I am auditioning the Stillpoints Ultra Mini vibration isolation product. Note that I have never tried any vibration isolation product before so I had no preconceived notion of what it can or cannot do. The first thing I did was put 4 under the P3. The improvement was subtle though also noticeable. The main things I noticed right away was more low level detail and clarity (it seemed like a veil was lifted). The two other things I noticed are a bit more difficult to explain. First, it seems the pace of the music changed as well, slowing down a bit with notes sustaining just a bit longer. For whatever reason, this seemed to add an additional sense of realism to the music to me. The second observation sounds contradictory. The sound smoothed out a bit yet at the same time it didn’t seem to soften the initial attack of notes. I would dare say the sound even warmed up a bit with the midrange getting a bit more emphasis which is fine with me since I actually prefer that. Anyway, I will continue to listen but I am very pleased with what I hear, enough so that I don’t even want to remove Stillpoint Ultra Minis and try them on my other components.
I have Ultra 5’s under my main L/R speakers, Ultra SS + ultra bases on surround speakers, ultra mini in my center channel/Cable DVR box/Pioneer SC-09TX reference receiver, and will be soon adding the Ultra 5’s to my main L/R amp and preamp on the stereo portion. As I added each level what you discovered is there in spades. The Ultra 5’s are just in a league all their own. Amazing leap forward in what the U/M gives you a more than just small taste. Start with your speakers and work backwards. I would add them there next and go back as the speakers need the them the most. Stillpoints recommends this and I see why as it allows one to hear back into the system and the improvements the Stillpoints make farther up the chain much more obvious. They are by far the best isolation product I have yet used and blew my previous reference Aurios Pro + coupling bearings out of the water. Robert Harley went nuts over them and so have I. Keep up adding them and you’ll hear what they can do to a full system. Can’t wait to finish mine off but will be some time to do the last level PWT/D and BD player. Enjoy.
oddeophile said: . . . blew my previous reference Aurios Pro + coupling bearings out of the water.
As you know, I am very impressed with the Aurios.
@oddeophile, I am still on the fence about using the Stillpoints under my speakers. I am trying to understand the theory and advantages between coupling vs isolation, especially for lighter (<100lb) monitors. Perhaps I am totally wrong but I think coupling makes more sense with monitors since because of their light weight they would tend to vibrate more as the drivers operate. However, they are also more susceptible to external vibrations which would favor isolation. I guess ultimately I should let my ears make the decisions but I just like to understand the theory first. Besides, gotta save my pennies for the Ultras needed for my speakers. Btw, do you use 3 or 4?
Check with Stillpoints. John M is superb at answering questions. Stillpoints basic strategy for implmementation of these is to start with speakers and work backwards. I see why now after installing these first on speakers - you much more clearly hear what happens farther up the chain when doing so. I can say, after using several types of coupling vs. isolation devices, the Stillpoints are by far the most impressive I have yet heard. The 5’s are freaking amazing and also freaking expensive. But worth the price of admission if you can afford it - I can barely do so. Coupling does exactly what it says it does, it couples the device to the room, therefore, making it susceptible to the rooms vibrations and resonance points. Isolation does exactly what it says it does. Stillpoints drain those vibrations and turn them into heat up to nano frequcencies, if I recall. All I know is, when I removed the Aurios Pros and installed the 5’s using threaded inserts at all four corners of the speakers, they blew my mind completely.
Your question of 3 vs. 4 is very appropo. In fact, Stillpoints always recommends 4 over three if you can afford it and have room. the 4th U/M under my cable DVR box and in my center channel were VERY noticeable. Both visually and audibly in my Cable DVR box and very audibly in terms of my center channel (which BTW was previously also on Aurios Pro’s). 4 is always the way to go.
BTW, I totally blanked out and forgot to state I also have 4 Ultra SS with Ultra Bases under both of my P10’s with superb results. Man, oh, man! But, I recommend as does Stillpoints - start with speakers and work your way in from both ends - speakers, then power regeneration (for us PP users), etc. You’ll be VERY glad you did.
Best place to buy these is either from Music Direct or Galen Carol Audio. Both superb to work with and I have worked with both for many years. Galen and I go way back into the mid 1990’s).
Elk - if you love the Aurios you gonna go haywire over the Stillpoints.
P.S. Contact John M at Stillpoints. A true gentlemen and genuine wonderful guy.
