Improve Your Loudspeakers Sound with this Tweak?

Do IsoAcoustics Isolators Really Work?

  • Yes. It's a great tweak and must have despite their cost.

    Votes: 9 22.5%
  • Not sure. Sounds like snake oil to me.

    Votes: 31 77.5%
  • No. I tried them and heard no difference.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    40
TheoN

TheoN

Audioholics Contributing Writer
I read your comments, but objective measurement would make dialing in the required degree and range of damping effect would make a 'one size fits all' device unnecessary since the weight of speakers varies so much.

Never been a fan of buttkickers. Tactile sensation varies, according to the person. I had a Mazda RX-7 with a subwoofer behind one of the front seats and when I was driving with another person in the car, he asked if I could turn the bass down because he was becoming nauseated. I didn't feel it in the same way because I'm a lot bigger than he was.

So far, I haven't heard a system in a residence that 'felt' the same as a live show. I have heard loud, strong bass, good presence and airy sound, but it never sounds the same and a large part of the reason is obviously the power of the systems/speaker size, etc but the number of variables is large. I can't begin to estimate the number of times I heard people say "I want it to sound exactly the same as it did in the studio when this was recorded" but that really shows the lack of understanding about how music sound in studios and how it's recorded. I think we search for sound that we inherently like, but the hardest part of finding it in how we aren't able to put our description into words. Most equipment choices are compromises to some degree because we may not be able to afford what we REALLY want or maybe, we just haven't heard what stroked our hair the way we like, if you know what I mean.

By any chance, have you heard the large Steinway-Lyngdorf system?
So true about live concerts right! I saw Sting at the Worcester Centrum long ago and oddly enough where we were sitting the bass was almost too much—punching and penetrating like an X-Ray with the opening act. Haven't experienced anything like it before or since. It was actually an unpleasant sensation

Alas no, I have not yet had a chance to hear the Steinway-Lyngdorf system! Funny you should mention Lyngdorf. It came up in conversation last week and I've been looking at the MP-60 2.1 specifically. The specific context of the conversation was the different approach to room EQ with Room Perfect and I was seriously thinking of asking for a review unit to take it for a spin.
 
TheoN

TheoN

Audioholics Contributing Writer
I read your comments, but objective measurement would make dialing in the required degree and range of damping effect would make a 'one size fits all' device unnecessary since the weight of speakers varies so much.
Very interesting point. A chunk of these isolation products do seem to have weight range or limit. The GAIA III models I tested for the Revels were for their range and the GAIA Titans were for the RBH's massive 205lb range. There are less expensive GAIA models like the GAIA I for speakers 70lbs and under.

Talking about the Sorbothane products I had used, the plastic cover will break if you exceed the weight requirement (happened to me). And with the Vibrapods, they will collapse if you put something on top of them that exceeds the weight requirement.

Other than a turntable as I had mentioned in a previous post, I haven't personally experienced any sonic improvement by putting a Vibrapod or Sorbothane under my components such as a Bluray player or under my Anthem preamp, for example. To be clear, I'm not advancing or advocating that position. I rack all my equipment with rack mount ears in a Salamander rack and don't modify the rack.

It would seem to me that the way tubes are sensitive to vibrations that owners of tube electronics would be the best candidates for that kind of application.
 
H

Hetfield

Audioholic Samurai
Well as I have said I'm not dismissive of the idea or the science. What I am dismissive of is spending thousands on this kinda thing. Spending thousands to decouple your speakers is then a form of snake oil.
I have them under my bookshelf surrounds and my center channel now. In my opinion it makes a difference, the center sounds much better.

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highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
So true about live concerts right! I saw Sting at the Worcester Centrum long ago and oddly enough where we were sitting the bass was almost too much—punching and penetrating like an X-Ray with the opening act. Haven't experienced anything like it before or since. It was actually an unpleasant sensation

Alas no, I have not yet had a chance to hear the Steinway-Lyngdorf system! Funny you should mention Lyngdorf. It came up in conversation last week and I've been looking at the MP-60 2.1 specifically. The specific context of the conversation was the different approach to room EQ with Room Perfect and I was seriously thinking of asking for a review unit to take it for a spin.
Sound guys, right?

