I tried them under my Avantgarde Duo Omega G2. They increase detail, tighten up bass and make sound stage more "precise".
I cannot comment on if my experience with Avantgarde will translate exactly to your Merlins.
I wonder, why do you think Bobby Palkovich would disapprove?
Thanks for your response. I know that the only way to really find out is to just put them on and see.
I've had many conversations with Bobby in the past and have found him to be very helpful and knowledgeable. He also knows what works best for his speakers, and in my experience takes a rather dim view of deviating from the norm (no disrespect Bobby!).
I have the Stillpoints Ultra SS on order (they're pricey!), and will check them out. If there is not a noticeable improvement, I'll go back to the spikes and try the Stillpoints under the Vac Sigma 160I amp.
Stillpoints Ultra SS isn't just another tweek its a necessity. I have them under my speakers. I had Walker Audio Point's....One of the better cones out there. They don't compare to the Ultra's. I can't wait to pick up a few more for cd and amp.
Thanks Heinrich. I'm looking forward to installing and evaluating the Stillpoints. I know you are already a believer!
And Stillpoints Ultra 5s are probably still better, under any speakers.
Thanks Vladimir. I have to say that I can barely afford the Ultra ss version. If you have the Ultra 5's, all I can say is congrats! Tell me what they do for you, if you do have them.
There's always the Ultra AL...much more affordable and 95% of the performance (if not 100%).
disclaimer...I'm selling 8 of them since I'm disassembling my entire system.
Sorry Jcote, that's not what I hear. The SS option is a significant improvement over the aluminum.
Any update? Did you try them?
I have used the Ultra SS and they were clearly better than the Edensound brass footers I had been using. At the same time, I managed to get hold of Track Audio Isolation feet, which are on sale in the US. The Stillpoints went back. Track Audio made a significant extra immprovement over the Stillpoints, in what footers, collectively, always seem to do, namely detail and base definition particularly.
They are comparably expensive to the Stillpoint Ultras, so of course, try and get a loaner if you can, But I heartily recommend them, at least as used under my Daedalus Audio DA-RMAs
I find it interesting that theres so much talk both here and in the rags about the Stillpoints vibration control devices... but no talk in comparison or aside about Finite Elementes vibration control devices. At the Ultras price point of $225 each, the Stillpoints devices darn well better work magic. In comparison, the Finite Elementes can be had for a song. I own the Finite Elemente Compact devices and like them. Did Finite Elemente do something to tick off the audio gods?
Yes, Stillpoints is no longer the only one. Besides Track Audio (I just love their speaker stands), there is also Spiral Groove's Strange Attractors
. I also love those laminated bamboo speakers, designed by Joachim Gerhard of Audio Physic fame!
I am using big aurios pro under my Merlins and love them. Better than spikes coupled to hard wood floor. I use BDR disc (about 1/2" thick) in-between speaker and aurios. pm me for details...
I originally purchase 8 of these to place under my source components but after reading about loudspeaker coupling/decoupling (http://www.genesisloudspeakers.com/whitepaper/Genesis_Loudspeaker_Coupling_Decoupling.pdf), I decided to try these under my Vandersteen 3A Signatures. I got the same results as Maril555 above, the bass was enough of an improvement that I purchased another 4 and placed the remainder under my pair of Vandersteen 2Wq's. The results weren't as dramatic as with the 3A's but enough that I left them in. One thing I do like about them, it's a whole lot easier to move speakers around without those spikes digging into the carpet.
Heymikey, I have tried the Ultra SSs and the Ultra Fives under both Tidal Contrivas and BMC Arcadias. I am on a suspended wood floor with no carpeting under the speakers.
The SP Ultra SSs were dramatic, almost unbelievable. The sound stage took on great realism. I bought many more for use under components. Then I went to CES where the Ultra Fives were introduced. I heard a demonstration with the Fives substituted for the SSs. I took home eight Ultra Fives. On both speakers and my amps the SP Ultra Fives literally made the SP Ultra SSs sound broken or in effective. It is like going from a $5k amp to a $10k amp and similar for speakers.
