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It Started With Isoacoustic Gaia’s and Quickly Got Out Of Hand


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38 minutes ago, Nopiano said:

Well, I’m sure that might be the accepted wisdom for those who have concrete floors.  But many seem to have floor boards, or live in an upstairs apartment, or above a basement, etc., all of which are far from the imaginary ‘concrete slab’.  
Actually, if we want to debate ‘ideally’ then surely ideally speakers would be suspended in space by immovable forces without any floor contact at all!  Ultimately, though, the need is simply to keep them secure enough not to move backwards, hence absorbing wanted movement from the drivers.

So are we saying, back to basics, if you have a concrete, or similar rigid floor the traditional spikes/marble slabs/etc. under speakers is the way to go. And "isolation" e.g. Pucks/Isolation Feet/Rubber/etc./etc. is only a concept that applies to "non-ridged" flooring (wood/suspended/etc.) ?

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When is saw your post, Nopiano, I tried to find it but found this instead https://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/isoacoustics-gaia-i-ii-and-iii-loudspeaker-isolation-feet It is a review o

My Gaia III’s arrived today and fitted to my Akudoriks this afternoon. First impressions are good. I always felt my suspended wooden floor added something unwanted to the overall sound in my room. I t

That's a pucking lot of new gear there Paul That Stage platform looks very familiar - like a latter day IsoPlat.  Eventually the subliminal message sank in...

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2 hours ago, HIGHWAY61 said:

So are we saying, back to basics, if you have a concrete, or similar rigid floor the traditional spikes/marble slabs/etc. under speakers is the way to go. And "isolation" e.g. Pucks/Isolation Feet/Rubber/etc./etc. is only a concept that applies to "non-ridged" flooring (wood/suspended/etc.) ?

I can understand the benefits of using spikes (described as 'carpet-piercing spikes' when they first came into being) on carpeted floors but I've never understood why they should be used on hard surfaces such as concrete, tiles, marble or hardwood flooring.  OK, unwanted energy from the speaker is transmitted to a small point of contact but spikes certainly don't help anchor the speaker in these instances.

I have ceramic tiles over a heavy concrete base with a 5mm layer of Ditra membrane between them.  I use Skeets with a thin layer of rubber glued to their bases that help 'stick' the speakers to the floor.  I can stamp my foot as hard as I like just a few centimetres from the speakers and it makes no difference to the SQ at all.  I have tried Gaia's but returned them simply because on my flooring I honestly couldn't tell much difference between them and rubber-bottomed Skeets.  Bass was perhaps slightly better controlled and the overall soundstage a fraction more open but the improvement wasn't enough in my case to justify the cost.

My brother had B&W 803's with spikes.  His flooring comprised wooden boards over joists on a concrete base with heavy carpet and underlay.  If you stamped your foot on the other side of the room you could almost see the speakers wobble.  He was lucky enough to source some ex-demo Townshend Seismic Isolation Podiums and they made a tremendous improvement.  I've no doubt Gaias would have also improved things for him.

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7 hours ago, HIGHWAY61 said:

So are we saying, back to basics, if you have a concrete, or similar rigid floor the traditional spikes/marble slabs/etc. under speakers is the way to go. And "isolation" e.g. Pucks/Isolation Feet/Rubber/etc./etc. is only a concept that applies to "non-ridged" flooring (wood/suspended/etc.) ?

That is pretty much what I was getting at, and the main beneficiaries of the ISOAcoustics designs seem to be those with floorboards etc.  But I’ve subsequently read good reports even from those, like me, with concrete or other solid floors.  

When I can, I’m keen to try some, but I’ve not got any problems with boominess, neighbours, or similar.  So I see it as icing not cake!

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6 hours ago, Make it SO said:

I can understand the benefits of using spikes (described as 'carpet-piercing spikes' when they first came into being) on carpeted floors but I've never understood why they should be used on hard surfaces such as concrete, tiles, marble or hardwood flooring.  OK, unwanted energy from the speaker is transmitted to a small point of contact but spikes certainly don't help anchor the speaker in these instances.

I have ceramic tiles over a heavy concrete base with a 5mm layer of Ditra membrane between them.  I use Skeets with a thin layer of rubber glued to their bases that help 'stick' the speakers to the floor.  I can stamp my foot as hard as I like just a few centimetres from the speakers and it makes no difference to the SQ at all.  I have tried Gaia's but returned them simply because on my flooring I honestly couldn't tell much difference between them and rubber-bottomed Skeets.  Bass was perhaps slightly better controlled and the overall soundstage a fraction more open but the improvement wasn't enough in my case to justify the cost.

My brother had B&W 803's with spikes.  His flooring comprised wooden boards over joists on a concrete base with heavy carpet and underlay.  If you stamped your foot on the other side of the room you could almost see the speakers wobble.  He was lucky enough to source some ex-demo Townshend Seismic Isolation Podiums and they made a tremendous improvement.  I've no doubt Gaias would have also improved things for him.

The most recent issue of the Absolute Sound (issue 312 - January 2021) contains a glowing review of the Townshend Audio Seismic Isolation Podiums. In the same issue, they pick it as one of their two accessories of the year. If memory serves, the Isoacoustics Gaia was Stereophile’s accessory of the year last year. Has anybody compared the two? 

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16 minutes ago, Kenilworth said:

The most recent issue of the Absolute Sound (issue 312 - January 2021) contains a glowing review of the Townshend Audio Seismic Isolation Podiums. In the same issue, they pick it as one of their two accessories of the year. If memory serves, the Isoacoustics Gaia was Stereophile’s accessory of the year last year. Has anybody compared the two? 

