It quickly turned out that the speaker preview had nicely set the stage for the next components. Each benefit applied again but some things were new. Trilogy's 915R preamp portrayed more oxygenated and open landscapes for a visibly grander effect followed by wider dynamic range and images that rendered a bit closer so taller and more tangible. These changes were somewhat less pronounced than the speaker effects had been but still audibly beneficial. Moister vocals on a larger canvas seasoned with boom-free more immediate bass were clear sonic improvements rather than sideways moves.

Next the Carbide Bases had to work under the Pacific DAC as the only one on my platform equipped with proper hard footers from local company Stacore. This LampizatOr known for quickness, radiance, openness and directness is also somewhat lean, very unforgiving and voiced quite opposite to the warm dense sonics many enthusiasts often associate with tubes. Without today's footers this DAC performed as if its profile was pushed too far into sharper edges, lower tonal mass, less hydration and a touch of paleness on instrumental structures. It's worth noting again that I've lived with this spicy flavor for two years so am quite accustomed but the most noticeable sonic shift still was elsewhere. The Pacific's naturally snappy disposition would have one to think that it's bound to suffer upon injecting extra weight and color. These things usually are mutually exclusive but not here. The Carbide Bases not only turned my DAC into a gutsier rounder version of itself but also had it faster and dynamically more gifted. This sensibly more elastic, orderly and spatially grander outcome was quite the surprise.

After conducting three experiments, I was still curious how the oversized pucks would affect my linear PSU and monos. As predicted, their application now was less audible and rather mild by comparison but darker backdrop, higher oxygen and beefier more grounded sonics still notched up. Now the removal of all 24 footers was the last task at hand. Suffice to say, without these shiny objects my sound didn't collapse but was noticeably inferior so smaller, slimmer, glossier, shallower, more distant, chalky, a fair bit nervous, less juicy and bloomier in the bass. That plunge was both heard and felt and accepting it took a while but that's the exact aftertaste which efficacious footers leave us with. If their inclusion doesn't quite tell the full story right away, removing them again surely will. Although the carbide dagger didn't slash any major arteries, it went deep enough to leave a nasty scar and something for me to think about.

It's time to point out that my setup free from competing decouplers was a very friendly environment for Carbide Audio's arrivals. Their triumph was easy and a comparison to similar accessories would have been useful but will be for others to conduct. It's also worth noting that these big heavy bases won't fit everywhere though their ViscoRings can't get smaller and remain this effective so seeing this tech downscaled and more affordable is rather unlikely. These massive tank-alike pucks score commensurably high on perceived value but visually are modest industrial lookers far removed from the luxury leagues. Their maker had performance as his very top priority but wrapping that in a weighty package sized beyond the industry standard isn't a deal breaker. Under sufficiently large hardware, these Carbide Bases actually do look cool. Although I didn't have any competing anti-vibration footers at my disposal, Jeffrey Jenkins' introductory effort was no less valid because of it. No blind luck secured this first win but the man's decoupling method of choice proved efficacious regardless of application: brilliant under speakers, highly beneficial underneath a DAC and still meaningful elsewhere. All in, color me impressed. Sincere congratulations to Carbide Audio's founder for landing such a portfolio opener and keeping its price sane.

Postscript: 2nd-opinion commentary by Srajan to follow.