Best Herbies Isolation feet for components other than amplifiers

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solentgreen

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Hi Steve,
I recently noticed on your site that Iso-cups & balls are listed as best suited for amplifiers (with no mention of its use for components like CD players; DACs & power conditioners etc.), while Tenderfeet are listed as suitable for all components.  Up to now, I took the approach that Iso-cups & balls are the the Herbies state of the art isolation feet for all components.  Would your recommendation now be that we should use Tenderfeet for components other than amplifiers?
Grateful for your advise.     

Herbie

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Hi Benjamin.

Our recommendation now is no different than it's always been. Tenderfoot isolation feet have always been our default recommendation for all audio components. For tiny components, Baby Booties are sometimes appropriate. Iso-Cups are particularly well-suited as an alternative for amplifiers (and appropriate for audition with virtually any component).

Tenderfoot isolation feet and Iso-Cups are both state of the art and top-of-the-line products. Neither is inherently better than the other and comparative differences between the two will vary somewhat from one component and system to another. Tenderfoot is more versatile though, being at home with a broader array of components.

Tenderfoot and Iso-Cups both provide superb amplifier isolation. Iso-Cups, however, will often give an advantage and preference. Customers who have tried both with amplifiers sometimes choose to keep the Tenderfeet, though usually Iso-Cups are preferred. Many of our customers use Tenderfoot under some components and Iso-Cups under others. Almost always that I know of, Iso-Cups end up under the amplifier and Tenderfoot under the other components.

With small-signal components, Tenderfoot is rarely surpassed, especially with DACs. However, we have many customers using Iso-Cups with DACs, CD players, power supplies, sometimes all the components in their system, with excellent results. In most cases, you wouldn't go wrong with either type of footer supporting a component. With other factors being equivalent, we will recommend the lower-cost alternative, another reason Tenderfoot is the default recommendation.

This controversy of Iso-Cups versus Tenderfoot has been going on for years, because neither has been able to knock the other off the pedestal. Both have incrementally improved over the years, continuing to provide state-of-the-art audio and video component isolation.

Lighter components that do not weigh much often have a tendency to slide on Iso-Cup balls. This can be somewhat of an inconvenience with CD players and other components where you have drawers opening, knobs to turn, etc.

Because amplifiers have on-board transformers producing hum and other factors, amps are somewhat unique regarding vibration-control requirements. We have always experimented with Iso-Cup/ball combinations and tweaked Iso-Cup formulas to achieve optimal results specifically with tube amplifiers, so it's no accident they tend to provide optimal results with amplifiers. (Loudspeakers are a different animal altogether regarding isolation and vibration control, requiring a completely different approach to isolation other than Tenderfoot or Iso-Cups.)

Anyway, Tenderfoot is our default recommendation for components other than amplifiers. That's not to say that you "should" use Tenderfeet instead of Iso-Cups, though.

Steve
Herbie's Audio Lab

jtwrace

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Steve,

How does the ISO compare to the ultra expensive Stillpoints?

Herbie

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We have lots of customers using a grungebuster Dot against the flat side of Stillpoints for improved sound, a little less harsh. So, it would seem Stillpoints on their own can leave a little to be desired. Ceramic balls, in direct contact with a component, have a bit of a shrill and raspy sonic character in part of the upper mid frequencies.

We've gotten feedback from several customers who have compared Iso-Cups with Stillpoints and preferred the Iso-Cups. No feedback going the other way around.

Comparative differences between Iso-Cups and Stillpoints will vary from one component and system to another, though. Stillpoints tend to be more system dependent.

(Customer feedback has been more positive and friendly with Black Diamond Racing Cones than with Stillpoints.)

Steve
Herbie's Audio Lab

jtwrace

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Steve,

Thanks for the reply.

I use the Iso Cups on my amps which are ~100 lbs each.  I see that you now have a new version for heavier components. 

I'm looking at doing something with my pre which is just about 40 lbs.  Should I just use some  (4) Iso Cup on it and be done or use the Tenderfeet? 

I have dots under each granite platform on each shelf. 

Herbie

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Hi, jtwrace. Tenderfeet and Iso-Cups both should do very well under your preamp. If you have Iso-Cups, give them an audition; you'll probably want to keep them there. If considering getting Black Iso-Cups for the amp, sure, swap over the other Iso-Cups to the preamp.

Steve
Herbie's Audio Lab

solentgreen

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Thanks Steve for your advise.  I decided to order 4 tall Tenderfoots in my recent order so I can do a comparison against Iso-cups for my disc player.  Will keep you posted on this.
Whilst writing, I take it your default recommendation for supports for amplifier platforms which are placed on the floor are Big Fat Dots?  I have a number of components in my system - power amp; mains conditioner; and the power supply for the tube output stage of my Modwright player - which (due to lack of rack space) are placed on platforms on the floor & supported by spikes insulated by Grungebuster dots.  Would you recommend to use a Big Fat Dot in place of a Grungebuster Dot as an interface between the spikes and the platform?   I was thinking in particular that this will be a good idea for the the power amp, as it is located in between the two floor standing speakers.  I should point out that all of these components are supported on Iso-cup & balls on top of their platforms. 
Grateful as always for your advise.

Herbie

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Hi, solentgreen. Grungebuster Dots, or thin grungebuster Dots between the flat part of cones and component platform usually give superb results. No need to change. If the platforms were supporting loudspeakers, "Thin" Fat Dots would usually be most appropriate between spikes and platform.

(If not using spikes, Extra-Thick grungebuster Dots are recommended for component platform isolation on a bare floor, including amplifier platforms; Big Fat Dots are recommended for loudspeaker platform isolation.)

Steve
Herbie's Audio Lab

solentgreen

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Thanks Steve for you prompt advise.

Starchild

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I think another factor to take into consideration is the weight distribution of your component.  With their tranformers located in the rear, tube amps can be very back heavy.  I've tried footers with balls before on my amps and have had concerns about the amps rolling off the footer when changing cables or someother contact with the chassis.  Consequently, the next footers I buy for my tube amps will probably be tenderfoots.

Mike

Herbie

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Tenderfoot isolation feet do very well with amps. Iso-Cup balls do not roll, though.

Steve
Herbie's Audio Lab

Starchild

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Hi Steve,

Perhaps roll was not a good choice of words.  I was really referring to the ease with wich my amps can slide off a footer because they're so back heavy.  This is exacerbated by the fact my footers are 2" tall with triple points on one end and a spike and cup on the other so installing them can be a pain.  I think for my situation, a simpler, lower profile footer would be the way for me to go.  That's why I'm interested in your tender foots.

Thanks,

Mike

watercourse

I've been using the Iso-cup and hardballs for the past week with my Pass X150.5 - excellent results as always with Herbie's products. Brought a level of clarity I didn't think it could, but then again, I am skeptical by nature but always pleasantly surprised by Herbie's stuff. As was stated by Herbie himself, I tried the tall Tenderfeet but preferred the Iso-cups...