Can I essentially avoid the cost of expensive component footers by placing 40kg slabs of concrete on my gear?
Is this method valid for doing nearly exactly what is sought from footers?
I have some spare slabs of concrete, I placed 80kg on top of my DAC for fun… and I think I’m hearing a more solid sound. Solid, yes.
Is there much more to be gained from hitech footers apart from the aesthetic benefit of not having slabs of concrete all over my gear?
Why work with dead weight? Instead, use a long pole jack so you can vary the amount of pressure exerted on the equipment; that way you can find the sweet spot and also vary the pressure to suit the genre of music and/or loudness.
Well you make a point there relating to adjustable footers especially I think.
Some components surely are picky enough about their fine mechanics that yes, it should be adjustable. Maybe not with a pole jack, though yes, that’s cheaper than high end footers…
I think there’s a general principle at play here - to stop the bell from ringing, as said by the Monaco rack designer. If I add concrete slabs on my gear, the dead weight alone is not the sole factor, the mehcanics of the concrete as a resonant material will impact things.
Maybe weight on top of your head may make things sound better!
Listening underwater or increasing ambient pressure in the room?
Well I find that different hats definitely change the sound. I find that not wearing a hat opens up the soundstage.
I’ve yet to try the famous tin foil hat though.
I don’t think adding weight to a component does the same thing as using good footers. Proper footers drain unwanted vibrations from the component. Adding weight to a component may help dampen some vibrations, but it won’t help to drain those vibrations from the unit.
I assume “draining” the vibrations (in the proper manner) means turning them into a different form of energy.
I wonder which types of components benefit more from simple viscoelastic footers versus solid, metallurgically and structurally engineered ones. Cost-wise I mean - I’m sure the hitech footers are always better.
Here’s how my amplifier is footed. Sorbothane pads under the feet, which then rest on heavy center-hollow brass (or bronze) cones that I restored from my old bed…
Could some expert say if this is probably pretty good or not?
I think some of the softer footers, like Sorbothane, convert vibrations into heat. The solid harder footers work by draining vibrations. I guess ideally, vibrations drained by the footers, would pass through the audio rack into the floor.
I guess ideally, this keeps the bell ringing. Depending of course on the frequencies involved, it might not matter that the floor reflects them back, but I’m sure the best isolation feet are designed to be as one-way as possible…
You have the best test equipment available, your ears. Listen for yourself, and decided which footers work best in your system.
I will when I have the capital.
People with experience with isolation feet, which component would you recommend isolating first?
In my system the transport or CD player benefited the most from using footers. Next I would say components that utilize tubes.
That’s a given! I have all solid state gear and my only transport is a vinyl one, well, that’s taken care of. IKEA Uptitlig board, sorbothane under that, resting on a big concrete slab, with more sorbothane supporting that on a speaker stand. And it’s tuned to be exactly horizontal with matchsticks…
Actually I think my vinyl playback “sounds” much more “expensive” than it is, it’s a mid-level Sony with a Goldring E3 so not that fancy, but I have a feeling the performance would be entirely different if it just sat on a plain table or rack.
80 kg??? concrete???
Don’t do it. Try, maybe, a book. A heavy book. Like “Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid”. It’s a hoot to read and it’s heavy.
Or a pair of heavy work boots would look better. And would probably start more interesting conversations with visitors.
Nope, nix the concrete.
I had a load of books on the DAC prior, looked nice for sure.
But I definitely think the sound is now more solid with those slabs over it. Well, there’s a layer of books under the concrete so as to not to scratch the DAC…
Gotta read that when I get inspired to read something not entirely technical. You know I have this complex that I’m “wasting” time when I read something that doesn’t increase my technical knowledge, I know the balance would be better if I took time to read something entertaining in the middle. Of course, Gödel, Escher, Bach is a book for learning a lot, just can’t get into the mindset yet.
I had an Accuphase CD player that benefited from adding weight. I placed a heavy coffee table book on top, then started adding weight lifting plates. Ended up with a 25 lb plate. Eventually though, I purchased some ceramic footers, which sounded better than adding weight.
Considering what methods and materials of isolation work best for which types of components…
It’s intuitive to imagine that a CD player would benefit a lot from ceramic footers as you say, since its mechanics are rigid. Planar, exact mechanics.
Then what about power amplifiers, totally different… A solid state one, now which components inside it actually would suffer from vibration enough to affect playback? Capacitors surely, anything else really?
DACs too, I have a hard time imagining that a DAC’s chip would care about vibration. Maybe it would, but I think the capacitors here are the main culprits for any interference…
This is just hypothesis and intuition: I suspect solid state gear with no moving parts probably benefits from viscoelastic isolation more, than say, ceramic footers. Imagine the vibration travelling along an amplifier’s chassis (where it mainly travels first), being “softly” absorbed. I’m imagining the electrolytic capacitors liking this type of Q factor isolation, after all they are soft inside. Now imagine them being damped with a ceramic “snap”, my intuition partly learned from Herb Reichert is that what we hear is the materials, so a rigid damping might make the sound harsher, for a solid state amp.
War and Peace would be perfect! Or Das Kapital.
Should I dare try weighing my power amp with “Mein Kampf”…