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Vibration control in Audio

Resonant vibrations jeopardize the audio signal at every point along the audio chain.

Our approach is radically different from any other and works like a dream. Here’s how:

We float speakers on dampened low pass filters – the engineers’ choice – freeing the music from the constraints of a speaker and the room.

Only by comprehensively decoupling the equipment from the room can you fully realize the potential of your home audio

Testimonials

What Our Customers Have to Say.

NYC/TOWNSHEND ROCK 7/WES BENDER / 2006

JBL EVEREST DD67000 TOWER/CUSTOM BUILT PODIUM

Our Isolation Odyssey 1980-2024

 Townshend Audio, a British company dedicated to providing high-end audio equipment and accessories for discerning music lovers worldwide. 

Founded by Max Townshend in 1975, our company emerged from a deep passion for achieving the most realistic audio playback possible. Max’s relentless pursuit of perfection led to the creation of groundbreaking products that addressed the challenges of unwanted vibrations in HiFi systems, ultimately enhancing the overall sonic experience.

One of our early triumphs was the development of the front-end damping ‘Trough’ for The Rock Turntables. By utilizing a specially designed trough filled with silicone fluid, we maximized sound quality and minimized disturbances caused by external vibrations. This pioneering approach laid the foundation for our journey towards uncompromising audio excellence.

In the late seventies, Max Townshend introduced the use of ‘polymer’ squash balls as footers under the chassis of audio equipment. This innovative technique effectively reduced unwanted jitter and vibrations, further enhancing the fidelity of musical playback. These early initiatives showcased Max’s dedication to addressing vibration-related issues in audio systems.

Building upon our rich heritage, we introduced the revolutionary ‘Seismic Sinks’ in the late 80s. These air bladder supports quickly gained recognition and continue to be endorsed by many audio enthusiasts today. Engineered to isolate equipment from external vibrations and provide stability to the system, Seismic Sinks have become synonymous with exceptional performance and reliable vibration control.

Continuing our pursuit of excellence, in the early 2000s, Townshend Audio delved into the realm of vibration isolation with the introduction of ‘Bungy’ cords. These cords initially exhibited remarkable vibration isolation capabilities. However, as with all polymer-based materials, the Bungy cords faced the challenge of degradation over time, leading to a loss in their bounce and vibration-isolating qualities. This experience shed light on the importance of considering the longevity and durability of vibration isolation solutions.

At Townshend Audio, we recognize the significance of ongoing research and development in this field. We continuously strive to innovate and provide long-lasting solutions that effectively minimize unwanted vibrations in audio systems. By combining our deep understanding of acoustic principles with cutting-edge engineering, we ensure that our products deliver uncompromised performance for years to come.

When you choose Townshend Audio, you invest in the finest audio equipment and accessories meticulously crafted to transform your listening experience. Join us on this remarkable journey as we redefine sound reproduction, one innovation at a time. 

Robert E Green The Absolute Sound 2021 Awards

Decades ago, Townshend Audio introduced a vinyl playback system (the Rock Reference, Issue 70), which, with design input from Jack Dinsdale and John Bugge at Cranfield Institute of Technology, included a way to damp the tonearm at the cartridge end via a trough of damping fluid that swung out over the record being played.

This was one of those ideas that was so clearly good that one wonders how other people missed it. One wonders even more how, with the idea revealed, they kept on missing it. This is just the right way to do it for vinyl playback. The trough can be used with ’arms in general on other turntables—in effect, anywhere. Combine the trough with a Morch DP8 (with its uniquely correct moment of inertia behavior) and/or with one of the remarkable Pear Audio turntables or, say, with the Nakamichi TX1000 to solve the off-center problem, and one is well on one’s way to realizing at last the true possibilities of vinyl playback.

Why the trough has not become universal is, indeed, an ongoing mystery, because this thing works.

pioneers of vibrational isolation in audio science 

Townshend has optimised a solution that employs a low pass mechanical filter, comprising mass, compliance and proportional damping, which isolates from 3.5Hz and up in all three planes, up/down, left/right and back/forth.

