Vibration Management

DaveC

Industry Expert
Nov 16, 2014
2,519
373
83
Thank you for confirming what I suspected. I don't doubt your observations about improved sound quality. However, many speaker manufacturers go to great lengths to secure their drivers in a baffle with what I assume is an effort to reduce micro movements of the drivers. They also tend not to place speakers on springy supports. I have noticed in improvement in the sound of my system when I reinforced and better secured the floorboards beneath my speakers, so that the speakers rock back and forth a bit less.

People use the fact that they move their heads during listening to argue for the relative unimportance of time alignment of drivers or precise laser measurements for speaker positioning and set up. I have found that with precise set up, the sound is more coherent and better coupled to the room. This in turn results in better sound throughout the room allowing one to take his head "out of the vice".

I am intrigued by these reports of air isolation under speakers. I would like to directly compare the results between such isolation and a non-compliant support keeping the speaker height and all other speaker positioning consistent. I strongly suspect that results are dependent upon what frequencies are being affected and how those interest with the room dimensions and overall frequency response of the system. If the room starts to resonate because of speaker movement, the resulting distortion can not be good for sound quality. I suspect driver movement, ie minute shifts in the baffle location, during play can also not be good for sound quality.
Reinforcing your floorboards and the resulting improvement in sound quality probably has nothing to do with the speakers rocking back and forth. My guess would be it has more to do with changing both the Q-factor and resonant frequencies of your floor to a point the effects are less audible.

I know of some people that have had great success from hanging their speakers and there is at least one recent commercial design that hangs the speaker on a frame. I've never tried it but have had good results using IsoAcoustics platforms that allow the speaker to "float" a couple mm. I've found decoupling speakers to always be better vs solidly attaching them to a floor.

As far as the speaker moving as a result of flexible isolation, it's simply not an issue at all. A few grams of speaker cone vs many kilograms of speaker as well as the fact the speaker membranes only move a fraction of a mm at most common SPLs mean it simply isn't an issue in all but the imagination... and this applies to subwoofers too. The actual movement of the speaker cabinet is likely to be small fractions of a mm.
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
5,552
447
83
North Shore of Boston
That's interesting, Dave. I once spoke to Alon Wolf about this and he specifically told me that he does not want his speaker cabinets moving at all relative to the driver movements. I think we were discussing footers like Stillpoints at the time. He said that would smear the sound. I think that is why he started with spikes but has since moved to the constrained layer MPod devices. I would like to compare compliant isolation with non compliant isolation techniques.

People have experimented with IsoDamp under speakers too. It will be interesting to see if Stacore develops an air isolation platform for speakers. I think Townshend has a speaker platform with springs.
 
Likes: Bodhi
Jul 5, 2014
669
19
18
Salem, OR
Several years ago Peter opened this thread based on some comments and claims I made about extreme forms of vibration mgmt. and their potential performance benefits. Since then, I’ve viewed some of the comments in this thread and it seems every time just I find myself biting my lip.

One thing I’ve learned from vibration mgmt. threads like this is that it seems everybody gets to be a vibration expert but me. And with so many confused about the differing vibration mgmt. methods, materials, designs, and even vocabulary between isolation and resonant energy transfer it’s rather frustrating.

If there was any real significance to the multitude of performance claims of these active or passive vibration isolation mgmt. products being the cat’s meow that so many seem to be espousing, well first of all high-end audio would never be the same - at least for those with ears to hear. Or at the very least, it should be relatively easy for anybody possessing a cost-no-object playback system employing any of these active / passive vibration controlling products to generate in-room recordings that could meet or exceed the believability of these in-room recordings I recently made.

But I’m betting it can’t be done. In fact, based on what I think I know about vibrations e.g. their sources, their behaviors, levels of harm induced, etc., I’d venture to say it should be impossible.

But believability being the key word here and by that, if we’re all thinking in terms of the absolute sound and all that encompasses it, hopefully believability need not be defined.





 

Folsom

VIP/Donor
Oct 26, 2015
3,595
289
83
Eastern WA
If you want to convince someone you need to do with and without videos at the exact same volume of the exact same pieces.
 
