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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 must wait to buy them before a month(budget limitations) but i plan to try the Ta-102 glued on the exterior cups of my beyerdynamic DT-150,rather than inside where is the sorbothane, i think the 2 will complement one another, on the exterior the thickness will not cause problem... Perhaps the thin TA-32 woul be better? I want to buy the TA-102 because i plan to use the rest on an amplifier and thicker is surely better there than thinner....what do you think?
  2. richard51
    For all beginners that read this thread i recommend this basic recipe to experiment with:

    FIRST :
    Buy some pink rose quartz (some not too large chunks between 80 and 100 gram, 2 will do the job there+ 2 polished banded madagascar agate of the same size to complement the quartz, put them all on top of the central electrical panel or some other pieces in a bag taped on the breaker of your audio room, or tape some crystals around the big electrical cable that go from the central electrical panel to your room....

    If you want to treat your gear (dac, amplifier, power conditioner, speakers)

    Buy 50 pieces of pink quartz crystals, glue them with blutak, 4 or 5 , one on each corner of the 2 side panel or on each front and rear panel, one in each corner and if you can, one in the center, like the figure of the number five on the face of a dice....


    To compensate and complement buy Banded agate madagascar, pieces around 80 grams +or-,put them on top of the transformer of the amplifier, or on the interconnect, etc on top of the dac etc to give a more musical results...

    Experiment which your gear and REPORT here the results...

    Best regards, thanks to all of you...

    P.s. there is many more and more delicate possibilitie but the basic i suggest will give immediate good results at low cost...

    Added remark:
    The use of crystals and stone can treat, modify, deplace the form of the soundstage, and can fine tunine the imaging of the speakers ...I will go with that when people after these basic will be ready to more...
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2017
  3. Mogimu
    They both work well so it's your choice. I have not found that thicker is better on headphones. On amps or speakers the thicker version may be slightly better, but it is marginal. The thin version has a very good advantage because it can be wrapped around cables, power plugs and connectors where it really works well. The thick version tends to spring open if you try to wrap it around cables and connectors, but it still can be used. I suspect the thick version has more rubber content for shock absorbing but not necessarily more of the active nanocomposite. Vibration damping for audio devices is not the same as shock absorbing. Some amplifiers, turntables and speakers may need to be isolated from external shocks and vibrations, which is where Sorbothane should work extremely well. For low level mechanical vibration, resonance, thermal vibration or EMI/RFI induced vibration, you don't really need shock absorbing capability, or thick materials which will themselves resonate. For that you need extremely powerful vibration damping at molecular level, which is where thin nanocomposites come into play. If the polymer/clay nanocomposite has been prepared properly, the polymer chains penetrate into spaces (galleries) in the clay nanoparticles. The OMMT clay content drastically reduces the free movement of the long-chain polymer macromolecules which are trapped in the clay galleries. This causes friction and the vibration is turned into heat.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2017
  4. richard51
    Very very interesting.... i thank you very much for all this information... I will order the thin variety, in the weeks to come.....
  5. Mogimu
    It's incredibly important to treat the headband of the LCD-3, especially where it touches your head. Obviously without treatment vibrations transfer through the headband and into the skull, manifesting as the worst kind of cross-talk distortion. Fo.Q tape fixes the problem brilliantly (and makes the LCD-3 far more comfortable as a bonus), but be careful because upon removal it could easily strip the polish off the leather headband.
    richard51 likes this.
  6. Mogimu
    Having read some of the technical data available for fo.Q products including their TA-32 tape, I have discovered that this particular material does not appear to use OMMT clay to achieve its effect. Here's the quote:
    This is a composite material grounded in a new technology in which a particulate piezoelectric material and a dielectric with a high permittivity are dispersed and mixed in a polymeric material.

    In other words, it uses very tiny crystal particles to convert vibrations to electric current and heat. Another material that I may discuss at a later date (if there is any interest) does use OMMT clay.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2017
    richard51 likes this.
  7. richard51
    Very interesting.... By the way ALL participant in here are VERY interested by discovering new way, and new products, i dare to speak in the name of all fellows here to say to you: GO on with us here and dont hesitate to speak about all your experiment please....thanks more than very much...

    I think that japan people are very audiophile people and very innovative... They use crystals in audio for a long time already (acoustic revive ) One exemple : Sansui go on for almost 50 years in audio and the goal for their last 30 years was reproducing their best tube amplifier sound (1966) in a solid state version, they accomplish that after 30 years of continuous research... Name one company in audio that have the same goal for 30 years ? Not an indefinite improvement goal, nor a general one, but a very difficult task and precise one, finally accomplished before bankrupcy.....Read that review... this is astounding...