I should note that I reviewed both and said most of this.
Oops, I was looking for an audio forum and ended up on a religion forum. Sorry....
Kiddman, I know a guy with 84 SP Ultra Five. That is real reverence.
Tbg,you gave me a good chuckle!
I know this is rather late in the game but don't be too concerned if Bobby will approve or disapprove. The bottom line is what you approve. I can't comment on the stillpoint ultra BUT many years back I tried and still use the stillpoint speaker/component 3 point stands and can say that in MY situation it realized an improvement in soundstage and overall enjoyment. The points provided by Bobby work quite well but there ARE differences in the presentation. My memory at the time, and it was quite clear then is that the Stillpoints were clearly more preferable overall, a more relaxed presentation. I can't be more specific since it was a while back but they came out on top. Kind of vague I know but once I make a decision that is clear I don't look back. After all, I would rather listen than spend too much time tweeking, but that's me. The ONE area where his points took top billing by my recollection was in the bass in the respect that it was more incisive. This could very well be preference based but my guess is that Bobby didn't hear the stillpoints to offer a legitimate comparative analysis.
I have come to the realization over years in this hobby that people often have very strong opinions regarding their choices. Bobby P is one such person. While I hold him in the highest regard in respect to offering sound advice to people that purchase his speakers there is a point where we each have to go our own way. I say this having lived and experimented with many combinations with the Merlin's, 13 years. The one thing that is constant is that I feel he has a GREAT 2-way design and regardless of whether I agree with him on all points, one thing I will never dispute and will defend him to the end is his committment and genuine caring that the people that make a purchase in his speakers find total musical enjoyment. This is something that is detractors just don't understand or get. They just don't KNOW how deeply rooted that committment is. Good business, for sure but believe me, it is more than than just a good business model, he cares.
I have Maggie 3.7 on Mye stands. I am using 3 Ultra 5's on each. (3 was all I could afford for now). Completely changed sound for the better (on hardwood floor). When I added the bases to see if they would still improve sound more (they did), my dealer could not believe sound change that occurred as I Removed 5's to add bases.
For your info the ultra 5's are just sitting on the floor. the Mye stands sit on top of 5's - two in front and one in middle of rear bar. They are not screwed into the stand. this puts devices closest to speaker.
Hifisand, I have never gone beyond four SPs Ultra Five, but four is definitely better than three. IF you carefully get all four in contact with the component. Since you have bases for your Fives, you can make micro adjustments to get all four in contact. Otherwise you would have to find tiny shims to get that contact.
All that I can really say is that I can clearly hear the benefits under speakers and my amps. I use four of either SSs, Minis, or Five everywhere. Incidentally, I once asked Paul Wakeen whether five were better than four. He said apparently as he has a customer who has a six legged SP Component Stand with six Ultra SSs on it. I am not going there.
I have been using Stillpoints for about a year in my system which comprises YG Carmels, Vitus 025, DCS Puccini and matching word clock,MD 108 and Entreq cables and silver Tellus.
When I put six SS Ultras under the speakers the difference was immediately clear. Reduced noise floor, greater transparency and a distinctly more musical presentation.I now have the SSs under the Vitus and the cheaper Minimus under other components. I have also heard them (Minimus) under less expensive Naim amplifiers and the improvement is significant.
I will upgrade the Minimus to Ultras in the near future.
I understand that YG are not yet sold on the benefits of Stillpoints but my ears tell me they do improve the already excellent sound of the Carmels.
In short see if you can have a demo set if at all possible and I would be surprised if you didn't keep them
Gerald, I'm also using Stillpoints under my YG Carmels, though the AL version, with quite good results. May I ask, are you using posts with them to couple to the speakers, or are they just placed beneath? Are you using them to tilt the speakers back at all? Wood or carpet underneath? Thanks in advance.
