Have you tried controlling vibration in your system?

Have you tried controlling vibration in your system?
Yes! A huge improvement!
21% (46 votes)
Yes. A notable improvement.
38% (85 votes)
Yes. A marginal improvement.
21% (47 votes)
Yes. No improvement.
5% (10 votes)
Yes. A big disappointment.
1% (3 votes)
Yes. Made it sound worse.
0% (1 vote)
No. Vibration control is voodoo.
5% (11 votes)
No. I don't care.
8% (18 votes)
Total votes: 221

Many audiophiles have substantially improved the sound of their systems by experimenting with vibration control. How about you?

John Lum's picture

I use Bright Star Rocks, wherever possible. With them in place, it's no great shakes. However, when I remove them, the system as a whole sounds worse. There is a loss of focus, fine detail, and refinement. If someone has inexpensive gear, it might be more cost effective to get better equipment, rather than investing in vibration control.

Jerry Swartout's picture

It's a good idea to isolate your CD head-unit(s), amp, and other active and passive electronics from vibration, especially acoustic vibration from your loudspeakers. I think external speaker crossovers actually sound better. These improvements are minor but can add up. Playing vinyl? Acoustic isolation is crutial! CDs, not very important.

AT's picture

After having taken meticulous care of all possible noise and vibration control for my audio components, which resulted in a dead-quiet background and increased focus, palpability, and clarity of sound, I noticed that the only thing that kept remaining noisy and vibrating was myself.

Rusli Arshad's picture

The best form of vibrational control is to install our components outside the listening room. This way, we avoid the SPL onslaught emanating from our speakers. The puny devices we install are no match for dBs. At best, these will only help to attenuate the wavefront's vibrational effects. But how many of us really do this?

Joe Ferrente's picture

The biggest improvement I have made recently was to add a Zoethecus rack with the Z slab shelves. The audible improvement was remarkable, particularly for the Basis turntable and Wadia transport. If you try one you will buy it.

Neal Schlosburg's picture

Several days before my wedding, 5 to be exact, I brought home a 5-shelf RoomTunes Deluxe JustaRack. After assembling the rack and placing the equipment (Apogee Slant 6's biwired with Symo cable, McCormick .5 Deluxe, Music Reference RM-5 Mk.III, CAL Labs Icon Mk.II with HDCD upgrade, all connected with Kimber Silver Streak interconnects and a VPI Jr. with a Rega RB300 and Sumiko Blue Point Special, everything plugged into an API Power Wedge 114), back onto the newly assembled rack. I proceeded to sit down in my favorite spot and listen. What I heard stunned me. I was not prepared for the level of difference I heard. The sound was far tighter, cleaner, and significantly more involving than it had ever been prior to this moment. I want to also point out that I was very satisfied and happy with the sound from my system prior to this moment. Everything I have done to the system has improved the sound prior to this, including adding the Power Wedge, but nothing render as startling a difference as this new rack. While I was listening to the system on the new rack, my wife-to-be was in the kitchen. (Our living room/music room is right next to the kitchen, with a large pass-thru between the two.) She asked me what I did to the sound of the stereo. I asked her why. Her comment was that it sounded so much better, cleaner, clearer, more "lifelike" than she had heard before. I told her that the only thing that was different was the new rack. "That's amazing," she replied. I agreed. Since then I have added Tiptoes to the VPI and AudioQuest Feet to the preamp and CD player, as well as a second .5 Deluxe, making the sound even tighter and clearer. If you don't have a true dedicated high-end rack, you have no idea of the music that you're missing. It was the single best investment and upgrade that I made.

John Cardell's picture

I have a magnetic field from a power source running through my house everday. How is vibration control going to help?

Ron Taylor's picture

I have tried a lot of different things, including air cushions (Brightstar Air Masses), sandboxes, pucks, spikes (made out of a lot of different materials). Generally, you get what you pay for. Some of it works great and is a huge improvement. Others make a nominal difference at best. If it sounds bogus, it probably is.

R.H.PEDERSEN's picture


Paul Barrow's picture

I realized a "huge" improvement by adding a Brightstar sandbox underneath my VPI turntable. To a lesser extent, but still noticeable, I heard improvements by adding BDR cones underneath my Levinson preamplifier.

