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Decoupling Speakers - Springs vs. Herbie's

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Posted on September 14, 2020 at 14:07:33
mitch2
Audiophile

Posts: 1498
Location: Great Lakes
Joined: August 28, 2001
Decoupling has not been a popular topic here lately since my search shows only 5 posts since 2015, which includes one over at Tweakers.

I am new to decoupling and in the past two weeks have unspiked and decoupled not only my main speakers and subs, but also my electronics, from the concrete floor in my listening room. I have tried springs similar to those marketed by Machina Dynamica (e.g., Townshend products are also spring based), and have also tried Herbie's products. I have been encouraged by the results, which I hear as subtle but observable improvements in clarity, coherence, and bass definition, all without compromises in the areas of tone and naturalness.

I am curious in hearing from those of you who have realized the benefits of decoupling, and have tried both springs and Herbie's products using their dBNeutralizer (i.e., like their Giant Fat Dots or gliders). If you have tried both types of products, which do you like better, which did you end up keeping, and what are your listening observations between the two? Thanks

 

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RE: Decoupling Speakers - Springs vs. Herbie's, posted on September 14, 2020 at 14:49:32
LtMandella
Audiophile

Posts: 1199
Location: CA
Joined: May 27, 2019
Seems like it would be difficult to have any emperical measurement of the level of decoupling that could be achieved through various methods (short of using air bearing suspension which would obviously be 100% decoupled so no measurement required).

Maybe accelerometer measurements on the supporting structure before and after decoupling technique is applied?

I bought a rubber bath mat, you know the kind, suckers on one side and flat rubber top surface. Cut some pieces off to fit under my DeCapoI speakers.

That method must be achieving some level of decoupling but I don't have any accelerometer tape handy, so who knows?

If art interprets our dreams, the computer executes them in the guise of programs!

 

RE: Decoupling Speakers - Springs vs. Herbie's, posted on September 14, 2020 at 15:02:39
johntoste
Audiophile

Posts: 423
Location: New England
Joined: March 20, 2004
Not a direct response to your question, but still on topic:

Isoacoustics.

I have Gaia feet decoupling my speakers from the floor and I am so impressed, I bought their Orea pucks to place under everything else.

These products are the most cost effective accessory I've ever bought in the audio hobby. I strongly recommend you try them if you can. Places like Crutchfield have a good return policy.

Good luck!

 

RE: Decoupling Speakers - Springs vs. Herbie's, posted on September 14, 2020 at 15:27:22
PAR
Audiophile

Posts: 1429
Location: South London, UK
Joined: June 4, 2019
Contributor
  Since:
June 4, 2019
"Seems like it would be difficult to have any emperical measurement of the level of decoupling"

Isoacoustics do show measurements of their decoupling devices on their website which were taken at the National Research Laboratory Canada's anechoic chamber.

I would add that use of their pucks from their pro range proved to be one of the most significant (and comparatively low cost) improvements to my system.


"We need less, but better" - Dieter Rams

 

RE: Decoupling Speakers - Springs vs. Herbie's, posted on September 14, 2020 at 15:53:26
double28
Audiophile

Posts: 2765
Location: Greensboro, NC
Joined: February 20, 2008
Contributor
  Since:
March 26, 2019
I am using Herbie's footers in lieu of spikes with Sound Anchor stands with Audio Note E on a hardwood floor and the same with Vandersteen 1 on a cement slab on patio. Like night and day versus spikes. Highly recommend Herbie's.

Will

 

+1, posted on September 14, 2020 at 16:51:42
DKL
Audiophile

Posts: 963
Location: Orlando, FL
Joined: November 20, 2001
I had to replace the spikes on my Merlins due to moving to a new home with tile floors, and am very impressed with Herbie's sliders.

 

RE: Decoupling Speakers - Springs vs. Herbie's, posted on September 14, 2020 at 19:54:23
mitch2
Audiophile

Posts: 1498
Location: Great Lakes
Joined: August 28, 2001
There are apps that can analyze information from your phone's accelerometer and build a vibration spectrum including the amplitude and frequency of vibrations, as well as the speed of rotation of various equipment.

I have linked a review article on the Townshend Audio Seismic Podium, which is a speaker support platform supported by four springs. The attached image shows the responses of the test speakers spiked to a floor and then supported on the Townshend Podium.

I appreciate all the comments so far and would be interested in hearing from those who have used both Herbie's products and some form of spring support such as Townshend, Nobsound, or simply loose springs like I am using. My experience so far is that either the Herbie's products (both Giant Fat Dots and Giant Fat Gliders) or the springs result in sound that betters the speakers spiked to the floor. The difference between the Herbie's products and the springs seems to be more subtle.



