Damping vibrations in CD player mechanisms

  1. edstrelow Contributor
    I had posted this in my thread on the use of sorbothane with headphones and realized that that is not where any CD player person would look for this DIY tweak. This started out as a tweak for top-loading players which put detachable "pucks" on the cd. But I later discovered that I could do the same on my regular and much cheaper player. I don't know if it works with all players because this depends on having detachable brace over the cd drive.

    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.


    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.


    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.

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