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

  1. edstrelow Contributor
    I have seen reports from people with wooden floors that spikes make the sound worse, presumably by causing the floor itself to vibrate. These reports touted the benefits of sorbothane footers instead. I use spikes on my main speakers but the floor is concrete. Plus I add a lot of sorbothane glued to the front face of the speakers. The 1/2 inch 70 duro really brings out the clarity and attack.
     
  2. edstrelow Contributor
    I was interested to see some discussion of damping vibrations in turntables from the old and distinguished SME company.

    " A turntable should address the problems of extraneous vibrations. These emanate from numerous sources including air and structural vibration from loudspeakers, groove modulation, stray electrical fields and mechanical imperfections in moving parts. In the Model 20/12, superb instrument quality machining is allied with fundamental physics. The higher the mass and stiffness of a body the less it will flex and vibrate; the duration of a vibration can be shortened by suitable damping.......This control of vibration is fundamental to the design of the player and goes much of the way to explaining the stunning tonal and dynamic neutrality that it exhibits." (bold added) http://store.acousticsounds.com/d/94863/SME-Model_2012A_Turntable_with_312S_Tonearm-Turntables


    This by the way is for their SME-Model 20/12A turntable and arm, selling for $19,575.00. (that's not a typo) I see that it also weighs 73.7 lb. That must be the record for turntable weights.

    I am curious as to why they think that "stray electrical fields" can cause vibration. I am not saying they don't but I don't understand how it can. Otherwise I am in agreement with what this ad states. They appear to be on the same wave length with some of the people here.

    I should add that a few bucks worth (rather than $19,575) of small pieces of 1/4 inch sorbothane inside the base and 1mm thick sorb pieces on the platter have done wonders to the tonal and dynamic accuracy my old B&O TX2 tangential tracking turntable.

    I am sure that this turntable sounds good, but the question I would ask is whether it is over-engineered and expensively so. Yes, I am sure you can dampen/control vibrations with this much mass, but sorbothane is a damn sight cheaper.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2017
  3. edstrelow Contributor
    [​IMG]
    Getting away from headphones, I came across a very interesting way of damping cd vibrations on both a transport and a conventional cheap cd player. I own two Woo Audio transports which are quite good, but still there is that vibration issue. These are top-loading and have a lift-off puck on top of the cd. For the Woo's I removed the felt-like material that Woo used on the underside of the puck. Instead I place 1mm 70 duro pieces of sorbothane. These came with self-stick and that was useful to try out different sizes of sorb. I originally used pieces twice this size, was not too impressed and then cut them in half to what you see in the picture. That was a lot better. The self-stick was not holding by this stage and I used some Lord 7650 to glue the pieces in place. I suspect superglue could be used here since you are not trying to pass cd vibrations through the glue. Some pages back I noted that using superglue on headphones gave good results with bass, but seemed to mess up the treble.

    The puck is held on by magnetic force, as I later discovered are the top pieces of my conventional players. This is why I stayed with the thinnest sorb which probably ended up lifting the puck 1/2 mm or less than the previous material.

    The sound was strikingly better than before, very crisp and with solid localization.

    After a while I thought I should see what could be done with a conventional drive. To my surprise you could lift the clamping mechanism off the top of my old $200.00 Sherwood players and do the same thing. Their clamp was also magnetic. Again a big boost in sound quality similar to the improvements on the Woo. The only problem with this type of unit was that the sorb still sticks to the disc and would not drop the disc quickly enough when the drawer opened. To solve this I glued small pieces of the plastic wrap that came with the sorb to the underside, again with Lord. This solved the sticking problem.

    https://www.head-fi.org/f/gallery/photo/1871186/



    Finally I thought - what about adding damping to the top piece of the Sherwood drive? I tried it using 2 mm self-stick and again liked the result. At one point I removed it thinking that the top piece is not well engineered and has some wobble. By adding mass here I was possibly adding vibrations. However when I removed the pieces the sound seemed degraded so I went back to using them. Evidently the wobble creates less sonic problem, than the added sorb cures.

