Delivery had each footer inside two bubble wrap pouches then a final black burlap bag. Four 16kg/ medium blue ViscoRings packed in their own plastic boxes. A slotted key and four spikes completed my shipment. Hover mouse over photos to engage their loupe function. From left to right here you see a top spike installed, three bottom spikes installed, the height-adjustable bottom plate removed, then a plain footer. You also see the four alternate elastomeric sleeves in their packaging plus the key.

Though Carbide charge us for applied engineering not hifi jewelry, it'd be disingenuous not to remark on their fine polishing which shows rather upscale. Despite 'industrial' size, these isolators look every bit the high-end part their intended target audience will expect and appreciate. The sheer responsiveness of the Diamond inserts then shouts to, thus silences doubts of, precision execution. Time to get my wobble on. First on the hit list was the upstairs Sonnet Audio Pasithea where digital converts to analog. Parked on the top shelf of a 2-up Hifistay rack with roller-ball decoupling between shelf and support, granular damping in the uprights and more ball bearings in the floor interface, I was admittedly doubtful I'd hear anything; different that is.

Only an audiophreek's hovering mum would love the disproportionate look. Everyone else sees tractor tyres on a Mini. In short, ridiculous.

Alas, equally ridiculous were the disproportionate results. To insure that I didn't imagine things, I delayed translation into words. Perhaps normalcy would return, insanity prove only temporary and so much extra trouble applied to vibration isolation ineffective so ill advised? Cred certainly hoped so. Experience rather doubted it. Jekyll or Hyde? Before we find out, a quick word on placement. With the footer centers designed to shimmy sexily on the smallest of prompts, precise positioning is key. We want nothing to bind up ony to diminish said freedom of motion. We don't want to permanently displace bearings to jam them up well off-center. That ought to be common sense but warrants a note just in case. This devil is in the millimeters, leading to…

the law of increasing returns. The opposite is virtually set in stone. Beyond a point of core competence, ever smaller performance gains mean increasingly disproportionate cost. That hasn't yet touched upon where the point of core competence sits; and whether over time it actually migrates down because the middle of the pack improves quicker than the nearly maxed-out top can. While there's clearly something to the law of diminishing returns, much of it is stuck upon misplaced allocation. Where do we apply our extra funds? If the recipients are the usual attention magnets of speakers and amps, we never clean up the areas which hold back the sexy shiny stuff. Limitations live in the shadow margins of power delivery, vibration isolation and room interaction. These areas many audiophiles refuse to spend on. Now diminishing returns really are their MO. All attempts to improve the sound turn self-fulfilling prophecies of minimal gain. Buying better lenses but never a tripod or ceiling flash only goes so far. May I propose a parallel reality? Once we polish up our shadow margins, little changes magnify. What in the other scenario makes no difference or at best only minimally so grows in impact. Rather than gravity which pulls everything down, we now work with grace. That lifts up, accelerates and liberates. To present itself simply requires attending hifi's foundationals. Here resonance control is a far bigger contributor than most know because spending money on properly engineered isolators doesn't feel as good as allocating it to flashware. But unattended resonances act as rev limiter. No matter how hard we push, our top speed won't budge. We're stuck in the slow lane. Now the stage is set for the Base Diamond.