Help!

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George Hincapie

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 4
Help!
« on: 10 Nov 2016, 01:03 am »
I am getting very frustrated trying to decouple my speakers at the moment.

I have attached some photos so you can see. My system is on a suspended floor on the first floor of a town house in the UK. The speakers have tweeter on the front and upwards firing bass (and send a lot of energy straight down which is different from normal speakers I guess). The speakers sit directly on the top of the oak stands. The oak stands are hollow and each filled with 10KG Attacama Attabytes. The spikes on the bottom sit in spike shoes and that all sits on a one inch thick block of slate.

A lot of bass goes through the floor downstairs and I can feel it on the carpet from my listening position 2m from the speakers. I want to improve the quality of the sound from my speakers and stop or significantly reduce this.

I have tried Vibrapods between speaker and stand and that improved the sound and isolated the speaker, but on certain tracks I get a horrible audio distortion from one of the speakers so I stopped using them.  I have also tried using washing machine pucks between speaker and stand and that caused the same problems.

Because the speaker sends so much energy straight down, I don't think anything offering vertical compliance will work. I desperately do not want to buy something else just to experience the hideous distortion I have experienced using the two solutions set out above.

What can I do about this? What solutions do you offer that will resolve this?

TIA.







Russell Dawkins

Re: Help!
« Reply #1 on: 10 Nov 2016, 07:07 am »
I would be inclined to try sorbothane pucks between the speakers and the stands—unless that is what Vibrapods are, in which case—nevermind.

George Hincapie

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 4
Re: Help!
« Reply #2 on: 10 Nov 2016, 07:32 am »
I think they are made from some sort of rubber rather than sorbothane. How will what you suggest prevent the distortion? I have tried two solutions between speaker and stand already without success.

Russell Dawkins

Re: Help!
« Reply #3 on: 10 Nov 2016, 09:54 am »
Sorbothane, to my knowledge, is the most effective (affordable) vibration absorbing material out there, and sorbothane pucks are available so cheaply:  http://www.brightstaraudio.com/
...that there would not be much risk in experimenting with them.
and sorbothane does work brilliantly at absorbing vibration:
https://youtu.be/EV4XSYJkjfo?t=162

It seems to be important that the proper size and durometer be used for any given weight; ideal absorption of vibration requires a degree of compression. For example, 1" diameter hemispherical feet of 50 durometer come in 4 packs and support weight is 2-4 lb per foot, i.e., 4 feet will support between 8 and 16 lb, ideally.
Durometer is a hardness scale; the higher the number, the harder. Sorbothane pucks and hemispheres often come in durometer ratings of 30-50: https://www.smooth-on.com/page/durometer-shore-hardness-scale/

Bottom line: sorbothane is cheap and effective at vibration absorption. They have become popular in studios for use under monitor speakers.

Herbie

Re: Help!
« Reply #4 on: 10 Nov 2016, 05:02 pm »
Hi, George. Isolating the speaker from the stand is the most essential area to address, and most all of our customers are using either Square Fat Dots or Big Fat Dots between the stand's top plate and speaker with excellent results. Besides improvements in stereo imaging, linearity, and bass definition (among other subtle sonic improvements), many of our customers have found that isolating speakers using dBNeutralizer-based products (such as Square Fat Dots and Big Fat Dots) has significantly reduced the amount of bass vibrations reaching the floor.

Further isolating the stand from the slate block, as well as the slate block from the floor, would be additionally beneficial to further isolate the speakers from the floor. For the stand/slate interface, Cone/Spike Puckies underneath the stand's spikes, in place of the spike shoes, would work very well. Or, you can use the current spike shoes on top of a dBNeutralizer Base Pad: the spike shoe and dBNeutralizer pad would perform similarly to Cone/Spike Puckies to isolate the stands. For isolating the slate block from the floor, Little Fat Gliders would work very well, and would allow for easy repositioning of the speakers when needed.

You don't want to use materials like rubber, Sorbothane or Vibrapods in any capacity for speaker isolation; these materials have reverberation and resonance issues that often affect linearity, resulting in bloopy bass, loss or accentuation of higher frequencies, and other sonic anomalies. They are also often weight-specific, performing well only within a very narrow weight range. Herbie's Audio Lab's dBNeutralizer-based line of products (as well as most all of our products) are designed with materials specifically made for audio isolation purposes, providing efficient isolation without the resonance issues and restrictive weight ranges found in many other materials.

Best regards,

Robert
Herbie's Audio Lab

« Last Edit: 11 Nov 2016, 04:47 am by Herbie »

Russell Dawkins

Re: Help!
« Reply #5 on: 10 Nov 2016, 08:58 pm »

You don't want to use rubber, Sorbothane or Vibrapods in any capacity for speaker isolation; these materials have reverberation and resonance issues that adversely affect linearity, resulting in bloopy bass, loss or accentuation of higher frequencies, and other sonic anomalies.

Best regards,

Robert
Herbie's Audio Lab

Your bias is understandable, but this conflicts with a lot of the experience of recording and mastering engineers who find precisely the opposite with regards 'bloopy bass':
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/mastering-forum/920196-inexpensive-speaker-tweak-works.html
...and—sorbothane has "reverberation and resonance issues"??

