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I didnt buy something and it made absolutely no difference to the sound quality.


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After seeing a post on a Rega Facebook group about the wonders of the Zazen turntable isolation platform, I hit up my local dealer for a trial of one.

I put on several tracks from quiet acoustic to heavy bass, rock and jazz. I got my wife to assist by doing quick A/B comparisons, helping me slip the platter in and out and listening to the first 30seconds of the same track, over and over. She’s no audiophile but she certainly has good hearing so has in the past been helpful in confirming my confirmation bias. On this occasion she declared (as did I) that she heard absolutely no discernible difference with the Zazen in place or not. Nada, nothing, zero difference. Perhaps it needs burn in time. 
 

I also did a light finger tap test on the structures below the Zazen.  A marble plinth and the non audiophile record storage rack that it sits on with Whites isolation pads in between. My tapping was audible through the speakers on all surfaces, reducing with distance from the turntable. 
 

I’m very lucky and very grateful that my local dealer is happy for me to do the try-before-you-buy thing because otherwise I would have just wasted $400 I’d rather spend on something that actually does something. Like a few records.

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It is good to have some realists among us.

Someone a bit weaker would have bought it just because it makes them feel better.

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I have the iconic 🙄 ikea chopping board with some springs pads under. I can do big finger tapping on my mdf cupboard right next to the chopping board without hearing anything from the speakers. 

20210618_202556.jpg

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19 minutes ago, captain.j said:


After seeing a post on a Rega Facebook group about the wonders of the Zazen turntable isolation platform, I hit up my local dealer for a trial of one.

I put on several tracks from quiet acoustic to heavy bass, rock and jazz. I got my wife to assist by doing quick A/B comparisons, helping me slip the platter in and out and listening to the first 30seconds of the same track, over and over. She’s no audiophile but she certainly has good hearing so has in the past been helpful in confirming my confirmation bias. On this occasion she declared (as did I) that she heard absolutely no discernible difference with the Zazen in place or not. Nada, nothing, zero difference. Perhaps it needs burn in time. 
 

I also did a light finger tap test on the structures below the Zazen.  A marble plinth and the non audiophile record storage rack that it sits on with Whites isolation pads in between. My tapping was audible through the speakers on all surfaces, reducing with distance from the turntable. 
 

I’m very lucky and very grateful that my local dealer is happy for me to do the try-before-you-buy thing because otherwise I would have just wasted $400 I’d rather spend on something that actually does something. Like a few records.

image.jpg

Your observations match my own after I bought 2 of the ZaZen.

I had one mounted under my Soulines turntable which is on a (brick), wall shelf .

I could still hear footfall and taps on the base, plus someone slammed a door that made the arm jump!

I realized straight away the lack of discernable improvement, was unacceptable and fortunately the retailer (Selby), were great and took them back no problem .

 

The problem l noticed on unpacking them, was they have tiny ultra thin isolation feet. 

Difficult to see how it would improve things!

 

I'm a big fan of IsoAcoustics and have their Orea feet underneath many of my components, and Gaia under speakers  - they certainly make a big difference!

 

I plan to ,and would recommend putting 3 or 4 Isoacoustics Orea or similar underneath .

 

 

 

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Your methodology is flawed.  The confirmation bias only works if you have paid money and know that there is no return available, or only an exchange to something you know you don't want of the same value.  I suggest you purchase the Zazen somewhere else without a return policy.  I'm sure you and your wife will find a real and noticeable difference. 

 

Something else to try.  I notice you have records stored under the turntable.  These can influence the sound:

- Heavy metal albums provide a solid platform with a lot of mass for a turntable, and can soak up any nasties with ease, helping to reveal a solid bass. 

- Easy listening records are the worst, they are too lightweight.  There is nothing substantial to balance the turntable, the sound will be flimsy and airy. 

NASA's done the research. 

 

 

Edited by audiofeline
Correct writing error - my apologies!
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51 minutes ago, dwbasement said:

I have the iconic 🙄 ikea chopping board with some springs pads under. I can do big finger tapping on my mdf cupboard right next to the chopping board without hearing anything from the speakers. 

 

 

I use similar springs under my TT, after doing some testing with a spectrum analyzer with the stylus on a stationary LP running a sweep from REW I found adding a very small foam damper that JUST touches each spring improved the  performance significantly.

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6 minutes ago, Warren Jones said:

 

I use similar springs under my TT, after doing some testing with a spectrum analyzer with the stylus on a stationary LP running a sweep from REW I found adding a very small foam damper that JUST touches each spring improved the  performance significantly.

My springs are sitting on some felt foam sandwiched by acrylic.

I also adjust the number of springs to level the TT.

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35 minutes ago, audiofeline said:

Your methodology is flawed.  The confirmation bias only works if you have paid money and know that there is no return available, or only an exchange to something you know you don't want of the same value.  I suggest you purchase the Zazen somewhere else without a return policy.  I'm sure you and your wife will find a real and noticeable difference. 