Geraldbarry & Richards, initially I used four SP Ultra SSs under my Tidal speakers. I was amazed at the benefit. Shortly thereafter I heard a demonstration of the SSs versus the Ultra Fives and bought 8 on the spot. They are at least five times better than the Ultra SSs.
While the Ultra SSs can be slightly adjusted for height without being threaded into the speakers, the basic Ultra Fives unless they are threaded into the speakers or have the special base, cannot be raised or lowered.
Tbg, I've become a believer in Stillpoints and agree with your comments regarding the Ultra 5's. I recently ordered a pair of Magico S5's and plan to use a set of 3 Ultra 5's with the Ultra bases under each speaker, and plan to buy 2 more sets of 4 Ultra SS to go under my amps. And when I upgrade my source next year, I plan to use a set of 4 Ultra 5's in that application.
Melbguy1, buy two more SP Ultra Fives and compare four of them with three of them. One warning is be certain that all four are in contact between the speakers and the floor. You will keep eight rather than six. Yes, five are even better. Incidentally, this is true also of all components, at least in my experience and yes including the need to make certain that all four are in contact.
Tbg, what you're describing might be true, though the Magico S5's have 3 factory spikes on each speaker, so to replace the factory feet using the short thread adaptors from Stillpoints, you only need 2 pairs of 3. Imho, running 3 Ultra 5's with the Ultra bases is more than enough isolation. With the Ultra bases they are already more effective than the standard Ultra 5's, and way more effective than the factory spikes/cups. You can go silly on this hobby. A wise person once told me your system has to be balanced.
Melbguy1, the Stillpoint ultra base add nothing to the performance of the Ultras other than height adjustment. One thing that I have learned is that there is no such thing as too much isolation with StillPoints products. I know a guy with 92 Ultra Fives. Having tried Ultra Fives under Ultra SSs with a big improvement and using Ultra Fives under amps and then used them mounted on StillPoints Component Stands, thus gaining additional four of the "technology" feet, etc. I have given up saying enough is enough. Try an Ultra Five on top a component.
I guess everything depends on what "balanced" means, but I doubt given any operationalization of balanced that I can think of, that is a true statement.
It is too bad that Magico does provide more anchor points. You could just put two in the corners in the back.
Tbg, thanks for the feedback re: the Ultra bases. I've read feedback to the contrary indicating they provide a slight lift in performance, so results obviously vary depending on the application. On a tiled floor, using the the bases is probably a good idea in any case to provide height adjustment.
I think you missed my point about keeping your system balanced. By that I meant, there is no point owning 92 Ultra 5's, and running a Yamaha integrated amp or $200 speaker cables if you know what I mean. I certainly don't have the cash for 92 stillpoints. The Ultra 5's make the most difference under your speakers, and as I mentioned they are far superior to the factory feet, so 2 sets of 3 is all I would need save unless I changed my speakers to Genesis 1.2's and upgraded to Gryphon Memphisto mono blocks. You can go silly on this hobby, and i'm not pre-disposed to such folly.
Pardon me Richards for not responding earlier.The Ultra SSs are coupled to the speakers which are on a carpet,vinyl tiles and concrete floor.Minimal tilt on the speakers as they are firing across the room. Since then have added four under DCS Puccini and Vitus SIA 025 with Minimus under other components.
They really do make a difference and deal effectively with mechanical noise. There is still the problem of electronic noise and the Entreq Silver Tellus together with their i/cs and speaker cable really lifts the transparency, reduces the noise. and complements the Stillpoints.
The Carmel is a superb speaker and none of the upgrades set out above have phased them. They just effortlessly step up to new levels of performance
I would suggest putting them under the line conditioner, after one has placed them under the speakers, although the mini risers do just fine under a line conditioner (assuming it's not over 50 pounds, per Bruce at Stillpoints. He says they are just "being careful" because the ceramic alls could crack with too heavy a weight on them). The PS Audio Power Plant under which I placed them took on a (new) life of its own, at least, what started coming thru the speakers. The delicacy of woodwinds was undeniable as was separation of instruments and a new transparency in the mid/upper bass/lower midrange areas.
