Vibration Management

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
8,457
859
113
E. England
#41
Peter, the plague of online misunderstanding strikes again LOL
Despite the way you read my comments, I meant the opposite (in my clumsy humourous (?) way)
Stehno was commenting on everyone having an opinion, somewhat disparagingly, and my comment was trying to say if he leaves info online, even more opinions will come forth
Whether he thinks any of them would be cogent, we'll see
 

thedudeabides

Well-Known Member
Jan 16, 2011
1,278
41
48
Alto, NM
#42
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
Unlikely in my opinion but I hope he does and sheds his "sniper" clothes. That takes courage and makes him accountable for his words.

But if he does and as you say, he had better be prepared for pushback and criticism not unlike what he has done to ML and others.
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,572
668
113
#43
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.
John,

I'm no 'expert' on vibration, and don't even play one on TV. however; I do respect and learn from others who are experts on vibration. and maybe as we go along you might become one of those I learn from. and I've certainly done my share of listening investigations to discover the truth about it to the degree that a non techie person can. I post my views based on what I've heard and what I've learned. I'm not done learning or listening.

I think I miss-understood your whole approach to racks and control of vibrations.....and possibly I did not read your posts carefully enough (sorry to say is that I had trouble with the blue---that's the honest to god truth). my perception was that you employed 'mass-loading' and i had no idea you instead employed clamping as your methodology. I've tried mass-loading, but never clamping.......I have zero opinion about it. although I plan on reading more on your website.

I think that maybe if you disclosed your industry affiliation and that you have a commercial product (I had no idea), reactions to you might be different. when a manufacturer is defending their product it's a different kind of situation than just us hobbyist's, for better or worse.

anyway; I can see from your reaction to what I wrote that it got personal, so I apologize if I caused that.

plenty of people have not liked/loved my system over the years, and the truthful feedback has been very helpful to me. sure; I love my system and I'm sensitive about it, like you like your product and are sensitive. it's a human response. it's part of the passion that causes us to do these things.

have a great day.
 

thedudeabides

Well-Known Member
Jan 16, 2011
1,278
41
48
Alto, NM
#44
Hello steno,

To use a PF quote from The Wall, "Is there anybody out there?"

Requesting for the third time, please post pictures of your "rack" and your "system".

And how many racks have you sold assuming you are a manufacturer?

And regarding the 1,000 systems you have listened to, what were your top five?
 

Folsom

VIP/Donor
Oct 26, 2015
3,585
288
83
Eastern WA
#45
+1.

I'm not asking because I want stehno to "prove" anything, I just want to know for reference and curiosity. With all the information stehno talks about it's be helpful to put some empirical bits to it.
 

DaveC

Industry Expert
Nov 16, 2014
2,516
366
83
#46
I've been thinking about it, maybe stennie can comment:

- The idea behind clamping is to make the component and rack as close to a single piece of material possible, more pressure = more contact area = better coupling.

- The rack is made of a material that efficiently transmits resonances, like a solid diamond. Pricey, but great propagation! ;)

- The rack is attached to something to act as a "sink" for the resonant energy, probably bolted down to the floor?

OTOH, isolation can easily be better than nothing and the better examples I've tried have made for decent improvements over the stock footers... but I have no doubt there is a better way as using viscoelastic materials to convert resonant energy to heat doesn't seem to work out as well as other methods, it can sound really bad when the visco material is too soft. It's also tweaky and unpredictable as can be evidenced from the reviews of these types of products and the turnover owners often go through. Explanations for the design of these products are often lacking and as a result there is a lot of questionable marketing material that goes with them. Designs are all over the place with no rhyme or reason...
 

BlueFox

Member Sponsor
Nov 8, 2013
1,195
45
48
Silicon Valley
#47
I am a fan of vibration control to insure 'better' sound from the stereo. In this case, 'better' means what I like. My stereo has been an evolution of gear, cables, and racks. Generally, each change has resulted in 'better' sound.

The vibration control aspect started with reading about this on the Mapleshade website. I purchased some brass footers for my gear, and sure enough, it sounded 'better'. This was with my first rack and 'good' gear.

Well, this led to trying other footers, and buying other gear, and a Mapleshade Samson rack, which weighs 500 pounds empty. Needless to say, this sounds better than the rack it replaced, but that could be because it is open on the sides, and the sound flows through it. Of course, the gear, cables, and power help. LOL.