@oddeophile, do you mind me asking what your associated gear is (speaker, amps, etc)?
tboooe said: Note that I have never tried any vibration isolation product before so I had no preconceived notion of what it can or cannot do
I'd suggest checking out the various products from Herbie's Audio Lab, http://herbiesaudiolab.net/. I use many of them in my system. Everything I've bought has made an audible difference and the cost is the very reasonable -- plus, if you don't like 'em, you just send 'em back for a refund, no questions asked. I don't mean to knock Stillpoints, which are good; I could buy one set of those but never afford to treat my whole system like I can with his stuff. And he will advise you by email about what might work best in your system. If you want more details email me.
oddeophile said: Elk - if you love the Aurios you gonna go haywire over the Stillpoints.
Say its not so! :)
oddeophile said: Galen Carol Audio.
Galen is wonderful!
Another vote for Herbie’s Audio Lab. I never can get enough of these for my systems (and now I’m outfitting my Dad’s stereo with them as well, slowly but surely.)
Let’s hear it for Herbie’s! His stuff always sounds great. He has lots of cool stuff. Great return policy. All stuff made in USA.
Herbies are excellent, no doubt about it. Stillpoints are the pinnacle, also all made in the USA. I say buy USA whenever one possibly can. If you can not afford Stillpoints, Herbies is a super way to go. Stillpoints engineering, fit and finish are in a class all by themselves. The Ultra 5 has to be seen and heard (and held) to be believed what they will do for your speakers, especially, and source/amps.
I still have a few unopened boxes of the original StillPoints that he sent me when he first moved to his new company. [ must be over 10 years ago]
I had completely forgotten about them.
I will take a few pics and post them as I do have one open box as well.
Wow, should sell them on Audiogon or something. Even the new Ultra Mini’s are on the order of 10 X improvement over the originals per Stillpoints. And, no cabinet marking as the originals could do. Ultra 5’s will redefine your definition of isolation. That is, if you have the bucks to shell out. Spoilers, so be aware. Don’t try 'em unless you can afford 'em.
I am so impressed with the Minis that I have some Ultra SS coming my way for audition. I am hoping I don’t hear a difference. I can barely afford the Minis!
The Stillpoints are based on a mature industrial technology and I’m sure are wonderful based on my experience with Aurios.
For those that like Herbie’s, what products do you like and where do you use them (source, amplification, speakers)? They are reasonably priced and well worth trying. What do you recommend?
I use Iso-Cups under amps and sources and would under preamps except in my layout and with AC-12 and AC-10 power cords they aren’t applicable, so I use Tall Tenderfeet under those. (Under my speakers I use Ingress Audio Engineering roller blocks). I also use Grungebuster dots under 4" maple platforms and the Skylan stands I use. I use Tall Tenderfeet under my Rega RP3 as well, I find they work better in that application than the Iso-Cups.
PS: I use “Deep Moss” gemstone roller balls in my Iso-Cups.
Has anyone compared the tenderfeet to isocups (with hardball). I’m tempted to get some isocups with hardballs for my tube amp, but maybe stick with the tenderfeet on the PWD II and P10.
Just read that back to myself. Good thing it’s written on an audiophile forum site!
I haven’t tried the hardballs but have the new bases (with the Deep Moss gemstones) and also earlier Iso-Cups with the “High End Base” . . . I’ve compared the Iso-Cups to Tenderfeet on the PWT and PWD and prefer the Iso-Cups. I prefer them everywhere, I just am not able to use them on my two preamps and phono preamp because the AC-12 and AC-10 power cords pull on them; I use Tenderfeet on these.
Dammit. I couldn’t leave well enough alone. I just got the Ultra SSs and they are a big improvement over the Minis. The best way to describe it is that everything is more precise. Notes are more definitive with very defined and distinct attack and decay. Bass is more defined as well. When I put another set under my integrated amp, I got more clarity and what seemed like a natural smoothness and warmth. Its hard to describe because the attack and dynamics are still there. The soundstage also got wider and the differing depths of instruments in the soundstage got a bit easier to discern. Overall, i feel like I am hearing more precisely what is on the recording, making music sound more real. Now I need to come up with the funds to get these 2 sets of Ultra SSs. Next up will try these under my speakers. I hope for my wallets sake I don’t hear any improvement.