As An Experiment I Stuck A Few Things Under My Pre-Amp And Am Now On A Quest

My system is built out, got the pieces I want in place, and struggled a bit with how it sounds. With certain recordings it was sublime and with others it could be a bit sterile or mechanical sounding. These are all solid state components in a Salamander cabinet, and up to this point I have never been a fan of isolation devices with SS gear. Now with tube components I did use spike type devices under amps and preamps, so I have had a bit of experience.

Last night I rounded up a few wayward isolation devices I had from previous systems and thought I would experiment a bit. The pre-amp contains the DAC also, so I thought I would start here. Put in some Wagner type pads, and got a different sound with some improved focus but the bass was lean and a bit odd. But things changed. I tried some magnetic pods I had, no change with them.

Then as a whim I cut two sections of foam pool noodle I had laying around and put it under the front and back of the preamp. I oriented them lengthwise. Something fantastic happened here! I got spooky precise focus to instruments, the bass response became impactful, the sound is more relaxed...perhaps a bit too smooth but I will take this over that mechanical presentation any day. This is sounding very nice.

So, after dinner I decide to cut a third one and perhaps the bass gets better. I put it in and all the gains are gone, it sounds worse than the first set of Wagner pads I put in. The bass literally vanishes and the soundstage collapses. Pull it out and things are good again. I listen to disc after disc last night and am pleased with the sound. I am spinning vinyl this morning and still feel the same way.

So now I have a plan of action. On one hand I am content to leave the noodles in place and roll with that for awhile. It would be nice to have a permanent solution though. It seems like I am looking for a compliant solution. I remember Brightstar used to build a little shelf that housed a bike inner tube in it, and I think Townshend Audio also had a bladder type platform.

It would be interesting to know what products folks have used that functioned in a similar manner.

Thanks for sharing any thoughts or experiences.


I have a heavy single end 6BG6 tube amp sitting on top of a JVC DVD player that I use as a transport for my Khadas KTB DAC. So heavy I have to lift up the front of the tube amp to get the center drawer open to load a CD. Sounded real good listening to the remastered Rolling Stones Goats Head Soup! Angie!

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The JVC DVD player sits on three 2" maple cubes atop a BEL 1001 amp which in turn sits on three 1" maple cubes atop a Sumo Andromeda amp. I like to use wooden cubes between components.

Hi, I have dabbled in all sorts of isolation, coupling and decoupling devices. Ultimately I find the best sound (clarity, extended FR esp bass) are ball-bearing / maglev devices.

Bladders / inner tyre tubes give muddy bass (i.e louder but bloated) and slower perceived sound.

I like fast transients, overall speed, and dynamics. I use these (the "Lyd") which are expensive, but there are others (stillpoints, isoacoustics' Gaia, etc).

I recommend you try a reasonably priced chinese offering like this. If tyou don't like the sound the pucks can always be used elsewhere.

i tried a sandwich of coupling/decoupling/isolation minerals and wood and granite :

Granite plate -sorbothane plate-cork plate -bamboo plate-shungite plate- 4 small pieces of herkimer quartz as feet under ... ....

It worked for me ...You can try variation ... The recipe must include sorbothane plate ...

It work for me and all my gear are on a desk ...The speakers are also damped by heavy load compared to their own weight ...

The bass is 50 hertz depth and clear with no boominess ...It is amazing result for a speakers with 4 inches of woofer ... I also modified my speakers but it  is another story ...😊

I dont want to buy costly even effective product, i prefer homemade ...

Have a look at Solid Tech's latest footers with Horizontal Springs. 

These are a copy of alternative much cheaper to purchase designs. It won't do any harm giving the cheaper to be found footers a trial. I use the Solid Tech original design using Vertical O Rings



@neonknight Your experience suggests that your preamp is picking up vibration from the shelf on which it sits. The pads you made are providing some isolation. By adding more pads, they were not loaded as much and so vibration was simply being transferred.

As a general rule of thumb, squishies like Sorbathane isolate; pointies couple. It sounds like whatever your preamp is sitting on is vibrating so the squishies are working for you.

A good quality platform might be the next step. Such a platform can be made DIY; if you look into this here's a tip: it must not be made of a single material, like a block of wood, cement or the like. Its better if two different materials are coupled together to form the platform; each material vibrates differently and so rob each other of energy.

Even with a good platform, it should be isolated from the shelf beneath; the preamp then would have pointies beneath it to couple it to the platform.

Obviously there are better squishies than bits of pool noodles. Look into Sorbathane pads. 

