for duro 70  on my speakers , amp, an other gear ).... I cannot go back to my headphones often like before...The sound of my speakers is so natural, the imaging so precise, the organical natural sound is now addictive  ....The lesson is : compressing the sorb. made wonderful effect...[​IMG]
    Right after putting a load to compress the sorb under my amp Sansui i think that was the last final  improvement, and  there was nearly nothing more to improve...I was wrong and i am in shock at this moment, a so little mod. with a so great change... But now it is the same thing, amazing change with the right placement (inside 2 inches variation from the optimal distance of the wall make a difference) and adding these 15 pounds on top of the speakers, with before it the filter grills  applied to the 2  ports of the speakers ...It is like  buying another better pair of speakers, i know for sure after this year of mods. and experiments, that you will not hear the true potential of headphone or speakers  without this experimenting with load, sorb, etc, on all your pieces of  gear....
    What a wonderful world! An a wonderful thread! thanks to all of you...
    P.S. placing speakers at the optimal distance from the wall made some big difference, only 2 inches+ or - from this optimal distance will make a great difference trust me, hence if you have speakers, experiment with your ears open...
    Final update : After few days of listening with my gear, dac+amp+speakers with more than 50 pounds on all of  them for the compression of the sorb. duro 70, i must say that there is simply NO comparison with before and after this, the imaging is simply there completely... My experiment reveal the point in case : sorb. duro 70 is extraordinary for audio use especially if compressed , optimally with between 50 to 60 pounds...I must say that my mid-fi speakers mission volare 60 are so good that i enjoy less to listening with my Staxes or he 400...[​IMG]
  14. edstrelow Contributor
    I am also very happy with the latest bit of compression of sorbothane on my Stax Lambdas and Sigmas. Following Henery's report of 2 new headphones that seek to use dampingeliminate mechanical crossfeed between the earcups I went back to see if I could get better damping on the two Staxen.  
    I am now up to 4 clips, compressing sorbothane on the headband.
    This adds some additional clarity and channel separation to merely adding sorbothane.  As regards how much pressure, I find that I prefer a minimal amount of tightening on the Lambdas, i.e. just enough to hold them in place.  With the Sigmas, I prefer tighter fastening as this seems to reduce its bass hump. I am surethat there are better ways of clamping the sorb, but as has often happened in the past, I am enjoying the sound so much, all I feel like doing is listening to both phones. 
    My next project is not really sorb-related but involves replacing the cable on a Stax SR007A which has been barely hanging on for some years. 
    Someone may be interested in these little clips.  I was able to order then on Amazon for a few bucks. for a package of  12.
  15. Hutnicks
    If you simply used sorbothane grommets where the pivots attached to the cups you would have no need for the Jocelyn Lovell type apparatus on the headband.
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