George Hincapie

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 4
Re: Help!
« Reply #6 on: 10 Nov 2016, 09:38 pm »
Hi, George. Isolating the speaker from the stand is the most essential area to address, and most all of our customers are using either Square Fat Dots or Big Fat Dots between the stand's top plate and speaker with excellent results. Besides improvements in stereo imaging, linearity, and bass definition (among other subtle sonic improvements), many of our customers have found that isolating speakers using dBNeutralizer-based products (such as Square Fat Dots and Big Fat Dots) has significantly reduced the amount of bass vibrations reaching the floor.

What difference does the shape of the 'dots' make? How many will I need under each speaker? Will they definitely control the distortion/resonance? I presume I can return them if not?

Quote
Further isolating the stand from the slate block, as well as the slate block from the floor, would be additionally beneficial to further isolate the speakers from the floor. For the stand/slate interface, Cone/Spike Puckies underneath the stand's spikes, in place of the spike shoes, would work very well. Or, you can use the current spike shoes on top of a dBNeutralizer Base Pad: the spike shoe and dBNeutralizer pad would perform similarly to Cone/Spike Puckies to isolate the stands. For isolating the slate block from the floor, Little Fat Gliders would work very well, and would allow for easy repositioning of the speakers when needed.

Is it necessary to isolate the slate plinths?

George Hincapie

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 4
Re: Help!
« Reply #7 on: 10 Nov 2016, 09:39 pm »
Sorbothane, to my knowledge, is the most effective (affordable) vibration absorbing material out there, and sorbothane pucks are available so cheaply:  http://www.brightstaraudio.com/
...that there would not be much risk in experimenting with them.
and sorbothane does work brilliantly at absorbing vibration:
https://youtu.be/EV4XSYJkjfo?t=162

It seems to be important that the proper size and durometer be used for any given weight; ideal absorption of vibration requires a degree of compression. For example, 1" diameter hemispherical feet of 50 durometer come in 4 packs and support weight is 2-4 lb per foot, i.e., 4 feet will support between 8 and 16 lb, ideally.
Durometer is a hardness scale; the higher the number, the harder. Sorbothane pucks and hemispheres often come in durometer ratings of 30-50: https://www.smooth-on.com/page/durometer-shore-hardness-scale/

Bottom line: sorbothane is cheap and effective at vibration absorption. They have become popular in studios for use under monitor speakers.

Thanks so much. I have ordered some to try. I am happy to try everything and anything until I find a combination that works.

Herbie

Re: Help!
« Reply #8 on: 11 Nov 2016, 01:31 am »
Your bias is understandable, but this conflicts with a lot of the experience of recording and mastering engineers who find precisely the opposite with regards 'bloopy bass':
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/mastering-forum/920196-inexpensive-speaker-tweak-works.html
...and—sorbothane has "reverberation and resonance issues"??

Hi, Russel. Square Fat Dots being a superior isolation material for monitor speakers is not a matter of conjecture or bias, but proven in real-life application by hundreds if not thousands of customers who have upgraded from Sorbothane footers to Square Fat Dots under their monitor speakers. A "bloopy bass" is just one example of the sonic anomalies caused by highly vulcanized polymers in audio applications, and a "bloopy bass" more so applies to rubber footers as opposed to Sorbothane footers (depending on the particular vibrational environment each is dealing with). Sorbothane is perhaps mid-fi at best, being somewhat effective as an isolation material but virtually always at some cost, such as decreased linearity, attenuation or accentuation of higher frequencies, or other anomalies.

Rubber, Sorbothane, Vibrapods, and other highly-vulcanized polymers act like springs. Like springs, they rely on a very narrow range of weight load in order for their contra-vibrational energies to be effective. The range of vibrations that are diminished is also limited while at the same time some reverberations will occur due to their tightly cross-linked cellular structures. This results in inefficient vibration-absorption and loss of sonic linear integrity. Molecular and cellular structures of vulcanized rubber and synthetic rubbers are tightly cross-linked for industrial strength, not for audio isolation purposes, which makes them poor materials for vibration control in the higher-frequency, acute micro-vibrational realm that you need to deal with in the audio and video environment. Most rubber-like materials are too "slow" with their contraction/decompression properties to have any effect on very acute high-frequency vibrations that cause a lot of the grunge and glare in the music.

What difference does the shape of the 'dots' make? How many will I need under each speaker? Will they definitely control the distortion/resonance? I presume I can return them if not?

Is it necessary to isolate the slate plinths?

George: The shape of the Dots has little to no effect: Square Fat Dots fit nicely into the corners of the top plate of many speaker stands, while Big Fat Dots have more isolation and decoupling "beef" due to their larger size. Four under each speaker is usually sufficient, with perhaps an additional one in the center being additionally beneficial. dBNeutralizer material has little to no inherent resonant issues due to its lightly vulcanized and loosely cross-linked structure, though quite firm and non-squishy--providing efficient isolation and vibration damping without introducing any distortions or resonances.

Isolating the plinths isn't usually a necessity but would likely be beneficial. Isolating the speaker itself is the most essential area to address, and isolating the stand and plinth adds extra layers of isolation for the speakers. Addressing the stand-to-floor interface is always beneficial; Gliders provide superior vibration control as well as easy mobility when needed.

Herbie's Audio Lab offers a 90-day return policy on all of our products: we don't believe you should be stuck with something that doesn't work for you, and sometimes it takes some time to get everything set up optimally. Whenever a new variable is introduced to the system, including adding isolation materials to components, some adjustments are sometimes needed for everything to fall into place, whether it be a bit of break-in time, fine-tuning of speaker positioning after phase relations are corrected at the speakers, or other adjustments of the system.
« Last Edit: 18 Nov 2016, 04:26 am by Herbie »