Vibration Management

thedudeabides

Well-Known Member
Jan 16, 2011
1,278
41
48
Alto, NM
#21
Thedudeabides, that is an interesting rack. Thanks for sharing the photograph. I can conceptualize how both internal and external vibrations can be absorbed by the rack, but where do these vibrations go? What keeps vibrations from one component from entering another component? Do the vibrations entering the rack from the floor, the air, or from the components themselves have a path out into the floor and away from the components or are the vibrations just resonating the whole assembly in a kind of loop?

What are the shelves made of? Perhaps they act as a sink to absorb the vibrations from the components once they are drawn out through the clamping.

Can you describe how the sound changed when you switched to this rack?
Peter,

Please note that the CDP and pre are isolated between two individual shelves. The shelves are made of high density MDF (1-1/2" thick) and probably weigh 20 lbs. each. Total rack weight is north of 100 lbs. Could not "clamp" the amp due to ventilation issues.

The Mapleshade brass cones are, per Pierre, meant to drain internal vibrations. The shelves are meant to absorb external vibrations.

Sonically, it does what most good racks do. Significant noise reduction, better imaging, dimensionality, etc.

Given the price for SOTA racks and given the price I paid ($750 if I recall correctly), I consider it a really effective device for minimal dollars. One item I will never sell.

Best.
 

Stacore

Industry Expert
Feb 23, 2017
516
88
28
Gdańsk, Poland
stacore.pl
#22
thedudeabide, interesting thanks for posting. Never experimented with such clamping, but I'd do it differently - clamping the device with the whole shelf surface. Can you try it, removing those cones? Whats the shelf material? Looks some artificial stone

Cheers,
 

cjf

Member
Nov 19, 2012
332
3
18
#24
Look at the top of the preamplfier.
I noticed that as well but I only see one of them. Unless the component chassis is very thick/rigid I don't see how this technique would being very effective on devices with chassis that are less rigid. Four cones (one at each corner) maybe but even then that leaves a lot of surface area untouched in the middle.

I think a good example of this is the Pass Labs Amp at the bottom. The top and bottom plates of those amps chassis is quite lively/thin when you wrap them with a knuckle so I don't see how you could attempt to apply the forces mentioned earlier to a small cone base without the chassis top or bottom plate deforming.
 

thedudeabides

Well-Known Member
Jan 16, 2011
1,278
41
48
Alto, NM
#25
Hi cjf,

I don't clamp the amp so your comments are inaccurate and without basis.

I do otherwise find your comments, and this has nothing to do with you personally but as a "forum wide" observation, another example of the mental masturbation exchanges that are, IMO, common on this forum. :cool:
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
5,550
445
83
North Shore of Boston
#26
Peter,

Please note that the CDP and pre are isolated between two individual shelves. The shelves are made of high density MDF (1-1/2" thick) and probably weigh 20 lbs. each. Total rack weight is north of 100 lbs. Could not "clamp" the amp due to ventilation issues.

The Mapleshade brass cones are, per Pierre, meant to drain internal vibrations. The shelves are meant to absorb external vibrations.

Sonically, it does what most good racks do. Significant noise reduction, better imaging, dimensionality, etc.

Given the price for SOTA racks and given the price I paid ($750 if I recall correctly), I consider it a really effective device for minimal dollars. One item I will never sell.

Best.
Thanks for explaining more about what seems to be a fairly unique rack solution. So, if I understand you correctly, the cones under pressure drain internally generated vibrations away from the components and into the mdf shelves which are designed to absorb those vibrations and prevent them from circulating around the rack.

My electronics are all from Pass Labs. Indeed, they do need lots of space for ventilation, especially the Class A amps.
 
May 30, 2010
15,298
587
113
Portugal
#27
Thanks for explaining more about what seems to be a fairly unique rack solution. So, if I understand you correctly, the cones under pressure drain internally generated vibrations away from the components and into the mdf shelves which are designed to absorb those vibrations and prevent them from circulating around the rack.