 

RE: Decoupling Speakers - Springs vs. Herbie's, posted on September 14, 2020 at 20:11:13
LtMandella
Audiophile

Posts: 1199
Location: CA
Joined: May 27, 2019
chart mean anything without amplitude?

If art interprets our dreams, the computer executes them in the guise of programs!

 

RE: Decoupling Speakers - Springs vs. Herbie's, posted on September 14, 2020 at 20:29:32
SgreenP@MSN.com
Audiophile

Posts: 3385
Joined: April 23, 2007
I tried those Herbies things under my Vandersteen 5A's. They robbed all the music out of my system...dead, no 3d spacial cues, no bass, no nuttin. Herbie was very nice and took them back. They might work for others, but not for my system.

 

RE: Decoupling Speakers - Springs vs. Herbie's, posted on September 15, 2020 at 00:34:03
KanedaK
Audiophile

Posts: 1848
Location: Brussels
Joined: April 27, 2010
A friend of mine bought Sonic Design Loudspeaker Damping Feet and the effect was very noticeable - especially in regard to the extremely low price.
We found them on the bay.

 

RE: As I just posted on General yesterday about sand box stands, posted on September 15, 2020 at 03:59:31
B. Scarpia
Audiophile

Posts: 2293
Location: Near Pisgah Forest
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Contributor
  Since:
May 23, 2020
New sand box stands on suspended floor

Increased clarity especially for dense orchestral with chorus and even the sound of guitar riffs.

Any Damned Fool Knows One Horse Can Run Faster Than Another

 

IsoAcoustic Gaia, Revopod or Talis Pro Feet, posted on September 15, 2020 at 04:15:31
cawson@onetel.com
Audiophile

Posts: 1829
Joined: September 27, 2004
I have heard significant improvement in sound quality by switching from spikes to Gaia feet on my old Avantgarde speakers. Floors are timber on screed on structural concrete. Unfortunately my new AG Duo XDs are heavier at 95 kg so I need new feet. I'm looking at 3 options, all can be screwed into existing spike sockets:

Gaia I or Gaia Titan Theis - https://isoacoustics.com/isoacoustics-products/home-audio-products/
Arya Audio Revopod - https://www.arya-audio.com/revopod
fFLY Talis Pro - https://www.bflyaudio.uk/store/p19/LINNTALISPRO.html

If anyone has any experience with the Revopod or Talis Pro feet, I'd really like to hear from you. I've rather ruled out simple springs and Herbies don't excite me either. Thanks.

 

+2, posted on September 15, 2020 at 06:35:16
G Squared
Audiophile

Posts: 6022
Location: Washington, DC Metro Area
Joined: November 16, 2004
I replaced spikes and cups (they suck, if you need to move your speakers around) with Herbie's Threaded Stud Gliders. It tamed a lot of external vibration issues that I have had in the room and the system bass, midrange and image are all as good as or better than the spikes. I can slide the speakers easily on the wood floor. This is important in my system as I am in the den. Highly recommend a test drive, if you have a wood floor.
Gsquared

 

RE: Decoupling Speakers - Springs vs. Herbie's, posted on September 15, 2020 at 06:44:49
Duster
Audiophile

Posts: 16822
Location: Pacific Northwest
Joined: August 25, 2002
The use of non-resonant, vibration blocking laminated carbon fiber composite discs, with a Herbie's Audio Lab Thin grungebuster Dot with optional adhesive backing for mild decoupling affixed to each side of the discs is the most transparent method I've experimented with, mitch2.

 

RE: Decoupling Speakers - Springs vs. Herbie's, posted on September 15, 2020 at 07:29:15
Ric
Audiophile

Posts: 322
Joined: October 14, 2001
I wholeheartedly agree with John about IsoAcoustics products. Yes, they cost more than Herbies, but they work better than anything I have tried, from Herbie's to DIY, and work way better.
I also have them under everything (almost) and if you can find them used, (or try them out, new) Highly recommended!

 

Why do people hate cheaper options?, posted on September 15, 2020 at 13:03:53
airtime
Audiophile

Posts: 10666
Location: Arizona
Joined: February 4, 2003
Go to your foot care isle in any store and get Gel insoles or Gel pads. They are made of the SAME!!!!! viscoelastic material the thousand dollar pads are made of.

Also, unless your speakers are made of some cheap thin cabinet material, they shouldn't be ringing like a bell - and causing a need to decouple.

 

RE: Why do people hate cheaper options?, posted on September 15, 2020 at 13:56:26
rivervalley817
Audiophile

Posts: 3524
Joined: June 15, 2020
solutions in search of a problem combined with status badges probably

add a dash of imaginative audio nervosa and wave goodbye to big bucks

I'm with you airtime, innovate & overcome

regards,

 

RE: Why do people hate cheaper options?, posted on September 15, 2020 at 14:26:44
mitch2
Audiophile

Posts: 1498
Location: Great Lakes
Joined: August 28, 2001
Not me. I have made my own sand boxes and put inner tubes under gear. So far, my favorite decoupling option has been springs I purchased from Century Spring at about $5 each. When I was researching the EVP pads ($105 each for the larger size I need) I found Owens Corning 703/705, which appears to be very similar to (or the same as?) the material used in the EVPs. If I were to go that route, I would very likely try making my own.

