Gingko Vibration Isolation

Both Art Dudley and Michael Fremer have praised Gingko Audio's isolation platforms in Stereophile's pages, and at RMAF, the company was showing the benefit of its Cloud 10 platform on an Atmasphere tube power amplifier. Projected on the wall above Gingko's Vinh Vu (and onto his forehead!), real-time analysis showed the outputs of B&K accelerometers fastened to the stand the amp was sitting on and to the amplifier chassis, which was supoorted by a Cloud 10. There was indeed a dramatic reduction in the excitation of the amplifier compared with the stand—especially at low frequencies.

The system featured Gingko's two-way, isobaric-loaded Claravu Model 8 speakers ($3990/pair, plus $500/pair for matching stands), Silver Circle Audio's Pure Power AC transfomers, and the new Benchmark DAC 1HDR, a remote-control version of the DAC 1 Pre preamp/DAC/headphone amplifier that Sam Tellig and I reviewed in October 2008.

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Stephen Scharf's picture

I'm a big believer in this type of isolation. You can, however, obtain the same functionality by putting your amp on a light, birch plywood board resting on an inner tube inflated just enough to hold the amp, preamp, TT, etc. off the shelf. In fact the inner tube may work better as it likely has a lower resonant frequency than the squash balls Gingko uses (expensive sqash balls, but squash balls nonetheless).

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

I tried this inner tube approach years ago. I don't know where you buy yours, Stephen, but mine all inflated unevenly, causing heavy equipment to tip one way and another. It was downright dangerous. Heavy tube equipment I would never trust to such an approach. If you have a solution, Stephen, please enlighten us all.jason

Stephen Scharf's picture

Hi Jason,The heaviest piece of gear I have on one is my amp, which weighs 65lbs. It hasn't deflated yet, but one does occasionally have to reinflate the tube.The key is to place the gear on a board on top of the inner tube, and to get an inner tube with a diameter just inside the dimensions of the plywood board the equipment rests on. Inflate it just enough so that the component/board is supported off the shelf. The lowest pressure that will support the equipment/board, the better. I use children's bicyle or mountain bike inner tubes, and they all inflate evenly (FWIW, I've never seen in inner tube *not* inflate evenly). I put a straw under the inner tube on the rack shelf, so that the board cannot cause a seal when laden withe component (this seal will result in a mid-bass bump). One could also use inner tubes coated with Slime to markedly attenuate the rate of air loss from the tube, though I only have to re-inflate mine every 3 or 4 months.I'd be happy to come over and demo

Tyler's picture

I'll ignore the whole issue of whether or not small level vibration actually has any effect on equipment and just address the use of isolation and these products in particular.While the "white paper" on their site was little more than marketing fluff, I was able to find a statement that with the right options, the resonance frequency of the platform could be as low as 10 Hz. While I find that claim questionable given the typical resonance frequency of rubber/neoprene, I'll concede it may be possible. Of course, the actual resonance frequency achieved in use will depend entirely on the weight of the platform and equipment sitting on it. It's entirely possible that a lighter piece of equipment may only achieve an fn of 20 Hz or even higher. This is not good in a full range system, as frequencies below 30-40 Hz (depending on the damping in the system) will become AMPLIFIED. And frequencies below 100 Hz or so will have very little attenuation. (I am estimating as I don't have ac

Tyler's picture

Previous - (I am estimating as I don't have access to the actual physical data).Assuming that small level vibration does affect equipment, the use of an isolation platform does nothing for the vibrations caused by airborne sound transmssion from the system speakers. In most building structures, I would guess that this is a more significant source of transmission than structural-borne through the floor system.

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