Are You 'Damping' or 'Draining' Your DS for Resonances?


#1

Just curious what some of you have found to be most effective.

乾杯beer_gif

_Ben


#2
timequest said Just curious what some of you have found to be most effective.

乾杯beer_gif

_Ben


Stillpoints Ultra 5. Best I have ever found.

#3

Yikes…At that price, I could purchase a Perfect Wave Power Base and still save a grand.


#4

Yeah but nowhere near the results. I have them under my PWT, preamp, preamp power supply, power amp and both front speakers.

Anyone who has them will tell you they are flat out amazing.

What they did for my speakers just is mind numbing.


#5

Forgot. I have the Ultra SS on Ultra Bases under both P10’s.

They elevated the P10’s performance several notches.

Worth the price of admission and then some.


#6
oddeophile said I have them under my PWT, preamp, preamp power supply, power amp and both front speakers.

Anyone who has them will tell you they are flat out amazing.

What they did for my speakers just is mind numbing.

I'll second that. I've got them under my Alexia speakers and Revel subs. Oddeophile, just curious if you made use of thread adapters to put the ultra 5's under your components, or you just positioned them adjacent to the factory feet, or removed the factory feet and placed in their place, or what exactly you did and what yielded the best result (if you did any experimentation). I'm in the process now of floating components-just did my amps, but now moving to preamp and directstream etc...

Edit: I should also mention that i’m going to try the Stillpoints apertures-i have 4 on order that should be here in a couple of weeks-two for the first reflection point and two behind the rack. I met Bruce from Stillpoints at their room in Newport and he gave me a demonstration using the apertures that was literally jaw dropping.


#7

Whoops, there was an opportunity to buy a bunch of these (6 or more) around half rrp and I didn’t pull the together, since I didn’t want to push my recent purchasing luck too far. Sounds like a missed opportunity.

What about the original Stillpoints ?

Any other other ‘better value’ (i.e. less performance, less cost) solutions.

How would those who know characterise (ideally, finger in the air “quantification” indicating their qualitative assessment of the relativities involved; and is there a single German word for this idea ?) the difference between PSA Powerbase and Ultra5’s / other recommended products ?


#8
Green Machine said

What about the original Stillpoints ?

Any other other ‘better value’ (i.e. less performance, less cost) solutions.

While i don't have any personal experience with the originals, I think the common theme of stillpoints is you just get "more of" the good stuff that stillpoints provide as you go up. So you could, for example, try the ultra mini's under components and probably still get a noticeable effect-although the consensus would be that ultra 5's (and now the more recent ultra 6's) will work even better-its just exponentially more expensive as you go up the ladder, unfortunately. When i listened to the system Bruce demonstrated, he was only using minis to very demonstrable effect. Mini's are comparatively inexpensive.

As for speakers and heavy equipment, although you could get by with perhaps some ultra SS’s you’d be better off using ultra 5’s. I can tell you from personal experience that i was initially a skeptic and it took me a long time to buy into the hype. But hearing is believing-the improvement is better than any cable upgrade; perhaps better than a component upgrade, i don’t know. It’s a very substantial and noticeable improvement.


#9

I’m sure Stillpoints are amazing. I’ve never afforded them or been able to.

I have my components on top of PerfectWave PowerBases and between the component and bass I use Herbie’s Audio Lab “Iso-Cups” (with Moss Green Quartz “balls”). Not an inexpensive solution, but not Stillpoint 5 or 6 territory either. I find that this is an excellent isolation solution; all my audio resides in Mapleshade Audio Samson racks.


#10

I have several friends who use Stillpoints in various locations and swear by them and I haven’t seen or heard or much bad press about them. I use a PowerBase with Sort Kone TC’s between the DS and the PB.


#11

While Stillpoints are arguably the reigning champion of component isolation I’ve found them to be picky-choosey about the components they compliment most. My old SS set of 4 that was released just after the 1st series (Delrin/ceramic) which I’ve tested extensively on every component that’s come thru here for the last 6-7 years. They are stunning on some items and less so on most. The common denominator I’ve found is they are outstanding on heavier items like speakers and perhaps most importantly on high-end cabinet componentry that doesn’t use stamped sheet metal floors. They, by a far & away margin prefer a hefty, non-resonating floor. The best component I ever tried them in was a custom music server I had a few years back that had a .500" thick CNC’d floor, walls and ceiling. It was a tank, highly finned, ran cool as a cucumber and the Stillpoints were a match made in heaven! Same with speakers. They were outstanding on my YG Acoustics Kipods aluminum housings but also worked well on every MDF speaker I used them with. Again, high mass/low resonance items.

