Isolation Products

I can only share my sound impressions with the products I have. I’m not gonna answer for him so you could probably just email him and pick his brain. I bet he’d be willing to share his thoughts.

Welcome to audio. It’s the land of voodoo, fairy dust, magical crystals, and unicorn tears.

The best work I know on vibration is automobile Noise Vibration and Harshness (NVH) research. Millions and billions have been spent distinguishing between a ‘good ride’ and a ‘bad ride.’ But, that’s enormous overkill for the simple task of preventing a record player, amp, or other device from vibrating or buzzing.

I myself literally once reused padded Amazon mailing envelopes to support speakers in a pinch. They kept the speakers off a bookshelf and did away with fuzzy mud.


For most, would be my guess. 11,000 euros for a 2-meter ethernet cable is a bit on the high side. But, for those who can play in such leagues, here’s their website (they’re part of Audio Group Denmark (AGD):

I, on the other, fish in these waters: HVAC pads
I’m such a high roller I bought a box of 100. :grin:


For this discussion, I think we can break out three categories of audio gear:

  1. Stuff that makes an audible difference, and we (mostly) know why
  2. Stuff that makes an audible difference, but the reasons are poorly understood
    2a. The maker claims they know the reasons, but are making it up (purposefully, or out of well-intentioned ignorance)
    2b. The maker is honest about their ignorance, but just tried a bunch of stuff and trusted their ears
  3. Stuff that doesn’t make an audible difference

I think there is more gear in category 2 than consumers or the product makers would like to admit - particularly when we get into cables and isolation products. What I think annoys a lot of people (myself included) is when the manufacturers claim they know the “scientific” reasons something works, but the actual science is shoddy, at best. I much prefer the folks with category 2 gear that simply say “hey, I just tried a bunch of stuff, and this sounded the best.”

Still, I don’t think we should dismiss category 2 gear if there is a clear audible difference, even if the maker is over their skis on the science. I suspect Gingko is likely a proud member of category 2a. :slight_smile:


Part of the issue is that Isolation, damping & resonance are distinct problems, that are conflated in a lot of audiophile discussions.

Spikes for example couple things together and that can be desirable if you are coupling them to something inert, and is used in combination with isolation.

Isolation and Damping are what most of the products try and do in various ways.
I recently tried to find a decent subjective comparison between a number of solutions, and the best I could find was along the lines of they all do something, and this is the one I preferred…

Resonance is mostly about material selection and philosophy, and is clearly apparent in turntable design, where you have the Rega approach of make it as light as possible, to increase the resonance frequencies and minimize the amount of resonating material, and what I used to term the German school of turntable design, where you use 70lb platters, and composite sandwiches in the plinth to minimize resonance. The fact that both schools of design exist, and are highly regarded by their followers seems to imply they both have merit.

To be clear on my position, I can hear a difference with a good isolation platform on a SS amp or DAC in a headphone system. If it’s worth the cost is a different discussion. And no I cant justify that with any sort of rational explanation.
It’s up there with power cables for surprising results for me.


Thanks for this link. Those I can afford to try!


Based on what you wrote, I wonder if my rack setup is all wrong.

I have a 2 shelf rack on my Ikea wooden desk. The rack is spiked, resting on metal pucks, which are isolated from the desk using Herbies Thin Fat Dots.

The equipment resting on each shelf is isolated from the shelf using Herbies Tenderfeet.

It sounds like by using spikes, I’ve coupled the rack to the Herbies Thin Fat Dots, which are the only thing “protecting” the rack from vibrations in the desk. Should I have something more inert like a slab of granite between the desk and the Thin Fat Dots & spikes? Should I lose the spikes?

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Also depends on your of gear. I know when I first started I couldn’t hear the difference between a lot of things, but as I improved my system and more resolving chain I begin understanding why a lot of these ‘mystical fairy dust’ stuff exist, though I haven’t gotten into isolation stuff yet.

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Short version, is I don’t really know, I’m certainly not an expert in this field.
What I’ve always preferred is either pure isolation, or coupling the rack to the ground and isolating the components from the rack.
But I can see what you have working, I just haven’t tried that specific combination.

I’m always in the camp of do the experiments that are easy/cheap, and decide for yourself, and don’t over think it.
There are a few tweaks I’ve done over the years I wish I’d tried sooner.
Setting the pot to max on my Studio T to bypass it and exclusively use the volume control on the Pacific being the latest revelation, BUT while a number have stayed, most of them haven’t been revelatory in the impact. And IME your always better off enjoying what you have than worrying if your missing out on the last 1%.


I agree with this. I think there is a lot in audio/hearing that we don’t understand and can’t yet measure, but our ears can sometimes hear it.