    https://www.head-fi.org/f/gallery/photo/1871187/



    As in the preceding post, there are some very expensive tactics being employed to solve vibrational problems with turntables and I have seem similar approaches with cd players. For example I once had a 22 lb top-loading cd player with a large and heavy puck placed on the cd's. Sorbothane seems to be an effective and much cheaper alternative. Sorbothane footers have been around for decades and are still being sold . Frankly I have never found them to be that impressive. the addition of small pieces to the body of turntables, amps and cd players has got me better results, although you do have to experiment some as I noted above in settling on the size of the pieces I used.

    BTW I am having trouble posting pictures but these seemed to show up after posting to Facebook as private photos.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2017
  4. Hutnicks
    The trick to that is if you have a floor that is soft use a penny or other metal piece of the same size under the spike.
     
  5. Mogimu
    Hi and thanks to everyone who has posted in this topic. My name is Mark and this is my first post on Head-Fi. I'm interested in this topic because I have some non-professional experience with vibration control in audio equipment in general and lately with headphones in particular. I own Stax, Audeze and Focal models. I have not tried Sorbothane but I'm very interested in the results you have obtained. I have tried other materials specifically polymer nanocomposites with very positive results. I have researched the principles behind the operation of polymer nanocomposites and I now understand how they are manufactured and how they work, and why they are superior to pure polymer compounds for vibration control. As an aside I have also tried Richard's crystal challenge, and found it to be true and quite amazing. Before reading about it here and trying it myself, I was not remotely open to such an idea, but now I wouldn't be satsfied using my headphones without crystals on the power outlets. Sorry if this makes anyone think I may be a bit unhinged. If anyone is still interested in discussing damping of headphones using existing technology or finding out about nanocomposites and hopefully the future of headphones, please reply.
     
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  6. richard51
    Welcome here! thanks Mogimu for your report about crystals... Remember that you must experiment with different crystals and stones, no stone, no crystals act the same at different spot, not one interact the same with the others... The treatment of the electrical central panel is the beginning only... Myself i use at least 20 kind of stones and crystals, for example the best experiment i achieve with my central electrical panel was with a giant madagascar banded agate (240 grams)+2 kambaba jasper stones on top of the C.E.P. + 6 red jasper stones and pieces of quartz around the big cable that go from the C.E.P. to my listening room (But in general red jasper is not very good in audio,i must replace it in the near future)...It takes me many trying and errors to get the good recipe...I have treat with crystal and stones all piece of my gear, headphone included...Sorbothane+ crystals = TOTL at low cost... I know now why if you buy an audiophile amplifier or any totl product without a good power supply, the noise will destruct the sound potential of your gear, many know that also, but few people, me included, can afford a one thousand dollars power supply, and few people know that EMI, and Noise caused by vibrations and negative resonance interaction pollute every piece of all the chain... Crystals and stones are relatively cheap solution but very efficient one...For me....There is no comparison between sound with crystals and stones and sound without... I have very good gear but without these solution , i would have been insatisfied....

    Next weeks i will treated with sorbothane and stones or crystals the Beyerdynamic DT-150 headphone i bought for less than 100 dollars and apparently a very good can....I will report here...

    Best regards to Mogimu... And all of you...:L3000:
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2017
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  7. Mogimu
    Hi Richard. You may be pleased to know there is plenty of scientific backing to support your crystal observations. The mechanical dampening properties of the piezolelectric effect (including quartz crystals) have been the subject of patents since at least 1948

    https://www.google.com/patents/US2443471

    The mainstream audio industry is also convinced of the benefits of crystal technology, especially as a power line filter. Please scroll down to the MJ Technology of the Year award recently presented to Furutech Japan for their Flux-50 Nano-Crystal Formula, which incorporates the photoelectric effect of crystals to purify the power at the wall socket by converting thermal vibrations into infared radiation.

    http://www.furutech.com
    http://www.audioaficionado.org/showthread.php?t=23836

