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The Importance of Isolation

No! it's not because we hate your hardwood floors or your pristine carpet.

You may notice that virtually all of our floorstanding speakers have spikes raising them off the floor.
 
But why?
 
As a speaker's job is to vibrate, whatever it is in contact with will vibrate too. This is a huge loss of energy that is taken away from your speaker's musical performance.

Therefore we need to isolate them as much as possible from the floor by using something with very little contact area.
 

Firestone Audio's FR-001 isolation feet with Spendor D1's

 
Note that spikes are not to eliminate speaker vibration but to merely contain it.

However, not all spikes are created equal.

 

While the generic speaker spike is a vast improvement over nothing, they can still be improved upon. Not just the materials but the internal construction and shape of the isolation spike or cone is up for consideration and improvement.

 
​We recently received Spendor's petite D1 in store. An exceptional stand mount speaker.
 
We placed them on our Alphason Z1 speaker stands and started to run them in. Off the bat these are a speaker that excel in separation and 3-dimensionality.
 
However there was something slightly off. We played around with a bit of placement, checked the phasing of cabling. All was correct.
 
And then it dawned on me. I got out a set of Firestone Audio's FR-001 feet and placed each speaker on a set of 3. De-coupling the speakers from the stands.

Wow! What a transformation!

 

Instantly, and surprisingly the treble and airiness of the D1s was coherent and just right. The sound stage improved in depth and accuracy. Bass tightened and extended and became a lot more palpable.
 
This wasn't just a subtle revelation either, this was a major overhaul of what the D1 was doing. It all suddenly made sense.

 
 
While speakers can benefit greatly from being properly isolated, they are not the only piece of equipment that excels with isolation.
 
Disc spinners and record players may be the more obvious benefactors of good isolation, but they are not exclusive.
 
Amplifiers have some mechanical vibrations. Internal wiring and PCBs, capacitors and inductors, switching transistors and electron tubes all work on an alternating current which makes them sing, but not always in a good way.
 

Tubey, transformery goodness : McIntosh MC275

 

"As an amplifiers transformer vibrates, precious energy is being wasted as motion and sometimes audible noise..."

 

Edge Rack with Sort Fut attached

Big, beefy power supplies with transformers inherently give off vibrations. While a lot is invested in suppressing this, you can improve it by using some sort of isolation.

 

Again, as an amplifiers transformer vibrates, precious energy is being wasted as motion and sometimes audible noise.

 

By rigidly coupling the transformer to something heavy via a foot, it results in a much cleaner sine wave.

 

 

It is also important to consider resonance control for your equipment rack.  Here is what one of our customers had to say about the benefit of employing vibration control products from Nordost:

 

"To cut to the chase the product is marvellous.  Installed at the base of my modified Edge audio rack (see Audioshark forum, members system for photo) the futs somehow manage to reveal more information from all recordings.  Play a live recording and one is greeted with more ambient detail from the artist and more information on the audiences response to the performance, in particular audience clapping, whistles and yelps of joy.  Play a well recorded orchestral or ensemble piece and the futs greatly improve soundstage layering, localisation and instrumental dimensionality.  Marvelous." -Ralph
 
"For equipment with transformers the Nordost Sort Kone is a wonderful bypass for manufacturers typically lackluster standard footers.  I have around 30 Sort TC kones at home which I use under all equipment.  Interestingly their most profound impact can be felt when employed under Nordosts QBase which suggests AC is the problem.

Sort fut and Sort kones are synergistic, you get more from either by employing both together."

-William-
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