More on Vibration control: Stillpoints, Symposium Acoustics, or Vibrapods
One of the most popular vibration control tweaks, and probably the one that most audiophiles use in their systems is the Stillpoint Ultra SS.
The Ultra’s are priced at about $300 each and you need at least three of them. Stillpoints have been around for a while and they are seen frequently under components at high end audio shows.
Stillpoints are stainless steel footers with ball bearings that allow for some movement. Placing three or four stillpoints beneath the chassis of the component, the stainless steel sucks the vibration from it. The base of the stillpoints absorb the vibration from the component’s shelf caused by the music in the room or from other nearby components.
The Stillpoint Ultra SS is ideal for placing beneath speakers or heavy amplifiers. Each Ultra SS can hold up to 500 pounds. For smaller components like a cable box or DVD player, the Stillpoint Mini works very well. The Mini’s are priced at about $100 each. There is an Ultra 5 and an Ultra 6 for placing under heavier items like a piano. There is also a record clamp using the same technology that is quite effective.
Symposium Acoustics makes Point Pods and Fat Padz that consist of compressed foam sandwiched between stainless steel. The Point Pods are only about 1/3 inch thick. They are perfect for placing under the existing feet of a small component or underneath a rack with pointed feet. The Fat Padz are close to an inch thick and perform the same as the Point Pod’s but with greater energy absorption. These things work brilliantly when placed on top of the component as well. They are small so they don’t obstruct ventilation.
The Symposium Acoustics products absorb vibration and convert it to heat. While the Point Pods and Fat Padz are good, the Symposium Rollerblock is even better for containing movement. The Rollerblock is a three part item—an upper and lower shell and a ball bearing between them. It is ideal for use under SACD players or components with fans that might cause movement within the component. They are also good when the room is susceptible to people walking or jumping.
The Rollerblock is similar in design concept to the Stillpoints. The stainless steel conducts energy while the ball bearing sandwiched between the upper and lower shell absorbs and dissipates movement caused by sound or otherwise. Be aware that the Rollerblock comes in three parts which do not clamp together. So moving your components around when they are resting on top of a Rollerblock can be challenging.
Pricing for all of these products is pretty reasonable for the quality and craftsmanship that goes into making these things. The Point Pods are priced at about $200 for a set of four. The thicker Fat Padz are priced at about $250 for a set of four. The Rollerblock Jr.’s retail for about $350 for a set of three.
Perhaps the least expensive vibration control devise is the Vibrapod. The Vibrapod cone is made of sorbothane or vinyl and has a ball bearing at the tip. They sell for about $8 each. They are placed on a Vibrapod base made of the same material. The base sells for about $6 each and comes in different sizes depending on the weight of the component. They can only hold up to 88 pounds.
Even if you are not sold that the quality of your sound will improve by adding some vibration control beneath your components, at $14 each or $42 for three, you don’t have much to lose with Vibrapods.