Anyway, until proven different, give me vibration control. :)

Before:
IMG_0015.JPG


After:
0CCAD05C-E863-4654-A2AA-40AC0787DBCE.JPG
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,572
668
113
#48
Jul 5, 2014
669
19
18
Salem, OR
#49
John,

I'm no 'expert' on vibration, and don't even play one on TV. however; I do respect and learn from others who are experts on vibration. and maybe as we go along you might become one of those I learn from. and I've certainly done my share of listening investigations to discover the truth about it to the degree that a non techie person can. I post my views based on what I've heard and what I've learned. I'm not done learning or listening.

I think I miss-understood your whole approach to racks and control of vibrations.....and possibly I did not read your posts carefully enough (sorry to say is that I had trouble with the blue---that's the honest to god truth). my perception was that you employed 'mass-loading' and i had no idea you instead employed clamping as your methodology. I've tried mass-loading, but never clamping.......I have zero opinion about it. although I plan on reading more on your website.

I think that maybe if you disclosed your industry affiliation and that you have a commercial product (I had no idea), reactions to you might be different. when a manufacturer is defending their product it's a different kind of situation than just us hobbyist's, for better or worse.

anyway; I can see from your reaction to what I wrote that it got personal, so I apologize if I caused that.

plenty of people have not liked/loved my system over the years, and the truthful feedback has been very helpful to me. sure; I love my system and I'm sensitive about it, like you like your product and are sensitive. it's a human response. it's part of the passion that causes us to do these things.

have a great day.
Thanks for your kind response, Mike. I apologize as I obviously misunderstood as well and I’ve no doubt that you are extremely meticulous and have a fabulous system and obviously have much to be proud of there. I hope I was at least fairly clear about that in my earlier post.

I’m unsure what industry affiliation and commercial product have to do with my suggesting a lesser known method of controlling vibrations. Rather, I suggest the most important point that I keep losing sight of here is the potential that mechanical vibrations are far more damaging than anybody ever thought possible until now.

IOW, over the years at least few-to-some have recognized that no matter how wonderful and impressive a given playback system may sound something is seriously lacking in virtually every last system and to the best of my knowledge, even though there’s some speculation, nobody has been able to put their finger on it.

And yes, we human beings are a prideful creature indeed.
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
8,457
859
113
E. England
#51
Yep, I'm getting a warm glow as well
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
5,550
445
83
North Shore of Boston
#52
Has anyone tried to remove the supplied rubber footers from a piece of electronics and very tightly bolting the bottom plate directly to a massive steel plate shelf in a steel rack system?
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
8,457
859
113
E. England
#54
From my admittedly non researched, non scientific, "hit a solution as you go" mindset, going thru 4 wholesale changes of gear, a whole major electrical/mains overhaul, and a drastic drastic change of room acoustic, I can honestly say the change of my room from newly looking back as substandard to exemplary has been by far the most dramatic change in my sound, I truly was listening to broken before
Going new mains feed/dedicated lines has been an amazing transformation too
Balanced power all upside, no down
All other changes varying levels of v good, good, no change, and deleterious

I'm about to investigate passive pneumatic springs v passive mechanical spring v active piezo electric isoln to my tt
If the solution here is anywhere nr as marked as going dedicated lines or even the room acoustics, I'm prepared to go the extra mile to max out all my components similarly
Hell, in my old apartment I was on a constant component upgrade path which is not needed anymore, and was going to sink major funds into Shun Mook DRs
I'd rather divert funds to a last poss Holy Grail of vibration management

Stehno, you need to come thru w yr ideas before I commit to active or passive isoln products en masse
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,572
668
113
#55
Thanks for your kind response, Mike. I apologize as I obviously misunderstood as well and I’ve no doubt that you are extremely meticulous and have a fabulous system and obviously have much to be proud of there. I hope I was at least fairly clear about that in my earlier post.

I’m unsure what industry affiliation and commercial product have to do with my suggesting a lesser known method of controlling vibrations. Rather, I suggest the most important point that I keep losing sight of here is the potential that mechanical vibrations are far more damaging than anybody ever thought possible until now.

IOW, over the years at least few-to-some have recognized that no matter how wonderful and impressive a given playback system may sound something is seriously lacking in virtually every last system and to the best of my knowledge, even though there’s some speculation, nobody has been able to put their finger on it.

And yes, we human beings are a prideful creature indeed.
John,

as far as industry affiliation, and identifying your product.....it is part of the Terms of Service of WBF--item #13, but more........it helps to allow a responder (such as myself) to understand more clearly where you are coming from. in my case, it would have allowed me to understand your posts better. I think, also, it adds value to the Community of WBF but that is just my opinion.

personally I'm an open book but that is my personal decision, and I respect any viewpoint that anyone has. I do think that the stronger one's opinions that allowing others to understand where you are coming from allows for better exchange of information. otherwise a first impression is "where is this view coming from?"....and that has to be dealt with....and that process adds to conflict. and heck, members seeing your products could sell a few too.

