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New Isolation Products

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Customer email newsletter dated: November 16, 2011.

New Isolation Products
November 16, 2011
Why Isolate Audio Components?
Stillpoints Ultra - Aluminum and Stainless Steel
Save $130 per set on Stillpoints package!
Black Ravioli Footers

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Why Isolate Audio Components?
All audio components create vibrational energy of one type or another. Obviously, components with integral moving parts like cd players, turntables, and tape decks are easy to point out as culprits. Just as obvious are loudspeakers - the same speaker drivers that bring us sound we can hear are also generating vibrational energy which is traveling through the cabinet, making its way to the floor, and which affects that same sound.

Any component with a transformer is going to produce some vibrational energy as a by-product of the very function of a transformer. This means that all amplifiers and preamplifiers will also be culprits that need to be tamed as well as most outboard DACs.

Basically everything in audio vibrates starting with the signal moving down a wire!

Vibrational energy affects sound quality by smearing the sound. Handling this excess energy effectively has a very linear relationship with the sound quality of the component - the better the vibration is handled, the better the sound from the system will be.

Over the years, many different methods of handling vibrational energy from audio components have been used. We tend to break down the ways to deal with vibrational energy into 3 main categories:
- absorption/damping
- coupling/ draining
- dissipation

The least expensive and most common way to deal with vibrational energy is to try and absorb it thru the use of soft, squishy devices/products - tennis balls, Sorbothane etc. The theory in place here is to try and change energy into heat. All of these devices work somewhat, but they work in a broad brush sort of way where negative side effects related to the damping material itself can offset the benefits of an overall lower level of vibration.

Many hobbyists have a drawer full of cones, spikes, footers, and even blocks of one material or another that have been designed to either couple the component to a platform, which is then isolated from or coupled to the rest of the rack, which is then "drained" into the floor. The most common practice of using spikes under floorstanding speakers or speaker stands is a prime example. These devices can be somewhat effective and, for the most part, cost effective - unless you get into some very exotic materials.

In this newsletter, we are going to be giving you information about some very effective products in the last category - vibrational dissipation.
Stillpoints Ultra - Aluminum and Stainless Steel
Stillpoints Ultra series products are height adjustable devices that are designed to work with not only electronic components, but with speakers as well. These are height adjustable, threaded vibration control components of the dissipation variety.

The principal behind the Stillpoints system is to turn vibrational energy into "work". This is accomplished by a series of internal bearings that directly couple, either via threads or by gravity, to the component or speaker. Vibrational energy is converted into motional energy turning the bearings and thus the energy is used up - dissipated. The more vibration, the more the internal bearings move ("work") , so saturation of energy is not a factor with these devices.

The Standard Stillpoints have been a much recommended isolation device for many years because they work well under all but the largest power amplifiers, and work well without regard to the shelf material the component is sitting on.

The Stillpoints Aluminum Ultra has a weight capacity of 500 pounds per device which means that they can be used under even the heaviest amplifiers and speakers. The Ultra series of Stillpoints can be adjusted in height from 1.5"-1.8" and are precision machined so the energy conversion of motion to work is very efficient.

Stillpoints Ultra SS are precision machined from an even harder metal so they are more efficient and have even less internal friction for the bearings. Also height adjustable, the SS is the top of the Stillpoints range.

All Stillpoints accept 1/4x20" threads, and "multi-studs" are available in numerous sizes to screw these devices directly into the speakers or chassis of the component.

In the latest issue of The Absolute Sound, Robert Harley reviewed the Ultra Stainless Steel feet under his speakers in place of spikes and concludes that "they produce a huge sonic return on the investment".

All Stillpoints footers are available for home audition through The Library.
Save $130 per set on Stillpoints package!
The original Stillpoints and optional "Inverse Risers" are still available thru the end of the month on a special package deal.

Here's the deal: Save 10% on all "original" Stillpoints AND get a FREE set of Risers ($99 value).
Net price $269/3. $130 savings!
Black Ravioli Footers
Black Ravioli footers were introduced into their native UK marketplace in 2010. In the past few months, the Black Ravioli products have entered the US market after receiving much critical acclaim in the UK press.

What are they?

While the goal of complete removal of vibrational energy is considered paramount by many in audio, Black Ravioli products take a very different tact. The somewhat compliant Black Ravioli material is designed in a way to remove vibrational energy that causes harmful effects on sound. In addition these devices also take into account electrical and environmental issues which effect performance. Sounds wild? They are!

In designing the Black Ravioli products their design engineers considered the direct and indirect threats from vibration in:
  • The environment such as the noise from many sources in and around buildings
  • The electrical supplies
  • The structures that are part of the system, such as the supports
  • The airborne energy during operation of the system
  • The equipment generated energy during operation
  • The interaction of the equipment, the support structures, the cables and the vibration control solution

With a clean slate to work from, the engineers have designed products which avoid compression issues by providing millions of independent energy transfer paths, while allowing no return points in their operation, which could influence the reproduction when the extremes of the musical performance are experienced.

The end result is a truly unique product designed from the ground up specifically to deal with all of the external and internal issues of audio components in the real world.

The basic setup for lighter weight components is to use a set of three of the Big Foot 1 Pads placed in an equilateral triangle with the two pads under the heavier end (generally the rear) of the component. A better setup would be to use a Big Foot 2 Pad under the back of the component (where the power and signal inputs and outputs are), and two Big Foot 1 Pads at the front. Further improvement can be obtained with using a Big Foot 3 Pad at the rear of the component and either two Big Foot 1 or Big Foot 2 Pads. The Big Pads are designed to create more height if needed under the component in conjunction with the Big Feet.

For more information on positioning the Black Ravioli footers, take a look at the online set-up guide on the UK website.

The materials used to manufacture these products are unique and patented and very secret. In fact, this is the only product of its kind that we have ever heard of that actually takes "burn in" to work its best! The burn in period allows the Pads to adjust to both the component and the environment and truly does make the performance of the Ravioli's increase over time.

The feedback we have received from customers that have tried these products is that their music is both more relaxed and more resolving with the Black Ravioli's installed. Their repeat orders for more of this product speaks volumes about how effective they are.

Available for home audition through The Library.

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