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.





Anyone out there wanting to hear a comparison between a so-called isolation platform versus a direct coupled platform may want to experience this video.

I have been using the Star Sound/Live Vibe racks and platforms for 20 years now. I have even installed small platforms on Audiopoints and discs inside my amplifiers under their main circuit board.  Audio Points and coupling discs under transformers secured with brass hardware not ferrous steel. Pretty cool to be able to adjust the resonance point of a component much like that of a string instrument. The new company name is Home - Live-Vibe Audio - Vibration Management Products (livevibeaudio.com)

EBM you should contact your Buds at Symposium and ask them to offer up a platform to OCD Mikey on his YouTube channel for review. If they decide to take on Townshend and especially Live Vibe wish them luck with the 3 way shoot out. The audio result of the duel in the link below was evident on a cell phone. Take a listen here as the comparative difference is abundantly clear just as it was to me 20 years ago using Sistrum Platforms or Audiopoints under Thiel CS 6s then in my workplace and under my Dunlavy SC4s in my own rig back then. Tom


Remember when choosing or designing your own rack or platform............... Isolation can only exist in the absence of matter.




...their method of placing speakers directly on the floor was to put a piece of marble under the speaker--so not really sure if it's analogous to carpet on concrete--would love to see if carpeting/pad is considered a form of decoupling and they did measurements on that type of surface.


I agree.

There's still a lot that is unknown when it comes to loudspeaker decoupling.

I guess that anything softer/having less mass than either the speaker cabinet or the surface it's standing on must decouple to a certain extent. 

The big question is how far do you have to lower the resonant frequency between the speaker and it's supporting surface before you stop hearing improvements.

I remember hearing that you need to go below 10Hz to get the full benefit, but I'm not sure why.

In the video Credo used the idea of suspending the speaker from a bungee cord (?) as the reference with which to compare both their own decoupling method and that of Townshend Audio.

I have read many a review about the Podiums and many times they state that you can adjust the height or rake of the speakers with the outside knobs.

I don't believe this to be true. Once you release the spring the speaker will float and just find its equilibrium, or am I missing something?