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speaker isolation

Discussion in 'audio' started by Mickdale, Jan 4, 2020.

  1. Mickdale

    Mickdale pfm Member

    hello all

    ive been reading a bit about room acoustics

    ive got neat motive sx1 speakers, sitting on their spikes and carpet on a wooden upstairs floor.

    Would adding some kind of speaker base/isolation and removing the spikes be a good idea?

    I don't listen at ear bleeding levels....

    any advice/opinions greatly appreciated
  2. ToTo Man

    ToTo Man the band not the dog

    Some folk prefer the sound of spikes, some folk prefer the sound of isolation, some folk are indifferent either way. I haven't used spikes for years, mainly due to their impracticality (they make moving the speakers a real PITA).

    I have carpet over underlay on a suspended wooden floor. My floorstanders are on wooden plinths, the plinths sit directly on the carpet and I have felt pads between the plinths and speakers. My standmount speakers are on sand-filled metal stands, the stands sit directly on the carpet and I have felt pads between the stands and speakers.

    I recently tried a commercial isolation product under my floorstanders, the IsoAcoustics OREA puck, and was very surprised by how audible the difference was, even at conservative listening levels. There was a significant improvement in clarity, low-level resolution, dynamics, and the speakers' ability to 'disappear' from the soundstage. I was very impressed.

    There are other commercially-available solutions, the Townshend Seismic platforms are perhaps considered to be the 'benchmark' in isolation. I'd love to try these but am not currently in a financial position to do so.

    There are of course DIY solutions if you're that way inclined, I'm not, but I'm sure others will be along to offer advice on this route.
    Mickdale and Sue Pertwee-Tyr like this.
  3. Si74

    Si74 pfm Member

    I swapped something for a pair of Voodoo Isolation platforms years ago. Tried them under my Audio Physic Virgos, where they stayed for as long as I owned the speakers. Tried them under 6.5K worth of Art Audios I borrowed briefly. In both instances the improvement was not subtle. This was on a suspended wooden floor.
    Unfortunately these could not cope with my 75Kg Horns so now reside under my mates Audio Physics. My horns sit on Aurio bearing isolators. Not as effective but 6ft high 75Kg speakers wobbling about is rather scary. Win the lottery, one of my first buys would be Townshend Platforms for my speakers.
    Mickdale likes this.
  4. steveinspain

    steveinspain pfm Member

    I have some of the older 'bladder type Townshend platforms which cost me (used) under £300 and they are worth way more then that in terms of sound improvement at all volumes that I've tried..
    Tarzan likes this.
  5. wcavanagh

    wcavanagh pfm Member

    I have the sx1s and was experimenting with this a while ago. I have solid wood flooring on a concrete base. Setup is naim Xs separates and I started with the nd5 Xs without the xp5 Xs psu connected.

    With the spikes removed and the speakers placed on granite chopping boards it definitely added more bass not that it needed any given how much bass the sx1s can throw out. Sounded good and I ran it like this for a few weeks.

    When I connected the xp5 Xs psu to the streamer the additional bass that it adds was too much and i didn’t like it. I screwed the spikes back in and normality returned.

    So I suppose it could work out for you depending on the other components in your setup. Definitely worth experimenting.
    Mickdale likes this.
  6. ToTo Man

    ToTo Man the band not the dog

    Granite is not an effective isolator, it will be reflecting energy back into the loudspeaker enclosure and will also likely be contributing its own 'ringing' to the sound.

    For effective isolation the device must be able to absorb energy, similar to how shock absorbers operate.
  7. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig Trade: ^'- -'^

    You could pick up a pair of Mana Sound Bases. Very, very effective under speakers.
  8. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    Yep. Years ago I tried concrete paving slabs under my speakers (with spikes) and it ruined the sound in a big way!
    wcavanagh likes this.
  9. wcavanagh

    wcavanagh pfm Member

    yeah it’s the poor mans imaginary isolator :)

    I’ve since removed the granite slabs and found that they actually make no difference whatsoever vs wooden floors which is probably not that much of a surprise.