Jul 5, 2014
669
19
18
Salem, OR
If you want to convince someone you need to do with and without videos at the exact same volume of the exact same pieces.
Hmmmm. There's one maybe 2 I've posted before. As for convincing anybody of anything, I'm not really trying to convince anybody of anything, at least no more than anybody else here. Just stating what I perceive to be fact.

Besides I kinda' like the idea that guys like you will live forever with a universal performance-limiting governor on your playback system. :)
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
8,459
860
113
E. England
Stehno, you were the chap I got into some in depth PM chat with, to end up w no outcome on any product you could offer me? Or am I mistaking you for someone else?

If I'm right, what's the point of yr expression of frustration w the rest of us? If you have a product, let us know about it. If you don't, then don't jibe at the rest of us.

I'm very happy you're happy that your approach works for you. The rest of us are happy w our various Stacores, Tanas etc.
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
5,552
447
83
North Shore of Boston
Hmmmm. There's one maybe 2 I've posted before. As for convincing anybody of anything, I'm not really trying to convince anybody of anything, at least no more than anybody else here. Just stating what I perceive to be fact.

Besides I kinda' like the idea that guys like you will live forever with a universal performance-limiting governor on your playback system. :)
Stehno, thanks for reviving this thread. Although you state that you are not trying to convince anyone of anything, or at least no more than anyone else here, I do see one distinction. When Mike or Marc discuss their active or passive isolation platforms, or Jarek discusses Stacore, or Steve discusses the Critical Mass Center Stage footers, there are specific products which attempt to provide solutions to problems associated with vibration management. These are products that exist, products that we can discuss openly, and products that can be purchased and tried in our systems.

You seem to have some strong ideas about this topic, yet after years of reading your posts, I still don't really know what you are advocating or claiming you have done, except create superior sonics with your system. Like Marc, I am glad that you are happy with your results. However, you seem fairly coy about showing photographs, explaining your ideas in detail, or showing with/without videos to help demonstrate for the rest of us what you are talking about.

Most posters here have ideas about audio in general and their systems in particular. There are testimonials and visitor reports from members who have traveled and heard other systems. They don't seem to try to convince others of their ideas unless there is something concrete and specific to discuss, or they have products that can be actually auditioned. Forgive me, but after all of these years of reading your posts, I still don't really know what you have done or are suggesting the rest of us do with our systems. I happen to think your videos sound pretty good over my iMac computer screen, but so do Tang's videos. His images are visible, and I can see what he system is. You seem to shroud your system in the mystery and claims.

I am curious to learn more, but because I am slow to understand unfamiliar concepts and ideas, and generally not a very technical person, I need clearer explanations and images to understand what you have done and to know whether or not the rest of us can try something similar. If you have nothing to sell, and no interest in telling us clearly what you are doing, then I do not to see the point you are trying to make.
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
8,459
860
113
E. England
Peter, I did my best to get any info from Stehno on his ideas at the time I was considering Stacore. Other than comments I could have been making more fruitful decisions, nothing came of it. And nothing much seems to have changed in the intervening 18 months.
 
Jul 5, 2014
669
19
18
Salem, OR
Stehno, thanks for reviving this thread. Although you state that you are not trying to convince anyone of anything, or at least no more than anyone else here, I do see one distinction. When Mike or Marc discuss their active or passive isolation platforms, or Jarek discusses Stacore, or Steve discusses the Critical Mass Center Stage footers, there are specific products which attempt to provide solutions to problems associated with vibration management. These are products that exist, products that we can discuss openly, and products that can be purchased and tried in our systems.

You seem to have some strong ideas about this topic, yet after years of reading your posts, I still don't really know what you are advocating or claiming you have done, except create superior sonics with your system. Like Marc, I am glad that you are happy with your results. However, you seem fairly coy about showing photographs, explaining your ideas in detail, or showing with/without videos to help demonstrate for the rest of us what you are talking about.

Most posters here have ideas about audio in general and their systems in particular. There are testimonials and visitor reports from members who have traveled and heard other systems. They don't seem to try to convince others of their ideas unless there is something concrete and specific to discuss, or they have products that can be actually auditioned. Forgive me, but after all of these years of reading your posts, I still don't really know what you have done or are suggesting the rest of us do with our systems. I happen to think your videos sound pretty good over my iMac computer screen, but so do Tang's videos. His images are visible, and I can see what he system is. You seem to shroud your system in the mystery and claims.

