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.

Outstanding Engineering or Cornish Witchcraft?

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.

The CONS!
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.

Introducing the Dark Star Pylons

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“.

Solidair Audio Aluminium HiFi isolation feet now in Black.

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.

Michell Turntable upgrades

Here at Solidair Audio we are renowned for our Michell turntable sound isolation upgrades. The Michell turntables are beautiful and very well engineered, they have isolation in the right places and sound great.

Why would you want to change this? We provide cutting edge isolation, using materials that were not available when these machines were designed. We can upgrade the sound considerably, without affecting the stunning good looks of these iconic machines. All our upgrades are reversable, requiring no permanent changes and installation is very straight forward. The machines we offer the most for are the Gyrodec and Orbe turntables, though we can can also help with older or simpler versions like the legendary Transcriptor and the more entry level Syncro and TechnoDec.

Where to start?

Most of the designs have the cone feet which are like spikes. These can be simply unscrewed and our mag-lev feet screwed on in their stead. Our Performance packs float the whole turntable in the air and isolate it from the platform it stands on. They also provide a degree of damping to absorb noise in the turntable.

The Gyrodec and Orbe have a spring suspension mechanism which provide good isolation of the turntable from the chassis, though can resonate and cause lack of top end clarity. Installing our Pylons opens up the sound with better clarity and sounstage. Improving the top end also makes the bass more punchy with crisper waveforms. These must be the best value sound upgrade available anywhere and are renowned the world over.

The armboard isolation has also been addressed with our Trinty. This is a sophisticated miniature isolation system which really allows the quality of your tonearm and cartridge to sing. It really is the cherry on the cake when it comes to liberating the best sound form your machine.

If you have a Gyro and you are thinking of upgrading to an Orbe platter, you could try our Bass Driver first. The platter change is a great sound upgrade, but we just love the look of the standard Gyrodec and we can get similar improvements without loosing the style. It gives a similar mass increase and improves the vinyl to platter contact, improving the lower frequencies. It gives more weight to the sound.

Last orders for Christmas

If you are planning on treating your HiFi for Christmas, please be aware of the last posting days this year.

For UK orders we will probably not be able to deliver on time for orders placed after Sunday 19th December. Orders can still be placed of course, but may arrive after Christmas.

For international orders please refer to the Royal Mail dates and add a couple of days for order processing.

Solidair Audio would like to wish you a very happy Christmas and hope and best wishes for the new year.

Dark Star 270 Speaker Suspension Bridges

Our new Dark Star 270 Speaker Suspension Bridges are now available. We have looked at the design, pared it down a bit and changed manufacturing methods to reduce cost, without any compromise to sound quality. These bridges offer superb isolation for speakers up to 275mm (10 1/2″) wide and almost any weight.

A new approach to a vinyl puck

You may have noticed that we have been developing a new record clamp or puck, to secure your vinyl to the turntable. The idea is to clamp the record firmly to the platter to make the stylus work more efficiently. It also adds weight to the platter to further improve this. The core is designed to absorb noise in the spindle to give a cleaner signal. All of this seems to work really well. The first thing we noticed was a volume increase as the signal from the cartridge is greater. The background is quieter and the bass is delightful, hence the name “bass driver”.

We have been so impressed with the results so far that we have made a silver and ebony bass driver with the help of a dear friend and master flute maker. We hope to have some available to buy early next year.

Solidair Audio Pylons

Our new Solidair Audio Pylons are going down well. We are delighted to hear that our customers are as pleased with them as we are. These are one of the upgrades we do for the Michell Gyrodec and Orbe Turntables.

Some lovely reviews from our customers:

“…the pylons are”something else” beautiful, organic, well made and boy do they do the job. The platter now has a much more solid, positive feel, with no bouncing and the quietness between tracks on a record is scary. Excellent product all round.” RQ

“I love the new pylons for the Gyrodec, they are a big improvement over the original springs.  Easy to fit and well made, they stop the deck from bouncing around all over the place when you change a record and they look great too. The sound seems a lot clearer, especially through the mid range, allowing more detail through than before.  Vocals seem more real with added texture, the sound as a whole is a step up with the pylons fitted.  They certainly work as claimed and I would happily recommend them to any owner of a Gyrodec. Many thanks for introducing yet another way of improving a great deck still further.  Well worth the money.” AR

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