Experience with Townshend Seismic Podiums on Concrete Floor (they're great)

​I have tower speakers on a concrete floor covered with carpet. Recently, I tried out the Townshend Seismic Podium (size 1)  on my Ascend Acoustics Towers (RAAL tweeter) for about 4-5 hours. Here is a brief recounting of my experience.

At first, I set up the podiums and just listened to well known tracks; next, a few days later, I used that same set of tracks to compare, A & B, the speakers on the podium vs. without the podium (but at the same height). A friend with me also compared this A/B setup. We listened to a simple jazz arrangement, a Mozart aria, a rock recording by Chesky, and a country/rock piece. All were well recorded.

The difference made by the podiums are not subtle. In general, it is as if the entire sonic presentation was brought into focus, as if a light veil or layer of dust had been wiped away. It organizes everything; it makes the parts of the whole make sense.

More specifically, these were the effects I noticed: 

Bass was slightly fuller, much cleaner and more distinct; for an electric bass, this meant that rounded notes that previously blurred in a sequence (too legato) become individual notes. String bass notes gained dimensionality and texture; the finger on the string became more real, and the resonance of the large wooden bass got fuller and richer. Rhythm sections were better able to stand out *as* rhythm sections, that is, as musicians who are working together.

As far as midrange and treble go, there was -- as with the bass -- more definition, clarity, detail. They sound more like instruments-in-the-room rather than the presence of instrument appearances. Not much about their tonal character changed, but they became more palpable and more exactly located.

That brings me to the soundstage. The width of the soundstage grew by about 10-14% — 5-7% on each side. It was remarkable. Instruments gained space, separation, and definiteness of location. They didn't sound apart or isolated but just more distinct, separated from other instruments. I imagined this as fidelity to the way the microphone recorded them or as the mixing engineer intended. 

When I ordered the podiums, I made sure to ask for the ability to return them. I was assured that I could return them if I just paid shipping. (No restocking fee.) I was skeptical and wanted an escape clause. I had watched a few videos and was curious about whether Mr. Townshend's scientific claims would translate into audible differences that would be worth the money (the podiums cost about 1/3 of my speakers' cost). 

Well, my skepticism is gone — and it disappeared rather quickly at first, and then after careful comparison. I am keeping the Townshend podiums. Are they better than Isoacoustics footers or other products? I don't know, because I have not compared them. But they're making a huge difference and, should I want to put other speakers on them, they'll fit the others I have, easily. I'm pretty sure I'll never give these up.



Hi hilde45

Your description of the changes pretty much precisely coincides with mine, Sopra 2 on a hardwood floor.  I didn't have space for the Podiums so after an email exchange with Mr. Townshend I purchased the Bars.  The improvement was dramatic, even a little shocking, when considered that the systems sounded pretty good before, or so I thought, and all I did was swap out the Pods.  Makes me wonder if every single system, especially those with floor standers, would automatically benefit.  Not trying to sell anyone with that line, btw.  It's just that I was amazed at what it did to my audio.  I used Isoaccoustics Pods before the Townshend Bars

@hilde45 ​​​​​@jtcf 

Thanks for the responses. I did see on their website that Townshend also offers Seismic Bars for bottom ported speakers as noted by surfcat. 

I will also research the Primacoustics platforms as noted. 


In trying to think my way through this problem, I’ve thought in terms of 3 different types of unwanted kinetic energy that are undoubtedly problematic to some degree.

  1. movement of the speaker cabinet back and forth and side to side due to Newtonian action reaction caused by the driver motion
  2. cabinet vibration also due to the drivers motion
  3. floor resonance being transferred back and forth between the speaker and flooring until it finally dissipates.


I agree.

There’s clearly more than just one form of resonance at play here.

To make things even more complicated these levels of resonance might all differ according to playback volume and speaker placement.


Unless I am missing something, this all tells me that that speaker cabinet resonance (2) was the main culprit. It also tells me that the Townsend product is somehow draining and dissipating that speaker cabinet resonance quickly.


I’d agree too.

There’s not a single loudspeaker on earth that doesn’t suffer from it.

Some far more than others, obviously.

Even a traditional design used to combat cabinet resonance such as the thin wall lossy cabinet employed by Harbeth/Spendor or a more modern one such as Q Acoustics Concept Series gelcore cabinet/ lossy stand might benefit from some further form of isolation/decoupling.

Yes agreed once again, no 2 is critically important.

Sprung wooden floors in particular, might just be the least helpful surface to place a pair of vibrating towers.

@surfcat "Makes me wonder if every single system, especially those with floor standers, would automatically benefit."

I have to say I agree. 

My challenge, as a true blue skeptic, is to keep listening critically. Am I in an infatuation period? Is my thinking and hearing clouded by the sunk costs fallacy? I am trying to be open to the idea that all of this is confirmation bias. I suspect that's not true, but I've not had it a long time, yet.

For people with downfiring drivers I wonder if the Townshend Pods, which I imaging would be used in a manner similar to Isoacoustics Gaia pods, wouldn't solve the problem. Also the Corners that he sells are interesting looking.  I wonder if there's an advantage to two "Seismic Load Cells" (his name) per corner over one.