Author Topic: DIY roller blocks??  (Read 2073 times)

Offline Nick B

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DIY roller blocks??
« on: March 17, 2021, 11:29:13 PM »
I saw a featured system at Agon and the owner used various footers including Eden Sound Terra Stone bearings and a guy who posted a comment said that he could elicit quite a change by simply changing the bearing materials on diy roller blocks. His wife could easily note the improvement.

What do diy roller blocks look like? Anyone tried this and used different materials? My setup is sounding so nice nowadays that isolation tweaks are absolutely worth a try. My rack is a Pangea, which is nicely built and quite sturdy. I see videos of them being used at shows. The shelves, however, are not isolated from each other.

I was looking at some ISO Gaiaís, but theyíre a little pricey and I have 5 components that might benefit from resonance control. Was also at Herbieís. Anyone used any of his stuff?

Would appreciate any thoughts/experiences.

Nick
« Last Edit: March 17, 2021, 11:47:39 PM by Nick B »
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Offline rollo

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Re: DIY roller blocks??
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2021, 08:23:47 AM »
   Lots of footers out there with different approaches. All sound different. The surface below contributes to choice of footer to use. Can get complicated. So first question what surface will the footers sit on ? Wood ? MDF shelf ?
  I have Pon-Tunes, Herbies, Mad Scientist, Mapleshade, Cardas wood blocks and some DIY . Do not any as the rack used made them moot. If I do install any the sound changes for the OK or worse not wow factor.
   Price as well is a factor. A good trick is to remove the top cover plates from your gear. Check that out first.


charles
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Offline Nick B

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Re: DIY roller blocks??
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2021, 08:46:49 AM »
Charles,
Iím virtually certain itís made of mdf and Iíll try and confirm.
Nick
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Offline rollo

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Re: DIY roller blocks??
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2021, 12:06:19 PM »
Charles,
Iím virtually certain itís made of mdf and Iíll try and confirm.
Nick

  OK. A good rule of thumb is to use similar but dissimilar materials to contact each other. So a wood footer hard wood may be good. The Cardas are cheap enough to try. Goal is either to drain vibrations or de-couple. De-coulping the rack from floor is highly recommended. Same for TT and transport. Tubed gear drain into a plinth preferably wood. De-couple plinth from rack. There ya go in a nutshell.

charles
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Offline Nick B

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Re: DIY roller blocks??
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2021, 10:41:38 PM »
Charles,
Iím virtually certain itís made of mdf and Iíll try and confirm.
Nick

  OK. A good rule of thumb is to use similar but dissimilar materials to contact each other. So a wood footer hard wood may be good. The Cardas are cheap enough to try. Goal is either to drain vibrations or de-couple. De-coulping the rack from floor is highly recommended. Same for TT and transport. Tubed gear drain into a plinth preferably wood. De-couple plinth from rack. There ya go in a nutshell.

charles

Thanks, Charles. Looks like lots of trial and error coming up. The stand has spikes with protective cups for the engineered wood flooring.
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Offline BobM

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Re: DIY roller blocks??
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2021, 05:32:40 AM »
I made them many years ago. I took some scrap wood I had lying around, oak floorboards. I cut some squares and drilled a largish hole in the middle. I cut the handles off of some soup spoons I picked up at the crack house and epoxied the spoon pieces onto the blocks, in the drilled holes so they set in better. Then I found some largish (@ 1/3" diameter) metal balls online, I don't remember where (sorry) and put 4 of them under my CD player. I did try it with a cup on top and a cup on the bottom but that didn't seem to be any better than just a cup on the bottom and the CD player riding on the ball, as long as the bottom of the CD player was even.

Al also tried large marbles, but the steel ball bearings worked better. I heard that ceramic ball bearings are harder still and would be better yet, but I didn't try that.

What I did find is that these DIY rollerballs worked best on equipment with a mechanism (CD player) and also under power supplies. Definitely not as good on tubes as squishy things.