    It's also feasible to harvest electricity for industrial use, by using mechanical vibrations to deform quartz and other crystals, via the piezoelectric effect

     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2017
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  8. richard51
    These damned Dt-150 grows more in me.... i dont know, because they are used one,if the 300 hours limits for their mandatory blossooming burn-in, indicated by Arttt review, were near completion, when i bought them, or not,but for the last 2 days my love for them is growing more, and, this is what i dont understand,the sound completely change for the better at each listening, hour after hour; the only explanation is the sorbothane slowly gluing process that takes many days to takes all effect and must be way more manifest with them than with my HE-400 or Stax lambda .... ...I dont want to listen now to my he 400 nor my Stax lambda,they lack naturalness,3-d holographic reproduction, Stax has more artificial finesse yes,hifiman more shouting dynamic, and they are more fatiguing(he-400) or boring(stax lambda)... With the DT-150 all details are communicated organically linked with complete balance without any artificial analytical effects...I think they are on the same level of excellency than the Stax SR-5,one of the best tuned Stax by the opinions of more educated audiophile than me (By the way my remarks are only my listening subjective impressions, and not a critical assessment of the He-400 or of the Stax per se, my remarks are only a way to describe the extraordinary audio qualities of the DT-150 +sorb.+crystals for me)... I thanks God and many reviewers that convince me to buy these under the score cans...:L3000:

    The thing is that i love them so much, i decide to buy another Sansui amplifier that i dream of already, for sure at a bargain price... My Sansui AU-7700 already drive them from the headphone out without perceptible defect,silky mids like my SR-5 but with less honey flavor, punchy but not exagerated bass like my HE-400, unique imaging holographic, but mostly speaker-like restitution absent from Stax or HE-400, with absolutely no fatigue whatsoever....

    I have bought 2 days ago the Sansui AU-X701 Alpha and i think this more modern audiophile sound will reveal the scaling potential of the DT-150 and takes them to other limit...The Alpha series amplifier apparently touch another level and were the culmination of all the audiophile research of the Sansui team... The 1976 Sansui AU-700 is tube like sound, a marvel to my ears with only superlative reviews all over the net.... Only to be , it seems, superseded by the 1986 Alpha for more realism...I cannot imagine how the DT-150 will sound from the headphone out ....I will verify what some here says when they ascertain the upscaling potential of the DT-150...Akg 701, Ath-m50, Stax SR-5, Stax lambda nova,He-400, are the headphone i know , none touch the realism and naturalness, and the musicality of the DT-150 for me... And if another headphone is better, and i dont doubt that there is some, at stratospheric price,then, is this so-called more audiophile headphone sound will be speaker-like also like the Beyer? My Stax are one of these audiophile cans and they are not speakerlike at all...More transparent, more refine,more airy, yes, not speakerlike,nor holographic 3-d image, nor natural either to my ears...Me i will never exhange realism and naturalness for any other audiophile characteristics whatsoever and never...

    If you dont like this Beyer, blame your dac,amp,or the synergy between them, the DT-150 sorbothanized+some crystals are for me TOTL at ridiculous price used...thanks to all of you ....I will report here for the new amp experience and the presumed scaling potential of the Dt-150...

    P.S. Except the slow gluing process of the sorbothane, inside each cup of the DT-150, there is another explanation from the transformation of my listening experience of the DT-150... Yesterday i put , in a new experiment, 4 or 5 little quartz crystals square chunks , in the 2 opposite walls of each one of my piece of gear enclosure ,speakers,dac,amp,computer,power conditioner... (50 pieces in all)... The effect on the sound was way more clarity and transparency in my Mission ....I listen to my speakers at this time... When i turn my ears to the DT-150 in the evening the same effect have taken place ...But the effect on the DT-150 was in my system more astounding than with my speakers,more spectacular, and not in full fledge immediately ... Some may make sarcastic remarks about that, but without stones and crystals i know that no audio system is true to his potential and i say that after almost a year of experiments...

