Isolation: What are you guys using under your Directstream?


#1

New (soon to be) owner of DS Dac, currently modding the bejezus out my Oppo 203 bluray player and sorting out isolation for it, and thought I might as well sort out the rest of the boxes too.

The Directstream is being put on one of the glass shelves in my rack, 2nd shelf down on the left, under the pre-amp below the SET amp.
The DS’ case is pretty heavy, what isolation (if any) could maximize sound improvements on a glass shelf like this?

Thanks Much.

Rack Pic


Damping inside your Directstream?
#2

Gazjam, first of all welcome and congrats on the DSD. Nice looking rig.

I don’t have anything under my DS, there is no room in my Mid-Atlantic rack for them. My DMP sits on a PSA PowerBase.

I do use Stillpoint 6’s under my Vivaldi stack on a HRS SRX rack and I swear by them. Sort of like cables, until you hear them with your music, in your room with your gear, you’d never believe the difference they can make.


#3

Especially when you have to use glass as a base I can recommend those (the large ones):

http://herbiesaudiolab.net/softfat.htm

…and they’re quite cheap.


#4

Another option would be Finite Elemente Cerapucs, excellent devices, I use them under all my components. And as they’re no longer manufactured they’re often available at a reasonable price second hand. Regards, Mike.


#5

Mine resides on a 110 lb. granite slab with damping adhered to the bottom, all sitting on sorbothane on top of my teak rack.


#6

On glass the most cost effective of the commercial products would be the ones from Herbies. I am using Tenderfeet. Three is all you will need.


#7

These are also excellent for glass surfaces: http://www.taoc.gr.jp/en/insulator.html#super


#8

I have a set of the Symposium Rollerblock HDSE coming and will try to replace my BC Nordost Sort Kones, with which I barely notice a difference with my Directstream. These are a commercial adaptation of a popular isolation method whereby a ball bearing floats between opposing shallow concave cups (blocks) with a flat surface on the shelf and component. They utilize precision grade 10 tungsten carbide bearings with very hard 7075 aircraft aluminum with anodized contact patch. This allows microscopic oscillation between the shelf and component in the horizontal plane. Optimally, they are placed on a platform that also isolates in the vertical plane.

http://www.symposiumusa.com/HDSE.html

I’m starting with the Rollerblocks and will try them with my Symposium Segue ISO table I already have for my TT, which isolates in the vertical plane (and is simply awesome, BTW). Lots of good reviews out there for these and I like the concept behind it in that you are isolating in X, Y, and Z vectors. I’ll let you know how I find them!


#9

Hi @gazjam ,

Good topic and welcome to the forum from a fellow Scotsman! Also congrats on the DS.

I like to keep an open mind (even though that often leads to an empty wallet!) and have been thinking a lot about vibration isolation recently.

At the risk of going off-topic I am seriously considering the following for my speakers:

http://www.townshendaudio.com/hi-fi-home-cinema-equipment-vibration-isolation/hi-fi-home-cinema-vibration-isolation-speaker-podiums/

They’re not cheap but the reviews are amazing. I’m going to talk to the Townshend guys at the Bristol Show in February and offer them the chance to persuade me to empty said wallet.

The reason I bring this up as because in the case of the speaker vibration isolation I can clearly picture the science behind it.

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.

Anyways. Great thread. And I’ll research those Herbies and the other suggestions a bit further. As my DS also sits on glass, as do all of my components.

Cheers,

Alan


#10
BigAlMc 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.


Alan,

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.

Karl


#11

I am using VooDoo Cable “Iso-Pods” under my DSD (three) and those sit on a PS Audio PowerBase which sits within a Mapleshade Audio Samson Version 3 rack.

I’ve tried a number of footers including several Herbie’s Audio (I prefer the Iso-Cups to the Tenderfeet), myrtewood blocks, homemade “roller blocks,” Ingress Audio Engineering Audioblocks, Aurios and these Iso-Pods. Iso-Pods win, with Aurios being a close second.

Coupling/de-coupling. . . it’s all something to experiment with and believe your ears.


#12

Karl, interesting to hear you heard the biggest improvement under your speakers. I have Aurios Media Isolation Bearings (MIB) under my DS and DMP, can’t say I heard a distinct improvement when I put them under the components a few weeks ago but can’t hurt. In a related effort, I had recently put the sorbothane feet back on my PowerBase (BHK 250 on top of it) after using those cheap cork/rubber isolators for a while. With the sorbothane the bass seemed, uh, fuller. Didn’t seem like an improvement, and I know some people detest rubber/sorbothane for doing just that. At this point I had a couple of more sets of the MIB (these were the original model which are a little harder to work with) so a couple of days ago I put them under my speakers, definitely sounds different! The fullness disappeared, and in some respects the bass is cleaner, though perhaps a little too clean. Not sure if this is a good thing or not. Bad part is it is a royal pain to put them under the speakers, lifting one corner of a 180 lb speaker can be very precarious! The odd thing is, the speakers are on a concrete slab in my basement. I think of concrete being a very good base for speakers, but vibration is insidious!