In order of increasing efficacy. vibrapods, NobSound springs, Townsend Seismic Isolation Pods, Silent Running Isolation Base.


The last is by far the best. They are custom made for your particular component. I have one on my turntable… highly recommended.

Townshend all the way. A little pricey, but the improvements are evident. I have my turntable on the platform and speakers on the bars. Tightens the bass up and gives more detail and soundstage. My highs seem crisper and cymbals really sound accurate. The sound jumps more into the room. Love em. 

Townshend Seismic spring-based products get universal praise in reviews and from users, but their stuff don’t come cheap. Other people here looking for a much cheaper spring-based isolation device have used these and have been very happy with the results…

And they’re easily returnable thru Amazon if they don’t work out.  Hey, for 30 bucks they’re worth a try and look a helluva lot better looking than pool noodles!

That's why I have all Townshend Seismics under everything in my system. Speakers, sub, equipment rack, amps, preamps, processors, turntable, DVD player. Everything...The Seismic pods are the least expensive, biggest bang for the buck going. 

Also have Townshend cable loom throughout. 

Still points are very good for some , if on a budget the Herbies tube dampers work

and make large tenderfeet under $100.

iso Acoustics make the Copper pucks that are good for each productas well as they make very good feet for Loudspeakers several Big names use them .

Try Black Ravioli Bigfoots: submarine sound deadening technology that deals with any frequencies in equipment casings.

Please tell me that this poster, with a self appointed unapparent knowledge in a one line post and who is a newcomer here, is not a troll ... Is it the birthday day of all trolls precisely today ? 11/11  at 2H23 minute the year 2023?

Please tell me this thread is a spoof. Is it April 1st already?

In your experience.

Nothing beats hockey pucks. 

 The last is by far the best. They are custom made for your particular component. I have one on my turntable… highly recommended

I use IsoAcoustics for speakers and Symposium bases and roller-blocks for everything else. Details in my profile. 

Sorbathane is no bueno. 

(I had no footfall issues to solve; goals were isolation and vibration dissipation)

Sorbothane or any singular material is "no so  bueno" by itself alone  ...

Only a sandwich mix to assure some coupling/decoupling set was efficient for me ...

For example feet of copper or any material is not good but with a sandwich plates including sorbothane plate , and granite, bamboo and cork and quartz  over them they work ...

The secret of the "sauce" is many ingredients together ...

Springs for example alone are not efficient enough the secret here is tuning the load of the compressive force under and above the speakers with springs compressed differently above and under with distinct damping load...

Sorbathane is no bueno.

check out Mapleshade, maple boards and brass cones...I pretty much used them under everything, and sometimes on top too...

I use platforms and footers under everything. Sand platforms, mdf/foam platforms, IsoAcoustics feet,Primacoustic platforms under speakers and subs.Sorbathane never worked well for me.When I had mono block amps on the floor they rested on  slices of gray foam pipe insulation, sort of like pool noodles.

Isoacoustics Oreas work just fine for me.
Made a noticeable difference. 

I guess that's why lots of recording studios use them. There's also Audite Acoustics which offer suspension platforms and constrained layer damping at reasonable prices compared to Townshend. I haven't tried them so I can't vouch for them, but they may be worth a look.

All the best,

These are all solid state components in a Salamander cabinet, and up to this point I have never been a fan of isolation devices with SS gear.

Based on my experience, a good equipment rack designed for the hifi is superior to a piece of furniture with isolation devices. I have not tried the best isolation devices so I could not advise. I've used Nobsound springs and they are OK.

Thanks for creating this thread. About a month ago, I bought some Equipment Vibration Protectors from RoomService (Norm). I have to say, these EVPs have lowered the noise floor and distortion of my system more than I ever imagined. I started with four under my JL Audio e110 sub and the difference was night and day. I’m getting more bass but at the same time cleaner/tighter bass. The EVPs have dramatically reduced room vibration. I no longer hear parts of the house vibrate when playing songs with heavy bass. The difference is truly night and day. Next I placed four under my Atoll 300 and the same thing, lowered the noise floor even more. Finally, I placed four under my Pontus II and three under my Hermes DDC. Before I placed the EVPs under my DAC/DDC I was getting occasional skips. With the EVPs, almost no skips at all (like one or two). My setup has never sounded better. I think they allow you to get the best out of each component or what each component should sound like once unwanted vibrations are eliminated. Best thing is, I can use them with any component I purchase in the future. I can add or takeaway blocks depending on the weight of the component. 

