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?

Eugene Muszak's picture

The Black Diamond Racings cones are the only thing that made a huge improvement. Others, the ART were only a notable improvement.

Trey's picture

Isolated my Rega 'table with an O-ring and a concrete garden square. It worked!

Ewan Docherty's picture

Having used a number of different types of vibration control devices, with different degrees of success, I found the Exceed Anti-shaking ball stands, these have given the greatest improvement yet. Anything else I have tried since degrades the music.

Jerry Flesher's picture

I would love to try some vibration tweaks, but my wife would probably call up those guys in the white coats to come and take me away to the happy farm. But when I do get the chance, I plan on working with my turntable to cancel out the bass vibrations at loud levels.

Andy West's picture

Very good results with Black Diamond Racing cones and shelves.

rsfoster@netcom.ca's picture

Placing the Immedia Noiseblock under my VPI TNT IV w/Flywheel was a greater improvement than replacing any amp, preamp, or cartridge---ever. A must-have component that probably does NOT have to be upgraded.

Anonymous's picture

Vibration is good. My speakers vibrate a lot, especially at the front. If they didn't vibrate, I suppose they wouldn't make any noise. But seriously, I have spent many hours with various systems trying to battle vibrations from various places with various doodads. Verdict? Cheap stuff works. Vibration control doesn't always result in better sound. My system sits on a steel wire commercial 'Metrowire' rack that by itself vibrates like a harp. But with the gear on it all seems to tension up an lock into a solid mass. Strange? I think the advantage of not having any flat panels of MDF or glass to act as sounding boards is worth a million little pucks and gubbins and cones. No shelf-shelves rule! My amp is a valve job so anychance of microphony and it starts-a-ringing. Perhaps the worst vibrations to attack are the vibrations that come from what's INSIDE gear. Transformers and the like all vibrate to some extent. CD drive certainly do. I think we understand a lot more about vibration than we used to, but the perfect solutions remain in the hands of voodoo, luck and trail and error.

Chris Valle's picture

I have tried DH Cones and Black Diamond Racing cones. Different materials have different effects; in my system the ceramic (with pads) was good, the carbon fiber bad. However I settled on Vibrapods, which seemed to have a uniformly positive effect and cheap!

Boris Afanasiev.'s picture

To my regret!

Scot Forier's picture

Vibration control is not something that I have yet tried. Quite possibly I will do so in the future, only when I am ready to renovate my sound room.

Tommy A.Olsen's picture

I find that it has notable improvements,espessially used on small-signal electronics,such as cd-players,pre-amps etc. The biggest improvement I find is in the digital domain i.e. electronics that is. In my currently used cd-player; Sony 202 ES,the most notable improvement came when I did somthing I learned from you, or that is Rotel. I believe it was from a test af a Rotel cd-player,where the oscillator was captured in some damping stuff. I took the idea,and wrapped the oscillator in my sony with blue-tack(great stuff!). The differenses were big;a more controlled sound stage, more air, and the more subtle sounds were easier to capture, even in the more massive blowouts of the music. Try wrapping the small(signal)capacitors with blue-tack as well. I also find that the more ressonant the equipment is the more it benefits from being damped,espessially inside the component.

David Overall's picture

Living in earthquake-prone California, I bought straps in the hardware store for tying down my components to the Salamander shelving I'm using. The straps made a notable improvement in the sound of my system.

tonec@naplesnet.com's picture

townshend sinks and mana from heaven stands...and sound most beautiful is captured by a divinity of glass and air.

M.  Andres's picture

I found the largest results were obtained with my turntable.Although I found some improvements could be heard with all components.

High-End Harry's picture

I use custom-made 6"-inch deep sandboxes, with a Fountainhead plinth. The improvement made my jaw drop!

Jamil Iddi's picture

Needless to say, I'm an audio tweak and used to believe that the only electronic component affected by vibration was electrolytic caps. Wrong! Try glueing down plastic caps, resistors (a must with the noninductive Caddocks, to obtain best results), and see/listen to the difference. The circuit board also needs to be securely held down. The difference is easily heard even on a mass-produced unit; e.g., Sony/Kenwood. I recommend a cyanocacrylate glue with an accelerator---it's quick and very stiff. I got the idea came from FM Accoustics, who pot all their circuit boards in epoxy. I also believe reduced vibration is the reason why solid-core cables sound more focused and clear, if a little less open! The extra stiffness and reduced chatter that solid-core has over smaller/finer strands found in multicore cables is the reason I believe is be a main factor in the sonic differences. I'm sure a stiff dielectrc/insulator also plays a big role too. ( Yes, I have read Dr. Omar Hawksford's article on surface conductivity, although to these ears the lack of vibration plays a bigger role in the audio range.) Anyway, try reducing vibration with increased rigidity and see if this doesn't improve the sonics. Tradeoff: less bloom, but you gain a crisper/faster and less edgy sound!

