The pNEUPOD is a pneumatic isolation device developed by pNEUANCE Audio. This product uses air compression as its major isolation method. The rubber diaphragm is a clever way of containing the air and allowing it to isolate in all planes.
The pNEUPOD device decouples (or isolates) the attached component from the platform on which it is sitting. This is in contrast to a device that is designed to couple the attached component to the platform. Spikes (made of solid aluminum, wood, brass, ceramic, carbon fiber, stainless steel, etc.) tend to rigidly couple the component to its platform. Most platforms are shelves on an equipment rack that are sitting on a suspended floor. The acoustic energy from the audio system is usually transmitted to the floor and back up through the equipment rack and shelves. The shelves also act as receivers for the acoustic vibrations. The end result is major vibrations are making their way to the component. If one can properly isolate these vibrations from entering the component the improvement in sound quality is quite noticeable. Coupling devices, such as spikes, are only effective when the component can be coupled to a massive stable platform that is anchored to a solid foundation (such as a concrete basement floor). The vast majority of systems need the component to be decoupled or isolated from its platform regardless of its rigidity. There are other products in the marketplace that appear to provide isolation in some planes and coupling in other planes. The logic of these devices is unclear.
The pNEUPOD is extremely effective isolating the component from its platform. The adjustable air pressure allows components of varying weights to be used without compromise. Uneven weight distribution is easily accommodated by varying the air pressure in the individual feet. Every aspect of its design was optimized for performance. The rubber diaphragm is a custom formulation that has been perfected for its purpose. The air valve is also a custom design that will allow connection and disconnection of the air pump without any loss of pressure. The degrees of sonic improvements when isolating a preamp, power amp, DAC, disc player or audio server are quite profound. Turntables and vacuum tube electronics prove to be a must for the pNEUPOD.
The original design dates back to 1983. The newly formed pNEUANCE Audio company has taken this concept and refined it with modern proprietary materials and intelligent engineering. The end result is a product that is ideal to improve the performance of any audio system.
In the development of the Pneupod NP-1, Pneuance Audio built a test jig for measuring the effectiveness of its isolation designs. Unlike some audio measurements, the test results closely aligned with acoustic perception. This testing also revealed some shortcomings in isolation feet from other manufacturers. Many other products that claim to isolate actually couple. Different isolation technologies were tested (rubber, ball bearing, spring, etc.) Below are some samples of various feet tested. Notice how the NP-1 shows almost no transference of vibration.
Competition # 2
Competition # 6