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.

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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.