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Gardeners' Oasis foam as Sub platform

Easybourne

Established Member
I had an idea about using oasis foam (the green dense foam that you use to irrigate pot plants and flowers) as a sub platform to stop it driving the floor.

A couple of these should do the trick!
obgf090_lg.jpg


What do you guys think? Could be quite a cheap way to do it if it works...
 
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Badger0-0

Distinguished Member
I think it could possibly be very effective :smashin:

Not sure about the looks though.
I guess you'd cover it with something?
 

Oipete

Established Member
An interesting idea!
I would be very interested to hear what the more knowledgeable members think of that.

I'll watch this space. Nice one! :smashin:

Ah, Badger beat me to it!
 

Easybourne

Established Member
Not sure about the looks though.
I guess you'd cover it with something?

I was thinking of fashioning some sort of wooden skirting around it measured so that it doesn't make contact with the sub or the foam but to the casual observer looks as if it is part of a stand or part of the sub itself.
 

Badger0-0

Distinguished Member
An interesting idea!
I would be very interested to hear what the more knowledgeable members think of that.

I'll watch this space. Nice one! :smashin:

Ah, Badger beat me to it!

I think it could be effective in that being full of air, it should do a decent job of decoupling.

Although, what do I know?
I've never tried isolation myself.
 

Badger0-0

Distinguished Member
I was thinking of fashioning some sort of wooden skirting around it measured so that it doesn't make contact with the sub or the foam but to the casual observer looks as if it is part of a stand or part of the sub itself.

:smashin:

Let us know what you think :)
 

Easybourne

Established Member
:smashin:

Let us know what you think :)

I won't be able to do it for a while as I'm in 'forward planning mode' at the moment. I'm fairly soon moving to a converted flat with a laminate floor and am toying with ideas that will allow me to continue with my AV habit without fear of an ASBO!

When I get it set up, I'll post back!
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
That stuff tends to disintegrate after a few years - it breaks down into a mess of sticky gooey abrasive chemical gunk that make a mess of everything it touches. Provided you replace it before that happens you'll be OK. I'd suggest caution.
 

mengez

Established Member
Have you seen the foam?
If it's like the stuff I've seen it isn't spongy or foam like, it's actually quite powdery and brittle, I'm not sure it would bear weight very well.
It will be interesting to see how you get on.
 

Easybourne

Established Member
That stuff tends to disintegrate after a few years - it breaks down into a mess of sticky gooey abrasive chemical gunk that make a mess of everything it touches. Provided you replace it before that happens you'll be OK. I'd suggest caution.

Thanks for that. Actually, I do have vague memories of playing with the remnants of some of this stuff in my Grandad's greenhouse when I were a nipper. Sounds like there haven't been as many breakthroughs in the oasis foam industry as there have in the AV industry!

I'll amend the plans to include either a plastic bag or a timer!
 

Easybourne

Established Member
Have you seen the foam?
If it's like the stuff I've seen it isn't spongy or foam like, it's actually quite powdery and brittle, I'm not sure it would bear weight very well.
It will be interesting to see how you get on.

My sub isn't very big (or heavy) its a REL Q150 (only about 30cm cube). The reason I thought of this stuff was precisely because it ISN'T spongy and so would keep the sub relatively stable.

Perhaps there's some other sort of foam that's a dense as this (an just as importantly, just as CHEAP) that would work?
 

t72bogie

Prominent Member
is £20 too expensive for you for the real thing? ;)

you can get a 2M strip of 3" Auralex from studio suppliers for that, cut it into 3 pieces and sorted - thats what I have under my Velo DD15 :smashin:
 

Easybourne

Established Member
Actually, I've found this on the same website:
obba091_lg.jpg


It's a dry version of the other one. The green one is one that you water, this brown one is for artificial flowers. Maybe this one won't degrade so much over time.

If my wife saw this thread, she'd think I've finally lost it!
 

Easybourne

Established Member
is £20 too expensive for you for the real thing? ;)

you can get a 2M strip of 3" Auralex from studio suppliers for that, cut it into 3 pieces and sorted - thats what I have under my Velo DD15 :smashin:

I didn't think Auralex was that cheap, nor did I realise you could by it 'by the yard'. I saw the platforms, but knew little about the foam. Thanks for the tip.

Do you have a link to a reputable supplier per chance?
 

IronGiant

Moderator
The Oasis is very crumbly and I would worry that with time any vibration from the sub would hasten it's disintegration into powder (in addition to the gloopy mess concerns)

Dave
 

Nimby

Distinguished Member
I would imagine the compliance offered by Oasis is too low to have much effect anyway.

You need to suspend the subwoofer at a low enough resonance to exclude the power band. Anywhere below 10hz would probably do. A difficult task unless you employ springs or hang the sub from bungee cords.

