Air Bladder Isolation, Cheap

(As reported in Soundstage) I am very impressed with sonic improvements using 12-14" X 2" bicycle inner tube under CDP with mass loading on top. Local dept store bicycle dept has tube for $6 and hand air pump for $4. Using just enough air in tube to provide 1" height when fully loaded, and placing mass loading on can buy Bright Star little rock $1-200, or buy 10-25lb metal barbell plate (can wrap in black dish cloth) or use lead shot in black sock etc. Provides deeper bass and more 3D soundstage than any cone or similar device, better than vibrapod, good for detailed SS systems, anyone else tried similar set-up, Sam
I recommend avoiding using metal shelves or plates under or on top of audio components. In my experience this can cause audible sonic degradation, i.e. brightness and hash.
I've used 12.5" and 16" bike tire innertubes under components for some time, but fairly recently found that they work better if filled with water instead of air. Oil might be even better, but I haven't fitured out a good way of getting it into the tube without making a big mess. I taken no responsibility for your mess if you try. [:-)]
Yo Tom,and anyone with an interest in this discussion: What about the cans of fix a flat from auto parts stores?
I've been using 16" bike innertubes with 1 1/4" marble slab on top. Had this under CD, pre, and amp on hardwood floor. I recently moved to new room with concrete slab under carpet. Now amp sounds better without innertubes, as does preamp. Rack is now spikes through to the slab. CD still likes it, allthough not as much (Rega Planet already has squishy feet, because its a top loader, and has no internal damping) I got the marble from a marble retailer's scrap heap, cut it with a masonry saw (lucky to have access). Some stores sell pre cut "Gardn Path" type stones, typically in maybe about an 18" square, sometimes slate, sometimes granite. Usually pretty inexpensive. IT is definately a good idea to put innertube under your shelf flat, and inflate it minimally, in my experience.
I haven't tried it, but there is a product that is used to prevent flats in bicycle tubes. It's called Slime, and is kind of a thick substance. Try you local bike store or Bike Nashbar.
I have heard some use the inflatable doughnut cushions sold at drug stores for people with hemeriods or other unfortunate problems. Given the anal retentive tendencies of many hobbyists, this may be more appropriate for some. A layer of bubble-rap between shelves can be interesting to experiment with, and if it doesnt help sonics, you can calm yourself popping the bubbles. I doe use a cement stepping stone from Home Depot under my sub and one on top. Seems to tighten things up.
You guys using inner tubes, bladders etc.-- do you set the component directly on the partially inflated tube? Do you take the stock feet off the component? I've got a couple of Townshend Sinks on the way, and looking forward to trying them under transport and DAC. Cheers. Craig.
I need to try something under my turntable. Since putting down the hardwoods and going to a Salamander rack, it seems much more susceptible to vibration. I was going to try a Lovan Trisolator, but maybe I'll try some bladders and a spare mdf shelf first. Perhaps my best (only?) solution is a wall shelf?
Group some comments to consider: Tom how tight do you fill the tubes? My experience is the same as Gthirteen that points to minimally inflate them. On the other hand be aware that oils attack rubber and in the long run weaken the wall material which might lead to leaks ( not a pleasant scenario considering an audio rack). Avguygeorge the tire stuff works because the sticky compound (very small quantity) inside temporarily blocks puncture leaks since it's forced to the outer inner part of the tire but still let some material go out the tire and are not permanent meaning you might have minor leaks of sticky stuff. (Think plain air is better) I think that the less vibration transmission the better thus favor very low air inflated tubes. Garfish: I use MDF or particle board on top of the tube, then cones for placing the component on. Have tried cones point up and down and results are judged by ear. Inscrutable I tested different set ups before deciding what is best with my equipment: from top to bottom component, cones, MDF,tube, cinder block concrete floor. When the tube was set between cinder block and concrete floor I got the best result. So it's a close to Brightstar setup. Note that it's a concrete floor in a house with no basement. There's some vibration even on concrete so be careful when considering a wall shelf since this could affect the audio gear. Patience and trials are the name as usual. My final plan is to do a MDF sheet, sandbox, tube type setup very close to the commercial available one. This is just some experience sharing that might be interesting to consider. Regards
Inscrutable-I highly recommend using a Target wall mount shelf. I sold my suspended turntable to a friend and when we set it up on the rack where his old turntable sat you couldnt walk past wihtout major skipping. 15min. later the wall shelf was up and all was well again. I knew it would fix the problem but was amazed when my friend stompted and jumped up and down like (as) a mad man with no ill effects. Having used my shelf for years I am covinced it is the oly way to go if your floor is not a slab. The walls trasmit less vibration than the floor and spikes isolate the shelf. Mount it close to a corner or door frame if possible.