 

RE: Why do people hate cheaper options?, posted on September 15, 2020 at 20:41:25
hahax@verizon.net
Audiophile

Posts: 3726
Location: New Jersey
Joined: March 22, 2006
ALL cabinets ring. Only some of the crazy expensive ones have Minimal ringing(look at the Stereophile tests). Just put your hand on most cabinets and you can feel the vibration. That's uncontrolled sound coming off the cabinet walls. And while it's usually low level sound the cabinet has large area, much more than the drivers.

 

RE: Decoupling Speakers - Springs vs. Herbie's, posted on September 16, 2020 at 04:47:47
John Elison
Audiophile

Posts: 22991
Location: Central Kentucky
Joined: December 20, 2000
Contributor
  Since:
January 29, 2004
I think there's something fishy in that graph of vibrations. If you spike a speaker to a concrete slab, it should damp bass frequency vibrations immediately. At least that's what I hear with my speakers. My house is built on a concrete slab and my speakers are spiked to that slab. Bass is tight and controlled. It's only bass frequencies that benefit from spiking speakers to a concrete slab. I don't think it affects midrange or high-frequencies. However, bass becomes noticeably improved in clarity and impact in my system.

If your speakers sounds better when decoupled from a concrete slab floor, I think you probably have defective speakers. I know of no speaker manufacturer who recommends decoupling speakers from a concrete slab. They might recommend decoupling speakers from a suspended wooden floor, but not a concrete slab. At any rate, I've never heard of that.

Good luck,
John Elison

 

RE: Why do people hate cheaper options?, posted on September 16, 2020 at 05:52:03
Scholl
Distributor or Rep

Posts: 1230
Joined: March 8, 2001
Maybe these...

 

RE: Why do people hate cheaper options?, posted on September 16, 2020 at 06:37:50
Ric
Audiophile

Posts: 322
Joined: October 14, 2001
Bullshit. I've tried many many DIY "solutions", and NONE have been better than Herbie's, IsoAcoustics, et.al, although I could argue with Vibrapods vs. DIY. When talking to "Herbie" he suggested using RTV silicone instead of caulking, you might want to start there, unless you have sensitive measuring equipment. This is not pseudoscience--use your ears, and listen to the experts.

 

Same here..., posted on September 16, 2020 at 07:02:46
Ivan303
Audiophile

Posts: 41690
Location: Cadiere d'azur FRANCE - Santa Fe, NM
Joined: February 26, 2001
Spikes that came with the Sound Anchor stands sitting in Herbies metal/rubber Cone/Spike Puckies protecting the tile floor.









 

The anti-vibration feet for appliances are made of sorbothane..., posted on September 16, 2020 at 08:44:58
Jonesy
Audiophile

Posts: 2377
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Joined: September 1, 2005
Contributor
  Since:
March 1, 2018
The silicone based (like Herbies) are supposed to be quite a bit superior. At least from what I've read.

I like Airtime's suggestion to repurpose silicone based gel products. In fact there are some that are already square or circular at economical pricing I think I might explore further.

Unfortunately on back burner. Much of the stuff I'm waiting for winter months to experiment.

Cheers!

Jonesy


"I know just enough to get into trouble. But not enough to get out of it."




 

No Bragging rights most likely, posted on September 16, 2020 at 09:44:36
bare
Audiophile

Posts: 1557
Joined: April 14, 2009
n/t

 

RE: Why do people hate cheaper options?, posted on September 16, 2020 at 10:33:32
rivervalley817
Audiophile

Posts: 3524
Joined: June 15, 2020
that's some pretty powerful anecdotal evidence there Ric

I maintain that the same viscoelastic material is the same viscoelastic material no matter where it's acquired or price

*shrug*

 

Chemically speaking, posted on September 16, 2020 at 14:33:45
airtime
Audiophile

Posts: 10666
Location: Arizona
Joined: February 4, 2003
All of the commercially viscoelastic materials are the same molecular formula. They alter the "elastic" or modulus by increasing or decreasing the molecular density.

In short, the thousand dollar miracle disc IS the same molecular formula as the $5 foot pad at CVS.

 

RE: Chemically speaking, posted on September 16, 2020 at 15:51:59
rivervalley817
Audiophile

Posts: 3524
Joined: June 15, 2020
BS! my expectation bias proves you wrong!

