Geeky. Dweeby. Nerdy. From unpacking videos to gushing pucks 'n' cones tomes, our hobby's crannies are filled with ridiculed rituals. While unkeen to pile on, proper sportsmanship insists that just to avoid the heckling hyenas, I not pad down genuine enthusiasm over what in broadspeak is just another footer. The Vibra 68 isn't. In fact it's rather other than recent spam for these Ultrafeet. Involving viscoelastic damping, they come in seven different variations to match load to spring rate. That's a rather fussier MO. Having worked my way through synthetic sapphire isolators (Kepler by Divine Acoustics), roller balls (Hifistay), viscoelastics + roller balls (Carbide) and wire suspension (Boenicke, Wellfloat), for me the Vibra 68 is the next level. It's still wire suspension. That already occupied the top of my silent mountain. But it's far more compact than the SwingBase, far more within reach than a $1'060/ea. Delta Extreme from Japan (though Wellfloat's lower profile could be preferable under speakers to not throw off a tweeter/ear alignment). All of it makes the Vibra 68 the flag atop my peak; and a Swiss one at that. It's no secret that aside from chocolate, cheese and banking, Suisse is great also at upscale audio like CH Precision, darTZeel, Nagra or Soulution. It's not known for earthquakes unlike Japan where high-rise buildings may incorporate pendulum dampers. Just so, from outside Gstaad now comes a demonstrably effective miniaturized pendulum isolator which might just rule them all. As geeky as it seems to go all gooey over footers, this really does deserve an award. It's for the fundamental difference it can make to a truly full-range high-resolution system whilst looking anything but geeky. In fact it looks like—so can be mistaken for—just another common mostly decorative footer. Its mega difference maker hides smartly inside to take up surprisingly little space.

Resonance control is certainly not the first job one tackles on the virtual construction site of building a fine hifi. But once the actual sound makers of source, amplification and transducers with their loom and proper power delivery are in place, the smart money invests in essential resonance attenuation. As by far the gravest mechanical exciters, speakers and subs come first, then a resonance-critical turntable if in play; and without hesitation tube gear particularly with highly microphonic direct-heated power triodes à la 45, 50, 2A3 and 300B. Subsequently even a budget bamboo rack is seriously upgraded by terminating it in properly engineered floor isolators like today's. Yet with transducers correctly decoupled, that may not even be necessary. Once our mechanical base is silent, we experience our sound makers at their best. Even if down the line we upgrade them, those upgrades still benefit to make the biggest leap they possibly can. Or, we may not hear any need to upgrade. That's because properly isolated affordable gear gets to shine well past its presumed station. And that could well be all we'd ever want.

It's a trick execution like the Vibra 68 which helps make it so; no break-in required. The difference is instantaneous. So could be the head scratching.

Martin Gateley adds: "For completion's sake and to satisfy my aesthetic ego, here are photos of the walnut version. Maple too is available. Dimensions are 80mm Ø, 45mm high. MSRP is CHF340/ea."