Karl Salnoske said
For digital component isolation I'm a little more hesitant. As stated above I want to keep an open mind. But I wonder how much vibrations from foot-fall, or speaker noise - can really impact the SQ of a digital component? And for the record that's a question, not a challenge. As it seems above that people have had positive experiences in this area and as such I'm encouraged to further explore.
Something like the Herbies Tenderfoot (thanks @jazznut for the recommendation) seem a no brainer at that price point. But when you get to Stillpoints and the likes - which can soon mount up to the price of a component itself. Well then I have to wonder how audible these pesky vibrations really are.
You are right to be skeptical. I agree with your line of thinking - it’s easy to understand how vibration can impact a turntable or even a tube-based device but difficult to envision how solid state electronics can benefit. Fortunately for me (but not my bank account), I have a local Stillpoints dealer. He has a demo kit complete with all the various dampers that Stillpoints makes. We spent an entire Sunday afternoon going through my system doing A:B testing (not blind) - starting with my speakers and progressing though my Vivaldi stack, amps, preamp, power conditioner, and various other digital/network devices in my rack. We didn’t try my turntable as it is a Clearaudio Master Innovation and has its own stand and isolation system.
I ended up selecting various Stillpoints where I could repeatedly hear an improvement. From largest to smallest improvement I would say speakers, amps, and SACD transport. Less but still discernible improvements were with the DAC and Upsampler. No improvement for anything else.
At the beginning of the day, I entered with a great deal of skepticism, at the end of the day I exiting with an improved system overall and much poorer. I have not compared Stillpoints to other dampers, so I don’t know if they are better or the same as those other options. I can say that in my room and in my system, they improve a number of key components in my listening change. I can’t explain why and I can’t measure the difference with REW but I can hear the difference as can others.
FWIW I didn’t mean to single Stillpoints out, I just meant that once you get into that sort of price bracket you need to be convinced.
The firm that does the speaker isolation also does a small platform for components which also gets great reviews. But to my earlier point I’m more skeptical there.
You make an excellent point about needing to have a home trial to experiment and see (or hear!) if you can hear an improvement. Maybe not for the Herbies - happy to roll the dice there
Also interesting feedback on where you heard the most difference.
Slightly off topic on the DS forum but I’m curious whether the M700s respond well to isolation.
Fairly tempted to buy Herbies or suchlike for the amps, DS and server on the basis the price is reasonable and can’t really hurt.