Since their introduction in the late 1998, Isoblocks have set the performance standard for isolation footers in the audio marketplace. And though, after we introduced them, they've been imitated by several companies (such as the unscrupulous and inferior-sounding Sound Quest Isol-Pad knock-off), Mapleshade Isoblocks remain the best-sounding, most cost-effective isolation footer available.
Isoblocks were specifically designed and optimized (through extensive listening tests) to be the best possible footer for supporting our air-dried maple platforms. In the early stages of our component mounting R&D, we used brass footers under maple platforms with fine sonic results. (Brass carpet-piercing footers are still essential for any platform on a carpeted floor.) Isoblocks evolved after lots of tests with all kind of compliant suspension isolating mounts.
On hard (uncarpeted) surfaces, an Isoblock under each corner of the platform is even better than our brass footers, and saves money at only $24 per set of four. Isoblocks are a six layer rubber/cork laminate whose footprint and number of laminations has been tuned by ear to exactly those vertical, horizontal, and torsional resonant frequencies that provide the best sonic isolation for platforms.
Isoblocks can also be used for mounting anti-resonant platforms other than our maple ones. Head-to-head, they sound better—particularly in lack of bass boom and clarity of midrange detail—than Vibrapods, Sorbothane, Sorbagel, Iso-bearings, Isol-Pads, Clearaudio Magix, Van Slyke Tri-Orbs, Seismic Sinks, Bright Star and other sandbox mounts, inner tube air suspensions, hockey pucks and squash balls.
For the very best sonic performance, we recommend mounting each component on brass footers (not on Isoblocks) in order to optimally drain vibration out of the equipment down into our maple platform. The platform, on the other hand, always needs to be supported on Isoblocks (except on carpeted surfaces).
In systems where optimal component mounting is either price or space prohibitive, Isoblocks can serve as an excellent, affordable problem-solver and performance upgrade. Where space constraints force you to stack equipment, Isoblocks are the best way to separate components. If you are forced to mount equipment on metal, glass, or stone shelving -- and simply do not have enough vertical clearance for brass footers and our platform -- then Isoblocks are an inexpensive means of mitigating the degrading effect of these seriously bad-sounding shelf materials.
Over the last decade customers have repeatedly requested a more discreet looking Isoblock, an inconspicuous version for elegant listening rooms. We've been working hard to accommodate these requests, trying to find a solution that doesn't adversely affect Isoblocks' acclaimed performance or skyrocket their price. After several years of trial-and-error, we've developed a finishing method that yields an unobtrusive, uniform matte black and doesn't affect the Isoblock's resonant frequencies. Without further ado (pause for the drum roll), we are pleased to introduce our new Black Isoblocks. 30-Day Money Back.
The Isoblocks work amazingly well supporting a PS Audio power plant. For their asking price, they are among the best tweaks I have ever tried. Highly recommended! - EC
Asked for and received from my lovely wife Isoblocks and Ultimate Triplepoint cones for Christmas.... [I had some hard maple made up (2 1/2" thick, 18" x 15") and this went under a Nottingham Spacedeck turntable. By the time I got the lumber cut in the southern part of the state and then planed at another lumber yard and back home to finish, I now realize why your maple costs what it does. I have several other maple slabs and I ordered another set of the Triplepoints and Isoblocks today. My LP's sound VERY MUCH BETTER !!!] Thanks Mapleshade for taking the time to come up with this combination. The new platform will go under my Sony DVP S7000 which I am using as a CD transport along with a Bel Canto DAC 1. Until I get the new points and blocks, the maple is between some Vibrapods and some small brass conepoints that I had....even this sound better. I really like the maple, but the Triplepoint cones and Isoblocks make the whole thing work. Thank you. Dudley Miller
The Mapleshade Maple Platform + Isoblocks sounds better than anything I've tried so far under my Edison 60 integrated tube amp and Rega turntable. It seams to isolate and drain (through the Ultimate Triplepoints Cones) all bad vibes from the components with unparalleled neutrality. The midrange and highs are clear without a hint of grain and the bass is much more controlled and defined. Imaging is very accurate. Highly recommended. - Julien Maculan
I've been using the Mapleshade isolation system (4 inch maple, Ultimate Triplepoint cones and isoblocks) under two components: my Accuphase DP 90 transport, and my Berning Siegfried 300B amp. Let me be very clear. In 12 years of audiophilia, I have never heard a more impressive upgrade. We are out of the land of tweaks and well into the realm of alchemy here. Pierre has artfully tuned brass, wood, rubber and cork and breathed real life into the silicon, glass, metal and ABS of my system.
The Mapleshade system retired the Vibraplane that had graced my system for 5 yearseasily. It took just 10 minutes of listening--the easiest A/B comparison I've ever done. It outclassed a new cone product that uses ceramic balls much like the Aurios.
What's special about it? Everything. The first time I listened, it was visceral. The muscles in my temples just relaxed and went "AHHHHH." Hey, I didn't think they were tight before, but you always realize these things retroactively. Color, dynamics, bass, articulation, treble extensionpick any audiophile goody you choose. It digs into the message of the music deeply. It didn't matter what disk I spun, I was riveted. I'll close by stealing a line from Frank Doris a few years ago: "It blew me away to a point I thought I was too jaded to reach anymore." - David Zigas
I must admit, I was a little skeptical about the maple platforms, but over the course of several days (listening sessions) and some experimenting, I have to admit, Pierre is right, the maple does offer the best of all sound worlds. It clearly made my Pioneer Stable Platter, Model PD-65 sing!!
...The best way I can describe the sound of the brass cones/maple platform/w isoblocks is that I can hear much deeper into the sound stage. Everything is much clearer now with the brass cones. I can hear triangles and other bells that I never heard before, and it makes a singer's voice sound much smoother and actually does kind of clean up some of the harshness that is inherent in most CD's nowadays. The bass is much more defined now (more solid sounding). A more fuller sounding bass. When I order my next platform for my tube amp, I think I'll order an unfinished one and (finish) it myself. Not that the finished maple platform isn't nicely done, it's just that I've decided I can put a hand rubbed finish on just about as well myself and save the extra cash for more CD's.
Bottomline: I don't think you can go wrong buying the 2" maple platform with the isoblocks, and small brass cones. It's probably the best thing that I have done to my system in quite a while. It has restored the excitement back into my system. I had gotten away from listening to music for a while there, but now have gotten back into listening to my system more, because the sound is that much more alive sounding than before. And, isn't that what all of us audiophiles want out of our systems to get that "you are there" live sound? I think I may eventually try your power strip out also and see how much better it makes my system sound than my old Chang Lite speed power line filter... Again, I want to thank you for all your help and explanations you gave me in earlier emails. - Bob Matthews, Fairfax Station, VA
I just tried your Isoblocks under a maple platform holding my Rega P25 and all I can say is what an amazing improvement. I was originally using Vibrapods for isolation and they worked OK but these isoblock are really something special (especially combined with a maple platform). Everything seems in better focus w/ a greater sense of ease and transparency. Thanks Mapleshade for making a great product so affordable! - Sebastian Ramos