I am curious to learn more, but because I am slow to understand unfamiliar concepts and ideas, and generally not a very technical person, I need clearer explanations and images to understand what you have done and to know whether or not the rest of us can try something similar. If you have nothing to sell, and no interest in telling us clearly what you are doing, then I do not to see the point you are trying to make.

I suppose you’re right, Peter. What’s the point in my discussing alternative technologies or methods and ensuing performance potentials in this thread you opened as that privilege should be reserved for those having product to sell? Is that what you’re saying?
 

the sound of Tao

Well-Known Member
Jul 18, 2014
1,255
689
113
I’d agree with all the above in Peter’s post... amateurs can be ultimately as on point but many of us quite reasonably give the thoughts of industry professionals who have their gear out there tested in a lasting commercial application generally greater cred as experienced discipline experts.

I’d just suggest Stehno if you really want to have that kind of cred you need to move your creation out of it’s early design phase and into the rigours of the full light of day and give it proper exposure in a commercial environment with much more established and broader validation, open review and transparent testing.
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
5,552
447
83
North Shore of Boston
I suppose you’re right, Peter. What’s the point in my discussing alternative technologies or methods and ensuing performance potentials in this thread you opened as that privilege should be reserved for those having product to sell? Is that what you’re saying?
No, Stehno, that is not what I am saying. I started this thread over two years ago so that those interested could discuss the topic of vibrational energy management in audio devices. In the intervening two years, I have no better understanding of your approach to this topic than I did back then. You seem to have a lot of experience in this area based on what appears to be your rigorous experimentation on your own system.

You criticise active and passive isolation devices, yet you do not clearly explain what your alternative ideas are. We have snippets of images of some rack you designed years ago and tried to market. We have dark videos which sound pretty good, but there is no reference provided as to how your system would sound without your rack solution.

My point is that for a better understanding of this topic, and your ideas specifically, it would help if you were more open to discussing your particular ideas. For some reason, to me at least, your ideas seem shrouded in mystery. These videos are fine, but they only add to the mystery. Stacore, Critical Mass, Teiko Tana, Minus K, and so many other solutions are being openly discussed with images and comparisons that we can all understand. Sure, some of technology is complicated and proprietary, but those advocating for alternative solutions are doing so clearly and openly.

The privilege of discussing this topic is not only reserved for those having products to sell. What product is MikeL or Marc selling? I started this thread because you had begun to discuss your ideas in other threads and I thought a dedicated thread on the subject would be educational. I wanted to hear more from people like you who have strong ideas about this topic based on your own experimentation.

I had once hoped you were more willing and open to discussing those ideas. I started this thread precisely to give you that opportunity. Instead, your rack and the ideas behind it are about as clear as that photo in your avatar and the details about your system in those videos. If you want to remain secretive, that is certainly your right. I just wish you would state that plainly so that we could move on. I am reminded of those teaser trailers meant to build anticipation for a movie or new Apple product. At least in those cases, the mystery is eventually revealed at some point, and people can then actually discuss something.
 
Last edited:
Jul 5, 2014
669
19
18
Salem, OR
I’d agree with all the above in Peter’s post... amateurs can be ultimately as on point but many of us quite reasonably give the thoughts of industry professionals who have their gear out there tested in a lasting commercial application generally greater cred as experienced discipline experts.
Amateur? Why does that sound so, so degrading in of all places a high-end audio forum? :)

“Industry professionals who have their gear tested in a lasting commercial application…?” Yeah, I know. Especially if John Atkinson gave the product an A+ rating, right?

I appreciate what you’re saying but if you’re going to use the word amateur, perhaps you should define exactly what you mean by its use.
  1. Surely you must realize that an overwhelming majority of industry participants couldn’t punch their way out of a musical bag if their lives depended on it. That includes some-to-many enthusiasts (aka amateurs) but also some-to-many reviewers, distributors, editors, dealers, and manufacturers (aka professionals). So if listening skills have anything to do with your definition of amateur, I’d venture we could include 75-90% of ALL high-end audio participants in the amateur category.
  2. Or if your definition of amateur includes those having the ability to assemble at least once a playback system that truly approaches the absolute sound in most every way regardless recording after recording regardless of genre and format, I venture we could include perhaps 99.999% of ALL high-end audio participants in the amateur category.
  3. Or if your definition of amateur is intended to exclude those who receive no revenue from product or publication sales, I’d like to refer you back to #1 and #2.
That said, just who’s endorsement might I seek to obtain credibility? If so, what might that credibility be worth? Based on the above truths, if I had 1000 audiophiles ranting to others they’ve auditioned my designs and substantiate everything I claim, has my credibility really changed? Hint. See #1 and #2 above.

