IsoAcoustics Stage 1 Board review

Tighten up your amp's low-end and improve its clarity with this smart all-in-one speaker isolator

IsoAcoustics Stage 1 isolation board
(Image: © IsoAcoustics)

Guitar World Verdict

An affordable, foolproof way of ensuring your amplifier's frequency spectrum is fully represented in all its glory.

Pros

  • +

    Improves sound clarity and tightens bass response.

  • +

    Affordable.

Cons

  • -

    The difference may be minute to audio non-enthusiasts.

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Whether you use speaker isolators or not is a question best left with studio engineers and experts who work in the audio industry. When it comes to guitarists, most of us don’t really have the time or energy to explore this option when it comes to our own guitar amps, but the general consensus has long been that the concept works.

IsoAcoustics, who have been manufacturing isolation products for pro audio, live sound, radio and television, and consumer markets, just released the IsoAcoustics Stage 1 Board (with integrated isolators) aimed at guitarists and bassists, which provides a portable isolated platform that decouples stage monitors, sub woofers, guitar and bass amps from the stage or floor to improve sound clarity, tighten up bass response, and generate more natural spatial sound reflections.

The IsoAcoustics Stage 1 Board is made from a durable ABS polymer with a cut-out carrying handle, measures 25 x 10 x 1.85 inches, and supports amp combos and cabinets that weigh under 100lbs (its max weight limit). 

Unlike the previous version, the new Stage 1 board has built-in isolators, so you don't need to buy them separately, and also includes grip tape to secure a stronger connection between the board and amp.

This is certainly not my first time using a speaker isolator, because I’ve tried them before in the more common foam pad version, except those are heavier and bulkier to carry around. 

Here, the Stage 1 Board is super lightweight, and easy to store and use. Not having any major opinion of speaker isolators, I decided to give it a go with numerous amp combos and cabinets. 

I will say the beauty of this product is its lightweight design, which allowed me to promptly A/B my guitar amplifier’s speaker response as I swapped it from the floor to the top of the Stage 1 Board’s isolated platform quite quickly. And if I’m being honest with myself, there is a marked difference in sound. 

Once raised to the top of the Stage 1 Board? Voila! It’s like a sheet was removed from over the amp revealing more top end brilliance, and tight and focused lows

On the floor, my amp sounded flabbier with a dull high end. Once raised to the top of the Stage 1 Board? Voila! It’s like a sheet was removed from over the amp revealing more top end brilliance, and tight and focused lows. 

In fact, it just had more sparkle and definition. Before, my remedy would be to overcompensate the EQ and now I didn’t have to touch a thing. Still, you can argue the difference in sound is minute, but the Stage 1 Board offers an overall response distinct enough that if you’re a real stickler for a higher fidelity, this is a no-brainer must have.

Specs

(Image credit: IsoAcoustics)
  • STREET PRICE: $99.99
  • MANUFACTURER: IsoAcoustics
  • DIMENSIONS: 3.5 x 1.7" (90 x 42mm)
  • TILT: No
  • WEIGHT CAP: 100lbs
  • QUANTITY: 4 per box

For more information, head to IsoAcoustics (opens in new tab).

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Paul Riario

Paul Riario has been the tech/gear editor and online video presence for Guitar World for over 25 years. Paul is one of the few gear editors who has actually played and owned nearly all the original gear that most guitarists wax poetically about, and has survived this long by knowing every useless musical tidbit of classic rock, new wave, hair metal, grunge, and alternative genres. When Paul is not riding his road bike at any given moment, he remains a working musician, playing in two bands called SuperTrans Am and Radio Nashville.