    Important remark: Perhaps the astounding effect of my new installment of pink quartz crystals in my system, on my speakers listening first,and on my Dt-150, would have been spectacular also on the Stax lambda and the SR-5; i will not know because i have disconnected them from my system because of place restriction... Then my impression of the DT-150 are in no way an objective critical assessment about the Stax...Only an enthusiastic review impression of the DT-150 qualities compare in memory with my Stax past impressions ...
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2017
  9. edstrelow Contributor
    Good to see an explanation for crystals.


    I am currently travelling in the UK and showed a friend what sorb could do to a Bose noise cancelling phone. Just sticking some on the back of the phones and top of the headband took a boomy phone and made it crisp and clear.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2017
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  10. richard51
    These damned Dt-150 grows more in me.... i dont know, because they are used one,if the 300 hours limits for their mandatory blossooming burn-in, indicated by Arttt review, were near completion, when i bought them, or not,but for the last 2 days my love for them is growing more, and, this is what i dont understand,the sound completely change for the better at each listening, hour after hour; the only explanation is the sorbothane slowly gluing process that takes many days to takes all effect and must be way less immediately manifest with them than with my HE-400 or Stax lambda .... ...I dont want to listen now to my he 400 nor my Stax lambda,they lack naturalness,3-d holographic reproduction, Stax has more artificial finesse yes,hifiman more shouting dynamic, and they are more fatiguing(he-400) or boring(stax lambda)... With the DT-150 all details are communicated organically linked with complete balance without any artificial analytical effects...I think they are on the same level of excellency than the Stax SR-5,one of the best tuned Stax by the opinions of more educated audiophile than me (By the way my remarks are only my listening subjective impressions, and not a critical assessment of the He-400 or of the Stax per se, my remarks are only a way to describe the extraordinary audio qualities of the DT-150 +sorb.+crystals for me)... I thanks God and many reviewers that convince me to buy these under the score cans...:L3000:

    The thing is that i love them so much, i decide to buy another Sansui amplifier that i dream of already, for sure at a bargain price... My Sansui AU-7700 already drive them from the headphone out without perceptible defect,silky mids like my SR-5 but with less honey flavor, punchy but not exagerated bass like my HE-400, unique imaging holographic, but mostly speaker-like restitution absent from Stax or HE-400, with absolutely no fatigue whatsoever...

    I have bought 2 days ago the Sansui AU-X701 Alpha and i think this more modern audiophile sound will reveal the scaling potential of the DT-150 and takes them to other limit...The Alpha series amplifier apparently touch another level and were the culmination of all the audiophile research of the Sansui team... The 1976 Sansui AU-700 is tube like sound, a marvel to my ears with only superlative reviews all over the net.... Only to be , it seems, superseded by the 1986 Alpha for more realism...I cannot imagine how the DT-150 will sound from the headphone out ....I will verify what some here says when they ascertain the upscaling potential of the DT-150...Akg 701, Ath-m50, Stax SR-5, Stax lambda nova,He-400, are the headphone i know , none touch the realism and naturalness, and the musicality of the DT-150 for me... And if another headphone is better, and i dont doubt that there is some, at stratospheric price,then, is this so-called more audiophile headphone sound will be speaker-like also like the Beyer? My Stax are one of these audiophile cans and they are not speakerlike at all...More transparent, more refine,more airy, yes, not speakerlike,nor holographic 3-d image, nor natural either to my ears...Me i will never exhange realism and naturalness for any other audiophile characteristics whatsoever,i listen to music not to beautiful sounds....

    If you dont like this Beyer, blame your dac,amp,or the synergy between them, the DT-150 sorbothanized+some crystals are for me TOTL at ridiculous price used...thanks to all of you ....I will report here for the new amp experience and the presumed scaling potential of the Dt-150...

