IsoAcoustics ISO-Puck Series vs OREA Series

After the SQ improvement of adding IsoAcoustics GAIA II isolators to my GoldenEar Triton Reference speakers, it got me to thinking about additional tweaks.

In the process of researching component isolation and its effectiveness; I’ve read in several forum discussions people comment, the only difference between the IsoAcoustics OREA series and ISO-Puck series was primarily cosmetic. I was thinking of using the ISO-Puck series for my BHK Preamp and Amplifiers, initially based on price. Still, I didn’t want to be continually second-guessing if I was getting the best performance.

So, I emailed this question to IsoAcoustics:

What is the difference between the OREA and ISO-Puck?

Reply:

The ISO-PUCK was originally designed for the Pro Audio market and is a very versatile isolator for studio monitors, guitar/bass amps and cabinets, subwoofers, DJ equipment, mic stands etc… and has a fairly broad performance curve.

The OREA’s on the other hand are designed for Home Audio and have a more “classy” appearance in stainless steel. The performance curve is narrower in weight range and will provide a stronger sonic benefit in it’s range than the ISO-PUCKs. More effective isolation resulting in more sound clarity and focus.

I emailed a followup question:

Regarding the ISO-Puck Series, I couldn’t find the performance Curve information on the website, are the graphs available?

Reply:

At the moment we don’t have performance curves that compare the ISO-Pucks with the OREA series.

Based on various reviews, personal anecdotes, and this info’ I’m going with the OREA’s.

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I think that you’ll be pleased. I have them under all my sources, power plant and BHK Pre. None under my BHK300’s. They have so much mass that I’m not sure that they might benefit.

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Hi @EGH

I have the Orea under my turntable and I definitely notice better clarity when playing music. I have not tried them under any other equipment at this time.

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There are way more positive opinions about isolation than negative or kneejerk overreactions.

It seemed to me, the BHK300’s having the tube input stage are more susceptible to unwanted vibration, so I thought I would realize better performance isolating them first. It’s a significant expense installing seven sets of isolators at one time. It seems the power plant wins in the mass category though; the weight delta of components P20 is 96lbs, and BHK300 is 83lbs. I plan to isolate my P20 further down the road.

I find that my new P15 is very responsive to isolation . . . and it’s heavy. My P10 is as well.

I enjoyed the Oreas but they did not unseat my favorites from use: the VooDoo Cable Iso-Pod.

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Its clear what the horizontal x-axis on the graph expresses. But exactly what is “Performance” on the y-axis? Not subjectively or relatively, but in quantitative terms. The word peformance in and of itself means different things to different people. And why no curve for the isopuck? Implies that something detrimental to IsoAcoustics Orea sales (at a higher margin?) may occur if an actual one was published. Just my opinion, but based on many years experience with corporate marketing stategies (ie.: deception).

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I had both. They both made a nice improvement and I couldn’t tell them apart.

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Same here.

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I once had all my two channel components mounted atop oreas or isopucks. Biggest improvement was heard with oreas between my Harbeth SHL5+ speakers and their stands. Without them the characteristic Harbeth enclosure resonance was easily felt with my hands on the stands. With the oreas under the speakers there was zero vibration transmitted to the stands. Subjective performance improvement was a tighter sound presentation particularly among the lower frequencies.

I felt that most of my components sound was improved, or at the very least, not harmed with IsoAcoustic isolators beneath them. Regarding the differences in apparent performance between isopucks and oreas, there was none that I could ever discern. The orea do look “prettier” though which I guess falls into the pride of ownership category.

After migrating to a dedicated headphone system I sold most of my isolators. The only components I now have are oreas under my DSD DAC and Stellar P3 PP. Not sure why though as I no longer have speaker generated sound waves bombarding my components. And I don’t have any under my four headphone amps. Not enough external vibrations to justify their continued use, but I think I just feel comfortable knowing they are protected against the potential vibrations of barking dogs, passing garbage trucks, school buses and auto boom boxes, sonic booms, earthquakes, meteorite impacts, etc. After all I still am an audiophile. Hmm… maybe I should get some for my headphone amps?

