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

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  1. richard51
    :L3000:I am perfectly in the same boat than you about the low cost effectiveness of sorbothane and the Fo.Q tape does not replace it by any means in my own experience.... But it is impossible to wrap sorbothane around cable, and for that the Fo.Q tape itself is not too pricey for what it gives, a way to damp the cable, i have great satisfaction with it , and damped all my cable for 45 bucks.... But Ed you are right for their costly plate for example , sorb. sandwich do the job at a better cost for me.... The tape is truly useful ONLY for the cable in my experiments....

    For speakers for example the tape is of no use compare to the sorbothane, and i tried it....But around audio cables, interconnects,electrical cables, sorb. is of no use.... Me i use sorbothane + other materials , Fo.Q tape, crystals and many stones to damp and to clean my system, and this all 3 methods are complementary,none make all by itself and can replace the others...
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2017
  2. edstrelow Contributor

    Funny you should say that about wrapping sorb around cables. Here is what I started doing a week or so back. IMG_1084.JPG Just putting 4 little strips of 1/10 inch 70 duro sorb on the plugs of my interconnects including the optical ones. This works really well. The usual wait for a day or so for the glue to adhere properly, but by 2-3 days there is a big increase in clarity.

    The other day I was listening to my bedroom set-up tweaked this way and a jazz vocal was so realistic I thought someone was in the room with me. The hair rose on my head like there was a ghost in the room. I have never had this happen before although I have certainly had some very realistic soundstaging with speakers, especially with my big Polk SDA speakers downstairs which eliminate the phantom channels created by speakers when the left channel feed the right ear and the right feeds the left. These can give a very realistic sense of being in concert hall or studio, but the phenomenon above was that the woman was in my bedroom with me!
    richard51 likes this.
  3. richard51
    wow! Very interesting idea... thanks ed, i will try that and perhaps some electrical tape around to compress it and keep it firmly in place....:L3000: i just ordered the 1/10 inches duro 70 sorb....
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2017
  4. richard51
    And Ed if you allow me to outbid you:ksc75smile:....Standing before my speakers (near-listening position) now and listening, my head is in between the jazz insturmentists, and the sound is absolutely not between the 2 speakers but flow encompassing my head and each and every one instrument perfectly living in his own space and my body living with them ....

    These 3 methods of eliminating mechanical, and electromagnetical noise, by damping and filterering it, pay much, and this Starting Point Systems NOS battery dac2 is one of the more upgrading thing i have experience, then no more sampling dac for me.... Buy one... :L3000::deadhorse::beerchug:
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2017
  5. castleofargh Contributor
    are you jumping around like crazy in your house that you feel the need to mechanically dampen even a plug?
  6. richard51
    Here we experiment with different low cost methods for damping.....nobody jump around like crazy....Is it scientifically unsound to damp something?

    Last edited: Oct 9, 2017
  7. castleofargh Contributor
    well, trying to mechanically dampen a non moving part does make me wonder about the intent.
  8. richard51
    Perhaps your concept of " non moving part" are too restricted....:ksc75smile:
  9. richard51
    I bought for less than 2 hundred bucks the AKG k 340.... When i listen to them stock form i was very attentive to their potential, but i detect some boomy resonance then i immediately damp them with some Fo.Q tape , around the cups and on the cable....the effect was more clarity, less boomy...But it was not enough, the sound lack natural,You must also damp them with self-gluing pieces of sorbothane duro 70, tighten with electrical tape around each 2 pieces, put around each plastic square on top of the cups, the change for the better is amazing....I drill a hole in the plastic grids and glued some piece of feminine silk socks on them:ksc75smile:. I put off all the old wool inside the cups....After that i plug them in my Sansui AU-7700....:L3000:

    Wow! they trounce in sheer relaxing musicality all my other headphones,and are on par with my Stax Sr-5, and beyer dt150, ...They have good bass, vocal perfect reproduction(not for basshead tough)but more than that they are the more relaxing sounding headphone i have heard....I dont want to buy more than 1000 dollars headphone.... I thought that i almost have one now...If not, nevermind! why more expansive one if you have true music finally....
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2017
  10. edstrelow Contributor
    A number of companies have been applying sorbothane on what you consider non-moving parts including Naim and Schitt. The last was told me in person by one of their engineers at a Canjam a few years back who told me that they had a custom order with Sorbothane. The issue as far as I can tell is microphonics,

    " Microphonics or microphony describes the phenomenon wherein certain components in electronic devices transform mechanical vibrations into an undesired electrical signal (noise). The term comes from analogy with a microphone, which is intentionally designed to convert vibrations to electrical signals." https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microphonics

    The vibrations would come from the spinning disc of a cd player. I still have portable cd players and you can easily feel the vibrations when playing, even though there is no obvious defect of the mechanism. I am sure the same happens with large scale players, their added mass keeps some but not all of the vibration under control. There is also the issue of hum of a transformer. This was one of the reasons many designers went toroidal transformers. Additionally when speakers are used there is vibration in the air. I would suggest that connectors are especially prone to even small vibrations because they make only a physical contact with sockets and could wobble. If connectors were soldered and hard-wired in placed, I would not expect there to be an issue.