    P.S. Except the slow gluing process of the sorbothane, inside each cup of the DT-150, there is another explanation from the transformation of my listening experience of the DT-150... Yesterday i put , in a new experiment, 4 or 5 little quartz crystals square chunks , in the 2 opposite walls of each one of my piece of gear enclosure ,speakers,dac,amp,computer,power conditioner... (50 pieces in all)... The effect on the sound was way more clarity and transparency in my Mission ....I listen to my speakers at this time... When i turn my ears to the DT-150 in the evening the same effect have taken place ...But the effect on the DT-150 was in my system more astounding than with my speakers,more spectacular, and not in full fledge immediately ... Some may make sarcastic remarks about that, but without stones and crystals i know that no audio system is true to his potential and i say that after almost a year of experiments...

    Important remark: Perhaps the astounding effect of my new installment of pink quartz crystals in my system, on my speakers listening first,and on my Dt-150, would have been spectacular also on the Stax lambda and the SR-5; i will not know because i have disconnected them from my system because of place restriction... Then my impression of the DT-150 are in no way an objective critical assessment about the Stax...Only an enthusiastic review impression of the DT-150 qualities compare in memory with my Stax past impressions ...

    LAST IMPRESSIONS: It is now like the real first time that i hear natural shades of sound,very realistic musical timbre that are not given with my other headphone in all types of music and in all my cd... I have NO desire to go back with my other headphones, even if they give more clarity to the sound than the DT-150 and they give that, they dont give a natural shading and realistic sound for me,.... Listening to piano is very revelatory.... And remember that the DT-150 give ABSOLUTELY NO FATIGUE ...This speak volume about this cheap, completely under-dog headphone... Think about that :Tyll Hertsens has listen professionally to all headphone there is that are known, but not these one that exist for 50 years in all studios of the world and apparently he like them a lot....All the hype to sell costly headphone would not survive to this marvellous machine,if it was known, at her cost, that would kill upgraditis...I am afraid, very afraid to buy an another headphone under one thousand dollars now after hearing for the first time a realistic rendering of live musical experience... Without listen to them, absolutely not, and from the fact of diminushing returns, i dont want to go beyond DT-150...For a long time to come... I will wait graphene revolution....
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2017
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  11. Mogimu
    I received a large 5-inch 1.5lb quartz crystal from China today, and I have been experimenting with placing it on the back of my Burson headphone amplifier. Previously I only had a couple of 2-inch chunks of semi-clear rose quartz to play with. The rose quartz increases apparent volume and power. The larger crystal is amazing in its effect. It works on top of the amp, or hovering above it, up to 12 inches. Higher than that, and the effect disappears. The "effect' is deeper more extended bass, subjecively higher overall volume and increased clarity. When the crystal is removed, the sound becomes dull and flat by comparison. It also works very well when placed on the plugs coming out of the wall power outlet. I have blind-tested lots of people with 100% positive results for everyone who has tried. They are amazed, as I am. Like Richard says, the effect is so powerful anyone should be able to hear it.
    On the subject of Sorbothane, has anyone tried any of the new materials made from nanocomposites of organic Montmorillonite clay and copolymers? The advantage of these materials is they are far more powerful vibration dampers due to the intercalation of the polymer into the clay galleries (spaces) found in the nanoparticles of OMMT clay. The net effect is more far more damping at molecular level, with far less thickness than Sorbothane. This means you can use a lot more of the material without over-damping effects, or resonances due to the mass of the compound itself. They are also much more attractive visually. They are more expensive, though.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2017
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  12. richard51
    I am very impressed by your results....I will go with that nanocomposite also....Not now because after purchasing the DT-150 and a new SAnsui alpha Amplifier, my wife will kill me if i purchase anything this month .... I am glad that your experiment reproduce mine....:L3000:

    Remember that others stones and crystals act negatively or positively together, on all characteristics of the sound, imaging, soundstage, frequencies... the difficulty is to discover the right kind of materials in the optimal location and synergy to obtain astounding results... Crystals are sometimes acting spectacularly, sometimes very subtle, its comes from the particular mass, shape, position of the crystals and the precise synergy with others stones at proximity...It is like changing a tube from a tube amplifier...but more complicate...Same very audible effects...