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Thanks, for explaining your experience, which was helpful.

That’s funny/coincidental, as I got them last year to put under my SHL5’s as well. But that was due to the apartment being so small that I was compelled to put the speakers on top of the subs. The Oreas (3 per speaker) did a simply amazing job of isolating from the subs.

I now have a bigger place, and got the Sound Anchor stands for the Harby’s (highly reccommended) and the pucks moved under components. I don’t have experience with the ISO’s vs. the Orea’s, but would bet money they are nearly as good - or as good, but arguably less pretty. They clearly work.

I have a similar “feeling” about using them under components, but have not A/B’d with and without. Do need to experiment with them under the TT though - that would be interesting, as it is the most sensitive to vibration, and unfortunately not very far from a sub. Sanding and finishing a slab of cherry wood for a new TT platform, so will wait to disturb the setup until that’s ready.

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Here is the single patent that appears to cover the Gaia speaker bolt-on, Orea and Iso-puck devices. Patent 9,920,811

If they were substantially or even minimally (besides cosmetics) different there would be another patent

Patent

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Great detective work @brett66!

I’m with RonP here. I have used both under my integrated (70 lbs), the DS, my “2nd amp” and even my Niagara. All work very well. I have never considered anything under my speakers. They are almost 300lbs, made of something akin to concrete and are spiked. Nothing moves them lol but I’m sure some isolation may be of benefit. Not sure how. Iso is a good product and I am definitely not a tweak “I put wood blocks under my speaker cables and improved my system 100%” guy… Iso works well. The Matrix works well too- USB and all!

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Here is the single patent that appears to cover the Gaia speaker bolt-on, Orea and Iso-puck devices. Patent 9,920,811

If they were substantially or even minimally (besides cosmetics) different there would be another patent

^^^^^^^^^
The post above is almost completely wrong.

First, while the Iso puck mini packaging does reference that patent, neither the Orea Bronze nor Indigo do (these are just the three Iso products I had handy).

Second, the Orea clearly are labeled “Patent Pending,” which is a strong indication that Orea includes different technology than the Puck.

Third, even if they were covered by the same patent, that wouldn’t necessarily mean they include the exact same technology. They could separately be covered by separate claims of the same patent that may be very different, as one example, or could be covered by the same claim but one product could include any number of additional features (whether those additional features corresponded to a different patent (or application) or not).

It is not unusual for an early patent to apply to many of a companies products, and for later (eg, more specialized) patents to apply to later or more advanced products. Often, as each new product is developed, companies will assess whether anything in new design is patentable, and file accordingly.

But even if there is nothing newly patentable with a new design, it still may be much improved over the previous design, even if they are both covered by the same original patent. I wouldn’t assume too much about what a product’s full feature set is based on the patents that cover it (although it likely includes at least some aspects of the patents). Better to seek out the actual details of the product, IMO.

Edit: I found that the Orea Graphite product itself is labeled with the patent number (see later post below), so I was wrong in saying Orea not covered by that patent.



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I appreciate being corrected. thanks.

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This an extraordinarily rare response in internet land :+1:

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Now it is me who has to stand corrected. Even though the packaging did not list that patent number (instead saying “Patent Pending”), the Orea Graphite product itself is labeled with the patent number, though hard to see.

So I stand corrected, as the Orea is covered by that patent. For reasons I mentioned in the previous post though, the products could still include very different technology. Only Isoacoustics knows for sure I guess. To me the mini pucks feel quite different from the Orea Graphite when I squish them with my fingers, fwiw

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I put four Indigo’s under our Focal Sopra Center. The change is remarkable. The blend with the fronts snapped right into place. It was like flipping a switch. They really upped our TV/movie experience.