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Zanden's audio weapon - vibration absorber
The recent audio excitement stemmed from last AE's annual hi-fi show in July is long gone and all the excitement that you had experienced aurally is now a distant memory for most of the attendants. Not for me, whenever I listen to a good sounding system, I memorise it and try my best effort to create or recreate that aural sensation in my home system - the majority of you would think I am nuts as how can one achieve this without changing/upgrading your hi-fi components ??? !!!
The proof of the pudding is in the eating as even through I have not changed my gear for many odd years, audio folks who visit me once a year or there about always comment the sound they hear on present visit is better then the previous year. As I am constantly constraint by a very tight hi-fi expenditure budget which does not allow me to replace any of my existing equipment, all I can do is to tweak my room acoustics to achieve a different and hopefully, better sound. I was highly motivated recently when my hi-fi mentor sent me this piece of advice - "when I don't have things some people have, I enjoy life as it is and improvise as best as I can do".
Action replay, I was asked to play a few LPs in the big room on Sunday of last AE show in HKCC. Because I was sitting in the front row, the reflection of sound from the windows to my right side (I call this window of noise instead of window of opportunity) distracted my listening immensely but I had brought with me the sound treatment to tackle 'horizontal' noise and used my hand to feel the area where the vibration was most pronounced, then I stuck the wooden puck to the glass, lo and behold, the sound that caused discomfort to my right ear reduced by a huge margin and sound became more natural and with slightly better bass definition. When I went home, I spent a couple of days treating all the window panels on the right side of my speakers and afterwards, the soundstage became more real with better sound imaging, to my surprise, sound volume from the right speaker (horn) was 1-2 dB louder, I needed to push the horn against the back wall by 2 mm to achieve a perfectly balanced sound.
Now to the topic I am writing today on sound vibration control. I have stopped using audio accessories to tackle vertical vibration, this I mean placing gadget/support underneath a piece of audio equipment because after using countless numbers of accessories all these years i.e. from very cheap tip toes to Goldmund cones, Symposium blocks with exotic ball bearings to Shun Mook etc etc, I came to my conclusion it is best to leave components resting on hi-fi stand.
This year, Yamada-san of Zanden, on his last visit to H.K. in July, came to my home and said he had brought what he called 'audio weapon' in a small box for me. After listening to my system initially for an hour, I asked him what this audio weapon is, he then opened his box and showed me Zanden's latest product - vibration absorbers which are basically rubber base/mat, their looks really do not excite me as well as other audiophiles who are using some expensive footers. Although I have tried many rubber feet or hybrids in the past and am not interested in them, I realise I am currently using Zanden's special rubber mat on my turntable platter which has made a huge sound improvement ( I am sure many of you fellow users out there concur too), so I quickly cast my prejudice aside.