To Doug Schneider,

You are taking all the fun out of home audio by deviating from faith-based, subjective audio reviewing.

Just tell everyone that the item being reviewed is fantastic in every way and it’s the best thing you’ve ever heard -- with the possible exception of something similar you reviewed 18 months ago that was just slightly better. Now that’s audio reviewing.

Your scientific approach is ridiculous. What does science have to do with audio?

As for the IsoAcoustics zaZen I isolation platform, I’m not surprised that its performance was marginal. I have IsoAcoustics Aperta speaker platforms under my KEF LS50s, which are stacked on Rythmik Audio subwoofers on the left and right channels in my home theater. I wasn’t worried about the speakers vibrating on the subs, but rather, the vibration of the subs modulating the sound from the speakers. While the Apertas helped, their efficacy was not what I’d hoped for. To improve their performance, I then added Sorbothane hemispheres to the top and bottom of the platforms and, voilà, they work great! If I turn the mains amp off and crank up the subs, the LS50s hardly vibrate to the touch.

I already knew that such issues are highly dependent upon the mass of the item that’s being isolated and the frequencies to be damped, but your review really drove it home. Too light or too heavy an item and it works poorly or not at all. Also, that several damping layers are better than just one. Honestly, a platform made from a piece of Corian or a 1/4″ carbon-fiber plate sitting on Sorbothane hemispheres could work way better and be much cheaper. Or even 3/4″ plywood. And also, what is the platform standing on? How sturdy is that and how much is it vibrating? A turntable on a magnetically levitated concrete slab that’s next to a subwoofer is still going to get the crap vibrated out of it through the air when you turn up the volume.

This product isn’t exactly snake oil, but one size does not fit all. That is its failing.

I haven’t played a record in over 15 years, but my turntable sat on the concrete mantle of a huge stone fireplace throughout the 1990s until 2004. That is acoustic isolation -- unless there’s an earthquake!

All the best,
Jeff Henning
United States

I can appreciate a little sarcasm from time to time! However, I’m glad you pointed out that the IsoAcoustics zaZen I platform isn’t “snake oil.” It’s not. But as you pointed out, the effectiveness of the zaZen platform will have a lot to do with what’s placed on it and what it’s sitting on. I still think it’s a good product for the price. . . . Doug Schneider