Adding weights to CD/preamp

12th Monkey

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Aug 31, 2015
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Hi all. I was a regular here so long ago it makes my head hurt to think about it, but having been mucking about with my system over the last year or so I feel the need to talk to others about hifi again. It's fair to say that my love of listening has been utterly reawakened.

This issue is vibration. Despite a good-sized listening room, my kit and speakers are closer together than I think is ideal, and I'd installed a Townshend VSSS many years ago that I thought did all I needed to address this. I was wrong. And the gains are apparent at low volume levels too, so this isn't just about isolating kit from airborne vibration rather than that transmitted by contact.

Has anyone added weights to equipment? I've got two additional layers of vibration absorption between rack and kit and these give so much, but the guy who runs the place I got these from (SolidAir) told me about adding weight to his CD player. I've added lead weights to the inside of the CD - roof, floor and on the top of the transport itself - probably about 4kgs worth in total, as well as a smaller amount to roof of preamp. Without doubt the CD benefits more - I can tell what's helped because I've done it in several stages.

The improvements are many, in that bass is deeper and tauter and stereo separation is clearly improved, but the real head-scratcher is about the overall 'feel.' The improvements are the sort that put me in mind of the advocates of vinyl, in that the sound seems natural, unforced, any excess sibilance tamed - but without losing any of the dynamic qualities that make music exciting.

I wish I'd done this years ago - I now have 1,000+ CDs to experience anew and I am absolutely loving it.

(If anyone wants to consider it, I can tell you where I've got them from - I've used self-adhesive ones but anything attached to the roof wants gluing.)

Is there still a thread about showing your system? - must have a look.
 
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gasolin

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even the smallest cheapest ikea tables,hifi rack kan handle 20-30 punds and on top of my hifi rack (amazon) FITUEYES Glass TV Stand HIFI Rack 4 Tiers Media Component Shelves Black AS406001GB it can hanle 88 pound for a turntable or heavy amp.

A shelf on a wall you can use what ever can handle a heavy turntable and you should be fine
 

12th Monkey

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Aug 31, 2015
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The VSSS shelves clamp onto smooth, cylindrical vertical poles, and are secured by four small hex head screws. Whenever I've had to adjust them it's been a right faff, and when the bolt heads start to wear it'd sometimes been difficult to get them tight enough to support. I did get some replacement bolts, but it still leaves me a little wary. I think CD and power would now come in at over 40kgs.

I guess I could try putting some books on top to see whether there are gains to be made, but the weights added (and supporting isolation foot under the middle) seem to have stopped the top and bottom of CD and pre- from vibrating when music is very loud - as it sometimes is at mine.
 

12th Monkey

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I forgot to mention a coupe of specifics - might tempt someone to give it a bash. The examples are both old, as it tends to be old recordings that have proper soundstages.

Viens Mallika from Delibes Lakme - it's always been apparent that the last few vocal bars are performed with the singers having turned their backs on you. It's now clear that they are also walking away. And in Bridge over Troubled Water you can follow Art Garfunkel as he moves about on stage in the middle of the song - during a vocal pause he moves from centre stage towards your right. After a few lines, you can clearly follow his return to centre. Never heard this much detail before - it's a very acoustically 'live' environment it's recorded in.
 

Mike Hunt

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Jan 22, 2020
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You should turn the CD player upside down for 2 minutes each day, and shake it a little to allow any loose electrons to dislodge and fall out. Electron buildup is the number 1 cause of erectile dysfunction.

Lead weights in CD players... :LOL:
 
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12th Monkey

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My, we're both sneery and certain about everything, aren't we? I'd forgotten about that aspect of hifi forums.

The affects of vibration are readily comprehensible to anyone with a mind that's even half open - without what I'll briefly explain your speakers/headphones wouldn't work, and neither would microphones.

Take your right hand. Point thumb straight up, index finger straight and longest finger at 90 degrees to index. Fold two other fingers out of the way. If I recall my physics correctly in terms of order, thumb is Force (as in physical movement), index is field (as in magnetic) and remaining finger is current (as in electrical).