S.D.Franse's picture

all vibrating systems interact...the best fix is physical separation so little or nothing(!) arises in the first place,but this is often impractical...cones, dampers, tuned racks all have useful applications...common sense is the best weapon as well as clean ears!

Bob McNeice's picture

Marginal only because of the averages. It made a huge difference with my unsuspended turntable but was not truly noticeable in any of my solid state components.

Graeme Nattress's picture

Two slabs of granite and an inner tube under my Gyrodec make a great improvement.

Carlos Smith, Mexico's picture

First, thank you so very much for your educational articles and letters, all of which have helped me extract better sound from my components, naturally giving me great happiness and satisfaction. Vibration control, as I learned from you, is rather simple and relatively economical, but most important, it is very effective. The clarity and air that I have obtained are very pleasing. If money or product availability are problems, please inform your readers about my successful trials with strips of industrial rubber used for machinery; there is a wide variety of this material (density and thickness are the two main variables), sold by the meter. I assume that much better results can be obtained from the various products specifically designed and packaged for this purpose, but in the meantime one can cheaply learn and enjoy the results from these experiments. Regards to all, and happy listening!

Martin Bruczkowski's picture

It so much depends on the component - speakers generate lots of vibrations, so putting them on spikes produces a huge improvement. Same with the turntable, since it's so sensitive to vibrations. But doing the same to my CD player did not produce anything noticeable.

David L.  Wyatt, Jr.'s picture

I can see how it might help to have a speaker planted---after all, sound is vibration. And my old Thorens likes a solid base too, but the day I put a hunk of marble on top of my amp is the day I propose to Nancy Reagan.

MJ's picture

I'm afraid this brands me as a dweeb, but balanced on top of my speakers, on small towels, are large concrete blocks. 3/4-inch MDF better than a yard in height is going to flex. The extra weight on top lowers vibration and couples the spikes more firmly to the concrete floor under the carpet. The difference isn't really all that subtle---anybody can hear it. I sure can. Of course, it doesn't look that nice. I close my eyes.

Jack Skowron's picture

Under turntable and under cd player results were dramatic-much more for turntable

1mr rob's picture


Frank DeMello's picture

I think this is a realtively low cost but substantial upgrade for any system. It not only makes logical sense(which some of the reported tweaks do not), but the improvement is very noticeable (especially on CD/DVD players.

Steve Kindig's picture

I applied Dynamat to the bottom of my old Adcom CD player, which I use as a transport. Although this product is designed for car audio applications, it noticeably improved the sound of my CD playback. (You could even hear a difference in the sound of the disc drawer closing.)

Jens Altarac's picture

by adding absorbent under speakers and placing my hifi-equipment on a hifi-rack that`s got built in air absorbents I

Edwin A.  Penick's picture

sand is by far the cheapest way to isolate your components

herve.deletraz@ville-ge.ch's picture

I actually don't tweak too much with vibrations. My floor is plain concrete, so the vibrations are very limited in amplitude. Nevertheless, I use spikes on my racks and speakers, which I qualify as a big improvement regarding soundstaging, focus, and speed. I experimented with other various tweaks, and all of them actually changed the sound, but not enough to my taste to tell if the result was better or worse.

JKH, Santa Clara, CA's picture

I use an antique wood cabinet for my stereo gear, so vibration control is pretty much required. Using footers (Big Feet) under the DAC and preamp, along with a Townshend Seismic Sink under the Theta transport, greatly smooths the sound, deepens the soundstage, and ameliorates excessive bass interaction with the room.

St's picture

If you already own a good rack for your equipment you need no more,.... Tiptoes , Micromat Gold , felt ext... You ear something different but then again just dust your equipment and you will hear the same thing everything is clearer, Yes Yes no joke. After contless experience and money lost count me in for Voodoo for all of those gadget, better to save your money until you can afford a goog racking system then you will hear the difference...after that came the gadgets have fun.

Jon Risch's picture

Easy-to-make DIY sandbags from Ziplock bags and dry playsand work wonders on everything from cables to amps to CD players!

T.  Buns's picture

I can't wait to invest in something more substantial than balloons

Jon Andresen's picture

Townshend Seismic Sinks are the best bang for the buck. It's too bad they are not made anymore. Black Diamond cones and the now-discontinued TARA Labs Vanishing Points are good too.

David G.  Bishop's picture

I used two 5" stripes of 1" packing bubbles under my turntable platform. This isolated the table from low-frequency vibrations.