You are just TOO rich for me, man! (Laughing). I would rather stick with the SS and be able to complement the whole system than have to buy one Ultra 5 at a time. I had to return the last set of Ultra Minis because of Bruce's "proclamation" that the Ultra Minis couldn't handle one of the speaker system I have (a pair of Hale 3 Revelations, 90 pounds per side). My wallet is much lighter than it was 3 hours ago.
On the other hand, the Twitter stock is rising, so, in about 2 years, I'm hoping that Twitter will have paid for the Ultra SS feet that will be arriving shortly.
I can't help you out with the Ultra 5 feet, but since I bought the SS models (Tbg, of course, has left me in the dust and is already onto the Ultras), I CAN tell you how good they sound at $2k for eight, vs. nearly $6k for the Ultras - which, I admit, I have no idea how they sound. I will know, however, how the SS sound vis a vis the Ultra Minis, because I can always put them under the line conditioner first, and that will tell me instantly how far ahead I jumped from the Minis. I expect, based on others' comments, it will be magnificent.
On the other hand, if you ONLY want to get the Ultras, they just put my comments into context and go directly to Tbg, pass "GO" (am I the only one who remember Monopoly?) and - if you've got the moola, dough, bucks, or any other word for money - jump on 'em!!!
I have the Finite Elemente Cera
puts? I used to have the top model, but then got the next one down from the top, which is on my Spider equipment rack.
I had considered substituting the Stillpoints to the 'feet' on the Spider, but I wondered if that would work in favor of the stand or against it. One can never tell, even though Finite Elemente's approach in 2004 seems to be a precursor of sorts to the Stillpoints of "now."
Of course, if I do that, it's another $1k, but then, I'd hear the improvements (or the incompatibility, if such a thing happened) and know which was better.
I think Finite Elemente doesn't advertise much in the U.S. They never did.
Just looked it up: I have the Cerapucs. I had the Cerabases at one point, and looked up Roy Gregory's review of them in Hi Fi Plus, and saw the anatomy of the device. It's similar to the Stillpoints in the technological approach, from what I can see of the device in Gregory's review: 3 ceramic balls between the top part and the bottom part. Interesting.
I thought I saw a posting awhile back about leaving a gap between the speakers and the Stillpoints but now, I can't find it. Is that a true statement or am I delusional?
Ozzy, that is the StillPoints recommendation given to me verbally. I don't think I have ever seen it in print.
On my old Tidals I found it sounded better that way. Star Sound Tech., however, says no flush against the speaker is best. Perhaps which is best depends on the technology used as StillPoints seeks to absorb vertical vibrations and Star Sound seeks to pass them to earth.
I cannot have them stand off under my BMC Aracadias as the thread inserts move further into the speakkers with the weight of the speakers on them.
Tbg, Thanks that is probably where I heard it from.
I'm always game for experimenting so I'll try to loosen them up tomorrow.
Ozzy, Stillpoints should be backed off from the base of whatever they are used on. About the width of a playing/credit card. Also make sure that the "cap" is also is also not turned tightly. It should be about a half turn or so. Basically you want to "brake contact" between them and not have the cap tight.
Yes, and on the Ultra SSs, where you need to unlock the hardhat, if you have them mounted on threads, you need to remember that when screw them up, you will also be screwing the hard hat down and tightening it. This is no issue for the Ultra Fives or the Ultra Minis.
Hifial, Tbg, Thanks for the helpful comments. I'll make the adjustments this weekend.
When used with the optional Ultra base, should the Ultra SS and Ultra 5 be tightly screwed into the base or unscrewed 1/4 turn(as is recommended when the Ultras are mounted directly into speakers)?
