Vibration is both a blessing and a curse in the high-end audio world. While vibration is the main reason we can enjoy this hobby of ours (it is, after all, through vibrations that we can hear!), it is also one of the most notorious culprits of sound degradation. Adverse effects of vibration on an audio system include confusion of imagery, timing errors and musical distortion. Two increasingly popular methods of dealing with harmful vibrations are the use of isolation devices and resonance control. These two solutions come from two drastically different schools of thought.
Isolation control devices are de-coupling devices, meaning that their objective is to separate (or isolate) the component from its surface. When employing a de-coupling device, one must assume that all of the harmful vibrations are coming from the outside. These products absorb external energy before it can get into the product.
Resonance control devices, on the other hand, are coupling devices which merge the component to the surface it rests on. If using a resonance control device, you adhere to the belief that the most powerful and damaging vibrations that occur are generated from the components themselves, which vibrate as they operate. Resonance control devices act as a mechanical diode—allowing a one-way escape route for the extraneous energy produced from electronics. Once the vibrations are eliminated, a whole new layer of tonal and textural details will be unveiled.
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