Hello, Here is a question for people who love Powerbases, as a platform, not a conditioner. What alternatives have you found that give similar isolation performance?
The Isoacoustics ZaZen works great and won’t break the bank! A TAS product of the year winner.
FWIW, the “real deal” can be had in the used market from time to time at fare prices.
Are you considering the PowerBases as well?
You are supposed to be on vacation. Yes this looks like a winner with mass and proven ISO decoupling tech.
Another approach is mass on spikes with the vibration isolator under the unit. I do this with 3cm quartz on Herbie’s cone spikes and VooDoo IsoPods under the unit. Maybe @Vmax can put this on his tweak to-do list.
Isolation products don’t have universally applicable positive/negative attributes in my experience. What sounds wonderful with one component can be too much of a good thing (or vice versa) with another. I’ve tried brass cones, sorbothane, silicone based footers, carbon fiber cones/bases, Boston Acoustics carbon/tungsten ball feet, Original Stillpoints, Stillpoints SS V1, and IsoAcoustics Gaia. All of those can be further tuned by the type of platform they rest on. Generally, I’ve found you get what you pay for. IsoAcoustics and Stillpoints have far greater ability to affect and tune the sound of a component than any of the less expensive options in my experience. Some components don’t benefit from such footers much at all, if any. Stillpoints SS accentuate upper frequencies too much with my PSA M1200 amps. IsoAcoustic Gaias have the the perfect balance with those amplifiers. On the other hand, Stillpoints SS worked wonderfully with my PSA BHK250 amp. I use Stillpoints SS under my ModWright LS36.5 preamplifier to great positive effect but they don’t do a lot for my PSA BHK preamplifier. I use Stillpoints SS under my Stellar P3 regenerator to good effect as well. Stillpoints SS under my Acoustic Signature Final Tool turntable have a mix of attributes. While they do lower the noise floor of the turntable they also diminish the sense of organic liveliness the table has. As the manufacturer recommends, Stillpoints application should begin with the speakers in my experience. They were like a speaker upgrade when I installed them under my already excellent Tidal Piano Ceras.
I use the PowerBases in my main and headphone systems, and the components have VooDoo Cable Iso-Pods in between them and the PowerBases.
VooDoo Cable Iso-Pods alone get me 85 percent of the way there in my estimation. I have used many different isolation footers from SR, Herbie’s Audio, Iso-Acoustics et al and the Iso-Pods are the best I’ve ever used. Second best: MapleShade TriplePoint Mega Feet
Thanks for the suggestions thus far. In fact I own three Powerbases. One has given up. Through some swapping out, I’ve determined that it has lost its bounce. I contacted PS and they said that they can’t source the parts to fix it. (Though if any DIY-ers have some ideas, I’d be happy to hear.) PS said that it’s not unusual for the Powerbase to just loose its effectiveness over time.
I use Stillpoints Minis under the DAC and PST. Those work great but not great on the power conditioner or amp. The conditioner and amp each sit directly on Powerbases. The faulty Powerbase is under the conditioner.
I’ve been reading about the Isoacoustics Zazen and also the Delos. I’m also considering leaving the faulty Powerbase in place and just adding some OREA pucks under the conditioner.
(Question about the OREA weight limits. Should you choose pucks to approximate the weight of the component as with Vibrapods? i.e. 64lbs capacity Indigos for a 60lbs component. Or should you go with the heavy-duty Bordeaux and forget about it?)
I need reading material while relaxing during cocktails and Sun.
Thanks for this chart. The Indigo and Bordeaux intersect at a curious point, Bordeaux on the way up, Indigo on the way down. Maybe Bordeaux is better for 60-62 lbs of gear.
So I’ve spent the last three weeks experimenting with isolation: all sizes of Isoacoustics, Powerbases with Iso’s and on their own, Iso’s with no Powerbases, and components with no isolation whatsoever. I find myself becoming more partial to the snake-oil argument, i.e. that each arrangement does indeed change and/or accentuate one area of music playback, thereby “de-accentuating” another. And we focus on that new accentuation and say “My, I’ve never heard this from my system before!” And then over time we become numb to that effect, tweak the system is a different way, and say “Now this is what I’ve been looking for all my life!”
But no, that’s too cynical. In each of my experiments, the result is better with isolation than without.
What I can say for sure is that the Powerbase is not defective. After swapping around my three Powerbases under the three component stacks and leaving them alone for a couple of days, I can discern no differences between them. I had based my original observations on the fact that the blu-ray player presented a variated picture based upon where among the three stacks I placed it. That was not a good test.
The differences between the OREAs and the Powerbases is perplexing. And I seemed to get different results whether I used a few of the higher-weight capacity OREAs or several of lower-weight. (And to my consternation, I discovered that they are of different heights so you cannot mix and match, i.e., place a Bordeaux under the power transformer, a Bronze in the back, etc.) To use some well-worn audiophile descriptors, I would say that the Powerbases produce a more refined sound by producing more air around each element of the music. The OREAs on the other hand seem to produce better soundstage depth and seem to accentuate voices more. They might give the music greater weight, but that’s either a good or bad thing depending on the bass in your system.
So in the end, I get the feeling that if I lived with the OREAs for a year, I would be happy when I swapped the Powerbases back in. And then a year later, I’d be happy when I put the OREAs back in.
So, place the Oreas on the PowerBases and the kit on the Oreas.
The best of both worlds (maybe?)!
Interestingly, no. Placing the Oreas on the Powerbase improved on the strengths of the Powerbase, but didn’t change the character more like with the Oreas alone. The Powerbase makes things airy and light, in a good way. I think I like the Powerbase best with instrumental music and the Oreas with vocal music. Maybe switching back and forth would give me a workout.
And despite what I wrote above, I have to admit that the Powerbase is superior. It makes the whole sound clean and clear, and without it things sound smudgy. The Oreas somehow make voices more present and realistic when used by themselves, but it’s difficult to listen this way when you’re used to the other.
I wonder how different the Powerbase would be to just Sorbothane feet like Herbie’s.
Herbie’s are not sorbothane. And the Powerbase has several layers of isolation–it’s different than many other isolation pieces I’ve tried, in a good way.
What are Herbie’s?
Not sorbothane. A “proprietary platinum-cure silicone blend” or so it says on his website.
Yeesh—It’s a visco elastic polymer. And so is sorbothane.
I have had sorbothane and have a number of Herbie’s–his are not sorbothane.