Isolation Products

Here’s a thread for discussing all things related to isolation products of all sorts.

Lots of things out there:
Disks, pucks, and dampers to absorb vibrations (turn them into heat)
Spikes, shelves, and stands (transmit the vibration to “ground”)
Combinations of the above, and probably some other ideas I’ve never encountered.

Prices run the gamut as well.

What do you love? What do you like? What do you consider snake oil?


Thanks for starting this thread, @Lou_Ford!

I’ll kick things off with what I’ve found effective (often wishing I didn’t):

  • Isoacoustics Zazen I Isolation Stand - I got this just for kicks to put under my Dave to see if I’d notice a difference. Welp. I did. Was it world changing? No. But there was just a bit more smoothness and ease of flow to the music - and a slightly blacker background. Having had this experience, I moved on to the rest of my components…
  • Isoacoustics pucks - I have them under everything, except the DAVE. Specifically, the Orea graphites for small stuff (server, scaler, DDC), and Orea Indigo for bigger stuff (tube amp and PowerPlant). Same improvements as for the DAVE, but just more. Smoother, easier flow to the music, and a blacker background.
  • Sorbothane Isolation Disks - These are a no-brainer, given the price. I bought four to place under my entire rack from IsolateIt. Result? You guessed it - just a bit more of the above, which shouldn’t be a shocker. If I could go back again, I’d probably start here, actually and slowly get pucks for everything else over time. At least this starts by decoupling your entire rack (to a degree, of course) from the rest of the world. I live in NYC, where there are subways, traffic, other residents, and tons of other stuff to shake things imperceptibly.
  • Tube Dampers - I was so ready for these to be snake oil. They just stink of it, right? But, I try to keep an open mind, and these weren’t too expensive to just try “just in case”. Well, you can’t have them. They’re staying. I think I would actually rank these over the other isolation products in the list. The music out of my tube amp was noticeably more focused and it cleaned up a bit of reverb (that I didn’t know was there). However, an interesting experience I had was that, specifically for my power tubes (2A3’s), having one damper actually added some noise - maybe it was picking up some vibration and was the right pressure to actually resonate with it - but adding a second damper to the single tube resulted in dead silence (so 2 dampers less noise than no dampers, less noise than 1 damper). I’m sure this is very case-by-case, but just thought I’d throw it out there in case anyone else runs into this.

Jury still out:

  • Cable Lifters - I haven’t done any careful A/B listening here, and I also have only one power cable in my headphone rack that uses it. I do have cable lifters for my 2 channel setup, but again, I haven’t really done on/off critical listening, and my 2 channel system isn’t nearly as resolving as my headphone setup. To be clear, for the products in the prior section, I didn’t need careful A/B-ing. The improvements was obvious enough. Not so for cable lifters. I figure, worst case they’re keeping my nice cables off the floor. Best case, they marginally improve the sound. These are definitely not a big deal in either system, though.

That’s interesting about the 2 dampers but I’m not very surprised about having an impact as 2A3 and 300B tubes are generally microphonic.

I am curious about this as I’d expect this to make a difference largely if the cable was microphonic.


I have Isoacoustic pucks for my turntable that definitely make a difference, at least when there is an obvious impact (i.e. I accidentally bump the audio rack or something). I have 3 more waiting to go under my DNA Stellaris, if that tells you anything about how much faith I have in these.


Photo for illustrative purposes:

I’d also like to add that these should be pretty far down your upgrade list as compared to spending the extra money improving your sources, amps, cables, etc.

You also probably won’t notice if you don’t have a very resolving system (think flagship headphones and DAC and amp in the 4+ figure range). This is not meant to be a brag - just that you might be disappointed if you haven’t built things out sufficiently to notice such minute changes - because they are ultimately minute.


Isolation/coupling/decoupling makes large SQ differences to my ears, but mostly for speaker systems where large amount of vibrations are generated. If headphone only, things like turnables, spinning CD transports, microphonic tubes, etc can still be affected.

Here is an interesting video where ISO Acoustics Gaia III isolation feet are actually measured and large differences seen, albeit with 30 Hz signal in speaker system:

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What turntable is that? It’s beautiful, and elegant :+1:

Its looks remind me of a turntable I had WAY back when, from a company in Santa Barbara (1 guy really, named Sao Z Win), the Win Labs SDC-10.

Check out the pics in this ad, the guy listing it has the time frame for it wrong; it was from the early 80’s! It was pretty groundbreaking in a lot of ways, and a piece of art. In hindsight I wish I’d never sold it…


I actually replaced all my isoacoustic stuff with gingko audio isolation products (cause I was curious). Having those made me realize how much of a poor value the isoacoustic pucks are, at least imo. The differences weren’t even tiny, at least in my system. I also like the many articles/papers gingko has on their website. Although their products look stupid simple and no nonsense, they work quite well. I was pretty impressed by them (good value imo), especially with the midrange and lower noise.

For reference, I use their acrylic platforms (cloud-10), wool balls (mini-cloud22), and wooden archs (mini-archs). They use acrylic because of its dense molecular structure (you can tell it dissipates vibrations well when you knock on it), the wool balls are meant for anything tube/vinyl, and the archs are for anything digital. Platforms weigh around 5 lbs (in addition to your component), wool balls support up to 10 lbs each, and archs support up to 5 lbs each. The archs can also be stacked to increase their maximum hold.