I'm not speaking for anyone but myself here. just how I see it.
 
Jul 5, 2014
669
19
18
Salem, OR
#56
Has anyone tried to remove the supplied rubber footers from a piece of electronics and very tightly bolting the bottom plate directly to a massive steel plate shelf in a steel rack system?
Peter, that is actually a superb idea and in my patent app I had a number of drawing for which I anticipated one day components would be designed a bit differently to fasten tightly to their supporting shelf.

But that's only the beginning of a good idea, not the end. Say you were able to successfully do just what you proposed. There are still numerous things left in question that could leave you scratching your head as to why just tightly fastening/coupling your component to its shelf only provided marginal gains. Other things to consider in addition to your suggestion might include:

1. The location of the power supplies and any motors within the chassis. For max gains a mechanical conduit needs to be placed directly below those objects and mating with its shelf. If indeed mechanical energy wants to travel, this is the best way to provide an expedited exit path so that the energy does not have travel much within the chassis before existing. Think of a faucet on full blast but pouring straight down into the drain without any buildup in the sink basin. But you don't want to forsake other parts of the chassis because it's best to assume every electrical part and wire within is vibrating to some extent when current is pass through it.

2. Some-to-many components, regardless of price, are not necessarily built like tanks. Especially the lighter ones. So let's say you tightly fastened/bolted your component to the shelf and say the component's top plate was the typical poorly anchored flimsy stamped sheet metal that becomes easily excited by resonant energy and maybe even so excited that the top plate even starts vibrating in sympathy with vibrations already captured. The tightly coupled chassis will not be enough to cure this potential release point of unwanted energy. In fact, with some components, and if say the rack isn't up to snuff, the tightly coupled component chassis just may now be the most easily excitable object.

I always used to associate damping with isolation. But about 7 years ago I realized that damping can be a very complimentary benfit to resonance energy transfer. For example. Given the above, something must be done to minimize the top plate's potential to vibrate, whether it be mass loading with free weight or clamping, etc. In essence, what you are doing at this point is recognizing this defficiency by saying, I know mechanical energy wants to release itself here but by shoring it up with tight or taut damping strategy, you're saying don't allow the energy to be released here but keep traveling. Hence, you're trying to convert the top plate into a sufficient enough mechanical conduit to make that happen.

3. The metal shelf isn't gonna be of much help unless it too is tightly coupled to the rest of the racking system and it too is sufficiently anchored into the sub-flooring system. Perhaps the best way to describe this is to think of creating the best performing table lamp in the world (whatever that means). To do so requires, among other things that the outlet be of superior quality, as is the wall plug, the wire, the socket, and even the lightbulb itself. And every one of those connections' fasterners must be as reasonably tight or taut as possible as this will ensure maximum illumination and max meantiime between failure rates for all electrical parts including the lightbulb itself. But one compromised connection along the way is all it takes for sporadic dimming, flickering, and premature wear, again including the lightbulb itself.

But that is an excellent suggestion and everybody has to start somewhere.

BTW, regarding Valin's comment about our even our best playback systems only capturing 15% of the "magic" of the live performance. That "magic" should not be translated as 15% of the sound as you mentioned earlier. There's plenty more sound than 15% but I just translate his use of the word magic to "believability". Not to digress but believability encompasses everything, but of those things that more readily capture most of our attention and what seems to be the most evidence IMO what is missing the most from the industry's best playback systems is the pristine and even delicate highs, warmth, dynamics, balance, distance, timbre, quality of bass, and especially the ambient information of the recording space or hall.

You'd be amazed how some significant bass notes of a music piece you may have played hundreds of times suddenly appear where you thought there was none which then leads to balance and warmth. Not the kind of warmth induced by tubes but by the recording itself which is wholly sufficient. If I had to pick a single character that most readily convinces me I'm hearing something nice, it has to be the ambient info of the recording hall. There seems to be volumes of it in the recording and I'm talking the vast majority of recordings, not few. And when you're hearing volumes of ambient information of the recording hall, that automatically should imply you're hearing volumes more of every last note. And the need for room acoustic treatments has just dropped to near zero. IMO. I know this is very controversial but if one is suddenly hearing so much more of the venue of the performance, should that not imply that you're hearing far less of your listening room and its anomalies?