    As I noted previously, the super high end SME turntable uses both high mass and talks in some detail about the need for damping. Mobile Fidelity references viscoelastic damping. Of the two, sorbothane, which is a viscoelastic is much cheaper than adding mass.

    At any rate the only real test is to try it and see or hear. It cost about ten cents in sorbothane so why not?
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2017
  11. richard51
    Ed i have tried the sorbothane on all my connectors headphone with evident and very surprizing results that confirm your owns.... Thanks infinitely...

    The effect of putting 3 or 4 pieces of sorb on a headphone connector is totally amazing, particularly for my akg k 340, that i loved very much but that are difficult to tweak, and difficult to amplify with good synergy... I stick them tighly in place with electrical tape to compress them a little....It takes 2 days to settle....What a great tweak....I cannot thank you enough....The Akg k 340 of all my headphone is the one that gain most to be damped....:beerchug:

    Always remember that the adhesive power of the sorb. takes in fact more than 2 days to takes his optimal effect, but now after few days, the damping potential of the sorb. has completely transformed my K340 in something i love really more than anything....I must wait to damp the interior of the cups with a new order of sorb.....Sorbothane is truly transformative of all my headphone and of my speakers....Also it is a pity than nobody use stones or crystals to treat their system( my dac that i treat with many more of the right stones in the last days touch another level now) ....I am completely in love with mine now....:ksc75smile:
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2017
  12. castleofargh Contributor
    ok I would intuitively be concerned for a device with certain tubes as some of those suckers just love turning physical vibrations into signal (when I see portable amps with tubes, I'm like "whyyyyyyyyy????????"). and a cd player/turntable or maybe something with fans, so anything with actual moving parts. then I get why such products could take measures against vibrations or if you wished to extend those measures even by curiosity. TBH I wasn't thinking about that so now it seems less crazy to me :wink:
    maybe I'll try placing gears on my speakers and measure them for the lolz. well I say that but my audio to do list doesn't empty itself as fast as I hoped, and I still haven't tried to measure a headphone's crosstalk with and without the headband to guess what the maximum impact from vibrations could be. I totally blame @hakuzen who sent me a coupler just so I could try it myself for IEM measurements after I asked him a random question. by doing so he dragged me into a rabbit hole once again. helpful selfless people are the worst.
    hakuzen likes this.
  13. edstrelow Contributor
    I think the measurements that are needed are of the vibrational characteristics of audio gear. I have heard strain guages mentioned as the tool of choice. As regards what equipment needs damping, yes you would presume that those subject to most vibration would be the first choices. That would include speakers, headphones, cd players and turntables. As regards amps and other equipment the only source of vibration I can see would be ac hum. Generally not a big deal but I had a power amp once that made so much audible noise that I finally put in in a closet. I suspect it could have a microphonics issue.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2017
  14. edstrelow Contributor
    About all I have been doing of late is adding layers of tape to sorbothane previously placed on phones and speakers and using small strips on rca and optical connectors. I usually try to avoid doing such joint manipulations but hey I have been playing with this stuff for years and I still haven't reached the point of ultimate improvement and I don't have forever to find out. As regards the tape, I am now up to 4 layers of electrical tape as backing. This results in "constrained layer damping."

    Anyway the two together are giving great results. Now, many of my old analog masterered cd's, AAD and ADD, are sounding like sparkling new recordings. With the newer DDD recordings I am hearing more detail, openness and dynamics. I was just listening to a recording of Vila-Lobos' Bachianas Brasilieras which I had put aside for over ten years, because the orchestral sound was just too heavy, with all the cellos and double basses. It just sounds delightful now, much more detail and clarity.

    As I have often noted, it seems to take a few days for the tape or sorbothane backing to kick in. The first day, you will hear something but don't get great results, but after a couple of days or a week, the system starts to sing. I would guess that this shows that the glue is curing.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2017
  15. richard51
    same experience here.... Thanks ed...
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