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Iso Acoustic Gaia Series Isolation Footers


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I don’t really ask questions like that and am always polite when asked what I think of their system. I will make suggestions though about set up and improving the sound of the room. Room issues are usually the issue anyway as there is plenty of good sounding gear out there.

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Well, no wonder Sam is staying away.  Who wants to move 60 pound pieces of granite into place and then try to gently hoist 110 pound loudspeakers on top of that granite?  Then, to make it more challen

John, I can't speak to the footers you've been using, but I replaced Herbie's Audio Cone / Spike Gliders with Vandersteen footers and the improvement in overall resolution was not subtle.   For u

Nope.  Those are Herbie's Cone/Spike Puckies, in Titanium flavor.  Why?  Because I had them!  Instant delivery.  Better than Amazon Prime. I'll be trying the official Vandersteen version soon eno

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Agree with both Joe and BK.  Hope my post didn't come off the wrong way.  Those who know me well, know I'm not a great 'poster'.  I don't have filters and with my cognitive issues (MS), I often will type something that sounds wrong or mean, but is the farthest thing of what I wanted to convey.  That said, I love forums for my audio, sports and woodworking.

As BK said, we all rave about our systems.  Why not, it's what we decided to spend our hard earned cash on. :). 

Heading to Ultra Fidelis in WI tomorrow as I'm out wiht my wife for awhile visiting family and friends (she's from here).  He's a long time Vandy dealer and Richard said he does a great job setting up a system.  

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On 10/27/2020 at 1:20 PM, BKDad said:

Welp, it appears I'm wrong.

I just read an online review in a well known publication by a well known reviewer.  He says that these Iso-Acoustic products change everything for the better.

Exactly as Steve Edwards quoted in his original post.  Exactly.

So, don't take my observations above as being worth any more than you paid for them.

Full disclosure: I'm biased.  I've never heard any Wilson loudspeakers sound "right".  That's what the Iso-Acoustic products were placed under in the cited review.   But, I know a bunch of people who are thrilled with their Wilson Audio loudspeakers.  I guess they'd be thrilleder with these isolation products. 

 

BK, I appreciate your humility, but I don't think you are wrong.  I think I read the same review and while that individual probably has more experience (and $ invested) in this hobby than you and me together, his is just one opinion.  

Regarding Wilson speakers, I'm with you and ctsooner; I've heard them in numerous settings and never found them as engaging as Vandersteens.  They've always had an "in your face" presentation to me; but, maybe I've not heard them in a suitable set up.  You know what they say, if Schlitz was the only beer in the world, eventually you might get used to it.  

I would like to hear from any Vandy owner who has given the Iso-Acoustic products a try on their speakers.  But, to accommodate the weight of the Quatros, I would need to spend $900.  I think there are several significant tweaks in that price range.  

Play on

Steve

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I would not use a device like theirs on the Treo on up.  Richard uses a specific cone/spike.  As stated, the whole idea of the granite and the Vandersteen spike cups (whatever he calls them, lol) will keep the speaker from moving and solidify everything.  I haven't been able to install mine as I need help doing it, but I've heard them on a few of the Vandersteen speakers now and it makes a noticeable difference.  Keep it simple and save money, lol.  Call Richard yourself and ask if you feel the need.  The design doesn't work with his speakers.  I would just get the granite and call it a day.  I will say that for MUCH Less, using the Fog Lifters from Audioquest on your power cords and speaker cables will make a nice difference for the cost.  

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I remember the first time I heard Wilson loudspeakers.  It was about 30 years ago at a store outside of NYC that had WATTs and Puppies on display as well as actual WAMM's.  The big WAMMs - not the more recent variation.

My wife and I had gone there to listen to some amplifiers to use with our 2Ci's.  The really nice young fellow brought us into the Vandersteen room and connected up some Counterpoint and Krell amplifiers for us.  At one point, he looked around to see who might be listening and said that he preferred the 2Ci's to the other loudspeakers they sold and that although 2Ci's worked well with lower priced amps like the B&K's he'd just plugged in, they still benefitted from better amplifiers.

Anyway, I didn't lust after Wilson loudspeakers then or after.

Only two other loudspeakers and systems have ever impressed me, beside Vandersteen's of course.

One was a pair of Beverage speakers (probably Beverage 2's) driven by original Levinson ML-2 amplifiers supplemented with a Fulton subwoofer.  The rest of the system was that same class, too.  But, looking back, I think I may have just been young and impressionable.  

