Isolation Platforms Do They Improve Sound Quality? [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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02-06-2005, 11:39 PM
Does anyone know anything about Isolation Platforms and do they really improve sound quality? I just ordered an Isorock 4 platform from Music Direct for $85 with a 30 day return. The link below is a better description.

02-07-2005, 04:33 AM
Any time I've seen similar devices used, I've not been able to tell any kind of difference at all, and usually break-out into laughter. While I'm sure there's probably at least one iota of scientific evidence that suggest equipment could benefit from isolation/shock absorption, I tend to think this more of your typical snake oil.
How badly does your equipment vibrate right now? Do you feel these vibrations some how impede the progress of an electrical signal?
How significant is the detriment to sound quality as a result of these possible vibrations?
Is this the best place to spend $85 in your system?

I think I would concentrate more on tangible, measurable tweaks before venturing down the road of hearsay, subjectivity, and speculation. What have you done for room treatments so far?

02-07-2005, 05:46 AM
I'm skeptical but the place that sells this has a 30 day return policy so what the hell. If somehow it works then I'm far far ahead, if it doesn't all I'm out is the return postage.

02-07-2005, 12:20 PM
Does anyone know anything about Isolation Platforms and do they really improve sound quality? I just ordered an Isorock 4 platform from Music Direct for $85 with a 30 day return. The link below is a better description.

If you plan to place this under a turntable, I believe a noticeable improvement in sound is possible. But I tend think it's unlikely to have any effect whatsoever under something like a receiver or DVD player.

As long as you're curious and don't mind possibly losing the shipping fees, go ahead and try it and let the rest of us know what you think about it.

02-07-2005, 01:02 PM
I'm also getting from a high end audio place called music direct something clalled the Bedini Ultra Clarifier Quad Beam, Walker Audio Vivid 3. CD & DVD Enhancer (liquid nonreturnable), 4. Sound Improvement Disc (SID). The Bedini Clarifier you put your CD or DVD in it for about a minute each time you play it and it is suppose to improve sound and picture quality noticeably, Walker Audio Vivad enhancer is a permanent spolution that you put on your CD or DVD and it is suppose to sound noticeably better & the Sound improvement disc you put over your CD or DVD when you play it and it is suppose to improve the quality. The salesmen I spoke to at this place, which sells very expensive audio equipment said they use some of the products themselves and didn't do a hard sell. The bottom line is, if they didn't have a return policy I wouldn't have bought this stuff but if it really works, I'll post something on here. The Isorock platform 4 for vibrations according to the salesman and the website is needed for a receiver too as they claim that the different parts of it- in my case the DVD player are affected by the vibrations. As a layman, none of this makes any sense to me whatsoever but as long as I can get my money back if it doesn't work, its worth a try.

02-07-2005, 01:41 PM
I'm with Lensman in that tt's undoubtedly require isolation. The other stuff, I doubt you'll hear one whit of difference. The goop for your cd's is snake-oil. If you think about how cd players work, you'll realize there isn't anything some magical coating can do to improve sound (hope it wasn't expensive). If you're getting into this "esoteric" stuff, you might try checking out mapleshade while you're at it. The hi-end is fraught with all manner of interesting stuff; some good, some for suckers...proceed with caution.

BTW, none of this will make your Beatles cd sound any better. Accept the fact that some recordings simply suck.

02-07-2005, 02:39 PM
" Bedini Ultra Clarifier Quad Beam"

I heard the "Bedini Ultra Clarifier Dual Beam" is all you really need. The 3rd and 4th beams are just fluff. :D

Hershon, please find someone to slap you. Your getting sucked into the magical world of Audio Crap!


02-07-2005, 02:47 PM
"Hershon, please find someone to slap you. Your getting sucked into the magical world of Audio Crap!" JSE[/QUOTE]

I basically agree with you guys but as I can get my money back on all the products except the liquid coating stuff, I'm willing to at least give this stuff a try. The people I spoke to at MusicDirect which is a high end place actually sounded like they knew their stuff. Hey someone who's not on welfare or an alien illegal alien or an old person has to win the lottery one of these days!

