Turntable isolation

Discussion in 'System and Room Tweaks' started by matteos, Apr 13, 2018.

  1. Former Member

    Former Member Active Member

    I have my doubts about the roller block idea under turntables. I have a hard time coming to grips with the idea that horizontal movement should be accepted, and this would have no effect on the stylus in the groove. As I think about it, i do not see where the table, arm, and stylus will end up moving in unison to any kind of vibration or subtle movement in the horizontal plane.

    A number of years ago i DIY's an isolation platform that was two layers, with the mapleshade type pads as one level of isolation, and then a set of roller blocks in cupped holes in the first layer of wood, and a second layer on top of that the component sat on. The platform changed the overall presentation of the system, but it was not an improvement. I tried cones in place of the pads, and it once again was different, but not an improvement. I ended up calling it a failure, and got better results with cones directly under the components.

    While I can understanding absorbing unwanted energy, or sinking it away from a component, I cannot see instability to a turntable being an advantage.

    Mister Pig
  2. Mr Pig. I put a 2 inch block of maple wood under my turntable and it sounded like crap. Worse than not having it at all.. And that's my new turntable.. The one you recommended!! Thanks by the way because it's good. But did you truly try this? I did and the difference was apparent.. It was really obvious. I implore you to give this another shot.
  3. If you want. PM me. I've got three ball bearings and three cups spare in my house. I'll send them to you. I know you've got some serious audio.. Hit me up If you want. I think the difference is big. I'm happy to send them. Report back on whether they make any difference.
  4. MikeyFresh

    MikeyFresh Moderator Staff Member

    Not insubstantial, but also a great price performance ratio in my experience so absolutely no regret.

    I have a 3-level Basic.

    If I win the lottery I'd certainly instantly order their copper legged Osiris.
    matteos likes this.
  5. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Smart Ass Member

    I don't know why nobody copies the SOTA table system. The out side plinth can be made easy, the hanging sub chassis can be made easy and the outside plinth feet go though that with springs connecting the two.

    Now we take a flat board with 4 studs and 4 holes on the top of the plinth. Just like the plinth supports it's self thought the sub chassis through holes, the studs on the board will stand on the floating sub chassis not touching the outer plinth. Then any table will sit on top of that, the spring choice is dependent on the combined weight above the sub chassis.

    The goal would be a very smooth movement

    The reason the SOTA works and you don't get skips, is the movement isn't harsh or abrupt. It moves freely and smooth from start to stop of any agitation.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
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  6. TubeHiFiNut

    TubeHiFiNut Administrator Staff Member

    The Micro Seiki RX1500VG is a very high mass table - 80 pounds total (the platter is 30+ of those pounds). Other than the silk thread drive, the motor is decoupled from the arm/platter section.

    I want it firmly and securely in place. ;)
    matteos likes this.
  7. MikeyFresh

    MikeyFresh Moderator Staff Member

    Ok below are a few older pics, sorry again if this amounts to off-topic in terms of turntable isolation (or in my case lack thereof).

    I'd tend to agree with the above posts that Rollerblocks are not optimal for many turntable designs, though it could work for some. Symposium does have that Segue ISO that I posted on the previous page, and also a much more involved Quantum Signature platform meant for the VPI HRX type of table, those look much more appropriate for a vinyl spinner.

    My Arcam DV-29 on RollerBlock Series 2+ (please excuse the crappy old camera phone quality photos):


    The Musical Fidelity A308 on Rollerblock Jr, PS Audio DL III on RB Series 2+, and DSPeaker 2.0 on Svelte Plus w/Precision Couplers:

    Last edited: Apr 27, 2018
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  8. airdronian

    airdronian Junior Member

    Wow. Had I seen that SOTA would have been on the radar for my last TT purchase.
    4-2-7 likes this.
  9. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Smart Ass Member

    I think and have see many make the SOTA their last turntable. In fact one of my tables came from a 79 year old audiophile who bought it new with a SME Series V arm and a Sumiko cartridge back in 1986, It was his last table. I don't see any reason to change tables, even though I have bought others to play with. But inexpensive or high end, nothings bumping them out of the system.
    matteos likes this.
  10. That is awesome. I don’t begin to pretend to know much about the topic but I think springs work differently... like they don’t necessarily absorb the energy they bounce it back.. I suppose some is lost. I guess the ball bearings work on the same principal I think they just use more of the energy up going back and forward than a spring.

    It’s conjecture on my part. Unless we can compare the two ideas back to back we don’t really know.

    I didn’t have feedback or skipping on this table before this system. It appeared absolutely solid. But I must also say my ears are not a scientific instrument. Not close and there’s definitely an element of bias.. not just with these tweaks but with literally every upgrade I’ve ever made. It would be nice to push a button and go back to an old amp, Old speakers, old turntable.. before tweaks too and compare but the reality is it takes some time to set these things up and by the time you’ve done it you’ve lost in your mind what it actually sounds like. The best I can do is sit and listen for a while and make an opinion based on that.

    Here’s the weird thing I upgraded my cart to the denon S1 over the 103r and immediately it sounded so much better. But now I’ve lived with it I question... does it really sound better? It all sounded excellent before and I think if I dropped the old cart back in I’d notice a degradation... but my enjoyment of my system now... that’s not really improved over before. It did the first week and it was fantastic but a few weeks later my enjoyment of the system is just.. the same.

    I think there is a limiting factor on HiFi perhaps and it’s probably us. In the long term I suppose that will save me money.

    I also type most of my posts on a phone and I have to say that’s frustrating.. so many errors and bad grammar I try and clean it up but...
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2018
  11. On the plus side Jeff has built my audio mods arm. Just got to pay him and wait for shipping. I wonder what that will do to the sound quality.
  12. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Smart Ass Member

    This is the reason I tell people to acclimate to things they change and spend time with it. Hang onto whatever was pulled out because when you get back to it it might sound better again. I don't over use my main system and when I do listen to it it sounds great.
    matteos and TubeHiFiNut like this.
  13. TubeHiFiNut

    TubeHiFiNut Administrator Staff Member

    The care and feeding of the Denon DL-103.....

    Never believed that a turntable could make THAT much difference until I mounted my trusty DL-103 on the ET II (high mass arm tube) arm and Micro Seiki RX1500VG (very high mass) table (with vacuum platter). Added the 12" Grace G660 arm (with a DL-103, of course) and find that I am gravitating toward using it more and more.

    Low end? Oh baby!

    Image? Large and rock solid!

    Sounds like music? In spades!

    I fool around with other tables/arms/carts and enjoy how they present the music, but the Micro Seiki is the table SYSTEM I use when I want to just flat get lost in the music.

    What does all of this have to do with isolation?

    Given that your table mitigates motor and bearing vibrations successfully.....

    The Micro Seiki is a very high mass table. Both arms are high mass arms (the Grace more so).

    The table is on a (carpeted) cement floor and physically isolated from the speakers by a wall (hence my extra long interconnects from preamp to power amps).

    Isolation is, in my opinion, very important to get the best performance from your table. And not just from footfalls or other floor initiated vibrations, but also from airborne vibration hitting your tonearm/cart.

    There are several philosophies regarding how best to accomplish proper isolation if you can't physically isolate your table.....Linns, Regas, et.

    I prefer mass.....the more the better. :)

    Ymmv..... :)
    MikeyFresh likes this.
  14. It’s been eye opening upgrading like this. Before I thought if you’ve got a good drive system and a decent plinth the real upgrades come with the arm and cart. But I think both of those (drive and plinth) are equally as important if not more so. No wish to repeat myself but I did get the audiomods arm and have put my thoughts in my intro thread.

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