Sorry, this is a repeat of the same titled thread that has 6 responses.
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Well, my Silver Minimus just arrived. I got it from a Canadian exporter. I can't test it out as I had it sent to the West Coast, where I'm vacationing. Thought I'd try it out in a friend's system, but I'm not going back to San Francisco, so, so much for that. I'm very curious about the effect it will have, but confident at the same time, as Roy Gregory has tested it extensively with and without his star grounded system and has gotten excellent results in all cases!
Another week and I'll be checking in!
Tboooe, it's been interesting.
I put the Silver Minimus into the system and it worked. The noise floor dropped and it was better
HOWEVER, there are a variable that I need to revisit to be sure of my results, so I'm only saying the sound was noticeably better.
The variable was a Walker Audio disc that sat atop my CD player (still using the Arcam FMJ 23).
For some time now, I've been unhappy with the sonics. The spectacular noiseless - and realism - of the Stillpoints Ultra Minis was considerably diminished for over six months, beginning with a malfunction in the Nola Contenders (a long story with an unhappy ending, meaning I had to buy another pair. Not fixable by Nola, according to policy and so new ones. I should point out that I had tried to return them to the person who sold them to me, but that did not go in my favor, although the issue was noticeable when I got them). This is the background.
Having gotten new Contenders, I was unable to reproduce the sound. I had everything checked out: interconnects, speaker cable (and, new speakers). Nothing brought it to that dazzling, truly jaw-dropping introduction I got back in November when the first Contenders arrived.
So, back to the Walker disc.
I have always found that positioning of ANY isolation device, footer, Dark Elevator, Shakti Online stabilizer or Hallograph, you name it, can make or break the sound.
It was only today that I realized the walker disc was not precisely positioned and therefore, Ella no longer "materialized" out of the ether of the disc to stand directly in front of me. She was disembodied and imaged vaguely (Cole Porter songbook). Moving the Walker disc so that it was more directly over the CD tray has caused her to re-materialize, BUT, I had loaned my Stillpoints to a friend in California (I live in Connecticut now. WAS a Californian for 30 years) and haven't gotten them back under the CD player. So, my "control" of the system is not exact. For all that, it sounds good, and when Fed Ex shows up again to deliver the new box of Sillpoints for me (I'm letting my friend keep them because he truly loves music and he needs a pick-me-up right now. Things are tough for him), I will be able to have 4 under the PS Audio Power Plant. Wow, serendipity. As I was typing the last sentence, I heard a sound echo off the house next door, meaning someone was in the driveway. It was the Fed Ex man. Again. Didn't ring the doorbell the first time, so I didn't hear him and called to complain, so they sent him again. I'll be in business after I finish this post )
Now, another variable. I ALSO bought the Audio Prism ground controls ($75) and put one on an unused outlet of the Arcam, and it got noticeably better. So, I'd suggest maybe trying one of them. Cheaper, but perhaps not as good. Don't know (I'm trying to make this an adventure, so I hope you're not annoyed by the length of the post).
So, I'm sending this off and will post again by tomorrow with the results. If you've gotten one by now, please post your thoughts. I'm going in to put the Stillpoints under the players, and one more under the PS Audio, thereby restoring the "control."
Wish me success!
Thank you gbmcleod! I havent pulled the trigger yet on the Minimus. I also use Stillpoints in my system. I found that they only improved the sound when placed under my PS Audio P3 ac regenerator. The Stillpoints did nothing when placed under my Luxman CDP or Accustic Arts integrated. I guess thats a good thing, saving me money!
I look forward to hearing your thoughts!
Tboooe, sorry for the delay.
The Silver Minimus with the Silver Earth cable makes a significant improvement, particularly in the noise floor of the system. I first hooked it up to an integrated amp, but I really didn't notice any significant changes.
So, earlier tonight, I hooked it up to the PS Audio Power Plant, which has a grounding connector on the back (how convenient) and connected -and disconnected it from the Power Plant twice. I heard the sound change the first time, but I wanted to repeat the experiment in case it was due to some RFI field influencing what I heard (and because I did it so quickly, although I heard the difference. This was a case of me not trusting my ears the first time).
The second time, it took, literally, a few seconds listening to the Mercury Living Presence Firebird CD which also has Song of The Nightingale on it. (The Mercury Boxed set is truly superior to the original CDs, which I also have, so it was easy to compare the sound).
There is a clearer sense of space around instruments, and the tambourine, which sounded slightly dull on the initial transient when I unhooked it the first time, was obviously better the second time, with transients in particular much improved. I haven't listened at length, but it's obvious that the noise floor drops considerably and quiet sounds, such as the orchestra shifting in their seats waiting to make an entry again, or turning pages of the score is much more obvious. It is very similar to what the Stillpoints Ulra Mini and SS isolation feet do.