My electronics are all from Pass Labs. Indeed, they do need lots of space for ventilation, especially the Class A amps.
IMHO the situation is much more complex than you suggest. The cones are changing the vibrating properties of the top plates and creating different paths at different frequencies. These devices will change the sound - wether they improve or reduce sound quality depends on the equipment. I have no doubt that some designers tune the mechanical properties of their equipment for a certain sound - or perhaps they do the reverse, tune and pick the components for a case structure. Owners can surely change it at their own risk.

DIY people and people carrying modifications can easily get all kinds of dampening materials. I have seen good equipment that becomes boring and sounds unbalanced just because their owners extensively damped everything - boxes, active and passive components, including fuses, with sticky materials.
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,572
668
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#28
IMHO the situation is much more complex than you suggest. The cones are changing the vibrating properties of the top plates and creating different paths at different frequencies. These devices will change the sound - wether they improve or reduce sound quality depends on the equipment. I have no doubt that some designers tune the mechanical properties of their equipment for a certain sound - or perhaps they do the reverse, tune and pick the components for a case structure. Owners can surely change it at their own risk.

DIY people and people carrying modifications can easily get all kinds of dampening materials. I have seen good equipment that becomes boring and sounds unbalanced just because their owners extensively damped everything - boxes, active and passive components, including fuses, with sticky materials.
+1.

the 800 pound gorilla in the room is that gear tuning and room tuning is never about applying any particular process blindly. it's about having a clear sonic target that guides you (or trusting someone who does), and then using any tools you can think of to attain that......which could mean any damn thing.

religious techie dogma is dangerous to musical bliss......but unfortunately seems to many times be the lifeblood of some folks. bless their heart if it brings them happiness cuz that is all that matters.

YMMV, just my 2 cents, and all that.
 

DaveC

Industry Expert
Nov 16, 2014
2,516
366
83
#29
IMHO the situation is much more complex than you suggest. The cones are changing the vibrating properties of the top plates and creating different paths at different frequencies. These devices will change the sound - wether they improve or reduce sound quality depends on the equipment. I have no doubt that some designers tune the mechanical properties of their equipment for a certain sound - or perhaps they do the reverse, tune and pick the components for a case structure. Owners can surely change it at their own risk.

DIY people and people carrying modifications can easily get all kinds of dampening materials. I have seen good equipment that becomes boring and sounds unbalanced just because their owners extensively damped everything - boxes, active and passive components, including fuses, with sticky materials.
Yeah, you can totally kill the sound by damping components using soft viscoelastic material like sorbothane, blu-tack, etc. Harder materials seem to work much better but not always. I have some friends and have read a lot about people preferring star sound platforms over any sort of isolation they have tried:

http://www.audiopoints.com/Sistrum.php

This is tough to understand for me, as afaik the mechanical coupling of spikes totally depends on the material of the spike and what it's resting on so I don't get how you achieve consistent results, but people seem to consistently love their platforms...

Also, I do think speakers and electronics need totally different approaches, for me a system that has a lot of float horizontally works best for speakers, as close as you can come to levitating them... IMO IsoAcoustics has a really nice system for speakers/subs. I have heard positive comments using them as amp stands too but haven't tried it yet. It seems this would overdamp most electronics but that hasn't been the result from those who have tried it so it may be different vs a soft visco material. It could be that it's hysterisis loop almost completely absorbs whatever vibration it encounters, idk.

http://www.isoacoustics.com/
 
Dec 13, 2010
253
1
18
#30
PeterA said:
So, if I understand you correctly, the cones under pressure drain internally generated vibrations away from the components and into the mdf shelves which are designed to absorb those vibrations and prevent them from circulating around the rack.
Given the fact that cones work as (base-towards-point) amplitude amplifiers , for which reason they are used in tools using vibratory energy for destructive purposes, using cones to "drain"vibrations away from a component on first sight doesn't look like the best of ideas.

Klaus
 

the sound of Tao

Well-Known Member
Jul 18, 2014
1,246
685
113
#31
In the end maybe it's about deciding more about what are the good vibrations rather than just minimising all vibrations. The dead boring and lifeless perfectly non-vibrating setup is no more real or useful than the dead flat perfect acoustic room.

It's the sum of the experience that really matters. So changing components or even components inside of components within a system is realistically all just about us tuning the sound. Managing the energy of the system whether it is electrical or mechanical to modify our experience is always just a choice whether you use measurement or listening or both to evaluate the effect of the change.

