I tried a set of 4 Critical Mass Center stage feet under my preamp and simply could not believe the improvement. They are stupid expensive but worth every penny. I have tried at least 20 different isolation feet over the years with varying results, from good to not so good. These feet were simply unbelievable. You have to be patient because when you put them under a component, they will make your system sound noticeably worse, yes, worse. After about 5 days the system started sounding better. After a total of 10 days I heard a profound improvement that surprised me. The reason for the worse/better transformation has to do with a settling in period that is deeply rooted in physics, way beyond my comprehension but clearly audible. They were so good that I decided to get another set for the dac. Again, same results, amazing. The effect and improvement is cumulative. The first thing I noticed was the soundstage. Soundstage has never been that important to me. With these feet under the preamp and dac all of a sudden A huge, well balanced soundstage came out of nowhere. The overall focus at all frequencies was so much better and the clarity from top to bottom improved greatly. These improvements became addictive. You guessed it, I bought a 3rd set for under the transport (remember those). I should have started there because the transport creates the most vibration. Again, huge improvement. You get the idea. A must hear product, just be patient. I can’t wait to put a set under the amp. Good luck.
I drank the Herbie’s Koolaid for a while, spent hundreds on many of their products. Can’t say I ever heard an improvement. There are no shortcuts to better sound. Spend more and get a lot more in return.
Silent Running Audio (SRA) platforms work great under my amps. You need to have the platforms made (or refurbished) for your specific amplifier(s), i.e., weight, size, and footer location. With their platforms, you can use your amp's existing footers. Their platforms are expensive though. One of their taglines -
Informed by its work in the aerospace, military, electronics and medical industries, the company is renowned for the effectiveness of its mission-critical solutions—whether applied to advanced fighter jets, nuclear submarines, electron microscopes or high-end audio systems.
Isoacoustic Oreas, recommended to me here by another site member, work very well. Unexpectedly, they perform exactly as reviewers say they will. I never would have guessed that would be the case. There's a number of reviews online, and here’s a link to their site: https://isoacoustics.com/orea-series/ Good luck with your purchase whatever you get.
If you can find a dealer to lend you samples for a try, could be surprised... my ARC Tube power amp loves isoacoustic absorption feet while my class A Luxman plays dull with them, it prefers symposium feet, improves dynamic and rhythm...Without listening sessions it is a wild guess IMO
Critical mass CS2. Prior to moving my whole system to these, I was using footers that cost $1000/- per piece (list) and thought they were brilliant. But the CS2 footers make everything else seem like a joke. About $1200 per set of the lowest series.
Have been experimenting with footers from the mid 90's and been thru all the latest fads over the years. Stay away from all rubber based ones. Yes, rubber does absorb vibration....BUT a lot of it gets reflected back after a delay. This is the reason for the 'soft' sound associated with sorbothane et al
After rubber came cones, then these were improved by bearings. Both types help, cones by acting as a sort of mechanical valve for vibration, and bearings by obstructing the transmission path of vibration. Different brands are more or less effective.
CS2 is a completely new concept - the composites and structure drain away vibration in a way I confess I don't understand, but the effect is undeniable.
I would strongly suggest putting all component upgrades on hold and investing instead in these footers. Once 'burned in' (in my system 300 - 400 hours playing time) one tends to find what one was looking for without messing around with component and cable (also a component?) upgrades.
I have to question micro-vibration and its effect on SQ. My active speakers , Elac Navis, have the amplifiers built in and they are subject to significant vibration, as a result of sharing the same cabinet as the drivers. The power and analogue cables feeding the speaker also vibrate considerably . But SQ is fine.
How about LessLoss.com the "Bindbreaker vibration control equipment feet". Sound great in all aspects. Read my review on their website. Unfortunately they need careful handling and the equipment slides around easily. But well worth it, even though they are not the cheapest and not the prettiest or most expressive looking ones :)
Aftermarket footers are system, and even more so, component cassis specific. It depends on what you need or want sonically, as many of them will shift tonality slightly one way or the other. One I don’t see mentioned much are the Daedalus Isolation Devices (DiD’s). Steel bearings sandwiched between wood surfaces in an aluminum enclosure, as well as brass utilized. The dissimilar materials is the key and bearings in this way work way better than bearings between more metal from my experience... All ya gotta do is call Lou to purchase. Highly recommended. I use a mix of DiD’s, ISOacoustic IsoPucks, EVP’s and built-in still points on my preamp.
