Vibration Effects on Solid State Electronics

Parmaham

Wammer
Wammer
Apr 16, 2013
30
10
23
AKA
Richard Lowe
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
I've read on other forums, and seen plenty of products, that will testify to the benefits of mechanically isolating all your hi-fi separates. I can see the argument when it comes to record decks and turntables, as these have highly sensitive electro-mechanical devices that produce the source signal. However, what is the thinking behind isolating solid state components like an amplifier, DAC or streamer? I can't think of any reason why vibration at the tiny amounts experienced on a standard rack would feed back into distortion in the audio signal, let alone a digital signal output by a streamer or DAC. Perhaps if the components weren't soldered correctly to the board this could cause an issue as they shake about, or maybe in a power amp the vibrating of the power supply causes movement of the wound coil and generates small electrical currents at the vibration frequency, or what???? Is there any solid research in this area that shows the effect of vibration on solid state electronics output signals? Or is this just an imagined phenomena? On one forum I read that "mass-loading" a streamer (sitting a heavy weight on top of it!) had a night and day effect on the sound quality. Similarly, many people report "night and day" differences when sitting their Pre-amp, DAC, power-amp or external power supplies on products like Black Ravioli. I'm from a technical background, originally an Electronic Engineer, and we did a hefty dose of physics back in Uni. However, I just can't get my head round why these effects would be noticeable, and what is actually inducing them. I'm skeptical that there is any connection, but if someone can point me to the research I'm happy to be converted! Similarly if there is research out there that dispels mechanical vibration as means of creating distortion, I'd like to see that too.

 

killie99

Wammer
Wammer
Jul 12, 2011
2,220
428
128
Kilmarnock
AKA
Stuart
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
You are correct, it is complete and utter nonsense when talking about ss electronics.

 

rabski

Everything in moderation
Staff member
Dec 2, 2006
32,864
1
26,111
173
Kettering
AKA
Richard
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
As this is the technical section, the first point to make is that AFAIK there have been no properly published papers detailing any relevant effects. And frankly, nor would I expect there to be.

In terms of possibilities, I would anticipate a possible effect from vibration on CD transport mechanisms might have some effect in terms of increasing the possible errors, though again I am unaware of any properly peer-reviewed papers in this regard. Nevertheless, I do see this as a possible case where isolation might make a difference. Of course, as in all these things, airborne vibrations are inherent in the reproduction of music, so isolating a piece of equipment from what it stands on is hideously ineffective.

As for electronics per se, the only possible effect is from microphony. This is not actually a dumb-nuts comment, as all components exhibit a degree of microphony. In addition, I am aware of at least one published paper (I'll dig it out) that does prove some effects on capacitors from vibration.

However, the main point is that it's utterly minimal, if it exists at all. Further, if you're listening to music, then most vibration is airborne by its nature, so 'isolating' equipment is nonsense, unless the physical support mechanically amplifies vibration to some inordinate extent.

To sum up, it's bollocks.

 

jon

Wammer
Wammer
Jul 20, 2005
1,651
58
78
, ,
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
In terms of possibilities, I would anticipate a possible effect from vibration on CD transport mechanisms might have some effect in terms of increasing the possible errors, though again I am unaware of any properly peer-reviewed papers in this regard. Nevertheless, I do see this as a possible case where isolation might make a difference. Of course, as in all these things, airborne vibrations are inherent in the reproduction of music, so isolating a piece of equipment from what it stands on is hideously ineffective.
I think I had a CD player that occasionally skipped when I listened to bass-heavy tracks, when I had it too close to the sub. Not really worthy of a paper, though - the solution was not to have it right next to the sub!

 

vacdac

Wammer
Wammer
Jul 19, 2011
11,530
280
143
Manchester
AKA
Chris
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Mine used to do just that when the missus left her Rabbit on it to discharge any residual battery life that was left in the poor blighters.

Her new USB charge Rabbit seems much better as it turns itself off when extracted from any hole. I'm really looking forward to the next model which features wi-fi, built in GPS & a webcam. :cool:

I think I had a CD player that occasionally skipped when I listened to bass-heavy tracks, when I had it too close to the sub. Not really worthy of a paper, though - the solution was not to have it right next to the sub!
 
  • Upvote
Reactions: Tarzan

Vinyl Art

Wammer
Wammer
Feb 13, 2010
12,349
185
0
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Mine used to do just that when the missus left her Rabbit on it to discharge any residual battery life that was left in the poor blighters.Her new USB charge Rabbit seems much better as it turns itself off when extracted from any hole. I'm really looking forward to the next model which features wi-fi, built in GPS & a webcam. :cool:
Your wife's....yea, right:)

 

vacdac

Wammer
Wammer
Jul 19, 2011
11,530
280
143
Manchester
AKA
Chris
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
:D

S'all v scientific tho' innit Bob:^.........bang ter rights.......its your Mommas. :TheBird:

 

Tarzan

Wammer
Wammer
Aug 13, 2007
9,064
2,012
143
Hornchurch, England
AKA
Andy
HiFi Trade?
  1. Yes
Mine used to do just that when the missus left her Rabbit on it to discharge any residual battery life that was left in the poor blighters.Her new USB charge Rabbit seems much better as it turns itself off when extracted from any hole. I'm really looking forward to the next model which features wi-fi, built in GPS & a webcam. :cool:
:notworthy: l need to up my game as l am giving out reps like confetti.