The EVPs takes mechanical energy and transforms it into thermal energy. The EVPs reduces vibration coming from a component or speaker and vibrations impacting a component due to the energy coming from another component or speaker. Norm tests the EVPs using a music box to  demonstrate how any surface can become a resonator (please use the below link to watch the demonstration). Test results show “to conservatively eliminate vibrations to and from equipment from 5 Hz. and above, by >90%.

Standard EVPs have a natural frequency of  3-4Hz. in the specified operating load range.” 

Before you buy any of the above mentioned products, I’d at least visit RoomServices website and read about their products. They are very affordable and Norm has a 30 money back guarantee for any reason. If they do not reduce vibration or improve sound quality, Norm will refund your money. What do you have to lose? Best of luck finding what works for your setup. Keep searching for the sound. 



First of all I do want to thank all those who have taken the time and effort to respond with their experiences and what pathways they have chosen. 

As we can see there is very little consensus on how to tackle this issue. There is a whole gamut of methods to choose from. 

Aside from one or two companies I haven't seen a lot of measurement behind the equipment. And I certainly apologize if I have missed some, I have spent time reading and looking, but I am sure there is bits and pieces of theory and design I have missed. 

What I find fascinating is how this whole issue came to light to start with. In the past the SS gear I have owned has never had sonic issues related to isolation, and when using isolation devices the results were inconclusive at best. So my interest in exploring them was quite minimal. 

The Classe Omega monoblock amps I use and the Trinov Amethyst never showed these issues when using a pair of JBL 4365 speakers. This only became an issue when I installed  a pair of Martin Logan CLX ART speakers. Now it could also be that the subwoofers ended up having increased output from 50 HZ with the JBL to 80 HZ with the CLX. But now this issue has been brought to the light of day. 

I ahve been busy on and off today, but I have had time to sit down and listen and the foam material below the preamp/DAC is consistent in its results, and its effects still follow the same pathway. I have removed them to verify its not my internal want for this result, But the effects are consistent and noticeable. 

These experiences does point me to the idea that squishy isolation is going to provide the results I need. The Townshend pods look like a viable choice. The EVP pads look intriguing, wish I could get a bit more information on them. A friend of mine swears by the Synergistic Research bullet thingies, and there is an isolation shelf on USAM I believe. But I have a hard time accepting the pathway they work, and that they are a reasonable solution for my issue. However he did bring a set of those bullets once, and they certainly had an audble effect, so I am not able to easily discount them. 

Oh as a side note I do use a get o IsoAcoustics Gaia I feet under the Martin Logan CLX ART speakers. The subwoofers do have a set of Auralex isolation bases under them. I remember when I first brought them home, I was dialing them in and had them turned up fairly strong. We have a tri-level house, and our bedroom is upstairs and on the the other end. My wife texts me "what are you doing? Whatever it is stop it you are making me queasy!" The isolation bases broke the coupling with the frame of the house, and she is happy now. 

Looking forward to whatever else you choose to share. 

Please don't end the quest without giving

a fair chance.

Aka Star Sound Technologies. I have been using them for years under speakers and electronics. Truly opens the sound up.

Several good choices here, try several and see what YOU think!

I really like some chinese copies of Finite Elements "Ceraballs" (of course if you have the dollars you can buy the real thing) in combination with Ikea Aptitlig bamboo cutting boards


Critical Mass footers under my LUMIN T3 have really changed my view on isolation. They aren't cheap but work very very well.  

I use granite 17x13x1.25 and 17x17x1.25 under every component. I also have a 2 piece under TT and 1 for the motor and 1 for the plinth then spiked them to the rack shelves. I also use spray glue and aluminum foil on the bottom of each component that totally eliminates any RF between components. Wish I had done that to the shelves when I put it together. That really tightened things up and got rid of some background noise. Then I use foam pipe insulation for the speaker wires, you can either cut into small sections or cover completely.

Here’s another very low cost option. Go to your local HVAC supply house and pick up some vibration pads that are used for furnaces, air conditioners etc. they are corrugated rubber on each side with cork in the middle. I use them on all of my components and you won’t believe how inexpensive they are. To hide the cork I bought a small bottle of flat black hobby paint and coated the edges.


I mentioned that I used some Wagner pads in the opening post. That is what they are. Not compliant enough and does not isolate.