There is another characteristic that requires a bit of detail to itself and that's the size of the instruments. In particular the size of higher frequency percussive instruments like a trangle. IMO, distortions induced by mechanical energy induce far more harm than all other distortions combined, including those resulting from noisy AC. When these distortions are not sufficiently addressed they will make the instrument's notes not only sound closer but larger than life. A typical triangle might be 8-inches per side. But when these distortions aren't absolutely minimized, they can sound like 18 or 24-inches per side. And there's nothing real about that. But when these distortions are absolutely minimized, their natural size comes into play and that is where all of a sudden delicate takes on a whole new meaning. IMO.
 
Last edited:
Dec 26, 2011
271
1
18
#57
Placing a chunk of metallic object next to audio components/cables will change their sound.

Bloated bass - which people may interpret as "deeper bass extension".
Smaller, corrugated soundstaging - which some people often interpret as sharper imaging focus.
More forward imaging perspective - which for some reason, some people think that there is better "depth".

The science behind this effect of metallic on audio components/cabling is already well known.

Actually, it doesn't require a "chunk".

Even a small coin, placed beneath an audio component (no physical contact whatsoever) will already have an audible effect on the component standing above it.

The material doesn't need to be "magnetic". Any material that conducts electricity will have the capability to affect audio components/cabling in proximity.

Years ago, some guys figure out that if they coat their wooden isolation devices with a paint that has electrical conductivity, they might use them to "tune" audio systems with repeated predictability....
 
Jul 5, 2014
669
19
18
Salem, OR
#58
John,

as far as industry affiliation, and identifying your product.....it is part of the Terms of Service of WBF--item #13, but more........it helps to allow a responder (such as myself) to understand more clearly where you are coming from. in my case, it would have allowed me to understand your posts better. I think, also, it adds value to the Community of WBF but that is just my opinion.

personally I'm an open book but that is my personal decision, and I respect any viewpoint that anyone has. I do think that the stronger one's opinions that allowing others to understand where you are coming from allows for better exchange of information. otherwise a first impression is "where is this view coming from?"....and that has to be dealt with....and that process adds to conflict. and heck, members seeing your products could sell a few too.

I'm not speaking for anyone but myself here. just how I see it.
Mike, as I recall I already discussed that with Steve after first joining WBF about 3 years ago. At present, it accurately says right below my avatar, "Addicted to best". I've not touched my website in perhaps 4 years or more. I've only kept it alive because I am proud of my accomplishments and I love to design.

I've no physics, engineering, or science background or education as my background and education is with computer science and specifically Unix sys admin and Oracle DBA. I don't put much stock titles, affiliations, eductional backgrounds, etc., maybe cuz I ain't got none. And I suspect others put too much stock into such disciplines because IMO the more disciplined one is in their endeavors the less likely they are to wander outside of their sandbox. In fact, I've no doubt that if I had any formal experience or education in any discipline related to these matters, my components would probably be hanging by bungy cords from the rafters in boxes of kitty litter and we wouldn't be having this conversation.

Where my view is coming from is 15 years of playing arm-chair engineer / designer with much R&D in my listening room and asking many times "what if?" and then trying something new. A well-known resonance energy transfer company saw my first protype 15 years ago and their lead designer / engineer called me to say I was really onto something with my design, that my design adhered to all of Coulomb's principles on friction, that they'd taken physics courses to study this and here I just came up with it on my own. I assured him I knew not what I was doing but simply had a need and some materials for a reasonable rack. That company mentored me a bit here and there over a 2 year period but everything else came from my own experimenting. And where that company might have gone just a few blocks down the resonance energy transfer path and still remain there today, based on the extremes I've gone I sometimes think I've gone about 2 miles further down that same path and in past 6 years or so that distance has about doubled. But only because I like to go to extremes because that's where all the extreme differences are found.

If you're asking, do I really know what I'm doing? If that's your question, I would ask, does anybody really know what they're doing? I think Einstein put it best when he said, "Of course I don't know what I'm doing. That's why it's called research!!!"

Hope that helps.
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
6,536
969
113
Beverly Hills, CA
#59
. . .

Even a small coin, placed beneath an audio component (no physical contact whatsoever) will already have an audible effect on the component standing above it.

The material doesn't need to be "magnetic". Any material that conducts electricity will have the capability to affect audio components/cabling in proximity.

. . .
Dear Jerome,

Do you believe you could identify reliably in a blind test whether or not I placed a penny under your CD player while you are listening to your stereo?
 

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