There’s quite a long thread here covering both...

https://www.hifiwigwam.com/forum/topic/145716-isolating-feet-vs-townshend-podium-bars/

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When is saw your post, Nopiano, I tried to find it but found this instead

https://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/isoacoustics-gaia-i-ii-and-iii-loudspeaker-isolation-feet

It is a review of the Gaia and compares them to the Townshend Isolation pods

In case you don't want to read it, the conclusion is they are equal

Edited by peter@57m
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9 minutes ago, peter@57m said:

When is saw your post, Nopiano, I tried to find it but found this instead

https://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/isoacoustics-gaia-i-ii-and-iii-loudspeaker-isolation-feet

It is a review of the Gaia and compares them to the Townshend Isolation pods

In case you don't want to read it, the conclusion is they are equal

Thank you. That's good to know. I noticed that the review also remarks:  "The Gaia is the first that delivers the goods in a smaller, more manageable package, and at an attainable price." 

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you'll be fine with either the townshend platform or Gaia's, personally though I think the Gaia is a much more convenient design, it blends in a lot better.

On the concrete floor point, it's worth noting that there are many different types of concrete floor design, the thread which @Nopiano references talks about some of them and how depending on what you have you might get a benefit from isolation.

IIRC an architect or civil engineer pointed that some of them are well known to have resonant issues. Factors like using hardcore on the ground floor, screed, suspension on 2nd floor etc all play a part.

I don't think I remember reading any general rules about what type of concrete floor might benefit from isolation though. Give it a try and see I think was the suggestion - if you're going to do this you need to figure out a good way to do the comparison though, make sure you're not fooling yourself!

I personally like to set up each speaker differently and move the balance over to compare (just bare in mind room acoustics play a part in this though).

The general wisdom as mentioned above though is that coupling on concrete floors is usually better. Gaia's usually sell quite well 2nd hand so moving them on shouldn't be an issue.

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On 11/12/2020 at 19:12, Evo said:

Experiment by all accounts, Just to give you an idea of placement for roughly the isolation foot centres when KDS viewed from above

image.png

Tested. My impression is that it doesn't sound as bad as the pucks under the Linn feet, but also the feeling is gone.

Yippie, I got rid of my somewhat rough trebles by checking and correcting the polarity of the Akubariks.
Unfortunately, this was only possible with the exact cable plugged in. I don't dare to do the 6 volts, although I already have all the parts.

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On 13/12/2020 at 22:15, Phobic said:

this is just what I found when I put the Gaia IIs under my speakers, they made things much warmer. I had to redo my SO config to dial out that warmness, the new config sounded much much better, the benefits of the Gaia IIs could then come out without the over compensation - punchy bass, better separation, greater tunefulness.

This is exactly what happened to me after installing Gaia II under my SCM40A’s. The bass immediately got clearer and hit deeper, even before changes to SO. But now it was too promineng so I had to tune down the SO. I had some +10-15 on concrete and drywall and 40/60 setting on last slider. After Gaias I went eventually (after several calculations) to 0 on all materials and 60/40 on the last slider. Obviously by making these changes to SO, midrange and highs came forward without sacrificing bass performance and it’s much easier to follow the music now. My setup has never sounded this good. 
 

Afterwards I added ZaZen I under my ADSM but this time the difference was much smaller and no changes to SO needed. I also ordered some isolation gear from Herbie’a audio lab so I can isolate every component on my setup. These are still on their way. 

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My Gaia III’s arrived today and fitted to my Akudoriks this afternoon. First impressions are good. I always felt my suspended wooden floor added something unwanted to the overall sound in my room. I think the Gaia’s have sorted this issue out. A sort of ‘bloom’ I had at loud volumes has disappeared making the overall sound more controlled, more open and a tad warmer without being overblown. I hope this makes sense what I am trying to convey. I still need to give them a final adjustment and get the speakers bang on level, but I will let them take the weight for a day or so before I do this. I just want to thank @Paulssurround and @CaptenBonScott for leading me down the path of righteous decouplement. RIP the spike on a timber floor.

Edited by Billz
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44 minutes ago, Billz said:

My Gaia III’s arrived today and fitted to my Akudoriks this afternoon. First impressions are good. I always felt my suspended wooden floor added something unwanted to the overall sound in my room. I think the Gaia’s have sorted this issue out. A sort of ‘bloom’ I had at loud volumes has disappeared making the overall sound more controlled, more open and a tad warmer without being overblown. I hope this makes sense what I am trying to convey. I still need to give them a final adjustment and get the speakers bang on level, but I will let them take the weight for a day or so before I do this. I just want to thank @Paulssurround and @CaptenBonScott for leading me down the path of righteous decouplement. RIP the spike on a timber floor.

Thank you Clint for your kind words :) What kind of stereo bench do you have? My choice of a good bench was one of my major discoveries in terms of sound quality

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So, ordered the iso mini pucks and tried them out for 2 days and must say my system never sounded so good now, even the little sharpness-hardness on voices has disappeard.

Music sounded more relaxed, more depth, definition, clarity...another leaque compared to my pre Gaia-isopuck system. Really thinking now it still make some sense start saving some money for the Orea pucks..

Had to adjust space v2 to increase the low energy from 70% to 65%


 

 

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Anyone tried the Wilson pedestal or the majico m-pods in comparison 

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