IsoAcoustics Gaia Footers AND Townshend Seismic Podiums

This might sound counterintuitive, but has anyone tested whether having IsoAcoustics Gaia footers ON TOP of Townshend podiums make any improvement, or at least do not degrade the sonics compared to using the Townshend podiums on their own?

I just got the Townshend podiums and already have Gaia I footers on my T+A Solitaire S 530 speakers. I am too lazy to go back to the stock feet so now I have the Gaia between the speaker and the podiums.

I’ve seen a lot of discussions of IsoAcoustics and Townshend in the same thread but have yet to come across anyone who has tried using both at the same time.

128x128Ag insider logo xs@2xblisshifi

Hey You might be on to something! Or you could be beat down for attempting such an act. Time will tell as others chime in. 

The first thing that came to mind was when Nikon introduced the VR (vibration reduction) lenses. It was advised that VR is effective when hand-holding the camera while taking the picture. If the camera is on a tripod the VR might not be effective or introduce blur - I do not recollect exactly how.

Might not be the case with speaker footers - but lets see if anyone actually has any experience in this.

IsoAcoustics Gaia footers ON TOP of Townshend podiums

Hmmmmmm….. Never thought about this. Truly “outside the box” thinking. I have a very positive experience with IsoAcoustics GAIA in my three most recent pairs of speakers, including current speakers, but never got around to try Townshend. 


I just received a response from John Hannant who is the primary dealer for Townshend that the Isoacoustics footers will degrade the performance of the Podiums. Interesting! But I had a feeling that could be the case as two decouplers could have an adverse effect, similar to what @milpai describes with Nikon VR lenses. 

@thyname “Truly out of the box thinking” totally got me! It was just the case of sheer laziness. Now I suppose I will need to remove the Gaia, which makes more work for me!

I saw this a few days ago posted on elsewhere on this site. It leads me to believe there should be zero harm in using both the gaia footers and the TA platforms.

This is an interesting read,   The theory of more stuff.

Vibration isolation in audio is a subject surrounded in mystery half truths and any number of wild theories. As an engineering exercise, the explanation is quite straight foreword and may be explained by the“Theoryof more stuff”.

Take a surface, be it the floor or a table, on which your hi fi component is placed and it is desired to reduce the vibration from thesupport to the equipment. The way this is done is to put “some stuff” between theequipment and the supporting surface. There are three possible outcomes.

1 The vibration in the equipment is more than the vibration in the support. This is not possible as if it were; the energy crisis would be solved! More out than what is put in. Free power forever! Unfortunately, this scenario contradicts the first and second laws ofthermodynamics, so is not possible.

2 The vibration in the supported equipment will be the same as in the case of no stuff. Thechances of this are one in a million because something has been changed… it may be thesame, but that is extremely unlikely, therefore, the only possibility is,

3 The vibration will be attenuated, to a greater or lesser degree, and this is the case.

There are many products out there that do in fact attenuate vibration. Be it spikes on glass, wood and slate, aluminium spikes in cups, ball bearings in cups, solid plates separated by compliant sheets, lead, Bluetack, sand, marble, concrete, the list is endless. It is also known that multiple combinations of theabove produce better results because there is morestuff. E.g. multiple platforms stacked really high.

@blisshifi   Too funny. I was composing and your post came out first. Opposing views of sorts. Interesting views expressed on the 'theory of more stuff' and based on the 3 outcomes.... it is hard to see how anything inanimate adds additional vibration.   I'll await additional clarification.

@musicaddict The way I’m trying to make sense of it is that both of these solutions (Isoacoustics and Townshend Podiums) are decoupling solutions, which are a bit different from damping or typical absorption solutions. With decoupling, my understanding is that the vibration that comes from the speaker is isolated from the floor and vice versa, but there is also an inverse physical reaction that comes from the decoupling mechanism to counter what comes from either end and attempts to stabilize or minimize the resonances in the speaker. It may be that the inverse resonance control that the Townshend Podiums may not accurately counter back to the speaker because it is decoupled by the Gaia footers. In this case, the Gaia footers are supposedly the “weak link” in the chain. 

Perhaps @townshend-audio can validate or correct this hypothesis. 

Post removed 

I honestly and respectively think you need to be less lazy and remove the Gaia footers and see what you think.  It’d be an interesting observation.

@soix I did remove them and installed the stock spikes on the speakers and placed them on the Podiums. There was an improvement in high frequency articulation and clarity, but the tonal balance shifted as a result, and I will need to play with positioning a little bit. I know most people put their speaker direct on the Podium but as the ones I am using are bottom ported, I am weary of doing this. I may try that as well. 

Two springs in series becomes a very complicated physics problem to solve (not unsolvable, but not easy).  The solution can have higher peaks and valleys and some un-expected harmonics and singularities.

I think the Townsend springs will dominate but don't know enough about the Gaia to be sure.

Townsend podiums are actually engineered for their weight range rather than just guess what spring constant to use.  So I would think you're better off with just the townshends.  


@carlsbad2 Well said. Yes, it seems that people across multiple forums unanimously agree the Townshend Podiums’ performance notably exceeds the IsoAcoustics Gaia footers. I did notice an improvement in clarity off the bat, though delineation/imaging was affected, likely due to small shifts in speaker positioning. I unfortunately had to travel out of state for the week, but I look forward to continuing to dial the speakers in with the podiums in place. 

