Bottlehead

Solitary Confinement Isolation Platform

$299.00

3 in stock

Our new equipment isolation platform built by Matty Blue - sapele ply and silicone constrained layer platform with alder trim floating on an inner tube. Really increases the tonal and temporal resolution of my Analog Engineering modded Empire 208 turntable. Clean and dynamic. Also works great under tube preamps, tube amps and even speakers. Might be worth trying under CD players and tape decks too. Comes pre assembled. All you need to do is apply your favorite finish and inflate the inner tube with the supplied pump.

Description

 
When I was a senior at Berkeley in the early 80s I did a physics lab in which the goal was to understand and take a hologram. The optical setup sitting on the third floor of LeConte Hall required an incredibly stable platform, which was composed of a huge sand filled platform sitting on inner tubes. It worked amazingly well. Other companies have made isolation platforms with this basic concept in years past. I told Matt I always wanted to do one and we set about working up one that was simple, elegant and effective. Matt made a prototype using a couple pieces of plywood with silicone caulk between to create a constrained layer. He then machined a nice little set of curved “fences” attached to the bottom in order to center a small inner tube under the platform. I also asked for a sand filled version. Being a competent engineer, Matt took measurements with an accelerometer (iPhone with app) on the platform and dropping a ball from a fixed height onto the surface the platform sat on. This was done with and without sand, with and without innertube, etc., until he had a reasonable amount of data to interpret. Turns out the sand didn’t do much, but the inner tube and constrained layer worked really well.

 

Construction is Sapele plywood for the main platform, with an alder skirt to hide the inner tube. Dimensions are 17″ wide x 15″ deep x about 2.5″ tall (432mm x 381mm x approx. 63mm). Tests done by dropping a lead weight on the equipment rack shelf upon which the iso platform sat, with my Analog Engineering modified Empire 208 turntable sitting on it, showed about a sevenfold reduction in the peak energy transferred to the iPhone accelerometer placed on the turntable platter vs. the turntable sitting directly on the shelf without the isolation platform. Significant.

 

Of course what really matters is a sonic comparison of platform vs. no platform. The platform definitely cleans up the sound – tighter, punchier dynamics and less of the lower midrange false “fatness” that tends to take away from the natural presence of a recording. It was quite a bit more of a difference than I was expecting. Should work great for tube amps and tube preamps too. I’ve also heard isolation platforms do good things for CD players and tape decks. It might be worth trying under all sorts of gear, maybe even speakers.

Additional information

Weight 9 lbs
Dimensions 18 × 16 × 4 in

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