I did sound for a while and hated the bands that didn't understand.

Best bass I ever had at home was from a pair of ElectroVoice 30W woofers. The bass in 'Rosanna' by Toto, as an example, was very realistic and having played bass since I was 10 years old, worked in a music store and knowing many people in bands, I have definitely heard some good live low end. I wish I could have kept them but they wouldn't fit into my house. Everything sounded great with those.

I heard the Steinway-Lyyngdorf in Indy during CEDIA in 2005- freaking incredible!
 
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S

snakeeyes

Audioholic Ninja
Now these are in my price range. :)
I added the SVS isolation feet to my Rythmik LVX12 sub today. I spent $50 for feet on a sub that cost me $800 originally. If I perceive even a 1% improvement I’ll replace the feet on my other Rythmik and HSU subs. :)
 
H

Hetfield

Audioholic Samurai
I added the SVS isolation feet to my Rythmik LVX12 sub today. I spent $50 for feet on a sub that cost me $800 originally. If I perceive even a 1% improvement I’ll replace the feet on my other Rythmik and HSU subs. :)
Oh forgot I have isolation feet also on my both my SVS subs. That's a good investment also in my opinion, cheap enough and looks better alone than the little feet the sub come with.

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S

snakeeyes

Audioholic Ninja
Oh forgot I have isolation feet also on my both my SVS subs. That's a good investment also in my opinion, cheap enough and looks better alone than the little feet the sub come with.

Sent from my Pixel 4 XL using Tapatalk
I do like the look. :)

My first impression is it’s great but that could be placebo. LOL :)
 
H

Hetfield

Audioholic Samurai
I do like the look. :)

My first impression is it’s great but that could be placebo. LOL :)
Ok, if you believe that. That's all anyone says around here, "placebo effect". It's a convenient way to just dismiss people.

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S

snakeeyes

Audioholic Ninja
Ok, if you believe that. That's all anyone says around here, "placebo effect". It's a convenient way to just dismiss people.

Sent from my Pixel 4 XL using Tapatalk
Well I can say the original tiny feet look like a joke compared to the SVS ones. I certainly will be keeping this first set. Just unsure if I will buy 3 more sets.

I want to say my subjective opinion so far is they work awesome for my room, but I have no graphs to back that up. :)
 
H

Hetfield

Audioholic Samurai
Well I can say the original tiny feet look like a joke compared to the SVS ones. I certainly will be keeping this first set. Just unsure if I will buy 3 more sets.

I want to say my subjective opinion so far is they work awesome for my room, but I have no graphs to back that up. :)
Yeah, I'm sorry I didn't mean you in particular but just anytime anyone says anything about what they hear from speakers in particular people immediately say "placebo effect". Just bothers me, just very dismissive.

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lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Fixing that above problem does actually require a very compliant decoupler. Rubber feet are not nearly compliant enough. Sadly only SVS and Isoacoustics makes decouplers with the right compliance to fix this. There is nothing fancy about this. It could be made cheaply. It just isn’t common.

For those interested I am happy to share cheap decouplers that would have the right compliance for this. None look good.
So what is the durometer required and of what material? I couldn't care less about the aesthetic of something under a speaker really, so what are the cheap decouplers that work as well as these IsoAcoustics offerings?
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
The goal of my article was to raise this question from the 2nd paragraph in the review:


Any
journey—any inquiry—starts somewhere with questions and observations. My personal experience with the IsoAcoustics GAIA isolators paired with different speakers and placed on different flooring substrates taught me that indeed this is an area that we as audio enthusiasts need to explore more.

The ultimate question is: Do isolation products "work"?

If they do, to what extent? Or, are they actually destructive to a speaker's performance? Do some flooring substrate materials benefit more? (What I perceived and hypothesized is that the substrate material-speaker interaction plays a clear role in the "performance" of the IsoAcoustics product). If yes, what are those substrate materials? What are some use cases where isolation products may make sense? Are there a set of objective standards and measurements that can be developed to then measure and compare them?

This is all part of the discussion I wanted to start. I hope that discussion will lead to further exploration with broader measurements, standards, and conclusions. And to someone's question, yes, you have PSB, Dynaudio, and others who are offering IsoAcoustics isolators as part of their speakers.

