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Isolation Foo

Discussion in 'audio' started by Si74, May 22, 2022.

  1. Si74

    Si74 pfm Member

    Looking at the ridiculous prices of all manner of products costing an arm and a leg, backed up by a load of utter gibberish, it would seem isolation is the new snake oil.
    Three discs of some crap containing the magic for all Peek at 25 quid each and people argue about cables?
    Won't even go into the crap that cost more than my whole system.
    I bought all manner of isolation devices from Audiogon 25 years ago and am a great believer in the benefits but looking at the prices at some of the stuff now, they really are extracting the Urine!
  2. leroyd

    leroyd pfm Member

    I purchased a set of Isoacoustic Gaia III isolation feet for some floorstandards. I was swayed by the knock down price that they were available at, together with the desire to get the best from the speakers.
    I noticed no difference in performance to my ears. The speakers are placed on a suspended timber floor and replaced a pair of the comparatively cheap auralex subdude isolation supports.
    I was already to return the Gaia's when my good wife remarked on how pretty they were in comparison with the subdued's, so they have stayed.
  3. Mynamemynaim

    Mynamemynaim 38yrs a Naim owner

    I'm all for putting components on sorbothane pucks.
    Available fairly cheaply on eBay.
    Can be cut into smaller pieces if needed.
    Actually work when placed under turntable/cd player/preamp/dac etc
  4. hifinutt

    hifinutt hifinutt

    There are huge amounts of threads on iso acoustics threads . 2 of my friends locally have found major improvement with them . I have used maybe 70 different types of isolation to good effect . Townshend stella under martin logan summit x was superb and sonority design under 804s made huge improvement ( the designer is pfm member )
  5. Colin L

    Colin L High-tech low-life

    I always find threads with "Foo" in their title to be a rare thrill. Says loads about the OP too.
  6. stormyuklondon1

    stormyuklondon1 pfm Member

    I put a set of Gaia III’s on my pmc aml1 and stands, and it definitely made an improvement on my carpeted suspended wooden floor. I have got a garage underneath my lounge which is generally empty so not an ideal foundation..
  7. Amber Audio

    Amber Audio This is the Day

    I’ve been very pleased with both Isoacoustics and Townshend products and don’t regard either as “foo” - in my experience they delivered what the manufacturer says they will. Loads of write ups on them, in fact I can’t recall a bad word about the Townshend speaker podiums.

    Most of this stuff is available on sale/return or you can take advantage of the distance selling regs so try with no risk. As for VFM, if you think it’s overpriced don’t buy it, businesses charge what the market will stand.

    Best place for Foo is on a Chinese Menu.
    hifinutt likes this.
  8. Jezzer

    Jezzer Passionate

    I’ve been thinking of changing my hi-if/av stand for something which offers better isolation (and more space between the shelves) and saw a used one for sale for £1 shy of £4,000 which I thought was a bit expensive.
  9. hifinutt

    hifinutt hifinutt

    :D:D just a bit...
    Jezzer likes this.
  10. Big Tabs

    Big Tabs looking backwards, going forwards

    felt-pads are your friends
    Tigerjones likes this.
  11. MARKY758

    MARKY758 Active Member

    Ive just put two IKEA Aptitlig butchers block (45 by 36cm) under my Technics 1210 at £15 each. Easy to modify with felt or rubber feet or stain see YouTube for ideas. Also Darko audio has made a video about it. To me it’s a worthwhile upgrade and looks great. If it was marketed with a bit of foo by a Hi Fi brand you would pay a lot more.
  12. sonddek

    sonddek Trade: SUPATRAC

    I used to use squash balls but they don't last.

    Now I use bicycle wheel inner tubes. Very cheap and can be tuned with free air. They were actually designed for isolation by real engineers.
    Rana, Mr Pig and sq225917 like this.
  13. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr Pending

    So are the springs that Manchester's Bridgewater Hall is built on, but I doubt they'd do much for your hifi! Just because something is designed for one isolation purpose (isolating my backside from ruts and potholes in the road) doesn't mean it'll do a different isolation job (that the 'designer' couldn't have anticipated, what with the pneumatic tyre predating hifi by a fair few decades). So if, by any chance, it does happen to do that other job, you can't really imply it was designed, by an engineer, to do so.

    Edit: and to the OP, I've heard, and use the items in question. They do work remarkably well, and there are some well-accepted materials science reasons why they may be effective. I know the University of Manchester was consulted, and some pretty exotic materials were tested and rejected before the final product. I also know how labour-intensive the process of making the material is, and how expensive PEEK is as a raw material, in the sort of quantities used.
  14. gustav_errata

    gustav_errata pfm Member

    I am not an engineer but...

    It seems to me that this is very much not a one-size-fits-all problem. If one has a vibration problem, the solution might be direct coupling or it might be decoupling/isolation, depending on the component in question, the support that it is on, and the source of the vibrations. Then, at least with decoupling solutions, one has to carefully match the isolation material, shape, etc to the weight of the device to avoid actually making things worse. So just chucking some off the shelf solution is a total gamble. Maybe it'll change the sound, but that alone isn't an indication that the problem was fixed.

    Likewise just trying something and writing it off as foo is disingenuous if one didn't have a vibration problem in the first place or if one carelessly treated it in the wrong way.

    Edit: sorry, I just reread the op. Yes, the high priced solutions probably deserve suspicion
    Sue Pertwee-Tyr likes this.
  15. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr Pending

    Would you class the specific items priced in the OP as 'high priced' and deserving suspicion, or is it the later part of the post you agree with?
  16. Paul McDonough

    Paul McDonough pfm Member

    Having worked on projects in which the designer has attempted to isolate a room (usually quite large rooms) from the noisy ventilation and air conditioning plant I have seen what it takes to achieve this to a greater or lesser effect. One thing that these projects had in common was that the installer was required to demonstrate that said isolation measures achieved the required isolation. All of this was shown with industry standard measurement equipment. All quite doable.

    Why is it that makers of HiFi isolation measures do not show how their products perform? I know that it isn't difficult to measure.
    Nytechy and a.palfreyman like this.
  17. gustav_errata

    gustav_errata pfm Member

    The later part. If a small company has a genuinely proprietary material, I would expect the price to be higher than some cheap sorbothane pucks. But anything very expensive relative to size ("costs more than my system") deserves some suspicion I think.
    Sue Pertwee-Tyr likes this.
  18. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr Pending

    They must be seriously big speakers if you need 32 isolation feet!
    Bjork67 and gustav_errata like this.
  19. torstoi

    torstoi pfm Member

    I replaced the original rubber feet on my vintage LP12 by 4 sorbothane hemispheres once
    just to try and see what happens.
    The LP12 started sounding vague, undefined and cheesy all of a sudden
    and it was not subtle at all.
    I changed it back quickly & quietly noted to myself the designers by then obviously knew what
    feet they used and why.

    The same hemispheres under my RDC plates in a triangular shaped steelrack
    work just fine for amp, preamp, amp & CDP.
    'Work fine' meaning it doesn't sound any worse or much different than putting the component anywhere else.

    So it seems to me the same isolating components don't have to work fine everywhere the same way.
    I also like felt pads and cork in some places & it's hard to get it wrong the way you can do it with sorbothane.
    Sorbothane works very well in some specific places for the right amout of weight & energy involved
    but it's also the material I got the by far worst results when using it wrong.

    I think even w/o being a specialist in the topic, with a bit of trial and error, common sense and a few simple cheap materials it's usually possible to get things in the right direction.
    sonddek likes this.
  20. PhilDick

    PhilDick pfm Member

    Ha, ha I thought that was priced for one.

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