BEST and CHEAPEST upgrade I have ever done....EVER

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Badd99

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BEST and CHEAPEST upgrade I have ever done....EVER
« on: 26 Aug 2022, 02:27 pm »
Hey guys!

I wanted to share with you guys a tweak I found that is by FAR the biggest bang for buck thing I have EVER done to my system. For reference I have have nx-otica with an insane next level crossover (absolutely self upgraded to the utter max) with dual triple servos. The system before this upgrade was already in the stupid sounding arena. Best I had ever heard anywhere. It got better. A lot better.

I was doing some research on the most absorptive material. I ran across a product called Sorbothane. Sorbothane is a visoelastic urethane polymer used as a shock and vibration damper. It was developed in 1982. This stuff is straight vudu magic. It has a ~94% shock absorption coefficient and ~50% vibration dampening ability. 50% you say, that's not that high?! Oh yes it is, most materials can only absorb 10% on a good day. The common "isolation pads" made of rubber or neoprine fail to even come close




As you can see in the above image, the transmissibility of the vibration is 350% higher in neoprene and the more commonly used natural rubber products have a 500% increased vibration transmissibility compared to sorbothane.

 Now - its very important if you try this you buy the correct sorbothane size and duro. Duro is a rating of how "squishy" the sorbothane is. The common Duro rating used here are 30, 50, and 70. 30 being the lowest and squeshest taking the least amount of weight. There are also different shapes you can buy, the circles being the best (or the half domes, I went with circles for cost) as a circle or dome will have an easier time deforming to a stress. You WANT/NEED the sorbothane to deform or "squish down" about 30-50% under the weight of what you put on it. So its VERY important you match the number of sorbothane discs/half rounds and their respective weight rating to the weight of the item you will be placing on them.

The brand I used on amazon is Isolate it! - they make REAL sorbothane (a lot of fakes on amazon) and its made in Ohio which is where the real authentic Sorbothane is manufactured. The stuff isn't "cheap" but its far from expensive. The biggest bang for buck in my entire system - BY FAR.

Now, the first place I tried this was actually the most shocking to me. I bought some https://www.amazon.com/Isolate-Sorbothane-Vibration-Isolation-Circular/dp/B00X6R1CTC/ref=sr_1_11?crid=14BUHR6VE6M98&keywords=sorbothane+isolate+it+disc&qid=1661522807&sprefix=sorbothane+isolate+it+dis%2Caps%2C313&sr=8-11

These are 30 Duro units....I placed them on all four corners of my crossover that is sitting on the back of my Nx-Otcia. I first placed on one side only and then sat back and hit play. What in the world??? I was hearing the equivalent of if you had flipped the phase on one speaker. It sounded so bizarre. The differences between each speaker was so large that my brain was hearing two different things at once and the cohesive image was gone. Hmm interesting I thought, so I tried unplugging the one speaker and listened to no subs just one speaker with the sorbothane isolators, and then played the single speaker with standard 1" half dome rubber feet on it (I never sat the crossover right on the bottom of the nx-otica I had cheap natural rubber half rounds on it mostly to protect the finish...never thought it made a sound difference.)

WOW - the sound between the two speakers was incredible. The sorbothane under the crossover was SO much better, cleaner sounding, better focus, mids came alive more and the bass omg was it tighter. I couldn't believe how $20 for enough sorbothane for both crossovers could make such a difference. I felt like I had spent at least $1500 on a component. That big of a difference.

I then went back on amazon and found the right size / duro discs for my entire system. I then added to my dac, preamp, streamer, linear power supply, amplifier, under both nx otica and under both triple servos. I spent about $150 for all of it.

HOLY. MOTHER. OF. GOD. The sound improvement after I added to each unit was absolutely undeniable. The combination of it all was pure unreal. My system like I said was already end game level and the best I had ever heard (my crossover has all path audio resistors, all foil inductors, tweeter is pure vcap odam with duelund pure silver bypass caps, mids are sonicaps with vcap odam and dueland pure silver bypass caps, every shunting cap to ground is bypassed by a miflex pure copper cap, and the entire crossover is wired when it cant be point to point with kimber 8tc cable. I also ran kimber 8tc cable from the crossover with a rope through it as Danny does to my tweeter and to the mids. I used WBT silver solder on everything. This was already in the Jesus realm.) The sound now is so convincing I am there it actually hurts my brain. The detail is off the charts. The focus, separation, mid clarity, bass tightness its just insane. I spent the last three nights until 3am listening from 10pm. I really cant stop.