Upon visiting an exhibiting room at CES 2014 John Atkinson of Stereophile claimed a pair of Vandersteen Model 7A speakers were “musically perfect…, across the board.” And many gobbled it up. Just one year later Atkinson claiming listening to MQA format recordings is the equivalent to experiencing a new birth. And many gobbled it up. Robert Harley was even worse regarding his outlandish claims about MQA performance than Atkinson, if that’s even possible.

We’ve got Bob Stuart of MQA claiming since 2014 that for the first time ever listeners can hear exactly what the engineers heard in the recording studio so long as the little MQA light illuminates. And many gobbled it up.

I could go on but won’t. These are just a few of the industry’s so-called leaders. These leaders have exposure with many lapping up everything they say but do they have true credibility? And you’d only be fooling yourself if you think things get much better as you work your way down the list.

That’s not to say there are not good well-intentioned people with reasonably well-trained ears and/or viable product, because there are. But I’ve heard it said, it’s so bad we can’t discern the legitimate from the illegitimate without a program. This is especially true in high-end audio forums where it’s so easy for anybody to play paper tiger with words only.

And frankly, even among the far fewer more knowledgeable well-intentioned types, I’m unaware of any of them able to come even remotely close to assembling a playback system generating the level of musicality I’m able to.

So when you talk about amateur status and credibility in any high-end audio forum, I have great difficulty understanding what you really mean. Especially because on its face, your comments make sense. But if we just pull back the industry covers just a tad, regrettably your comments are little more than pie-in-the-sky verbiage.

I’d just suggest Stehno if you really want to have that kind of cred you need to move your creation out of it’s early design phase and into the rigours of the full light of day and give it proper exposure in a commercial environment with much more established and broader validation, open review and transparent testing.
As for moving my design out of its early design phase, well actually I’d say it’s in or near its advanced stage phase at this juncture. Back in 2010-2011, I tried taking my product to market and failed so I pulled down the tent in 2012 for various reasons including financial.

Here’s just one blurb taken from Hong Kong Audio Exotics’ website on the very first day before things could even start to settle in.

AE JLam quote.jpg

Audio Exotics eventually had one of my products for each of their $500k showroom systems and elsewhere on their website they called it their greatest find in recent years. I also exclusively licensed a small product to a component mfg’er they sold for $159 and of all the feedback they sent back to me (maybe 10 or 15), the most common response was this had to be the best kept secret in the industry. That was when my technology / design was in its infancy. Today, as I passively continue my experimentations, I’d venture my current designs are 3 to 4 times the performance levels they were then and as far as I can tell there’s no end in sight.

In fact, my VMPS speakers are not mounted sufficiently to the sub-flooring system as their designer Brian Cheney didn’t believe in it. But I’m confident that if I ever got around to designing an appropriate base system that anchors the 240 lbs. speakers to the subflooring that my system’s overall performance would improve by 10-15%.

IOW, I don't think I'm really seeking credibility as some might suspect or at the very least I gave up on that a long time ago. I’m really only trying to say there’s a better more efficient way to remove the universal performance-limiting governor that plagues and absolutely cripples the accuracy and precision of every last sensitive component until now so that they can only perform at their base performance levels.

And when it comes to various forms of vibration mgmt., and the wide-spread confusion routinely expressed between vibration’s sources and behaviors, methodologies, designs, materials, and even the verbiage, whatever weak links there are remaining in high-end audio, it seems vibration mgmt. will forever reign supreme. At least from a performance robbing perspective.

Nevertheless, I do appreciate your comments but regrettably I don't see them as helpful in my case anyway.
 