I just read spiritofmusic's post and I would agree with him, although I suspect the Tellus does more than the Minimus. Nonetheless, the Minimus DOES drop the noise floor instantly. My problem was that the integrated I was using for the test (the NAD BEE model) didn't seem to show the improvements, but then, I unscrewed one of the screws on the bottom of the unit to do this. I didn't order the RCA-to-spade connector, which I thought I had until i looked at my email to the distributor in Canada, so that may have caused it to be less noticeable. I suspect that, for an integrated with a casing on it, it might not appear that much has changed. And, of course, perhaps a better unit would not have this issue, but the NAD's screws on the bottom did not make an appreciable improvement, so I would suggest people get RCA to spades, if the use it. Not a problem using the PS Audio's ground connector. So, you could just connect it to the PS Audio and you'll likely hear the difference right away. Besides which, both the integrated AND the CD player are hooked into the PS Audio, so whatever benefits IT, will benefit whatever is connected to it.
I think it is easily worth its cost, especially if you get the Silver Minimus and an Earth cable for removing noise in the system (and I can tell you, that, based on my original experience with the NAD, and just using one of the plate screws on the bottom of the NAD , I considered sending it back until just now. I don't think that's going to happen now).
I have to admit that I'm surprised the Stillpoints didn't make a difference under your integrated or CD player. I found the sound astounding when placed under everything, BUT, the placement to the Stillpoints is critical. Even if you are off by a little bit, it merely sounds "good" or "really good instead of dazzling. I saw one poster said that it just "tightened the bass" and I thought to myself, you missed the boat, man. It does WAAAAY more than that, and this was obvious, again using the NAD, whose sound I know because I've had 3 friends who asked for an inexpensive integrated and I recommended the NAD (only the BEE series) and I just came back from California and have heard it in 3 systems, and it's remarkably consistent in its sound regardless of what other components one uses. But, using the NAD for the grounding system, that's part of why it took so long for me to post this: I wasn't convinced I had the Stillpoints properly placed. I decided to get another SS footer, so that I had 4 of them, and it arrived Friday. I put it under the PS Audio. Interestingly, I didn't hear a great difference between them and the Ultra Mini, when used under the Power Plant. I thought it would be a significant upgrade, but - and this is only for me, with the system at hand - I think the Mini would be just fine under the Power Plant. In fact, I am remembering what Robert Harley wrote in TAS when he put them under his speakers. He found that they caused the mid bass to be leaner-sounding, although much, much clearer. I wonder if the SS feet under the Power Plant is too much of a good thing. Which model do you have under the PS Audio?
I'm going back to listen more. Will post in a few days again to see what the other improvements are.
Thank you again gbmcleod! It's great that you hear a major difference when used with the PS Audio unit. It seems our system is similar in the sense that we also use an integrated. What is the RCA to spade connector and why is it needed?
As for Stillpoints, I do want to try them again. When I first tried the Ultra SS and Minis in my system I did not have room treatments and speaker position optimized so perhaps that had an impact on what I didn't hear.
Tboooe, the spade to RCA or spade/spade is the connector that goes between the Entreq unit and the component you hook it up to. So, you don't merely get the unit: you can use ANY connector, I suppose (look up Roy Gregory's audiobeat review), but they come so you can either put the RCA input into an unused RCA jack on the back of your (recommended) preamplifier. Apparently there's less success when it is placed on amps.
I did indeed try it directly to the NAD, but found a much greater - and easily more obvious result - when hooked up to the Power Plant (maybe due to the CD player and integrated being plugged into its receptacles).
In fact, I've been listening for the past 2 days, and I agree with spiritofmusic: there is a noise floor we don't even hear, because it's low enough to put into the background when you listen to music. However, when the Silver Minimus is placed into the system, even CDs such as the JVC XRCD recording of Bartok/Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta exhibit a continuousness of space that is mesmerizing. It as though all the tiny layers of grain we don't hear, are removed, making the music much more fluid, and joining together all the sections of the orchestra so that even when part of the orchestra isn't moving, you still the space they're sitting in quietly, and when the orchestra hits a sudden stop, or, as on Mercury CDs, they move from cut to cut without pausing the machine, the room materializes in a way that disappears once the Minimus is removed.
What's more striking is that usually, I have to pay very close attention to hear changes in say, a tube trap, or the Stillpoints (which also remove grain and lower the noise floor), which, if moved even fractions of an inch (as you know), from their optimal position, can sound quite ordinary, which is why I suspect one poster said it merely 'tightened the bass.' SO not remotely what the do, but this about the Entreq.
You hear so easily INTO the recording (even with the NAD) that suddenly you're hearing music out of parts you only before heard as a 'blurred sound.'
I'd say that even the Minimus can move a system pretty far forward in terms of removing noise, restoring 'color' to the pastel sounds of music (especially lower-pitched instruments, which can tend to homogenize). For its price, its easier than the Stillpoints (I mean, how can you go wrong? You plug one end into your preamp/line conditioner/Power Pant) and the other end onto a spade connector on the back on the Entreq (that little knob on the back unscrews for a spade connection). And then you turn it on, and supposedly, you must run it in for an hour, but you'll hear the change immediately. It shows up as a purity to the music (unless it's heavy metal, which has its own added grunge), which makes everything flow liquify. It sure makes it easy, with the noise floor this low, to hear the music a lot more easily. If I had to choose between the Stillpoints SS and the Entreq, if I'd heard both units at the exact same time, I'd have gone for the Entreq and THEN the Sillpoints. Because the Entreq removes even more grain from the sonic stage than the Stillpoints. You just hear the music better without the false edges that come from grain.