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.
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.
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.
We are fully open and back up to speed after a lovely holiday. Thank you for your patience.
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.
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.
Wishing you all a very merry Christmas.
Please note we will not be able to process any orders until after the Christmas break.
A lovely review of our Dark Star Pylons
1st the PROS!
Installation was easy with the accompanying video
Listening – on Led Zeppelin II classic records Bernie Grundman cut. If the original Pylons felt like the band was in the room the Dark Star version felt like you were in their room.
Harry Belafonte at Carnegie Hall, analogue productions 45rpm you could hear his voice reverberating off the walls giving an unbelievable sense of the size of Carnegie Hall.
Scott Walker – Scott 4 original
With the Michell springs if felt like the violins were being bowed with hacksaws.
Massive improvement with the original solidair string Pylons beguiling with the new Dark Star version
Every record played offered greater clarity, transparency & resolution
Even more fascinating was moving from my stereo cartridge (ortofon winfeld TI) to my mono cartridge (ortofon cadenza mono) in my Orbe SME V.
Setup was done using the acoustical systems smart tractor plus the analogmagik software & test LP’s
There is just so much less sonic camouflage. If you dont think mono can deliver depth & imaging then they paint as compelling a sonic picture you will ever hear.
Not only were instruments stacked 1 in front of the other like a deck of cards, harmony vocals like the beach boys and the mamas and papas etc you can even hear the different heights of the singers
Yellow submarine from the beatles mono box felt like the waves were coming up to meet me.
If you have a dog it will get walked less
Cutting the grass will be put off until tomorrow
Jobs around the house will be delayed
Because either due to some outstanding engineering or some Cornish Witchcraft,
You’ll just want to keep playing record after record after record.
It has been six years since we invented the Pylons, a name which seems to have caught on. Our mission was to come up with a stand alone spring replacement to improve the sound quality of the Iconic Michell turntables by updating the well placed suspension. We have helped people the world over to improve their systems with this simple to fit and excellent value upgrade.
Thinking it time to have another look at them, we wanted to see if we could make any improvements. After producing many different prototypes and spending intense hours listening and evaluating, we have come up with a new version which we think you will like. The sound most definitely benefits in the vocal and upper frequency ranges, enabling more clarity to hear subtle detail, nuances and harmonies.
Moving to using an elastomer suspension with these was not without it’s issues. The suspension is free to move more and needs to be constrained from lateral movement, but without reducing the isolation from the chassis. We achieved this using a web to stop horizontal plane movement, which doesn’t transmit vibration on that plane. It eliminates any wow or flutter that a less rigid suspension can introduce. The vertical isolation can then be made with a more flexible material to further help with eliminating vibration in that plane as well as adding more damping into the system.
As well as acoustic excellence, part of our ethos is to keep the instillation straight forward and manufacturing costs down. We believe we have achieved this and can offer remarkable improvements for a relatively small outlay. The single best upgrade you can can make on Gyrodec and Orbe, we would like to introduce the new “Dark Star Pylons“.
We can now offer our aluminium mag-lev isolation feet with a black anodised finish as well as our ever popular silver colour. They offer great HiFi isolation and they are relatively inexpensive. The smaller up to 4, 6 and 10kg feet are available now, as are the 15kg larger version. View them here.
They are a great way to clean up the sound in your system. They are very versatile and can be used under most HiFi components, even speakers. For heavy speakers see our Dark Star range.