The IsoPucks (no need to pay for the higher models from what I’ve heard. They’re just for looks) work best —and very well— directly under the stock feet of my Lampizator. On my ss amp, they work best under the heat sinks rather than under the chassis portion. EVP’s only worked for me under my power conditioner/filter And one under an AppleTV for SiriusXM streaming when needed, but it sure does wok here (with a weight too). Anything else with rubber or composite rubber I have never had good luck with. Did all the tenderfoot footers, Sorbothane and so forth and always found it to slow down the bass or mess with timing somehow.
Mechanical drainage of micro vibrations makes a tremendous difference, in a positive manner, on the total sound quality. It's really amazing how much improvement a quality footer can provide. Sorbothane was popular in the 1980s and is still being used today. However, it is now considered very entry level for footers and actually is not a good solution if your looking to improve on dynamics, clarity, and tight bass. Sorbothane detracts from all of those characteristics. I use Symposium Acoustics Rollerblock Jr + (the + means the upgraded balls to tungsten carbide). They work best when used in conjunction with the proper platform. I use the Symposium Acoustics Ultra platforms. Great product, not cheap but also not the most expensive on the market. Do your research and make the choice you are most comfortable with. As long as you land on a high grade product, with proven results, you will be well rewarded.
I don’t know the budget you are comfortable with or the price of your amp so it’s hard to suggest anything.
If it’s in the budget, the CMS Center Stage feet are truly amazing (as I previously stated). I also forgot to mention the new Wilson Pedestals. They retail for $2225.00 for a set of three but that’s only good for equipment up to 75lbs. Since your amp weighs 82 lbs you’ll need to buy another one (good up to 25 lbs) at a cost of around $795.00 each (I think). These are “supposed” to be even better than the CMS feet. Personally I find it hard to believe that they will outperform the CMS feet but I’m keeping an open mind. My local dealer sells both so I’m going to take home a set of the Wilson feet and decide for myself. In my opinion, the only way to properly evaluate anything is to put it in your system and listen for yourself and avoid quick a/b comparisons. Trust your own ears. Good luck.
And not only that, but using only sorbothane will give less interesting results than using it in a sandwiches with other kind of materials(bamboo, granite,cork, quartz) to couple/ decouple some frequencies...It is a partial solution not a perfect one but work for me with all my gear on the same desk....No sensible vibrations at all under my fingers at any volume or frequencies sound playing.... For sure my fingers can be very crude and is not a seismometer but that gives a gross estimate of at least a minimal efficiency....
I will improve all that with springs for a better external vibrations isolation and quartz sand bed for a better controls of resonance in the near future....
But i will stick to homemade solutions with low cost materials.... I refuse to pay thousand of bucks for some device.... It is always possible in my experience to retro engineered some basic idea....It is also more rewarding and more fun...
Anyway i dont have this money, except by divorcing right now.... :)
@t_ramey It’s been over a year since I’ve moved or inserted any but I think I recall them working pretty quick but also think there is a couple hours for the ‘draining’ to happen.?? Not a big difference but I think there was some settling or moving out of vibrations.
@jriggy I'd like to remove the Herbies and try the EVP's under my preamp. Did you find they were more effective on heavy components? My Audio Note is only about 20 lbs. I tried Myrtle wood blocks and there was a major improvement over Herbies, faster attack, open soundstage, but the highs became harsh. Looking for an inexpensive tweak.
@lowrider57 the EVP’s are interesting with a powerful change in sound. I tried them under everything but as mentioned only liked them under my power filter and under an AppleTV (for some certain casual listening). They seemed to show me that a lot of gear is designed/voiced with some vibrations happening. Because with them under most of my gear, the highs freqs, presence and energy to the sound went down. I have Harbeth 40.2’s so I can’t really have anything that deadens the sound and achieve the balance I’m after. Maybe if one has a bright or overly energetic sound they would work well. They really do completely eliminate something. But of course YMMV.
@lowrider57 I have an AudioNote el84 integrated and have tried the cheap isopucks, Daedalus DiD's, and the EVP's and so far I like the EVP's the best. They seem to bring out more detail and realism than the others. I also got the cable lifters from AV Roomservice and for the first time think that lifting cables off the floor are beneficial. Always had negative effects when I tried other methods before.
I haven't given the DiD's much time so I may try them again under the AN to see if things change.
