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Isolation or coupling

britain4

Well-known member
Sep 25, 2013
40
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10,545
Here is my current conundrum.

I have had to set my Hi-Fi system in the loft due to its low WAF and lack of space. I have a Pioneer A400 amp, Marantz CD63KI (both quite extensively tweaked), some fabulous 70s Mordaunt Short Pageant 2 speakers which are huge, but absolutely lovely (cost me £20 too) and the kit is stood on an Apollo Hi-Fi stand.

The stand has thick metal legs and glass shelves and is VERY heavy. Unfortunately the floor it’s stood on is not so substantial being chipboard on top of joists. Far less than ideal but it’s that or nothing.

My question is would I be better off putting something like sorbothane under my CD player (and amp) to isolate it from the stand (and the floor), or should I couple the kit to the heavy stand using eg. oak cones and then isolate the stand from the floor? If the latter what would be best to isolate a heavy rack from the floor?

The other thing is, is a glass shelf the best material to couple equipment to - changing the rack isn’t really an option right now, current one was a hand-me-down and I’m not buying a new one just to put it up in the loft.

I am going to do some experimentation with the speakers starting with Sorbothane under them but the rack I am unsure of.

Cheers!
 

Pedro

New member
May 31, 2016
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britain4 said:
Here is my current conundrum.

I have had to set my Hi-Fi system in the loft due to its low WAF and lack of space. I have a Pioneer A400 amp, Marantz CD63KI (both quite extensively tweaked), some fabulous 70s Mordaunt Short Pageant 2 speakers which are huge, but absolutely lovely (cost me £20 too) and the kit is stood on an Apollo Hi-Fi stand.

The stand has thick metal legs and glass shelves and is VERY heavy. Unfortunately the floor it’s stood on is not so substantial being chipboard on top of joists. Far less than ideal but it’s that or nothing. 

My question is would I be better off putting something like sorbothane under my CD player (and amp) to isolate it from the stand (and the floor), or should I couple the kit to the heavy stand using eg. oak cones and then isolate the stand from the floor? If the latter what would be best to isolate a heavy rack from the floor?

The other thing is, is a glass shelf the best material to couple equipment to - changing the rack isn’t really an option right now, current one was a hand-me-down and I’m not buying a new one just to put it up in the loft. 

I am going to do some experimentation with the speakers starting with Sorbothane under them but the rack I am unsure of.

Cheers!
In my humble opinion you shouldn't worry about vibration in solid state equipment, it will be microphonic and non audible.

I'd would rather look into room acoustics.
 

britain4

Well-known member
Sep 25, 2013
40
2
10,545
Pedro said:
britain4 said:
Here is my current conundrum.

I have had to set my Hi-Fi system in the loft due to its low WAF and lack of space. I have a Pioneer A400 amp, Marantz CD63KI (both quite extensively tweaked), some fabulous 70s Mordaunt Short Pageant 2 speakers which are huge, but absolutely lovely (cost me £20 too) and the kit is stood on an Apollo Hi-Fi stand.

The stand has thick metal legs and glass shelves and is VERY heavy. Unfortunately the floor it’s stood on is not so substantial being chipboard on top of joists. Far less than ideal but it’s that or nothing.

My question is would I be better off putting something like sorbothane under my CD player (and amp) to isolate it from the stand (and the floor), or should I couple the kit to the heavy stand using eg. oak cones and then isolate the stand from the floor? If the latter what would be best to isolate a heavy rack from the floor?

The other thing is, is a glass shelf the best material to couple equipment to - changing the rack isn’t really an option right now, current one was a hand-me-down and I’m not buying a new one just to put it up in the loft.

I am going to do some experimentation with the speakers starting with Sorbothane under them but the rack I am unsure of.

Cheers!
In my humble opinion you shouldn't worry about vibration in solid state equipment, it will be microphonic and non audible.

I'd would rather look into room acoustics.
Normally I would be inclined to agree with you. Having recently been advised to Dynamat the inside of the CD player case (which is very thin and rings like a bell), and having a roll of the stuff lying around, I decided to give it a go yesterday evening, followed by a long listening session in which I am certain I heard some improvements which were not subtle.

I honestly went into it thinking it sounded like a load of voodoo rubbish, and I don’t consider myself to have a particularly well trained ear but specifically the bass, which I specifically felt was slightly lacking before now seems more full bodied. (I also fitted a Russ Andrews fuse I got for free at the same time, also expecting it to make 0 difference, maybe it could have been that? lol)

Having experimented with the damping I would like to ensure I am getting the best out of it. I’m not going to spend lots of money or time experimenting with it, just do it right once and leave it at that.

