Herbie's Giant Cone/Spike Decoupling Gliders and other discs/footers

ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,724
I recently purchased the "Herbie's Audio Lab Giant Cone/Spike Decoupling Gliders" for use with my new Solidsteel S3-5 equipment rack. These were recommended due to me having a suspended hardwood floor with a slight flex and give to it.

http://herbiesaudiolab.net/spkrfeet.htm#cone

giantbs.jpg

bottom.jpg

1455uvmrs8sb.jpg

The bottom appears to be a slippery plastic material like what you'd see on a standard furniture glider, and on top a stainless steel disc for a spike to sit in, surrounded by a high durometer sorbothane type material.

When reading the description on the Herbie's Audio Lab website, I'm still a bit unsure of their engineering and design goals, as well as their purpose.

"Loudspeaker spikes are more effective when used in conjunction with Herbie's dBNeutralizer decoupling, especially with wood or suspended floors, whether carpeted or bare. Likewise, if your spikes couple firmly to your cabinet and are themselves solid and relatively free of coloration, they will complement Herbie's Decoupling Gliders very well by easing some of the workload and making the Gliders even more efficient. (Herbie's Cone/Spike Decoupling Gliders are used under your present spikes or cones.)

Features fiberglass-reinforced dBNeutralizer(tm) decoupling base and extra-thick brass, stainless steel or titanium disk. Fitted into Magic Sliders, they can be used on virtually any kind of floor, bare or carpeted, with easy-sliding mobility. Extra-deep conical indentation prevents spike from slipping out when lateral pressure is applied. Suitable for audio racks, stands and loudspeakers of virtually any weight."

And going on, some other info about the "giant" version that I got:

"Same attributes as regular Cone/Spike Decoupling Gliders described above, with more dBNeutralizer "beef" and broader base. With embedded brass, stainless steel, or titanium disk, Giant Cone/Spike Decoupling Gliders are ideal for extra-heavy duty, for severe vibrational environment, or use with speakers and component racks on deep, spongy carpet. Appropriate for use on any kind of bare or carpeted floor."

Can anyone help me decipher what this means in real world use? What exactly is transpiring when you set a 100lb+ loaded equipment rack on top of these?

How are these different/better than a standard footer/disc such as these:

https://www.crutchfield.com/S-BfS7IrIgisl/p_961DISCS4/Solidsteel-S-Series-Discs-Set-of-4-discs.html

g961DiSCS4-F.jpg


In terms of preventing vibration energy from footfalls from entering the equipment rack, I'm not sure the Herbie's footers are doing much of anything. If I open the lid to my Technics 1200 TT and walk around or lightly let my heels fall to the floor, I see the lid bouncing and undulating as it's clearly being affected by the vibrations.

If the goal is to "decouple" the rack from the floor, it doesn't seem that it's entirely effective in my case. Perhaps it's not actually the best footer for my situation?

So, let's talk footers. Calling all engineers @kharp1 @F1nut @verb
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Comments

  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 40,385
    The purpose of spikes on speakers is to couple not decouple, so I would not use the Herbie device on speakers. You do not want your speakers to float. I think that would apply the racks as well.



    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,724
    edited May 8
    There seems to be an awful lot of marketing hype/wishwash to wade through in terms of what couples, and what decouples. Like every manufacturer has their own idea or implementation.

    And further complicating things, is when you might want something to couple and when you want it decoupled.

    In terms of a suspended hardwood floor and preventing vibrations from footfalls from entering a heavy equipment rack, is there any finite and established means to accomplish this?
    F1nut wrote: »
    The purpose of spikes on speakers is to couple not decouple, so I would not use the Herbie device on speakers. You do not want your speakers to float. I think that would apply the racks as well.

    Got Dayens?
  • verbverb Posts: 3,351
    Agree with Jesse. The soft pads would seem to negate the effect of spikes.

    The larger footer discs would distribute the mass of the rack over a larger surface area, but again the purpose of the spike is to affect a point load to the floor. So the smaller diameter discs are better, closer in size to a point, and still protecting the floor.

