So I was never really satisfied with Mobile Fidelity SACD’s but really like their Ultra Disc One-Step Vinyl even though they use the analog master to DSD.
Then I’m thinking both are essentially using the DSD format so why so different? Is my analog setup far superior to my digital setup? I don’t think so. I would consider them on par.
Then it hit me, why not try my Stillpoints LPI v2 on top of my DAC. I’m not using my turntable to play my vinyl so I’m not taking it away from anything.
I was not prepared for what I was now hearing with just placing the LPI on my DAC. The detail that I was hearing when playing the One-Step but missing on the SACD was now there. Most notably what was a bit soft in the upper frequencies on the SACD was now crisp and detailed. Soundstage width, height and depth were also improved and the bass tightened up.
It wasn’t like I had to really pay great attention to notice if I heard any changes. Even an untrained ear would hear the improvements.
The best thing is that I can use the 1 LPI when listening to either vinyl or digital as I can’t listen to both at the same time.
My only thought is do I go down the rabbit hole and get another LPI for my Aurender and maybe my Preamp…I better stop now.
Anyway, if you already own The Stillpoints LPI give it a try on your DAC or any other equipment. The below is from the Stillpoints website.
“The LPI can also be placed on top of loudspeakers, components, and transformers of tube equipment .”
Interesting. I can’t even get into the idea that dampening external vibrations on top of a unit could rival the results of putting a similar set of isolators under the unit, where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. Do you have Stillpoints under the DAC? I’m not at all questioning your results. There is nothing better than getting more good out of an accessory. This tweak is reminiscent of the current Gold Rush on exotic fuses. Little things that make a difference but the investment requires more and more dinero. Been there, and doing that. Always upgrading my ride on this merry-go-round but still rotating around the same circle.
Apologies if I sound like a jaded audiophile. Life was easier when I didn’t have to always adjust my tinfoil hat. Rant over. Enjoy the bump.
Right - I didn’t like it at all on top of my streamer, amp or DAC. However, I read Roy Gregory’s review of a complete system’s worth of Stillpoints and he strongly recommended starting at the wall and following the flow of power. So I did - say it on my Isotek power strip and lo and behold, success.
The only thing I’ve put on top of an audio component was probably a cup of coffee, and that probably wasn’t clever. The obvious way to avoid cable drag is to get lightweight cables.
One tweak I’ve never read here is to use Dodomat, or whatever the equivalent is in the USA. It’s used for lining cars for soundproofing and vibration damping, many other applications (@aangen 's audio dealer probably uses it on his yacht) and even offers some EMF/RFI protection. A huge box of the stuff costs about $50. You can put it underneath components, or take off the case and stick it to the underside of the lid (the self adhesive can be removed without too much difficulty if you change your mind). The aluminium makes it heat resistant.
Some people like Innuos already put something like this inside their components. Anyway, a cheap way of killing internal vibration for the committed audiophile. Only problem is it is far too cheap.
Exactly what I was thinking, though not to resist cable-tug. Mine even looks like the one on the right. I bought it to keep a closet door from swinging into a subwoofer, but then it turned out the best place for the subwoofer’s sound was a fraction of an inch beyond the door’s path. So it sits in its box behind my record cleaning machine. Might as well get it out and give it a try.
Since I already had my Stillpoints LPI v2 on top of my DAC I started my evaluation with it first. The LPI made a very nice improvement. I moved it around a bit and found the best spot was over the transformer covering about half of it.
The music really came alive when adding the LPI. I never really noticed but gone was a haze that was now lifted. Everything was just better. (Seriously) The soundstage grew in all directions. The higher frequencies like symbols, horns and strings were now clear and crisp. Bass was tighter and better controlled, and the midrange a bit more forward.
After about 1 1/2 hours I moved to the door stopper. The 1st thing I noticed was that the door stopper was heavier. It weights 2.2 lbs. compared to the LPI’s 1.6 lbs.
I placed the door stopper in the exact same place as the LPI. It didn’t take long to figure out that the door stopper was not in the same league as the LPI. I was hoping it would be especially with the added weight to further dampen the vibrations and its low cost but it didn’t. I would have to assume that the LPI’s design was the key. Let’s face it the LPI was designed to tame vibrations by dissipating the heat. The door stop is just that, a weight that holds a door open.
It’s not that the door stopper was bad, it just didn’t measure up to the LPI. The door stopper was still better than having no dampening on top. If I didn’t have or try the LPI I would be very satisfied with the door stopper. In fact I placed one on top of my SACD transport and one on top of my Preamp and that bumped it up another level. I would have loved to try one on top of my Aurender but due to rack space it doesn’t fit.
I did try to use the 3rd door stopper on the DAC with the LPI but more is not better. The soundstage collapsed a bit and some of the sparkle was gone. With that said it appears there is a limit in how much dampening you can do before it starts to work against you.
To sum it up, if you already have the Stillpoints LPI for your vinyl it doesn’t hurt or cost you anything to use it somewhere else as a dampening device. The LPI took my digital listening to another level as it did for my vinyl listening.
I spent a few hours this morning figuring out what the LPI did for places on the middle of my Isotek Polaris power strip. The usual benefits associated with reduced microphony were evident; greeter microdynamic life and leading edge clarity. The more complex the music, the greater the benefit. The soundstage got a smidge deeper, but more importantly didn’t compress with volume or complexity.
I’m now looking for some Ultra Mini and Ultra SS to try out…
I bought LPI V2 for vinyl playback (Yes it does improve) but decided to leave it on top of pre-amp for both vinyl and digital playbacks. Proven Stillpoints works, I later added four Aperture II panels and very happy about the results. Stillpoints asking price is high, but you get what you pay for.