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Lots of people swear they make a big difference but its hard to find any real reviews. Tomorrow my first set of really good monitors are arriving (ADAM A7X) so I'm trying to figure out if theses are worth the investment. I trust the opinions on this forum so let me know!
When they first came out at NAMM a couple of years ago, I went by the Radial / Primacoustic booth to check them out. I was instantly sold. I then took our drummer back to check them out, and even HE could hear the difference. Seriously, the difference between the sound with and without them is significant enough that you can probably compare them blindfolded and still get the answer right 100% of the time. I can.
They're not snake oil - they're the real deal, and they do make an instantly noticeable difference. Imaging is improved, and the bottom end gets tightened up considerably too. I have a large pair for my S3A's, and wouldn't consider using them without them. HIGHLY recommended!
I'm still using the original Auralex MoPads under my A7's. While they're better than nothing, I think the Recoil Stabilizers are a much more effective product, but I hear Auralex have some new monitor isolation units out now too. I'll definitely be having a look at those at NAMM this week.
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I have the recoils under my monitors. Yes, they are the real deal and considerably better than Mopads and the like (which often cause more harm than good). As someone mentioned, you CAN make them yourself. They are just high density foam with a heavy slab of steel on them and some traction control on top of that. It's nothing fancy. But cutting the steel plates to size is a significant enough pain in the butt that it's better for most folks to just shell out the $200.
Biggest difference you will notice is low-end accuracy and low-end imaging. They should, of course, be paired with heavy stands and positioned properly in the room to get the full benifet.
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I've been thinking about this for my mixing desk. I'm using MoPads now, but I was going to try getting a few marble or ceramic tiles to put under my monitors on top of the MoPads. Would this have a similar effect to the steel plate, or is the difference in flexibility between the Primacoustic and the Auralex pads the key?
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One of the keys is definitely the mass of that steel plate.
You might be surprised by just how heavy a set of Recoil Stabilizers are. It would likely have to be a pretty thick and heavy piece of ceramic to come anywhere near it. I have their larger sized RX12 model (roughly 13" x 20") and they weigh a ton. Primacoustic says on their website that you want at least a 4:1 mass ratio - with the monitors weighing no more than four times the mass of the plate.
Since the RX12's have a load limit of 88 lb, well, you can do the math - a quarter of that is 22 lb. Your speakers may be lighter - my ADAM S3A's are pretty heavy - and if so, you could get away with a lighter plate. I looked for some marble tile to try to get an idea of the weight, and it looks like these 3/8" x 12" x 12" marble tiles weigh just under five and a half pounds each. As long as your monitors weight under 22 lb or so, they might work... but they cost $22 for a box of five.
As far as the foam, I'm not sure how much of a difference there is or isn't between the Recoil Stabilizers and the MoPads. They look a bit different, and the Primacoustic foam feels a little stiffer. I suspect a set of MoPads could probably take a pretty good deal of weight, but would a 25% increase in weight above the weight of the monitors alone be pushing it too far for them to handle? I don't know.
Then there's the top layer of the Recoil Stabilizers to consider as well. It's neoprene. You'd probably want something similar to that, as it serves two purposes - as a damper for the mass plate (to help prevent resonance) and as a protective pad for the speaker to sit on. Don't use anything too thick though. 2-3mm neoprene would probably work. If I was looking locally, I'd try checking with local wetsuit manufacturers and surf shops to see if they knew where I could get some scrap pieces. That's going to add to your costs too, although I don't know by how much.
I'm sure you can probably save some off the price of the Primacoustic units by going DIY, but I have to say, I still think mine were a great purchase. They look great, I didn't have to spend time mucking around with anything to build them, and most importantly, they work exactly as advertised. I've been very happy with my Recoil Stabilizers. However, if you do make something similar for yourself, please post some pictures and let us know how they turn out and what you think of the before / after sonic results.
I was given some 25' rolls of 3" thick rubber, the same kind of rubber tires are made from that would be ideal for making a set of these. I even have some metal plates I can glue to the rubber with epoxy.
i'm seriously looking at getting a pair of these for my adam a7x's
i've read a few conflicting opinions regarding whether they're for desks, or for stands as well... my monitors are on stands... will they still make enough of a difference?
The Recoil Stabilizers? Yeah, I think they'd make a difference, even if you're using speaker stands.
The decoupling aspect is probably more important if they're sitting on a desk or meter bridge or anywhere else where they can cause unwanted vibrations and resonances, but the mass / inertia aspect is just as important regardless of whether you're using a stand or a desk to sit the speakers on. You don't want that speaker moving in space as it's working. Unless your stands are something really massive, such as sand-filled stands or concrete posts, the Recoil Stabilizers will probably make a noticeable improvement in the stereo imaging, transient response, and overall tightness of the low frequencies.