A Cheap Speaker Isolation Adventure
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  1. #1
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    A Cheap Speaker Isolation Adventure

    Sometime back I bought some anti vibration pads ($1.50 each) and furniture sliders ($1.60 each).
    Yesterday I saw them laying around and decided to do a little experiment using them as speaker isolators.
    I placed a vibration pad atop the slider (4 per speaker). Total cost $25 for the entire set of 8.
    Have not listened critically yet. Will have to do a few position adjustments, but moving the speakers is now breeze. That alone was worth the trouble.

    Here are the pads (2" X 2" x 7/8")


    Here are the sliders:

  2. #2
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    Re: A Cheap Speaker Isolation Adventure

    Try hockey pucks too.

  3. #3
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    A Cheap Speaker Isolation Adventure

    Quote Originally Posted by sharkmouth View Post
    Try hockey pucks too.
    Thanks for suggesting that!

    The experiment that I described above did not work. The speakers were a little wobbly and unsteady using what I described. Too many layers of rubber on a soft carpet.

    So next I tried using the original speakers spikes and a metal washer (to prevent damage to the carpet). I added a self-stick carpet glider to the bottom of the metal washer. I liked the result better. The speakers are way more steady however I can still make the top of the speaker move laterally by applying not much force. I can trace this to the soft carpet and the (small) metal washer sitting on the soft carpet.

    I am waiting for a set of Herbie Giant spike decouplers and see how they work.

    Now that you suggested the hockey pucks, I can also try the combo of spikes, "puck", and the sliders (from my first post) and see how that works. That would be a much cheaper solution than the Herbie!

    I am aiming to: eliminate/minimize vibration to/from speakers, speakers solidly grounded, and ease of moving speaker.

    Thanks!

  4. #4
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    Re: A Cheap Speaker Isolation Adventure

    Not sure if you can meet all of your goals.
    Getting the speakers solidly grounded and easily moved are counter to each other.
    I used the furniture sliders to find the best location for my speakers and then removed the sliders and installed spikes.
    This worked out well for me.
    A friend is using the Gaia footers and really likes them over the spikes he had previously used.
    I've also been to other audiophiles homes where they have placed slabs of granite on the floor over the carpet to provide a stable base.
    Many ways to skin this cat. Just need to find the one that works best for you.
    Have fun and enjoy the journey.
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  6. #5
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    Re: A Cheap Speaker Isolation Adventure

    Quote Originally Posted by jadedavid View Post
    Not sure if you can meet all of your goals.
    Getting the speakers solidly grounded and easily moved are counter to each other.
    x 2
    I have already said and I repeat: it is worth trying very carefully because the contact of the speakers with the floor is, in my opinion, perhaps, the most critical point of an audio system.

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  8. #6
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    Re: A Cheap Speaker Isolation Adventure

    Quote Originally Posted by jadedavid View Post
    Not sure if you can meet all of your goals.
    Getting the speakers solidly grounded and easily moved are counter to each other.
    I used the furniture sliders to find the best location for my speakers and then removed the sliders and installed spikes.
    This worked out well for me.
    A friend is using the Gaia footers and really likes them over the spikes he had previously used.
    I've also been to other audiophiles homes where they have placed slabs of granite on the floor over the carpet to provide a stable base.
    Many ways to skin this cat. Just need to find the one that works best for you.
    Have fun and enjoy the journey.
    Thank you for sharing. I agree with your observations. What I meant by "solidly grounded" is actually making sure that the speakers are not wobbly when touched on the side on the top. The thing is any slight movement/flexing/bending at the speaker/carpet level is exacerbated/amplified at the top of the speaker. So I am looking for a solution that eliminates that flexing/bending without allowing the spikes to penetrate the carpet. The use of a granite slab is an option that I will likely explore as well. Thank you!

  9. #7
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    Re: A Cheap Speaker Isolation Adventure

    Be careful with that granite slab, sometimes it can really bring out the worst in your tweeter. The hockey pucks will give you flabby bass, but, for the price they are an exemplary experiment. Try cork, try tiles, try rubber glued together, then not glued. Try wood, especially hardwood. Timber is very exceptional for isolation if you get the right variety,...
    Quote Originally Posted by nicoff View Post
    Thank you for sharing. I agree with your observations. What I meant by "solidly grounded" is actually making sure that the speakers are not wobbly when touched on the side on the top. The thing is any slight movement/flexing/bending at the speaker/carpet level is exacerbated/amplified at the top of the speaker. So I am looking for a solution that eliminates that flexing/bending without allowing the spikes to penetrate the carpet. The use of a granite slab is an option that I will likely explore as well. Thank you!

  10. #8
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    Re: A Cheap Speaker Isolation Adventure

    Quote Originally Posted by nicoff View Post
    Thank you for sharing. I agree with your observations. What I meant by "solidly grounded" is actually making sure that the speakers are not wobbly when touched on the side on the top. The thing is any slight movement/flexing/bending at the speaker/carpet level is exacerbated/amplified at the top of the speaker. So I am looking for a solution that eliminates that flexing/bending without allowing the spikes to penetrate the carpet. The use of a granite slab is an option that I will likely explore as well. Thank you!
    You want the spikes to penetrate through the carpet to make contact to dissipate the vibration, it won’t damage anything - use the sliders for tweaking placement and remove


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  11. #9
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    Re: A Cheap Speaker Isolation Adventure

    Quote Originally Posted by UltraFast69 View Post
    You want the spikes to penetrate through the carpet to make contact to dissipate the vibration, it won’t damage anything - use the sliders for tweaking placement and remove

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Understand, but unfortunately that is a no-go with the wife. That is why I am looking at the alternatives. Thank you!

  12. #10
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    A Cheap Speaker Isolation Adventure

    Happy to report a positive development.

    I remembered that I had a set of amp stands (wood stands that can be filled with sand). (When loaded with the sand, they become fairly heavy similar to a slab of granite). The stands sit nearly flush with the carpet (low center of gravity).

    I put carpet sliders under the stands and placed the speakers with spikes directly on the wood stand. The spikes really dig into the wood. But that's ok since the wood is under the speaker and never exposed.

    The sliders allow me to easily move the speakers and try out different positions.

    The wooden stands and speaker spikes raise the speaker about 3-1/2 inches above the height of my previous set up bringing the tweeters more in line with my ears.

    The speakers are now more solidly grounded (they no longer shake when I poke the top of the speaker).

    The result: the music seems as if it slowed down. There is no rush; there is more intimacy. The performers seem to be closer to you. Music notes/instruments that previously were a a bit hidden in the background are now more prominent and better delineated yet not intrusive. I am hearing nuances that I had not noticed before.

    My total cost was zero since I already owned the amp stand, the sliders, and spikes.

    I just cancelled the order for the hockey pucks and the Herbies.

    Once I decide that the speakers are in my desired location I can take the sliders out if I care to.

    The is the BEST my system has EVER sounded! Thanks to all for the ideas/suggestions!

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