If you have two of these, the third is generated as a by-product. Speakers have magnets in, and you send an oscillating electrical current to a wire coiled in proximity - this generates the force which moves the drive units - ergo you hear sound. Microphones have magnets too, and when force moves the diaphragm an electrical current is generated, travels down the cable and can be amplified.

Most hifi equipment contains a mains transformer, which contains (sensing a pattern here?) a large magnet. Apply force to it in the form of vibration and you induce electrical currents in the circuits. These may be small, but so are the unamplified signals that it is intending to produce. Ergo damping vibration should be a good thing. I used lead because it is dense, not because of any 'spooky' property it might possess.

What I am describing is called microphony. The DVD of Live Aid even has a section explaining why there are moving bands across the pictures in some sections - the reason being that the cameras used then contained valves/tubes which are susceptible to microphony and volume levels near the stage were very high.

I hope that this helps.
 
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DomCheetham

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My brother said that his HiFi sounded different every time he switched it on. With that being said. I like that my HiFi sounds the same every time I listen. I guess my brother is a sceptic and I'm an optimist.
 

Gray

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Nov 27, 2015
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My, we're both sneery and certain about everything, aren't we? I'd forgotten about that aspect of hifi forums.

The affects of vibration are readily comprehensible to anyone with a mind that's even half open - without what I'll briefly explain your speakers/headphones wouldn't work, and neither would microphones.

Take your right hand. Point thumb straight up, index finger straight and longest finger at 90 degrees to index. Fold two other fingers out of the way. If I recall my physics correctly in terms of order, thumb is Force (as in physical movement), index is field (as in magnetic) and remaining finger is current (as in electrical).

If you have two of these, the third is generated as a by-product. Speakers have magnets in, and you send an oscillating electrical current to a wire coiled in proximity - this generates the force which moves the drive units - ergo you hear sound. Microphones have magnets too, and when force moves the diaphragm an electrical current is generated, travels down the cable and can be amplified.

Most hifi equipment contains a mains transformer, which contains (sensing a pattern here?) a large magnet. Apply force to it in the form of vibration and you induce electrical currents in the circuits. These may be small, but so are the unamplified signals that it is intending to produce. Ergo damping vibration should be a good thing. I used lead because it is dense, not because of any 'spooky' property it might possess.

What I am describing is called microphony. The DVD of Live Aid even has a section explaining why there are moving bands across the pictures in some sections - the reason being that the cameras used then contained valves/tubes which are susceptible to microphony and volume levels near the stage were very high.

I hope that this helps.
There's no doubt that microphony is a real phenomenon.
I can see your theory that you may have tamed vibration leading you to hear a difference.
But, I would also guess that a minimum of 99% of listeners wouldn't hear that difference.
I would be extremely impressed if, without knowing, you could reliably say whether the weight was installed or not. In other words Simon, I'm saying that you were expecting to hear a difference, so you did.
Having said that, I'm certain that some people can actually hear things that others can't.
You could be one of those.
 
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12th Monkey

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That was a very balanced and diplomatic way of expressing scepticism! The ability to self-delude is also real, I'd certainly accept that. But the differences are clearly audible, and I am old enough to know that my hearing isn't unusually good. I am certain that I can tell the difference - in fact I know I can. I've been using a few specific tracks when I make changes and there was a point where I thought that things were sounding a little less good. When I took the lid off, the weights had detached. That was when I was relying on self-adhesive qualities, and why ones that are suspended need gluing.

It might sound a little conceited, but I've been at this lark for so long that I apply a fair degree of scepticism when I am listening. I spent ages comparing SACD with CD, initially expecting to hear some differences. I'm sure we all recognise that 'ooh - did that sound different?' sensation. But I kept going back and forth and the truth was that I hear no difference.

I was also told that a particular Chord interconnect would compliment the Chord speaker cable more than the Van den Hul ones I used (and still use). Again, I couldn't hear any difference at all.

Adding these weights was something that I only decided to do under duress - at very high volumes the M6 would occasionally skip, and I know there's very little vibration being transmitted through the rack. The suggestion came from a chap who sells anti-vibration equipment, as it was something he had done with his personal setup. But he had nothing to gain from making this suggestion - he sells nothing that I could use.

