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Isoacoustics pucks/orea

Discussion in 'audio' started by indus, Jun 21, 2020.

  1. indus

    indus pfm Member

    I recently bought a pack of iso mini pucks and put four under my valve pre and four under my room correction device.

    I think I can hear a positive difference. I did also move my listening position forward about four inches so that may have paid a part.

    Regardless, I now have the bug and would like to use similar devices under all my components.

    However looking through the iso' website I see that the pucks (inc mini) were actually designed for monitors. The Orea range seem to be designed for components.

    Does anybody know how the Orea range differs from the puck range? Or even better, has anybody tried both?

  2. ToTo Man

    ToTo Man the band not the dog

    The Orea is the 'consumer hifi' version of the IsoPuck which was originally designed for studio use, hence why the Orea has a better aesthetic finish and is more expensive. The Orea has a narrower loading operating range than the IsoPuck, hence why there were several sizes available in the Orea but only one** size of IsoPuck, and the Orea also apparently offers a more potent decoupling effect because of this.

    Both the IsoPuck and Orea can be used under components and loudspeakers, though in consumer hifi settings their GAIA decoupler is the product that is most associated with loudspeakers. I use OREA Bordeaux under my loudspeakers to very good effect.

    ** EDIT: I now see the IsoPuck range has been expanded from one to three loading options.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2020
    indus likes this.
  3. Brits

    Brits pfm Member

    I use Orea ( x3 ) under my Melco. They were a worthwhile improvement giving an uplift in clarity and detail IMO.
    indus likes this.
  4. hifinutt

    hifinutt hifinutt

    indus likes this.
  5. vinylslug

    vinylslug pfm Member

    Coincidentally, I've just ordered a set of these pucks, so nice to read a bit of love for them. I've gone for the studio IsoPucks (as opposed to the Oreo) for my LS50s. I always enjoy playing around with tweaks like this.
    hifinutt likes this.
  6. ToTo Man

    ToTo Man the band not the dog

    I've never thought to try sandwich cookies under my speakers. The temptation for small children and pets to topple them over in search of a quick sugar rush would likely be too high I suspect! ;)
    Interceptor and Snufkin like this.
  7. vinylslug

    vinylslug pfm Member

    Haha - yes! OreA I meant, of course...although... now you've got me thinking... ;)
    ToTo Man likes this.
  8. indus

    indus pfm Member

    I get it now, the Oreas are 'tuned' more specifically for a certain weight as compared to the pucks.
    My valve pre weighs just under 6kgs and at the moment is supported by four mini pucks (rate at 2.75kgs each ie total 11kgs). I wonder whether using four Orea graphites (rated at 1.8kgs each so total 7.2kgs) would provide (at least a theoretical) benefit?

    As I've got the bug now I'm thinking of using isoacoustics under my speakers! The speakers weigh 44kgs. That would correlate with either using four gaia ii (rated at 54kgs) or four of the Orea bordeaux (rated at 57.6 kgs)

    The price is virtually the same.

    Thank you
    hifinutt and ToTo Man like this.
  9. ToTo Man

    ToTo Man the band not the dog

    I asked IsoAcoustics advice as my Celestions weigh 27kg each so were near the maximum of the OREA Indigo's rated loading with four pucks but near the minimum of the OREA Bordeaux's rated loading with four pucks. I assumed they'd recommend the Indigo but they said I'd better with the Bordeaux. I was delighted with that answer as it meant I could also use them with my 45kg Tannoys.

    I'd love to have the opportunity to A/B different OREA puck ratings to hear for myself whether loading them at the minimum or maximum rating yields superior sonic results.

    PS - I haven't tried OREA under my components but I suspect the biggest gains are to be had from using them (or indeed the GAIA) under loudspeakers. I was very skeptical when I tried them, expecting to hear a marginal difference at best, so was genuinely surprised to find the difference was far from marginal. The improvement in imaging, soundstaging, clarity and dynamics is worth every penny IMO.
  10. indus

    indus pfm Member

    I've emailed Iso and asked them what they recommend for my speakers. As you say, the best results probably come from using them on speakers so that's where I'll direct my money.
    My only concern is raising the height of the speaker too much. I sit quite low down and am often reclining when listening to music. Increasing the height of the speaker might have a deleterious effect on directional high frequencies from the tweeter.
  11. ToTo Man

    ToTo Man the band not the dog

    The Bordeaux are tallest of the OREA pucks at 1.5" high, but TBH even with these, unless your tweeters are unusually narrow in dispersion or you listen very close to the speakers, I don't think an increase of 1.5" will be enough to cause an audible difference in the amount of HF energy reaching you. Depending on the speaker design It may however have an audible effect on the frequencies around the crossover point between the midrange driver and tweeter, and irrespective of speaker design it will almost certainly cause some change in floor-bounce cancellation at upper-bass / lower-midrange frequencies. You could always test the effect by elevating your speakers on some blocks of wood etc that match the height of the model of OREA you are interested in?
  12. indus

    indus pfm Member

    Thanks. As far as I'm aware my tweeters have good vertical dispersion. Isoacoustics have recommended the Gaia ii if the speakers have threads or the Orea Bordeaux if they don't; the speakers do have threads.