A movement-sensitive, air-resistance damper rapidly dissipates low frequency oscillation caused by disturbing the suspended equipment.

Townshend incorporates the Seismic Load Cell as the core element within the Seismic Vibration Isolation range designed to optimise all Hi-Fi components

The answer is to isolate the whole Hi-Fi system with low pass damped mechanical filters. Such filters pass DC (they hold the equipment up against gravity) and some low frequencies, then progressively attenuate the troublesome higher frequencies creating perfect sound isolation solutions for vibration control

Vibration dampening for audio equipment

Jack's Theory of More Stuff

Vibration isolation in audio is a subject surrounded in mystery half truths and any number of wild theories. As an engineering exercise, the explanation is quite straight foreword and may be explained by the “Theory of more Stuff”. Take a surface, be it the floor or a table, on which your hi fi component is placed and it is desired to reduce the vibration from the support to the equipment. The way this is done is to put “some stuff” between the equipment and the supporting surface. There are three possible outcomes.
  • The vibration in the equipment is more than the vibration in the support. If this were the case; then the energy crisis would have been solved! Something for nothing! More out than went in! Free power forever! Sorry, not possible.
  • The vibration in the supported equipment will be the same as in the case of no stuff. The chances of this are one in a million because something has been changed, therefore, the only possibility is that:
  • The vibration in the equipment is less than the vibration in the support, which, indeed, is the case.

There are many products out there that do in fact attenuate vibration. Be it spikes on glass, wood and slate, aluminium spikes in cups, ball bearings in cups, solid plates separated by compliant sheets, lead, Bluetack, sand, marble, concrete, the list is endless. It is also known that multiple combinations of the above produce better results because there is more stuff. Eg. multiple stacked platforms.

The engineering approach is to get the best result in the simplest manner by optimizing the “stuff” and way back about two centuries ago the Victorian engineers came up with the solution…. the spring! The spring may be anything “springy”, from elastic, rubber, coiled steel, straight steel, air-bladders to flexible wooden strips, with the best being the music wire spring.. If it has sufficient spring or compliance, when optimised with an appropriate mass, a mechanical low pass filter is realised.

The ideal is to have the resonant frequency as low as is possible, ideally around 2Hz in both the horizontal and vertical planes and with a damping ratio of about 0.16. This will give an attenuation of about 25dB at 10 Hz increasing at 20dB per decade above. This will ensure excellent isolation for the deleterious audio system vibrations which are from 5Hz to 500Hz.

That's why Max Townshend handpicked the mechanical filter method as the superior solution.

Drawing inspiration from the isolation techniques employed in aviation military communication systems, the Townshend Seismic Isolation family stands as a testament to our founder and chief designer, Max Townshend’s, rich background and expertise.

Max’s journey began after completing his studies in communication engineering when he embarked on his first commission as a communications officer aboard the Lockheed P-2 Neptune antisubmarine aircraft. This experience exposed him to the critical need for effective isolation in demanding environments, where low and slow-flying conditions presented significant challenges. It was through the use of dampened springs, rather than polymers, that the instrumentation was mounted, allowing for successful operations despite the bumpy conditions.

Inspired by this experience, Max recognized the mass-spring solution as the undeniable winner when it comes to achieving complete isolation. This tried-and-true method has long been the preferred choice of engineers grappling with the age-old problem of isolation. With its proven track record and unrivaled effectiveness, it remains the go-to solution for addressing isolation challenges.