When attached directly to an MDF speaker and unscrewed 1/4 turn, be careful not to lift the speakers by grabbing onto the Stillpoints device. This can rip the threaded anchor out of the cabinet.
In response to OP, I compared Ultra 5, Ultra SS, and Star Sound Audiopoints to stock Merlin points in my modified VSM-MX. Both Stillpoints and Audiopoints surpass stock Merlin footers. The isolating Stillpoints do a particularly good job on carpeted surfaces, where conventional points can't get a solid footing to couple as designed. In addition, four Stillpoints surpass three in every application that I've tried.
Well, I loosened the Stillpoints a credit card thickness. I do believe their is a more relaxed sound. So thank you guys for this tip.
I thought that I would resurrect this excellent thread as I have been fortunate in having a full Stillpoints dealer demo case with me for a while.
For my part, this threw up some unexpected results given the recieved wisdom in respect to the Stillpoints line, in that in conjunction with Martin Logan anniversary CLX in a room sporting parquet wooden block flooring on joists I much preferred the Ultra SS threaded directly into the frame of the CLX over the Ultra 5's!
I felt that the (no doubt ) addition damping and de-coupling of the U5's tended to push the CLX's , over, the fine line that they , at times, tread with respect to ultra resolution, imparting an over clinical, almost lean presentation to well known test material , and not usually present in my system.
I found that I markedly preferred the SS's as they certainly performed very well as the technology was designed so to do, yet left the weight, tonality and texture to the body of the music intact (if not enhanced) which I was keen to preserve.
Interesting read here.
Tsushima1, very interesting. I have had some experiences, not with speakers, where the Ultra Fives were too much.
If you are using four Ultra SSs under each speaker, which IME has always been better than three, I would warn you that it is very easy to lock the SSs. Be very careful to have a least a quarter turn from locked. Basically if you want to screw one upward at the base, you will be tightening the hard hat or locking it.
Re-posting my experience with StillPoints and Townshend Audio Seismic Pods under my B&W 803 Diamond speakers.
For many years I used a solid plywood base platform with 3 spikes that went through the carpet into the chipwood room floor. This was consistently superior with dramatic improvement in sound-staging and more precise bass to using the standard 4 spikes that didn't effectively pierce the carpet.
I tried StillPoints Ultra Fives under the speakers without the platform. Besides being dangerously unstable on carpet, it was inferior to the spiked platform.
I then installed the StillPoints between the platform and speakers. Obvious improvement in microdynamics, improved clarity from midrange and up, but no change to bass quality.
I then also replaced the spikes under the platform with the Townshend Seismic Pods. This did reduce the bass boominess a bit and resulted in more articulate bass. I think it also may have improved clarity in midrange, but I can't conclusively confirm without further experiments.
The combination of Seismic Pods and Ultra Fives have made a significant improvement in overall clarity, and more importantly engagement - music is simply more compelling.
Seismic Pods are diametrically opposite to spiking where the intent is to ground the speaker to the floor to minimise movement of the speaker. With the Seismic Pods the speakers wobble back and forth if touched, but surprisingly the sound-staging is not worse, and if anything it is a bit more independent of the speakers.
To put the improvements in perspective, optimal positioning of the speakers in the room has much greater impact on overall sound quality than any isolation.
Has anyone tried out the SSs with spikes in place of the hard hats that Stillpoints now show on their website?
I have had a major problem with my Ultra SSs as the tend to lock up. I suspect that the spike would not and will try them. Thanks for the heads up.
I use them also under my speakers. I thought you meant me, because my name is Bobby as well. But I love the Ultra SS under my speakers.
When you heard them under your speaker you cannot go back.
Yesterday I ordered the Ultra 5 for under my Pass labs X350.5. I will write a review about this as well.
Within 2 weeks I will get the brand new Ultra 6 of Stillpoints. I will write a review about them soon!!