    Now i suggest to you to try Madagascar banded agate to compensate for the effect of the pink quartz, resulting in a more musical result...

    By the way i dont have anybody to blindtest here, only my wife who mock my hobby, but has admitted however that all sound extraordinary better, and this speak more to me that blindtesting somebody , if you understand what i means! loll

    Mogimu what products do you recommend to try made from nanocomposites of organic Montmorillonite clay and copolymers ?
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2017
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  13. Mogimu
    Fo.Q tape model TA-32 which you can get on eBay from Japan for about $35, easily enough for 2 or 3 large pairs of headphones. It is thin, removable, pliable, attractive when applied and most of all, very powerful due to its nanocomposite molecular structure. There is another even more powerful material which I would only recommend to die-hards because it is non-removable. You can combine the two for spectacular results. More on that later.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2017
  14. richard51
    Very interesting....I hope that you will come back here to report indeed....I want to read the rest of your story.... How is these 2 products you speak of different compare to sorb.?

    Here there is in spanish a comment of a very satisfied consumer of the F.O.Q product upgrade number TA-102
    http://www.playstereo.com/en/altri-...ing-tape-for-tuning-ta-102-4582139490199.html

    By the way i has never use so large chunks of pink quartz or other stones, i think it is better to mix 2 or 3 species of stones and crystals, hence better to have not too muck big pieces, the impact of my 50 pieces of pink quartz distributed all over my system was spectacular, and totalized around 1/2 lbs in all... My biggest pieces is the 240 gram banded agate of madagascar that i have place on top of the electrical panel.... I perhaps have around 15 pieces of agate distribuded , little pieces of variable size, the better for me is around 50 or 80 grams...Madagascar agate are better for me than other agate kind...
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2017
  15. Mogimu
    Thanks Richard for your detailed descriptions of your crystal experiments. I have not tried many combinations at all, compared to you. The good thing about the large crystal is really for experiment and research, and to confirm for myself that the effect is real, rather than the final sound quality. It is very, very obvious when the crystal is in place, and when it is not. It does improve the sound a lot already, but I'm very open to your ideas and I will try smaller pieces, Madagascar agate and tourmaline as soon as I can. Also on the power supply of the house, however I have modern panels which completely hide all the wiring which can not be accessed. Downstairs in the basement there is a huge power box, and I will try placing some crystals there as well.

    Just in case anyone has viewed your link to the Spanish Fo.Q review, I would like to point out that the link shows TA-102 tape which is generally too thick for headphones except perhaps for use internally. The thin tape TA-32 is much better all-round and it is the one to get. Also as I said, if you buy from some Japanese sellers on eBay, you should be able to get some TA-32 for around $35 and very low postage. I have purchased about 10 packs already, for various uses. I'm still waiting for some of the packs to arrive.

    i have found that the tape works well on all the headphones I have tested, particularly Audeze LCD-3. They were the first high-end phones I purchased, but I was very disappointed with their dark, almost muffled top-end. After I bought 2 other high quality phones, I decided to use some techniques which I have used on other audio gear such as amps and speakers, to see if the LCD-3s could be improved. After all, I was not using them at all any more. One of the techniques was to apply fo.Q tape internally and externally. I can report that LCD-3s can be vastly improved with the application of fo.Q tape, and completely transformed by using another technique which I don't want to suggest just yet. The reason I won't suggest it now is because it could result in damage to your headphones if you are not extremely careful. I will keep that suggestion until readers are ready to try something even more amazing than fo.Q. I don't want to be blamed for any disasters after only a few posts on Head-fi, haha.

    With the fo.Q tape, it works amazingly well on the arms which join the headphone cups to the headband. Also all around the inside of the front baffle underneath the foam pads. Also all around the back of the headphones, underneath the back plate. You don't even see it in those locations, but you sure can hear it! I can't compare it to Sorbothane because I have not tried it. It's fair to say that Sorbothane is optimised for shock reduction, whereas fo.Q is optimised for molecular level vibration reduction.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2017
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