Try garden kneeling pads as a thicker version of camping mattresses. Available, literally for small change, in a variety of sizes, thicknesses and colours including smart charcoal grey. At many outlets: DIY superstores, garden centres, department stores etc. Shop around for the colour you like. Should be under two quid per pad based on my recent search for this material for an other project.

Cuts easily with a hobby knife and steel straight-edge. Can be fine sanded (lightly) to achieve a uniformly smooth surface without disintegration. Can be glued into thicker blocks with water-based, contact adhesive.

You could experiment with layers of open cell (sponge) foam in a sandwich with the closed cell (kneeling pad) variety.
 

Easybourne

Established Member
Nimby,

That looks like an excellent solution - thanks for the idea!

I found this with my first google for £3:
259-1.jpg


Who says isolation needs to be expensive!
 

newcomers

Established Member
Sorry guys, bit of a newbie here but why would you want to put anything under the sub?

I have a floor facing sub, would I notice an improvement if I placed something under my sub?

Thanks
 

Nimby

Distinguished Member
Sorry guys, bit of a newbie here but why would you want to put anything under the sub?

I have a floor facing sub, would I notice an improvement if I placed something under my sub?

Thanks

It depends on what you are trying to achieve, the subwoofer itself and the type of floor and possibly the floor covering.

Isolation with foam and other compliant materials is intended to stop vibration from the subwoofer enclosure from physically shaking the floor. This helps to limit sound travelling beyond the room. Though the low frequency sound waves also travel well.

I noticed no difference (at all) when I tried a massive, round, concrete slab under my SVS cylinder on a very flexible, carpet covered, suspended, wooden floor. I can't think of any advantage in using hard materials except appearance and offering a flat supporting surface on thick carpet.

It pays to keep an open mind and experiment. Safety is a serious consideration as vibration may cause a subwoofer to topple if it is placed on something unsteady or tall.

If a subwoofer "walks" in use then it probably helps to put something under it. Foam is helpful because it has very high friction to sideways movement when loaded. If the foam is completely flattened by the heavy object then it offers no "suspension" because it effectively becomes hard and thin. This may not be a problem if you simply want to stop the subwoofer from moving about.
 

b33k34

Standard Member
If you have a suspended wooden floor it can act like a 'drum' - the sound waves from the sub hit the floor and cause it to vibrate, amplified by the space underneath it. You end up with all sorts of strange effects - I've got a solid oak floor laid over old victorian wooden floorboards and the sub caused some of these two surfaces to vibrate against each other. You would also get a lot of sound transmission to any rooms below.

Isolating the sub in some way can tighten up the sound (you've no longer got the floor as an extension of the speaker) and reduce sound transmission.

There seem to be a lot of views on how to do it. With my current sub i bought a granite slab with some isolation feet hot-glued to it and sat the sub on top (it had rubber bases to it's feet). However, since my floor no perfectly level it rocked slightly so i put some blu tack under the isolation feet. The granite just looks nice - a paving slab would work equally as well - and is heavy so is not going to move when the sub drives against it. The feet/blutack minimise any vibrations in the granite reaching the floor.

I've got a BK XLS200 on order at the moment so have bought a larger granite slab (chopping board from Asda). I'm probably just going to sit it on halved squash balls or blu tack this time - i don't think the isolation feet are necessary.

I've heard ideas of using an mdf board covered in carpet as well but my thought was that you need something with the 'mass' of stone (though mdf is fairly dense). The granite worked for me so i stopped experimenting.
 

Easybourne

Established Member
Nimby and B33K34:

Out of curiosity, what sort of volume levels are we talking about when you say the sub either moves across the floor; or causes the floor the vibrate and amplify itself.

I have a little REL Q150 and while it does its job - sort of - I never noticed it move and it only vibrates items in the room at VERY unsociable volume levels - volume levels that I personally find uncomfortable.

Am I being unduly cautious about downstairs neighbours if I don't notice either of these effects, or is it that even at VERY LOW listening levels bass can cause problems elsewhere in the building?
 

b33k34

Standard Member
I'm not talking about it moving stuff in the room or shaking the windows, this is just acoustic. Also, it's on the ground floor so I don't have experience of sound transmission to other rooms but expect it would make a difference.

My current 100w MA sub would do it even at low volumes but we're talking about a Victorian house here - I wouldn't expect anything like the same sort of problems in a house built in the last 50 years. However, that Asda chopping board is only £12 delivered and you can always use it in the kitchen if you don't think it makes a difference!
 
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m4rky_m4rk

Prominent Member
Expanded polystyrene maybe be a less dusty alternative. You can get it cheapiy and in thick blocks and sheets at any builders suppliers. I have my sub sat on some nice stone slabs, also from the builders, and underneath is the foam. Another adavantage is that it makes it very easy to slide the sub around when experimenting with sub room positions.
 

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