#13

Ionson, thanks for the recommendation on the IsoPods. I ordered a set from The Cable Co, as I do have space in my rack for these, so I’ll let you know how it sounds. BTW, Cable Co is having a special on these if you buy more than 1 set. On the 3-packs I think it is about 15% for 2 and 22% for 3.

Pmotz, my speakers sit on a wood 3/8" plank floor that is glued to concrete and you’re right, concrete can transfer a lot of noise and vibration. My HVAC, a hot water heater, and 2 refrigerators are sitting on the same concrete floor, so I have the potential for a lot of noise to be transmitted through the floor. I’ve seen the Magico listening room at their factory where they run big CNC machines and they actually raised the listening room floor off of the concrete and used some isolators (springs and shocks?) between the new floor and the concrete for this reason.

For the Stillpoints, I had Raidho XT-3’s which aren’t heavy but are tall and easy to tip, so it’s still a two person job to swap the feet. My current speakers are M3’s which weigh 320 lbs. They have their own Magico feet, called M-pods (a 3-point system), so I haven’t played with other alternatives but listening to the speakers on the shipping casters and listening to them on the M-pods is very different. I would describe it as everything just tightened up (in a good way). The low bass is handled by subs but the imaging just seems cleaner and individual instruments more distinct. Less blurring of 1st and 2nd violins in an orchestra for example. BTW, to take the caster off and install the M-Pods, I used an aluminum racing jack with a dense rubber pad on the jack point. The pad on a race jack is pretty low, so I only had to tilt the speakers a little to get the jack under it and lift the speaker off the ground enough for me to install the M-Pods. However, moving these things to another room or some other position in the room? I’m not sure how that is going to happen :wink:


#14

We’re entering the second year of those specials on Iso-Pods, a nice reduction . . . that was responsible about fourteen months ago of me completing my “infestation” of those throughout my system. I’m using VooDoo’s previous style of Iso-pod (only one bearing) under my speakers.

I’ll definitely be interested in your impressions Karl.


#15
Karl Salnoske said
BigAlMc 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.

Alan,

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.

Karl


Thanks Karl,

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 kiss

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.

Cheers,

Alan


#16

Looking at the Iso-Pods, it seems they are a three ball bearing version of the Rollerblocks, essentially. Has anyone compared these head-to-head, I wonder? They are competitively priced for a set of three Rollerblock HDSE slightly more at $349 vs the Iso-Pods at $299. That would be an interesting comparison.


#17

I got my shelves from a local audiophile woodworker and I got a local granite/marble outlet to cut and polish some selected rectangles of granite. I put the granite slabs on HRS pucks and put them all on the shelves I got from a local audiophile woodworker. The shelves have a sandbox on the bottom filled with sand to make them more stable/less vibration. The shelves are adjustable and sit on small rubber pads on the adjustment pins which fit firmly into the corner uprights. The last picture is a wider angle view during a reorganization.

Granite-1.jpgGranite-on-Shelf-1-1.jpgGranite-on-Shelf-2-1.jpgShelves-1.jpg


#18

My heartfelt recommendation again due to the following reasons to help save money imo:

  • I think it’s no secret that glass is more or less the worst base possible but with the most „difference“ in sound by various feet (with little chance do find the „right“ sound)
  • Coupling to such a bad underground should be avoided
  • Hard decoupling also
  • Electronics without moving parts like disc spinners or vibration sensible part like tubes should be the least sensible to coupling or isolation feet, so better not to spend too much money on it
  • All this is why I would recommend cheap, soft isolation from such a base
  • Money should better be spent elsewhere or first for a proper base material

#19
jazznut said Electronics without moving parts like disc spinners or vibration sensible part like tubes should be the least sensible to coupling or isolation feet, so better not to spend too much money on it
One might guess this to be true, but SS benefits at least as much from high quality, effective vibration control as does tube equipment. Tubes are more influenced by large thumps/gross vibrations than is SS, but small vibrations impact both similarly.

#20

I’m a fan of the Ikea Aptitlig cutting boards with three small wood knobs under each unit. Various folks have posted photos on the below link. Take a look…

http://superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/ikea-aptitlig-a-juicy-cheap-upgrade.1306/