So I tried it, gradually and with as much in the way of controlled circumstances as I could. My background was the physical sciences, and I built an electrostatic speaker as an A level project, so I have more than an inkling about how to be objective and analytical. The interesting thing about that was that changes made sometimes had a decidedly counterintuitive effect. But I digress.

The differences are probably not there for someone who listens to music in the background, but if you are actually sitting in the sweet spot and paying attention they are definitely there. I'd have thought that most hifi enthusiasts listened in this way - I wonder what the point is otherwise. And the effects are there at low volumes too, so I can only conclude that adding rigidity to the transport allows it to read more accurately - that the error correction circuitry has less to do. More to the point though, I was hoping that what I'd done would stop the player skipping, so the improvements were not what I was expecting - which from a logical perspective would seem to decrease the likelihood of it being self-delusion.

I appreciate that many people would be perturbed at the prospect of taking their kit apart and tinkering, but it seems to me that I am the only one with any experience. The hifi world is full of snake oil and exaggerated (or just plain suspect) claims, but it's also affected by a matching cynicism (which is different from scepticism) about others' honesty, gullibility and capacity for self-delusion (which is where we started). It may be that sometimes this stops people from trying new things and making up their minds based upon personal experience. People rationalise away a notion, because it somehow 'feels' wrong or silly. That's perhaps understandable to an extent, but it's not very scientific.

Normally it seems to me that getting a worthwhile improvement from a hifi system involves spending a good few quid. What I have described has been the most cost-effective improvement I have made in the twenty+ years I have been genuinely interested in hifi. The idea about sharing it was that someone else might give it a bash and be as pleased as I am with the results, which now seems unlikely.

But feeble jokes about willies an lolling, though? Oh dear...
 
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plus 1

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Dec 5, 2019
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may i ask who is the chap, who sells anti vibration equipment, that recommended this advice ?

(i'm guessing it was max at townshend audio ?)

as i understand it there is 3 types of vibration that can affect a hifi system.

1, vibration that comes up from the floor.

2, air borne vibration created from the loudspeakers.

3, vibrations that are caused by the equipment itself !
 

Jimboo

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Oct 29, 2019
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Did you actually just try another c.d player. I see you have mains filters which many claim should be a no no with amplifiers , naim I think are one to advise against.I honestly cannot see how this makes a difference , you hear it so for you it is real.
No vibration from the rack and the c.d player skips at higher volumes ? And by adding weights this stops this you say. You have a high end player .Since 99.9% of us are unaware or have had this problem despite our budget and set up situations I would suggest you audition something else rather than involve yourself and recommend to others destroying warranties and equipment with this novel idea.
Google reading I can find that any complaints come from the Phillips part of the player.
 

12th Monkey

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Did you actually just try another c.d player. I see you have mains filters which many claim should be a no no with amplifiers , naim I think are one to advise against.I honestly cannot see how this makes a difference , you hear it so for you it is real.
No vibration from the rack and the c.d player skips at higher volumes ? And by adding weights this stops this you say. You have a high end player .Since 99.9% of us are unaware or have had this problem despite our budget and set up situations I would suggest you audition something else rather than involve yourself and recommend to others destroying warranties and equipment with this novel idea.
Google reading I can find that any complaints come from the Phillips part of the player.
It may be because of proximity to speaker - it's not through rack. And the amps dig very deep in terms of bass extension. The previous CD, an Arcam CD23t didn't skip, but it also lacked as much resolution and wasn't subject to the A308 combo's bass. The skipping was entirely predictable - in the same places of the same tracks, and it went away with reduced volumes. And I am referring to genuinely very loud music - Smells Like Teen Spirit and Debaser at levels that evoke seeing a band live!

My gear is all out of warranty - up to others to make their own minds up, I'm not issuing instructions.

(And keeping the mains filter can of worms separate, Isotek ones have separate outputs for amplification, analogue and digital componentry.)

may i ask who is the chap, who sells anti vibration equipment, that recommended this advice ?

(i'm guessing it was max at townshend audio ?)

as i understand it there is 3 types of vibration that can affect a hifi system.

1, vibration that comes up from the floor.

2, air borne vibration created from the loudspeakers.

