It seems fairly common knowledge that vibration is a form of distortion in many electric components, not just for turntables and speakers. Isolation feet seem to work well in most applications.
I searched around and I didn't find any information to suggest that folks are using isolation feet on laptops or desktops, despite increased streaming usage. In a great many cases, there are indeed heavy vibrations coming from within the computer. Whether it is the fan for the CPU or even GPU to the all the various chips/transformers, etc or even power supplies and batteries. If adding isolation feet to a streamer, DAC or power supply makes sense, then wouldn't it also make sense to apply isolation feet to your laptop; if you use it for music?
Well, I am going to find out. :)
I ordered some IsoAcoustics Orea Series Audio Equipment Isolators with a max weight of 16 pounds. The laptop weighs about 6.7 pounds, so it shouldn't be that much strain, even with all the cables creating some measure of down force as they dangle over the edge.
My expectation is that the DAC will be able to perform slightly better due to reduced vibration across the USB port and power filter. The DAC is a USB stick (Dragonfly Cobalt) so it has a very rigid hard connection to the laptop; so vibration is very easily transferred.
@guakusI deleted my post because what I do probably isn't wise for some people in some unusual circumstances where all bets would be off anyway. I elevate my lappie a bit to accommodate natural air flow...
Ok, then what is the advantage of isolating DAC noise, or amplifier noise, or any noise? Why in the name of YHWY do people who spend $60,000 USD on stereo and speakers put isolation feet on all their equipment, including the stands?
Because they can? Because you don't?
Well, in the name of YHWY, I am going to find out regardless of the judgement. :D
How about vibration platforms for the chair you sit in.I mean we dont want the chair movement to interfere with the music that's playing through our audio system do we....we need to be totally isolated from the vinyl album being played on our system, Right .
Alright, I am looking into that now. Seems reasonable. The Basik, which is what I could afford, doesn't perform any mechanical vibration isolation, but perhaps adding these isolation feet to the Tranquility pad would help.
well, if the constraint cannot be relaxed…i would attack the problem in several ways… First i would work on isolating the laptop. Is it quieter both physically and thru your system on battery or the power supply ( likely a hash producing SMPS ) ? isolating the PC to the dirty leg of your power panel is always a good idea, as is some form of digital only power cinditioning.. Then i would work on the DAC, heatshrink the body, use a jitterbug FMJ also w heatshrink.
Finally open up aperture on other effective mechanical isolation devices… HRS strongly advised…. i would work a nimbus coupler under the dac / FMJ hanging in space…..
I am currently using the FMJ Jitterbug. I had bought the USBe Perfect, but it does not work well in series with the Dragonfly Cobalt, but the FMJ definitely does. I will save the USBe Perfect for when I upgrade to a standalone DAC.
Processor load is low. Every now and again, if I am working on too many apps and have too many active active directories open, the processor fan will kick on for a brief time.
I have my music apps running in Realtime mode and it still doesn't put a dent in processor load.
I keep the device plugged. It uses a switched power supply (not much that can be done about that.) I currently use Shunyata's Venom V14 Digital power cable. That plugs into the Shunyata Venom V16 distributor, currently running the Alpha V2 XC 20 amp cable. The power outlet is Audioquest's NRG Edison coupled with Furutech's socket protector and socket cover. So, I nigh well got EMI issues covered before it ever gets to the laptop.
The problem areas I see, is the actual power cable from the switched power supply. It's a flimsy, weak cable and its connection is not all that snug. So it most likely is picking up surrounding noise, and leaking EMI from the connection source.
Not sure what you're referring to with "heatshrink." Do you have a product link?
I don't use power savers. No screen savers. The system is in presentation mode. It never saves power. Unless I disconnect the plug. On battery, it will conserve power. IN which case, all performance goes downhill.
Sorry I am still not sure we’re on the same page with terminology.
The power panel to the house cannot be altered by me, since I am renting.