I have no affiliation with sorbothane or anything like that. I found an incredible product and I wanted to share with you. Please give it a test, making sure to match the size and duro rating to your item weight...I just googled all my products weight or weighed them myself. I have sorbothane under everything now and even under my streamers linear power supply I heard a difference.

For reference, I have tried many, many different isolation products over the years and they always help but this was a MIND BLOWING experiment. The sorbothane under the speakers and subs also made an insane amount of difference in the sound and tightness. I have the speaker and subs on sorbothane 2.5" x 0.5" 30 duro discs that sit on a slab of granite for each. This is an insane combination. I will say for speakers and subs you want to go as thick as you can to bring the natural frequency of the sorbothane as low as possible. Ideal is 1" for 10hz natural frequency, but you cant get it squishy enough at 1" for most speakers, as remember if you don't squish the material at least 30% your leaving a lot of performance on the table. The isolate it! brand for each product has the recommended weight for each size / duro.

Pure vudu magic. Please post any thoughts / experiences!!

VinceT

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Re: BEST and CHEAPEST upgrade I have ever done....EVER
« Reply #1 on: 26 Aug 2022, 02:42 pm »
Thanks for sharing, very cool. Really interesting result just by isolation around the crossover area. Have any pics by chance. Love to see how you incorporated the product.

Stercom

Re: BEST and CHEAPEST upgrade I have ever done....EVER
« Reply #2 on: 26 Aug 2022, 02:45 pm »
Audioquest has been offering sorbothan feet for years. They are bigger than these and designed differently but, of course, cost more. Good find!

Early B.

Re: BEST and CHEAPEST upgrade I have ever done....EVER
« Reply #3 on: 26 Aug 2022, 05:30 pm »
I then went back on amazon and found the right size / duro discs for my entire system. I then added to my dac, preamp, streamer, linear power supply, amplifier, under both nx otica and under both triple servos. I spent about $150 for all of it.

Did you place the discs underneath the feet of your components or did you remove the feet?

Did you buy the discs based on the total weight of one disc or 4 discs? For example, if a component weighs 40 lbs., did you use 4 discs with a weight of 10 lbs. per disc or each disc can hold approximately 40 lbs?

 

mkane

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Re: BEST and CHEAPEST upgrade I have ever done....EVER
« Reply #4 on: 26 Aug 2022, 05:34 pm »
isolation plain and simple

tull skull

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Re: BEST and CHEAPEST upgrade I have ever done....EVER
« Reply #5 on: 26 Aug 2022, 07:35 pm »
Thanks for sharing and for your enthusiasm! Sorbothane has been around for a very long time and often we tend to look elsewhere for the next mini thrill till we forget what really works but having someone like you share your post helps all of us reconsider products we poo pooed away in the past.
What I find interesting is that many of the darlings of isolation for this month utilize sorbothane in their design.

WGH

Re: BEST and CHEAPEST upgrade I have ever done....EVER
« Reply #6 on: 26 Aug 2022, 08:58 pm »
Like bell bottom jeans and Birkenstock sandals, Sorbothane pucks are back in style, baby!

I bought my first set of Sorbothane pucks in 1990.

Another excellent vibration eliminating device were the Ortofon Acoustic Absorber feet, they are the only product that totally eliminated turntable feedback. A set of 4 in 1986 was $20, the wobbly, flexible center is height adjustable.


 

morganc

Re: BEST and CHEAPEST upgrade I have ever done....EVER
« Reply #7 on: 26 Aug 2022, 10:18 pm »
Thanks for sharing.  Funny enough just last night I was looking at the Don Sachs amp I have and trying to figure out why it sounds so much better than one I owned a few years ago and was looking at the after market footers that the prior owner used on them and I'm pretty sure that they are the super squishy rounded version.  I went to Amazon today and bought more for all my other components. Thanks for sharing.

nlitworld

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Re: BEST and CHEAPEST upgrade I have ever done....EVER
« Reply #8 on: 27 Aug 2022, 01:06 am »
Sorbothane was the only thing to work in isolating my turntable base. Never would have thought placing it under a crossover would yield noticable results. It sounds like I need to play around with the stuff some more :D

mkane

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Re: BEST and CHEAPEST upgrade I have ever done....EVER
« Reply #9 on: 27 Aug 2022, 06:21 pm »
 Keep the stuff off hardwood floors.

