Spiral Groove: Strange Attractors
Strange Attractors are vibration isolation devices that are placed under a loudspeaker or component to absorb the unwanted vibrations they can generate that can degrade the sound of an audio system. Strange Attractors capture and dissipate the energy from these unwanted vibrations by employing a combination of aluminum and graphite (and elastomer for the Decouple), machined with a distinctive truncated double-conical design. The different materials and the Strange Attractors’ physical shape work together to effectively refract, reflect and ultimately dissipate the unwanted vibrations
Spiral Groove today announced that its Strange Attractors vibration isolation devices are being offered in an expanded lineup with a choice of more thread sizes, to fit a wider variety of loudspeakers and audio/video components. In addition to the previously available unthreaded Universal and 1/4-20-threaded Attach and Decouple models, Strange Attractors are now available in thread sizes from 4-40 to 1/2-inch, and metric sizes including 6 mm and 8 mm.
Strange Attractors are vibration isolation devices that are placed under a loudspeaker or component to absorb the unwanted vibrations they can generate that can degrade the sound of an audio system. Strange Attractors capture and dissipate the energy from these unwanted vibrations by employing a combination of aluminum and graphite (and elastomer for the Decouple), machined with a distinctive truncated double-conical design. The different materials and the Strange Attractors’ physical shape work together to effectively refract, reflect and ultimately dissipate the unwanted vibrations within the Strange Attractors’ internal structure.
The Universal is recommended for components without moving parts or traditional transformers, while the Attach is designed to be used under loudspeakers and the Decouple is excellent for use with non-suspended turntables, CD players, Blu-ray players and similar components.
Audio components are great because they produce music. However in order to do this they must have moving parts, and moving parts vibrate. So in addition to their intended functions, audio components are oscillators. An audio system is a chain of oscillators whose vibrations interact to degrade the sound. The answer to resonance-induced signal degradation is Spiral Groove’s Strange Attractors.
A system with Strange Attractors properly installed protects signal clarity three ways:
- Reduce individual component's internal resonance (e.g.: turntable motor vibration or transformer hum).
- Isolate components’ energy to prevent transference to other components, or to the room (think of the way spiked speakers drive the floor they sit on).
- Far less interactive resonance between components resting on the same furniture.
How Strange Attractors work
When vibrations from CD transports, transformers, and loudspeakers enter a Strange Attractor its carefully shaped aluminum and graphite elements refract, dissipate, and reflect the vibrations in a cycle of decreasing amplitude and rotating phase. Unwanted vibrations are transformed into heat. Not enough to heat a room, but this transformation eliminates the resonance.
Unwanted vibrations exist as wide and narrow bands, chaotic, random, and steady state energies, that either exit or enter audio components. Accordingly the range of Strange Attractor designs address specific vibration behaviors exhibited by audio system components.
The Universal model will most often be used under “quiet” components that DO NOT have moving parts or traditional transformers. The top of the Universal Strange Attractor is flat with a small dimple in the center so it can be used in a variety of positions. Typical applications are with solid-state preamplifiers, DAC’s, and amplifiers. The Universal can significantly lower the noise floor to reveal finer resolution and dynamic range. Often any hint of glare, even if not overtly present, is removed, giving the audio system a more natural sound. The Universal Strange Attractors will support 75 lbs. each; so don’t let their small size fool you. A set of Universals will support a heavy and powerful mega-amp.
The Attach is designed for loudspeakers. It has a ¼ - 20 threaded stud to secure it to your loudspeakers. The benefit of applying the Attach to your speakers can be profound, and many listeners find that room problems they thought were insurmountable become insignificant when the speakers are not driving the floor or other mounting structure.
The Decouple blends traditional elastomer technology with Strange Attractor geometry and differential materials. A Sorbothane layer provides low frequency attenuation. The Decouple is excellent under non-suspended turntables, such as those from our friends at Rega, Music Hall, or Pro-Ject. When in place under these tables a very significant layer of noise is removed to more fully reveal their performance potential. Much like turntables, CD Players, and Blu-ray Players enjoy similar benefits, as do the components that share the equipment rack with them. With the “noisy” component decoupled from the other components on the same rack, the entire audio system sounds better.
The Decouple’s effectiveness is weight-dependent, so the come with three sets of elastomers to accommodate different weight ranges. The maximum weight a single Decouple can effectively accommodate is 16 lbs. A set of 4 can support components weighing up to 64 pounds. More than four Decouples can be used to accommodate more weight.