String theory. If you were unclear on floor-based wire suspension, this photo shows one implementation. Two hollow towers with a cutout for a rectangular cross beam contain a hanging wire. Its washer termination rests beneath the channeled end of the beam. Two beams cut to the necessary length or width then float your component. With a front-to-back ridge beneath the sub's bottom to conceal hookup wiring, I orient my Boenicke SwingBase to parallel that ridge. By necessity its towers remain exposed front and back. The Carbide footers could easily hide beneath the sub. Instead I placed them with up-aimed spikes inside the original footer bores for a better photo op. My guess as to why my Swiss hanging beams were superior isolators over Jeff's first bases is friction. The wire suspension has none so the sub easily displaces with just a small push. The Carbide originals exhibit more friction. Their freedom of motion is less free. The ultra-responsive Diamond inserts now seemed set to redress the f-words of freedom and friction.
Whilst they indeed did shrink the earlier gap, string theory still packed the crisper punch over slightly poncier ball bearings + viscoelastics. This even meant a bit of extra amplitude for the Diamonds. Theirs was enough leaked structural gain to cause somewhat ringier fatter textures. For ultimate punctuality as that most Teutonic of virtues—true natives might pick perfectionism which this expat views as just another disease—the Swiss wire suspension had it. Where the Texans add practicality on the scoresheet are height adjustments; not needing custom struts; and occupying less space. Neither approach is dainty so could prompt the beauty police to issue tickets. For the ultimate house-broken isolator, someone might still have to devise truly compact wire suspension that looks like an ordinary add-on footer?
Diamond deeds. These vapor-deposited diamond skins on ceramic ball-bearing raceways could be an audiophile's best friend. The sad proviso is a perfect world. In it users are properly informed, open-minded, endlessly curious and resourceful enough to experiment. In this world, costly isolation footers of complex inner makeup and considerable size won't ping any average radar; or blip off it in a bleeding hurry once shinier trophy-fi shows on the horizon. If all listeners ever tried were run-of-the-mill footers with noisy marketing but little serious science, they'll write off today's contenders by thinking themselves well informed. Once burnt, twice shy. It's only human nature after all. But as with any art form, there are layers, levels and leagues. And the Carbide Audio Base Diamond is XXL not just on size but engineering, execution and efficacy. It's the full dose of musical vitamin E.
For two reasons, my biggest shock was its under-DAC contribution. One, it happened atop an already well-sorted rack. Two, why should a compact DAC with zero moving parts be so conspiciously emo? I have no convenient rationale for either. My takeaway is simplicity itself. There be gold in them thar hills. When you find some, must it come with a signed explanation? My wider takeaway is an even firmer confirmation. Resonance control matters more than most credit it for; if they do at all. It matters even where you think it surely couldn't. My most specific takeaway is the most obvious. The Base Diamond is demonstrably superior to the already very effective classic version. Given a chance to show off, it's an object lesson in proper foundational work. Think of living in a tropical floodzone on a platform raised on strong deep pylons. Atop it you could live in a cheap hut and thrive well before you get fancy. Meanwhile the posh manse set right on the ground will be in trouble. Moving our hifi 'off the ground' and 'on stilts' with effective isolators gets it out of a virtual flood zone of floorborne resonances.
Why should our sound drown and slow down in acoustic waters? Just because those aren't visible like a flooded basement doesn't mean we're sitting pretty, high and dry. Much hifi noise is so baked in or insidious that we spot it only by subtraction. Then hearing is believing. If today you take away just one thing, let it be a promise to yourself. Before you tart up your system with a new speaker or amplifier, investigate proper resonance control. The hardware you own goes a lot farther than you know. In hifi everything matters. Some things simply matter more; or before others can unfurl fully. Sequence is a thing. In my book, resonance control isn't the last maybe job. It's an essential part of a strong foundation upon which even modest kit gets to impress well beyond its presumed station. That's building logically from the ground up not top down. It explains why spending seemingly disproportionate coin on said foundation is more sensible than prematurely blinging out active sound makers. There's a time for those, too. To matter properly; to activate the law of grace so increasing returns – that relies on first sorting our fundamentals. Now that that's wrapped up with a bow, Carbide's Base Diamond gets to bow out. If we decide on roller-ball isolators, being this responsive because races don't deform and their curvature shapes ideally for the size of the bearings seems key. From what I've tried and know of, our flexibly configurable Texan beefcakes hold the key to that city. Congrats to team Carbide for making an already good thing this much better. What else to say? Get your wobble on. Squish those invisible ViscoRings. It's that twin action which spells double trouble for bad vibes. Actually, make that triple trouble. The Diamond inherits the lower so invisible ball-bearing layer of the original. Happy days!
Diamond insert right-side up then upside down, with Enleum AMP-23 isolation footer at far right for size/height comparison.
PS: If the Diamond inserts were available separately perhaps with a small height-adjuster plate at the bottom, it'd shrink footer diameter, height and price. Could that be ideal for standard kit which doesn't benefit as much from viscoelastic vertical isolation as do speakers and subwoofers? I suspect that this could be a worthy spin-off from the Base Diamond project and get Jeff's tech into more homes.
Carbide Audio respond: Hi Srajan, I really enjoyed your review. I am always impressed with your understanding of the technical problem and proposed solution. Most impressive though is your way of explaining things in a clear way. Thank you very much for your time and your thorough explanation of our isolation approach. I am pleased to hear of your positive experience under your DAC. I'd have considered simply hearing an improvement a win but it sounds like the improvements went a step further and were tangible. This use case under upstream components was the primary motivation behind the ceramic raceway project so this is good news. Jeffrey Jenkins
PPS. During a subsequent review, I removed the Base Diamond set from under the sub. Now that set hankered after new temporary employment. It suddenly occurred to me. Why wouldn't the Diamonds work upside down? Inversion creates a rather bigger surface area for a component to sit on. Now my review set of four could float two components at once. Both sat super stable which the original orientation hadn't managed. So don't hesitate to flip it. You might get away with fewer big isolators than you thought.
Two and two. It even looks better.
By then regular Warsaw contributor Dawid Grzyn had published his own Diamond writeup for an excellent 2nd take. Here more makes merrier…
Carbide Audio respond once more: "In all the time I've worked on this footer, I never gave much thought to your idea of turning it upside down. The potential benefits from a cost and space perspective seem obvious now that you mention it. Could be used like a mini platform for small components. I like it! I'll pass this suggestion along to our sales partners and see what customers think. I've been using just two directly under my stand-mount speakers in my 2nd system but going forward will use them upside down for added stability."
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