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

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  1. richard51
    I also think that their product are fairly expansive, but acoustic revive are not the only one company using crystals , the most costly one are Bybee products...By the way i test some Bybee product i bought used, and essentially my results with my own formula,  mixing  many varieties of crystals in separate bags that you can order and place in many combinatorial possibilities, are better then  one or 2 crystals species in peebles or dust, embedded in thin  plastic sheet, because more flexible, and at a fraction of the cost ...
    I dont doubt that crystals are useful in audio now, but the results that i already achieved for a fraction of the cost of these companies products indicate to me that crystals is the way to go ... Sorbothane does not act exactly in  the same manner, even if sorb. like crystals transform the vibrations into heat, they dont play well in  exactly  the same spectrum absorbing frequencies and i think that the 2 : sorb. and crystals, are complementary opportunities to upgrade any system at low cost...My next experiment will go with room tratment with crystals and damping  speakers and amp. with them,crystals+sorb. at the same time...[​IMG] 
  2. edstrelow Contributor
    I don't like to say 'sorbothane does this that or the other' because the implementation makes a big difference. Thus you have to consider what density (duro) to use, what thickness, what adhesive, what backing, and God knows what else. Too bad no one is reporting measurements of the vibrations in the earcups, speaker boxes, etc. I think it would it a lot easier to tell what is going on if we had such data. Of course you would still have to back this up with listening tests.
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2017
  3. richard51
    You are perfectly right for sure!
    I cannot scientifically measure anything, i must evaluate my results by listening only, but my goal is simply to use sorb. and crystals  in the better way one experiment at the time...I think we can say that sorbothane , even without the best implementation give some results ...I remember when i used it, in the beginning, i was listening some good results in the right direction nevertheless...But like you i hope some engineer will do some research in this field, truly  hope so, because it is one of the perhaps small but true  audiophile revolution for me... 
  4. edstrelow Contributor
    I have been playing with 1/2 inch thick sorbothane on my Stax SR007A and Polk and Spica speaker systems and quite like what I am hearing: notable  improvements in clarity and  dynamics particularly in the bass which was not taken care of by the thinner sorb I have been using previously (all these are 70 duro) The Stax have a slight bass boom which makes theme a bit murky sounding.  Now I am hearing much cleaner sound from the drums and double bass.
     I was unable to find self-stick 1/2 inch so I  had to use 3M80 adhesive  which is not as good but still works.  I recommend some way of holding the sorb in place on the speakers for a week or more, in order to get a good bond. 
    I used double layers of electrical tape as backing on the phones and speakers and loosely wrapped the sorb to the Stax with electrical tape.  In the first picture you can see that 2 pieces about 1" x  3/4" are attached to the flange just above the earcups, on the outside.  I didn't have room for it that thickness on the inside, so I used 1/4 in sorb there.  These replaced a set of plastic clamps I had previously used.  
    Clamping seems to help the sorbothane work but after I found that I got the best sound with loose clamping I though why not just try tape, and it seems as good and gives a less bulky set-up.
    I also bought a knitted cover  for about $6.00) designed to go over the bands connecting the 2 earscups (Stax calls this the 'arc assembly.")  I thought this might look better since I have removed the leatherette covers of the two bands.  I am not sure I will use it though.
    This thickness of sorb is much more expensive and I am using about $20 worth on each Polk speaker and about $2.00 on the much smaller Spicas and I suspect more would be better.  So the price of this mod is going up but still within reason. 
    richard51 likes this.
  5. chrismini
    Hello Ed,
    Do you think that these crystals may have a positive effect by absorbing the electromagnetic field that surrounds all conductors passing current? Unless, of course, they are well shielded.
  6. chrismini
    BTW, hello Richard. Long time, no contact!
  7. richard51
    Hello Chrismini...I am always here and give to you my salutations...[​IMG]
    By the way  it seems that nobody in the audio industry knows with certainty how crystals works... Some think that they absorb some EMI, for me i dont know but i imagine that this is true in some way, some think that the crystals absorb mechanical vibrations, for me i dont know,but i imagine that this  is also true in some way...
    The " crux of the matter" for us audiophile and lovers of music is that: the use of crystals is so stupendous in my experience that waiting to use them,  but only after a scientific explanation is given, is out of the equation for me... It is simple, buy 10 bucks of pink quartz, some chunks of black tourmaline put them on the breaker of your room and on the power strip , call it a day!
    If there is "snake oil" around crystals marketing, i know now that it is not so much  the  final upgrading results that are questionable, rather than  the  high price they ask for their crystals tweaks...For me,  buying them at a low cost i have proved to myself that crystals is one of the most rewarding installation i have ever made at a ridiculous  ratio quality/price... I have made some experience to implement crystals with headphone, cables, and not only  with each  piece of my  gear,but with the room also.Unlike crystals,you cannot tweak the room with sorb...