If the purpose is to make good sounds or the purpose is to make good music then how many good vibrations we ultimately can enjoy is always going to be up to us.

Resonance control can be great or it can also be a great way to stuff up a perfectly good system at times.

Application is everything. No component is perfect so we are always playing with the sum of all imperfection. Every system will just respond differently and that likely makes any universal answer to vibration management almost impossible here.
 

cjf

Member
Nov 19, 2012
332
3
18
#32
Hi cjf,

I don't clamp the amp so your comments are inaccurate and without basis.

I do otherwise find your comments, and this has nothing to do with you personally but as a "forum wide" observation, another example of the mental masturbation exchanges that are, IMO, common on this forum. :cool:
I see you've somehow managed to take my comments to heart. My reference to the Pass Labs amp was for the purposes of an example of a component who's top and bottom plates are on the thin side. Unfortunately the "mental masturbation" you mention is a necessary process when discussing complex issues such as vibration management. If you don't care to read/discuss how/why they do or don't work then more power to you.
 

thedudeabides

Well-Known Member
Jan 16, 2011
1,278
41
48
Alto, NM
#33
I see you've somehow managed to take my comments to heart. My reference to the Pass Labs amp was for the purposes of an example of a component who's top and bottom plates are on the thin side. Unfortunately the "mental masturbation" you mention is a necessary process when discussing complex issues such as vibration management. If you don't care to read/discuss how/why they do or don't work then more power to you.
Thank you for your honest, respectful response. And you are correct, I'm not at all concerned about the top and bottom plates of Pass Labs amps and its impact on vibration control.

That will be for others to discuss and dissect the implications thereof if they so desire.

FYI, the cones are on the outer edges of the bottom plate so I simply cannot see or understand the plates impacts.

:cool:
 
Jul 5, 2014
669
19
18
Salem, OR
#35
i respect that Stehno likes extreme mass loading. but i disagree that his preference proves anything at all. it's simply one approach where he prefers what he did to other alternatives he tried. mass loading can only change the resonate frequency of vibrations, it does not eliminate or drain them.....in fact they can be 'held' and reflect with additional mass as that mass and it's inertia sets up oscillations.

and excuse me if my post here has missed the mark of the point you are making Peter.

i would challenge Stehno to compare his extreme mass loading to the best active isolation approach. until he goes down that road his broad view is missing an important comparator.

and mass loading the top of a chassis proves nothing about whether the mass loaded gear will sound better sitting on a grounded rack or active or passive isolation. some chassis do benefit from some sort of treatment to the top or inside. what they sit on is another matter. depending on how much mass is loaded on top of gear, it can affect what sort of isolation might work. common sense must be applied. if you use 300 pounds of mass loading on top of gear then trying to isolate/decouple that somehow gets challenging.....but it can be done.

further; between extreme mass loading and ultimate active isolation we have an almost infinite amount of variations of mass loading to variations in passive isolation or combinations of both where it's about execution and preference.

i would agree that for a DIY'r; mass loading can be a cheaper approach. it is cheap (and ugly) to add bricks on top of gear. again, that is separate from which approach works better.

as far as what a circuit requires for ultimate performance we turn to science/industry. and for their most delicate processes they mostly take the resonance isolation approach. not extreme mass loading.

reproducing music is not building a bridge abutment, it's capturing and relating the delicate nuances of music.

and generally mass loading will change the tonal nature of gear compared to decoupling/isolation, many times deadening the sound compared to it's designed intended tonal balance. but each situation is different.

in my system i have examples of extreme mass loading (3000 pounds of speakers), and active isolation for most electronics and tt. i do mass load the top of some gear with Walker lead filled pucks that have a resonate chassis, but still passively isolate that gear below it. the proof is in the listening.

Stehno is just down the road in Oregon, he is welcome to drive up and visit my room to hear for himself.
This is interesting, Mike, as I had no idea you too were a vibration mgmt. expert. Then again, it seems these days everybody here gets to be a vibration mgmt. expert but me. Perhaps you should take a stab at answering Peter’s questions. Maybe your responses will make more sense than my own.

