Speaker Vibration Control

lenwfl -- Fri, 12/19/2008 - 15:42

 At RMAF 2008 I attended an eye opening Setup & Tuning Seminar conducted by HiFi+ (Roy Gregory) who I see posts to this forum. Since then I've installed Nordost Ti Pulsar Points under my pre-amp, amp, and SACD player and installed B&W spikes under my N802's. I've also added an Audience aR1p between a dedicated 20-amp wall socket and my PS Audio Quintet and a Nordost Quantum QX4 between the Quintet and my pre-amp. This has resulted in significant improvements in soundstage width and depth, imaging, and articulation.
My first question regards my B&W N802's. Are the B&W aluminum spikes mounted on "tendercups" to protect my wood floor sufficiently damping vibration? Or do I need to consider adding some type of speaker isolation platform? If speaker isolation platforms are effective, what specific platforms should I audition considering the 154 pound weight of each N802?
Secondly, I'm using a Billy Bags PRO-34 equipment rack for all my audio-video equipment. Given RG's warning at RMAF against using racks with steel columns and hard surface shelfs (in this case laminate), I'm considering replacing this rack. I know RG favors the Stillpoints and Finite Pagado racks, but since I'm already using Nordost Ti Pulsar Points under my pre-amp, amp, and QX4 for resonance control on this rack, will these very expensive racks significantly enhance vibration control?
For reference I'm including my equipment list and a link to accompanying pictures:

Krell FPB700cx

Krell KCT

B&W N802


Cary 306 SACD Player


Speaker Cables/Interconnects:
Krell CAST (KCT->700cx); DH Labs Revelation RCA (306->KCT); DH Labs Q-10 externally birwired (700cx->N802)

Other (Power Conditioner, Racks etc.):
(3) dedicated 20 amp electric circuits (Krell FPB-700cx, Pioneer PRO-1410, Auxiliary Equipment); Nordost Quantum QX4 and Powercord; Nordost Ti Pulsar Points; Audience aR1p power conditioner; Billy Bags PRO-34 rack; PS Audio Quintet; DH Labs Powercord; Straightwire Triaxial Powercord; PS Audio Noise Harvesters, PS Audio Power Port; PS Audio HC UO

Optrix; Esoteric 3D-X; Audience Auric Illuminator; Kontak

Room Size (LxWxH):
21 x 15 x 12

Room Comments/Treatments:
(1) ASC Picture Panel (48"X36"); (3) Echobuster wall absorber panels (48"X24":); (2) Echobuster floor standing absorber panels (60"X24":); (2) Echobuster Phase-4 Tuning Towers (48"X12"X12")


Music Used (Genre/Selections):
Classical, Jazz, Blues, Classic Rock

System Goals/Comments:
A stereo audio system that sounds as close as possible to the best acoustic music venues.

System Strengths:
Coherence, Articulation, Imaging, Dynamic Range.

System Weaknesses:
large size of adjacent living areas only separated by 8 foot walls abutting audio-video room and too much glass.


Pioneer PRO-1410HD Plasma

Integra DTC-9.8 sound processor; Acurus/200X3 amplifier

Speakers (Center, Surrounds, Sub):
No center channel speaker; B&W CCM80 (rear)

Sony BDP-S350 (Blu-ray DVD); Scientific Atlanta 8300HD (DVR)

Other HT Gear:
DH Labs HDMI1.3 Cable

URL Link: http://forum.stereophile.com/photopost/showgallery.php/cat/500/ppuser/1892


Barry Diament -- Fri, 03/27/2009 - 15:58

 Hi lwhitefl,
In my experience, most racks are very good at keeping your equipment off the floor.  Very few do anything real in the way of vibration isolation.
I ended up designing my own racks with an air bearing (for vertical isolation) and set of roller bearings (for horizontal and rotational isolation) for each shelf.  I call it the Enjoyyourshelf, "The world's first piece of furniture with a fully independent suspension!"  ;-}
One aspect of its design that was important to me is being able to periodically adjust air bearing inflation without first having to disconnect and remove the gear.  With the Enjoyyourshelf, I can adjust inflation while the music is playing, which makes it very easy to hear the effects.
As to a speaker isolation solution, what I've had great success with is a trio of roller bearings and a hard, smooth "platform" between the speakers and the balls in the roller bearings.  The benefits of true isolation for loudspeakers are such that I think of non-isolated speakers as "bound and gagged".  Benefits are immediate and obvious in every area of audio performance I know how to describe.
A commercial alternative would be the Seismic speaker stands from Townshend.  I've heard these on a number of occasions with different speakers, in on again, off again demos.  I heard the same immediate and obvious benefits in every instance, as I do with the roller bearings.
If you have the opportunity to audition your speakers on a set of these, I cannot recommend the test highly enough.
Best regards,

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