checking out your seminar on system optimization at TAVES last year, I
picked up a set of four Stillpoints Ultra SS feet. I want to try them out under my
Simaudio W-8 dual-mono power amplifier. Do you have suggestions as to where to place them
under this component to get the best results? Did you experiment at all before your
know you mentioned to place them under the parts of the components that cause the most
vibration (e.g., power supplies, CD transports, etc.). I guess This would mean
trying to place two Stillpoints under the two big transformers in the front of the amp and
using the back two to balance the unit?
also heard others say you get "softer," "more liquid" sound when they
are placed closer to the center of the component and "harder," "more
precise" sound when they are placed closer to the outside of the component. Why would
proposed positioning for Ultras under the W-8 is spot on. As to the inner/outer
positioning, this is an urban myth. I think it originated in one instance probably
involving a product with a flexible base and got extrapolated into a general rule without
any checks or balances. In general, the inner/outer theory simply doesn't apply, something
that is easily demonstrated. -Roy Gregory
I still spin CDs, part 4
still spin CDs because I have close to six thousand of 'em and over $30,000 invested in a
CD player. But, just as important, I like getting the album cover art and liner notes --
it's always nice to hunker down with a drink and read through all info contained in the
CD, while listening of course.
I still spin CDs, part 3
simple answer is that most of my listening is to vinyl. I haven't felt it worth the time
and expense to do a true digital rig other than a Bluetooth input for my big system to
play the odd track off my phone. I do have a decent CD/SACD player for the times I want to
listen to silver discs.
I still spin CDs, part 2
still use CD, SACD, DVD-Audio and DVD-Video as my playback media. A friend of mine uses a
music storage bank from which he plays his music. He added a better sound card to the
computer. It all sounds very nice, but for me the discs still sound more musical. It's as
if the computer music sounds more artificial, less emotional. My personal favorite is
DVD-Video. The music sounds like the real thing. CD sounds more compressed. SACD sounds
more lifelike, less harsh, and less compressed. DVD-Audio is also very good. It gives an
open, inviting and listenable sound, with lots of emotion.
Why I still spin CDs, part 1
your question to the TAB reader list], I built and dedicated a computer (i5 --
3570K, 256GB SSD, fancy power supply, fancy power cord, J.River Media Center 19) to audio
and purchased a Halide USB DAC. This front-end performs well with My VTL 5.5 preamp, VTL
MB-450 basic amps, Nola Contender speakers and 10" JL Audio sub. But my updated
Special Edition Oppo BD-83 outperforms it in the 16-bit/44.1kHz format. CDs that I rip in
J.River do not come up as vividly as the same CD spun on my Oppo. Sad, really. My server
might do better with the higher-rez files -- with 24-bit/96kHz sources -- but most of my
music in digital format sits on hundreds of shiny discs. Because my one-box CD player
beats my computer as a front-end, I do critical listening with it. Solution? Probably a
much more expensive DAC [sigh].
me to your mailing list.
added! For others who want to join and find out about new articles first, it's easy peasy.
Send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
finally got around to watching your presentation at the 2012 RMAF, which even on the
tube was fascinating.
have a finite elemente Pagode Master Reference rack, and I am wondering, due to the points
you made about staying within the same family, whether I would be better advised to use
finite's own Cera technology rather than other products. Additionally, I know you used and
reviewed finite elemente products in the past, and I am wondering which of the Cera
products provides the best bang for buck with regard to individual components on the stand
-- mine weigh between 12 and 21kg. I would add that I already have the Cerabase feet under
the stand itself.
glad you enjoyed the RMAF presentation. Youtube might not carry quite the same musical
impact, but the message certainly survives intact.
The finite elemente (now finite hi-fi) racks set the standard for many years,
both in terms of performance and appearance. Even now, they leave many of the more
ambitious alternatives looking hopelessly heavy and mechanical. But beyond looking like
real furniture, what finite racks got right was to create a structure that was at once
dispersive and tuned to eliminate resonant peaks. That makes the Master Reference racks a
superb basis for mechanically grounding your equipment.
You are also absolutely correct to question the importance of consistency across
your support strategy. In my experience, this is how it works: in the same way that cables
can be subdivided into two layers, the AC supply and the signal/speaker cables, the
supporting structures also comprise a set of distinct levels. These are (starting from the
floor and working up) whatever couples the rack to the floor, then the rack and shelf
structure and finally the coupling devices that support the equipment and ground it to the
rack. The CeraBase feet are an excellent choice between the floor and the racks(s). As
we've already established, the finite racks are themselves excellent. The important
consideration here is to make sure that all of the equipment is on the finite racks
(and/or amp stands) and that all of those racks are on the CeraBase feet. This is about
horizontal consistency within the system, if you will. The top layer of the support
strategy -- the equipment couplers -- is the most critical.
you ideally need to use the same couplers under all of the equipment (including the
speakers -- the equipment/coupler interface trumps the equipment-floor contact), but as
long as you follow that rule, you do have a range of choices. Stillpoints offer solutions
at different price levels, and in my experience these outperform the finite CeraPucs and
are for the most part more compact than the CeraBases. But my favorite solution,
especially in combination with a wooden support shelf like the Hutter, Atacama,
Quadraspire or finite, is the Nordost Sort Kones. These are available in four levels of
performance, although I find that the AC and flagship TC versions are the best value. The
only thing to look out for is the height they add to your equipment (around 50mm or
2" -- less the height of the equipment's own feet) and whether you have enough
"headroom" in the racks. Of course, you can adjust the height of the finite
shelves, but it's not a straightforward process.
the thing that clinches the deal for the Sort Kones as far as I'm concerned is that beyond
their own excellent performance, they dovetail perfectly with the Nordost Sort Füt
speaker-coupling devices, which are by far the best I've come across. Get the system up on
Kones and Füts (Feet?) and you'll be astonished how it comes alive. -Roy Gregory
praise of Roy
quip about Roy Gregory in your answer to the phono-stage letter [below] comes, I suspect,
close to the truth. The guy's inexhaustible -- and a damned fine reviewer. I can almost
believe every opinion he offers. I also watched most of his setup
film. Downright depressing how far I have to go.
at the stage of building my ideal audio system. At the moment I have monoblocks and a
preamplifier from the Vitus Audio Masterpiece series. I read your review of the Gryphon Legato Legacy. I wonder if it
can compete with the phono stage from the Masterpiece series, the MP-P201, which I've
with all of the gear those of us who write about high-end audio are able to hear, we're
not able to hear everything (although it sometimes seems like Roy Gregory is the
exception to this rule). In this case, while I obviously know the Gryphon Legato Legacy
well, I'm not at all familiar with the Vitus Audio products -- outside some listening at
shows, that is. I've talked with Hans-Ole Vitus about reviewing some of equipment, and
that may happen at some point in the future. Unfortunately, that won't help you now. I can
say that of the solid-state phono stages I've heard, the Gyphon Legato Legacy is easily
the best of them -- and in the running for the best I've heard, period. If what I describe
in my review appeals to you, why not try to find one to hear? -Marc Mickelson