Two dozens Carbide Bases were more than enough to cover my entire setup. Their conservative application as three per component meant simultaneous action under two speakers, two mono amps, a DAC, preamp, server/streamer and linear PSU. Although going full hog right off seemed appealing, the hassle associated with lifting pretty much my entire platform wasn't. Besides, paying customers will like to read about the footers' input under specific components to learn where they worked best. That's why my to-do list included three separate stops: sound|kaos Vox 3afw monitors, Trilogy 915R preamp, LampizatOr Pacific DAC and in that exact order. The remaining Carbide Bases landed under my mono amps and linear PSU.

My compact low-mass sound|kaos Vox 3afw speakers fixed to skinny legs and bottom plates are a breeze to move. Parking them on Carbide Bases was the simplest most convenient exercise. These monitors toed in to cross at the main listening chair some 150cm away form a semi-nearfield setup that's off the charts on imaging. After a short listen each speaker was put on/off three of today's pucks while the listening seat had to move some 30cm further/closer to maintain that isosceles triangle and headphone-like immersion. Not only were these swaps easy to make, it took just two to track obvious sonic changes. Trent Reznor's "Keep It Together" from his second band How to Destroy Angels opens with gentle synth effects followed by massive slow bass attacks among which Mariqueen Maandig's soothing ethereal voice is heard on a black somewhat stuffy background. The initial impression with Jeffrey's footers was as though SPL had cut by some 3dB. Many decouplers and noise-killing cables are similar early on. The speakers on their Carbide Bases rendered the vocal line visibly smoother, moister, closer to my ears, more finely outlined and significantly more specific. Less bass output was next or at least that's how it felt first. Past the accommodation phase it went beyond just that. Carbide Audio's pucks removed excess bloom I'd become so accustomed to as to not detect as such. We don't know what we don't know until we do. This instant trim of room talk allowed the monitors to display greater extension and speedier firmer overall delivery. The main bass line now felt more visceral, tight, raw and properly palpable. Needless to say, that implied a major move up the quality ladder.

These key changes were a splendid start but didn't stop there. Drum machine snaps on the same song were shorter and stronger, the backdrop got darker, resolution and moisture went up and so did oxygenation and clarity. The tune became somewhat darker and more substantial, orderly and free from glare previously heard here and there while the tonal balance to my ears wasn't so much altered as restored. Jeffrey's footers enhanced atmospheric elements and felt precise and enjoyable without drawbacks. Although there was nothing to dislike, my investigation wasn't over. The speakers' now properly guttural performance liberated from hollowness and rough edges incentivized me to listen to Acid's "Creeper" loaded with stout bass, zippy subsidiary synth pulses, high dynamic contrasts and distinctively calm vocals. This track is also very useful at mapping issues with vented speakers like bass-reflex farts and abnormal boom. Once again the Carbide Bases produced admirably extended, controlled, powerful and squeaky clean lows. Upon removing them this range instantly became lazier, slower, woollier and less impactful. The vocals sounded coarser, more chiseled, shinier and less sensual but also rendered deeper on stage for a more hooded effect.

My highly resolving efficient Swiss monitors clearly enjoyed the footers' thoroughly beneficial contributions. More sorted soundstaging, finer differentiation images and extra smoothness mattered. Ditto reduced room coupling, greater clarity and power, finer textures, higher contrasts and elevated saturation. The total tab for this service included softer edges and a lower midbass presence so wasn't extortionate by any means. The Vox 3afw's more civilized, polished and fleshy performance stripped from nervousness and more potent attacks secured a big win. Cosmetically, four footers per stand looked better than the three which had a slight edge on performance so less was more. Although this experience was clear enough to wrap this story, my DAC and preamp enjoy decoupling too much to cut corners. I had to press on.