I also found some metal oval "pucks" somewhere in the past. I bought a set in aluminum and another in brass. These are about 1" diameter and have 2 convex sides, so they wobble like a roller ball when set down. The good part about these is they don't need any cup or spoon. IMO they worked as well as the DIY roller blocks and the brass was definitely better than they aluminum sound wise.

Good luck.

Good luck.
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Offline Nick B

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Re: DIY roller blocks??
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2021, 10:12:09 AM »
I made them many years ago. I took some scrap wood I had lying around, oak floorboards. I cut some squares and drilled a largish hole in the middle. I cut the handles off of some soup spoons I picked up at the crack house and epoxied the spoon pieces onto the blocks, in the drilled holes so they set in better. Then I found some largish (@ 1/3" diameter) metal balls online, I don't remember where (sorry) and put 4 of them under my CD player. I did try it with a cup on top and a cup on the bottom but that didn't seem to be any better than just a cup on the bottom and the CD player riding on the ball, as long as the bottom of the CD player was even.

Al also tried large marbles, but the steel ball bearings worked better. I heard that ceramic ball bearings are harder still and would be better yet, but I didn't try that.

What I did find is that these DIY rollerballs worked best on equipment with a mechanism (CD player) and also under power supplies. Definitely not as good on tubes as squishy things.

I also found some metal oval "pucks" somewhere in the past. I bought a set in aluminum and another in brass. These are about 1" diameter and have 2 convex sides, so they wobble like a roller ball when set down. The good part about these is they don't need any cup or spoon. IMO they worked as well as the DIY roller blocks and the brass was definitely better than they aluminum sound wise.

Good luck.

Good luck.

Thanks, Bob. This is a little bit more what I was looking for....a ďhow toĒ... guide. Iím fine having spent money on my components, cabling and AC power line conditioning. But I canít quite accept spending a huge amount of 💰 on some of these vibration control devices
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Offline rollo

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Re: DIY roller blocks??
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2021, 01:36:30 PM »
  Nick the discs under the spike are for not damaging floor nothing else. Look at Herbies Decoulpers not cheap however very affective.


charles
contact me  at rollo14@verizon.net or visit us on Facebook
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Offline Nick B

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Re: DIY roller blocks??
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2021, 04:02:37 PM »
  Nick the discs under the spike are for not damaging floor nothing else. Look at Herbies Decoulpers not cheap however very affective.


charles

OK, Charles. Looking at Herbieís
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Offline Jack

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Re: DIY roller blocks??
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2021, 05:50:30 PM »
Nick

Depending on the weight of the individual components you can use the Iso Acoustics Mini Pucks under them.  A pack of eight is $99 from Amazon, AA and Crutchfield.  For the Carrera's you would need five per speaker but from looking at your gear you should be fine with either three or four under each.  The Tenderfoot and Soft Fat Dots from Herbies also work great under components and speakers. 

This is an alternative to the Rollerblock brand for about a tenth of the price and the set I have seem to work the same as the set of "real" Rollerblock Jr.'s I have.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/4PCS-Amplifier-Isolation-Stand-Feet-Speaker-Spikes-Pads-CD-Player-Turntable-Mats/274286991068?hash=item3fdcc756dc:g:yxoAAOSwGVVeVyUS
« Last Edit: March 19, 2021, 06:00:05 PM by Jack »
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Offline Nick B

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Re: DIY roller blocks??
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2021, 11:43:32 PM »
Nick

Depending on the weight of the individual components you can use the Iso Acoustics Mini Pucks under them.  A pack of eight is $99 from Amazon, AA and Crutchfield.  For the Carrera's you would need five per speaker but from looking at your gear you should be fine with either three or four under each.  The Tenderfoot and Soft Fat Dots from Herbies also work great under components and speakers. 

This is an alternative to the Rollerblock brand for about a tenth of the price and the set I have seem to work the same as the set of "real" Rollerblock Jr.'s I have.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/4PCS-Amplifier-Isolation-Stand-Feet-Speaker-Spikes-Pads-CD-Player-Turntable-Mats/274286991068?hash=item3fdcc756dc:g:yxoAAOSwGVVeVyUS

Jack,

None of my components are very heavy. The Audio Hungary pre and the AVA likely weigh about the same. Thanks for the info and I will check it all out. Iíve been researching a bit and came across tungsten vibration devices. Very pricey, but then I thought about diy and found tungsten powder and tungsten bearings. Donít know if I could put it all together, but an intriguing thought as it only involves mechanical skills rather than electronic ones.

