Impact of Vibration on Audio System Performance
Eliminating vibration properly in audio systems requires insight and consideration of several factors. This section discusses a number of these factors and how to significantly reduce the harmful effects of vibration on audio system performance. It also covers the overall design philosophy of the products developed by Harmonic Resolution Systems (HRS) to provide you with uncompromising audio system performance.
Proper isolation and resonance control of high-end audio systems produces significant rewards with regard to overall performance and musicality. The term, audio, will be used throughout this section with the understanding that it applies to either an audio system or audio/video system.
In audio systems, source vibration comes from multiple paths, in all axes, and over a very broad frequency range. To significantly reduce the level of harmful vibration experienced by audio components, one must take into account various factors.
A good isolation system cannot be sensitive to the factors typically experienced by the end component. It should perform well in all environments that are commonly experienced by the end user, and it should be simple to set up and maintain at peak performance. It will reduce vibration across the entire spectrum of input frequencies and from all sources.
Use of a good isolation system provides the listener with many rewards. It improves every aspect of system performance, some of which include:
- Drop in the noise floor reveals a new level of inner detail
- Eliminates glare in digital signal quality without sacrificing resolution
- Improves bass response and bass resolution of amplifiers
- Larger soundstage with increased space between instruments
- Increases detail and resolution of analog source
- Significant increases in system musicality and performance veracity
There are two primary sources of vibration that can significantly degrade the performance of audio systems. The first is structure-borne vibration. The sources of these vibrations often originate from loudspeakers and miscellaneous external disturbances. The energy from these sources is either transmitted through adjacent structures to your audio equipment or is inherent within the design and construction of the component itself. The vibrational energy is modified as it travels from the source to various sensitive components and circuits within your system. The vibration can even be amplified when the stiffness of the supporting structure or the component itself has a natural frequency near the disturbing frequency. The source vibration is often of very broad frequency content, the likelihood of matching the natural frequency of a common support structure or component is highly probable.
The second source of vibration that can significantly degrade the performance of audio systems is air-borne vibration (sound). The source of this vibration is often loudspeakers, humans, and other vibrating devices within audible reach of the system. Here again, the frequency range is very broad and complex. This vibration has two different paths to your audio system. It travels from the source through the air and directly contacts the outer skin of the audio component. It also travels to all of the structures used to support your audio equipment. A portion of this air-borne energy is translated back into mechanical vibration when it contacts the audio equipment and support structure.
Harmonic Resolution Systems (HRS) has developed a series of industry leading isolation and resonance control products to significantly reduce structure-borne and air-borne vibration over the entire frequency range of any audio system. The products developed by HRS are designed such that a significant improvement in audio equipment performance is achieved regardless of where you choose to put your audio component. The reduction of harmful vibration is also consistently achieved with a wide range of audio component designs and construction techniques.
The HRS Isolation Base minimizes input vibration, provides significant levels of isolation, and controls residual energy. The isolation system employs optimized geometry, mass, impedance, and a proprietary elastomer formulation developed by HRS to eliminate harmful vibration across the audio spectrum.
The HRS Isolation Base is designed to directly support your source, pre-amplifier, and amplification components. The HRS Isolation Base will provide significant performance benefits regardless of your desired placement. The HRS Isolation Base is designed to perform in various environments such as a floor, existing audio system rack, or on standard furniture.
The HRS Nimbus system provides bottom panel resonance control reducing chassis noise, converting it to heat. The Nimbus employs impedance and a proprietary elastomer formulation developed by HRS to maximize energy dissipation. It can be used alone or in conjunction with the isolation base. The Nimbus coupler was designed to be in direct contact with the bottom panel chassis of an electronic component.
The HRS damping plates provide top panel resonance control, reducing chassis nois converting it to heat. The damping plate system employs mass, stiffness, and a proprietary elastomer formulation developed by HRS.
The HRS Analog Disk significantly reduces the negative impact of air-borne and structure-borne vibration on your turntable performance. The Analog Disk should be placed directly on the record with the soft side (a custom formulated elastomer) in contact with the record label and turntable spindle. The HRS Analog Disk is produced with a black anodized aluminum finish.
The HRS design philosophy is based on a system approach but uses discrete elements that can be selected individually by our customers to best suit their needs and preferences. Each HRS component is carefully developed to provide an individual performance benefit. It is also designed to work in harmony with all other HRS products. The HRS system approach allows you to pick and choose products that will individually provide significant improvements to your system, but together, will provide a true reference level performance.
HRS Development Approach
The sound engineering principles of HRS products are based on decades of engineering and audio system experience. The founder and chief engineer of HRS is a mechanical engineer and holds a number of US and foreign patents related to shock and vibration isolation products. Harmonic Resolution Systems development philosophy combines this fundamental engineering experience with audio system development expertise. Listening tests are completed at every stage in the product development process. Many different solid-state and tube-based components are used to verify and direct the product development process. HRS uses extensive listening tests to verify engineering assumptions, design, and material development efforts. The listening tests are also done on a wide range of surfaces and structures to ensure that our products are insensitive to the normal variations experienced by our customers.
Whether you have a two-channel tube audio system with amplifiers sitting on a carpeted floor or a solid-state home theater system residing on a metallic shelf, you will find the improvement achieved from using HRS products to be immediately noticeable. Individually, HRS products will produce a significant improvement in audio signal quality. Used collectively as a complete isolation system, the changes will likely redefine what you thought was possible.
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