    I suppose the point I was trying to make was more to do with the height of the bottom ported sx1 on a ‘speaker base’.
  10. awkwardbydesign

    awkwardbydesign Officially Awesome

    These are really easy to make yourself. I've made several, and use a pair under the loft speakers. Townshend type spring supports under the Quads.
  11. brab

    brab pfm Member

    For floorstanders on carpet, I would think the spikes are essential for keeping the speakers rigid. If you're keeping the carpet, keep the spikes.
  12. marshanp

    marshanp ellipsis addict

    Why would speakers need to be kept rigid?
    terrycym and Emlin like this.
  13. Sean K

    Sean K pfm Member

    The Townshend platforms are very good, indeed; better sound in the room and noticeable quieter (bass) in the rest of the house. They are expensive but there seems to be a consensus that if you contact the distributor or Townsend direct, that the price you pay will be significantly lower than quoted retail price, which was certainly my experience.
  14. Eyebroughty

    Eyebroughty JohnC


    I found that my spikes would not quite go through all the carpet and underlay layers I have so I tried this.

    I have two granite slabs bought years ago, cannot remember from where but they were about £200. These are 400 x 300 x 25, if I recall.

    I tried various speakers on their stands on top of them but never liked the sound.

    Then I had some MDF made to the same measurements, rolled 5 tiny balls of blutac and I mean small, put them in the four corners of the granite and one in the middle, placed the MDF on top of the blutac on the granite and then stood on them to squeeze the two together.

    Tried my Linn 212 speakers and Shahinian Super Elf’s both on stands with the spikes into the MDF on them and was very impressed with the results, better bass, clarity and imaging.

    Added benefit is you can play around with the positioning by simply moving the granite/MDF slab slightly to any toe in or back and forward position without lifting the speakers each time, bit hard to do but easier than respiking each time you try a new position.

    The combination of the two is quite heavy and allows for the spikes on the stands to do their job which is to hold the speaker ridged so that they do not move about against the reaction of the speakers when playing.


    Last edited: Jan 5, 2020
  15. Foot Tapper

    Foot Tapper Enjoy the music, not the format or kit

    These Isoacoustic Gaia II feet have worked an absolute treat under our speakers. This on a concrete raft floor with thick underlay & decent wool carpet.

    Other products from Stillpoints and Townshend may well be even better, at considerably higher cost.

    Apologies for the somewhat large image size. I haven't found a way to shrink it on the PFM site.

    Best regards, FT
    terrycym and Craig75 like this.
  16. raysablade

    raysablade pfm Member

    Over a suspended floor, I use these granite mats from Argos with gripper roll between the slabs and underneath. Spike holders on the top mat.
  17. Alex S

    Alex S carbon based lifeform

    It rather depends on what’s ‘wrong’ with the Neats presently.
  18. Craig75

    Craig75 Member

    I started with RS acoustic granite slabs which certainly helped to focus my PMC twenty5.24, bass was nice and tight and vocals really came through but it wasn’t until I tried the Townshend Seismic bars under them, to really hear what my PMC are capable of. I found the speakers just disappeared, music just sits in the air with no colouration, I was sold instantly!

    As has been discussed before, much will depend of the type of floor and size/weight of speakers but either way the Seismic bars/podiums will work wonders, albeit at a price.
  19. Shadders

    Shadders pfm Member

    The only effect i can think of is the doppler effect. As the speaker moves backwards and forwards, there is a modulation in the frequency of the sound heard dependent on the bass signals that move the speaker.

    Or, it could be an imaginary effect. I dunno.

  20. John

    John Rack’em Up!

    I have a suspended wood floor and use an MDF stand filled 3/4 with sand placed directly on a cork floor. The speakers are placed on Symposium Svelte Plus absorption platforms and placed on Symposium Rollerblock Jr’s. The lower cups are bolted to the top of the stand.


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