Room acoustics are certainly next on the list once I have got the gear supported how I would like it (still in the process of setting up). Albeit the loft is a tricky shape so will have to do some homework on that one.
 

abacus

Well-known member
Sep 24, 2008
402
160
19,070
The acoustics in a loft (Assuming it’s angled) is usually better than a normal box shaped room due to all the different angles.

Unless you are mounting speakers on a cabinet, or are using a turntable, solid is better, (No decoupling) hence you won’t find any decoupling in pro studios and stage performance.

Ditch the fuse and stick with the standard one, as the fancy one probably no longer meets the BS Standard and is thus a liability. (It won’t make the slightest bit of difference to the sound)

Have you had the floor strengthened, as ceiling joists are way too small for constant use and would not meet building regulations for such a room?

If the equipment feels a bit flimsy just but a heavy rubber mat on top of it, (Make sure you don’t block any ventilation holes) but under NO circumstances line the inside of it, as you will reduce the air flow and possible cause overheating, thus reducing the life span of the equipment. (Or worst case a fire)

If you really want to go to town, go to a professional that deals with professional environments for advice, not some money grabbing Hi Fi Company that believes in magic rather than fact.

Above all enjoy the music, just like you do if you go to a live concert, and forget about all these fancy magic remedies that are out there, as there just a con.

Bill
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
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Hi Britain

Just to give another perspective - I think messing around with this is worthwhile - but it is a "Black Art" and experimentation is key. Solutions vary from very expensive, to pretty cheap.

Lavardin, the French manufacturer, recomends plywood as a platform - and I tend to agree....and it's pretty cheap to knock up some, which can be painted matt black and given some cheap feet.

I also use a mix of Sorbothane (Deflex Foculpods etc), Valhalla Technology and Black Ravioli.

There are expensive solutions from the likes of Track Audio, Townshend, Nordost Kones and Stillpoints etc

The secret, is borrowing some from a hifi shop and then making a judgement (in the context of the value of your system) of the benefits they give....and it's possible they can make things worse.
 

ellisdj

New member
Dec 11, 2008
377
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sorbuthane doesnt isolate in the way you want it to - better off with small bits of wood than rubber unless you want a softer more smeared sound, can come across as warmer but its smeared.

These are amazing for the money - Ceradiscs - stillpoints peformance, for lemonade money, I helped with the design and testing of them.

Clean and dynamic but may appear less warm - if that is the case and not what you want you simply add the rubber orings to the design and that will have that same effect
 

macdiddy

Well-known member
Sep 3, 2010
87
3
18,545
abacus comes along with his usual cut & paste reply and here it is. *boredom*

its about time you checked some of your facts before posting your frankly ridiculous replies.

Russ Andrews fuses are manufactured to BS 1362, they wouldn't be allowed to sell them otherwise.

oh by the way I lined the inside of a Pioneer bluray player to dampen the thin case, still working fine after 8 years, no over heating problems and I never had to call the fire brigade out either.*fool*

if you have nothing better to say then don't.
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
556
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ellisdj said:
sorbuthane doesnt isolate in the way you want it to - better off with small bits of wood than rubber unless you want a softer more smeared sound, can come across as warmer but its smeared.
I use Sorbothane feet under the Plywood Platform, as this can happen - but some report an improvement, so it's worth trying.
 

cheeseboy

New member
Jul 17, 2012
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macdiddy said:
abacus comes along with his usual cut & paste reply and here it is. *boredom*

its about time you checked some of your facts before posting your frankly ridiculous replies.

Russ Andrews fuses are manufactured to BS 1362, they wouldn't be allowed to sell them otherwise.

oh by the way I lined the inside of a Pioneer bluray player to dampen the thin case, still working fine after 8 years, no over heating problems and I never had to call the fire brigade out either.*fool*

if you have nothing better to say then don't.
same could apply to you. People have different opinions, or is a personal vendetta you seem to have against him that he's not allowed to post?
 

ellisdj

New member
Dec 11, 2008
377
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I think thats different cno - I think directly under a cd player a drain type of isolator will work better if anything is going to work obviously.

And yes I have blind tested CD players and isolation and yes heard clear and consistent differences so its worth trying for sure.
 

britain4

Well-known member
Sep 25, 2013
40
2
10,545
Wow lots to be thinking about!