02-07-2005, 03:19 PM
The use of isolation platforms dates back to the turntable days when isolation was an important consideration in getting the best possible sound out of LPs. But, the days of mechanical vibration having a major audible impact on what you hear have passed (unless you still own a turntable). A lot of the tweaks and accessories that are sold out there date back to when turntables ruled. Back then, you had a lot of different approaches to squeeze the last bit of performance out of a turntable. Some of these approaches worked very well, others did not.

What's occurred now is that a lot of these isolation approaches that had validity with turntables have since been extended to include solid state components, and digital sources as well. Just because a CD player has a spinning disc inside does not mean that isolation will help the audio quality like it did with turntables.

02-07-2005, 03:31 PM
I'm also getting... As a layman, none of this makes any sense to me whatsoever but as long as I can get my money back if it doesn't work, its worth a try.

Well I'll try to explain how it works. A CD player plays a CD by spinning the disc and shining a laser on the part of the CD above the laser to read a series of ridges on the disc. The player carefully adjusts the laser beam to follow the ridges as the disc turns and it measures how long each ridge is. The music is digitally encoded in the ridge lengths so that by measuring those lengths, the player obtains the information it needs to reproduce the music. These ridges are interleaved, meaning your Beatles song is not recorded in sequential chunks on the disc. Instead, the drive actually reads a piece of the song one revolution at a time, and un-interleaves it in order to play it. The song is actually recorded in a spiral around the disc and there is error-correcting information included in each arc shaped region of this spiral. In the event a scratch, fingerprint, etc. destroys or blocks a small part the arc the laser is reading, the player can still use the error correcting information to reproduce the sound perfectly. If enough of the arc is destroyed, however, the disc will beome unreadable.

To reduce the number of errors on the disc, it's important to keep the disc clean. However, the plastic coating on the disc can be scratched by cleaning. So the best solution is to handle discs by the edges and put them back in their cases when you're finished with them. In the event a disc becomes dirty, a good cleaner that doesn't scartch can be useful in preventing the disc from becoming unreadable. Cleaning a disc can reduce the number of errors seen by the player, but in light of the error correction, it is unlikely to improve the sound from a disc you have no problems playing.

The laser must be also be able to detect out-of-focus conditions due to minute warps or marring of the disc, and detect lateral tracking errors due to the disc not being perfectly centered. It must then be able to compensate for the resulting errors.

To do this the laser splits its signal (there are actually two methods of doing this depending on the player) so that there are essentially three beams. One that reads what it's supposed to. One that reads a little behind, and one that reads a little ahead. It then uses these beams to readjust itself to remain in focus and on track.

Most modern CD players also save a short amount of information so that they are reading ahead of what they are playing. Even if they lose the track for a few hundredths of a second, they have enough music saved up that they can keep playing continuously. The laser is designed by the manufacturer to take into account such normal vibrations as may be generated by the drive motors spinning the disc and moving the laser.

As a result of this self correcting mechanism, it is equally unlikely an isolation pad could actually add anything in an environment where the player is reasonably steady and not subject to unexpected vibrations from such things as nearby trains, blasting equipment, etc. so long as the disc is clean and readable.

While it is indeed possible for your purchases to improve things, assuming relatively normal conditions, there is a high level of probability that the improvements will extremely minor at best. Of course you'll have to let us know. But I'm compelled to urge caution in looking to such things to provide significant change. What you are attempting to do is not unlike buying a computer, printer and a copy of Photoshop to fix a fuzzy picture taken by a cheap camera when much better photography could be obtained with a better camera.

I too read your thread on the Beatles music, and agree with Topspeed that any improvement these products might achieve are unlikely to overcome failings with the initial recording process of your CDs. As the Beatles CD is the aforementioned camera (and there isn't a better CD), you'd probably do better investing in a turntable and finding the albums.