Jul 5, 2014
669
19
18
Salem, OR
I stopped reading that post, and I'm going to say... Put the work in, do comparisons, and test with other equipment than your own. Long posts aren't going to help anything.
You didn't read it? That's a shame because I think I mentioned you at least 3 times.
 

Taiko Audio

Industry Expert
Feb 10, 2017
562
324
63
The Netherlands
taikoaudio.com
You didn't read it? That's a shame because I think I mentioned you at least 3 times.
Hi John,

We have exchanged emails on this without results, I'll go on "public record" and offer you to build it and market it for you , we probably have all the needed production facilities here. The intellectual rights would be yours of course. I'm sure we could agree on a licensing model.
 
Likes: Folsom

the sound of Tao

Well-Known Member
Jul 18, 2014
1,255
689
113
Amateur? Why does that sound so, so degrading in of all places a high-end audio forum? :)

“Industry professionals who have their gear tested in a lasting commercial application…?” Yeah, I know. Especially if John Atkinson gave the product an A+ rating, right?

I appreciate what you’re saying but if you’re going to use the word amateur, perhaps you should define exactly what you mean by its use.
  1. Surely you must realize that an overwhelming majority of industry participants couldn’t punch their way out of a musical bag if their lives depended on it. That includes some-to-many enthusiasts (aka amateurs) but also some-to-many reviewers, distributors, editors, dealers, and manufacturers (aka professionals). So if listening skills have anything to do with your definition of amateur, I’d venture we could include 75-90% of ALL high-end audio participants in the amateur category.
  2. Or if your definition of amateur includes those having the ability to assemble at least once a playback system that truly approaches the absolute sound in most every way regardless recording after recording regardless of genre and format, I venture we could include perhaps 99.999% of ALL high-end audio participants in the amateur category.
  3. Or if your definition of amateur is intended to exclude those who receive no revenue from product or publication sales, I’d like to refer you back to #1 and #2.
That said, just who’s endorsement might I seek to obtain credibility? If so, what might that credibility be worth? Based on the above truths, if I had 1000 audiophiles ranting to others they’ve auditioned my designs and substantiate everything I claim, has my credibility really changed? Hint. See #1 and #2 above.

Upon visiting an exhibiting room at CES 2014 John Atkinson of Stereophile claimed a pair of Vandersteen Model 7A speakers were “musically perfect…, across the board.” And many gobbled it up. Just one year later Atkinson claiming listening to MQA format recordings is the equivalent to experiencing a new birth. And many gobbled it up. Robert Harley was even worse regarding his outlandish claims about MQA performance than Atkinson, if that’s even possible.

We’ve got Bob Stuart of MQA claiming since 2014 that for the first time ever listeners can hear exactly what the engineers heard in the recording studio so long as the little MQA light illuminates. And many gobbled it up.

I could go on but won’t. These are just a few of the industry’s so-called leaders. These leaders have exposure with many lapping up everything they say but do they have true credibility? And you’d only be fooling yourself if you think things get much better as you work your way down the list.

That’s not to say there are not good well-intentioned people with reasonably well-trained ears and/or viable product, because there are. But I’ve heard it said, it’s so bad we can’t discern the legitimate from the illegitimate without a program. This is especially true in high-end audio forums where it’s so easy for anybody to play paper tiger with words only.

And frankly, even among the far fewer more knowledgeable well-intentioned types, I’m unaware of any of them able to come even remotely close to assembling a playback system generating the level of musicality I’m able to.

So when you talk about amateur status and credibility in any high-end audio forum, I have great difficulty understanding what you really mean. Especially because on its face, your comments make sense. But if we just pull back the industry covers just a tad, regrettably your comments are little more than pie-in-the-sky verbiage.



As for moving my design out of its early design phase, well actually I’d say it’s in or near its advanced stage phase at this juncture. Back in 2010-2011, I tried taking my product to market and failed so I pulled down the tent in 2012 for various reasons including financial.

Here’s just one blurb taken from Hong Kong Audio Exotics’ website on the very first day before things could even start to settle in.

View attachment 53909

Audio Exotics eventually had one of my products for each of their $500k showroom systems and elsewhere on their website they called it their greatest find in recent years. I also exclusively licensed a small product to a component mfg’er they sold for $159 and of all the feedback they sent back to me (maybe 10 or 15), the most common response was this had to be the best kept secret in the industry. That was when my technology / design was in its infancy. Today, as I passively continue my experimentations, I’d venture my current designs are 3 to 4 times the performance levels they were then and as far as I can tell there’s no end in sight.

