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Isoacoustics Gaia Isolation pods
#1
Quote:Nothing to do with cartriges, but I also noticed that Oxford Audio were running the Blades using Isoacoustics Gaia isolation supports.

Confused's quote above from the Oxfird Audio Ortofon event coincided nicely with me coming across these the same week.

I've recently reversed the spikes on my facts to use the rubberised side in another trial of isolating them from the suspended wooden floor. I tried ages ago, and went back to spikes, but didn't really give it a fair trial and lots has changed since - including the amp. So I figured its time to try again.

The idea is to try and isolate, and then re-measure and setup new convolution filter for Room Correction.

The PMC included 'rubber' feet (no idea what they're actually made of) just slip over the rounded end of the spike, and are very small so they probably don't offer a huge amount of isolation. But that said, I was careful to keep the position identical and the sound has changed. It feels like there's less bass, which is exactly the opposite of what I wanted to happen, but it also feels less boomy and I can turn SAM higher, so there may be something in it if I do new Room Correction with 100% SAM - which is what I intend to try next.

Anyway, that's the back-story. I'd ruled out things like Anzus and any other 'audiophile only' products with stupid prices and constant talk of rhodium, diamond, platinum, unobtanium etc, and started looking at pro products. Which is where I came across isoacoustics, and after asking around a friend who is a composer uses then under his speakers in his studio. Then I saw the GAIA range and figured since they'd entered the 'home hifi' or 'auidiophie' market they'd be stupidly expensive, but in fact the GAIA III which a set of (for one speaker) costs £199 and can support well over my facts 20kg, is less expensive than four of their pro pucks.

So, I'm probably going to give these a try if I can find a dealer that will loan me a couple of sets to experiment with.

The one thing I'm most unsure about is them raising the speakers up 30-40mm. One because the tweeters are already a touch high for my setup, and also it might just make the facts look a bit dumb - sitting up on four 'blobs' (albeit reasonable looking blobs) rather than nice and low to the floor like they are now. The Townshend platforms were on my radar previously and get round this by designing them into a whole support, but then they're also quite ugly and would stick out well beyond the speakers and aren't very lounge friendly. Plus they're much more expensive and make the speakers really 'wobbly' which isn't what I want. I do hear they're good though and 'do what they say on the tin'.

So, anyway, figured I'd start a topic rather than clutter Confused's one, for any other feedback/thoughts about these, would be interested to hear.....

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‘Normal’ cables. *eBay LPS on the Allo, no discernible SQ change over Pi supply.
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#2
I still believe in non 'wobbly' speaker placement. Many years ago I owned Magnepans. These have a very large driver surface. When I played loud(ish) I noticed that the frame literally moved back and forth with high bass and drum energy. Not much, but noticeable. I then supported the top of the frame to the wall behind the speakers with light aluminium rods. The result was quite shocking as the increase in bass quality, energy and precision was much bigger than I expected.
If there is a chance that the speaker can move due to bass driver excursion I'd be careful. Speakers like Phantoms will probably not suffer from this as bass drivers cancel cabinet movement. For a suspended wooden floor I guess it might be good to avoid sending vibrations via the stand to the floor - in case the floor 'plays' the sound, but other vice I think 'firm' speaker placement is good.

It will be interesting to read your impressions
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250 Pro CI::Roon, Core on NUC with Debian Linux, music on USB3 disk::RAAT::Audiolense XO::Monitor Audio MA201 (thoroughly rebuilt, with a SAM profile)
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#3
The IsoAccoustics Gaia pricing does look a little odd at first glance.  The Gaia III's are up to 32kg at £199, the Gaia II's up to 54kg at £299, the Gaia I's up to 100kg at £599.  So the I's are fully double the price of the II's!  I did find this a little annoying, as the Blades are 57kg, so a fraction over the Gaia II recommended weight.