    I will wait, before saying more, for some others to say their opinions after experimenting  the first simple experiment i describe  a few sentence upward... Very simple experiment, more simpler than the sorb installation... After that i will communicate my other experiences without risking too much  scepticism, i am lucky, people here are very curious, gentle and polite ....[​IMG] 
  8. edstrelow Contributor
    I don't know.  Acoustic Revive discusses them in the quote, I provided earlier as damping mechanical energy, rather like sorbothane. I have not tried crystals but probably should find some of the cheap ones that richard51  uses and give them a go. Each time he has recommended something to me I felt he was right!
    On other matters I am very impressed with the effects of 1/2 inch, 70 duro sorb, especially on my big Polk speakers. I was listening to some very old lp's and it was just like  the instruments had jumped out of the speakers and were in the room with me. Amazing nuances, tonal accuracy and dynamics.
    I think I will add some more sorb, possibly 1 inch if I can find it.  But I want to get the Lord adhesive recommended by the Sorbothane company.  However it is rather expensive. about $35 for a half pint.
  9. richard51
    i will certainly try 1/2 inch sorb. under my speakers and amp... Perhaps 1 inch would be better.... i will eagerly wait your impression ... thanks Ed...[​IMG]
  10. oopeteroo

    Just to be sure before ordering today.
    I'm going to sorb my Yamaha mt220 like the pic above. I should choose 1/4" thickness ? It wont be to much on the headphone this way ?
  11. chrismini
    Hello Richard, Is any of your gear resting on spikes? Especially your speakers?
  12. richard51
    No my speakers are resting  directly on pieces of sorbothane duro 70 and  under that on two granite plates with in between sorb. duro 70 1/4 inches (i call that a sorb. sandwich[​IMG]) on my desk between the computer screen and with  amp and dac etc, but all gear is isolated like the speakers, but i want to try 1/2 inches  in the future...No need for spikes with that i think ..  I have order crystal discs to compare with the sorb. and to use it with sorb. for maximal damping isolation installation... In my experience using sorb. with crystals is an improvement, because the 2 complement each other...
  13. richard51
    But sorbothane cannot transform and treat a room but crystals can, it seems incredible in my beginner experience with them that crystals can do that, It appears to me like  going from an only cleaner and  clearer  sound around the speakers (it was that that sorbothane first and crystals after that together first and foremost did for me when used in any link of my system and cable and that was a revelation already to me at the time) to a sound that  was  suddenly resurrected to be a living  more natural sound on another plane this time flowing toward and around me! (that was the effect of  crystals room treatment) is it incredible enough? But it is true ....
    By the way it is possible to make the analogical same  treatment than the room treatment for the headphone...It is my room crystals treatment that give me the idea to transfer that principle to the headphone with success...I think that crystals in some way worked linked together and works  way more than just a damping tools ( but i will test their damping potential with quartz disc under my speakers and amp with sorb.or versus sorb.)...
    I will say more  about that another time... [​IMG] 
    After some of you dare to try my first experiment with the breaker of your  audio room and your power strip with pink quartz,black tourmaline, or amethyst or agathe ( better to mix at least 2 or 3 of them in  separate plastic bag, putting the bags together at one location is the better way to mix them for experimenting at will without separing them one by one  from one only bag at each future trying session ) 
  14. chrismini
    I had an "Ah Hah" moment. When I installed the sorb70 around the edge of the inner cup of the HE-400's the grills were kind of barely staying in place. Yesterday both grills popped off leaving the drivers exposed. I figured "what the hell" and gave them a listen. I've never heard my HE-400's sound so fantastic! The openness of the high end never sounded so crisp and accurate. The bass thumped away like I was listening to a live performance. The mid's(vocals) were like I've never heard before. Now I know the danger of headphone drivers with no rear protection. They can be destroyed by mere carelessness. Any sharp object can penetrate and destroy the diaphragm. But the sound was nothing short of amazing!!  I've been listening to Steely Dan-Aja which is my go to recording when I audition any speaker or headphone. Now I switched to Lucinda Williams-Car Wheels on a Gravel Road. Same thing. 
    So what I've been doing is placing these headphones in a protective cardboard box very carefully. I just can't see myself placing grills back on these headphones. It would be like switching a high-end low output moving coil cartridge for a high output moving magnet. Once you hear the MC, there's no going back. What I'd like to do is install a protective mesh to prevent inadvertent damage. Anyone got any ideas?
  15. jimbop54
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