Wellfloat Isolation Base
I’ve always been sceptical regarding isolation products but seeing/hearing how these have improved my High End 2 channel system has completely changed my view, tighter bottom end and a definite smoother top end has convinced me instantly that these isolation products from WELLFLOAT are well worth a listen to. The audio is now completely seamless and alive.
When you add WELLFLOAT to your loudspeakers, you should be able to recognise a new and previously unheard beauty of sound. This experience will make you realise that it was previously masked by distortion and the true musical performance was there but hidden. No other products in this category have ever been able to demonstrate such a clear difference.
WELLFLOAT gives a much clearer focus on the sound stage by reducing distortion. The impact on the bass frequency may sound different depending on the size of your speakers. For smaller speakers with WELLFLOAT, you can hear more bass as the loss of energy is minimal. For larger speakers, the bass volume will become tighter and more controlled, so you can hear what the true performance of the speakers is. We hope you experience this.
We have a very good and reproducible example. The Canadian pianist, Glenn Gould, was very famous for playing Bach. His piano seemed to have been specially tuned. On his CD, “The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I”, when played on normal Hi-Fi systems there appears to be no difference between all the pieces.
However, introduce WELLFLOAT underneath the speakers, and carefully listen to some pieces again. Prelude No.1 in C Major has third and fifth chord and you should be able to recognise a “beat” due to interference of the frequencies, this doesn’t happen in Prelude No. 8 in E-Flat Minor where all the notes are beautifully reproduced without any beat. Then compare to other recordings of this piece, such as by Mieczysław Horszowski or Valery Afanassiev. Interestingly, the result is completely the opposite and Prelude No. 1 in C Major doesn’t have a beat and Prelude No. 8 in E-Flat Minor has lots of beats.
With WELLFLOAT, you cannot stop yourself playing all the versions in your library to check!
Fundamental mechanism 1 – Isolation between device and floor
Putting the speakers directly on the floor or stands with no concern. Is that correct?
The energy of vibration is lost loss little by little as it travels through feet, stands, insulators or spikes, and the energy finally becomes zero when arrives at the ground. With each step different vibration and sub-harmonics will be added based on type of materials, weight, etc. and this will generate distortion at every point. Due to these accumulated distortions, the total output will be heavily distorted and coloured. You may feel some “strongness” or a “pushy sound” from the speakers standing directly on the floor, but this is based on the distortion not on the speakers’ true performance. Some people may like it for a short period of listening, but not for longer term enjoyment. In order to resolve the issue, it is required to completely isolate the vibration generated by the speaker and vibration generated by the floor. There are several ways to achieve this. Let’s think about how best we can do it.
1. Hang the speaker on the ceiling: Technically a good idea, but not realistic in the majority of listening environments as the mechanism is too big. Also, there may be side effects due to the size with so many factors such as material of wire, length, divided vibration, etc. that need to be carefully considered.
2. Float the speakers with a magnet; The magnetic force is inversely proportional to the square of the distance. As the distance from the magnet increases, the repulsive force of the magnetic force decreases, and as the distance approaches, the repulsive force increases. It is a bit confusing and very important to note that the strength of the force that weakens the repulsive force when the distance of 1 mm increases and the strength of the force that increases the repulsive force when the distance of 1mm approaches are not the same. This is because the distances from the magnet are different so it will never be symmetric or linear. The device floating on the magnet doesn’t have centre position so there’s no guarantee that it would return to the same position. Therefore, moving up and down (push-pull) behaves differently and not symmetrical, which would generate micro distortion. Also, the speaker itself is driven by magnet force and so it is difficult to place another magnet in the same field without negatively affecting each other.
3. Put rubber or a spring underneath the speaker; Elastic materials such as rubber absorb vibration by deforming. However, it requires a certain amount of force to start deforming, and no absorption happens until then, which means that micro vibration cannot be absorbed. Also, elastic materials have 3-dimensional distortion by their nature. For springs, resonance generated by itself needs to be considered.
As such, it is very challenging to practically isolate the vibrations between speakers and the floor. WELLFLOAT has succeeded by installing a very small mechanism inside of the board and has effectively achieved “1. Hang the speaker on the ceiling” with minimum side effect.
Fundamental mechanism 2 – Pendulum movement and Distortion
What is the reason why the pendulum movement can remove distortion?
Let’s look at the correlation between the diaphragm and the enclosure of the speakers. For example, if the diaphragm is 20g and the cabinet is 20kg, the difference between them is 1000 times. Force of action by the diaphragm and reaction by the cabinet should be balanced. The weight of the diaphragm is very small and its movement when the speaker is playing is large enough to check by the naked eye. On the other hand, the cabinet is much heavier and not easy to move even with the force of the diaphragm. You can feel the vibration by touching it, but its movement is very small and invisible. This is due to the difference of the weight between the diaphragm and cabinet. Here, force is calculated as weight x speed. Acceleration is the magnitude of movement, that is, the distance traveled twice differentiated per unit time. The cabinet has 1000 times of weight, which makes the magnitude of movement as 1/1000 times. This is the reason why the movement is small and invisible.
All the values so far are theoretical based on an ideal environment. Obviously it is different in the real world as the speaker normally stands directly on the floor or feet and cannot move freely. When the speaker stands firm on the floor or feet, reaction from the floor or feet will add an amount of vibration between them and therefore create distortion.
When you use WELLFLOAT, the cantilever inside converts the directions of the vibration coming from all the directions to solely the ones in a horizontal direction by restricting vertical vibration, this allows the cabinet of the speaker to move freely only in the horizontal directions and releases all the stress and distortion coming back from floor and stand, allowing it to behave almost ideally.
You can imagine a cannon or a gun firing. Cannons have a recoil system to absorb the shock generated by firing. This protects the cannon from being moved or even broken by its shock. The same thing is happening to the speaker in monocular level.
Please have a look at the following graph. The cantilever of WELLFLOAT converts any diaphragm/cabinet movement to pendulum movement linearly in all the audible frequencies. Therefore, the impulse reaction will be accurate and there should in theory be no distortion.