Has anyone seen this speaker isolation demo from RMAF 2018?

Grayson Dere

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I was questioning component isolation products recently and I ran into this video on YouTube from the Rocky Mountain Audio Festival 2018. The demo showcases Focal speakers; one pair with traditional spikes versus a pair using Iso Acoustic product isolation pucks (Gaia model, $600 for 4). I watched it and was pretty amazed at the audio quality change when the switch box went between the two. I'm still skeptical, though, that maybe something was rigged behind the scenes to sell a product : P

I'm curious to know what you all think. The audio demo starts at 2:30. Have fun!

 

Sonnie

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We wrote about this ourselves from one of the shows... Axpona I believe. We of us that listened to it agreed, there is something going on, just not sure what exactly.

I have a set on my MartinLogans, but I don't have a duplicate pair to compare side by side. I can't verify if they did anything or not, as it was not anything I could notice or identify after the change.
 

Grayson Dere

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Thanks for your thoughts, Sonnie. When listening to the differences during the speaker switching in the demo I was thinking even though there is a definite change in sound quality it wasn't quite the change I would normally expect from footers. Normally I would associate some bass tightening as an effect and that's about it. Here it seems like I'm hearing a phase change or something...not sure : )
 

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I agree... as if they had the phase shifted. I firmly believe that as much of a difference as we were hearing, something else besides the pucks was causing some changes.
 

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I have Gaia 2s. I've heard them in action at shows as well... in fact Wayne and I heard them together at AXPONA some years ago. He described it best: non IsoAcoustic speakers threw an image that sound like spaghetti... the IsoAcoustics speakers pulled it all together with audibile clarity. I could clearly hear the difference. It was like someone was focusing a pair of binoculars.

There's something definitely going on. You have two camps: It's snake oil non-sense. It's impacting minute details in playback.
 

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I am thinking that if you lift any speaker 2 inches off a floor, carpeted or not, you will hear a difference... We all know from moving our speakers just inches in one direction or another the sound changes... Just for fun keep your speakers in the same place and flip them upside down... Yep, high frequency drivers on the bottom and low frequency drivers on top... Different sound...
 

Grayson Dere

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Very true! I know when I play with seating distance from my speakers moving just a foot nearer/farther is already changing the quality of bass response and imaging.
 

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I'm with Sonnie on this, it sounded like polarity shift on one set when we heard them. The difference was large and easily discernable, more than I would expect from a simple footer swap.

It's an unsolved mystery in my world, thus far.
 

Red Tape Music

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Has anyone downloaded the audio and looked at the waveform? It should be pretty easy to find out what processing has been applied with an A - B comparison. S Red Tape Music
 

highstream

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I just wrote out a description of my experience with Gaia III’s under 68 lb (31 kg) ATC SCM 19A actives, but the site’s auto refresh on my iPad eliminated it (site programming?). So long story short, I have every reason to believe that the appropriate weight range Gaia model — mine weren’t, due to erroneous advice from Isoacoustics’ owner— will offer substantial improvement not only to cleaning up the bass, but in opening up everything above it as well. While the III’s did help in that direction, I ended up using the less costly AV RoomService EVP fiberglass blocks (2” high density), which allegedly filter at least 80% of resonances, and the improvement was substantial. I hadn‘t realized how much the sound signature, i.e., frequency balance, I was used to hearing was being shaped by the floor underneath (medium berber carpet over some kind of wood flooring that in a couple of places creaked when walked on). I also replaced components’ feet with EVPs in the Salamander Designs cabinet between the speakers, and the SQ improvements there were very noticeable as well.

So if in doubt, I suggest not to over analyze, but try Gaia’s from someone like Music Direct that has a good return policy, or try EVPs, also with an audition policy, and listen for yourself. If it is Gaia’s, choose a model that allows at least a 10% leeway from the top of the model’s stated weight range (e.g., my 68 pounders needed the II model, instead of the up-to-70 lbs of the III’s, as Isoacoustics told me later).
 
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Sonnie

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I just wrote out a description of my experience with Gaia III’s under 68 lb (31 kg) ATC SCM 19A actives, but the site’s auto refresh on my iPad eliminated it (poor site programming).
Hmmm... no auto refresh here, and even if you go away from the page and come back to it, your post is still there, it auto-saves it. Or at least it does on all of my computers/devices... can't answer for other devices owned by others.

There is a xenforo (the "poor site programming" software we and most other forums use) add-on to allow refreshing of a page, but we don't have it installed. Not sure why your iPad refreshed on you.

Sounds like Isoacoustics need to reclassify the weight range.

I also have a set of the 120lb units for sale. My new 15A's weight 140lbs, so I won't be able to use them. Normally $300 per 4-pack... $600 for a set of 8. I'll ship my 8-pack anywhere in the CONUS for $275 if anyone wants them.
 

highstream

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Well, I assumed it is the program the site is using, because most forum sites I visit hold one’s unsubmitted text even if the site is closed. But then I have to admit not knowing where the unsolicited refreshes come from. This site at least takes a long time before doing it, but a few others sometimes do it frequently and unexpectedly, which makes reading longer articles marvelous fun.

For heavier speakers and gear, EVPs come in 4” blocks, but their pricing is more in the range of the square area increase over the 2”, which is why I went with the latter (plus new buyer and then a sale discount).
 

Grayson Dere

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Has anyone downloaded the audio and looked at the waveform? It should be pretty easy to find out what processing has been applied with an A - B comparison. S Red Tape Music
That's an interesting approach!
 

tesseract

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I agree, an A/B is in order. :)
 

ddude003

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Two different sets of speakers that are in two different places in the room is not a valid test in my opinion...
 

TupuHiRez

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I'm not going to call snake oil on this. I think this is a case of YMMV. I know from personal experience that inserting islation pads and then even pucks introduced a change in sound with my Magnepans.

My current system is on a suspended wooden floor, part of it has a slight bounce. I noticed a slight change from no spikes on my Tekton Moabs to using the included spikes with isolation pucks that allow me to slide the speaker around a bit easier. Changes were for the positive, a slight change in focus and overall clarity. I was able to get a similar type of change as heard in the demo by changing the speaker position in the room. In my case the Moabs were closer to the side walls and a bit further back toward the front wall where things sounded good but you could tell there was room for improvement but the question was how to achieve it. Remeasuring and applying the Cardas method worked wonders for me and everything sapped into focus, bass was tighter and any high frequency ringing was gone.
I'd estimate the relative change in position was within about a foot and a half to two feet between the old and new speaker positions.

Looking at the video , the outer pair with the very audible response issues were very close to the side walls. The inner speakers looked like they were in the more appropriate position for that space. The distance from the side walls can and will make a huge difference (not that I have to tell you guys that). Also, I think the effect is exaggerated a bit with the recording (someone with experience recording and setting up mics can chime in here, all I know is that a lot of these recordings don't even begin to sound natural). I'd be interested in hearing the difference with the speakers in the same position. And I actually think that they should do the test in both configurations, near and far away from the sidewalls.

With that said, I am interested in the product as I've read decent things about them else where and I recall someone with Moabs using them as well. I'd offer to buy them from Sonnie, but sadly my speakers are 135lbs each.
 
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