As for my setup…

  • amp: acrylic base → 5 wool balls → acrylic platform → amp
  • dac: acrylic base → 4 archs → acrylic platform → dac
  • streamer: 4 double-stacked archs (30 lb limit) → acrylic platform → streamer
  • regenerator: acrylic base → 4 wool balls → regen

I think we should notate for some of our members that this should only apply to stereo listeners. But than again I’m certain some of us might be dancing with our headphones on :grin:

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Sound Addicted 1.8 ‘’ (8 Pack) isolation feet for like $28 on amazon.
really big and soft but don’t really hear a difference, they look cool though.

System is a $57 Nobsound TPA3116D2 2.1 Amplifier Stereo Amp 2×50W+100W Subwoofer. don’t have a subwoofer yet but might pick up a sas bazooka 8" or 10"

Speakers are $109 Micca OoO’s

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When budgeting for component isolation products which aren’t specific to the product (e.g. requiring screwing into a chassis, though even in that case there are options), be sure to include the functionally equivalent products marketed as “Furniture Pads” or “Furniture Sliders”.

Subwoofers are a special (and widely misunderstood) component for isolation, since there are three factors which can significantly affect performance:

  1. Position affecting vertical room modes
  2. Isolation (absorption) affecting vertical room modes
  3. Isolation from the floor affecting direct transmission of vibration

This gets complicated quickly and results can vary considerably, however using a riser will usually improve the performance of a horizontally well-positioned subwoofer by addressing all three, whereas “feet” will only address the third and the plates in the next room are most likely not rattling due to direct vibration. D.I.Y. riser options abound.


Color me curious. :slight_smile:


I was pretty surprised too, you should give it a try when you can. Although since you use a rack, their might not be enough clearance to use the platforms. You don’t have to use them though but it is more effective with them.

I did share my impressions with Vinh and he told me many of his customers also used to use isoacoustics. I thought that was interesting. Lol

Here are 2 little pics in case you’re curious…


It’s a E.A.T. C-Sharp

As far as people who threw away vinyl & turntables that they’d give anything to have back now I think you’re in very good company.

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Generally I would agree that isolation pucks are intended for “2 channel” speaker listeners, but at the “summit-fi” level of head-fi the equipment can be VERY vibration sensitive, too - especially tubes & turntables. Pair that with ultra-resolving headphones and it’s a recipe for hearing every footstep and breath.

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Me too, but I haven’t been able to make much sense of the write-ups at the Gingko Audio website.

Some more products in the same general price category are the “Equipment Vibration Protectors” from AV RoomService, Ltd.

I know there are also rubber balls. Do you know the rationale for which material is preferred for various types of equipment?

Did you check under the technology tab?
He explains a lot of his findings there.

It should be in one of the articles on the website as well. I believe he found the wool balls to have a more dynamic and lively response in the midrange compared to the rubber balls. I don’t have the rubber balls so i can’t comment. But they are recommended for use with tube and vinyl equipment to cover the whole frequency range, same with the wool balls. I’m not sure what material he uses for the ball itself under the wool but it does feel gel-like. So it’s not a tennis ball for those wondering.

The position of the balls also play a role in it. If your amp is heavier in the back because of the power supply, for example, then shifting around the balls to where the heaviest part of the component is will distribute the weight more evenly. That’s why some of his platforms have multiple slots/indentations to accommodate for the different areas of varying weight.

In addition, he also mentions that adding more balls likely results in a warmer and richer sound because of the looser suspension. A stiffer suspension would result in a more dynamic and punchier sound. I haven’t tried it myself so no comment there.

There’s also a company called Ansuz that looks interesting too but it’s personally too pricey for me.

Indeed the scenario you pointed out is accurate, my thoughts were strictly based on not inducing over thinking about the situation. Someone may come along onto the post and suddenly think I need to buy all of this.

I know most people have a dedicated listening spot where it’s most likely only you. And a lot of the things you mentioned are not so much of a factor. Clearly it’s not for everyone and more niche.

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Re: Gingko Audio products

I’ve been reading, but I have to say I come across questionable claims about equally with explanations.

An example:
“With its curved shape and wood based material, the Speaker ARCH can flex minutely to channel vertical vibration from the loudspeaker in the horizontal direction, reducing the vibration coming back to the loudspeaker. The edges of the ARCH minimizes contact with the floor while providing a rigid base for the loudspeaker.”

No problem with the claim that the ARCH will flex – it’s a leaf spring. I guess you could call that “channel[ing] vibration … in the horizontal direction” but it’s coming right back, because that’s what springs do – they bounce back. If it didn’t, the ARCH would be flat in a relatively short time. :wink:

I believe that the ARCH reduces vibration back to the speaker, but not because of its shape. Rather, I believe it reduces the vibration because it has a semi-constrained layer of dampening material in the middle.

Yes, but so far all I can find is statements to that effect, from their listening tests. I can’t find any reason why they suspect that should be the case.