My new Guru Q10 speakers appear to be stuck somewhere between Estonia, Sweden and Austria. Tired of waiting (I have waited for four weeks now) I pulled the trigger on a pair of display model Neat Iota Xplorer to give my SuperUniti something to play with. Two days later they were on my doorstep in Vienna, after a short trip from the Czech Republic, hurray!
According to Neat they need up to 200 hours to sound their best, but boy, did they sound nice right out of the box. Now they have maybe 25 hours on them and I can’t say that I have noticed much change. Hard to believe they could sound any better.
I loved what IsoAcoustics Gaia isolator feet did for my old Tannoy Cheviots (box upgrade level transformation), so I ordered the matching Gaia III for the Xplorers.
It will take a couple days for them to arrive, so in the meantime I wanted to check if anyone here would know (or wanted to venture a guess), if changing the distance between the (floor-firing) woofer and the floor will influence/change the performance of the woofer? I did a mock up yesterday with some wooden blocks and it did not seem to make a lot of difference, if any.
I will also inquire with Neat Acoustics on Monday.
The proof will be in the eating of the pudding once the Gaias arrive chez moi, and I shall dutifully report.
I have some ex-demo Iota ALPHA’s with a good few hours on them and they sound absolutely fantastic.
I’d personally stick with the regular length spikes that come with the speakers - I only say this as I’m a great believer in the engineering that goes into speakers and would think that anything shorter / longer would have been tested by Neat during the R&D phase of the product lifecycle.
Just plug them in and enjoy.
Sound advice, thanks! And I agree. In principle . I too respect R€D. But if you have heard the difference the IsoAcoustics footers can make you can’t help but wanting to try it out. I can always return the footers and screw the spikes back in.
I believe the Neat feet outriggers are their suggestion for a better support.
quite expensive though
Good point about the Neat Feet Kit, forgot about that. There were offering that for the Momentum SX5, I believe, and the smaller Iota Alpha. I don’t see a Feet Kit for the Iota Xplorer though.
Either way, the Feet Kit enhances the stability of the speakers, it does not isolate it from the surface or stands on.
Neat are, by the way, offering a desk stand made by IsoAcoustics for the original Iota.
A quote from HiFi+, not sure how different the isoacoustics from the Townsend’s but it may or may not work as effectively as the supplied spikes due to the speaker design.
Thanks! Good one. Read that article too and promptly forgot about it . Of course, the down-firing drivers introduce vertical piston action, which I have not considered. Mhm, will be interesting to observe.
From previous experience with the Gaias I can say that once loaded down by the weight of the speaker they seem to have very little up and down movement.
Please let us know your findings.
Here is Neat’s take on the subject. This is from Bob Surgeoner himself.
<<We’ve used the Gaia 3s on some of our speakers (Alpha, Motive SX2, SX1 etc.) but not Xplorers as yet.
We’ve had very good results with them but, as you mention, the additional height of the Gaias will increase to gap between the speaker and floor, and I’m not sure how or if this will affect performance. There is no harm in trying them, and I’d be glad to hear about the results if you do.>>
Pretty amazing customer service, I would say, the designer/owner answering himself!
I’ve searched for “outriggers” for my Rega and PMC loudspeakers.
Found some from Dayton Audio which I will try, they offer various sizes and seem quite universal.
Unfortunately they are in US (customs taxed)
Unless there is something I have not considered, outriggers are pretty straightforward and any local metal worker should be able to make them for you. Heck, you can make them yourself with very basic metal working tools (clamp, saw, drill, thread cutter, file) if you have access to metal bar stock.
I’m sure you could cut some sort of block to sit between the feet to reduce the distance to the driver back to the regular size. Lots of opportunities to play with different materials!
Now we also have an official statement from IsoAcoustics on the topic:
<<The up/down compliance of the GAIA’s will be no issue. With the weight of the speaker on the GAIA’s, it is actually much less than the compliance front to back. The GAIA’s work well in this application as long as the height of the GAIA’s is equal or greater than the height of the existing feet. It is best not to reduce this space when you have a down firing woofer. We recommend installing the GAIA’s with the logo facing forward (or turned 180 degrees backwards).>>
Now the footers just have to arrive so we can hear if what should work in theory also does in practice.
Week’s almost over, still no Gaias
How did you get on with the xplorers. What sort of distance did you have them from a back wall.
High time for an update, thanks for the reminder, Puddlesplasher. Been busy relocating my office.
About eighty to one hundred hours on Xplorers now, and still waiting with final placement and judgement until they are fully broken in. Currently they are placed 2,8 meters apart, 0,3 meters (measured from the back of the speaker) from the back wall, about one meter from corners.
The Gaia III are simply wonderful. I cannot think of a single drawback. The gap between floor and speakers is slightly (2 cm) bigger, as expected, with no ill effect whatsoever. For this former flat-earther the slight wobbliness was unsettling at first. Getting them nice and level still makes a difference though, you’ll be pleased to hear.
Spikes are a thing of the past for me. It seems that using the IsoAcoustics thingies “cleans up” room acoustics as well. My room is pretty bright, and I was annoyed with that before. Currently it doesn’t bother me. When I start listening to music, I seem to not stop after a while any more to watch something on TV.
More texture, or detail, with plucked upright bass was immediately noticeable. You know, the proverbial cliche of strings sounding more like strings. Ev’rything else is firmed up, tightened, too.
I am very tweak-sceptic or agnostic but I have been so convinced by this product that I bought a set (8) of IsoPuck Mini for my office. I needed only three per speaker for the QAcoustics 3020 so the two that were left over support my Cisco 2960. No critical listening done here but certainly no harm done. My office room is even brighter and the IsoPuck Mini had the same beneficial effect there.
I will report again, about final placement and such. Breaking in is slow, with maybe three hours per day, often none.
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