 

Or this?, posted on September 16, 2020 at 19:54:07
Ivan303
Audiophile

Posts: 41690
Location: Cadiere d'azur FRANCE - Santa Fe, NM
Joined: February 26, 2001

Farther down the page.



 

Nobody Using Springs Here?, posted on September 16, 2020 at 20:23:32
mitch2
Audiophile

Posts: 1498
Location: Great Lakes
Joined: August 28, 2001
It seems I am having no luck finding others here who are using springs for decoupling.

After finding springs with the appropriate stiffness and capacity, I encased each spring in heatshrink, which seems to dampen the rebound, and then put a couple of holes in the heatshrink to allow air to escape so the springs can work properly. This is similar to what Townshend has done with their pods. The heatshrink wraps over the tops and bottoms of the springs, which prevents the springs from scratching equipment or the underlying support platforms. They look like this.....





The two holes are visible in the spring on the left.




 

RE: Why do people hate cheaper options?, posted on September 16, 2020 at 20:36:22
rivervalley817
Audiophile

Posts: 3524
Joined: June 15, 2020
those look good to me

the right material and shape and not too pricey

as their ad type states the same materials are at the heart of all vibration products, and that is the truth

regards,

 

RE: Nobody Using Springs Here?, posted on September 16, 2020 at 20:43:28
rivervalley817
Audiophile

Posts: 3524
Joined: June 15, 2020
nice work! what are your before and after vibration measurements?

be well,

 

RE: Nobody Using Springs Here?, posted on September 16, 2020 at 21:06:08
mitch2
Audiophile

Posts: 1498
Location: Great Lakes
Joined: August 28, 2001
Have not taken measurements yet but they sound good. The heatshrink noticeably damped the rebound so there are less oscillations after they are manually excited by pushing on them. The heatshrink also improves the visual appearance. The holes were necessary to prevent an air lock inside of the springs.

 

RE: Nobody Using Springs Here?, posted on September 16, 2020 at 21:15:49
rivervalley817
Audiophile

Posts: 3524
Joined: June 15, 2020
they look good and it's innovative

looking forward to your follow up on measurements

regards,

 

RE: Nobody Using Springs Here?, posted on September 17, 2020 at 07:02:30
airtime
Audiophile

Posts: 10666
Location: Arizona
Joined: February 4, 2003
Metal is perhaps a BETTER transmitter of vibration energy than the cabinet material itself. If there are any, again, viscoelastic end caps THAT'S buffering your energy.

 

I have no vibration issues with any of my systems, posted on September 17, 2020 at 07:42:57
3db
Audiophile

Posts: 1388
Joined: July 22, 2003
The answer is no.. I dont need too.

 

Added "Vibration Analysis" to my iPhone, posted on September 18, 2020 at 11:50:46
mitch2
Audiophile

Posts: 1498
Location: Great Lakes
Joined: August 28, 2001
Ok, now that I have added the "Vibration Analysis" app to my iPhone, I need to decide what specific signal to be used to compare vibration readings for different speaker footers - springs, Herbie's, and spikes. Any suggestions?

 

RE: Added "Vibration Analysis" to my iPhone, posted on September 18, 2020 at 12:07:16
rivervalley817
Audiophile

Posts: 3524
Joined: June 15, 2020
probably the speaker cabinet resonance vs. the floor in close proximity

or scope out the link for some ideas on determining isolation boundaries

with regards,

 

Have not seen this before....thanks , posted on September 18, 2020 at 13:18:26
mitch2
Audiophile

Posts: 1498
Location: Great Lakes
Joined: August 28, 2001
His DIY 705 reminds me of the EVP pads everyone raves about. I suspected those might be Owens Corning 705 with a piece of sheet steel on each end and sandwiched between rubber. I would like to try them.

If I were to DIY EVPs, I might use a slice of thin carbon fiber on each end of the 705 sandwiched between a thin, flat section of 70 duro sorbothane. The EVPs needed for my heavy speakers are about $105 each.

 

Not all vibrations are bad, posted on September 27, 2020 at 16:25:56
ppopp
Audiophile

Posts: 2911
Location: OR
Joined: October 10, 2002
Just look at how a loudspeaker works. Its the diaphram/ribbon/seran wrap which produces sound only because it is vibrating.
Remove vibrations until the sound stops improving.

 

That's like saying you don't have dust mites, posted on September 27, 2020 at 16:30:47
ppopp
Audiophile

Posts: 2911
Location: OR
Joined: October 10, 2002
You do, you just haven't detected them yet.

 

RE: Decoupling Speakers - Springs vs. Herbie's, posted on September 27, 2020 at 20:09:12
SgreenP@MSN.com
Audiophile

Posts: 3385
Joined: April 23, 2007
Mine are spiked to Travertine tiles on concrete....mids and highs were affected as well.... I guess it depends on the installation

 

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