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Thread: Sorbothane for speaker isolation.

  1. #1
    Join Date: Jun 2016

    Location: Surfside Beach usa

    Posts: 100
    I'm charles.

    Default Sorbothane for speaker isolation.

    Just like to share my findings re sorbothane. I've recently moved to a house with a cross base floor i.e. wooden suspended, from a house with a concrete floor. I was quite happy with sound from my Spendor SP2/3r2 on concrete with Something Solid spiked stands. Moving to suspended floored house and bass was less defined - midrange a little coloured, if you will - top end still as good as before. Researched problem. There are some quite expensive sorbothane spike shoes out there but I think I've cracked it for little money. Already had spike shoes - think they were around 15 for 8. I have now purchased 8 'Isolate It' sorbothane discs same diameter as shoes which are 1" and 70 duro.I have a new floor and I've read reports of Sorbothane possibly marking floors so I simply stuck those felt type circular floor protectors on bottom of each sorbothane disc. So I have spike shoe then sorbothane disc then floor protector. Cost of sorbothane (8) - $16. Improvement? Bass is definitely better defined than before - distinct and controlled. Midrange is beautifully natural - less colouration. No change in top end (which was fine even on suspended floor). Thought I'd share this with you all.

  2. #2
    Join Date: May 2008

    Location: A Strangely Isolated Place in Suffolk with far away trains passing by...

    Posts: 14,451
    I'm David.

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    I come from the period when we 'spiked' everything as solid coupling was supposed to be better for all occasions! I was shaken a bit when I discovered that spiking the stands made eff-all difference to my geriatric talking-box Spendors (original 'BBC-style boxes were far more resonant than current BBC-derived models) and the wonderful ATC actives I had were too heavy to even consider spikes - plonk in place and they don't move ...

    My 'conditioning' does tend to generally recommend minimal cabinet movement in a loudspeaker, but if the sorbothane pads work for you and help you appreciate the reproduced music more as 'music' rather than a 'High Fidelity Sound' (I regard it as 'suspending disbelief), then go for it
    Tear down these walls; Cut the ties that held me
    Crying out at the top of my voice; Tell me now if you can hear me

  3. #3
    Join Date: Oct 2016

    Location: Bolton, England

    Posts: 1,298
    I'm Andrew.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DSJR View Post
    My 'conditioning' does tend to generally recommend minimal cabinet movement in a loudspeaker, but if the sorbothane pads work for you and help you appreciate the reproduced music more as 'music' rather than a 'High Fidelity Sound' (I regard it as 'suspending disbelief), then go for it
    The issue isn't really the cabinet moving, it's the floor vibrating due to being coupled directly to the speaker cabinet. A large area of wooden flooring flapping about will make enough sound to have a negative impact on the sound you're hearing from the speakers. And consider the surface areas involved. A 6.5 inch bass/mid cone has a surface area of 0.23 square feet. A living room floor 15' x 20' has a surface area of 300 square feet, ie more than 1000 times the area of the speaker cone. So even small movements of the floor can make a significant sound compared to the speaker. That's why isolation is a good thing, regardless of how heavy or immobile the speakers are.

  4. #4
    Join Date: Aug 2008

    Location: Suffolk, UK

    Posts: 1,250
    I'm Paul.

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    I think there is no good or bad method as such. I think its all about mass, weight, construction and resonant frequencies. The issue is its not really possible for us (the general hifi'er) to calculate what compliance, weight, etc. we would need for the particular route of isolation chosen to solve the issue. What might work perfectly for some people may not work so well for others. Often with our only option is to shotgun test a particular form of isolation it can lead to very differing opinions to what is effective, or not.

    What we do often agree on is isolation does help a lot, it's just trying to work out what you need for any particular set up that's the noodle cooker.
    ~Paul~

  5. #5
    Join Date: Oct 2016

    Location: Bolton, England

    Posts: 1,298
    I'm Andrew.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Primalsea View Post
    The issue is its not really possible for us (the general hifi'er) to calculate what compliance, weight, etc. we would need for the particular route of isolation chosen to solve the issue.
    For a high Q suspension, ie one that is bouncy, the resonant frequency should lie outside the audio band, ideally, probably below 10Hz. There are only two two variables required to calculate the resonant frequency, and they are mass and spring stiffness. Yes, doing actual calculations would require the correct figures to plug into the equation, but a bit of experience, common sense and experimentation can go a long way to having a good stab at it. Consider for example hanging speakers by bungee cords. If the cords extend in length by about 30% with the speakers on them, they're about right. Add more bungee cords if they stretch too much. Bounce the speakers and observe the resonant frequency. Fewer cords will lower the resonant frequency.
    Just thinking about it will point you in the right direction. The types of springs you get round the edge of a trampoline for example would be very stiff and only suitable for very heavy speakers.

    Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is that DIYers shouldn't be put off by lack of data to perform calculations. Sometimes calculations aren't necessary.

  6. #6
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 36,170
    I'm Geoff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RothwellAudio View Post
    Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is that DIYers shouldn't be put off by lack of data to perform calculations. Sometimes calculations aren't necessary.
    Damn right.

    For instance, I've been told many times that you can't build a speaker without using TS Parameters. That's all very well, but I generally use vintage drivers for which such info is not available. I rely on old principles, educated guesses and what limited data can be found.

  7. #7
    Join Date: Oct 2016

    Location: Bolton, England

    Posts: 1,298
    I'm Andrew.

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    BTW, the idea of hanging speakers from bungee cords might seem totally nuts to most audiophiles but it isn't seen as quite so potty in the studio world.

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