Common Questions Addressed
Q) How do I identify the right and left sides of a component?
A) The right side of a typical turntable is the side with the tone arm. When standing in front of a component the right is on your right and the left is on the left.
Q) How do you pick the components for which you design isolation feet.
A) There are several considerations:
First - Can we get a sample of the component? Obviously we cannot purchase one of everything so we must try to obtain loaners for evaluation and isolation feet development.
Second - Is the component popular in the market? If a component is not popular we could easily lay out thousands of dollars in expenses to create a set of feet that will never sell enough to be profitable.
Third - After evaluation does the component benefit from our isolators. If during testing it becomes apparent that the manufacturer has addressed isolation issues and we cannot improve on the basic component then we will not create an isolation solution for that product.
Q) Don’t manufacturers design quality isolation feet?
A) Some do and typically this is a cost issue. More expensive turntables have a greater chance of having well engineered isolation feet but you would be surprised how poor the isolation of plinth, motor and tone on some turntables.
Q) Do electronics benefit as much as turntables?
A) While all electronics and media players can benefit from isolation components our experience shows that the most obvious benefit comes when used with turntables.
Q) I have heard that you can “sink” the vibrations from a component into something like a shelf by using spikes. Is this true?
A) This is very questionable. The basic idea is that if the same amount of vibrational energy is forced to vibrate a larger mass the overall vibration effect on the component will be reduced. There are just too many variables with any given component and shelving system to make a generalized statement that spikes are always positive. The only way to tell for sure is to make before and after measurements.
Q) Can you describe how you test the effectiveness of your isolation feet components?
A) Quiescent-Systems created a custom test bed designed to test isolation solutions for home electronics. This starts with a custom bench capable of generating controlled audio range vibrations of single frequency, sweeps or pink noise all with adjustable levels.
Multiple sensors, both fixed and movable are combined to identify the problem areas and evaluate the ability of the isolators to address these problems. Our sensors offer extreme bandwidth going down to 1Hz and also providing excellent sensitivity. The outputs of these sensors are feed to our one-of-a-kind custom designed pre-amplifier electronics before feeding audio frequency spectrum analyzers.
We run tests with and without isolation feet to validate the performance and insure that they are providing a valuable level of improvement. With turntables we actually monitor the output of the cartridge when validating the isolation feet design. To our knowledge we are the only company in the world that does this.
Q) Do you have recommendations for shelf design?
A) Glass tends to vibrate more than wood and thus create more problems. Dense and heavy is generally better than thin and light. Stability is good but not always. If you spike a subwoofer and a component cabinet into the floor it is possible that the vibrtion reaching the components in the cabinet is greater than if the cabinet was "floating" on the carpet. Much of this depends upon the subfloor construction and other factors.
Q) With the Pro-ject specific isolators why are the caps not affixed to the hemispheres?
A) The contact area on the top of the hemispheres is small. We found that if we used adhesive to attach the caps it was possible for them to tear the top off of the hemisphere. To prevent this damage we decided to instruct the user to center the cap on the hemispheres and let the weight of the turntable hold them in place.
Q) I use a record clamp with my turntable. How will that impact the operation of a set of your isolation feet?
A) There are two basic ideas with record clamps. The first is to actually create a mechanical clamping of the record to the platter. The second type is the brute force weight that fits over the spindle and generally weighs 1.5lbs or more.
If your clamping mechanism is 1.5lbs or less (more or less) and you are using it with the Proj-ject Debut Carbon you are probably OK. The Debut Carbon weighs about 12 pounds so the addition of 1.5lbs is not that much and the distribution, while not exactly even should not stress any of the feet.
The key here is the relationship of the spindle/platter to turntable feet (not the center of the plinth). Since the platter is one of the heavier parts of most turntables. You must determine how will the added weight of the clamp be distributed to the feet? Also important is the overall weight of the turntable compared to the record clamp. If the turntable weighs 50lbs then the addition of a 1.5lb record weight is insignificant.