Isolation products (mainly for floorstanders)

Clarkey_71

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I posted a topic on here a month or so ago about tweaking my system with an almost zero budget. I got some great advice, esecially from cno and nopiano.

http://www.whathifi.com/forum/hi-fi/anyone-know-of-a-hifi-doctor

Due to their advice I'm currently standing my speakers on 1 pence coins and I have to say that the sound really did improve. The bass of course, but most remarkably the separation in the mid range was what really surprised me. I was very impressed with this simple, cost effective but real tweak. I had previuosly just stood my speakers unspkied on a solid wood floor.

But all this has got me thinking (and surfing) about what products are out there and whether they are really worth the outlay.

I went to my local dealer and mentioned the Blue Horizon spike cups. At £25 for 4 I thought they might have heard of them but only drew blank faces.

They advised me to try Nordost Pulsar points - These may be good, but at around £100 for 4, that's £200 I can't justify.

The other product was somethingh I'd never heard of before. It's called Black Ravioli. These retail anywhere from £25 to £50 per piece, so that's up to £400 pound for my speakers. How good can these products really be?!!!

I guess I'm just trying to get the views of you learned people as what I should do.

Stick with the pennies. If it works don't fix it.

Purchase some Blue Horizon feet. Are these too cheap to be really effective? The write ups seem ok.

Whilst massively out of my current budget (£0), are the Nordost or Black Ravioli really worth considering.

Any thoughts or comments?
 

6th.replicant

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FWIW, my speaker's design has a metal feet/ball-bearing setup, which is apparently quite effective. And on another forum, I've read the musings of mastering/recording guru Barry Diament - for list of BD's credits, clikety - and he recommends a ball-bearing setup, albeit customised.
 

CnoEvil

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Hi there again, Paul.

I don't think different spike shoes will make much difference (except cosmetically).

Try something like these under speakers (if big enough); they can always be returned if ineffective:
http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Product/partNumber/8407454.htm
If these are too small, try to get something bigger (eg. from garden centre or an offcut from a kitchen Co. etc)

I talked about my experiences with Black Ravioli here:
http://www.whathifi.com/forum/hi-fi/black-ravioli
Normally they would first be tried under the source, and then the amp. They can be tried under speakers, but usually after everything else.
If you can achieve a better upgrade for the same money, then it's not worth doing....your dealer should let you borrow some to experiment with.

I also recommend you demo (on buy or return) some mains cables. I like these:
http://www.cleareraudio.com/onlinestore/Copper_line_Alpha_Power.html
Darren is very helpful and knowledgeable...worth a call.

Cno
 
I was going to point you to Cno's comments about the Ravioli, Paul, but he's already done that.

Another range of isolation products that seems to be right 'out there', but is nevertheless supplied and recommended by dealers I have faith in are the AQ Vertex brand. Have a look here, for an interesting viewpoint and examples of their use:-

http://www.rightnote.co.uk/products.asp?cID=53

You can try this stuff at home and this is the only way, but do give them a ring for advice first.

I met one of the guys who designed some of the gear at a recent show; I was amazed at the sound from the MacBook they were using as a source. "How much is your DAC then?", I asked. "Oh, about eleven and a half.", came the reply.

Yep, that's £11,500 for the DAC. No wonder it sounded good!

But, back to your question - stick with the pennies. Unless curiosity gets the better of you!
 

CnoEvil

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As well as the above suggestions, these are relatively cheap and effective isolation products. They claim to turn vibration into heat:
http://www.analogueseduction.net/product/FOCULPODS_%7C_POLIPODS_FPODS

They can be put directly under componants, or used to make effective feet for homemade platforms (eg. Granite Worktop Savers).
 

seasiders rock

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smiley-cool.gif
Wood Laminate floor.

Same as me.

Tescos, Morrisons, Argos Granite chopping boards.Take your pick, PS. The Tescos are the best.
smiley-tongue-out.gif


Atacama spike shoes, job done.
 
