Under my tower speakers -- Isoacoustics Gaia, other options?

I have Ascend towers (45lbs each) on a concrete floor covered in thin wall to wall with an area rug on top of that. I am looking into different footers for my speakers and am curious what people with towers on concrete have tried and liked.

To my mind, something as expensive as Townshend platforms do not seem worth it, as they'd cost about a third of the price of the speakers themselves.

If you've tried Gaia III isolators or other kinds of feet for your speakers, especially on concrete floors, I'm curious to hear your observations. Thanks.

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Concrete floor is about as good as it gets.  Use spikes and make sure they pierce the carpet.  A bit of a pain but worth it.  I rock my speakers gently back and forth until they feel solid.  

Speakers like to be rigid and motionless as possible.  The only need for vibration control is to prevent wood or suspended floors from resonating.  

@hilde45 I bought Gaia II for my Burmester BA31, I didn’t feel any difference on concrete floor. Moreover they stick on the floor tiles and it’s more difficult to move the speakers. I think it will make a difference on the wood floor.

+1 @avanti1960 

Also try Tiptoes if you can find them. Used them with excellent results back in the 80s.

I use GAIA II under my GE Triton Refs.   I brought everything into focus, bass was a little tighter and overall presentation was greatly enhanced.  One of my best investments. 

I've read nothing but how good of a value  with the products that Norman Varney provides:


Thanks for the replies.

@avanti1960 spikes are a good idea. Got a specific rec for those? Tiptoes is sugges@tomcarr
@stereo5 Do you have a concrete floor under the speakers/gaia IIs?
@captainsteve Is there a specific product Townshend has that you like?
@leadcrew Thank you! As far as I can see, a single 2" square is $99? And I need 8 of them. That's pretty steep.

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I've been using some nice inexpensive things I got on ebay but for speakers I think I might do a bit more. 


Townshend seismic podiums are the sweet spot especially when used on a wooden suspended floor 

Gaia footers do everything well.  I've used them under 2 different pairs of towers:  ATC 40 and ATC 50 actives.  In both cases attack, dynamics, space around voices/instruments improved.  Noise level dropped, hence a blacker background.  Well worth investment for now and future speaker upgrades.  Mine were on carpet over subfloor .

Enter Townshend No. 3 podiums and everything took another big step forward in all of the aforementioned areas.  If you do go with the Gaia footers on an area rug or carpet on top of concrete, well then the carpet spikes are necessary.


My room has carpet over wooden floors.  I am also using the carpet spikes 

I’m using Gaia footers on an SVS PB 16 ultra on wood floors. I’m also using them on a heavy turntable. I’m very pleased with them. I thought they were a bargain at their price. I haven’t used anything more expensive to compare them though. They did tighten up my bass and kept my turntable from getting in a feedback war with my sub.  We were having terrible feedback at 90db, and it fixed it completely. No more woofer pumping. 

Not sure if you saw my OP mentioning that I have a concrete floor not a wooden. I can see how smitten you are with Townshend seismic podiums, though!

Your comment is much appreciated and relevant -- I like your long distance thinking!
"Well worth investment for now and future speaker upgrades.  Mine were on carpet over subfloor."
Are you saying that the best solution (apart from Townshend) might be Gaia plust carpert spikes?
@stereo5  I see -- you like the Gaia II's on your carpet plus wooden floor; I'm trying to figure out the outcome on a concrete floor. I've heard those are very different kinds of floors to deal with. 


I have a hardwood floor covered by carpet and pad. I put down a piece of granite on the carpet and am using the Gaia 1’s under my reference 5’s. They made an immediate improvement. If your floor is concrete, I’ll bet you won’t need the granite. 😃

while I’ve rearranged my system, you can see the speakers with the Gaia’s in my Agon photos.

I tried concrete slabs and Gaia's ll under my Audiovector R6 arrete but  still had bass reverb you can do a Townshend search on the Audiogon  forum and read up on other members success with Townshend 

@hilde45     Yes, the Gaia work quite well doing all they need do.  For lots more money it's the Townshend.  If on carpet/rug the carpet spikes used in conjunction improved the sound as much as the footers.  Really a weird affect to me.

@hilde45  - Are the bases already drilled/tapped for spikes/feet? If so, I would recommend a set out outriggers from parts-express. It will provide a bit wider stance, increasing stability, and provides a good platform for the spikes. The spikes will pierce the carpet and go down to the concrete, providing a nice stable base for your tower speakers. You can still use them if your speakers are not tapped, but you'll need to drill holes for the anchors. 

I use an anti-matter reactor system that keeps my speakers about 2" 

above the floor surface at all times. I have found this to be 

the best way to eliminate all unwanted vibration. Available through

our friends at area 51.

