DubStars and Decibels

Decibels are odd things and though objectively or scientifically easy to measure, they can be confusing. How an individual hears them is not a constant, it is very subjective. An increase of 3dB doubles the sound pressure, and requires 3 times the acoustic power, though perceived doubling in volume takes 5 to 10db depending on the listener.

However we can say that more decibels (tenths of Bells) are louder.

Cutting to the point of this post, we recently had a set of our DubStar feet, the set made for the Technics 1210, tested under probably worst case scenario conditions. Our feet were compared with two other brands and the standard feet in a Dub Reggae type venue by DJ and sound engineer Prince Fatty (Mike) with an array of powerful subwoofers as part of the setup. (I need to go and hear it myself – Fox and Firkin, Lewisham High Street.) Noise control scientist Ray was helping with the experiment. As far as I can ascertain, music was played at increasingly loud volumes until feedback was detected in the turntable stylus.

They conducted the experiment on the different brands and then combined some of the feet.

The Solidair Audio DubStars “reigned supreme” 4dB ahead of the closest and 11dB better than standard feet. Our feet also showed no weakness at a particular frequency, or resonance, which was very pleasing to see.

I think Ray liked the runner up as they cost less, which is fair enough. We always aim to make the best here, with no compromise in materials and craftsmanship. We want to offer the best for every audiophile and their HiFi, so you only need to buy once.

Apparently with our feet combined with the top runner up another 3dB was possible, but at this point they were setting off the car alarms outside the venue!

So it’s official, Solidair Audio DubStars are seriously good turntable isolation feet.

Some of the testing can be seen here.

DubStar feet for Rega turntables

We have been working on two sets of DubStar feet to cover the Rega range of turntables. The Rega brand offer excellent value, critically acclaimed turntables which have been popular for many years. They have a lot of good features though we think they benefit from improved isolation as the standard isolation is quite limited. The upper range use an M6 thread to locate the standard feet and the entry level ones have a self tapping screw to secure the feet, so we have made a choice of two sets to cover the options.

The P1, 2 and 3 models can use a set that fit into the standard feet, so really quick and easy to install. They can be seen here.

The P6, 8 and 10 can take the M6 threaded version which can be seen here.

There is an event in mid October at Home Media in Maidstone Kent, where you can come and have a listen. I will be here on the Saturday if you fancy saying hello. The review on the M6 version and the details of the event can be found here.

New DubStar feet for turntables

Turntables can be easily upset by vibration and they are more sensitive to a wide range of frequencies than most HiFi components. We have developed a range of new feet to absorb lower frequencies as well as the high frequencies which compromise most components’ sound quality. As the can absorb low bass and look like our DarkStar feet we decided to call them DubStar. Have a look here.

We have a range of standard feet which can go straight under a turntable in a free standing manor. There are also several variations designed to suit specific turntables. They have specific threads and dimensions so they simply replace the stock feet that the turntable came with. We will add to the list as we develop more turntable specific models.

Business as usual

We are fully open and back up to speed after a lovely holiday. Thank you for your patience.

Speaker setup using Dark Star feet

Dark Star feet will work well under any HiFi component, though they were originally specifically designed for speakers as an isolation device. They can take a lot of weight and keep your speakers stable. They decouple the speakers from your listening environment to let them sound their best. They can totally transform your listening experience by detaching the sound from the speakers for a more natural, almost holographic soundscape.

Cork disks are included – These can be used on hard surfaces and on top of the feet to stop things sliding around, or make fine levelling adjustments. On carpet it may be better to leave them off.

A few setup tips you may wish to try:

The first image, A, shows a typical setup with speakers opposite a sofa or seating area.

The second image, B, shows how it may be possible to improve the sound.

1. It may be beneficial for soundstage to ‘toe in’ the speakers, so the lines of fire cross just in front of where you sit. Try different angles to find the best for your space.

2. Move the speakers away from the walls.

3. Move your seating away from the back wall.

4. Avoid multi-strand speaker cables. Single insulated wires give a cleaner sound as the signal has a fixed cable length. With multi-strands touching each other there are so many different paths that the signal looses fine high frequency detail.

Best wishes and happy listening

Miles – Solidair Audio.

Solidair Audio Ukishima Mag-Lev feet

Some advice on choice and setup

Our Ukishima (floating island) mag lev feet will work well under most HiFi components. They were originally designed for CD players and turntables as an isolation device, but work very well under amps, pre-amps, power supplies and lighter weight speakers.

They come in different capacities. As standard we sell 4, 6, 10 and 15kg versions, though we can mix the magnets to give roughly half way increments to these if needed (5, 8 and 12kg)

As a rough guide it is usually best to pick a capacity about half way up the loading, which usually leaves 2 to 3mm between the magnets. Vibrations which these are designed to reduce are very small in amplitude, so as long as the magnets are not touching the feet will work. There is a minimum load on some of the feet, which is required to move the feet off their stops, so don’t overspecify the capacity. The 4kg feet work from almost zero, four 6kg feet will need at least 2kg of HiFi unit weight to make them work..etc

We normally recommend using four feet, as it is easier to set up and more stable. It is perfectly acceptable to mix and match the feet to level a component that is heavier to one side. Sometimes three feet will be fine. Small speakers will tend to be heavier at the front as the drivers are there, so two feet at the front and one at the back (or two lighter duty ones) is not unusual. Heavy valve amps may need three rear feet and two front to carry the heavy output transformers. Cable weight can also add a fair bit of load, especially on amplifiers.

Some tips on placement.

It may help to remove any standard feet to allow better positioning. It is usually better to not put the mag-lev feet under standard feet, they usually work better directly under the unit.

Start with placing them under each corner. Look to see if the unit is level. If it is not you have several options.

If one foot is more compressed, move the other feet towards that one to relieve it’s loading. Often it is better to leave the front feet where they look best and move the rear feet, which are not so visible. The front feet can move forward and backwards without looking odd, but look best if they are the same distance from their respective sides. Moving the front feet in towards the middle will give the rear feet more influence.

For fine adjustment an extra cork pad can be used as a packer.

We do make adjusters which screw into the top of the feet, which may be useful. The adjusters can also be fixed to the HiFi unit, usually replacing the standard feet or pads.

If you are having problems we are here to help, so please feel free to contact us.

Best wishes and happy listening

Miles – Solidair Audio.

Heads up for holiday closing 5th to 20th May

Please note we will be closed from 5th May until 20th May for a holiday. Orders can still be placed in this time, but will not be processed until we return. Please get any urgent orders in before the end of April. Thank you.

Dark Star speaker isolation review

A very happy new year to everyone. We had a surprise to start our new year off with a great review on our Dark Star 38 isolation feet when used under speakers. They performed really well as expected, if you have a few spare minutes you may care to have a look here.

Happy Christmas (no more shipping until after Xmas now)

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas.

Please note we will not be able to process any orders until after the Christmas break.

Michell turntable Gyro/Orbe performance pack now available in Black Aluminium

The ever popular Gyro performance pack for Michell Gyrodec and Orbe turntables is now available in a Black Anodised finish. The motor spacer is also available in the same black finish to go with the dark finished machines. The option can be found here (don’t tell Jonny).