Speaker Bones my current favorite Tweak!

So I have been reading about these isolation devices that Audio Physics/Townshend are using on speakers.
Basically they are speaker isolation platforms they rationalized that decoupling the speakers from the room improves the sound and reduces the amount of distortion produced. Your speakers are coupled to the room thru spikes so the cabinet rings and drains that sound into the floors and walls of the room. So I though yeah right……but further reading got me thinking “well if my speakers are ringing the floor, and ringing the other cabinet when either is playing, that could be a bad thing”. So when you love Audio you will think how could I make these………bingo the hand ball is cheap and when loaded correctly does provide a great deal of isolation. So off to Menard’s for some Maple board, 8 threaded furniture feet, a large hole saw, wood glue, sandpaper and 32 hand balls (from Walmart) ( well I had to do the two REL Subs along with the two speakers 4 balls each speaker/SUB). So about A week later with my spirits lifted by all the enthusiasm that tweaking brings I have 4 unpainted isolation stands (that can be individually leveled) installed in the system. I would say I was not quite ready to believe what I heard there is really something to this. I even measured the results with a vibration meter app that anyone can use on their mobile phone. Several things that are apparent, low level signals are not lost in the background of the room, bass decay is not encased in the boom that actually comes from the subs being coupled to the room and cross-talk between channels is different. I get the sense that the speaker cabinets are not ringing each other with information they each produced which the other is not. OK, so I know everyone say it all at once your nuts!..……yeah, but its a great Bliss that I am lost in and my music is satisfying my soul at an immense level and to me that is why since 1957 it has been a part of my life.

So basically I made some bones out of 1" x 4" x 16" Maple. Two per speaker, then I cut some 3" round maple circles 3 per/corner. Then I cut some 3" MDF circles 1 per corner. I glued the 3 round maple circles to each end of the bone and then drilled a 2-1/8" diameter hole thru each end and cut off the corner of the bones and rounded the edges to meet the flat. Then I tapped the hole made in the center of the 3" MDF circles while cutting them out with the hole saw so that the 4 furniture feet could be mounted on each corner so that once it was glued to the top of the Bones they could be used to level the speakers. By using the bones with the mounting point at the very bottom the speakers CG is very low and even though the balls are very compliant the very low CG makes them more stable than when on the spiked stands. So after the 3" MDF circles are cut they are glued to the top of each bone. Then holes are drilled in the bottom of the bones for mounting to the speakers. At some point I will do a bit of finish sanding and spray a few coats of primer and then black enamel to finish the Bones. I can tell you that it is interesting to hear what they are doing to the sound I was a proponent of spike or coupling the speaker to what every they were siting on even to go as far as using a 3M outdoor sign tape to actually tape the footers to the wood flooring laid on top of the concrete hollow core slabs in my condo. This isolation design I think allows the speaker cabinets to work like intended/be inert and keeps the speaker from exciting the floor which produces unwanted distorted sound. A simple test is to play your stereo loud and listen to the sound produced in the room below, it is very distorted. With the Bones isolation, the vibrations drained from the cabinet into the floor is gone the noise floor in the room is lowered and there is a sense of a bit more loudness. If nothing else your neighbors will appreciate lack of noise while you will have gained a bit of clarity and resolution in your listeningWP_20160912_17_35_47_Pro.jpgWP_20160912_17_36_19_Pro.jpgWP_20160912_17_36_45_Pro.jpgWP_20160912_17_37_27_Pro.jpg room.

Thank you for posting this! Very clever design . . . handballs, who knew?

Nicely done.

Very good! You should sell those.

Nice work. Very intriguing. I have also read about the Townshend Isolation Bars, and have found them interesting. Once heard a demo with the older platforms, but don’t recall the actual assessment. I have read more than one review suggesting they work much better on wood or suspended floors than on concrete slabs. I notice you mentioned toward the end of your post: “A simple test is to play your stereo loud and listen to the sound produced in the room below, it is very distorted.” Have you tested your Bones in a system on concrete & carpet?

That’s interesting, I bet they work well. I use “roller blocks” to isolate mine (Ingress Audio Engineering). . .basically aluminum discs with a ball bearing between them (in my case I’m using a Delrin bearing). Definitely an improvement: micro detail and soundstage depth are more present.

What kind of floor do you have Lon? Are you using the Ingress RollerBlocks under equipment? Do these things wobble on the ball bearing? I took a look at his website, and there are only a few still pics. Trying to grok the theory on these and wondering if they represent a very high-value alternative to Stillpoints.

I have used them under equipment but though many like them. . . they just sort of emasculated the music for me; if your system was dark or bass-heavy these would really cure that; I prefer the VooDoo Cable Iso-Pods I have or the Herbie’s Audio Lab Iso-Cups for equipment.

I have suspended wood floors under a heavy and huge rug. These work great for isolating the speaker in my situation. I also put a Herbie’s Grungebuster dot the same diameter in between these and the speaker plinth. My wife says she can’t tell the difference with the dot there, I think there’s a slight improvement but may be wrong. I bought these years ago when he was making only one Rollerblock. They look just like this:

Thanks Lon. I may try a set.

They look like outriggers that I bought for my old Joseph Audio speakers, nice work