Of all the tweaks/upgrades I’ve employed in my systems, the Townshend podiums made the largest improvement, by a wide margin. They are transformative. Highly recommended 👍🏼


I used an inexpensive cork/rubber disk to little effect.   Then I tried the IsoAcoustics Gaia II and was amazed at the difference.   I’ve got hardwood floors upstairs and vinyl tile/carpet over cement on the first floor.   In both cases the Gaia II footers made a noticeable and pleasant improvement in the sound and soundstage depth. My speakers are XStatic EC/X, 40lbs each, used 4 footers each.  YMMV.

Here you can find a paper about coupling or decoupling speakers (in french but Google Translator will turn it into english).

On concrete floor : the best solution is coupling spikes .... but the good general cases way to carry loudspeakers is to use LOW THICKNESS, HARD (requires a low damping factor) DAMPER (rubber) rubber/hard polymer feet less than 5mm.


I bought the Gaias and returned them. I suspect any difference people report is attributable to the effect of raising the speakers closer to ear level. In my case, they made the speakers too wobbly for my liking.

@avanti1960   @audphile1 

Spikes!!!    Quite right!   I entirely agree.

Key points.

First order objective.  Prevent the speakers vibrating to the music.

Second order objective.  Prevent the speaker chassis from vibrating in response to the moving parts - cones, etc and other in-room vibrations.

Those who have concrete floors are fortunate.  More fortunate still if it is a concrete screed laid directly on footings on the ground.  Spikes are mandatory.  If the speaker is heavy enough (weight it if it's not) spikes prevent all movement of the speaker chassis.  Thus what you hear is only the movement of the cone etc and not cone movement inherited from chassis movement (better known as distortion).

Some people say the vibrations of planet Earth will affect this set up.  Phooey.  Such vibrations are FAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRR less then in-room in-home vibrations permitted by flexible footers.

None of the above applies where speakers are not standing on concrete, where flexible footers are a necessary compromise solution.

I have Gaia IIIs under my standmounts/stands.

The stands are adjustable for height, and the height was adjusted so that the speakers were the same height with/without the Gaias.

The Gaias stay, they made a big improvement in terms of soundstage, and improved/better-defined bass plus they seemed to open out the music and make the whole experience simply more musical.

This was on a carpet over suspended wood floor, with the spiked carpet cups (the latter are a PITA to setup).

I would imagine that these are a lot easier to adjust on a solid floor. The Gaias are supposed to make a sticky contact with the floor and be difficult to move; Isoacoustics has a very nice video on their website that shows how to adjust the speaker positions using a tea towel.

I'd kill for a concrete floor. My listening space is in an old room build in the 1890s and the floor is a little bouncy. I had my speakers on spikes but they basically turned the whole floor into a passive radiator. The house literally shook. I tried Gaia and while they did not help with the bass problem they really focused the midrange. I now have my speakers on 3" thick granite blocks which did help the bass problem built I also left the Gaia on. Things sound very focused. 


Your concrete floor is great cause it's totally inert. Coupling to that with spikes should be very effective but Gaia may help bring some mids and highs into focus by stabilizing the speaker overall

@hilde45 I posted an identical question a few months back. I looked at the Townshend and Gaia's. I just didn't want to spend that much $ and I really didn't want to raise my speaks any higher as they are already quite large (Revel Performa3 F208's). But I didn't want to use spikes on my carpet either as I have always had a hard time balancing and then moving them once they're in. So I wanted something that would isolate yet also allow the speaks to be moved/tweaked rather easily without lifting and tearing the carpet. Someone pointed me towards the Herbie's Gliders. They are PERFECT! They give me everything I was looking for at an extremely reasonable cost. They also have multiple models to fit pretty much every speaker out there.


Cone/Spike Decoupling Glider – Herbie's Audio Lab (herbiesaudiolab.com)

I use isoacoustics on my very large Tannoy Churchill’s 145lbs each….on a tile floor and love them. They not only hold the speaker well but tighten the bass and help focus the sound. In my opinion you can’t go wrong with them price and performance wise. I use the pucks under my source component’s and amp as well. Great product.

@celtic66 @clearthinker @ronboco @rmdmoore Yeah, it seems that spikes, the less expensive option the best, first thing to try.

Funny how some folks who love Townshend can’t seem to absorb my remark (in the OP) that I’m not going to spend that kind of money, given that they at least a third of the cost of my speakers. 

@reubent yes, the’re pre drilled. I’ll look for those outriggers! Thank you!

@jeffseight I promised my wife to reduce my spending on dilithium crystals, or an antimatter reactor system would be my first go-to.

@noodlyarm @dinov I am am still strongly inclined to experiment in this direction, especially if I can get them return-able to the store if they don’t do much as @tk21 found.

@spaceguitarist -- thanks for the paper. I’ll take a look.

If you’ve tried Gaia III isolators or other kinds of feet for your speakers, especially on concrete floors, I’m curious to hear your observations. Thanks.


