Isoacoustics Gaia Setting Up and Performance

I am not sure where to start with this. The short version is the Isoacoustics Gaia is one of the best tweak upgrades I’ve made. The change is revolutionary rather than evolutionary. Long version as follows.

SETTING UP

  • Gaia II on Marten Duke standmounts

After some failed attempts with the installation of the Gaias when I first unpacked them, I realised that fine tuning of the device is not possible. I was using spikes before this, and when I first set the Gaias up music sounded worse. The bass turned woolly, sounding soft and mushy. It’s just a soft and smeared sound in the bass and midrange which is not good.

I tried repositioning the speakers several times but to no avail. In an attempt to boost the bass response I moved the speakers closer to the rear wall but the sound got worse without much improvement in the bass.

The next day, I continued to move the speakers around and almost gave up, thinking that the Gaias might be another overhyped product. Fortunately, I made a discovery that changed everything.

As the floor of the listening room is not a perfect level, I found that the Gaias were incorrectly installed when they made some rattling sound when I tried to rock the speaker stands in a diagonal direction. I then figured out that the height of few affected Gaias need to be adjusted accordingly to ensure that all 4 Gaias supporting a speaker are loaded with the same weight distribution. Few Gaias were then rotated 360 degrees clockwise and anticlockwise for proper loading.

From my observation, the design of the Gaia does not allow for fine tuning to compensate for uneven floor as Isoacoustics recommend or perhaps insist that the logo needs to face the front / listening position. Obviously this will affect the setting up of the level. Although I used a spirit level to control the level at the top plate of the speaker stands, the Gaia will mask the uneven level since the height of the device is not fixed as it can still move around in all directions attributable to the interface between the top and bottom housing. This may explain the wobbly speaker even though the Gaias are correctly installed.

Another aspect of the Gaia which I’m unsure of is on the tightening of the bottom nut which locks the Gaia in place. There is no issue with the locking of top nut which clamps onto the bottom plate of the stands. It’s the nut that locks onto the Gaia as I only tighten it with my fingers. When the Gaias are pressed firmly to the floor, the top nut appears to be automatically locked or tightened. I’m not sure if this is the correct way of installation but I can’t see any other way the bottom nut can be tightnened onto the Gaia.

PERFORMANCE
I’ll keep this short. Once properly installed, the Gaias really work wonders. It will depend on the type of music that you play. With some music, there will be a small but appreciable improvement and with other types of music, the changes can be staggering, especially with rock and jazz fusion with a lot of transients in the bass.

The Gaias improved the bass response, considerably tightening up the bass. I would say that the largest improvement with the Gaias is in the bass. The bass sounds a lot cleaner and defined and packs a punch. Listening to some bass heavy tracks is a revelation. It’s the first time Rio Sol of Lee Ritenonour sounded so good. The bass was hitting so cleanly and with such power, I just kept turning up the volume as there was no smearing of notes or distortion detected. All of that are now gone.

Whatever smearing or distortion caused by vibrations from the speaker cabinet has been reduced or eliminated. Rock music which previously sounded horrible now sounds great. It was actually a surprise as I previously thought that the recording was poor. It turned out that the distortion I was hearing was caused by the vibrations from the speaker. Other vocal music all showed improved clarity with reduced smearing. The differences are all easy to hear.

Basically all music showed improvement with the Gaias. I didn’t expect my speakers to show improved macrodynamics with rock and dynamic music but they are really rocking splendidly right now.

CONCLUSION
The Gaias may not provide a total transformation to the system if you are looking for a drastic change (ie. a different sound or presentation) but they will surely improve and unleash the full potential of the speakers in properly installed systems. As you can tell, I am rather impressed with the Gaias. A recommended product in my book.

10 Likes

Interesting - have tried the diagonal loading test and shifted a couple of mine by 360 as a result.

Updated though to say that I wasn’t entirely happy, wound them back a bit and optimised and it is all now sounding great again. Diagonal and fore/aft deviation seems to be pretty even in all orientations, with speaker tops level.

1 Like

As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I have no understanding of exactly how they work their magic, but they can transform your listening pleasure.

In my case, (my system, my listening room, and my ageing aural receptors, remember), not only can I report improvements similar to those mentioned above by the OP, but, but I seem to have also gained a front to rear horizontal soundstage which was never present before.

A most highly recommended bit of kit.

3 Likes

I have noticed a few high end brands incorporating the GIIA into their line up as a standard feature… Marten is one of those brands.

1 Like

I’ve been using Gaia II on my Dynaudio Confidence C2 Platinum for years. My dealer loaned them to me sometime after I got the speakers. I often don’t hear differences in tweaks people here and elsewhere claim make a profound difference, but it didn’t take much evaluation at all to hear they made a very positive improvement. I’ve never removed them since.

2 Likes

Another Gaia II fan here.

Best regards, BF

2 Likes

When I had to contact Bob Surgeoner at Neat Acoustics to get some info on the correct thread pitch for my Gaias, he mentioned that he had installed some in his listening room at the factory, and was something of a fan … watch this space.

2 Likes

They do not have to be turned 360 degrees. The logo has to face forward or backwards. So 180 degrees. I believe the instructions are clear about this. However it may bother you to not see the logos. Perhaps they should have printed on both sides.