I checked this with IsoAccoustics.  The first point to note is that the Gaia I's are machined from solid stainless steal, whereas the II's and III's are carbon steel chrome plated.  I think stainless steal is about 5 times the price of carbon steel currently, plus the I's are larger, so this goes someway to explaining the much higher price of the I's.  As to the Blades being 3kg over the limit of the cheaper II's, this is what IsoAccoustics had to say:

The weight limits we set are based on the performance curve. The performance of the GAIA II is beginning to decline at the 121 lb weight. The performance level has a curved shape as weight increases, not a cliff. I would suggest the GAIA II would still perform very well at 57 kg, but the GAIA I will have a slight edge in performance at that weight level. I believe you will still be happy with the GAIA II and it is a good option for you if the GAIA I is not in your budget.

A fairly foo-free response I thought!

One thing concerns me a little though....   My little KEF Blades have opposing side mounted bass drivers and you can balance a £1 coin on edge on the top of the speaker, run them flat out with bass heavy music and the coin will not fall off.  So not much is vibrating anywhere.  Can these feet really help?

That said, the Blades did sound excellent at OAC last Saturday, for the record this was with the Gaia I's.
1000 Pro - KEF Blade - SOtM sMS-200Ultra Neo - tX-USBultra - Mutec REF10 - MC3+USB - Pro-Ject Signature 12
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#4
(09-Aug-2017, 10:16)Hifi_swlon Wrote:
Quote:Nothing to do with cartriges, but I also noticed that Oxford Audio were running the Blades using Isoacoustics Gaia isolation supports.

Confused's quote above from the Oxfird Audio Ortofon event coincided nicely with me coming across these the same week.

I've recently reversed the spikes on my facts to use the rubberised side in another trial of isolating them from the suspended wooden floor. I tried ages ago, and went back to spikes, but didn't really give it a fair trial and lots has changed since - including the amp.

The idea is to try and isolate, and then re-measure and setup new convolution.

The PMC included 'rubber' feet (no idea what they're actually made of) just slip over the rounded end of the spike, and are very small so they probably don't offer a huge amount of isolation. But that said, I was careful to keep the position identical and the sound has changed. It feels like there's less bass, which is the opposite if what I wanted to happen, but it also feels lessboomyvand I can turn SAM higher, so there may be something in it if I do new Room Correction with 100% SAM - which is what I intend to try next.

Anyway, that's the back-story. I'd ruled out things like Anzus and any other 'audiophile only' products with stupid prices and constant talk of rhodium, diamond, platinum, unobtanium etc, andcstarted loking at pro products. Which is where I cam across isoacoustics, and after askingvaround a friend who is a composer uses then under his speakers in his studio. Then I saw the GAIA range and figured sincectheyd entered the 'home hifi' or 'auidiophie' market they'd be stupidly expensive, but in fact the GAIA III which a set of (for one speaker) costs £199 and can support well over my facts 20kg, is less expensive than four of their pro pucks.

So, I'm probably going to give these a try if I can find a dealer that will loan me a couple of sets to experiment with.

The one thing I'm most unsure about is them raising the speakers up 30-40mm. One because the tweeter are already a touch high for my setup, and also it might just make the facts look a bit dumb - sitting my up on four 'blobs' (albeit reasonable looking ones) rather than nice and low to the floor like they are now. The Townshend platforms were on my radar previously and get round this by designing them into a whole support, but then they're also quite ugly and would stick out well beyond the speakers and aren't fret lounge friendly. Plus they're much more expensive and make the speakers really 'wobbly' which isn't what I want. I do hear they're good though and 'do what they say on the tin'.

So, anyway, figured I'd start a topic rather than clutter Confuseds one, for any other feedback/thoughts about these, would be interested to hear.....

You could try raising the back isolators higher than the front to rake the speakers slightly forward, to aim the tweeters at your head, if this doesn't interfere with the time alignment of the drivers too much.