    I'll contact a dealer tomorrow and order some.
  13. hockman

    hockman pfm Member

    Personally I went with the pro Isopucks. I believe that they are effectively the same as the more expensive "consumer" range that is dressed up to cater to the consumer audio market. I also do not care for the shiny finish that is supposed to appeal to audiophiles.

    The more important thing is to ensure that the number of pucks you use enables the pucks to operate in the optimum range for your equipment weight. From the diagrams that Isoacoustics provide on their website, the isopucks have a wider operating range while the consumer ones have a narrower but slightly superior operating range.
  14. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    Anything that lifts your floor standing speaker off the floor will change the sound. They rely on floor reflection for bass, so lifting them up will change this reflection. Maybe for better to your ears, maybe worse.
  15. monya

    monya pfm Member

    If the only real difference between pucks and Orea is a more refined weight loading then the use of either 3 or 4 under equipment should narrow the disparity.
  16. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    They are "tuned" inasmuch as a car's suspension is "tuned" for its size. The engineering in use here is a spring and damper in a cylinder, rather like a car has damped springs. Motorbikes and off road bicycles package the whole thing in a tubular fork, and bicycles at least use elastomer technology for this as it provides both spring and damper. I imagine that the Oreas and pucks have a similar elastomer system. Just as you wouldn't take the suspension system off a car and expect it to work on a 20 tonne truck, and vice versa, you need to size (tune, if you are the marketing dept) the springs accordingly. A totally flat spring is no longer a spring, and a spring that is too hard is not going to soak up energy. You need something in the middle.

    If you want to experiment with this technology without spending £50 a corner, squash balls are available at modest cost. Cut them in half, stand them under the item. They will provide a similar engineering solution, albeit less pretty. You could also experiment with air suspension, squares of foam or folded towels. I like tweaks like this but I am aware that if you choose to put 4 under a component then that's £200, and that will go a long way to a component upgrade.
  17. Darren L

    Darren L pfm Member

    I suppose the advantage of these is that they are supposedly sized/tuned to the mass they are supposed to support.
    Ive recently has Vibrapods compress with a weight under there recommended max
    I wonder if the component is nearing the manufacturers maximum weight recommendation how effective it actually is?
    Having just looked a Walnut Delos platform that's big enough to support the weight of the Dais is nearly £800:eek:
  18. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    The thing is that any spring will do that. It has a working range, whether it's the one in your biro or the one holding up a train. I'm tempted to say the best thing about these is that they look really nice.
    Well, the springs will follow Hooke's Law until they are fully compressed, so I'd say that they still work if they are within range. Just like my car still works with 3 adults in the back.
    I have 4 damped air springs outside holding a car up without any problem. They are able to withstand heavy impacts, abrasion, compression and shear forces, and they have a life of about 20-30 thousand miles. They cost less than £800 a set. I question the Delos value proposition.
  19. indus

    indus pfm Member

    The pro pucks that would support my speakers would cost £350 for eight and the Gaias £600. So a not insignificant saving of £250.
    The only thing that bothers me slightly is that my speaker has threads in it's plinth so I wonder if I should use them (ie with Gaias)
    In addition the Gais I'm assuming would allow levelling of the speakers in a way the pucks can't.

    The integrated feet in my plinth can also be wound out increasing the height; and I'm pretty sure you can use them with spikes for carpeted rooms.
    Given the Gaias/pucks/Oreas are only 1.4 inches tall (and I assume even less once deformed) then perhaps that much height increase is within the intended performance curve of the speaker/room interaction?

    I've had half cut squash balls under my valve pre for many many years! It's been so long I can't really remember but I don't think I thought it made a difference at the time.
    However since then just about every component apart from the pre and speakers have changed.
  20. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    That's a lot of money for a sprung platform, given that other alternatives exist, such as machine feet as used in industry. You want to know it works, don't you?

    Who knows? The laws of physics say that a speaker's proximity to the ground, and the composition of that floor, affects its sound because the sound reflects off the floor. The further you move it away, the less reflections there are so the greater the effect. At what point does it become (in)significant? Well, without speaker modelling software, that's anyone's guess.
    If I'd tried a damped spring platform in the form of squash balls and not seen a difference, I would be very skeptical about whether another damped spring platform was going to bring me sonic nirvana this time. You have changed components, sure, but an engineer would not be quick to repeat an experiment that had not given encouraging results in similar situations in the past.

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