I have an EMM Lab CDSA-SE with what are said to be some pretty fancy and engineered footers. Would be after-market footers be any improvement? If so, in what way. The equipment sits on a heavy, solid maple stand, and is isolated from the floor to boot. Thoughts?
If you ask you must want some. How far away are the speakers, and what kind of floor does the equipment rack rest on. Some folks have had a concrete foot poured under the area the equipment rack sits on to make sure it does not get vibrations.
You're going to get answers both ways.If you want to try them,buy them.Only you can make the call if they work for you or not.
The equipment rack is on a suspended wood floor with industrial vibration isolation pads, the kind used for vibrating equipment. I have used BDR, Herbies IsoPods, etc in the past. The EMM labs footers seem to be made with aluminum and some type of viscous material which I imagine is tuned for the chassis. Frankly, I have found isolation devices in the past to make very little noticeable difference, could be the maple rack does a pretty good job of isolation from ground vibrations. I would assume that if the maple rack is relatively inert, that the idea would be to couple (and drain equipment vibration) the player to the rack rather than isolate it from the rack - true?
Frankly, I have found isolation devices in the past to make very little noticeable difference

Well,there's your answer.
You forgot something. The acoustic energy that is flying around the room when the speakers are active. No footer, concrete floor etc will solve that, only an 'acoustic screen'.
Best after-market feet I've experienced for digital players are the brass mapleshade variety...the bigger the better. This over herbie's (various), Iso-nodes, brass tips, cork, wood, and some odds and ends laying around the house (weekend with lots of time on my hands..)

Tpreaves, the answer I have answered for myself is that the footers I have used have not been very effective at changing anything notable, but perhaps they were not effective, or my player simply is not subject to much improvement through the use of footers. Buconero117, it is both that acoustic vibration and self induce motor vibration that I wonder about and why I think the type of footer that would help is one that couples the player to the surface and acts in some way to drain vibration from the player to the supporting surface. Now that is theory and I just don't know whether any kind of footer would actually work that way and result in better sound. I would think the Mapleshade is designed for that very purpose, to act as sink to direct vibration from the player to the supporting surface - I do believe my stand is fairly free from vibration given the thick 3", heavy wood and the isolation from the suspended wood floor which am sure vibrates like mad when music is playing. I suspect nobody can tell me if any type of footer will have a postive effect with my particular player as it is well built and does have some kind of "engineered" footer, but I'm interested in significant improvements that others may have has with the use of footers and a player or transport, got to believe that less vibration would help the laser reader...
Well, you could try some of the cheaper options that have 30-90 day trial periods. Herbie's Audio Labs for example has a 90 day trial period. You could e-mail or call to get their recommendations of what would work best and then try it out at the risk of only the cost of shipping...
Pubul57, since you are asking this question, I think I may have a solution for you, maybe. I have the same player. Before I purchased it I demoed the top of the line XDS1. It is a $24,000.00 one box player with an aluminum chassis. Ours is a standard metal box. Just as this review states the CDSA SE is very sensitive to vibration control. See It is on the money. I, like you already have my player on a maple shelf on my rack. Also my version has the new feet and transport. When I brought the player home what I heard was a hashy hardness that made the player unlistenable for long sessions. I have had this experience before with other players and this wasn’t close to the sound of the XDS1. So with luck and what I knew I tried a set of the Mapleshade Micropoint HeavyHats. They are 3 brass weights that sit on top of the player and they absolutely worked for me. I also tried Stillpoints and Isoblocks as footers. They both cleaned up the sound but they also reduced the energy and, more importantly, eliminated the holographic soundstage the player can produce. The HeavyHat kit retained the players’ energy and let the player shine. If you request I can email you a photo of my placement of the weights with some details. Now if what I heard is not your issue at all then “never mind”.
Someone suggested hockey pucks to me several years ago. I use themm and they work great and I haven't looked back.
Jhardy, that sounds very interesting. So these are just weights placed on top of the unit to mass load the casing? I don't if I'm hearing what you are hearing as the unit does sound good to me, but I did read thay PF reviews as well and took note of it and thinking there might be something I could try that would make the performance even better than what I am already getting. If you could e-mail the photos, that would be much appreciated.
Depends on your taste on how it effects the sound.As a rule you would say yes good footers work well.But I am always for first mass loading a rack or wall mount and then trying different typed cheap and expensive.I always think it weird people will do things like get feet or put dampening mats inside a unit and then have room that is too hard or soft and not treat walls for getting rid of standing waves or have light rack on wood floors.They might be worth it but down the line compared to other much more effect room treatments (analogue like a diffuser behind speakers or on side walls where those standing waves reflect off ) or if one like the sound putting money into digital E.Q or simply experimenting with placement.That said if it's all set up the way you can given room might not lend itself for a "best" placement of speakers etc it might do trick.On other hand like wire it might change sound (as noted above) but not be better.
Marigo Audio Mystery Feet. They're available for a 30 day in home audition with a money back guarantee.
Chazzbo, got the room treatment taken care of. Now mass loading, that just means putting weight on the unit? Like Jhardy's approach? I do wonder why brass would be better than anyother material of the same weight or density, but that is the approach you are recommending? Sort of like putting your hand on top of the chassis which would obviously dampen vibration within the casing, or at least alter the frequency of vibration.
Send me an email for photo reply.
Check out Walker discs for mass loading.
Not like consensus is ever possible in this hobby, but does mass loading seem to be the best approach for my situation? I also repeat the question, why does the material matter as opposed to simply weight? I dod assume that if the weight is relatively inert, the better, but brass more inert than a brick?
For mass loading, which does work great on digital gear IMO, try some DY remedies first. Take some plastic zip lock backs and load them with sand or kitty litter. Note the weight (you may want to make up a few of varying weights) and place them on top of the player. See how it sounds.