DIY me likes the sound of the plywood over anything fancy and expensive - I’m one for doing things on a budget where possible. Unless I can expect to hear genuinely better sound from one of the “audiophile” products - borrowing some from a Hi-Fi dealer is a great idea and I just happen to have one down the road!

Interesting comment about the shape of the loft. There is also soft insulation lining the whole of the “ceiling” area so presumably that works in my favour too. I know solid is better - the floor is solid but not concrete solid so I thought not coupling to the floor would be the best idea.

I am fairly certain the RA fuse is BS marked (wonder what the BS stands for? :D ) but it is 13A. The mains cable is an aftermarket one rated at that. I read one of RA’s blog posts recommending a solid copper bar in place of a fuse as long as it’s plugged into a fused power block but for obvious reasons he doesn’t tout this on his website!

Needless to say I haven’t “damped” any of the vents nor have I used any foam anywhere!

I feel like oak cones would fit the “bits of wood” definition (I love the look of them too). I am not looking at spending over £50 on anything ideally unless I have personally tried it and noticed better results.

One idea I had was oak cones - slab of granite - sorbothane under the granite but would rather just use a set of feet if possible. Possibly oak cones straight onto the very heavy stand then isolate the stand from the floor - but I wouldn’t know how to go about doing that, maybe spike it into a plywood or granite platform then sorbothane between that and the floor?
 

britain4

Well-known member
Sep 25, 2013
40
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10,545
CnoEvil said:
FWIW. Here is Lavardin's take on it:

See questions about:

- "What is the best rack?"

- "Should I use cones, rubber feet or springs under components ?"

- "Does plywood also improve speaker's balance and micro-dynamic ?"

http://www.lavardin.com/lavardin-faqE.html
Thats a very interesting link thank you. I’ll certainly be having a good think on that when I get a minute. Sounds like my glass and metal rack is not such a great thing to have. Will have to consider the plywood idea but what to put between CD player and plyboard, and under the plywood onto the rack?
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
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britain4 said:
Thats a very interesting link thank you. I’ll certainly be having a good think on that when I get a minute. Sounds like my glass and metal rack is not such a great thing to have. Will have to consider the plywood idea but what to put between CD player and plyboard, and under the plywood onto the rack?
You're very welcome.

You will get polar opposite views about this sort of thing - so the only way forward is to try it...and don't commit too much money without knowing the reward.

If you have a glass rack (I do), put the component on the plywood and isolate the plywood from the glass.

If you have a suspended wooden floor, it can play havoc with the speakers...which need isolated (de-coupled) from it....and how you go about it, may depend on whether you have Floorstanders or Standmounts (where you can sink vibrations into what you fill the stands with).
 

amormusic

Well-known member
Feb 24, 2016
129
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4,620
Hi,

I recently moved and started a thread on my experimentation of isolating my speakers carrying bass to suspended wooden floor (keepin the neighbours sweet). I’m sure someone can assist with a link to my previous thread??

Anyway, under my speakers (floorstanders) are granite plinths (chopping boards) with sorbethane polipods under those. I’ve also got spikes into spike shoes on top of the granite plinths but reckon that’s probably overkill.

Result... next to zero vibration carry from speakers to floor. Seriously effective... And cheap too, far less than £50 for the lot.

Hope you solve your problem.

Cheers,
 

britain4

Well-known member
Sep 25, 2013
40
2
10,545
Yes it does seem to be a hotly debated topic really. I’ll try a few things out, concensus seems to be to isolate from the glass though. The speakers are stand mounts but my stands are somewhat unconventional - Google them if you’ve never seen any as I’ll never be able to describe them properly.

The Isofeet are quite reasonably priced, I’ll have a look into those thanks.

I think I might have actually seen that thread and that’s very similar to what I was considering doing - I will probably try that with the speakers and update with how it goes.

I dug out my unmodified CD63 to do an A-B comparison after damping the chassis and I’m afraid that won’t be possible haha - it’s easy to forget just how much mods lift this little player, compared to the stock one the soundstage is vast, superb imaging and the bass is much tighter and more controlled. So hard to compare really. I think the mods tightened up the bass so much it almost seemed lacking, and the damping has given it a bit of substance again.

