Many audiophiles throw their equipment and speakers on expensive racks, Swedish butcher blocks, and spikes assuming “it’s better than nothing.” But is it?
You’ve probably seen this demo from IsoAcoustics:
Having purchased the IsoAcoustics Aperta myself, I could vouch for its performance. Without the Aperta, the sound was muddied and flat. I also purchased one for my subwoofer and it worked miracles in regards to bass definition. Both are very affordable as well.
In general, vibrations are just bad for audio. Better dampening gets us to a steady state quicker. This is especially the case for turntables.
But what if these components weren’t even voiced or designed with a specific type of isolation – or none at all? Unless the speaker and electronics designers tell us themselves, there’s no way to know. I know for a fact some don’t use any isolation at all while designing their products.
So does that mean we’re mucking with the sound when we throw foam balls under them?
I was bored a few months ago and wanted to experiment a bit with effects of isolation of the Chord TToby stereo amplifier.
I had a bag of random isolation products of varied designs and materials.
The following impressions were compared vs a naked desk with no isolation.
Nothing negative to say here. It strikes a fantastic balance between clarity, resolution, and warmth.
At least with the Chord TToby, it sounds more natural without these isolators. The noise floor is one of the lowest so perhaps it’s doing too good of a job? Otherwise, if you’re looking to extract the most detail and clarity out of your system, these may work out for you. If you want something with more euphoria – you could probably skip these.
If you’re looking to add warmth, these might work for you. Although made for subwoofers, I found them to promote a wonderful density to the sound.
Definitely not as airy or quick as the Symposium or Solid Tech but its addictive richness is undeniable. It may be too meaty for some.
Typically, three MiGs are used in the arrangement specified here. Some of these arrangements aren’t a part of the recommended placements. I’ve only done them out of curiosity.
In this setup, I’m always using two MiGs in the rear and one in the front.
The Synergistic Research MiGs obviously have a ton of flexibility depending on what you’re looking for. Interestingly enough I looked at the placement descriptions after writing my notes and they’re on point.
In comparison to the Symposium, the SR is quicker and more vivid. Transients and reverb are much more audible with the SR placement (bold above) The Symposium has more cohesion and warmth while the SR has much more resolution, much blacker background, and fantastic focus.
In the end, I decided to stick with the warmer, wholesome nature of the Symposium but found myself going back to the SR placement at times. Those who chase transparency, resolution, and soundstage chasers will prefer the SR.
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