    IMHO, of course! :smile:
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  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 40,385
    If your floor has that much spring in it, it wasn't built properly.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,724
    edited May 8
    According to public record the structure was built in 1904. I'm sure the floors were re-done since then, but the floor joists might be the originals.

    Edit: It also says "Year Renovated: 1927"
    F1nut wrote: »
    If your floor has that much spring in it, it wasn't built properly.

    Got Dayens?
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,724
    I ran this situation by my sales rep and he had an insightful reply that I figured I'd share here:

    "Foot fall is basically about the same magnitude and frequency as an earthquake, just with the volume turned down. It's very hard to completely eliminate footfall, because you have an enormous amount of pressure (your body weight) on a long cantilever (the loose board) and as the man said "give me a lever long enough and I can move the world".

    So, to put this another way, you have a loose floor board problem and this is why the rack moves when you push on it, it's not sitting on a rock-solid surface. In listening, you're unlikely to hear it, but when the frequency gets down into the infrasonic (sub-10Hz), yup, it'll move the rack. However, that's most likely not audible.

    Now, what the Herbies is doing is eliminating a ton of vibration but a lot of it is going to be at frequencies that you can't see. For instance, if you were to watch your tweeter, you'd never see it move. Doesn't mean it's not vibrating, but the excursion simply isn't great enough for your eye's acuity to catch it. As the frequency goes down, the movement required from the driver to create motion in the air goes up, so you CAN see the woofer moving... at certain frequencies. If you had a 3-way speaker with a dedicated midrange, you'd have to glue a mirror to the driver and shine a laser at it (reflecting towards a wall) to sufficiently magnify the movement in order to see it. However, you'd have no problems hearing the vibration that miniscule movement is creating.

    So, going back to the question of "In terms of a suspended hardwood floor and preventing vibrations from footfalls from entering a heavy equipment rack, is there any finite and established means to accomplish this?" Answer is "Yes", but you're not going to like the answers. Basically, they all center on, "Stop the floorboards from flexing." One way is to figure out which floorboards are moving and "lock" them in place using nails and metal wedges. There are tons of videos on YouTube about this, ask me how I know...Unfortunately, floor boards have a tendency to undulate over their length, so you need to not only fix the floorboards at the rack's location, but also out in the room anywhere they move. The second option (if the joists are flimsy) is to reinforce them from below using "floor jacks" which just like the automobile versions you crank up until they make contact with the joists and then continue cranking until the joist stops moving.

    I know, this is all super helpful and you're so glad I'm writing all this out, but hang on, because I've got more salty lemon juice for the paper cut. The third option is to create a "super structure" that isolates the rack from the floor. This can be done by making a low, wide box and filling it with sand. Obviously, without some moisture protection this will destroy the floor's finish, so put some thought into it, but basically what you're doing is building up the mass that the rack is sitting on so it becomes too heavy to be moved by the floor joists flexing. I've also had guys cut holes in their floor and use poured concrete to build up a column from their basement for a rock solid platform.

    So, all of this was very informative, but it still doesn't answer the question of what to do! The first thing to remember is that when you're pushing the rack, that's a very low frequency at a fairly high amplitude; something that doesn't naturally occur in nature or in music... except earthquakes. The Herbies feet are actually "eating" a ton of micro-vibrations and probably a good chunk of larger vibrations, but they're not going to be able to stop an earthquake.

    As for coupling and decoupling etc? It's really about, what are you trying to do. There's no one absolute answer, just what answer works for you! That unfortunately, is the unvarnished truth.

    Let me know when we can talk, because this is the "tip of the iceberg"..."
    Got Dayens?
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 40,385
    The purpose of your rack on spikes is to channel vibrations from the rack and things on the rack to the floor. Using the Herbie feet goes against that purpose. As for the foot falls, I take it you sit down while listening, so unless you're dancing around or weigh 300 lbs. and can't walk softly it should be of zero concern.

    My last word on the subject, stop over thinking every damn thing!!!
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


  • txcoastal1txcoastal1 Posts: 9,902
    When using sealed speakers on a sub floor had better sound decoupling

    Same speakers sounded better coupling when I moved them downstairs on a concrete foundation

    Rooms were directly above each other and same size and dimensions
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  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,724
    I'm 6'1" 185lbs and yes I generally remain stationary while listening. However my wife walks in/out and past the room while I'm listening, and she will start dancing if the music moves her, which is almost always.