It is also a fact that wiggly air without an ear to hear it and a brain to process it is not sound. Your ears & brain do half the work, so if you hear a difference, whether by science or placebo or confirmation bias, that difference exists. So if it makes your music sound better to you don’t let anyone tell you your isolation pucks or fairy dust or audio crystals don’t work. :wink:


I fully, 100% believe that isolation products work. I use them and recommend them. I’m not convinced that anything beyond a basic foam pad or tire inner tube or soft rubber block does anything. But some of the dedicated stuff looks great for sure.


Goldmund cones are extraordinary and work as advertised. In a speaker- based system, the sonic improvements are obvious. I am not sure if they are still made, unfortunately I have only one set. Symposium rollerblocks are also good but use a different concept. Such devices are important in a high quality audio system.


Did I read that correctly? 11 THOUSAND Euros for an ethernet cable?

Because nothing screams “I’ve got money to burn” like taking 11,000 € and (lighting them on fire) buying a 2M ethernet cable.

Yup. As Forrest Gump says, “stupid is as stupid does”.


It’s all relative when you build a custom room, for a system costing 7 figures, where the speaker cables are probably close to 6 figures, the 11,000 Euro network cable is a positive bargain.

The very high end of 2Ch is pretty insane, you can easily spend $50,000 and up on a phono preamp, and I’ve heard people espose that really good speakers START at $50K.

TOTL is just in a different place than it is for headphones.


OMG I’m been looking for such a thread.
Was even considering making my own DIY sandbox isolation platform this morning.

I think for this to be meaningful, descriptors of the specific permutations and such matter. As well as what rack/stand, carpet vs hardwood, etc. Isolation vs coupling have very different effects on different components. And also the source of vibration.

For example, my office rig is sitting on a hardwood floating floor (above a foundation), in the corner of my office but in close proximity to (but not contacting) a wooden desk where unfortunately there are 2 computers w/ fans, two monitors, multiple network switches, multiple PSU w/ fans, etc. My rig sits on a large Timbernation maple stand which is on steel cones on steel pucks. My DAC is on Polycrystal cones, and my amp is on BDR cones. My Aurender is on Vibrapods. The top shelf is floating on cones on top of the rack, and it has my Rega P8.

Recently I noticed an intermittent audible high frequency whine coming directly from the components. I’m suspecting it is transformer hum, but I can’t tell for sure if it’s tube microphonics or perhaps even signal/chassis ground noise. No tube dampers here (yet). I pressed on the amp housing and it seemed to decrease a little, so am thinking about putting extra mass on top of the amp (e.g. brick).

TLDR, I’m somewhat lost in the rabbit hole, not sure what to do next. Might try an isolation platform under the Nautilus plus a brick on top, but I’m also thinking about putting an accelerometer on everything and figuring it out…

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Just to make this rabbit hole even worse:

Caelin Gabriel of Shunyata is a strong believer in isolation for his power conditioners. That’s part of the technology behind the Denali series and how microvibrations can perturb even the AC signal interfaces. I’m considering changing my power condition to either a Denali or Puritan PSM, but unfortunately due to space can’t put it rightside up. Not sure if that will affect it either…

Man, now my audio juices are going…

If we’re gonna talk about tube dampers, can you please help me figure out which ones to do first? Power tubes? Rectifiers? Input tubes?

I’m not sure there is an easy answer for that.
It’s one of those things that seem highly dependant on the gear in question.
I have a set for my DAC, and it’s one of the products I expected to make a larger difference, but in the end on the Lampizator in my environment the improvement was maginal at best, to the point I haven’t bothered putting them back on after the last time I swapped tubes.
But I know people with different gear who swear by them, so YMMV.

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Noises can be a pain to track down.
Microphonic tubes aren’t audible from the device, but through the headphones/speakers.
Transformer hum is usually 60Hz, so I doubt it’s that.
High frequency whines are usually either a failing capacitor, and occasionally coil whine, but it’s unusual for the latter to develop after the fact.
Tubes can also whine (though it’s unusual IME), so I’d start by swapping tubes (assuming you have spares), or at least pulling them to see if it goes away.

My Studio T Whines at startup for 20-30s, but it’s “normal” for that amp, it’s a function of the tube heater construction the somewhat odd high frequency heater circuit in the amp and the startup process.

For me, the order of importance was (1) Rectifier, biggest improvement, (2) input tube, (3) power tubes, smallest improvement.

However, I noticed a difference on all of them. I’m sure it varies by amp and tube type, though. I have a Stellaris running a 5U4G/GZ34 rectifier, 6BQ7A/6BK7B/6N1P input (but actually, never the 6N1P), and 2A3 power.

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