The other was a system put together by Richard Sequerra, with the preamp designed by J.C. Morrison.  That one was absolutely notable in every way.

Note that neither of those had squishy feet under the loudspeakers.

 

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Which store was that BK?  I know that Take 5 in New Haven had Vandy's that many years ago, lol.  I forget who sold them in the NYC area.  

I enjoyed the Beverage speakers back in the day.  I only heard them once. It was a huge speaker.  I can't remember what I heard them with, but I was thinking it was an OTL Futterman.  

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The store that sold these loudspeakers was in Westchester county, and is long gone.  As is my memory of the name.  The fellow who owned it was named Brian, I believe.

Take 5 is short gone, sorta.  The owner retired early this year and sold the store.  The new owner is more home automation and less two channel audio oriented.  At least that's how it looks to me from their web site.  But, I can't say that with certainty.  The man probably knows his market and customers.  They're located in Middlebury now.

I try to not think about the state of the audio business and especially about stores.  Too deflating.  Yet another hobby that's seen better days. 

Back to tales of squishy feet.

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I know the store in Westchester.  I went there a few times too.  Ralph finally decided to retire at Take 5. Bob, his GM is running it. The guy who bought it owned a furniture store up there adn they built Take 5 in the back of the store.  They dropped Wilson after all these years.  Bob seems to love Dynaudio and that's his go to line.  I need to get there, but wiht Covid I haven't visited yet.  I got my Ayre AX5/20 from Ralph as well as other gear. I bought a system for my dad when they opened in 78.  They were very nice guys.  Ralph's go to music is Al DeMiola, lol....  I used to tease him about that.  

I hope they do well.  Do you ever get to Bernies on the Berlin Tpk in Newington?  I have bought some mid fi from him in the past and I have sent a lot of folks to his store for built in stuff.  I bought from him when he worked at Hifi Stereo House in Newington. That's when I started in all of this.  Age 9 (1969) and I went with dad to get a system.  at 13 I bought my own system and took off from there.  

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ct, regarding your post on Tuesday at 2:07, I agree that nobody knows what works with his speakers better than Richard.  I have wood look-alike laminate planks over our concrete foundation; so, per Richard, the granite slabs would not provide any improvement for me.  But, I'm with you on Fog Lifters (particularly if your cables are laying on carpeting.  I got around that issue of static interference (when I still had carpet) with an even cheaper method; see photo.  

Those are pieces of spline that accommodate vinyl banner material, from the graphic arts department of my previous company (retired for 2 years now).  They were a challenge to cut and drill the holes in the back that the cables run through, but with 3" cork on top & bottom and the lower portion filled with sand, they do the trick.    

IMG-0356.JPG

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Very cool.  I was at Ultra Fidelity in Milwaukee this week.  What a great time meeting Jon Spelt and his team.  He's as good as anyone in his set ups.  Just amazing what he can get out of a system and it wasn't even warm.  I picked up another Edison outlet and Fog Lifters.  Very excited to get an electrician in the house to move the dedicated outlets to the back wall where my system is now located.  

Love your lifters, lol.  I know that AQ says they need to be 6" or higher off the floor. I forget why, but that's about where you are.  I agree on the concrete floor.  Had that conversation with Jon this week.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I bought a set of the Isoacoustics Gaia footers a while back for my then-current Treos. I wondered how they would affect the rake and so emailed Vandersteen tech support to ask. Shortly enough Richard called me and gave me a substantial disquisition on why the footers couldn't work, that you want your speakers to be in effect infinitely heavy. It's very persuasive when the company's founder calls you personally; I'd bought the footers through Amazon and could return them at no cost, which made it a pain-free experiment. I do use them under my pre-amp and phono pre.

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Thanks for sharing John.  This is what Richard has been saying since day one.  I just got a set of his spike holders and they were not expensive and made specifically for his speakers.  Electrician coming tomorrow to install the two dedicated lines for the system. Then I'll get the granite under them and set them up properly.  Can't wait.  will start with 4 extra washers for 3" bases.  hope that works as I dont'want to have to take one out as it's a pain, lol. 

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John, regarding your conversation with Richard, I know precisely what you're talking about.  I've had numerous exchanges myself with him.  While always insightful and informative, he can make you feel pretty stupid in the drop of a needle.  It's been my experience that most people of his intelligence sometimes struggle with us common folk. 