All footers have a sound, and different, dependent on under chassis placement. ***********Google = DRBMP-BLK-01 .......on Amazon....self adhesive rubber door stopper bumpers, 4 pack, designed to stop door knob, from damaging wall. I have used these for years, on all of my electronics. I find them to be Neutral, in SQ......Can use 3 or more under the gear, depending on weight of actual piece of gear ( in place of what feet comes with the equipment ). I have tried expensive footers, including sorbothane, metal, brass, wood, etc. and these, again, have less of their "own sound ". 3 packs will get you 12 footers, and free shipping, through Amazon, and as you might know, Amazon accepts returns with money back guarantee.....my prediction is, you will not return them. Under $10...for a pack of 4.
@t_ramey EL84's...Nice amp. I am looking for more detail and realism from my preamp. It's a choke point in my system, all other components have been successfully treated with footers and platforms. The limiting factor with the pre is I only have room for 1" footers due to shelf space, so I'm going to give the EVP's a try. Many thanks.
Before isolating the amplifier from the vibrations coming off the speakers... isolate the speakers vibrating, your source, your floor, your walls, your rack/stand holding all of your equipment.
Saying that, getting the energy into (springs for example) will require some planning, especially if your system is sitting on a substrate, being the materials under your floor, which may be somewhat absorbent already. Concrete is ideal as its rather unyielding compared to peer an beam, wooden floors. However mass loading under wood can drive a higher percentage of energy into an isolation system.
Townshend of UK and Solid Tech of Sweden are two good sources for products and information as to why I am suggesting the speaker isolation before electronics for return on investment.
Right now both of my legs are the same length. Would one of you care to stretch one out by explaining just how isolation feet in a solid state amp does anything but part you from your money? The number of products seeking to answer problems that are not there and those willing to buy are a source of never ending amazement to me.
As a suspected "naysayer" I am compelled to challenge your assertion and ask whether you have measurements to substantiate your claim? Have you opened this belief up to study and confirmation by independent observers? Did you pay a significant upcharge for a pair of perfectly matched legs and would it really affect performance if one leg was say, 1/8th inch shorter or longer? I owe it to this forum to protect unsuspecting readers from being deceived by those making unsubstantiated claims of perfectly matched legs.
Would one of you care to stretch one out by explaining just how isolation feet in a solid state amp does anything but part you from your money?
Another assumption that has nothing to do with the vibrations/resonance problem which is a purely mechanical question...
Which parting of money?
Is someone who understand this problem, and want to solve it, must do it by paying necessarily an unwanted sum of money?
I have did it myself for peanuts, not perfectly, but relatively very well, if i judge by listening audible results...
If someone has money he can try to solve it at a more perfect level paying the price for sure he can or estimated necessary...
Then mixing mechanical problem, with possible scamming, with righteous business, stirring this pot, and provocatively accusing all people of being "victims " and being then stupid, or even worst "audiophiles", and honest designers to be possibly scammers, is more than any customer of this thread can ask for...
It is a bit too much to chew for one mouth sorry....Sometimes we must stop spitting....
Mahgister I have no doubt you are the master of cheap, I don't know about effective though. I am in awe of your system and await your scientific and analytical documentation of your contributions to the science of sound propagation.
Your sarcasm is yours not mine.... I dont pretend to any new science at all...
I only sugeest and have made it myself that any creative person can, with homemade only and low cost only materials, transform his system, embedding it rightly...We dont make it with "dogmas", but with experiments and listenings experience that ANYBODY can try if he is not discouraged by some self appointed "scientist" or self appointed "debunkers" to do so...
Your accusation against all attempt to increase the S. Q. except by costly upgrading electronic parts, is a lie or ignorance; i put it on the same desk than scammers... Because you teach newcomers the wrong gospel....You push them to throw their money in upgrade, negating all simple and non orthodox solutions and called that stupid " tweaks" or scams without knowing what you speak about...
But a method is NOT a bunch of tweaks.... I have invented nothing at all, it is very simple to understand that any electronic component to work at his best MUST be mechanically, electrically, and acoustically embed...My only merit is i put it in words more clearer than most.... Thats all....If i was able to say it clearly it is also because i create it for myself.....
You are like the scammers you hate so much who ask big money for ready made solutions (but the majority of audio business is not scam even if sometimes price is too high ) you propose to all no solutions, except changing their electronic parts to better one at great expanse...
Myself i only want to explain what is clear: dont upgrade anything before embedding it rightfully...
Being an audiophile is not only buying tweaks or upgrading, it is mostly creative listening....
Mahlman creates arguments for the sake of arguing mahsiter, he did that with another thread and then at the end said that’s exactly why he had created that thread. If it works for you and you can do it without spending huge money, it’s not anyone else’s business to dissuade you.