    I might try ordering the Solidsteel discs and trying both the Herbie's and the Solidsteel to see if I can detect any aural and/or stability differences.

    I'm going to politely disagree with your assessment that I'm "over thinking everything". This is an audio forum and I'm here to discuss any and all intricacies of our hobby. I'm an observant and detail oriented individual, and I don't think being aware and interested in one's surroundings and everything in them means that I'm "over thinking".
    F1nut wrote: »
    The purpose of your rack on spikes is to channel vibrations from the rack and things on the rack to the floor. Using the Herbie feet goes against that purpose. As for the foot falls, I take it you sit down while listening, so unless you're dancing around or weigh 300 lbs. and can't walk softly it should be of zero concern.

    My last word on the subject, stop over thinking every damn thing!!!

    Got Dayens?
  • lightman1lightman1 Posts: 9,862
    Hey Drew...... Stop analyzing specs and white papers. Just give it a whack and decide for yourself.

    Symbiosis is not a given. It is heard by only you.
  • txcoastal1txcoastal1 Posts: 9,902
    To much twerk :D :D :D

    That's why we old skool audiophiles listen to a mellower music ;)
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  • EndersShadowEndersShadow Posts: 15,934
    ^If my girls and I are listening to music and we aren't dancing..... then it aint good music :smiley:

    We chase the music, sometimes literally :grin:
    "....not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." William Bruce Cameron, Informal Sociology: A Casual Introduction to Sociological Thinking (1963)
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,724
    I didn't mention her weight or height. I don't see what the issue is.

    Whether it would be my wife or any human being dancing or walking past the area, it would most likely cause the same footfalls and vibrational energy to enter the aging suspended hardwood floor.
    Hermitism wrote: »
    Man, you better hope your wife never sees what you wrote. I can hear it now..."Did you just call me fat on an audio forum??? Do you think I'm so big that I shake the floor??? You're sleeping on the couch tonight!"

    You better edit that while you still can! Haha!

    Got Dayens?
  • lightman1lightman1 Posts: 9,862
    ^If my girls and I are listening to music and we aren't dancing..... then it aint good music :smiley:

    We chase the music, sometimes literally :grin:

    And I've seen them cut a rug when the music starts! It's truly a heartwarming sight to see.
  • txcoastal1txcoastal1 Posts: 9,902
    BOOM BOOM BOOM

    Was it the music or ... :p :p :p
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  • lightman1lightman1 Posts: 9,862
    Hermitism wrote: »
    Clipdat wrote: »
    I'm 6'1" 185lbs and yes I generally remain stationary while listening. However my wife walks in/out and past the room while I'm listening, and she will start dancing if the music moves her, which is almost always.
    Man, you better hope your wife never sees what you wrote. I can hear it now..."Did you just call me fat on an audio forum??? Do you think I'm so big that I shake the floor??? You're sleeping on the couch tonight!"

    You better edit that while you still can! Haha!

    Aayyyy!! Nothing wrong with a voluptuous girl shaking the goods when the music hits. ;)
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,724
    Been there, done that. All of it.

    Married going on 8 years now, together for 13 total. I think I've got it figured out at this point.
    Got Dayens?
  • lightman1lightman1 Posts: 9,862
    Clipdat wrote: »
    Been there, done that. All of it.

    Married going on 8 years now, together for 13 total. I think I've got it figured out at this point.

    Is she curvy? ;)
  • dolbyddolbyd Posts: 269
    Order the Solid Steel discs and see where it leads. This hobby is always a learning opportunity for sure.
    The forum is definitely the place for us to see and help figure out what works for each of our situations.
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  • Tony MTony M Posts: 6,090
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^That there is funny!
    Most people just listen to music and watch movies. I EXPERIENCE them.
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,724
    The Solidsteel footers have been ordered.

    I experimented with placing the rack in my other room that has cheap/fake synthetic (non stone) tile flooring, and letting the spikes touch it directly. It was noticeably more stable on this flooring surface.