John Rutan told me a story about Richard and Dean Klinefelter (contributed to the design of the M7-HPA) at his shop.  The two of them got into a conversation about vacuums (not the carpet cleaning kind).  John said it sounded like they were speaking another language ......... 🙂

But let me reiterate; the Vandersteen footers on my laminate-over-concrete floor made a big improvement in resolution over the Herbie's gliders I was using  with my Quatros.  

Play on

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That's a hilarious story Steve.  There are plenty of funny stories IRT Richard, lol.  He really is on another level than most of us.  I have the electrician in as I type this and he's moving a couple of dedicated lines to behind my system.  He was very specific as to what I need to do in order to do it correctly.  He just gets it.  Now of course, there's HIS way and Others ways of making and designing, but honestly, I just feel his gear is the best sounding on the market right now.  Many others play louder or have 'more' bass etc... but to me, his gear all sounds better and I never get fatigued.  It's nice to have a 'system' of all the same company that's designed to work together.  

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Let me add another observation.

After a few days, our new Spike Shoes sounded even better.  The only thing I can possibly attribute that to is the felt on the bottom gradually becoming compressed and therefore somewhat more firm.  Nothing else was changed in the system.  I measured the forward/back tilt using the laser method - nothing had moved.  I also measured the left/right tilt, or lack thereof, and it's still within about 0.1 degree.

As for Richard himself, he qualifies as being an expert in his field.  I'm sure he devotes much of his waking time to that pursuit.  He also is passionate about his work.  That all makes for the kinds of products he has produced for several decades.  That also can make for strongly held opinions about things he knows about.  Waddya expect?  Personally, I appreciate that.  The late Charley Hansen was no different in that regard.  I never had a phone call with Charley that lasted for less than an hour.  He and I had many similar interests outside of audio, which also added to the duration of the calls.  Some people may not like that passion in others or not feel the same themselves.  I guess that's what makes the world go around.

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Dedicated circuit lines for your system ............ that is awesome Peter.  My next door neighbor (and great friend) is an electrician.  We have discussed doing the same in my room, but I haven't committed to all the cutting and patching involved.

Eagerly awaiting to hear how that, and the footers installation, has improved your system.

Completely concur with your assessment of Vandersteen speakers.  SOMEDAY, I will own a pair of M5-HPA's, and maybe ........ Quatro Wood CT's

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I'll be doing the patchwork myself.  Then it will be a coat of paint for the room adn hallway.  I'm sure it will lower the noise floor a bit more. I had the lines in the room. They are just moving them to behind where the system not resides.  Can't wait to have patch adn paint done. lol.  

BKis dead on. We seem to know some of the same folks BK.  I used to love listening to Charlie speak.  Had known him for years.  Just a neat guy.  Just exchanged some texts with Ryan at Ayre on Friday.  He will need to uninstall the crossover in my AX5/20 before I can put it on the market.  Whoever buys it will know that it's up to snuff as it's shipping from Ayre most probably, lol.  Just some great audio companies, even if we aren't doing business wiht all of them.

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So I've been considering the ISO GAIA Titan feet for my 5As as the spikes are very difficult to move the speaker around on the Vandersteen supplied cones.  The speakers are just too heavy, the felt on the cones evaporates quick.  They will be sold individually soon but I digress...how do folks move their 5A speakers around on laminate vinyl foots?  I already put a big gash in the floor, luckily  its not easy to see.    

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Perhaps the world needs VanderCranes.

Moving large speakers around is a definite downside to the hobby.  The headphone guys never have this kind of problem.

I'm not real familiar with 5's and we don't have laminate floors.  But, what some friends of mine have down with other large heavy loudspeakers on laminate floors is to use "carpet sliders" like these:  https://www.lowes.com/search?searchTerm=carpet+slider

They tilt the speakers just enough to push a slider under each cone, move the speakers, and then reverse the process to pull the sliders out.

I bet these:  https://www.lowes.com/pd/Scotch-Scotch-8482-Sliders-SP649-NA-Adhesive-Hard-1-1-8-in-4-pk/1002651866 would do well.  Stick a penny on the adhesive section or some other disk so that the spikes and/or cones won't poke through.

Good luck!

BTW, what do you mean that the felt evaporates?

Edited by BKDad
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