At Townshend Audio, we pride ourselves on bringing this expertise to the forefront, offering you a range of Seismic Isolation products that embody the legacy of aviation military communication systems. Experience the pinnacle of isolation technology as we continue to push the boundaries, providing you with uncompromising solutions to age-old problems.

accurate cone displacment for fine musical detail

Microtremors in speakers are seriously problematic as these energy waves travel up through rigid supports, including spikes, through the cabinet and into the speaker driver and magnet plate.
However, the magnet plate is the “launch pad” for your sound, so it should be as “still” as possible, not moving back and forth by one or two microns. One micron may seem infinitesimal, but, for example, at 4,500Hz on a midrange cone at a low level, the cone displacement is about 0.002 microns. This means that, for fine detail in the upper mid-band, the external noise on the driver basket is more than 100 times greater than the signal being reproduced. This huge added noise causes the sound to be “closed in”, dull, flat and uninteresting.

For a comprehensive explanation please read more ‘Earthquakes on hifi”

Undetected by us

Unbeknownst to us, a multitude of disturbances lurk in the background, originating from a diverse array of sources. Remote earthquakes shake the earth, waves crash in distant shores, tidal forces ebb and flow, and winds whisper through trees and buildings. Even the hum of weirs, the pulsations of compressors and pumps, and the bustling traffic contribute to this unseen symphony of disruptions.
In the realm of Hi-Fi systems, where the minutest details of signal information are delicately processed, these disturbances take on a staggering scale. In comparison to the microscopic domain in which Hi-Fi components operate, these disruptions loom large, casting their influence over every aspect of sound quality. They stealthily infiltrate your prized audio setup, subtly impacting the performance of each Hi-Fi component.
While imperceptible to our senses, the consequences of these disturbances cannot be ignored. They introduce distortions, colorations, and interferences that compromise the purity and fidelity of your audio playback. That delicate balance of harmonies and dynamics, painstakingly crafted by musicians and recording engineers, can be marred by the intrusion of these unwanted influences.

Seismic Podium
Where other Isolation systems start at 12Hz our spring-mass system begins at 3Hz well outside the audioband
CONTACT US TODAY
Happy Neighbours at Last
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Happy Neighbours- at last!

Block this noise with Seismic Isolation and experience a huge lift in the sound quality, especially with the resolution of fine detail, even when playing very softly.
For large cone excursions, things are much worse. The vibrational movement in your speaker cabinet causes the whole speaker to behave as a giant “tuning fork” with the floor as the sounding board.
It is often possible to feel the floor vibrate during loud bass passages, particularly on suspended floors. This noise radiates from the floor, adding to the direct sound of your speakers and can often be heard in the adjacent rooms. However, it is inevitably distorted, and unfortunately, this impure sound is directly coupled to your speakers, where it mixes with the wanted sound resulting in over-powerful “fat” bass.
Break the link to the floor with Seismic Isolation and eliminate it.

Added bass kick

There is an inevitable reduction in bass noise when the additional distorted bass is removed, which should not be confused with a drop in accurate bass.
It may be necessary to re-position the speakers closer to the corners of the room to re-balance the sound, but the results are worth the effort.
Rigid coupling is supposed to hold the speaker still to compensate for the cone movement reaction. However, with a very light cone reacting with a heavy cabinet, this movement is minimal and linear according to Newton’s laws of motion. Therefore, the reduction in bass heard when a speaker is isolated is due to the lack of floor “sounding-board” radiation, not the lack of bass output from the speaker.
This is easily demonstrated when isolating a speaker with opposing woofers where all is balanced.
The improvement in sound reproduction is no different from that when conventional forward-facing woofer speakers are adequately isolated.
It is not only speakers that benefit from Seismic Isolation; everything in the replay chain gains.

The Townshend Seismic Isolation add a mere 2cm to the height of a loudspeaker. This is important not just for obvious centre-of-gravity reasons, but because boundary proximity affects low frequency performance, so raising a speaker up too far will make for a leaner bass than originally intended.

Testimonials

What Our Customers Have to Say.

Townshend Seismic and Gaia1's: comparison by OZZY at AUDIOGON

Procedure: I removed my Iso-Acoustics Gaia 1’s that I have had under my Focal Sopra 2’s speakers from their entry into my system to compare the sound with the Townshend Seismic Isolation Podium Platform.

