Isolation methods for your VK50SE preamp

I recently added a rack and two amp stands for my monos for my two channel only setup. The rack was a gift from my carpenter. It is basically diy made from doug fir coated w/ black lacquer.

I had no idea a rack could make so much difference one way or another. My system had already reached a new level or transparency and intimacy. I really didn't "need" the rack except that the installation looks better. All components sit between my speakers.

This rack is a 3-component system with no top shelf. I would need to provide my own top shelf material.

The first thing I did was to just put the preamp on top (there is a bar/beam that goes from front to back). The result was astonishing.

While listening, I found that the preamp seemed to disappear before my eyes. There was no haze or chestiness that I sometimes hear only when compared to my Wadia direct.
The transparency and liquidity heard on that "one" night made me feel like my system had previously been in another dimension and finally melded with my own. I thought I had finally reached a new level of understanding as to what others mean when they speak of that cool tubey sound.

However, there are trade-offs. In my system, some of the extreme dynamics were softened. But the music was still clear and warm...very real and liquid with no seams or edges. Classical, jazz, and jazz vocals were incredibly real and live sounding to the point where I found my self lost in my idea of the venue several times. Scary.

I had grown accustomed to being able to hear "all" of the harmonic details and such. I began to see if I could have it all. I tried wood and granite platforms.

The wood was warm and somewhat transparent. The vocals were 80% fully audible and the dynamics were softened a bit but better than with no shelf.

The granite sound was clear as a bell. Every word from every cd I played could be understood. But the sound was more solid state in its clarity. It also lacked certain warmth that I had even when using the Wadia direct. Dynamics were ok.

I tried a combination of the two. The dynamics were back 100% to a level that I had never experience with this preamp. Voices are clear, about 90% fully audible. The whole presentation seems 100% right fundamentally. I can't really complain and wouldn't except that I had a glimpse of that tube magic and I want it back!!

Any suggestions for isolation that will allow for transparency and dynamics?

My system:
GNS Modded Wadia 861
BAT vk50se
BAT vk1000 monos
Sony 333es SACD player
Kimber 3035 speaker cables
Tara Lab prism 22 ic's (don't laugh I'm still saving up)

Romm is a suspended floor with floor joists over another room.
I've tried several things on my 50se. DH Cones, Bright Star air bladders, Symposium Rollerblocks and now a Arcici Suspense rack. Rollerblocks seems to do the most for transaparency and dynamics IMO.

Have you tried power cords yet? What about dedicated AC circuits? All that helps to with the BAT gear.
Jfrech brings up a good point, power chords make a BIG difference. You may hear more of a difference with a good power chord than further isolation.
I will be adding dedicated circuits soon. I currently have a BMI Whale mk1 and a King Cobra mk1.
may I suggest the Zoethecus Z-Slab shelf?
Available from Stewart at Sanctuary of Sound - these are fairly inexpensive compared to Black Diamond's, which are still good although not AS good
Symposium Acoustic's isolation products are by far the best available. they make a complete line of platforms and coupling devices.
What confuses me is that many products get recommended all the time. I now realize that a rack or platform is a serious component that needs to be thought out and planned for depending on your specific components.

My aim is to produce a system that can produce great dynamics, while the presentation is one of ease and in no hurry. Unfortunately, I heard tube-type liquidity in my system. I did not think this was possible. Is it possible that I may need several individual platforms or for each component?

I'm thinking the maple has a softer sound that is appropriate for my preamp and possibly my cd player.

I might also try a granite slab under my amps possibly to retain the clarity in presentation.

So far, I have put the preamp back onto the spiked wood platform (ugly diy). I will let it settle in today and listen tonight and see what happens.

To Avnut, you really ought to look into Symposium Isolation products. they have the complete solution for Vibration control. I am using the Svelte shelves, Ultra shelfs, and Rollerblocks with TREMENDOUS results! my $250,000 reference system has improved at least 30% from full Symposium treatment!! I can't say enough about these products, and since I have tried almost every isolation pod, footer, spike, shelf, rack and you name it over the past 10 years nothing to date has had more impact on my system than Symposium Acoustics. feel free to email me at: for cool photo's of Symposium products in use.

I use the Synergistic Research Designer's Reference Squared X-series power cord with great results. Underneath, I have installed the Aurios MIB devices. They seem to "relax" the sound a bit giving the VK-50SE more graceful presentation. I would also consider the Symposium isolation platforms which I use under the VK-60s (Svelte Shelves with large couplers), but have no room for the 3.5-inch platform. The VK-50SE need at least 3 to four inches of breathing room.

Have fun.
I had listen to both 50SE and 5SE, before deciding to go with 5SE. Reason being the 5SE is slightly rounder and smoother, while 50SE is super transparent but just a bit too 'in the face'. Personal preference.

To summarize my experience:

Aurios are well engineered isolatio device, at used price of $150, they are worth it.

However, placing Aurios directly under 50SE is not as good. I have a little 3M Bumpon rubber on top of the Aurios to decouple so I don't get a metal-metal contact.

The rubber feet of the 50SE cause the sound to lack transparency. Whatever you do, as long as the rubber feet are bypassed, the sound will improve.

Sorry, not to brag, but the 50SE benefits not just from isolation, which already discussed by above posts, as a tube unit, and very huge and heavy, it needs the vibration (for example, feedback from speakers and room) to be drained away. The best such vibration dissipation device is carbon graphite based design (Black Diamond Racing is not the best solution, because of the heavy core inside, it stores too much energy, which it then releases those stored energy slowly over time, smearing the microdynamics).

Thanks to all who have offered advice in this thread!

Extremephono, could you elaborate on what sorts of "carbon graphite" I could use to dampen the chasis. I have been trying metal weights so far. The changes in sound have been interesting.