The Shunyata Venom V16 has two zones. The monitor and laptop are plugged into Zone 2 and the speakers and sub are on Zone 1. They are separated from each other following Shunyata’s CCI tech. Also, both the monitor and laptop use their digital cable, which has noise filtration built into the IEC NEMA connector.
Looking briefly into electrical heat shrink, this appears to be the rubber used to seal electrical wires when you're either splicing, splitting, or attaching connectors. I have some of this. Are you suggesting I put a sleeve over the laptop's electrical plug (that goes into the laptop) to stop any possible EMI leak?
I used a MacBook (with solid state drive) for a number of years. I would always unplug and run on battery power to play music. I was using an +$10K DAC. I will admit I never tried an isolation method.. cones, platform, or any of the other stuff I had laying around because it just wasn’t of high enough sound quality to expect to hear the improvement.
After nearly twenty years of experimenting with digital streaming I concluded the only way to good sound is through a purpose built streamer. PCs and laptops are a cornucopia of electro magnetic fields, vibrations, and conflicting CPU services. If this is a fun exercise for the fun of figuring out if you can hear a difference, have fun. My money is on you not being able to hear a difference if you put it on a mount made for an electron microscope (which my turntable is on, and I can hear a difference). If you are seriously looking for better sound, buy a dedicated streamer. Blue Sound sells a very popular budget one.
“ heatshrink the body ( of the DAC ) and also the FMJ Jitterbug, it’s a resonance thing ..not emi… although any good dac or processor have a faraday cage around the digital bits ..and you are stuck w laptop, which is a negative Faraday cage. Think creatively about getting around the rental panel problem… but looking at tge breakers..is easy and free….
i would do surgery on the laptop power supply cord / connector for sure…. or better yet Teddy Pardo make an excellent server / accessory power cable and linear power supply…
@ghdprenticeAfter nearly twenty years of experimenting with digital streaming I concluded the only way to good sound is through a purpose built streamer........If you are seriously looking for better sound, buy a dedicated streamer.
I thank you for sharing this experience and your findings. You could probably write a book about the subject.
However I trust that you graciously understand that many folk who are seeking a sound you describe ("good", "better") have some very viable alternatives which are preferred. I can think of a whole bunch of reasons.
The OP raised a legitimate concern, i.e., the annoying fan noise. I use Dell XPS as a music source. A while ago the fan came up constantly and, without 2nd thought, I put the isolation feet underneath hoping the fan will quiet down epecially when music is playing. It turned out the CPU was occupied by some resided app. in the background and caused the fan to operate endlessly. So my advise is, as the first thing, to check on the CPU and eliminate unnecessary bagages. Whether adding isolation feet as a damper helps vibration attenuation is debatable. To completely cure the root of the problem, I will suggest the use of fanless Mac instead.
I don't have a fan noise issue. More like, fan vibration that vibrates throughout the entire laptop and reaches the USB port where the DAC is. Vibration has a negative affect on electronic output. Dissipating or reducing that vibration can increase electronic performance.
This is why people are putting isolation feet on their standalone DACs, Amps, Preamps, Streamers and other electronic equipment. The computer is just another piece of sound equipment.
I have thought about this earlier, to use some kind of isolation for the laptop. However, the laptop is too light for most isolators to work. I have some unused Finite Elemente Ceraball and Nobsound springs but didn’t try them under the laptop as it’s too light. I tried the Nobsounds under the DAC and the DAC is also too light for the Nobsounds to work. I end up with 2 units of FE Ceraball under the DAC with the stiff power cord lending some pull/balance to the unit.
Just when I think I've read something that is the silliest thing ever in audio, along comes something sillier.
Could someone explain how vibrations are transferred from a laptop (or any other source) to your pre-amp then to the amp (or integrated for us low-fi heathens) then to your speakers and be audible, using science and measurements, not "I know what I hear"? Preferably supported with studies and/or blind tests.
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