Bryguy91

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Re: BEST and CHEAPEST upgrade I have ever done....EVER
« Reply #10 on: 27 Aug 2022, 10:07 pm »
I've meant to try sorbothane, but is is so expensive compared to commercial rubber iso pads so I never pull the trigger

MttBsh

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Re: BEST and CHEAPEST upgrade I have ever done....EVER
« Reply #11 on: 27 Aug 2022, 11:00 pm »
Keep the stuff off hardwood floors.

One of the reported best applications for Isolate it! Sorbothane is under speakers. Many of our speakers stand on hardwood floors. Apparently the "50" or "70" Isolate products can support the weight of floorstanders, but I read the comment above to suggest that the product leaves a permanent sticky mess of some sort on hardwood floors 

nlitworld

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Re: BEST and CHEAPEST upgrade I have ever done....EVER
« Reply #12 on: 28 Aug 2022, 12:28 am »
It does on hardwood stereo cabinets as well. More unsightly than anything, it's still the one downside to the product. Something as simple as a small round piece of paper under them will fix the problem. If you can match your floors/shelves with colored cardstock then even better. Even still, well worth trying out.

MttBsh

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Re: BEST and CHEAPEST upgrade I have ever done....EVER
« Reply #13 on: 28 Aug 2022, 01:56 am »
It does on hardwood stereo cabinets as well. More unsightly than anything, it's still the one downside to the product. Something as simple as a small round piece of paper under them will fix the problem. If you can match your floors/shelves with colored cardstock then even better. Even still, well worth trying out.

Good answer

GeorgeAb

Re: BEST and CHEAPEST upgrade I have ever done....EVER
« Reply #14 on: 28 Aug 2022, 06:25 am »
To obtain the optimum vibration dampening sorbothane has to be properly loaded. Dampening is optimal around 15% compression (vibration isolation % falls off rapidly when loaded less than 10% or more than 20%) and compression is a function of the weight supporting, area the weight is on, durometer (compressability) of the material, and thickness of material.

Below are calculators for using Sorbothan. Yes, the stuff works really well when it is used properly, but it takes some engineering.

https://www.sorbothane.com/Data/Sites/31/edg/load-rating-calculator.html

https://www.sorbothane.com/Data/Sites/31/edg/vibration-calculator.html


djpk

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Re: BEST and CHEAPEST upgrade I have ever done....EVER
« Reply #15 on: 28 Aug 2022, 03:18 pm »
I use a product called Isonode. It's an alternative to sorbothane.
https://isonode.com/home/

DannyBadorine

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Re: BEST and CHEAPEST upgrade I have ever done....EVER
« Reply #16 on: 28 Aug 2022, 03:45 pm »
Well, I bought them to try.  We shall see!

Mark Korda

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Re: BEST and CHEAPEST upgrade I have ever done....EVER
« Reply #17 on: 28 Aug 2022, 04:36 pm »
Hi Badd 99, I think I can out cheap you. I took the old style brown rubber furniture floor protectors, at all hardware stores, the old kind that prevent scratching. I filled them with modeling clay, The kind that never dries that I learned how to use thru Frank Van AlStine's Audio Basics newsletter..I level the clay off flat with a butter knife or credit card and put a little piece of wood in the center for your turntable feet to rest on. A wooden Indian nickel works great and is uniform looking if you can find 4 of them. Leveling is easy....Push down, check levels, trim off squeezed up clay with finger and rag. It's so easy I didn't think I needed to send  picture but will if you are interested.....take care...Mark Korda

mkane

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Re: BEST and CHEAPEST upgrade I have ever done....EVER
« Reply #18 on: 28 Aug 2022, 05:33 pm »
One of the reported best applications for Isolate it! Sorbothane is under speakers. Many of our speakers stand on hardwood floors. Apparently the "50" or "70" Isolate products can support the weight of floorstanders, but I read the comment above to suggest that the product leaves a permanent sticky mess of some sort on hardwood floors 

Correct.

Badd99

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Re: BEST and CHEAPEST upgrade I have ever done....EVER
« Reply #19 on: 7 Sep 2022, 01:44 am »
I've meant to try sorbothane, but is is so expensive compared to commercial rubber iso pads so I never pull the trigger

You really should, you will be shocked

Thanks for sharing.  Funny enough just last night I was looking at the Don Sachs amp I have and trying to figure out why it sounds so much better than one I owned a few years ago and was looking at the after market footers that the prior owner used on them and I'm pretty sure that they are the super squishy rounded version.  I went to Amazon today and bought more for all my other components. Thanks for sharing.

Any updates?

Keep the stuff off hardwood floors.

I would use cheat rubber pads on the wood floors, then put the sorbothane on that and then on the product.