Starting with the bass. = There is defiantly more clearly defined bass notes.
Defined is my choice word. I listened to familiar tunes with prominent bass notes. I like to imagine if I can feel a real bass player playing along. That is; with the power and tonality of a live performer. Can you feel the bass pluck?

Midrange. = I hear more hidden clues in the music. I listen for the clarity of the voice and instruments. Live recording’s is usually the best to examine.

Treble. = The highs are extended naturally. Nothing added or taken away. I think the treble sounds more open, cymbals shimmer longer, better? Again, I think so.
Soundstage. = Definitely an improvement in both front/back side to side images.
Very happy.

Ok, I admit I am an old time rocker. My favorite group is Creedence Clearwater Revival. On the “Green River” tune (24/192hz download), previously I could sense the rhythm guitar of John’s older brother Tom strumming but could never quite hear it clearly. No wonder he got pissed.
Well today with the Townshend Platforms in place, I can hear the brother clearly strumming along, a little left of center, sort of floating above the speakers. This tells me that I am hearing deeper minute images that were once buried in the mix.
I like the livelier sound on the Led Zeppelin track “Rock & Roll” HD 24/96hz but it always seemed a little anemic, like it should sound more dynamic. Well now with Townshend Platforms in place it does! The drum whacks have more presence. And the cymbals really ride with the music. Most impressive.


Quite frankly, instead of trying other footers that are perhaps cheaper and sort of a band aid approach that will cause you to keep searchin’ for that missing element, go for the real thing(s) and finally enjoy your system.

Isolation for life

Unlike other solutions that may seem to work well (down to 12Hz) out of the box they will degrade over time. Townshend Seismic will continue to isolate for a lifetime of musical enjoyment down to 3Hz, well outside the audio-band.

Personal Service

The Townshend team will work with you until you are completely satisfied.

Made in the uk

Designed to stand the test of time and any knocks from vacuum cleaners Stainless Steel with super durable Polyuria paint from USA Durable and attractive.

The EDITOR"S CHOICE

Custom Podium

"So what do Seismic Podiums do for sound quality? If I said “everything” you wouldn’t believe me, but the answer is not far off. They dramatically increase low level resolution so you can hear more detail, they clean up the bass like you wouldn’t believe and the improve dynamics and speed. So nearly everything, they won’t turn a budget box into a giant slayer but they will upgrade it to something that sounds twice as good."

Product of the year 2020

The podiums are essentially colorless and inaudible. Any suggestion of sonic constraint or congestion is liberated from a subtle opacity and veiling-a feat that results in wider colors, broader micro-dynamic gradients, and greater dimensionality. Images emerge and recede naturally, and bass response, extension, and pitch flow more freely. The Podiums become so fundamental to the listening experience that calling them mere accessories fails to give them enough credit. Buyer's guide 2022 the absolute sound mag

Five Stars

Placing my loudspeaker on a Seismic Isolation Podium proves to be much more convincing than I originally imagined. The way it removes the speaker’s interaction with its surroundings is mind blowing, bringing clarity to the entire frequency range that enables it to communicate more effectively with the listener. You haven’t truly heard how your speaker can perform until you’ve placed it on one of these. Enthusiastically recommended. LD

Custom Podiums

For speakers with unusual shapes and weights we can prepare a special custom design to cater to your needs

Isolate All Componants

Comprehensive and progressive isolation and vibrational damping for all audio equipment with Seismic Corners

We even isolate Pianos!

Townshend Seismic USP

Our approach is radically different from all other manufacturers 

SCAUDIOPHILE. Legacy VALOR owner

“Just completed a major upgrade in terms of totally decoupling an almost 300 lb speaker that stands 6 feet 1 inch tall from the room to eliminate the prodigious amounts of energy this speaker can produce from feeding into the floor and subfloor (and crawlspace under house) and ultimately feeding back into the speaker.
This delivered a lot more than even the highest expectations I had. I’d researched available options for over a year and even considered going back to the use of Stillpoints Ultras 5’s (now v2) or other footers like Magico MPODs (sized for M6 speakers) or the larger IsoAcoustics footers and received a great recommendation from a friend to look at Townshend Audio from the UK.

