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A. The effect is coming from two areas:
1. Due to the placement of the feet under the bottom of a component you get a mechanical damping effect.
2. Additionally you have the accumulated effect of the internal material. One foot can’t effectively damp an entire component. You will also hear whether a foot is beneath a critical spot or not. For example with our phono preamp the biggest effect comes from underneath the screws which are nearest to the MC and MM transistors.

Q. Does the damping material in the top section of the foot prevent energy from being reflected back into the component?

A. The damping material ‘eats’ the vibrations from airborne and subsonic noise and of course also prevents reflections. The easiest way to find out what our devices are doing is to use them with a power amp, integrated amp or a phono pre. In the case of components which employ their own sprung construction like a turntable or CD player, our feet could contribute little or be counterproductive. The reason is that you are dealing with a component already deployed with a spring system which contributes its own specific acoustical characteristics. If you kill the spring system’s ability to operate as intended, you will get terrible sound. So far we found only two older components which exhibited this interaction.

Q. Is the topside of the foot designed for broadband resonance control or was it optimized for a specific narrow range?

A. Broadband. We want to ‘get ‘em all’. This is no joke. The problem is everywhere. The subjective results are different based on frequency. In the treble and presence region you can hear the problems as distortion (a female voice or piano stresses your ears). In the bass and lower midrange you will notice it as lack of energy and/or boomy bass. With our products these artefacts get much more natural and stress free. The top aluminum part must be placed directly under the chassis bottom of the component, not its stock feet. This is due to the mechanical damping effect of our aluminum. Any vibrations and resonances in the unit will be absorbed internally. The decoupling part has the same job as the base. If you combine feet and base, simply listen and trust your ears.

Q. Am I correct that a major design parameter here was to maximize detail extraction?

A. If you eliminate artificial disturbances from outside, you automatically get more detail. But you will also get a much blacker background, less distortion, a more precise soundstage and clearer frequencies all round. It’s understandable if you imagine a single 1kHz sine wave. Due to external disturbances the clean 1kHz signal is modulated by a lot of other frequencies. Due to the actual phase situation between original signal and its modulations, the compound output level is changed to be slightly higher or lower. Additionally the signal is no longer a clean 1kHz but 1kHz + x. Due to the construction of our mechanical interface, these effects are not eliminated but attenuated and minimized The overall goal is to decouple as much as possible and siphon out vibrations and resonances to prevent tonal colorations.

Preparation and methodology. Armed with this information provided by designer Andreas Schönberg, I set out to explore the capabilities of his two products. First the d.C.d. feet went under my Audio Space CD player in three and four foot configurations. This machine was the logical candidate since it is traditionally the source component that’s most subject to a wide source of vibratory influences. Then the d.C.d. base was added to gauge the level of influence it would provide. The second round went to the AudioSpace Reference 2S preamp where the integral feet prevented the use of the German feet but provided a good choice to see the effects on the microphonically sensitive tube complement. The final round went to the Audio Exklusiv Footers replacing the EquaRack equivalents beneath my Bel Canto amplifier. The Base remained under the preamplifier to maintain sonic reference points. The system was run with the Paradigm subwoofer to produce maximum challenge to the isolation properties of these two components. As a point of reference I chose two of my anti resonance champions to go up against the newcomers.

Now it was time to mine my music repertoire. Tried and true recordings were trotted out plus an injection of interesting new titles added for spice.

"Mission Exotica" from Langhorns: Mission Exotica [Bad Taste Records BTR-63CD] is late 50s, early 60s guitar described as a punk revival alternative. It’s from a Swedish group that swirls a mix of Jan and Dean with a touch of middle eastern James Bond suave for an eclectic fun diversion that’s raw and electrically raunchy. It tests how far you can push and still keep it musical.

"Crazy He Calls Me" from What’s New: Linda Ronstadt & the Nelson Riddle Orchestra [Lasting Impression Music LIM PA046] is from Winston Ma’s FIM label with one letter switched to LIM but his talent remains evident on this delightful 32/192 remaster of the highly successful 1983 pairing of Linda Ronstadt with Frank Sinatra’s impeccable Nelson Riddle Orchestra. Her first step out of the pop spotlight showcased real vocal talent and breathed fresh life into classic chestnuts rewarding the listener with warm and lush sound on a level the 80s had nearly forgotten but which was perfectly preserved here. Sultry, thick and emotionally involving.
"Suite from a Ticket to the Moon" from Un Ticket pour L’Espace; Erwann Kermorvant [Moviescore Media MMS-10004]. Composer Erwann Kermorvant incorporates the styles of Goldsmith, Horner and Williams in this epic soundtrack for a tasteful studio mix of the Bulgarian Symphony Orchestra that manages to highlight a diversity of styles from somber to comedic. Sweet, mildly dark, with a good sense of space and spotlighting of individual instruments and textures.
"Symphonic Dance #3: Rachmaninov" from 30th Anniversary Sampler [Reference Recordings RR-908] showcases Eiji Oue and the Minesota Orchestra captured by the masterful hand of Professor Keith O. Johnson and Reference Recordings. Space, fine detail and a full dynamic gradation of ascending crescendos tax the system and leave you in awe.

"Ma-Ma FC" from Ballake Sissoko/Vincent Segal Chamber Music [Spectra Musique SPECD-7824] is another off-the-beaten-path CD that is unusual and rich. Recorded in the Mouffou Studio of Bamako Mali it is described as "traditional African music with classical European overtones" by fusing traditional Kora and European instruments with simple techniques but complex interplay. This joyful little piece intertwines percussion, cello and Kora, expanding outwards from a simple beginning for deep resonant bodies, hard grating textures and sweet strings with sharp attacks and warm muted decays.

"Can’t Help Falling in Love" from Opening: Mathias Landaeus [M.A recordings M081A] showcases MA’s talented Todd Garfinkle in a lovely detailed intimate and intense jazz recording that mixes traditional light jazz and new material performed by Swedish pianist Mathias Landaeus on the Steinway Concert Grand accompanied by bass and drums. Garfinkle’s masterful use of a minimalist single-point stereo microphone captures acoustic and talented musicians with stunning realism. Here is a well-known piece given loving attention with delicate shimmer and lingering complex decays. Another demonstration quality recording from MA.

"Fall of the House of Usher: Prelude" from The Alan Parsons: Tales of Mystery and Imagination [Mercury/Polygram 832 820-2] This is a remix of the original 1976 recording, mildly revisionist in nature and it includes the intended voiceover by Orson Welles. An interesting mix of bouncy pop and ambitious full orchestral material, this was the first project by Alan Parsons and arguably his most daring. This cut is all dark brooding orchestra punctuated by sharp dynamic twists that can still jolt and surprise. Well miked in a lively hall with excellent renditions of instrument textures and timbres. Purist enough to include binaural techniques and featuring Reference Recordings own Keith Johnson for some instrumental expertise.