All I have done to it so far is the “clock hack”, remove the DC blocking caps, headphone jack and muting transistors, fitted the muting Silmics in the Op-Amp supply and separate regs to various chips. Unbelievable difference so far and I have a very long list of mods yet to do - including the amp and speakers - it really does sound gorgeous now for an extreme budget setup so I can’t wait to hear it really making music...
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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britain4 said:
The speakers are stand mounts but my stands are somewhat unconventional - Google them if you’ve never seen any as I’ll never be able to describe them properly.
Can they be filled? / Have you filled them? - If so, with what?
 

britain4

Well-known member
Sep 25, 2013
40
2
10,545
CnoEvil said:
britain4 said:
The speakers are stand mounts but my stands are somewhat unconventional - Google them if you’ve never seen any as I’ll never be able to describe them properly.
Can they be filled? / Have you filled them? - If so, with what?
I’d say it would be possible to fill them but not easy - they’re made of roughly 1.5”x0.5” hollow steel box section welded into a sort of tripod shape, so one would have to fill each section and then plug the end with something (that wouldn’t pop out otherwise I’d end up with sand all over my floor). They look awesome with the speakers in a very retro sort of way but not ideal for the sound I feel.

I could alternatively make a sheet of ply the same dimensions as the speaker for it to sit on?
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
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britain4 said:
I’d say it would be possible to fill them but not easy - they’re made of roughly 1.5”x0.5” hollow steel box section welded into a sort of tripod shape, so one would have to fill each section and then plug the end with something (that wouldn’t pop out otherwise I’d end up with sand all over my floor). They look awesome with the speakers in a very retro sort of way but not ideal for the sound I feel.

I could alternatively make a sheet of ply the same dimensions as the speaker for it to sit on?
It could well be worth the effort - I would use (and did) Kiln dried sand (further dried in your oven)...and if possible put in thin plastic sleeves.

The other thing you can use is uncooked rice.

The idea is to stop any ringing in the stands and have somewhere to sink any speaker vibrations into....adding mass can also help.

And here are my mad adventures: https://www.whathifi.com/forum/hi-fi/adventures-eccentric-irish-hi-fi-enthusiast
 

grimharry

New member
Aug 2, 2015
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Filled my stands with sand and like others involved an oven didn’t use a fiunnel just a tablespoon did the job though.
 

britain4

Well-known member
Sep 25, 2013
40
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10,545
I like the plastic bag idea - that would make the job much easier, I might have a bash at that this weekend. Tried sorbothane under the speakers expecting an improvement and I didn't like what I heard, seems to meddle with the low frequencies too much leaving the bass sounding a little flat and soggy.

Can feel some vibration in the stands though when listening to some MJ through it for the first time (Dirty Diana was thrilling to listen to) so definitely a must filling them with something. Your thread made an entertaining read, not sure if the other half will think so when she sees me filling the oven with sand but hey ho. Next job on my list I think.
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
288
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You've certainly had a variety of suggestions. As Cno said, you'll get all sorts of experiences and guesses too!

I may be missing something, but I think you're over-complicating things. Surely what you need is a couple of paving slabs on which to base your stand. I know nothing about loft beams, so maybe that is too much load, but you surely need a solid and inert surface to start with? After that, it will pretty much look after itself.

Good luck.
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
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britain4 said:
I like the plastic bag idea - that would make the job much easier, I might have a bash at that this weekend. Tried sorbothane under the speakers expecting an improvement and I didn't like what I heard, seems to meddle with the low frequencies too much leaving the bass sounding a little flat and soggy.

Can feel some vibration in the stands though when listening to some MJ through it for the first time (Dirty Diana was thrilling to listen to) so definitely a must filling them with something. Your thread made an entertaining read, not sure if the other half will think so when she sees me filling the oven with sand but hey ho. Next job on my list I think.
FWIW. My Speaker / Stand set up is as follows:

- 2 Granite Worktop Savers under each speaker

- Spikes removed and bottom plate of Speaker Stand Blu-Tak'd to the Granite (very stable)

- Stands 80% filled with sand

- Valhalla Pads between speaker and top plate of Stand - with a bit of Blu-Tak as well to stop it slipping.

My LS50s sound rich and detailed, with amazing bass for their size, in a room 14 x 21 x 11

There is a 5' space under the floorboards, which is why I have paid so much attention.

My floorstanders are on Auralex Grammas.
 

britain4

Well-known member
Sep 25, 2013
40
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10,545
Yes it would be like me to over think it! The stands have 3 screw holes in the top for spiking into the bottom of the speaker and another 3 on the bottom. Will spike both ends, fill them with sand and put some granite/paving slabs underneath and call it a day.

Again that’s really helpful Cno given me some good ideas where to start with it.
 

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