It’s funny that you speak as though you are intimately familiar with the vibration controlling methodology I adhere to and my designs and executions almost as though you’ve had firsthand experience with the methodology and with my design. Yet I don’t think I can agree with even a single thing you’ve said in your context here. How can that be?

By your own words you adhere to the traditional vibration isolation methodology and recently mentioned that isolation-based racks are a tweak/accessory based on their rather dismal performance with all historical evidence to substantiate your claim. You also mention that you have since advanced to active isolation. I on the other hand, based on isolation's historically dismal performance record and given what I consider reasonable explanations how isolation works against mechanical enery's natural behavior and why isolation is just a grotesquely inferior methodology and hence, could never use the word isolation in a positive sense. I also claim to invoke a little-known methodology that seems to work hand-in-hand with mechanical energy’s natural behaviors. Moreover, I've taken those principles to the extreme with resulting extreme improvements unlike anything I thought possible and with little more than a trickle of evidence to substantiate my claims. IOW, as meticulous as you are about your system and as musical as it may be compared to other systems, you introduce nothing extraordinary. Yet, you invite me to drive 500 miles round trip to hear your system that employs essentially the same ol’, same ol'? That makes no sense to me.

Moreover, I also claim (well, actually I haven’t publicized it yet but will now) that a superior and extreme racking system following a diametrically-opposed and vastly superior vibration-controlling methodology can demonstrate among numerous other things that it is our components that are the real tweaks and accessories. So much so, that for anyone who puts performance above all else, should a component not mate well with the rack (the foundation), then it is the component that must be replaced.

This is not to slight superior components in the least, as I’m all for component and speaker upgrades. But I’m not aware of a component or speaker or room upgrade, nor any combination thereof in existence that can so dramatically improve an otherwise well-thought-out playback system by catapulting it far closer toward live music. In fact, I can pretty much guarantee it’s impossible. For the exact same reason despite all its promises (including technical white papers, etc) it’s impossible for MQA format recordings (or any other high-rez format) can provide little more than marginal improvements and I even doubt that. Several years ago in this forum and in other forums I wrote why it’s impossible for MQA to fulfill any of its performance promises for ultimately the exact same reason your system cannot generate anything too special as well.

I appreciate the invite to listen to your system as I've no doubt of its superiority over many or most or perhaps even all of the other 1000+ systems I’ve heard over the years and you are genuinely to be commended for your efforts. But to be frank, I’ve little doubt I'd be bored within 10 – 20 minutes even though I’d probably be saying wow, that sounds amazing so as not to hurt your feelings.

I don’t put a lot of stock in Jonathan Valin of TAS, but every now and again even reviewers can leak out a little intellectual honesty. Like the time he wrote, “We are lucky if even our very best playback systems (I suspect including systems like your’s) can capture at most 15% of the magic (I translate that to believability) of the live performance”, he wasn’t just a woofin. In fact, I remember a few well-trained ear types with a real passion for live music tell me that even 15% was optimistic.

Now Valin wrote that 7 or 8 years ago and we know not a whole lot has changed performance-wise since then. But for sake of argument, let’s say today Valin wrote our best playback systems are somehow now able to capture 25 or even 35% of the believability (magic) of the live performance and that miraculously your system is capturing maybe 45%. My ears would probably perk up telling me you’re obviously doing something far better than the next guy. But IME I’d still be bored.

I guess what I’m saying is, thanks for the invite but no thanks.

Well, Peter. I made it thru the first post anyway.
 

thedudeabides

Well-Known Member
Jan 16, 2011
1,278
41
48
Alto, NM
#37
This is interesting, Mike, as I had no idea you too were a vibration mgmt. expert. Then again, it seems these days everybody here gets to be a vibration mgmt. expert but me.


Moreover, I also claim (well, actually I haven’t publicized it yet but will now) that a superior and extreme racking system following a diametrically-opposed and vastly superior vibration-controlling methodology can demonstrate among numerous other things that it is our components that are the real tweaks and accessories. So much so, that for anyone who puts performance above all else, should a component not mate well with the rack (the foundation), then it is the component that must be replaced.