Nick
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Offline malloy

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Re: DIY roller blocks??
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2021, 12:11:43 AM »
Charles,
Iím virtually certain itís made of mdf and Iíll try and confirm.
Nick

Hi Nick,

I think we have the same rack. Definitely MDF.  And you are right that the shelves aren't really isolated from each other other than a thin grommet type of rubber material on the posts, at least one of the levels has it on mine. That's why I used ot love the Lovan racks that had the spikes between levels. Those seemed to do something more.

Had some success with vibrapods under my old cd player before as well. The only problem was the oily residue the pods left on the shelf and the fact that they seem to lose their springiness after some time.  Been wanting to try Iso Acoustics that Jack suggested as well.

Paul




Offline Nick B

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Re: DIY roller blocks??
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2021, 12:36:21 AM »
Charles,
Iím virtually certain itís made of mdf and Iíll try and confirm.
Nick

Hi Nick,

I think we have the same rack. Definitely MDF.  And you are right that the shelves aren't really isolated from each other other than a thin grommet type of rubber material on the posts, at least one of the levels has it on mine. That's why I used ot love the Lovan racks that had the spikes between levels. Those seemed to do something more.

Had some success with vibrapods under my old cd player before as well. The only problem was the oily residue the pods left on the shelf and the fact that they seem to lose their springiness after some time.  Been wanting to try Iso Acoustics that Jack suggested as well.

Paul

Hey Paul,

Iíd be fine to get a better rack....maybe $600...but not sure if itíll provide enough improvement as I want to use isolation under each component anyway. This is all a brave new world for me anyway. At least my Pangea is very solid...looks good too. Sure donít want any residue left on a shelf from goopy stuff. Iíve been thinking about ISOs and specifically the Gaiaís for a while and Iím sure a couple of guys here have liked them. Jackís suggestions have panned out for me in the past, so maybe worth a try and AA has my customer info already. Iím darn curious how much more performance I can squeeze out of this system...

Nick
« Last Edit: March 20, 2021, 12:37:56 AM by Nick B »
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Offline malloy

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Re: DIY roller blocks??
« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2021, 01:00:25 AM »
Wow! $600!! Now you're talking! I'm curious as well how much more sound you can coax out with better racks and isolation. Much as I'd like to spend more than a few hundred on a rack, I can't justify it if it will end up costing more than the amp placed on it.  :)

I just saw these: https://www.futureshop.co.uk/atacama-evoque-eco-special-edition-hifi-rack

I wonder how much these will end up after shipping across the pond? Anyway, keep us posted!

Paul

Offline Nick B

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Re: DIY roller blocks??
« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2021, 01:46:56 AM »
Wow! $600!! Now you're talking! I'm curious as well how much more sound you can coax out with better racks and isolation. Much as I'd like to spend more than a few hundred on a rack, I can't justify it if it will end up costing more than the amp placed on it.  :)

I just saw these: https://www.futureshop.co.uk/atacama-evoque-eco-special-edition-hifi-rack

I wonder how much these will end up after shipping across the pond? Anyway, keep us posted!

Paul

The atacama, especially in dark bamboo, with 4 shelves run about $1,386 USD  excluding shipping...not for the faint of heart. Iíd sure like to hear what a rack like that and individually isolated components can sound like. Will indeed keep you posted, Paul.

Oops, itís very late again. Darned AVA amp  :lol:
Van Alstine SET 120 Control Amp
Audio Hungary APR 204 preamp
Fritz Carrera 7 BE speakers
Border Patrol SEi dac
Auralic Aries Mini & Mojo Audio lps
Audio Envy cables
Roon, Tidal, Qobuz
PI Audio UberBUSS