Review: Final Labs Daruma 3ii Isolation Feet Tweak

Category: Accessories

The Daruma 3ii isolation feet provide great results at a reasonable price (something we can all appreciate). I had a fairly quiet system with a good sound stage to begin with. When I placed the isolatin feet under my CD player, I was amazed by the improved sound. The background was black as night and the sound stage really opened up (two key aspects of my listening preferences). I listen to a broad range of musical genre from rock to jazz to classical and I could hear the difference with each CD I played. I felt like Pat Barber and Eva Cassidy were sitting in my listening room playing. When I listen to classical, I hear clarity throughout the listening spectrum with no mud in the mid range, yet the detail is not fatiguing. I have been using the isolation feet for one month and I am still pleased with the sound quality. I have not used isolation devices in the past (mainly due to the cost), therefore, I don't have a reference to compare these to. The strengths of the Daruma isolation feet are the ease of use and the reasonable price (most dealers list them for $99.00 but I found them at Galen Carol Audio for $85.00). The only potential weakness I have found is that your CD player will move when you load and unload a CD or press any buttons on the face. I avoid excess movement by always using my remote and limiting physical contact with the player.

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I have heard good things about this product. Very compatable to the more expensive isolation devises. I am wondering however how a footer that allows for movement works so well on digital. I would assume the opposite, that the movement would add smear to the leading edge of the musical note. Have you noticed any loss of impact or pace on the front edge of notes?
I'm not familiar with this product but I have looked at the Aurious isolation feet. Do you know how they would compare?
Reply to Jadem6. In my experience, I haven't noticed a loss of impact or pace on the notes. Another listener might find otherwise. I have read some general discussions of using isolation feet and they have raised some questions similar to those you have raised but no one, as far as I have seen, has made a strong statement against the use of this type of isoation system. My thought was that for $85.00 they were worth a try. I wasn't willing to commit to spending the high price of some of the other brands without hearing for myself whether they really made a noticeable sonic improvement or whether they diminished the sound in any way.

Reply to Nrchy. I have read about the Aurious isolation feet but I haven't personally tried them or heard a system with them in use. I do know that structurally, they are very similar to the Darumas. They have the same basic two-piece construction with a ball bearing between. In doing my research into using isolation feet, I did run across one comparison between the two, which said that the quality of the machine work of the Aurious is slightly better than that of the Darumas but that sonically, there wasn't really a big difference. I don't remember where I read this. It was on the web, though.
I have owned both, and Darumas give you 75% of benefit of much more expensive Aurios MIB for much cheaper price. Galen Carol is a good source for these. Also easier to set-up, although new MIBs allow the single bearing on top (for extra cost) which I've heard makes set-up a bit easier.

I like these under CDP but keep in mind you must have cables that don't exert much push/pull force or bearings will be offset and not effective. This is my current situation so I am using large brass Mapleshade cones currently. I am keeping a couple sets of Darumas handy in case future cable change allows their use again.