Audioholics Reviews GAIA Series – “I Was Literally Stunned.”

Audioholics recently reviewed the GAIA Series with stellar feedback. Audioholics is an audio/video (A/V) and home theater technology review site and Internet forum. The review from Theo Nicolakis was the most comprehensive review we have seen so far and it addresses many common misconceptions. 

Theo tested IsoAcoustics GAIA isolators on two different speaker setups. The two setups would highlight speakers of differing weights supported by differing floor structures. The first setup consisted of Revel Ultima2 Salon on a hardwood floor while the second consisted of RBH SVTR Signature Tower speakers that sat on vinyl flooring laid over a concrete floor. The Revels weigh in at 146 lbs each while the RBH SVTR Signature Towers weigh in at a whopping 205 lbs each. 

Before getting into his listening tests & conclusions, Theo takes us on a journey starting with what piqued his curiosity and what he hoped to achieve with the GAIA’s. He even provided a brief history on IsoAcoustics and detailed how the IsoAcoustics isolation technology works, including data from the National Research Council of Canada (NRC). This is all covered on the first page named Introduction. 

IsoAcoustics GAIA Audioholics

The article gets even more interesting when Theo shares his Listening Tests & Conclusion. Here is what Theo had to say: 

I listened to the Salon2 setup first and then the RBH setup. When I turned on listening material I knew extremely well for the first time, I was literally stunned. Truth be told, maybe I was expecting a small difference but not an overtly palatable one. Imaging, soundstage depth, and soundstage stability are all an important part of my listening enjoyment—it was those areas where the difference immediately struck me. Vocals were tighter, more detailed and the stereo image was rock solid. The air between instruments and performers was firmly anchored in a manner I had not previously experienced. “ 

Theo also explained the effect on the low frequencies and structure borne noise 

“In addition to imaging, the effect on bass notes was physically and audibly noticeable. The bass energy that was rattling through the hardwood floor, sofa, and surrounding objects was mastered. But here’s the important nuance to that statement. Bass was mastered without being emasculated. It’s as though the GAIA effectively neutered the deleterious effects of the room and furnishings while letting the music run free. It wasn’t so much room correction as it was isolation.” 

Theo then described how the GAIA’s met his 4 goals that he had for his article: 

Goal #1 

“…did they solve my hardwood floor conundrum? Well, after nearly a decade of fumbling through different solutions on hardwood, the GAIA isolators have indeed become my ultimate solution for speakers on hardwood.” 

Goal #2 

“…did the IsoAcoustics GAIA address cabinet and room resonance issues? You can rest assured that among my first albums to play was YoYo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone. Even before I got to the point in the tracks I was looking for, I was struck by what seemed to be a tighter overall presentation to the music. Textures were cleaner. Instruments even more firmly planted in space and time. And then the “Eureka!” moment: The resonances were dramatically reduced. I simply could not believe the difference. Starting at the 21-second mark of the track Dinner from Lady Calif and culminating at the 57-second mark, the smearing I had previously experienced was addressed and corrected by the GAIA isolators.” 

Goal #3 

“…Did the GAIA alter the sound by sucking out the bass experience? I think you already know the answer to this one. The answer is a resounding “no way.”  

Goal #4 

“…How did the GAIA work across different flooring substructures. For me, I perceived that the GAIA isolators made a less dramatic impact on the music through the SVTR Signature Towers on the concrete substructure than the Salon2s on hardwood.  

That doesn’t mean I didn’t sense a difference. I did indeed perceive that the soundstage and the bass tightened up. The sensation is as though the SVTR Signature Towers cabinets became more inert. The quantity and quality of the bass output from the SVTR Signature Towers is simply body blowing and anything I’ll write will fail to convey the experience of these speakers. Nevertheless, introducing the GAIA to the equation improved the perceived performance of the speakers in my room.” 

Conclusion 

“The one thing that my months-long experience with IsoAcoustics GAIA isolators taught me is that decoupling the speakers from the flooring substrate and dampening the resulting vibrations plays a role in improving the perceived soundstage, imaging detail, and improves the overall experience of the music. Moreover, isolation most certainly needs to be part of our conversation of optimizing speaker-room performance and as far as I’m concerned now belongs as an essential part of our optimization toolkit.  

“…my experience with the GAIA was so overwhelmingly positive that I’m going to do something that I don’t often do with review gear—make it a permanent part of my personal setup going forward. This road with the GAIA was more of a personal journal than a formal review.  Therefore, I highly recommend you take GAIA for a spin yourself and draw your own conclusions. But something tells me we just might find ourselves walking together on the same path to audiophile nirvana.” 

 

 

 

 

Adioholics rating isolation

 

Read the full article here

For more information on the GAIA Series, click here

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