 

Radioham

Wammer
Wammer
Mar 8, 2010
1,911
344
163
Peterborough.
AKA
Alan Ralph
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Just think of all the high G items like cars,planes,rockets and missiles. Lots of solid state electronics, and not built much different to good quality hifi. So answer is no real effect.

Alan

 

Parmaham

Wammer
Wammer
Apr 16, 2013
30
10
23
AKA
Richard Lowe
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Thanks for the replies guys. So far no one has any links to any actual studies to prove or disprove that vibration has any real effect on music reproduction. Radioham made the point that electronics in missiles, planes, etc., don't have issues, and they have major vibration sources to deal with. Fair point, lets imagine a missile or fighter jet with highly sensitive radars, required for ultra-fast and ultra accurate calculations. These radars have a mix of analogue and digital circuitry, and live happily in their environment. I'm sure they're not specially housed on Hi-Fi Isolation platforms, and sitting on military grade pillows...

 

YNWAN

100% Analogue
Wammer
Jul 22, 2007
1,675
52
93
Sheffield
AKA
Mark
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
About a year ago, by accident, I discovered a weird phenomenon with my transistor phonostage. I was plugging it back in to the system and checking the ground wire was connected properly and found that if I tapped the top of the case, with the volume turned up, I could clearly hear a 'boing' sound from the speakers!

It's a DIY construction (but not originally by me). The case is a C shape sled that slides inside an aluminium extruded sleeve. The (professionally made) circuit board is firmly screwed to the inner sled at four points and the sled is screwed to the sleeve at each end. Close inspection showed that the sled was slightly bowed and when both the sled attachment screws were used it forced the sled flat and put tension (in extension) on the circuit board).

I found that using only one screw to attach the sled (so it was not forced flat) and using eight small o-rings either side of the circuit board attachment points (so that it was less rigidly held) completely cured the microphonic quality it had shown and tapping the case now made no noise at all through the speakers.

 
V

Voice_Coil

Guest
there will always be people among us that are easily misled by foo, shiny things , and the temptation to display their lack of common sense, sometimes right here on the forum too, hang around for long enough and all will become clear.

 

barry2tone

Wammer
Wammer
Jun 20, 2008
3,018
57
0
Dunheidin
AKA
Michael
there will always be people among us that are easily misled by foo, shiny things , and the temptation to display their lack of common sense, sometimes right here on the forum too, hang around for long enough and all will become clear.
Voice Coil, please note at the top of the page re. technical area.

Subjective opinions are not really welcome here. And beware you may be asked to produce supporting evidence for your claims.
Fact and evidence are welcome. The OP has only offered scepticism here, so it's difficult to go far.

 

Radioham

Wammer
Wammer
Mar 8, 2010
1,911
344
163
Peterborough.
AKA
Alan Ralph
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
When I used to work in the Avionics (Aircraft Electronics) industry, we used to take our products to a test house, where they were bolted to a large electromagnet about 3 ft diameter and driven by several kilowatts of amplification from an audio signal generator and swept over a wide frequency range to simulate the vibration in flight and transportation by road. The vibration would move the product until it would be just a blur. It would be tested and had to be fully working while being vibrated. The main issue would be electro-mechanical devices like switches and relays. Most of the products were housed in machined castings, however we did have one designer who thought it would be a good idea to cut cost and use a sheet metal case held together with screw. Whilst testing it just fell apart first the top came off and then the sides fell off followed by front panel, and all the wiring was ripped off the switches and connectors. I could not stop laughing as I told him by phone what happened and suggested he come over to the test house and collect the bits.

Alan

 

killie99

Wammer
Wammer
Jul 12, 2011
2,220
428
128
Kilmarnock
AKA
Stuart
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
The comapany I work for deliberately shakes the living daylights out of very high value computer equipment. We use a thing called an OVS4 made by Qualmark and shake them for 2 hours at 30G whilst varying the temperature from -30C to +50C. Trust me, this is a MASSIVE amount of vibration and all the time the system is running cpu and memory intensive applications. We check for correctable errors during the testing and the vast majority of systems don't see a single correctable error, ziltch, zero, nada.

Vibration will break things that weren't assembled correctly but it has no effect on something built correctly. I have no reason to believe that multi million pound computer systems perform any different to any other SS electronics.

 
  • Upvote
Reactions: johnniebaby

awkwardbydesign

Perfect, apparently.
Wammer
Mar 5, 2012
10,399
2,293
173
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
TI have no reason to believe that multi million pound computer systems perform any different to any other SS electronics.
For the technical section that is inadequate. Purely opinion.

 

Forum statistics

Threads
113,444
Messages
2,451,263
Members
70,783
Latest member
reg66

Today's Birthdays

Latest Articles