I recently compared a pair of B&W 804 D3s with and without Gaias under them and much preferred them with the isolators. The bass especially seemed more controlled and deeper. The midrange stood out more, possibly because the bass was better sorted. They didn't affect the treble at all, as one might expect.
Project Eperience X Pack with Ortofon Rondo Red MC, Oppo BDP 105D, 2 x Sonos Connect, QNAP HS251+ NAS with 2 X 6TB Western Digital Red, Mac 5K 32GB running Lifetime Roon, iPad Pro 12.9" for remote control.  Etalon Ethernet Isolator, Devialet 440 Pro CI, Sonus faber Olympica ll with Isoacoustics Gaia ll feet, Auralic Taurus Mkll headphone amp.Denon AH-D5000, Sennheiser HD600 and HD800 with Cardas cable,  Van Den Hul The First Ultimate and Crystal interconnects, Furutech power cables, GSP Audio Spatia speaker cable.
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#5
(09-Aug-2017, 13:38)Confused Wrote: The IsoAccoustics Gaia pricing does look a little odd at first glance.  The Gaia III's are up to 32kg at £199, the Gaia II's up to 54kg at £299, the Gaia I's up to 100kg at £599.  So the I's are fully double the price of the II's!  I did find this a little annoying, as the Blades are 57kg, so a fraction over the Gaia II recommended weight.

I checked this with IsoAccoustics.  The first point to note is that the Gaia I's are machined from solid stainless steal, whereas the II's and III's are carbon steel chrome plated.  I think stainless steal is about 5 times the price of carbon steel currently, plus the I's are larger, so this goes someway to explaining the much higher price of the I's.  As to the Blades being 3kg over the limit of the cheaper II's, this is what IsoAccoustics had to say:

The weight limits we set are based on the performance curve. The performance of the GAIA II is beginning to decline at the 121 lb weight. The performance level has a curved shape as weight increases, not a cliff. I would suggest the GAIA II would still perform very well at 57 kg, but the GAIA I will have a slight edge in performance at that weight level. I believe you will still be happy with the GAIA II and it is a good option for you if the GAIA I is not in your budget.

A fairly foo-free response I thought!

One thing concerns me a little though....   My little KEF Blades have opposing side mounted bass drivers and you can balance a £1 coin on edge on the top of the speaker, run them flat out with bass heavy music and the coin will not fall off.  So not much is vibrating anywhere.  Can these feet really help?

That said, the Blades did sound excellent at OAC last Saturday, for the record this was with the Gaia I's.

Still bloody good value compared to my Stillpoints Ultra 5s, assuming they work just as well. 

My Sashas are also pretty inert, in fact you can hardly feel a thing when touching their chassis with loud electronic music playing. Adding the SPs transformed the sound in many ways. 

The other big advantage for me is that it's easier to move them around now. With the spikes you can forget it. 

Guillaume
Industry disclosure: UK distributor for Shunyata Research

220 PRO, totaldac d1 server with additional external power supply, totaldac d1-seven, Echole PSU for Totaldac, Wilson Audio Sasha 2, Shunyata Research cables, Shunyata Triton v3 + Typhon QR + DPC-6 v3, Various Entreq ground boxes and cables, Entreq Athena level 3 rack, SOtM sNH-10G with sCLK-EX + 10MHz Master Clock input + sPS-500 PSU, i5 sonicTransporter w/ 1TB SSD

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#6
There is definitely a difference for speakers like Blades with opposing bass drivers (or Phantoms) or 'massive' speakers like Sashas. Hifi_swlon's fact.8 is quite tall and slim even if the cabinet is 380mm deep. I do not doubt at all that footers under speakers can make a big difference as long as the speakers do not move while playing music. My own speakers sound best on spikes, but I could probably get just as good or better sound if I put them on massive (mass loaded) stands with footers.
Modern Quad Electrostatics use a 'Tension rod' to achieve the same as I did with my Magnepans.
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250 Pro CI::Roon, Core on NUC with Debian Linux, music on USB3 disk::RAAT::Audiolense XO::Monitor Audio MA201 (thoroughly rebuilt, with a SAM profile)
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#7
Some news.....  I will have OAC's demo set to try next weekend.  I am in two minds if these things can actually improve SQ with the Blades, although I have heard some reports that say they will, plus the Blades with Gaia I's did sound rather good at OAC last week.  

