Turntable isolation

Over the last couple of weeks after some extensive reading I've done some turntable isolation following the advice of Barry Diament - who is a sound engineer.

The gist of it is that you do it in two stages.

The first is an air bearing. You slightly inflate an inner tube and place it under the turntable - just enough so that the air decouples it from the room for vertical vibrations.

The second stage and I would argue this seems to be the most important stage and it has the greater sonic benefits - is to basically get three metal ball bearings. You put each of these in a metal spherical cup (if you can find one). You arrange the cups in the shape of an equilateral triangle with as much distance between each one that you can And then you rest the turntable on top of the three ball bearings in their respective cups. This isolates it from sideways and rotary motions/vibrations. When there is a movement or a vibration the energy gets used up moving the ball bearing up the side of the cup.

I've only really been experimenting with this and I haven't really searched for something metal for the cups, but I will in time. To see if there was anything legitimate about this idea I got some of these from OSH (from the advice of another poster):

Shepherd's 1 3/4" I.D. non-slip plastic furniture cups

They work the same although after I inspected them after a week I can tell they will not be durable for the long term.

I'm not really one for tweaks like these, I don't isolate my cables from the floor etc and in most ways I want this tweak to not work as it all looks a little on the foolish side.

But it DOES work and it really works rather well, especially the ball bearings in the little cups. I don't think there's really many products for sale that does the same thing and you can buy the materials I used from Orchard Supply Hardware for about $15. I'm not really very good at getting descriptive about the glorious results in sound delivered and so forth - but the effect was extremely noticeable! Everything has gained a greater realism. If you've never heard of this (The idea seems to have been floating around the forums a good 10 years or so) this is certainly something you should try.

More reading that can explain it better is here:

http://barrydiamentaudio.com/vibration.htm

http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threa...ent-and-other-speaker-isolation-gurus.154013/

I'll post some pictures soon so you can get an idea of what I mean.
 
I think that is the only product based on this idea. But before you do.. If you can... Try out the furniture sliders and ball bearings I posted.. It's quite cheap, at least that way you will know what sort of difference it makes and hey it might be enough, could save you some money.
 

MikeT.

Senior Member
I think that is the only product based on this idea. But before you do.. If you can... Try out the furniture sliders and ball bearings I posted.. It's quite cheap, at least that way you will know what sort of difference it makes and hey it might be enough, could save you some money.

Absolutely will. I’ve been thinking about a way to do,this for the last couple of days and knew it would have to have ball bearings as part of the solution. New skyscrapers built on similar principles with a foundation that slides (I think I have this right) in response to a seismic event with the building riding smoothly atop.
 

MikeT.

Senior Member
Just ordered a four-pack of the cups along with several one inch chrome ball bearings.

I’ll post more as I get some results.

Very elegant proposed solution. Thanks @matteos
 
Excellent! Looking forward to hearing your opinions. Tweaks like these can always use more hands on and opinions.
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
Symposium Rollerblock Jr., no affiliation. I’m seriously considering ordering them. My Thorens table is wall mounted and there is NO vertical movement BUT our apartment does have some horizontal disturbances occasionally that cause a random skip.

http://www.symposiumusa.com/rbjr.html

+1 on the RBJ, though the big brother Rollerblock Series 2+ are even better with their honeycomb drill out pattern bottom holes filled with damping foam. These are the original devices of this kind to my knowledge, dating back to 1997, and their sonic efficacy is beyond reproach, though admittedly not cheap. Almost nothing this good ever is. The design is patented.

If I had to pick one tweak or accessory type of product that absolutely knocked my socks off and has proven to be non-system dependant to my ears, it would for sure be Rollerblocks.

The inner tube thing dates back just a bit further, 1994 or so if I recall, the Townshend Seismic Sink. It's still in production today although the original design has evolved, but the first incarnation was an inner tube that floated or suspended an aluminum steel top plate so as to fully decouple it from it's bottom chassis and the equipment shelf/rack. That too worked very well, though the tube needed to be periodically checked and topped off with re-inflation.
 
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Barry is of the opinion that everything you suspend in this manner has sonic rewards including CD players, amps, pre-amps and speakers. I haven't got that far along so I don't know. . He only does the ball bearings on speakers though due to the weight. I will probably do this to my speakers when I have the chance. His opinion is that marble is the best material for speakers as its smooth, firm and very strong. A marble tile under the speaker with the ball bearing moving under the hard and flat surface.
 
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MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
Do you have the roller blocks Mikey? They sure sound like they're a step up above the OSH solution.

I do, I use 1 set of Rollerblock Jr. under my integrated amp, and 2 sets of Rollerblock Series 2+ with Grade 10 Tungsten super balls, one each under the DAC and disc player.

In that context, my use case with Rollerblocks is off-topic for this thread as I ditched my Technics SL-1200 way back in 1992 (though certainly not without some amount of reoccurring regret).

I've also wondered about the more recently introduced Symposium Segue ISO Platform, a version of their shelf-like devices that has integral springs besides contained layer damping. It's meant for turntables, though I'm certain it would work under anything if their other shelf platforms and racks are any indication (I also have a Symposium rack).

SegueISOFooterViewLG.jpg
 
You're definitely not off topic at all. Would it be too much to ask for a few pictures when you have the chance?
 
That symposium rack looks amazing!!
There's never an end to spending money on audio..





And it's always worth it :)
 
I changed my ho dum rca cables with Chinese silver wire interconnects. Did not hear a difference really. This mod which was way cheaper. I did.
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
Barry is of the opinion that everything you suspend in this matter has sonic rewards including CD players amps, pre-amps and speakers. I haven't got that far along so I don't know. . He only does the ball bearings on speakers though due to the weight. I will probably do this to my speakers when I have the chance. His opinion is that marble is the best material for speakers as its smooth, firm and very strong. A marble tile under the speaker with the ball bearing moving under the hard and flat surface.

I don't (yet) have them under my speakers, but another Symposium product called Svelte works well either alone, or in conjunction with the Rollerblocks under speakers.

I first heard that demonstrated at RMAF in 2008 or so, with the Verity Parsifal. Symposium were willing to demonstrate that speaker in their room with and without the Sveltes. Not a subtle difference. But yes the Rollerblocks are very effective under loudspeakers as well, I just haven't put together the necessary scratch to add that to the mix, as I know I want Sveltes there too and the combination will be a fairly significant outlay.
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
That symposium rack looks amazing!!
There's never an end to spending money on audio..
And it's always worth it :)

Agreed, and that rack set me back big time, though absolutely no regrets and I'll have it forever. One of the best HiFi purchases I've ever made, even if it did cause a lengthy spending moratorium on all things audio!
 
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