Here are the fundamentals:
• The physical movement of the speaker's drivers feed unwanted vibrations through their mounting screws into the speaker enclosure. Carefully controlled listening tests prove that the vibrating enclosure walls radiate substantial interfering sound energy that muddies, blurs and distorts the speaker's overall sound far more significantly than any external airborne or floor-borne vibrations.
• Mounting speakers on standard isolating and damping devices (like springs, rubber feet, sand boxes, magnetic suspensions, or air cylinders/bladders) traps the sound-degrading vibrations inside the speaker enclosure, the exact opposite of what is needed, i.e., the draining--through rigid footers—of as much vibration as possible out of the enclosure so that the enclsure's walls can't radiate that interfering sound energy.
• Hybrid isolation/coupling devices like Roller Blocks, IsoBearings, magnetic couplers, etc. purport to serve three essential functions—vibration transfer, vibration dissipation and external isolation—all in one convenient footer. Unfortunately, such all-in-one devices can serve none of the three functions well. They may change, perhaps even improve, sound a bit in one area, but with penalties in other areas, e.g better midrange detail but soggier bass, less edgy treble but slower, duller transients, etc.
Our Vibration Control System For Speakers serves the three functions using three separate components, each optimized for one and only one function:
• First, our brass footers are designed only to cleanly drain out as much internal vibrational energy as possible from speakers. We specifically optimized our footers’ shape, material, alloy, and mass to maximize the vibrational energy transferred out of the cabinet and to minimize the energy reflected back. Fifteen years of customer shootoffs have shown they do so more effectively and sound better than any competing rigid, hybrid or damping footer at any price.
• Second, maple is the optimal vibration sink material for plinths that need to receive and dissipate the vibrational energy transferred out of the speaker by the footers. Surprisingly, our exhaustive testing against every space age composite or constrained layer damping material used in high-end platforms today shows solid wood (not plywood or MDF) to be a significantly better sounding sink. And, among the many different-sounding hardwood species available, the same tests show maple to have, by a sizable margin, the most transparent, detailed and uncolored sound. (Click here for more details on this and on the importance of air dried maple.)
• Third, each speaker plinth is directly coupled to the floor by four of our massive brass footers pre-assembled to each maple base. This approach ensures the speaker and stand are rigidly anchored to the floor or subfloor to prevent the speaker rocking that weakens bass impact and smears midrange detail. We offer four footer options, each painstakingly shaped and honed to offer optimal sound quality on different floor coverings. This is just one example of the attention to detail that has gone into the development of Mapleshade's Vibration Control System For Speakers.