Oddly enough, I have been looking for something for the Blades for a while.  I was using spikes, but they had to go with the speakers current location, this was due to unfortunate proximity with cunningly placed under carpet underlay surround sound cables.  I do have some 'cup' things, these did not really work out, so now the poor old Blades are foot and spike free and dumped straight on the carpet.  This may sound horrific to those with audiophile tendencies, and (shock horror!) they are fractionally out of being level, but it seams to work ok.  Obviously a long way from being ideal though, you can't get them exactly level or tweak the rake or whatever, hence my interest in buying something.  So far the Gaia's seam to be the best option for me in terms of price, functionality and appearance.  I will probably keep them even if sound quality remains unchanged, but I the optimist side of me is ever hopeful for a little improvement.  We shall see.  I will be going for the 'cheapo' Gaia II's, I really can't justify the extra an £600 when it has been confirmed that the performance level will be similar Gaia I's, plus I think the II's actually look slightly nicer, with Devialet matching black chrome finish.

   

Probably obvious, but the stainless steel Gaia I's are the ones on the left of the picture.

And here is a link to a review for those who like easy links to reviews:

http://hifipig.com/isoacoustics-gaia-iii...n-footers/
1000 Pro - KEF Blade - SOtM sMS-200Ultra Neo - tX-USBultra - Mutec REF10 - MC3+USB - Pro-Ject Signature 12
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#8
(09-Aug-2017, 17:44)Confused Wrote: I will be going for the 'cheapo' Gaia II's, I really can't justify the extra an £600 when it has been confirmed that the performance level will be similar Gaia I's, plus I think the II's actually look slightly nicer, with Devialet matching black chrome finish.

The SP Ultras are £500 a piece so this looks like a bargain. Assuming they perform as well. Perhaps OAC will know since they have SP too right?

There is no way I'd get away with Gaia IIs though. My Sashas weigh nearly 100kgs each!!

Guillaume
Industry disclosure: UK distributor for Shunyata Research

220 PRO, totaldac d1 server with additional external power supply, totaldac d1-seven, Echole PSU for Totaldac, Wilson Audio Sasha 2, Shunyata Research cables, Shunyata Triton v3 + Typhon QR + DPC-6 v3, Various Entreq ground boxes and cables, Entreq Athena level 3 rack, SOtM sNH-10G with sCLK-EX + 10MHz Master Clock input + sPS-500 PSU, i5 sonicTransporter w/ 1TB SSD

UK
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#9
(09-Aug-2017, 17:44)Confused Wrote: Some news.....  I will have OAC's demo set to try next weekend.

Damn, that scuppers my plan!  Big Grin

But thats the way it should be for a customer of your level - not just shopping but event attendance and write ups. TBH they should probably give you a set for free for the PR....

Better get on the hunt for some other dealers then.....

(Edit: nope, I'm in luck. Forgot we needed different models)

(09-Aug-2017, 18:06)GuillaumeB Wrote: The SP Ultras are £500 a piece so this looks like a bargain. Assuming they perform as well. Perhaps OAC will know since they have SP too right?

There is no way I'd get away with Gaia IIs though. My Sashas weigh nearly 100kgs each!!

Wow, that's a heavy set of speakers. No wonder they're hard to move.
I'm emailing isoacoustics to see if they have any data on the gaia performance that they'd care to share and allow to be published.

Roon lifetime > Mac mini (RoonServer) > Eth > Allo DigiOne* > BNC ( >AES via Neutrik) > Devialet 250 Pro CI > PMC fact.8
‘Normal’ cables. *eBay LPS on the Allo, no discernible SQ change over Pi supply.
- London, UK -
>>> Devialet ‘EPO’ System - Expert Planned Obsolescence! <<<

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#10
I see from Underwood Hifi email that Iso now has 'Pucks' that are cheaper and could be used with electronics or lighter speakers.
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