I also hope this process re-emphasizes that speakers and the rooms they are placed in are part of a larger system. Therefore when we talk about any speaker in a room, we need to remind ourselves continually that the speaker-room interaction is an organism.

I can think of no better place than Audioholics for questions and discussions like this to take place with tough questions and rigorous debate. That's the gem of @gene 's vision and what contributors like @Matthew J Poes have brought to the site.

As to the point of price— just look at the con in the review ;). Yes, they are expensive. Yet put it into perspective. The GAIA III for speakers up to 70lbs is roughly $240. That's not a big hit. That's more in line where most enthusiasts would have their speakers.

Speakers in the 100+lb to 200+lb range don't cost $500. Those speakers are going to cost thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars. That enthusiast will pay more in sales tax than the $800 or $1,000 cost for a set of IsoAcoustics isolators! The IsoAcoustics GAIA and TITAN are beautifully built and of course someone would want something that is aesthetically designed and built well to pair with a $15,000, $25,000, or $70,000+ speaker. There's nothing wrong with accessorizing your gear with beautifully designed audio jewelry.

Finally, I had very specific goals in mind for the IsoAcoustics product for my setup. I found the GAIA to be a great solution for me in my setups—especially for heavy speakers on hardwood floors with no marring, scratching, or residue.

I'll leave you with this. Many years ago at our previous home, the tonearm of my turntable would physically skip if someone would walk in a certain area of the hardwood floor. I purchased some Sorbothane isolators along with some Vibrapod isolation feet. Not only did the combination of the two isolation products stop the tonearm skipping, someone could now jump in that area of the floor and the tonearm wouldn't miss a beat. The Sorbothane left residue markings on my cabinet and the top cracked. EDIT: Here's the link to the Sorbothane feet I had used: https://www.crutchfield.com/S-tiD3NRvHfwb/p_703SQFEET/AudioQuest-SorboGel-Q-Feet.html

Believe what you want about isolation products. Isolation products do nothing? My experience tells me otherwise. I think there's something there. I'm looking forward to what I feel is the much needed and necessary research into this area—to prove or disprove. And it will be great to say it all started on Audioholics first.
So now that you've started it, you're not going to finish it with something in the way of objective testing/measuring?
 
W

warnerwh

Full Audioholic
I'll believe these feet work as a benefit when there are objective measurements proving there is an audible difference. The only thing I can think of these feet would do would be to lift the speaker higher off of the floor. This will affect the bass and the speaker/room interaction so the frequency response at the listening position could be a tiny bit different. Then there's the other possiblity and that these feet could cause the sound in a particular room to be worse depending on the acoustics of that particular room. An accelerometer on the speaker cabinets both with and without the feet needs to be used also. I'll bet this never happens.
 
zieglj01

zieglj01

Audioholic Spartan
As the amazing and unique audiophile world turns with the wonders of the human mind and ear!!!
 
A

Alwezhpy

Enthusiast
I never thought that decoupling my loudspeakers from the floor would have such a profound impact on their sound. IsoAcoustics GAIA Isolators showed me otherwise and there is real science behind them which we will explore in this review. I tried the GAIA isolators on both of my reference systems featuring Revel Salon 2s and RBH Sound SVTR speakers. What I heard was nothing short of marvelous. Read on to find out why.

View attachment 51609

Read: IsoAcoustics GAIA Isolators Review
I've tried this with my Wharfedale Diamond 250's and Klipsch Tangent 50's and thought I could hear a small difference. Not sure if it was the power of suggestion or a real difference. This wouldn't work on my Klipshorns as that bottom seal is part of it's bass management to push the bass sound out the sides.
 
B

buckchester

Audioholic Intern
I'll be blunt. Audioholics; you can do better than this.

In my opinion, the author of this article is intelligent and well informed. At least from what I've seen. But this article is neither.
 
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B

buckchester

Audioholic Intern
There are no audible resonances in the Salon 2 to begin with, right? So this product is fixing a problem that doesn't exist on this loudspeaker. Show us before and after measurements. And show us results from DBTs, otherwise, leave this topic to someone who is willing to explore it objectively.
 
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