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Effectiveness of speaker pads?

I have a project in the works where I'll need to place a medium sized pair of studio monitors, (Def Tech SM450's), within the same cabinet as a turntable. I thought I would place the speakers on monitor pads or something like Sorbathane et al. But I was intrigued by this comment from Arnold Krueger, (who's opinion I respect), in another thread:
 
Speaker stands and absorbing pads can only hurt things and generally, they are little but placebos.

I only know about these products from marketing literature, but I thought they were effective. Are they not?

Thanks;
Artie

Re: Effectiveness of speaker pads?

Reply #1
I don't know about hurting things but other than possibly reducing vibration between the surface they're sitting on and the speakers, they won't make anything sound better that I can figure out.

I find it a little odd to say speaker stands hurt things. How else are you supposed to mount small/bookshelf speakers and make them the same level as your ear?

Re: Effectiveness of speaker pads?

Reply #2
http://ethanwiner.com/speaker_isolation.htm

"
Over the years I started seeing ads for more and more isolation products. Not only for loudspeakers, but also expensive "isolating" equipment racks and dedicated platforms sold on the premise that CD players and power amplifiers are also harmed by vibration. This has grown into an entire industry with full-color ads in both audiophile and recording magazines. Literally dozens of products claim to improve sound quality by isolating your loudspeakers, subwoofers, and everything else you own including speaker wires!

One fact that isolation proponents miss is sound transmits mostly through the air. Another fact is competent loudspeakers have sufficiently rigid cabinets that don't shake and vibrate very much. Yet another fact is wires and electronic components are mostly immune to vibration. So while it's possible that putting a subwoofer on springs or a rubber platform will reduce coupling to the floor, the majority of sound emits from the driver's cone. If the floor shakes with loud bass notes, that's due to the cone moving rather than cabinet vibration. If you watch a loudspeaker playing music loudly, you won't see the cabinet expand or contract even 1/32 inch. But woofer cones move 1/4 inch or more, and subwoofer cones move as much as two or even three inches! The amount of displacement and total surface area are what determine how much sound is generated by the speaker driver versus the enclosure.
"

Re: Effectiveness of speaker pads?

Reply #3
Quote
If the floor shakes with loud bass notes,
that could rattle whatever is on the floor, couldn't it?

Re: Effectiveness of speaker pads?

Reply #4
Thanks Arnold. That was a good article. Although, Ethan focus's more on how they affect sound quality, while I'm more interested in how the cabinet might transmit vibrations to the turntable. I was thinking of doing a test where I place a speaker and the turntable on a marble plate, then place the needle on a record, with the motor off. Then run the tables output through a phono preamp then into a 'scope. I should be able to see if the music transmits through the table.

P.S. Here in Florida, our houses are built on concrete slabs, so no basements, and virtually no vibration through the floor. I've jumped up and down, right next to my phono stand and there was no skipping or sonic impact at all.

Re: Effectiveness of speaker pads?

Reply #5
Thanks Arnold. That was a good article. Although, Ethan focus's more on how they affect sound quality, while I'm more interested in how the cabinet might transmit vibrations to the turntable.
[/quuote]

Put 2 and 2 together! Most of the energy that comes out of a speaker does so in the form of sound. 

The energy that ends up in the tonearm gets there through something that picks up the energy from the speakers.

In houses with floors that are like drum heads, pick up the sound energy from the speakers though the floor and up the turntable supports and into the turntable.

Logic says that the closer you put any vibration absorbers to the turntable, the less energy gets transmitted to there because there is less structure to pick up energy from the air.

Quote
I was thinking of doing a test where I place a speaker and the turntable on a marble plate, then place the needle on a record, with the motor off. Then run the tables output through a phono preamp then into a 'scope. I should be able to see if the music transmits through the table.

Do it now!

For extra credit, obtain a bicycle or wheelbarrow inner tube, partially inflate it, and set the marble plate on it. Make sure that there is enough air in the inner tube to keep the marble plate suspended on air, as it was.

Quote
P.S. Here in Florida, our houses are built on concrete slabs, so no basements, and virtually no vibration through the floor. I've jumped up and down, right next to my phono stand and there was no skipping or sonic impact at all.

Also true in lot of places.

Basements are the general rule in  SE Michigan, but I happen to live in a house with a partial basement - almost a glorified utility room. Most of my house including the listening room is on a concrete slab that rests on the remains of an ancient sand dune.

Re: Effectiveness of speaker pads?

Reply #6
For extra credit, obtain a bicycle or wheelbarrow inner tube, partially inflate it, and set the marble plate on it. Make sure that there is enough air in the inner tube to keep the marble plate suspended on air, as it was.

Good idea. I hadn't thought about that. I should be able to get this done in the next day or two. I'll post results then.

Re: Effectiveness of speaker pads?

Reply #7
Quote
I have a project in the works where I'll need to place a medium sized pair of studio monitors, (Def Tech SM450's), within the same cabinet as a turntable.
It might not be a problem...   In the old days, most stereos were built into one cabinet with the speakers (drivers) screwed to the cabinet!    (The high end stuff was separates.)

So maybe just try it.  Crank it up and if you get feedback you've got a BIG problem.   If you don't get feedback you are probably  OK.

If there is a problem, I'm not sure if "Monitor Isolation Pads" would work any better than a homemade solution.   And, you can cheaply experiment with homemade solutions whereas you'd be stuck with whatever isolation pads you buy.

Re: Effectiveness of speaker pads?

Reply #8
Yeah, I thought of that. Although, most of those consoles had ceramic cartridges with relatively high tracking forces. (And somewhat lo-fi.) I'll probably be using one of my older Duals. Maybe a 1229. And I was going to do a DIY pad. Probably using Sorbothane. It's reasonably priced for a sheet.

Re: Effectiveness of speaker pads?

Reply #9
Any thoughts on the SVS SoundPath Isolation feet? SVS is usually a respected, no-nonsense brand, but it seems counter-intuitive to me that a couple inches of special rubber would affect 10ft.+ wavelengths.

Re: Effectiveness of speaker pads?

Reply #10
They look interesting and cost effective. (If they work.) I wonder if anyone here has tried them. Although, for my needs, a "sheet" or pad, would be better than feet per se.

Re: Effectiveness of speaker pads?

Reply #11
Arnie, you said speaker stands and quoted an article about isolation pads? Speaker stands don't have to have isolation or anything like it, they are just somewhere to put smaller speakers.

 
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