    I took it back into the hardwood floor room and let the spikes touch the wood directly (it poked small holes into the wood, oh well) and it also seemed more stable this way, but not as much as on the tile floor. But still an improvement.

    Then I put it back on the Herbie's footers and the wobble/flex was much more apparent. If I crouch down and look closely at the hard rubber surrounding the steel cup, and then push/pull on the rack, I can see the rubber flexing/moving.

    I'm just not seeing a huge advantage to the Herbie's footers having this much flex to them, especially since they don't seem to prevent vibrational energy from footfalls from entering the rack.

    I'll update and post again once the Solidsteel discs arrive and I try them out, I'm optimistic that they will effectively "couple" the rack to the floor, and increase stability/rigidity.
    dolbyd wrote: »
    Order the Solid Steel discs and see where it leads. This hobby is always a learning opportunity for sure.
    The forum is definitely the place for us to see and help figure out what works for each of our situations.

    Got Dayens?
  • dolbyddolbyd Posts: 269
    Sounds like the Herbie footers are out. Hopefully the Soildsteel ends your search.
    I am still planning to order that stand. Thanks for the update and legwork on what is best for it.
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  • marvda1marvda1 Posts: 3,184
    did you receive the solidsteel footers ? updates?
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  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,724
    Indeed, I got the footers and put them in place of the others. In my opinion, they seem to have increased the stability and rigidity of the rack. Things are feeling extra solid now with little to no flex. I regret wasting the $144 on the Herbie's footers, should've just went with the $50 Solidsteel footers in the first place. Oh well, live and learn I guess.

    One thing that was different about the Solidsteel footers is that there was a bigger "flat spot" if you will at the bottom of the disc. The Herbie's were like a "V" and these are more like this: "\/" - there's just a little more of a horizontal flat area at the bottom of the disc. Not really a problem, but worth mentioning, as it means that there's some play when you're in the process of leveling the rack. If you have one corner that's not level, and it's not making full downward contact, the disc can move slightly. In my case since I couldn't see the right rear corner where this was happening, I had to use my best guess to try to position the disc so that the spike was centered in it.

    I tested out my system for the first time tonight on the Solidsteel rack and everything sounded pretty good. It's impossible for me to judge the performance of the rack itself, as there are also new RCA cables in the mix, and the fact that the gear has been powered off and unplugged for quite a while. Things are going to need time to settle back in I think.

    However, and @halo I know we were discussing this, I tried out a few records on my Technics SL1200 mk2 sitting on the top shelf and all seems well. I put a record on and then I walked around, even dropped my heels near the rack a few times, and had my wife walk up and down the hall and into the room, and I didn't notice any needle skips or audible issues as a result of the footfalls. Nice!

    So, it seems like coupling the rack to the floor was the way to go.
    marvda1 wrote: »
    did you receive the solidsteel footers ? updates?

    Got Dayens?
  • halohalo Posts: 4,374
    Clipdat wrote: »
    However, and @halo I know we were discussing this, I tried out a few records on my Technics SL1200 mk2 sitting on the top shelf and all seems well. I put a record on and then I walked around, even dropped my heels near the rack a few times, and had my wife walk up and down the hall and into the room, and I didn't notice any needle skips or audible issues as a result of the footfalls. Nice!

    So, it seems like coupling the rack to the floor was the way to go.

    I'm glad you found a solution @Clipdat

    I too stumbled across a way to keep the needle from skipping when the urge to dance strikes my better half. I was using just 4 Vibrapods #2, one under each foot of the turntable. They were working OK but they weren't isolating the turntable the way I had hoped they would.

    Then I remembered that I had some Isolate it! 50 Durometer Sorbothane pads as well that I wasn't using. The Sorbothane pads are pretty small and fit nicely into the opening on the top of the Vibrapods so, now, the Vibrapod is making contact with the shelf itself and the Sorbothane pad is making contact with the feet of the turntable as it is sandwiched in between the Vibrapod and the foot of the turntable.

    I can knock my hand or drop my fist with a lot of force, directly on the rack in front of the turntable, and there's no skipping of the needle. Super inexpensive solution IMHO.
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