My 1st choice for this duty is Symposium Acoustics Rollerblocks, specifically the HDSE version with tungsten carbide balls. Some of you will remember them from my write-up regarding installing them into my new DS here a month or so back. My Stillpoints were not a good fit due to the relatively thin floor metal and they would’ve raised the DS height more than I wanted. Bear in mind I’m making no value-statement whatsoever about newer Stillpoints being mentioned here. Over the years testing the one SP set I have I found them to be one of two things… either outstanding or mediocre. Nothing in-between. I opted years ago to go all-in on Rollerblocks for one reason; while they couldn’t run with SP’s on the rare occasion where they were stunning, they could easily come within 90+%. More importantly they proved better sounding in more equipment I seem to end up with… esp eqpmt with thin gauge stamped or sheet metal floors. I frequently considered attaching my SP’s to a component-size sheet of 3/4" MDF or other acoustic platform as I believe there would’ve been a greater positive benefit across a broader spectrum of equipment. One of those… “I need to do that some day” things we never seem to find time for.


#12
patentpending said
Green Machine said

What about the original Stillpoints ?

Any other other ‘better value’ (i.e. less performance, less cost) solutions.

While i don’t have any personal experience with the originals, I think the common theme of stillpoints is you just get “more of” the good stuff that stillpoints provide as you go up. So you could, for example, try the ultra mini’s under components and probably still get a noticeable effect-although the consensus would be that ultra 5’s (and now the more recent ultra 6’s) will work even better-its just exponentially more expensive as you go up the ladder, unfortunately. When i listened to the system Bruce demonstrated, he was only using minis to very demonstrable effect. Mini’s are comparatively inexpensive.

As for speakers and heavy equipment, although you could get by with perhaps some ultra SS’s you’d be better off using ultra 5’s. I can tell you from personal experience that i was initially a skeptic and it took me a long time to buy into the hype. But hearing is believing-the improvement is better than any cable upgrade; perhaps better than a component upgrade, i don’t know. It’s a very substantial and noticeable improvement.


I tried both the Ultra SS and 5’s on my speakers and actually preferred the SS. The only way to know for sure is to audition both on your equipment.

#13

I have a nice collection of Aurios (unfortunately no longer available) which I picked up after doing some work with electron microscopes and the microscopes are placed on large versions of the same product. Stillpoints were developed by the former distributor of Aurios (who also previously worked with Wadia, an early proponent of audio racks).

The sound is quick, clean, open, very dynamic.

I also like Polycrystal isolation cones, sadly also no longer available. These enhance attack transients and add wonderful definition by decreasing the smearing of the leading edges of notes. They are made of a heavy, very hard and non-resonant composite resin. DH Labs makes a similar appearing ceramic cone which are quite nice in that they also enhance transient definition, but they are made of a resonant material (ceramic - incredibly hard stuff) which does not isolate as well as the Polycrystal products.

With all such tweaks, try placing them in different locations. I find, counter-intuitively, they sound best placed toward the center of the component with two in the lightest section, and one toward the heaviest. This works the best even if the heaviest section (such as the transformer) is left unsupported. For cones, points down also typically sounds the best, although points up can be better. I received these suggestions originally from Polycrystal’s designer. He’s correct.


#14

Has anyone found sonic differences between damping the DS vs using typical ‘resonance draining’ devices like the Stillpoints? I have heard that over-damping may actually impede sound quality. Since I’m using damping techniques this is of interest to me. I have my DS sitting on a 2-inch solid maple block topped with cork and felt, with weights sitting on top of the DS (smooth flat/round stones of equal weight from the shores of Lake Superior). The maple block is resting on spikes that truncate into a ‘metal’ music stand that is spiked into the floor (so there’s some ‘drainage’). Overall, I would call this a ‘damped’ system. I wonder if I am doing it wrong…?

_Ben


#15

A good question. It depends on whether we are isolating the equipment from vibrations in the room, or protecting the equipment from itself.

My belief is we are isolating equipment from external vibrations. This is exactly what the industrial Aurios do for electron microscopes; they keep the outside world from disturbing the operation of the equipment.

