In October, I reviewed ISO Puck Mini sound isolation feet from IsoAcoustics. These are a very cool (and easy) way to make your speakers sound better. The company also sent its latest release, the ZaZen isolation platform. The ZaZen takes the same principle as the Puck Minis—isolating your audio equipment from vibration—but employs it in a platform large enough to hold a turntable or other sensitive audio equipment.
What Is It?
The ZaZen looks like a high-gloss black slab. The version I tested is the ZaZen I, which is 17 x 15 x 1.5-inches. It’s essentially a heavy chunk of dense, solid material. Mounted to the bottom are four integrated isolators—similar to those ISO Pucks. The combination provides a solid, heavy base that’s also equipped with sound isolating feet. It’s designed to completely protect a turntable (or another component) set on the platform from any vibration or resonance. That, in turn, means better sound.
The size is obviously designed to fit turntables. So long as the feet will fit on the ZaZen, you’re good. The ZaZen I ($199.99) is rated for equipment weighing up to 25 pounds. The Za Zen II ($229.99) is slightly thicker at 1.65-inches and is rated for equipment up to 40 pounds.
Does It Work?
My ears and equipment probably weren’t good enough to be able to tell whether setting up a turntable on the ZaZen made a real difference in acoustics. In theory, I should have been experiencing “greater acoustic clarity and detail.” In reality, I couldn’t discern a great deal of difference. I’m not certain that I could tell at all. Then again, I was using a $200 turntable during testing—it’s not going to deliver a ton of nuance either way.
However, I can say that during my review period there was major construction on our street. Heavy equipment was shaking the house for days. I had to pack up all my shelves of action figures because the vibration was so bad they were toppling over. I didn’t dare play a record on my own sound system during the day for fear of skipping. I had to wait until after dinner when construction wound down.
When I set up a turntable on the ZaZen and played through my test records, there was no skipping. If nothing else, the isolation feet were protecting the turntable stylus from the construction vibration.
At any rate, if your turntable lacks effective sound isolation feet of its own, or you want to eliminate vibration as a source of distortion in your turntable setup, the IsoAcoustics ZaZen may be the solution you’re looking for. It’s simple to use, relatively inexpensive, and nicely designed with a low profile to complement any audio system.
Disclosure: IsoAcoustics provided a zaZen I for evaluation but had no input into this review. As an Amazon Associate, I earn affiliate fees from qualifying purchases.