I have some VPI bricks and use them on top of my VAC amps and Lightspeed. My transports sits on top of my DAC so its mass loaded that way.
Hi Anhtony, I think I might try that Mapleshade stuff, even if the kitty litter works....
Pubul57, save yourself some significant money and look into the brass weights offered by "Edensound".
Here’s my general understanding / working hypothesis, for what it’s worth.

As far as I understand it, there’s two basic approaches to tweaking boxes (for lack of a better word): mass loading and isolation. Now, I was never 100% sure which role something along the lines of a maple block was intended to serve – but I always suspected that it worked best in the mass loading camp. Which role it is capable of serving, however, will depend on the nature of your footer.

An example. Many maple applications employ a spiked footer between the block and the component (either independent or replacing stock footers by physically screwing into the component). In either case, I would assume that by physically coupling the box to a massive wooden block you are fundamentally employing a mass loading application – theory being that by increasing the effective mass of the box through the couple, you are making it more resistant to any vibrations due to the increased mass. Following this theory, a screwed-in spike would be more effective than a free-standing spike, but both seek to achieve the same goal.

Now, in contrast, if you employ a footer that seeks to de-couple the box from the maple block, you cannot really be said to be mass loading. Rather, the block is acting as a vibration sink independently of the box, because the box is not coupled to it. On this theory, the purpose of the block would be to increase the efficiency of the isolation footer by decreasing the amount of vibration that reaches the footer coming up from the ground (or whatever else may be beneath it). In such a setup, the maple is acting as an isolation device.

Fundamentally, I do not know which application maple is better for, mass loading or isolation – but I have certainly seen it used for either.

Regarding your CDP (which I am not familiar with) it sound like your stock footers are build on an isolation theory – as you describe them as a combination of aluminum and something soft, I assume that anything other than a rigid couple is isolation-based. Thus, and here’s my theory in application, you are likely using the maple more in an isolation sense than in a mass-loading sense. If your were to switch to rigid spikes between the CDP and the maple, it would change the nature of the application you are using it in to more one of mass loading. Whether that would be beneficial to you or not, I have no idea, but I suspect it would be different.

Now, if you mass load by adding weight to the top of the machine (I’ve used those lead-filled leather paperweights), your would not only be mass loading from the top, but you may well be decreasing the isolation characteristics of the stock feet (by increasing the mass they need to support, of course) and therefore shading the useful effectiveness of the maple block more towards mass loading than isolation by decreasing the effectiveness of the stock footers’ isolation capacity. (I may have lost myself, anyone still with me…?)

It sounds like you’ve got some serious isolation under the rack, so experimenting with mass loading may be at least interesting to try (and, conversely, dialing up isolation applications something I’ll leave alone). But, at least according to my working hypothesis, there’s a bunch of ways to get that done, each of which may impact the usefulness of other things you have in play. So, complicated? A working theory? Best of luck.
Yes, some time ago I took some large, very hard heavy cones to a client's home along with a matching special wood shelf which contains some loose fill inside. We put these items under his CDSD transport. The improvements were immediate and mind-blowing. Substantially increased resolution and improved image height delineation along with a naturalness to the sound and better dynamics, rhythm and pace. He bought them on the spot.
I spoke with the folks at EMM and they said that their footers are designed and engineered for isolation, and they certainly don't look like after thoughts. To keep myself from going crazy, I'm going to go in the direction of some chassis dampening with the likes of Edensound Damping Disc, Walker Discs, Mapleshade Highpoints, or Herbies Stablizers -- I think they are all designed to do basically the same thing. Which of these is best and dealing with chassie vibrations, who knows but I'm going to look into these and choose one. The Edensounds certainly looks the least expensive route, but....
Brass discs are brass discs. There's no magic in the more expensive brass discs.