I have two sets on Gaia 2 and Gaia 3 on 2 pairs of standmount speakers. Tiles on concrete floor. Noticeable to big difference. Main improvement is in bass quality, cleaner and more precise work reduced smearing and overblown bass. Overall improvement in clarity and detail across the frequency spectrum but the main difference is in the improved bass quality.


Standard spikes work well only if you don’t experience any big issues with the bass of your speakers. If you experience an unnatural, smeared or overblown bass, bass which sticks out like a sore thumb, the Isoacoustics Gaia will likely resolve the issue. It works well on concrete floors.

@ryder Thanks. So you have tile-on-concrete and I have carpet-on-concrete. Need to think about how analogous that is. But again, trying these might be risk free given the return policies I'm seeing around.

Spikes are the best for concrete floors.  If the bass isn't right, then change the listening position of speaker placement.


Pleased to hear you didn't despair over your suspended wooden floor and put the speakers on stone blocks.  Assuming there may be a weight issue, try using a thinner but larger stone block, like a large paving stone.  Spike the speaker to the stone.  If your floor is flat and even, there will be little or no movement in the stone if you shake the speaker.   If there is movement, try putting a thin layer of fabric under the stone, or two layers if the movement remains.

But note: with a concrete floor, nothing stabilises the speakers more than spikes.  Everything else allows movement.  From the listening seat, movement of the speaker chassis means distortion.

As far as I can tell, most of this advice is correct: if you have concrete floors with carpet, as you do, use spikes. Ideally, the cabinet should be completely rigid; all the movement should be in the speaker cones and domes, not reactive movement in the cabinet. Sort of like suspension in a car coupled to a very rigid chassis: the engineers can calculate the dynamics of the suspension, but flex of the chassis is too complex to accurately model and compensate for. If the cabinet can move in reaction to the speaker movement, it will "smear" the sound somewhat.

The exception would be if your speakers stand on a suspended wood floor. In that case, rigid coupling will create a secondary—and uncontrolled—passive radiator in the floor! So, with suspended wood floors, de-coupling is best.

That's what I've done with my 49" tall and 52 lb. Scientific Fidelity Teslas. I tried Gaia, borrowed from a friend, but settled on sorbothane feet attached to a screw threaded to mate with the female threads set into the base of the speaker—where the spikes would go. Eight bucks each on eBay. Significant improvement in imaging, clarity of bass, etc. But the speakers do wobble. Of course, they would on Townshend podiums, too.

+1 kingbr  I have pair of Verity speakers on carpeted concrete.  In theory coupled to floor with spikes seems best, but I went with Herbies Giant Threaded Sliders and haven't looked back.  Makes moving them a breeze, and they sound wonderful.

Hi Hilde,

I have a pair of Focal Sopra 2 driven by a Hegel H390.  I had the GAIA feet under them for a couple of years, for a while driven by an H360.  Before that I used spikes.  Hardwood floor.  Something about the system always seemed lacking to me.  The highs were there but not "clear" or "precise" which made no sense to me as those beryllium tweeters are super fast .  Mids were a bit smeared, bass sounded deep and fine, to the depth they go anyway.

On a whim, almost impulse buy, I bought the Townshend Bars, as the regular stands are too big for the location of the speakers.  The impact has been shockingly transformative.  The weirdest thing is how much better the beryllium tweeters sound.  Mids have lost the smear, vocals are richer and more defined and while I thought the bass was fine, turns out I was wrong.  But it's much better now. 

I think what the Townshends do is prevent the floor from becoming energized by the speaker.  When the floor becomes energized it becomes another speaker in the room, and a rather poor one at that.  So while my speakers were actually doing a great job on their own, by the time the sound got to my ears, 10-20 feet away, it had been stepped all over by the crappy sound being generated by my floor "speakers ".  At least that's my hypothesis. 

I know the Townshends are a bit pricey, but they are easily one of the best tweaks I've ever made.   

Looking at some threads on Ascend’s website I found that my speakers came with spikes. Trying to locate all 8 of them:


In my old place I had a sub on carpet which was on top of concrete, it was a basement listening space. For years, I had the sub on a guitar amp stand, I think it was called an Auralex Gramma. That helped tighten the bass up from having the sub off the floor, I was happy with that for years.

My curiosity got the best of me and I tried some Townshend bars under the sub and I was pretty shocked at just how much faster/tighter my bass got. More articulate, pretty much all the audiophile buzzwords could be used here to describe the difference in sound. I can sum it up this way, the bars enhanced my listening enjoyment by quite a lot. I won’t be without some type of stand/footer underneath my speakers/subs moving forward.

Good luck in your search! I hope whatever you try gets you to enjoy listening to your system more than before.

@surfcat Thanks for relaying your experience. Your floors are hardwood and mine are concrete on the basement level. They are very very solid. So, I'm not sure whether your experience will translate much for me. That said, I'm getting a lot of good information about Townshend, here. It's still too costly given the cost of my speakers, but I'm mulling it a bit.