 

Something else to try.  I notice you have records stored under the turntable.  These can influence the sound, helping to reveal a solid bass.  Heavy metal albums provide a solid platform with a lot of mass for a turntable, and can soak up any nasties with ease.  Easy listening records are the worst, they are too lightweight.  There is nothing substantial to balance the turntable, the sound will be flimsy and airy.  NASA's done the research. 

 

Brilliant, af!!  :lol:

 

Andy

 

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2 hours ago, audiofeline said:

Your methodology is flawed.  The confirmation bias only works if you have paid money and know that there is no return available, or only an exchange to something you know you don't want of the same value.  I suggest you purchase the Zazen somewhere else without a return policy.  I'm sure you and your wife will find a real and noticeable difference. 

 

Something else to try.  I notice you have records stored under the turntable.  These can influence the sound, helping to reveal a solid bass.  Heavy metal albums provide a solid platform with a lot of mass for a turntable, and can soak up any nasties with ease.  Easy listening records are the worst, they are too lightweight.  There is nothing substantial to balance the turntable, the sound will be flimsy and airy.  NASA's done the research. 

 

 

 

Hilarious, my flawed methodology was using my ears - and allowing my turntable to give me "feedback"! 😉

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2 hours ago, audiofeline said:

Easy listening records are the worst, they are too lightweight.

 

Don’t throw them out, though. A friend of mine used to serve cheese on old James Last records, it took a some of the bite out of the sharper varieties.

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I haven't laughed so much in ages, thanks @audiofeline   
Perhaps I'll buy the Zazen and use it as a chopping board., then take a trip to IKEA...

 

@evil c thanks for the tip. I've been aware the supports under the marble plinth could be better but I've been procrastinating.  What I really want is a proper equipment rack but we're talking big bucks. Perhaps your suggestion would be a good interim measure. 

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12 hours ago, audiofeline said:

NASA's done the research. 

 

Ah, you too appreciate the high quality research performed by the Network of Audiophile Suckers in Australia 

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17 hours ago, dwbasement said:

My springs are sitting on some felt foam sandwiched by acrylic.

I also adjust the number of springs to level the TT.

 

Not the same, the foam inside the spring cage is to damp spring resonance.

 

The measurements  are down this page.

 

 

Edited by Warren Jones
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Audiofeline - great post but seriously, the photo really hacked me off because over 10 years ago I saw in Lidls ( a discount supermarket chain) there were TV stands with a shelf beneath for a VHS player. I saw the possibility to use 2 of them for a 4 shelf audio rack. I was so confident that I could use the bottom shelf to store about 70 LPs.  This would not only give me a lot of mass but a mass that was made up of literally 70 or so pieces that would soak up vibrations easily.

 

I constructed it with 6 feet equipped with welded Soundcare feet. It was only recently that I decided it was time to stash LPs, imagine how sick I felt when I found that this space on the bottom shelf was 1cm not tall enough - bugger it. I can't remove this bottom shelf without making the rack too low down - and the moral of the story is - never assume anything, measure before proceeding.

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I bought an Ikea TV stand in the 1980's when TVs were extremely bulky and heavy, it had a shelf for a VCR, and is still being used for our kitchen TV.  I recall looking at it thinking that it was very solid and two would make an excellent hifi rack.  It even came with pre-drilled holes and pins to stack them!  Unfortunately by this stage they had been deleted from the catalogue (they were not as popular as a Billy bookcase).  I looked for years for another.  Got really excited to find one, but it had been abused and left in the rain so it was delaminating and the particle board expanding.  I eventually bought another rack for the hifi. 

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  • 5 weeks later...

Great news - sitting in front of my system one day after a couple of glasses of wine I had a moment of sartori. I suddenly remembered that the chromed steel legs of the converted TV/VCR table are held together by long screws that have a 'stopper washer' machined after only only 1cm this is used to secure the steel leg . The rest of the screw is 10cm long only some of this length (1.5cm)  is used to accomodate the MDF shelving which I replaced with HDC. 

 

How could I extend the height of this space between the two shelves - if I used pieces of tubular steel it would mean very accurate cutting - I didn't think this was a good idea. Then I thought - what about using over sized steel washers, 30mm, the legs are 25mm and using some bitumen sheet cut to match the steel washers. I could then build up both top and bottom to create the increased height by using layers of washer and bitumen sheet I needed. The bitumen sheet was over 20 years old and the adhesive had dried out, it is 2mm thick. I ended up using 3 washer/3 bitumen cut outs both top and bottom.

 

This not only gives me the space for LPs I wanted but importantly it also provided very effective damping for any vibrations travelling up these steel, legs.

 

I used to live in a small town on the Atlantic coast of northern Galicia outside of which there was a factory that made things from the excellent Galician slate that is exported all around Europe. I still regret that I didn't explore the idea of having a complete slate equipment rack made, legs,shelves, the lot. I think that the total weight would only be usable on a reinforced concrete floor but it would have looked marvellous. 

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