In fact, my VMPS speakers are not mounted sufficiently to the sub-flooring system as their designer Brian Cheney didn’t believe in it. But I’m confident that if I ever got around to designing an appropriate base system that anchors the 240 lbs. speakers to the subflooring that my system’s overall performance would improve by 10-15%.

IOW, I don't think I'm really seeking credibility as some might suspect or at the very least I gave up on that a long time ago. I’m really only trying to say there’s a better more efficient way to remove the universal performance-limiting governor that plagues and absolutely cripples the accuracy and precision of every last sensitive component until now so that they can only perform at their base performance levels.

And when it comes to various forms of vibration mgmt., and the wide-spread confusion routinely expressed between vibration’s sources and behaviors, methodologies, designs, materials, and even the verbiage, whatever weak links there are remaining in high-end audio, it seems vibration mgmt. will forever reign supreme. At least from a performance robbing perspective.

Nevertheless, I do appreciate your comments but regrettably I don't see them as helpful in my case anyway.
Sigh... my comment on amateur is not a point demeaning amateurs... I am happily one myself in the field of audio.

I was just pointing out that there is a level of credibility that specifically comes from lasting industry success and if you want that specific type of cred you would need to be open with your design, get it externally more broadly reviewed etc etc and bring it to the market and let other people be the judge of how fabulous it might be... largely everything I said in my post.

I gave up being interested in your product ages ago like others because it appears to become nothing more than an obscure phantom... and I don’t necessarily think that the outrageous hubris of your claims of absolute superiority in these areas including your capacity at putting together a musical system are being at all in any way supported with sufficient evidence... and yes I’ve listened to some of your videos.
 
Last edited:

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
8,459
860
113
E. England
No disrespect Stehno, but you'll find guys like Tao and me are totally up for considering new gear, so you have no right criticising him.

I'm not sure what you want us to say in response to you. You unambiguously criticise other approaches as getting nowhere near to what your vibration mediating achieves. Indeed, you're pretty dismissive of said systems. As far as suggesting strongly purchasers of commercially available systems are wasting their cash.

And what do you have to offer? Something that you sold several years ago via Audio Exotics. But not now. Snippets of info. Nothing much else.

You won't find a bunch of people more open to being wowed in this area as frequent this forum.

But you come across as someone who has not been able to bring a maybe exemplary system to commercial fruition, and is maybe understandably bitter about those approaches that are selling, often for big bucks.

I did give you ample opportunity to get into dialog privately w me, but nothing came of it. Indeed you were as obtuse w me personally as you are w the forum at large publically.

So we don't doubt you may have a system that trumps all. But if it's n/a, you won't offer DIY advice, all the while happy to be snarky to those of us who've gone w systems that actually exist, just think how this comes across.
 
Last edited:
Jul 5, 2014
669
19
18
Salem, OR
Hi John,

We have exchanged emails on this without results, I'll go on "public record" and offer you to build it and market it for you , we probably have all the needed production facilities here. The intellectual rights would be yours of course. I'm sure we could agree on a licensing model.
Hi, Emile. You have yourself a deal. Please email me with how you'd like to proceed, e.g. licensing model, next steps, etc.
 

Members online

About us

  • What’s Best Forum is THE forum for high end audio, product reviews, advice and sharing experiences on the best of everything else. A place where audiophiles and audio companies discuss existing and new audio products, music servers, music streamers and computer audio, digital to audio convertors (DACS), turntables, phono stages, cartridges, reel to reel, speakers, headphones, tube amplifiers and solid state amplification. Founded in 2010 What's Best Forum invites intelligent and courteous people of all interests and backgrounds to describe and discuss the best of everything. From beginners to life-long hobbyists to industry professionals we enjoy learning about new things and meeting new people and participating in spirited debates.

Quick Navigation

User Menu

Steve Williams
Site Founder | Site Owner | Administrator
Ron Resnick
Site Co-Owner | Administrator
Julian (The Fixer)
Website Build | Marketing Managersing