I have Combak Harmonica footers on top of my Podiums and it’s outstanding. 
Full disclosure is that I only had help for a short period of time and did not want to remove the spikes from the Persona 5F’s  I have never tried them any other way. 
little different story with the Gaia’s though. ‘The Persona’s are also ported on the bottom and figured the extra height wouldn’t hurt. 

My God man. It's akin to driving on snow tires in summer. You must make a choice. Pray it's the correct one 🕜 time is wasting. Happy listening 🎶.

Not only should you remove the Gaia’s but you also should remove the stock feet or spikes. The reason is you want to maintain the stock height of the speaker’s cabinet relative to the floor for the best response. Put the Gaia's under one or more of your components.

@aewarren I’m not sure if you read it but my speakers are bottom ported. While the Podiums have a set of small cutouts in its base, placing the speaker directly on the podium will block 80-90% of the bottom port. Also, have you seen the Townshend Podiums? They basically add no height… maybe as little as 1/4” if you adjust carefully. 

Is this not the answer, sell the podiums and use these.


typical A-gone solution: sell the speakers and get something without a bottom port, and make sure to have the podiums cryogenically. treated!

@alan60 The Seismic Bars are known not to provide the same level of weight distribution and stability as the Podiums, and as such, do not deliver the same level of performance. I was advised by John Hannant who is the primary distributor of Townshend that it is fine to use spikes on the platforms. But that Gaias would detract from the sonic performance the Podiums bring. I will continue to test as I get back this weekend.

@ronboco REW is a good suggestion, and I may do that. As I said, I thought I noticed it to be more tipped up with the spikes on vs the Gaia, but that could be due to more detail coming through. Sometimes that won’t show up in REW as it is not about the amplitude of the frequency that REW captures on a frequency sweep (singular frequency playing at a time), but about the imaging clarity that the Podiums bring due to less resonance and faster speed of delivery in complex passages. Only one way to find out, though, right?

@alan60    The exact same thing came to mind, I was thinking of the Isolation Bars too


You may want to consider the new Stack Audio Auva 100s.  Very impressive performance.


Whilst I take the point about weight distribution and stability, as your speakers are a normal rectangular shape and bearing in mind that you have a speaker sitting on 4 springs, whether it be podiums or bars, any the impact can only be very minimal when using the bars.

You also stated that using the spikes onto the podiums wasn't all positive and that your speakers are bottom ported, so would the bars not be worth a try as the gain from not using spikes and allowing the port to work properly might bring you more gains than the potential losses from not using the podiums. Also as you know the pods can be adjusted in height so you can raise or lower the speakers as a way of fine tuning the port.

Just to update the thread, I spent a good amount of time dialing things in last night. Only ver little needed to be done with positioning to get the best sound I’ve gotten out of my speakers with the Townshend Podiums.

They are still on their stock spikes vs directly on the platform. Where I reported the tonal balance shifting in the past, this was largely caused by the speakers being placed slightly closer together, causing an increase of energy in the center. The bass did get more taut which at first made it sound leaner, but this is likely due to less energy going into the floor. By adjusting the positioning, the speakers have reached a higher level of clarity. Microdetails are more discernable with less fatigue. With less resonance, the sonics have significantly better bass speed and articulation compared to IsoAcoustics Gaia footers. This leads to an overall more holographic presentation and improved air. 

I still highly recommend the IsoAcoustics footers as a more cost-effective solution. I’d say they get about 70% of where the Podiums take you at less than half the price. And I still very much leverage Isoacoustics Orea footers under every component that I own. 

The theory of more stuff.

Vibration isolation in audio is a subject surrounded in mystery half truths and any number of wild theories. As an engineering exercise, the explanation is quite straight foreword and may be explained by the “Theory of more stuff”.

Take a surface, be it the floor or a table, on which your hi fi component is placed and it is desired to reduce the vibration from the support to the equipment. The way this is done is to put “some stuff” between the equipment and the supporting surface. There are three possible outcomes.

1 The vibration in the equipment is more than the vibration in the support.
This is not possible as if it were; the energy crisis would be solved! More
out than what is put in. Free power forever! Unfortunately, this scenario
contradicts the first and second laws of thermodynamics, so is not

2 The vibration in the supported equipment will be the same as in the case of no stuff. The chances of this are one in a million because something has been changed… it may be the same, but that is extremely unlikely, therefore, the only possibility is,

3 The vibration will be attenuated, to a greater or lesser degree, and this is the case.

There are many products out there that do in fact attenuate vibration. Be it spikes on glass, wood and slate, aluminium spikes in cups, ball bearings in cups, solid plates separated by compliant sheets, lead, Bluetack, sand, marble, concrete, the list is endless. It is also known that multiple combinations of the above produce better results because there is more stuff. E.g. multiple platforms stacked really high.

The engineering approach is to get the best result in the simplest manner by optimizing the “stuff” and way back about two centuries ago the Victorian engineers came up with the solution…. the spring! The spring may be anything “springy”, from elastic, rubber, coiled steel, straight steel, air-bladders to flexible wooden strips. As long as it has sufficient spring or compliance, when optimised with an appropriate mass, a mechanical low pass filter is realised.


The ideal is to have the resonant frequency as low as is possible, ideally around 2Hz in both the horizontal and vertical planes and with a damping ratio of about 0.16. This will give an attenuation of about 25dB at 10 Hz increasing at 20dB per decade above. This will ensure excellent isolation for the deleterious audio system vibrations which are from 5Hz to 500Hz.