3, vibrations that are caused by the equipment itself !
I have spoken to Max as my rack is one of theirs, but no - it was Miles at SolidAir (https://solidairaudio.com/). I think in this case it's primarily 2, but it may be that the transport is actually interfering with its own abilities a little too. I use his feet and platforms - pictures in the section for showing off your system.
 
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Jimboo

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Right , well weights were obviously not needed here , you have answered your own solutions to your problems in your response. Could have saved yourself a lot of grief and trouble if you had maybe thought logically rather than over thinking.
 

plus 1

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It may be because of proximity to speaker - it's not through rack. And the amps dig very deep in terms of bass extension. The previous CD, an Arcam CD23t didn't skip, but it also lacked as much resolution and wasn't subject to the A308 combo's bass. The skipping was entirely predictable - in the same places of the same tracks, and it went away with reduced volumes. And I am referring to genuinely very loud music - Smells Like Teen Spirit and Debaser at levels that evoke seeing a band live!

My gear is all out of warranty - up to others to make their own minds up, I'm not issuing instructions.

(And keeping the mains filter can of worms separate, Isotek ones have separate outputs for amplification, analogue and digital componentry.)



I have spoken to Max as my rack is one of theirs, but no - it was Miles at SolidAir (https://solidairaudio.com/). I think in this case it's primarily 2, but it may be that the transport is actually interfering with its own abilities a little too. I use his feet and platforms - pictures in the section for showing off your system.
just checked out the solidairaudio website - seems like the ultimate solution to counter floor borne vibrations by floating kit on magnets !

however this would, i'm guessing, trap vibrations caused by the kit itself (and via the air generated by the speakers) inside so i can see how adding weights to provide damping to cd players etc would possibly provide a system "tweak".

i believe such design ideas are used in high end kit such as the transports and dacs made by mbl or msb for instance.
 
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DomCheetham

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- seems like the ultimate solution to counter floor borne vibrations by floating kit on magnets !

however this would, i'm guessing, trap vibrations caused by the kit itself (and via the air generated by the speakers) inside so i can see how adding weights to provide damping to cd players etc would possibly provide a system "tweak".

i believe such design ideas are used in high end kit such as the transports and dacs made by mbl or msb for instance.
It goes on and on
 

12th Monkey

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Right , well weights were obviously not needed here , you have answered your own solutions to your problems in your response. Could have saved yourself a lot of grief and trouble if you had maybe thought logically rather than over thinking.
I may be being obtuse, but I don't understand any of your reasoning! Are you suggesting I should just turn it down? If so, no thanks. Music should be played at a volume level that makes it sound 'right', at least when possible. For rock that means pretty loud, for acoustic it's rather quieter and classical is somewhere in between.

Besides if I hadn't bothered the gains apparent at low volume levels wouldn't be there - see OP for clarification. If I am missing something, feel free to explain.

just checked out the solidairaudio website - seems like the ultimate solution to counter floor borne vibrations by floating kit on magnets !

however this would, i'm guessing, trap vibrations caused by the kit itself (and via the air generated by the speakers) inside so i can see how adding weights to provide damping to cd players etc would possibly provide a system "tweak".

i believe such design ideas are used in high end kit such as the transports and dacs made by mbl or msb for instance.
They seem to act as dampers in both directions, but clearly there was still room for improvement - this is a perfect example of what Dom refers to as going on and on!

I think that there are two ways of looking at approaching true musical fidelity (pun intended). The first is that returns must diminish - that seems pretty much inevitable. But the second is that the closer you get, the smaller the gap between what you hear and reality - maybe that makes small changes easier to detect? Who knows...

People have often said to me that they don't think their hearing is good enough to appreciate a good hifi. I don't think that's usually true - we all have a lifetime's experience of hearing what the real world sounds like.
 
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Jimboo

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Oct 29, 2019
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Monkey , your cd player isn't working or suitable for your purposes so change it or turn it down . I just took my Kef wireless speakers on the shelf with my audiolab transport one behind and one to the side and let rip. It didn't skip. You really are going to extreme measures to get the sound. Remove the filters and the isolation stuff from your system weights and all and play with your speaker position and then be gobsmacked by the sound.
If you want concert level sound grab some old version Vegas or something.
You either have the wrong system for your tastes a malfunctioning cd player. Forget the voodoo crap .
 

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