Your description is exactly how I found them. The bass is immediately affected. Where before the bass may have been slightly muddy, now you can tell what note is being played. I find them astounding.

1 Like

I can’t see the logos when they face the front anyway. But yes, I have them facing front or facing rear. isoAcoustics instructions are clear about that.

FWIW, the isoAcoustics Delos platform provides similar performance benefits for my turntable. Bass reponse and imaging are more stable and better defined.

This was Marten’s reply when I sent them an email inquiry on the Isoacoustics Gaia;

“I think it would improve yes, every time we test it on any loudspeaker we do hear a good improvement in the sound.”

The higher range speakers are fitted with Marten isolators as standard. Marten clarified that the difference between the Isoacoustics Gaia and Marten isolators is mainly visual.

After receiving the response from Marten, I gained the confidence to proceed with the Gaias.

Hmm…any advice would be welcome then. I have the gaia III packed away - tried them several times and found them terrible. Completely ruined the sound. I too have very uneven (suspended wooden) floors. I adjusted the gaia thread heights individually to get the speakers as horizontally even as possible. No rattling of the feet, logo to the front, locking nuts tight, firm speaker wobble in all directions when pushed about…Certainly each of the feet were compressed differently- even individual gaia’s were compressed unevenly eg. more at the front than the back, or laterally. Is this what you mean by uneven loading? If so, do you recommend turning each gaia until the compression looks even on each (forgetting about whether the speakers will sit evenly)?? Cheers.

My K6 Signatures sit on Gaia II’s. I’ve been very pleased with the performance. Bass is faster/deeper, Mid’s and High’s are more detailed/delicate. Easy to purchase on Amazon and demo. They take a few days to settle-in.

1 Like

I have Dynaudio Focus XD30s which have pre-drilled holes in the feet. I know this is a long shot but how do you know which Gaii IIs to buy? M8? M6 or 1/4 20? I have emailed Dynaudio but any help would be welcomed. Also, the views of anyone with the Focus XD who has tried the Gaiis would be gratefully received

You go by the weight of the speakers, I had Gaia 111’s on my old XD 600’s. They come with an assortment of different threaded adapters. The proper ones were in the box for my XD’s.
Did they help the sound…I think so, but nothing night and day like some claim. You can kind of make them out under the white XD 600’s in this photo.

That was quick! Thank you so much. I remember your guidance from a previous post so thanks again. I will press on and buy some and let the forum know what I think

You brought up an interesting point on uneven compression of individual Gaias supporting a speaker. This would suggest that the load of the speaker is not distributed uniformly to the 4 supporting Gaias, perhaps the front portion of the speaker is heavier than the rear portion (drivers mounted at the front of the cabinet).

In principle, I presume the load will need to be distributed evenly to all supporting Gaia footers as they are rated individually to a certain capacity. I am guessing that it is better to use a Gaia with higher load capacity than one with lower capacity to compensate for uneven loading from the speakers. I think I saw few graphs on the Isoacoustics website which show the optimal loading where the Gaia I, II and III work best, and they recommend going up a level if the supporting load is too close to the maximum load capacity of the Gaia.

Assuming that your Gaias are correctly set up so as the speaker is levelled at the top, the uneven loading that you brought up can be a possibility to the poor result in your system. This would suggest that the speaker is either heavier at the front and lighter at the rear or vice versa, causing the Gaias to be loaded unevenly. If that’s not the case, perhaps the speakers require repositioning in the room. Did you attempt to reposition the speakers after installing the Gaias?

You might want to try contacting Isoacoustics to see what they say. I contacted them through email earlier but did not receive any response from them though.

@pumpexch

Hi,

If you Google “Gaia thread calculator” it will take you to Isoacoustics’ page deigned to help you choose the correct model and thread size / pitch.

According to the info there, you need to be ordering Gaia 111, with M8 thread and 1.25 pitch.

Be aware, though, that the data used is not infallible, as, in my own case, the thread pitch was wrong, and I had to obtain the correct information direct from Neat Acoustics.

Thanks for the reply. Yes, I played around with positioning of the speakers, different thread heights - had the gaia’s in place for several weeks, removed, tried again at a later stage etc. I don’t think my speakers are anything out of the ordinary (proac floorstanders) and suspect that the gaia’s just don’t work in my space. Certainly no problems at all without them - was just hoping that they might have brought a little something extra in addition to being a great solution to nasty sharp spikes on the timber floor.

Found one of my earlier posts about the difference Isoacoustic Gaia II made in our system:
Isoacoustic Gaia II under ART Alnico speakers

Best regards, BF

1 Like

Bass. Much clearer, more pistonic, better defined bass. Less vibration through the floor back to the listening sofas. I can turn the volume up higher before the sound starts to harden.

Imaging. Crikey that’s ridiculously clearer and sharper I hadn’t realised that the imaging was so-so before. Bigger, wider, deeper soundstage, with each instrument sitting in its own stable space. I’m liking this!

Voices and cymbals all much clearer too.

You describe it well. Exact experience with the perceived improvement in the bass. Similarly I can turn the volume up higher and the sound remains clean since resonance has been significantly reduced. All the details in the background are popping up and sounding clearer whilst the treble especially piano is starting to show a glimpse of brilliance, sounding more delicate (same experience as Chris Bell).

1 Like