We seem not to have had a thread on the widely-used Isoacoustics Gaias or any rivals for a year or so, so…
Over the last couple of years, I reckoned that 32 posts here and elsewhere (inc. PFM) reported a decent improvement in bass control and hence overall SQ. 7 didn’t like them or couldn’t get them to work well, of whom 5 had thick carpets.
The comments persuaded me to try Isoacoustics Gaia II’s between my B&W 804 D3s and my bouncy wooden floor on a 14-day trial. The different tonal balance meant experiments repositioning the speakers, and levelling took a while, but fitting was easy.
The short way summary of what followed is - “You (collectively) were right!”
In my room and system, and in particular on my bouncy wooden floor, the B&W’s rubbery feet sound perhaps a touch better than the spikes (I checked that first as a base case), but it is so close that I could pick differently on another album and another day.
The Gaias are not so subtle or missable in their effect. They do very little to low-volume female voice IMHO, at least at first, but the stereo image is cleaner. As soon as the volume goes up and a punchy bass comes in, there is a clear improvement - tighter bass means more vigorous rhythm, not less.
The fact that they raise the tweeters to exactly ear level may be contributing to the sound difference, but I don’t mind too much what has improved technically - only SQ. The usual tests (Hejira, Cowboy Junkies, DSOTM, Graceland, Rite of Spring, Bruch Violin Concerto) show much better bass control. I can play a touch quieter and make out lyrics, but the most obvious change so far was Nirvana’s Come as You Are at the sort of volume that would be approved of in Seattle - the improvement in bass grip is really noticeable, making everything else a bit easier to hear clearly and making any rhythmic subtleties clearer.
For context, I changed the olive 250 that has served for c.30 years this week (!) with a 300DR. That is certainly a bigger upgrade of course, and I am struggling to think of one of the cliched hi-fi areas that it doesn’t make a bit better, with no balancing downside except cost.
The Gaias are not like that - they make bass cleaner at any volume, so it does not cover up anything else that one might have been missing and rhythms are more obvious. They have one job to do, and seem to do it well.
I am doubtful if I could have achieved the same results with a DIY Sorbothane approach, but I really don’t mind. Mind you, they make my ‘How much of your system spending was on speakers’ score look worse than it did…
How many here have tried Isoacoustics Gaias and kept them - or tried them and hated them?
And has anyone compared more than 1 or 2 of the alternative products?
Finally, my suspicion is that how well they work depends largely on the floor, not the speakers. Is that borne out by what others hear?