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@neonknight - if you have additional questions about RoomSevice’s EVPs, reach out to Norm. He’s a very nice guy and will take the time to answer them. Reading your first post, it sounds like you put the right amount of isolation (foam pool noodle), under your preamp and when you added more the ratio of isolation to weight of the amp was off and that’s why the soundstage collapsed. Getting the biggest benefit from an isolator is perfecting the weight of the component/speaker to the isolator’s ability to withstand the weight without being too rigid or soft (and of course the materials that make up the isolation pad). 

Give Norm a call. I’m sure he’ll be able to answer your questions. Also, I have no affiliation with RS. I just think they make great EVPs for a reasonable price. 





Not arguing with Townshend product as I run their podiums under my floor standers. I've lots of systems experience with Quadraspire SVT and Reference X racks. They've done a lot of the heavy lift addressing multiple areas of vibration control.  

Their racks are the whole package improving areas of blacker background with lowered sound floor, improved vocal/instrument attack, focused imagery and less clutter around instruments and vocals.  And they look nice, easy to assemble.

Best of success improving your system.

@mahgister ....Sadly, no.

...when the population hit 8B+....

All Bets went south..... ;)

'Flakes'. F. Zappa for ref.

Well this is a unexpected development. After about three days the foam compresses down enough that the system gets bright again. 


As an experiment I cut two new pieces this evening and put them in place. Immediately the sound I am looking for returns. Actually the foam itself pretty much gives me the sound I am looking for, this is darn near perfect. 

A friend brought over some of the Nobsound spring assemblies, and another set with fixed springs, and neither came close. to the same presentation. He had another set of plugs that use a ball bearings in them, and tonally they came close but the soundstage moved to behind the speaker. 

The whole process has been fascinating and frustrating. I know there is a way to accomplish what I want, and I actually have it but cannot maintain the final result. 


Crazy hobby. 



Just out of interest did you adjust the weight capacity of the NobSprings such that the components on them compressed them half way? They must be adjusted to each component.

Yes, a fascinating and informative investigation. That is why there are dozens of different products on the market… elastomer pucks, half domes, wood blocks, Black Racing cones and carbon composite shelves, many different spring formula… etc. I remember I used these small platforms with bicycle inner tubes in them about 40 years ago. I got tired of reinflating them each week.



Yes I did. Varied them down to 3 and 4 springs per puck. Used varied placement of 3 pick arrangements due to the uneven weight of the component. Not quite the solution I needed. 

When I was younger I tried cheap isolation devices and never really noticed any difference outside of using various budget options underneath turntables. I bought some eastern world garbage off Amazon later in life when aesthetics started to mean something to i bought them because I thought they looked cool. 

Couple years ago when I had some bookshelves on stands in my living room I could hear some resonances when I turned the volume up. Once I noticed those resonances I couldn't ignore them and I found it to be quite aggravating.

A retail store had sent me something in the mail about a big sale and I saw the Iso-Acoustic pucks. 60 day trial period so I figured what the heck..even though they were much more expensive then anything I had ever considered before. 

When I plucked out the little sorbathene balls off the stands and put the pucks between the speakers and the stands I really didn't know what to expect, and I can honestly say I wasn't expecting much. The difference was audible right away. I read were people said they could tell the difference in the bass but for me it was much more in the midrange and overall clarity. I could turn the volume up much higher without the speakers losing any composure. I could see the subtle difference when comparing sweeps on REW but to my ears it was huge. 

I now use pucks of various sizes under everything. One of my amps that I have on the floor I put one of those SubDudes under it. I think that's what they are called. My point being is that once a non believer I strongly feel isolation devices can make a difference depending on your situation. Obviously there are better and more expensive (and cheaper) options out there to choose from. I'd say give a well regarded brand a try before saying they don't do anything for electronics and speakers. Especially if you use tube gear. Just my opinion anyway. 

Isolation devices are not often so good ...

Springs are complex to tune and better used with damping load and way better when we use two set of springs one set UNDER and one set above the speaker under damping load ... the damping load may be tune with a few grams approximation by ears ...I did it ...

Coupling and decoupling work very well but ONLY with a sandwich mix of plates , I use oak, granite,sorbothane,bamboo, cork plates , all together with astounding results ... Cost : peanuts ...

Sorbothane alone, springs alone or metal feet alone are not so good at all ...These PARTIAL solutions are deceptive and hide the problem ...

Most people as it is the case with the acoustic control of a room or with the electrical high noise floor of a house , or with EMI interference , most people had no idea how vibrations/resonance plague all audio system because they never adress the problem really and at best bought some feet made of a singular material composition ...It is not enough and deceptive solution ...