I've owned Mapleshade, Edensound and another no-name brass weight. They all do the same thing and produce the same result.
I notice that these chassis "damping" devices appear to take two approaches, some which use small contact points, sometimes small spikes like Mapleshade, or the Walker stuff little rubberized pads, while others seem to go flush with the surface. I'm no engineer and have no idea what the thinking is between one approach and the other. I will not be using anything beneath the transport as it has well engineered aluminum and elasto someting or other material resting on a rack made from 3" thick maple with industrial isolation pads between the pillars and the floor. Thoughts? And, can you have too much weight? Tvad, the Edensound certainly sounds like a bargain, a lot of brass for the $$$.
Then there is the HRS method. Take a look at their damping plates. Something else you could DIY with some 30 or 40 durometer rubber from McMaster.

You can have too much weight. Its an art not a science.
An art, not a science. Exactly. Entirely subjective in terms of what you want to achieve. In this area, DIY or cheap and cheerful can be as effective as expensive and exotic.

Choose your poison. If you're looking for increased "detail, resolution, imaging" etc. look at a harder footer. If you're looking at warming things up, creating a less "aggressive", more relaxed sound, look at a softer footer.

There is no definitive "answer"; ultimately it's about what you want.
What about these?
Someone use them? What you impression?
Edensound feet work great. Dan is a good guy.
I have found Symposium products work great under a cdp. I ahve a set of double stacked set of roller blocks - series 2 and presently a svelte shelf which will be upgraded to an ultra shelf.

Although these products are not cheap, they work!!And yes, it did make a differnce from going from a single set of series 2 rollerblocks to the double stacked

I also have the eden sound ( plates on everything as well, cdp, amp, pre , conditioner. I had mine made double the thickness as the standard plate. Hope this helps.
I'm going to try two of the Edensound discs and two of the Herbies's discs. I have two Walker Audio discs for my preamp and Merlin BAM. Thanks for all the input:)
After using or trying many through the years including
symposium, stillpoints, grand prix apex, black diamond, harmonix, & of course a few others. I found all to be good & some better than others.

I would highly recommend checking out the WAVE KINETICS A10-U8 Component Control System & also the WAVE KINETICS 2NS Loudspeaker Interface System. I am experiencing some very good results with better image, soundstage expansion, & Bass was also improved,,, more definition especially in the mid bass frequencies.

They do a great job with both Airborne & Mechanical vibration. The prices are not out of this world compared to a few others

Any experience with the effectiveness of the Ginko 10 or 11s as platforms, or similar type of devices. The Ginko seems to be relatively inexpensive. The other similarly priced approach is the BrightStar AirMass/BigRock/Little Rock system.
Any experience with the effectiveness of the Ginko 10 or 11s as platforms?

I use a Gingko Cloud 10 in my system. When it is mass loaded to Gingko's specifications, it is very effective at reducing vibration. I use Mapleshade Heavyhats to mass load.

I also use Bright Star Big Rocks, maple platforms (up to 4" thick), and BDR cones/pits/jumbo pits. Of these, the Gingko platform and the BDR jumbo pits are the most effective at reducing vibration. Both produced audible improvements in my system. With the others devices, it was hard for me to say whether they made an audible difference. Of course, YMMV.
The BDR are beneath the Ginko, or between the top plate of the Ginko and the bottom of the equipment?
I use the BDR jumbo pits and the Gingko platform under different components. Sorry I didn't make that clear. BDR jumbo pits under my amp. Gingko platform under my dac/preamp.
Thanks. I use BDR and Pits below Mapleblocks for my amps sitting on the floor, with Herbie Isopods[?] between the maple and the amp - that seems to work well. The Ginko design does seem to make a lot of sense - it sure does invite DIY at the price though - but it looks good.
If you're looking at isolation platforms, I really like what a Neuance
shelf has done for me under a Meridian CDP.
Those EdenSound brass weights with the EAR padding work very nicely - and a bargain to boot.
I was not aware of the flat Edensound brass weights until recently. They look ideal for fitting on top of components situated in a rack where there's not a lot of headroom. Plus, the flat weights are larger in diameter, so they contact more surface area than the taller/narrower weights like the kind I own.
They do what they are meant to do, beautifully made, and only $18-20 (1 lb) with four choices of interface material - cork, sorbathane, E-A-R rubber, and felt. He has 1 lb, 2 lb, and 5 lb versions. Simply made, no BS.
What interface material did you try and what set up did you end up keeping? What did you obtain sonically?
I chose the E-A-R. The fella there was a bit suspect about hearing differences between the different interfaces and he felt the Cork could go brittle over time, and the Sorbathane tended to capture grit and grain - so I went with the E-A-R. I think what you obtain sonically will depend on the gear as I suspect the "tuning" effect is dependent on the particular gear you are using. For me in my set up, I think what you get is improved resolution, by which I mean the ability to notice more differences between instruments, singers, etc. - more information about the musical performance. They are cheap enough, and the idea that some weight on casing will reduce vibration to some extent is proabably uncontroversial - whether that will provide noticeable difference will depend on the overall resolution of your system so it something you have to experiment with since I think blanket statements are just that.