Vibration isolation or absorption?

You see those pointy things at the bottom of a speaker that are very very sharp.  Arguably a weapon in the wrong hands.  And then you see those same pointy things inserted into a disk.

So the pointy things, aka ‘spikes’ , can Channel vibration elsewhere and away from the components and speakers, or they can isolate it.

Seems channeling vibration away from a component/ speaker, which I guess is absorption, is preferable.

Is this true? And why do they keep saying isolation.



Whenever I see speakers on stands with spikes - and I have no experience with spikes - I wonder if they’re vibrating some of their energy into the stand itself, and thus losing some of their refinement.

A pair of Ohm Walsh II’s - and Magnepan too - sound bass-heavy and muddy in the low end, and vibrate the floor - the Walsh far more than the Magnepan.

Up on Sorbothane hemispheres, no vibration, bass issues gone, and the soundscape becomes properly tight and they can handle much more base.

A pair of Infinity Kappa 6 don’t sound bad on their stands, but they sound noticeably finer when isolated from the stands.

As I stated before, vibration control is a matter of tuning.  Not only does the approach matter, but also the degree of vibration damping or transfer that matters.  I attended a demonstration of Symposium platforms that all work in the same way, but differ in the amount of damping provided.  On one particular component, a CD player, the shelves made a big difference in the sound.  But, when the most expensive platform with the highest degree of damping was put under the CD player, the sound became too dry and analytical.  This was not just my conclusion, but everyone else thought the same, including the Symposium representative.  The idea that the "ideal" is the least amount of vibrational energy is not always the case and this goes with all components as well as room treatments. 

The worst room I ever heard was one designed and implemented by Corning that maximized absorption of sound hitting the walls and ceiling--this room was so unlistenable.  I've experimented with applying extra damping to the outside of speaker cabinets and in most cases the sound got worse--the designer probably tuned the sound using such cabinet vibration.  

I recommend trying different products. but keep and open mind and be willing to accept that the new product may not offer the right kind of tuning or the right degree of tuning.  


So don’t you want to draw that vibration away and channel it somehow into a bottomless pit. Shouldn’t the pointy things, aKA spikes, funnel the vibration onto A disc pucky thing that will make the vibration go away.

Why would you want to isolate vibration and have a rebound back-and-forth all over the place within a speaker, or component?


Audio is full of these apparently logical contradictions but upon closer inspection we usually find that one or another of our preconceptions is faulty.

This has happened to me many, many times. And not just in audio

First of all we should consider whether it is possible to channel away vibration with something as solid as a steel spike.

Or could it be that the spike actually couples the speaker cabinet to the supporting surface and sets up further resonating mechanisms?

Isolating vibration by decoupling fundamentally lowers both the resonant frequency and its strength between cabinet and surface.

Both of these are good things, especially when the resulting resonant frequency is lower than the bass output of the speaker. For example something like 20Hz, which most speakers can't get close to, would be good and anything lower would be even better.

I'm pretty sure that the Townshend devices go considerably lower than 20Hz.


For me, the missing piece in this puzzle is the notion of constrained layer damping. I've read that it's superior to using springs alone but I can't remember why that is so.

Perhaps someone could chime in with why CLD is theoretically considered superior?

Is vibration a two-way street?

So you have vibration from a speaker cabinet, but don't you also have vibration due to the sound waves bouncing around the room where the floor will vibrate and that vibration will transfer back into the speaker cabinet and also the component rack?

So maybe isolation is the answer?


For those of you wandering what the springs do, they suspend this speaker above the floor. He has the vibrations travel down through the springs in the springs convert vibrations into heat. The difference that they bring to a speaker is mainly in the base region. They separate the speaker from the floor so the sound that you hear are mainly just the ones produced by the speaker. You don’t get a secondary vibration from the floor and the walls which at higher listening levels makes the base less distorted and muddy. Mainly because you’ve got this buffer in between which creating the sound waves and the floor . It really does work, for some reason some people can’t imagine why it works but I promise you it does work. Maine saying that it does is cleaned up the base at higher listening levels. If you don’t like to crank up the volume then it’s not worth doing.