When vibration are under control the impact is huge not small at all , including timbre experience, imaging and even soundstage in my experience ...

I’ve got the often mentioned Nobsound springs under the feet of a cheapie Pangea rack which has proven to be very effective a decoupling from my super resonant hardwood floor. Also placed my preamp (solid state SPL) over a set of the same springs. Thinking about doing this for the amp as well. Sorbothane picks under the dac - which is also on the same rack. But sm considering trying some different materials or some tuned pucks along he lines of some mentioned here. Since my rack is horrifically basic and resonant, I’m even considering getting a sheet of dynamat and attaching it under one of the shelves to see what that could do. 

If you have one grab a mini level out of your tool kit...that thing with the 3 tubes filled with liquid and an air bubble. Mine was about 10 inches long. Lay it across your dac or whatever and watch for vibrations in the bubble. 

Poor mans visual vibration inspector 

This weekend I located a set of the Chinese style mag lev footers, and placed them under the pre-amp. The Trinov has a sophisticated DSP program, and one function it has is a very precise EQ option. I decided to experiment with it. I did in depth reading from websites dedicated to studio/sound engineering work to get an understanding of what I wanted to achieve. 


I started with a 1.1 dB cut from 1K to 5K. I then added a 1dB boost from 200 to 400 Hz. As I understand it you should cut first and boost as a last resort. But I am a newbie, and in this case it worked for me. 

I then started listening to several reference discs and began to reduce my settings. The sound was a bit too smooth and a touch too warm or vague. I can reduce by .2 dB. My first cut was from 1 to 5K and I went to -.6dB from -1.1 dB. Then I started cutting by -.2 increments. I also worked in the 200 to 400 hz range with the -.2 dB amounts. 

My final settings are 

+.4 at 200 Hz

+.4 at 250 Hz

+.6 at 315 Hz

+1.0 at 500 Hz

-.4 at 1KHz to 4Khz

I zeroed out the 5KHz setting, so no correction there. 


My objective was to get to the point where the sound became harder and forward, and back off one click and see what I thought. I am listening to these settings now and appreciate the clarity and detail and have not heard any aggressive tendencies. 

So far this is an enjoyable presentation. What I find fascinating is that a .2dB change in equalization is clearly audible. 1dB is significant, and to think how easy it is to influence the sound should give a person pause when selecting associated equipment, cabling, room placement, and what goes on the walls. This hobby is amazing, and it fascinates me how the little details matter. 


I use a laser pointer to check for vibration and aiming my speakers. Tape a pointer on a component and aim across room to see if indeed there is any vibration present. The further you aim the beam the more it magnifies any vibration. With speakers I aim one pointer at zero angle to the tweeter and one at 90 degrees. My speakers are on wheels so I can see if larger drivers influence movement.  Works well and cheap. Results may suprise you.. IVVTRYI Long Range High Power Tactical Green Beam Flashlight Laser Pointer rechargeableUSB Laser Pointer Cat Toys with Star Cap Adjustable Focus for Teaching Outdoor Hunting : Office Products

Much of what I have read is easy to relate to my own experience.

Trying out Materials for Supporting Structures in various configurations and the usage of different materials as separators/footers is the method that brings the Sonic produced to an attractive place.

As stated on this forum quite a few times to date, my most recent material used within

a Structure, is Resin Impregnated Densified Wood Board such as Panzerholz or Permali

I use a laser pointer to check for vibration and aiming my speakers. Tape a pointer on a component and aim across room to see if indeed there is any vibration present. The further you aim the beam the more it magnifies any vibration. With speakers I aim one pointer at zero angle to the tweeter and one at 90 degrees. My speakers are on wheels so I can see if larger drivers influence movement.  Works well and cheap. Results may suprise you.. IVVTRYI Long Range High Power Tactical Green Beam Flashlight Laser Pointer rechargeableUSB Laser Pointer Cat Toys with Star Cap Adjustable Focus for Teaching Outdoor Hunting : Office Products

Interesting low cost experiment !

Thank you for the suggestion ...

@ernstmach ”I use a laser pointer to check for vibration…”


That is brilliant. Great idea. Although I will not be taping anything to my speakers.

However, I have on my list of things to get include a seismometer. I plan on using that for everything from monitoring seismic activity of the earth, trucks and cars.. and the results of sound. But I have other reasons to get one… they are over $1K. 

There is a seismic vibrations detector in the app store. No need for anything other than an iphone

i did not know because of my old age ...😊

There is a seismic vibrations detector in the app store. No need for anything other than an iphone