Speaker isolation - spikes on puck, springs, sorbothane

I’ve recently become aware of the idea of using platforms like townshend, or Gaia, or a suitable Sorbothane product. My Wilson Sophia are 160lbs each and currently sit on a suspended second floor in my living room of my wood frame house. I’ve also discovered a plethora of isolating cable springs used in aviation and industrial applications. My speakers are on the wilson conical diodes and brass discs. 
there are number of ways to do this, the cable style seem they’d be the best at absorbing the widest frequencies vs a straight spring. 

any thoughts observations, cautions?

128x128Ag insider logo xs@2xadsell

This is a pretty sticky topic. One likes to decouple, the other to ground the speaker.

In my case, I use Vandersteen's. Mr. V. believes that grounding the speaker to the floor is the best method.-See his newest speakers- they have a 3 inch granite base that keeps them from moving so that the speaker output is maximized (okay, I can't say exactly what he did, but that is the gist).

I also live in wood frame house, and adding the granite plinths made a significant difference for the better.


I started out some years back replacing the spikes on my Thiel speakers with springs.  I bought big butcher blocks for platforms and bored holes to hold the springs.  I used four 48 lb/in springs per side to get a Fn of 3 Hz.  The travel was limited by having the springs in the pockets of the platforms.  The resulting change in sound on my suspended floor was dramatic.  Using an accelerometer I could see effective isolation down to 3 Hz.  And don’t worry, the speakers drivers do not have enough mass to make the speakers move in reaction to their motion.

After about 9 months I decided to buy and try the IsoAcoustics GAIA feet.  Pretty expensive but I found my speakers sounded better with the GAIA.  Surprisingly, the GAIA feet do not isolate the speakers from the floor as well as the straight springs.  I kept the GAIA but put my spring platforms under my subs.  The subwoofers sound amazing being perfectly isolated from the floor.

When I got my Wilson Sasha DAWs I used the Wilson spikes.   The DAWs energize the floor, the walls and the furniture.  WOW are they powerful.  I bought the big GAIA footers and tried them on the DAWs.  They firmed up the bass and improved imaging.  Very expensive footers to support the weight of the DAWs but I kept them- didn’t want to go back to the spikes.  Wilson says their new isolation feet work better than the GAIAs but they are double the cost.  

Another thing to keep in mind:  Springs isolate, rubbers dampen.  And the damping properties vary with weight, frequency input and durometer of the rubber as well as formulation and temperature.  Rubber materials will affect the sound of a stereo component,  no question; but how it impacts the sound and interacts with a component can get very complicated.

The GAIA footers look like they use a combination of spring isolation and rubber dampening.  I think that is why they sounded better with my speakers vs. straight springs.

The other option is Townsend speaker platforms.  They utilize spring isolation.  I do not know too much about them.  I have never seen a set first hand but that was my inspiration for making my own speaker spring platforms.

I own Townshends for some speakers, but I am an Isoacoustics dealer and have used them largely under speakers and components for the last 7-8 years even before I started dealing them this year.

Townshends are really great, in my experience, for rear firing or sealed speakers. Not so much for speakers with side firing woofers and certainly not for bottom-firing or bottom-ported speakers. Otherwise, on a suspended floor, they typically will outperform Gaia I for your Wilson, but they will also take up more space and be quite unsightly.

The Gaia I will come quite close in performance for a much lower cost. In any case, on a suspended floor, you’ll want to decouple your speakers and not add basic resonance or dampening. 

Thank you. I like the idea of the Gaia. The Townshend is also aesthetic, perhaps with a lower speaker rise. The Wire Rope style is intriguing (isolator.com/wire-rope-isolators/sm-series/). Give it a lookup. I found them at 40 lbs per isolator, which would work fine on the Sophia.

You are likely to get as many suggestions as posts.

My suggestion is to give these a try.  They will give you an introduction to decoupling/isolating, and it may be the only $28 you need to spend.  Think about weight distribution, total weight, and a mild tilt back as you could either try 4@2” under each speaker, 4@2.5”, or 2.5” in the front (the drivers are bolted to the front baffle so there is probably more weight distributed to the front), and 2” in the back, which is what I use for my 175 lb speaker/stand combo.

Yet another option is the Stack Audio Auva isolators. I have a set of the Auva 70 isolators on a pair of Focal Sopra 2. My floor is tile over concrete slab. They do exactly as advertised. Very pleased with the results vs. the stock spikes on the  Herbie's decoupling glider discs.


The word "these" is a clickable link. I just tried it and for me it opens a page on Amazon. Let me know if that doesn’t work for you.

@ditusa Interesting. I was rather excited, but my enthusiasm was dampened by the "each price" for the size I needed. It was a compelling demo; the music box test demonstrates why you want some decoupling. I feel like I am on the right path.

@adsell Wrote:

@ditusa Interesting. I was rather excited, but my enthusiasm was dampened by the "each price" for the size I needed.

My sentiment exactly! See old post 187462-179235



I discovered a combination of Sorbothane and aluminum pucks with matching diameters (49mm). I positioned the speaker spikes in the M8 threaded holes of the aluminum disk, which were partially deep, creating a platform for the Sorbothane puck. These pucks had a weight rating of 50-70lbs each, if I remember correctly. Upon my initial listen, I was pleasantly surprised by the freshness of the sound. The audio felt tighter and more coherent.