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Looking for Ideas and Advice on DIY Component Suspension

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Posted on February 12, 2017 at 15:16:57
Jim Hodgson
Audiophile

Posts: 376
Location: New York City
Joined: March 9, 2006
I'm thinking about experimenting in the DIY component suspension realm, and I could really use some ideas and advice. (I've combed through the archives already, and I've seen a bunch of proposals ... but I haven't found anything definitive.)

Specifically, I'm considering suspending my DAC by some form of bungee system. I chose my DAC as it is the best/most internally-damped of all of my components (and presumably will suffer the least by being decoupled from a shelf). In addition, it is relatively consistent, weight-wise, throughout -- meaning not lopsided in any direction. And it has 1/4-20 threaded holes on its chassis bottom, which I'd like to utilize, here.

My (preliminary) plan is to insert four 1/4-20 eye bolts like these...





...into the chassis bottom (with "eyes" pointing down obviously), and running bungee cord through the eyes parallel to the chassis bottom. As the eyes are 1/4" diameter, 3/16" diameter bungee cord should thread easily through the holes. And with a tensile strength of 200 lbs., the cord is beyond strong enough.

I figure that I'll have to run two separate lengths of cord -- either side-to-side or front-to-back. And my DAC will then be supported at each corner (from below) with what the archives say is the best cord material for the job. (That said, I've considered lots of other options: Kevlar, Gore-Tex, Teflon-coated fiberglass, etc.)

So, I'm halfway there (maybe?) ... but I'm not sure yet how to finish this off. Utilizing the ceiling for mounting (as I've seen others do) is not a possibility. Instead, all of this needs to be contained more or less within (but not on top of) my rack, which looks like this:





I've been considering simply running the cords up and over the rack shelf (which is 2" solid maple) above my DAC -- and securing the loose ends in a "pocket knot" or a similar quick-release device for easy height adjustment.

As an alternative, I could run two lengths of 1" flat nylon webbing with a buckle (again, for height adjustment) across the shelf above...





...and "convert" to bungee cord below using the following device, which is designed for that task:





So that's basically where I am with this. I wonder ... if one of these options seems workable, should I be considering adding some kind of anti-vibration material under the cords or straps? Or is utilizing the shelf above a bad idea no matter how it's executed? (It has occurred to me that, by involving a shelf at all, I may be negating any benefit that my suspension system might otherwise yield.) Should I be considering my rack's 1" solid steel uprights as anchoring points instead? There are a thousand easy-to-attach pulleys and such available at hardware stores, marine stores...

Anyway! I'm completely open to any advice, suggestions, recommendations -- even ones that say to give this whole thing a pass. (On this last possibility, I know that similar efforts have been failures for many.) Honestly, any thoughts would be most welcome and appreciated. Thanks!

 

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RE: Looking for Ideas and Advice on DIY Component Suspension, posted on February 12, 2017 at 15:41:03
Duster
Audiophile

Posts: 12738
Location: Pacific Northwest
Joined: August 25, 2002
Hi Jim,

I had a long conversation the other day about this type of vibration control concept. The notion of a suspended component including the ultimate suspension idea of using magnets in order to suspend a device in the air. While this method isolates the device from a rack shelf, the device is still vulnerable to airborne and self-generated resonances/vibrations. The other aspect of a suspended component by a strap attacked to the ceiling is the component is now coupled to the ceiling with its own vibration control issues,some which can be much more vs. a rack shelf. This aspect also provides no option to custom tune a component while affected by gravity and natural sounding resonances rather than letting a device resonate freely within the air with perhaps a harsh or dull sonic coloration as a result, among other things.

Does your system involve the very thick maple boards and massive brass footers shown in the image?

Cheers, Duster

 

RE: Looking for Ideas and Advice on DIY Component Suspension, posted on February 12, 2017 at 16:47:15
Jim Hodgson
Audiophile

Posts: 376
Location: New York City
Joined: March 9, 2006
I had a long conversation the other day about this type of vibration control concept.

Me too, coincidentally. I was in contact with the inventor of one of the commercial isolation bearing devices. He mentioned that he is now suspending his turntable in this fashion and is perhaps interested in taking the concept further.

While this method isolates the device from a rack shelf, the device is still vulnerable to airborne and self-generated resonances/vibrations.

Yes, of course this makes sense. And moreover, by eliminating "drainage pathways" (in the form of cones or spikes or the like), it would seem that airborne and self-generated vibrational energy really has nowhere to go. Not good. This is why I selected just my DAC for my initial experiments. At roughly 30 lbs., it's truly built like a tank ... with a chassis that was machined from a solid block of aluminum, I believe; that is rounded on its sides to minimize vibrations; and that was treated pretty extensively inside with anti-resonance/vibration material. To take the opposite end of my component spectrum, I wouldn't dream of suspending my amp or pre-amp (with their much-less-robust enclosures) in this way, as I think that the loss of "drainage" would be very detrimental.

The other aspect of a suspended component by a strap attacked to the ceiling is the component is now coupled to the ceiling with its own vibration control issues,some which can be much more vs. a rack shelf.

In that case, it sounds like my inability to utilize my ceiling -- and my need to utilize my rack in some way -- might not be the downside that I thought it might be? Does one of my three ideas -- i.e., long bungee "loops" around the shelf above; a strap-bungee hybrid around the shelf above; or bungee cords secured to solid steel rack uprights -- appeal more than the others? Do any alternative designs come to mind?

Does your system involve the very thick maple boards and massive brass footers shown in the image?

Yes and no. That photo illustrates my rack's basic skeleton -- the Mapleshade Samson rack with 2" solid maple shelves. (Mine has five shelves as opposed to three.) I do not, however, use the separate maple isolation platforms. For one thing, I don't have the vertical space. As well, I don't couple any of my components to their shelves with brass footers. I'm currently using a couple different isolation bearing devices ... specifically, Aurios MIB devices under my transport, and Rollerblock Jr.+ devices under (and bolted to) my DAC. My amp and pre-amp are on some generic cones but would probably benefit a lot from something better, and I'm thinking about starting over. (Your carbon fiber discs are coming! We'll go from there...) Turntable up top is on its own separate maple platform (mainly because of its size), and I'm experimenting with different materials between the top shelf and that platform. Finally, the entire rack does sit on four brass footers directly on the floor. Perhaps it should be isolated from the floor somehow?

Duster, "cheers" to you! Your comments are always very welcome!

 

RE: Looking for Ideas and Advice on DIY Component Suspension, posted on February 13, 2017 at 06:19:27
Duster
Audiophile

Posts: 12738
Location: Pacific Northwest
Joined: August 25, 2002
I can't comment on alternative suspension methods, since I'm adverse to the idea. I'm using a tonewood board under my DAC along with carbon fiber discs and anti-skid pads positioned both above and below the platform. I find the configuration to be a lively and musical sounding option. What are the dimensions (footprint) of your DAC?

 

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