Coupling vs. Decoupling

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. Read 593 times.

RH37

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 8
Coupling vs. Decoupling
« on: 28 Sep 2020, 02:47 am »
I realize what a contentious subject this can be, but thought I’d try VSA owners to see what their experiences are using spikes or rubber feet. I recently acquired VR-33’s which came with Soundocity outriggers with rubber feet attached (spikes were included as well). They are on a standard suspended wood floor. I know ultimately I should try both, but am curious what others think.

Delacroix

Re: Coupling vs. Decoupling
« Reply #1 on: 29 Sep 2020, 12:18 am »
Started out using stock spikes/cups on my VR-5s. I eventually moved to Outriggers, liked them, both visually and sonically.  Mine came only with the spikes (or maybe I ordered them like that, cannot remember) but I don't stick them to wooden floor directly,  instead I have the spikes sitting in Herbie's Audio Lab decoupling sliders which sound better to my ears than the spike floor protectors that came with my Outriggers.  Once I put them in, I left them there and have not been inclined to change. An added advantage of the Herbie's, as the name suggests, is they allow for easier repositioning if needed without lifting the speaker or fearing a spike will gouge the floor if it slips out of the cup.  I like them so much I also use them under a rack that also sits on the wooden floor.  Herbie's argument, as you can read on his site, is that spiking direct to wooden floors allows floor vibrations to move back up to the speaker hence his recommendation to decouple. I don't know what the measurements show, but I've been happy with that decoupling approach. And at $16 a slider, they did not break the bank. I've used them for over 10 years now, happy enough not to worry further or feel the need to keep testing my reactions to the sound.

SeagoatLeo

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 13
Re: Coupling vs. Decoupling
« Reply #2 on: 26 Oct 2020, 08:40 pm »
I couple my speakers with spikes to the floor.  The floor is a poured 3/4" steel rebar reinforced 12" thick 3000 lb psi concrete slab.  I have no vibration problems emanating from the floor; however, the speaker could be vibrating rather than the floor.
 

jonbee

Re: Coupling vs. Decoupling
« Reply #3 on: 26 Oct 2020, 09:46 pm »
IMO, it is a matter of the type of structure you are coupling to and what direction you want to go. A hardwood floor in a wood frame structure can be quite resonant, and you may get better clarity by decoupling from it. A concrete floor is pretty stiff, so coupling can provide a solid foundation for the speaker. This approach would likely sound leaner, however.
This is only a generality and you may get different results depending on which direction you want the tonality of the total system to take.

SeagoatLeo

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 13
Re: Coupling vs. Decoupling
« Reply #4 on: 26 Oct 2020, 10:02 pm »
Thank you.  I certainly don't have a lean sounding system.  It has a tubed phono pre, pre-amp and amps.  Together with the finely tuned room built to SOTA quality (less expensive than a SOTA equipped system), I have what one calls a McIntosh MC30 mid-range but with extended and full bass.  When I upgrade to Von Schweikert speakers, the speakers shouldn't resonate/vibrate either so I won't have to worry that the speakers will color the sound using spikes.

Photon46

Re: Coupling vs. Decoupling
« Reply #5 on: 26 Oct 2020, 10:32 pm »
There are well engineered examples of both approaches that yield excellent results. Decoupling IsoAcoustic Gaia feet work well and Stillpoints work very well also (although they technically perform both decoupling and coupling.) I replaced the spikes on my KEF R500 with Gaia's and was quite pleased with the results. I replaced the hard Ceraball type factory feet on my Tidal Piano Ceras with Stillpoints SS and the improved resolution of low level subtleties was quite remarkable. From feedback I've read from owner of even $100,000.00+ speakers Stillpoints can improve upon the factory feet. Like many people, I was reluctant to spend what Stillpoints cost. However, once I've heard them I'd consider them money well spent if not something of a bargain relative to the performance boost they give. IsoAcoustic Gaia's seem to have near universal positive impact and certainly are cheaper than Stillpoints. The one possible issue I see with those is the possibility of the elastomer material changing durometer as it ages. No idea if that would be a real worry, but I have seen that issue with other similar materials as time passes.

SeagoatLeo

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 13
Re: Coupling vs. Decoupling
« Reply #6 on: 27 Oct 2020, 03:30 am »
Thanks.  I use a bevy of Stillpoints ultra-minis and SS under my phono pre, 3 preamps (one for 78s), 3 amps, isolation transformer, VPI power box, cd transport and TV cable box.  They don't work under my DAC.  I use buckwheat pillows under my other solid state phono pre and my cd recorder/burner.  I've tried about a dozen different brands of isolation and vibration devices which were equal to or less good than the SS.  The absolute worst were the Magico Qpods which are very expensive and completely robbed the music of pace, just dead sounding when tried on all my components in my main listening system.  I would like to try the SS 5s and 6s but they are rather expensive.  I'm looking for used SS ultra-minis for more TV equipment at a discount. 

Due to earthquake potential, I worry about my 185 lb speakers falling over with spikes, SS or elastomer types.   The safest but worse sound would be for them to be placed on their flat bottoms.  Hopefully, my future speakers will have an outrigger system or shaped triangularly so they wouldn't tip over easily.   During the 1994 earthquake, I had Martin Logan Monolith IIIs that fell down flat with no damage over 5.5" reinforced concrete floor.   I do hope that the 12" think reinforced slab will prevent speaker movement.

dpatters

Re: Coupling vs. Decoupling
« Reply #7 on: 27 Oct 2020, 05:19 pm »
I use Track Point Isolation footers on my Vapor Joule Blacks which are on suspended hardwood floors with excellent results. These speakers are 250lbs ea. I had EdenSound Ceramic footers before these.





Don P

SeagoatLeo

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 13
Re: Coupling vs. Decoupling
« Reply #8 on: 27 Oct 2020, 07:47 pm »
Those look very nice.   Unfortunately, I have carpet (90 oz.) under the speakers before the 12" slab and I live in earthquake country.   My shelving is also a mix of steel, sand & shot on low rise spikes widely spaced to prevent tipping over during an earthquake.

es347

  • Facilitator
  • Posts: 1867
  • ..I've got my eye on you...which one you say?
Re: Coupling vs. Decoupling
« Reply #9 on: 18 Nov 2020, 04:30 pm »
..I ran CMS Rize footers under my VR5 Anniversaries for years and the improvement in sonics was dramatic..