    Sansui Tube amplifier versus solid state amplifier
    sansui tube versus solid-state.jpg
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2017
    Mogimu likes this.
  8. edstrelow Contributor
    Cross-talk between the earcup drivers is being recognized as an important issue for headphones. Going back a few pages, I referred to Mitchell's measurements of this. He also noted that with some wiring setups you can get electrical cross talk as well. See p26 of http://www.politicalavenue.com/108642/US-MAGAZINES/Hi-Fi News - July 2016.pdf in HiFi News and Record Review. I assume that electrical crossfeed is worst with common ground wiring found in most dynamic phones, but not Stax electrostatics, which use separate grounds for each channel. Sennheisser uses its mechanical damping material solely in the headband of the HD 800, according to their advertising. I see that their new and hyper expensive H1 uses a large swath of padding under its headband, which I assume also mechanically dampens the headband to prevent mechanical crosstalk. Similarly there is one set of B& W and Audioquest phones that specify that their use of damping in the earcups addresses the crosstalk problem. I think they are missing part of the issue though which is that mechanical vibrations will affect the same side earcup even if there is no headband. Thus I have found very large improvements of the sound of earbuds and IEMs by adding sorbothane damping and these of course have no headband at all

    You raise the question about crosstalk through bone conduction in the skull. Certainly hearing can take place, skipping the ear and directly stimulating the the skull .or jawbone There are hearing aids designed to be used by bone conduction for people who get limited benefit from conventional hearing aids. There are also a number of sports headphones which some people like because they keep drivers from blocking the ear.

    I would think that if the hard surface of the headband touches the skull you could indeed get bone conducted crossfeed. However padding should stop most transmission to the skull. But as I noted in this thread only some kinds of padding will reduce mechanical vibrations to the same-side earcup or create crossfeed to the opposite earcup through the headband. So far my experiments say high density (i.e. 70 duro) thick ( 1/4 to 1/2 inch) sorbothane applied with self-stick tape or better glues such as the Lord line are the most effective.
    Mogimu and richard51 like this.
  9. Mogimu
    Thanks Ed for starting this discussion and for your regular contributions. It's only in the past week or two that I have become aware of the negative effects of cross-talk in headphones and the need to eliminate it. I'm planning an experiment tonight where I will apply fo.Q tape to my forehead and to my head near the back of my ears. If only I was bald I could take the experiment even further!
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2017
  10. Mogimu
    Results are in for the promised fo.Q skull test. It works very well, but not well enough to balance the inconvenience of applying the tape. I found the best results to be applying a long strip just above the eyebrows, and on the exposed bone behind the ears. In fact anywhere where the skin is thin. It was no good at all on the backs of the ears themselves, in fact it detracted if placed there. A special ergonomically designed fo.Q head-cap without adhesive would be something I would like to try, if it existed.
    While not practical, it does provide empirical evidence that a headband pressing down on the top of the head or around the ears could in practice transfer crosstalk distortion through the skull bones, and therefore may require damping treatment.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2017
    richard51 likes this.
  11. richard51
    Putting one thin quartz stick alongside of each end of the interconnect between dac and amplifier and at the same time a circular madagascar agate ring under them, at each end, and 2 other madagascar agate ring on each speakers cable+a quartz stick under each of them them push the sound in my headphone to another level, and the DT-150 to a new more precise imaging... :L3000: remember that all my system is crystallized...

    Before that, at this same spots i has some other crystals that precisely there restrict the dynamic, and give less clarity.... Madagascar agate and some quartz make wonders together....Remember that many stones does not act the same at each spot....I put these other stones at another place where they play more positive function.... Some stones makes thing bad everywhere, for example turquoise is out and impossible for me to use in my audio system.... I must say that i am in love with Madagascar agate they always refine the sound and compliment the pink quartz or the lemurian quartz... Certain stones are difficult to use correctly but are interesting, like Kyanite, or elite shungite, but DO NOT begin with these stones, use them at the end of your crystals journey, before that you can try some amethyst, or tourmaline with good results ... If you buy only 4 kinds or varieties it must be pink quartz or lemurian or tibetan quartz , amethysts,varied pieces of black tourmaline and Madagascar banded agate, other kind of agate will be good (brazil agate) but not good like Madagascar one. and the red agate was not very good at all for example...
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2017
  12. edstrelow Contributor
    I really can't follow what you are doing here. I realize it is hard to present photos with the new Head-fi set-up, but these might make it clearer. As regard the problem of transfer of mechanical energy from a headband to the skull, why not just put the tape on the headband or other part of the phones that comes in contact with the skull. This would seem a lot easier to do. In practice I would have thought that just about any foam padding would be enough to block transmission to the skull.

    I should compare the Ta 102 tape with sorbothane using my Stax SRXIII set-up. This has previously allowed me to determine what thickness and duro to use as well as the effects of different glues. I have several outer covers for these phones and can compare different damping materials by swapping the outer covers around a process which takes about 90 seconds. The Ta 102 seems rather expensive compared to similar sorbothane. Anyone care to send me 2 strips about 4" by 1/2"?
    Mogimu likes this.
  13. richard51
    It will be very interesting.... i wait for that experiment.... Alas! i cannot afford to spend money right now to experiment myself.... Thanks Ed...

    P.s. I have already put 2 pieces of foam under the headband of the DT-150,+sorb. taped along the metal part of the headband... I dont think that i have much crosstalk...
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2017
  14. Henery
    I´m sorry but i don´t understand the reasoning behind putting that fo.Q tape on your skull. Resonances transmitted via structure are more problematic than ones transmitted through air. If you have succesfully damped all resonances on headphone structure, then i don´t see how headphone drivers emitted soundwaves hitting your skull could vibrate it so much for it to be audible problem.
  15. Hutnicks
    Truthfully, if one takes care to acoustically decouple the cups from the headband the problem becomes a non issue at the source.
    nick n likes this.
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