Well I am fortunate to have a sample of IsoAcoustics Gaia III isolators. The idea is to replace existing spikes on floor standing speakers with a more stable pair of substantial and technical rubber feet. I’ve spent years using ten pence pieces to isolate my speakers, but what do I know! These Gaia III therefore should provide a better base for the speakers from which to work from.
Out of the Box
The packaging is lovely, I know the Gaia I packaging is a heavy display type box but this is similarly substantial. It always seems strange to me that HiFi companies should bother with such packaging when it will spend its whole life in the cupboard after installation.
IsoAcoustics Gaia III Isolators – Description
The IsoAcoustics Gaia III Isolators have substantial rubber suction style feet on their base with a lovely smooth smoky metal chrome body from which the thread is housed and then screwed into the speaker, replacing existing speaker spikes. The isolators are designed to resist lateral movement and oscillations and maintain a stable listening delivery.
You would really need to spend time ensuring you have the right feet for your speakers as you have to match the weight of the speaker to the Gaia model. There do seem to be plenty of screw diameters to match most threads as well as a cute spanner, that I simply did not use.
The Gaia specs by weight, are as follows:
- GAIA I: for speakers weighing up to 100kg
- GAIA II: for speakers weighing up to 54kg
- GAIA III: for speakers weighing up to 32kg
All GAIA models are packed in sets of 4 and are supplied with three different thread sizes: M8, M6 and ¼-20.
Installation for me was about 15 minutes for both, by dropping my speakers forward flat on the floor (carefully), hoovering up the dust and spider webs etc and screwing in the new feet. My R700s are not particularly heavy, at 26kg, so it was not a big deal. Fortunately, my threads were good and not crossed. Once installed, it’s important that the IsoAcoustics logo faces forward so that the lateral decoupling can be at its most effective.
I am using a Rega Planar 8 as a source (review to follow) with a Naim NAC-N 272 pre-amplifier (which is also streaming Tidal) and NAP 250 power amplifier. My main speakers are the KEF R700 speakers that, although old, are well run in and beautiful. They are fed by Atlas Mavros cables and the electronics are powered through an Atlas Eos Mains Conditioner. As you can read, I have access to a relatively high medium end system with many upgrades that deliver incremental gains. In totality, I have a really nice sound that I am familiar with and, more importantly, happy with. The R700s afford transparency and have stacks of detail, with low end thump and mid-range precision.
It is obviously very difficult to find pretty small incremental gains in all of these things but it is possible. At the Bristol Show IsoAcoutics had a switch on two pairs of Focal Aria speakers, one pair with and one pair without the Gaia Isolators and even there, with all the ambient noise, it was quite hard to hear the difference. I find it better to look for specific improvements from the system with the introduction of a new component so, based on the literature, I’m looking for greater openness and certainly an enhanced soundstage. Openness for me includes detail, so I’m listening hard to Nils Frahm’s ‘Ode’ and soundstage includes Pink Floyd’s ‘Money’.
I’ve had the feet on and off twice now and Nils Frahm’s ‘Solo’ album has improved in openness and detail I’m sure. It is a beautiful piece of music to listen to on my KEF speakers which are excellent with pianos and vocals anyway. Although Ryan Adams has fallen out of favour recently, his live version of ‘Sylvia Plath’, similarly is wonderfully detailed here with a beautiful openness delivered by the R700s from the sensational Planar 8.
I’m struggling more with finding an improved soundstage as it is so delightful to start with but familiar streamed tracks for soundstage such as ‘Money’ and Jack Garret’s ‘The Love you’re Given’ and ‘Strong’ from London Grammar are huge, and fantastic, and I cannot stop listening to them.
But in my view these Gaia III Isolators add value to my system and if I had the money, I would be shipping these guys in
I’m familiar with the arguments concerning pounds per tweak but as I get older, I am certain that decent cables, a mains conditioner and the like all add value, and so too do good feet on you speakers. Whether it is noticeable and, more importantly, worth it, only you can decide. It is your money after all.
In my view these Gaia III Isolators add value to my system and if I had the money, I would be shipping these guys in. If I had a pair of Sopra No. 2s or the Kantas I would certainly be investing in my outlay without question. These Gaias are like putting premium sports tyres on a Porsche 911, simple as that. You’d do that if you bought a 911, wouldn’t you?
More information here SCV
No spikes on the wooden floor
I had a 911, too!