Townshend Audio custom podium journey…. began this design project back in January after several months last year of investigation into many other excellent products in this space from HiFi-Stays, Magico MPODS, IsoAcoustics and many others.

I decided upon Townshend after quite a few conversations with other “big speaker owners” who had bought and used all other top offerings for high-end footers with the larger speaker models from YG Acoustics, Wilson, Magico and Legacy Whisper XDS and MBL 101e MkII and MBL Extreme owners. They all wound up with Townshend’s podiums as their preferred solution, some after spending many thousands more on competing solutions.

Townshend makes 5 different standard sizes of the platforms for different combinations of size plinth and weight-bearing capacity from 50kg up to 200kg. They can accommodate any speaker over 200kg of any weight through a custom design and going from 4 to 6 load cells.

Due to the unique angled back profile, the size of the Legacy Valor plinth, a 298-pound actual weight of my speakers as-built and the height (6 feet 1″) plus their load distribution a custom sized Townshend product was needed. The same is true of the other Wilson, larger Magico, MBL and YG owners I spoke with. The process of collaborating with Townshend was great and they were extremely responsive at all points even allowing me firsthand calls and emails with their lead engineer to arrive at the CAD drawings needed to commission the project. As a result, they now have an option for any Legacy VALOR owner in their design portfolio.

Townshend completed the order after commit in the shortest time possible (about 5-6 weeks) and then shipped them in custom-built real wood crates. They arrived without any issue whatsoever.

The finish quality is heavy duty, beautiful and first class in every way. I am very happy with the end product. This project was measured and designed down to millimeters to facilitate the CAD and laser-cutting processes. When I got them out of the crates, they were exactly to promise and to measure.

.I am still tweaking final speaker position based upon original best-position.

The playback quality of the speakers once installed on them far exceeds any expectations I had, and have markedly improved every single aspect of playback, including bass of course, all the way up through midrange and treble clarity, total imaging, soundstage depth, density, 3D rendering, etc.

It’s also an amazing thing to see an almost 300 lb., 6′ 1″ speaker “float” and when pushed, easily move in 3 dimensions, and quickly absorb the shocks and return to stationary in a matter of seconds. The bigger surprise is to feel absolutely zero vibration and resonance in the floor directly in front of the speaker and yet feel the force of bass, mid-bass, etc… moving air.Very happy with the results and looking forward to listening to a lot more music to re-explore my speakers!”

GET IN TOUCH WITH US

Welcome to our Seismic Micro-site, where we unveil a remarkable isolation solution for all your audio separates. Delve into the depths of our website to uncover the transformative power of our offerings. Whether you’re seeking to elevate your turntable, amplifier, or any other audio component, we have the solution you’ve been longing for.

Discover a world of unparalleled isolation that will revolutionize your audio experience. Our meticulously crafted products are designed to unlock the full potential of your equipment, unveiling nuances and subtleties you never thought possible. Immerse yourself in a realm of pure, undistorted sound, where every note and rhythm comes alive with breathtaking clarity.

Explore our comprehensive range of isolation solutions and embark on a journey to enhance your audio setup. From turntable platforms to equipment racks and everything in between, we have meticulously engineered products to suit every need. Delight in the seamless integration and exceptional performance our solutions offer, as they effortlessly transform your listening space into an oasis of sonic bliss.

Unleash the true potential of your audio separates and elevate your enjoyment to new heights. Explore our website now and witness the extraordinary difference our isolation solutions can make in your audio journey. Prepare to be captivated by the possibilities that await you.

Phone Number

7 Bridge Road

East Molesey, Surrey KT8 9EU

Call today to hear more about our services or fill out the form for a prompt response (within 24 business hours)