A

Anonymous

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I'm using Wilkiinsons granite chopping boards. Only £9.50 for a 40x30x1.5cm block. At that price, get two per speaker and glue up together.

As for spikes: I've often just screwed in some chunky bolts. A bag of M6 or M8 bolts is only a couple quid in B&Q. Try the flat hea ones, or maybe some round head ones. Good if you've got wood or laminate floor and don't want spike trashing it. Though ebay is full of nice milled shoes for popping spikes into.

However the best free tweak, is spending an afternoon shuffling the speakers about, trying different positions. And try shuffling about the furniture and crap in your room. Download Room Eq Wizard (REW), and hook up your sound meter to your PC, get some curves, check out your waterfall responses. You can trust your ears, but REW is handy to back things up and highlight the less obvious stuff. I got a much flatter response turning my rug around 90 degrees!
 

Inter_Voice

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Arfa said:
.... Download Room Eq Wizard (REW), and hook up your sound meter to your PC, get some curves, check out your waterfall responses. You can trust your ears, but REW is handy to back things up and highlight the less obvious stuff. I got a much flatter response turning my rug around 90 degrees!

+1 :) I used REW to adjust the position of my acoustic panels to eliminate all the secondary reflections. My room is now much much better than without the acoustic materials. REW is a very good tool indeed which is much better than using your ears to adjust the SQ by trial and error. Unfortunately a lot of folks in this forum do not believe on room acoustic treatment, in particular on the usefulness of measurements :(
 

Clarkey_71

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Thanks for all your useful comments as usual.

I do have one further question though. I had my LP 12 fitted with a tramploine years ago. Those were the days when I just bought anything because it said it made the sound better.... happy days!!!

That said, does the trampoline ofer the isolation between my rack and the turntable and will it reall make a difference if I islotae my pre and power?

I get the isolation of the speakers bit and the turntable too, but not sure I see the need to isolate the amps.

What difference can that make?
 
T

the record spot

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Shift your speakers around a little to see what difference that makes to the sound (likely more than anything else you've mentioned) and site according to your preference. I tend to be less than convinced by the likes of high end tweaks with high end prices to match, preferring lower cost solutions which work as well and aren't supplemented by extravagant marketing budgets extolling various virtues.

Opinions differ on much of this stuff, but do try and read some of Barry Diament's comments - he's my favourite mastering engineer and he's got some good and cheap ideas for effective isolation. Of course, the other great influence on how your music sounds is how well a recording has been mastered - all those CDs or LPs or downloads aren't necessarily always the same!
 

CnoEvil

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Paul Clarke said:
Thanks for all your useful comments as usual.

I do have one further question though. I had my LP 12 fitted with a tramploine years ago. Those were the days when I just bought anything because it said it made the sound better.... happy days!!!

That said, does the trampoline ofer the isolation between my rack and the turntable and will it reall make a difference if I islotae my pre and power?

I get the isolation of the speakers bit and the turntable too, but not sure I see the need to isolate the amps.

What difference can that make?

Have you tried the Linn on a light strong support, this is what I used for years:
http://www.hifiwatcher.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/SO-ZO21-Table2.jpg

Here is another link to Black Ravioli's explanation: http://www.blackravioli.com/technology.html
 

Clarkey_71

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Gusboll said:
Atacama spike shoes - best upgrade of the year for me.

That's an interesting comment.

Just out of interest, why the Atacama and not something like the Blue Horizon product? Both seem very similar, though the BH product is a bit more expensive (but still relatively cheap in hifi terms). Should I put the BH or Atacama on my crimbo list?

Alas I would be laughed out of the house if I said I wanted the best part of £400 spent on the black ravioli product.

I would love to live in a World where that would be an option. Unfortunately those days are a very distant memory!

Cheers though to all who've commented on this thread. It has given me some food for thought.
 

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