I appreciate the invite to listen to your system as I've no doubt of its superiority over many or most or perhaps even all of the other 1000+ systems I’ve heard over the years and you are genuinely to be commended for your efforts. But to be frank, I’ve little doubt I'd be bored within 10 – 20 minutes even though I’d probably be saying wow, that sounds amazing so as not to hurt your feelings.
We all know you are right and everyone else is wrong. This goes without saying.

Replace the component if it doesn't "mate" with the (I assume your) rack. Now that's a great concept and very practical.

You are so nice to say that you will gush over Mike's system because you don't want to hurt his feelings even though you "know" you will be bored within twenty minutes. What a renaissance man. So sensitive. And you know from your experience that you will be bored even though you have not heard ML's system. Absolutely astounding. You are one very gifted individual.

And in closing, I repeat my request made in the "Introspection and hyperbole control" thread.

Please provide a picture of your "rack" and your "system". Is the rack a prototype / DIY product or have you sold it to others? If the later, how many units have you sold? :cool:
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
8,457
859
113
E. England
#38
Oh, everyone IS an expert these days
That means by definition Stehno is too
The price we pay for everyone having a view, and that view being instantly accessible to all and sundry
It would be good to have more details from Stehno on his system
Unfortunately this will mean even more views from even more people will be aired
Even more expertness on the aether waves
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
5,550
445
83
North Shore of Boston
#39
Oh, everyone IS an expert these days
That means by definition Stehno is too
The price we pay for everyone having a view, and that view being instantly accessible to all and sundry
It would be good to have more details from Stehno on his system
Unfortunately this will mean even more views from even more people will be aired
Even more expertness on the aether waves
Marc, I see nothing wrong with getting more views by asking tough questions on threads like these. Alternatively, we could, I suppose, try to find a local audio dealer. Do you know of one who could answer some questions about vibration management and why the rack brand he sells is better than the next one? Often, much can be learned from good discussions. We can only wait and see how this one will turn out.
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
5,550
445
83
North Shore of Boston
#40
...

Moreover, I also claim (well, actually I haven’t publicized it yet but will now) that a superior and extreme racking system following a diametrically-opposed and vastly superior vibration-controlling methodology can demonstrate among numerous other things that it is our components that are the real tweaks and accessories. So much so, that for anyone who puts performance above all else, should a component not mate well with the rack (the foundation), then it is the component that must be replaced.

This is not to slight superior components in the least, as I’m all for component and speaker upgrades. But I’m not aware of a component or speaker or room upgrade, nor any combination thereof in existence that can so dramatically improve an otherwise well-thought-out playback system by catapulting it far closer toward live music. In fact, I can pretty much guarantee it’s impossible. For the exact same reason despite all its promises (including technical white papers, etc) it’s impossible for MQA format recordings (or any other high-rez format) can provide little more than marginal improvements and I even doubt that. Several years ago in this forum and in other forums I wrote why it’s impossible for MQA to fulfill any of its performance promises for ultimately the exact same reason your system cannot generate anything too special as well.

...

I don’t put a lot of stock in Jonathan Valin of TAS, but every now and again even reviewers can leak out a little intellectual honesty. Like the time he wrote, “We are lucky if even our very best playback systems (I suspect including systems like your’s) can capture at most 15% of the magic (I translate that to believability) of the live performance”, he wasn’t just a woofin. In fact, I remember a few well-trained ear types with a real passion for live music tell me that even 15% was optimistic.

...

Well, Peter. I made it thru the first post anyway.
Stehno, I was hoping you could discuss your ideas more specifically, what discoveries you have made, some details about your rack design, how it was received in the market place. Why not try to convince some investors to develop your ideas into a commercially viable solution to vibration management. You, they, and the industry as a whole would surely benefit. It seems that if the best systems can only capture 15% of the sound of live music, we have a long way to go, and there is potential for some real improvements. If vibration management can help us achieve better sound, this is the thread to discuss it.

Mike is just sharing his opinion on the topic. You have not heard his system, and nor have I, but I think making claims about systems you have not heard is a bit of a distraction from the topic at hand. Rather than dismiss all uses of isolation in other people's systems, why not tell us more about your alternative solutions?
 

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