Overkill or happy thrill? I was far from thrilled by the below speaker look. To me it spoke to all that's sick about high-end hifi where turntables turn into offshore oil rigs and cables flout lavishly machined terminator boxes the size of small amplifiers. Beneath the sub so without outriggers, I found the cosmetics much more tolerable. And I certainly couldn't argue with the results. Put up and shut up.

How about Alain Pratali's Lieutenants doing Kalya Scintilla and Tulku? If they didn't cotton to a heavy carb diet, I did have just the perfect spots; beneath the Artesanía equipment rack on the right sidewall. There I'd need heavy ViscoRings for a set of six footers to support this heavyweight affair. Upstairs meanwhile each double-tier Hifistay X-Frame rack weighs just 47.2kg. Even loaded with our small gear, I wouldn't exceed a set of 4 medium Carbides. That then would be my first port of call to experiment with 'rack flotation'.

But first, speaker duty. As it turned out, the mega footers had treated Public Enemy #1 rather too effectively already. They'd taken the subwoofer as the obvious suspect entirely out of this noise equation. As far as my ears could tell, with the loudspeakers down -6dB at 80Hz via active analog high-pass to hand over seamlessly to the big woofers, they no longer registered as secondary floor exciters. Now floating them on ViscoRings just gilded the lily for an unnecessary eye-sore expense. Out came the Carbide uncles…

… to convert to medium load ratings for the upstairs rack. Again the operation proved unproblematic. All rings unpeeled without fuss, all fixing bolts lined up on first try. As the next photo shows, the underside of the central plate seals to never expose its tiny ball bearings. Unscrewing the floor ring along its threads then offers substantial height adjustments for leveling. The port holes not only show the color of the inner ViscoRing. Inserting a flat-blade screwdriver into them could help dislodge a particularly tacky specimen during disassembly.

The obvious structural upstairs difference was a suspended floor. It made for inherently more resonant behavior. That might explain why beyond HifiStay's multi-layer horizontal isolation, the Carbides still clarified the sound particularly on bass-heavy tracks at happy-hour SPL. A subwoofer's mechanical action on the floor should far outweigh the response of standard electronics to floor-borne resonances (turntables or CD players excepted). Isolating the sub thus must come first and might in fact do the full deed. The Korean footers had already been bested downstairs. Under the upstairs sub, they still leaked sufficient mechanical vibes into the floor to register when those got shut out of the electronics by the Americans. That I didn't expect either. As it happened, the latter's height under the racks virtually duplicated the originals. Aside from bigger diameters and a more silvery finish, there was very little aesthetic compromise to accompany the sonic upset.

The upshot is clear. Vertical isolation—call it the anti-jackhammer orientation—seems particularly effective at disrupting the migration and amplification of mechanical resonances generated by powerful bass makers on a floor. That gels with widespread use of viscoelastics beneath CNC routers and other heavy equipment. Though that's typically mounted on discrete concrete slabs, viscoelastic isolation factors as well. In hifi, standalone subwoofers and the bass systems of big loudspeakers are the closest we have to the creation of bad vibes by heavy machinery. It's not surprising then that the same solutions already proven worldwide in industrial parks would also work for audiophiles. Kudos to Jeffrey Jenkins for adapting them for our use across this broad a range of weight ratings. MQA's propaganda popularized temporal blur. Whatever may occur in digital conversion, it's minuscule compared to the blur which subwoofers can create when we allow them to talk to their structural supports. Appreciating that takes no higher degree in mathematics or understanding of advanced digital theorems. It just takes common sense, two ears and enough time to A/B a few footers which won't undergo any break-in.

Texas CARB ID. Earned. As they say in that state, bigger is better. Based on my trials and understanding, the primary earnings to be had with these footers come from applying them beneath subwoofers or full-range speakers. Equipment racks seem a still useful second depending on how talkative one's floor is. Either way, the lesson I learnt from this assignment was that horizontal deflection by ball bearings alone isn't 100% effective. It leaves noise crumbs under the table. Vertical dissipation by viscoelastics is the other half which completes this picture. Combining the two is what sets the Carbide Footers apart. I've asked Jeffrey for an invoice to acquire the subwoofer set for downstairs. Now that I've heard the effect, I'd not want to be without it.