David Spear's picture

Spiking my speakers (Eminent Technology LFT-VIIIA's) into the floor dramatically improved image clarity.

Alvester Garnett's picture

I have to thank you guys for posing this question. I use a Bright Star Audio Big Rock 3 on top of a Townshend Seismic Sink under my Audio Alchemy DDS Pro. I went out of town in Oct./Nov. for 4 weeks and turned off my system. When I came back in town I fired the system up on November 17th. I knew that it would take several days for it to "settle," but was dismayed by how poor the bass performance was compared to what I remembered when I left. I'm a drummer, and since I was on tour playing music for almost every night of my four weeks away, I thought that maybe I was only hearing the previously unnoticed limitations of my system in comparison to live music. But it just didn't make any sense. I listen to and perform a lot of live music. Had I outgrown my system? Was over $1200 and five years of audio-deal searching gone to waste? I used to be captivated by the music, and now I was being let down by the sound of my system. The bass was just too muddy, and everything sounded veiled. After I read this question I looked at the Seismic Sink and realized that it had lost its air while I was on tour. I had forgot to pump it up!! I pumped it up and Voila! This only served to clearly illuminate to me the value of vibration isolation components in my system.

Stewart G.  Grand's picture

Almost everything in the system can cause sonic degradation if allowed to resonate, some much more than others. Hail, Ductseal!

Andrea Torri's picture

The tonal precision of the speakers (ProAc Studio 100s) improved and the soundstage had more of a 3D structure after I filled my stands (Plateau) with play sand (Home Depot, $2.35 for 50 lbs.).

Vern Neal's picture

I did a modification of a Sam Tellig trick. I took 2 laminated/pressed plywood boards 1" thick, cut them to fit my target stand, painted them black, then placed the heavy-duty large bubble pack (sealed air brand) and put the bubble pack between the 2 boards. Next I placed this over my existing board on the top of a target TT5, placed 4 large AQ Sorbathane discs on the board, and placed my Meridian 508 player on top. The difference is not subtle. Higher highs and lower lows. It looks good too.

Anonymous's picture

After noticing how much vibration is transmitted to the floor thru the speaker spikes, sorbethene feet and a homemade airmass helped clean up the soundstage and imaging.

Jim Paire's picture

I am using Super Balls under TT, preamp, and tube amp with a great deal of improvement without the cost.

Kevin Heine's picture

My listening room is in the basement and I placed all of my components in an unfinished section, directly on the slab. Short of an earthquake, my equipment is now vibration-free.

Dean Fisher's picture

I placed a bryston amp on a billy bags stand with spikes improved focus and dynamics just a little

S.D.  Matteson's picture

Bicycle tube under CD player , tennis balls under amp.

Alan J.  Hutchins's picture

The improvement in resolution & transparency was incredible! This was probably the most cost-effective upgrade I've ever made.

Andrew Bacon's picture

Simply Physics Focal Pods made my CAL Icon Mk.II not skip on loud low notes! Them tennis balls under fat amps help also. Has anyone heard of ACTIVE vibe isolation tables that go down to 0.5Hz that can support hundreds or THOUSANDS of pounds? I'm talking tables and foundations used for electron microscopes and ion beam mills (used in the production of magnetic heads used for hard discs). With these devices you could play an LP through an earthquake! All you have-it-all types might benefit from a product that was made for the likes of Seagate and IBM!

Eric W.  Sarjeant's picture

It depends what you're trying to control the vibrations of. With my CD transport there was no difference, but with my turntable there was an obvious improvement (i.e. vibration control of a turntable limits tonearm skating). In some situations, I could see benefits to vibration control for your CD player - but to something like a solid-state amplifier I just don't see how there could be any practical affect.

Pablo's picture

Vibration control surely helps the CD-player mechanism and other mechanical devices. I've always made a point of my equipment being very solidly placed on heavy, vibration-free surfaces.