This hypothesis appears to be supported by the difference in sound between hard, rigid supports and soft squishy products. Rigid cones and products like Aurios (Stillpoints, etc.) sound increase detail, speed, and focus. Squishies, like Vibrapods, produce a nicely balanced but more diffuse sound. I find on a high resolution system they smear and blur, but are great when you do not have a good rack.

I am not a tweaker by nature and had to force myself to experiment. I did so methodically and reached my own conclusions - and have not since revisited this dreadfully tedious process.

I have never tried loading equipment down with weights, nor magic stones. Adding weight strikes me as treating a symptom rather than resolving the problem - like loading up your car with your heaviest friends to smooth out the ride instead of fixing the suspension.


#16

“The common denominator I’ve found is they are outstanding on heavier items like speakers and perhaps most importantly on high-end cabinet componentry that doesn’t use stamped sheet metal floors. They, by a far & away margin prefer a hefty, non-resonating floor.” - Manoet

This is an excellent point and I have often wondered if there is a common thread between methods that are reliable when trying to get the most out of equipment that has a thin chassis floor (and visa versa). I think that many of us just use the shot in the dark method to get there.


#17
patentpending said Oddeophile, just curious if you made use of thread adapters to put the ultra 5's under your components, or you just positioned them adjacent to the factory feet, or removed the factory feet and placed in their place, or what exactly you did and what yielded the best result (if you did any experimentation).
Threaded into my spkrs. Placed them all beveled side up under components. I didn't consider threading in components as best places seem to be near transformers and odd placements. Some are also on ultra bases threaded into flat side of the 5. Best results I had are with those using the ultra bases under components but due to vertical space limits I could not use the bases everywhere.

I bet the BHK amps would benefit well with the U5/ultra Base combo under them since they use two transformers.


#18
patentpending said
Green Machine said

What about the original Stillpoints ?

Any other other ‘better value’ (i.e. less performance, less cost) solutions.

While i don’t have any personal experience with the originals, I think the common theme of stillpoints is you just get “more of” the good stuff that stillpoints provide as you go up. So you could, for example, try the ultra mini’s under components and probably still get a noticeable effect-although the consensus would be that ultra 5’s (and now the more recent ultra 6’s) will work even better-its just exponentially more expensive as you go up the ladder, unfortunately. When i listened to the system Bruce demonstrated, he was only using minis to very demonstrable effect. Mini’s are comparatively inexpensive.

As for speakers and heavy equipment, although you could get by with perhaps some ultra SS’s you’d be better off using ultra 5’s. I can tell you from personal experience that i was initially a skeptic and it took me a long time to buy into the hype. But hearing is believing-the improvement is better than any cable upgrade; perhaps better than a component upgrade, i don’t know. It’s a very substantial and noticeable improvement.


+1. Exactly. I approached the same way. My rear spkrs have ultra SS on ultra bases threaded into them and the sound field is noticeably larger and more open at the front when watching surround films. The U5 threaded into spkrs provides improvements noted all over the web. If you find some used jump in fast as they will sell super fast.

I don’t plan on ever selling mine. They’d have to pry from my cold dead fingers. Really. I can’t stand it when I take them out for a reality check. Any component.


#19
lonson said I'm sure Stillpoints are amazing. I've never afforded them or been able to.

I have my components on top of PerfectWave PowerBases and between the component and bass I use Herbie’s Audio Lab “Iso-Cups” (with Moss Green Quartz “balls”). Not an inexpensive solution, but not Stillpoint 5 or 6 territory either. I find that this is an excellent isolation solution; all my audio resides in Mapleshade Audio Samson racks.


Two thumbs up. Eventually try the ultra minis as they are pretty inexpensive entry and with the trial period you have time to evaluate.

#20
oddeophile said

Threaded into my spkrs. Placed them all beveled side up under components. I didn’t consider threading in components as best places seem to be near transformers and odd placements. Some are also on ultra bases threaded into flat side of the 5. Best results I had are with those using the ultra bases under components but due to vertical space limits I could not use the bases everywhere.

Thanks Elk and oddeophile- oddeophile-just curious if you had the same experience as Elk did with isolators in terms of the positioning (i.e., did you leave them by corners or in the middle with transformers unsupported, etc)-in particular i'm curious what you ended up doing with the DS. I very much appreciate all of this information-and look forward to experimenting myself with my own components...