Stillpoints Under Speakers

JLeeMD -- Thu, 08/23/2012 - 17:16

I've long resisted trying isolation devices under my speakers because the logic seemed so...well... counterintuitive.  Recently, I decided I didn't like the Stillpoints Ultra Aluminum isolation devices directly under ("coupled") to a couple of my components.  Hearing changes in the tonal balance every time I moved the devices a fraction of an inch here or a fraction of an inch there conviced me that when directly coupled to the chassis, the isolation devices were adding their own signature or, to put it less kindly, coloration.  So I chose to place the components on their own feet on the Stillpoints ESS AV rack.
Suddenly I had 8 expensive Stillpoints Ultras lying around so I thought "what the heck" and replaced the speaker spikes on my Aerial Acoustics 7T with the Stillpoints.  Big improvement.  No sonic trade off.  I don't understand it!

brion -- Sun, 08/26/2012 - 09:04

 I know your dilemma! I find the same thing when I move the Goldmund cones under my components. I noticed mostly that the sound changed with minute changes in position.
Roy Gregory has pointed out that the position of solation devices directly influences the sound greatly. In fact, the Sort Kones do the same thing. I have them under my preamp and I can move them 1/8" forward, backward, or side to side, and I can hear the improvements (or lack of). I've found this disturbing, because, with considerable experimentation, you could have excellent sound, but simply putting the devices in the place you think they should go just doesn't work. I think speakers are easier because the speaker designers know they have to put their spikes in specific places, so it's easier to place spikes  (or Sort Kones).

Mr Plus -- Fri, 08/24/2012 - 06:02

 I don't know why specifically, but Stillpoints under devices often work best when placed closer together than usual. I used some of the previous era Stillpoints equipment under a dCS Puccini U-Clock and the best performance was when they were less than a hand-span apart toward the middle of the U-Clock. I've had similar experiences with a number of other devices, too. 
My suspicion is that the base panel acts as a resonant structure, and different parts of the baseplate behave differently. I don't think this is adding coloration, but finding the right place on the baseplate makes the difference between perceived coloration and absence of coloration. There should be a point where the component will 'snap' into focus. 
That big improvement to the electronics is possible too. Just experiment a bit more. You may find it easier with the Stillpoints on the speakers, because the window's been opened a little more.

Alan Sircom
Editor, Hi-Fi Plus Magazine
London, England
editor [at] hifiplus [dot] com

skyyone -- Wed, 11/21/2012 - 14:24

   Be Forewarned. I feel I should tell about this audio odyssey experience I went through. About two years ago I had a stereo system well liked by myself and friends. The electronics were Musical Fidelity with Sony SACD player and a Funk TT and Blackbird cartridge. Cabling was Audioquest with a PS Audio PPP and their power cables. All units  were mass loaded with Bright Star products. All had Symposium Svelte shelves and were supported with the original Stillpoints. All of this on a solid wooden rack. Speakers were  Vienna Acoustics Beethovens, a back-up pair of refurbished Magnepan MG IIs and a Velodyne sub. I was happy with my system but I wanted more volume and bass. About this time my boat came in and I decided to go for my within reason dream system. I  gravitated towards Wilson speakers and knew they were bed fellows with Audio Reaserch and Transparent cabling. I wanted big bass so 2 JL-1300 subs were called for. For front end I yearned for an Esoteric clock, DAC and SACD player and a Clear Audio TT and cartridge with TOL Fosgate phono preamp. After reading all the raves about Shunyata I got their TOL and near TOL power cables with Triton. 
     Naturally I was extremely excited and could not wait for delivery and installation. The Wilson rep comes down and we go through setup routine. I had installer concentrate on bass and thought I was happy. After he left I started listening to very familiar music with male and female vocals and found myself surprised and dissatisfied. Because of the warnings gotten from Audio Research and Shunyata about extended burn-in I hoped this was the problem. After weeks of burn-in things improved much but still the music did not seem as engaging. I could hear higher highs and lower lows but I was not happy. Now had spent 90M+ and was longing for my previous system. I questioned everything including myself as I even wondered if high-end sound was for me! Believe me these were dark days! What kept giving me some hope was I had spent years fine tuning my previous system  and knew the utmost importance of vibration control and dissipation. My wheels were turning and about that time Stillpoints comes out with their updated racks and Ultra footers. Thinking back to the improvement in previous system from using Symposium and Stillpoint products I decided to order rack and ultra footers.
     The realization set in that in previous system, I had less and smaller units and speakers. I also noticed the increased vibration in music room.I figured what products I had were not enough. This gave me hope that Stillpoints products would help. Well when rack and footers came in experimentation commenced. The immediate improvement of the rack and footers especially under speakers (including subs) cannot be over-stated from my position. I went from near total despair to near non-stop dancing. During testing Stillpoints comes out with the Ultra 5 which I ordered for speakers. Another very noticable improvement in sound (detail, sustain, air,cleaner bass,ect) all improved again. I talked to Paul who invented the Stillpoints and his advice was speakers first and then on units to replace footers with adaptors he can supply. On units where footers are a problem to replace I found to use only  3 and experiment till you hear music improve. I do not know if this is a factor as to some perceived differences some of you heard but Paul of SPs said the stainless steel were much faster at disapating vibration than the aluminum  and that very much improves the sound.
   I realize how close I came to dissatification and wonder how many people have dealt with this issue. If I would not have had the funds to push forward I would have been pinning away for a system that cost 20% of  the new one. 

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