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Reviewer: Glen Wagenknecht
Financial Interests: click here
Source: Luxman Bird modified by Audio Upgrades to be a now tube-less, zero oversampling machine with integral volume control
Amplifier: Bel Canto 200.4
Speakers: Apogee Duetta Signature, Paradigm Servo 15 subwoofer
Cables: Signal Cable Silver Reference interconnects and speaker cables
Resonance Control: Solid Tech, EquaRack, Superspikes and Black Diamond
Powerline conditioning: Noise Destroyer power filtration
Room size: 12' x 17.
Review Component Retail: $299/3, $398/4r

Research shows graphite may improve your musical health. Resonance control and isolation devices have evolved a long way since the original "pointy feet". Good hard science has led designers to look at proven industrial methods and materials as a source for intelligent and effective audiophile isolation solutions. The benefits of resonance control devices are significant enough that their inclusion in a high-end system should be considered mandatory.

Boston Audio Design is one of the few companies championing graphite-based isolation products. The Mat 1 graphite record mat was first introduced in 2003 and the TuneBlock made its debut in 2005.  Boston Audio Design has continued to expand its line-up to include different variations on those original offerings as well as other vibration control products. Their TuneBlock graphite isolation feet and graphite turntable mats have garnered fair praise and a number of awards.

Graphite is one the most promising materials currently available for use in isolation. On a molecular level, graphite is capable of dissipating energy very rapidly and therefore has the potential to be highly effective in resonance control.

Under review is the Special Edition version of the Boston Audio Design TuneBlock isolation feet. Despite their relatively modest price tag in the world of isolation product, they aim to be taken serious against the best designs, regardless of price. Does the product live up to these lofty aspirations?

The Boston Audio TuneBlock SE is deceptively simple in concept but quite refined in execution. According to the manufacturer: "Each block is machined from a billet of high purity carbon graphite (not molded carbon fiber) and contains between one and seven cubic inches of carbon depending on the model. Once shaped, the blocks are finished using our proprietary sealant applied with an automotive-quality spray finishing system."

The blocks have been tested with weight up to 200 pounds.The original TuneBlocks utilized a graphite base with a conical recess on the top and mounted a steel bearing therein. The conical indentation was chosen over a concave design in order to optimize contact area. This basic concept evolved into various models, the higher end of the line utilizing larger amounts of graphite and higher grade bearings in order to make them progressively more effective and refined.

The TuneBlock SE sports a significantly larger graphite base and a cryogenically treated tungsten carbide bearing. The base measures 2.5 inches in diameter and is 1.5 inches tall and has a 2mm recess machined into the bottom to further enhance isolation from whatever surface it is placed upon. It has twice the mass of the standard TuneBlock. The cryogenically treated tungsten carbide bearing has 50% more mass than their standard tungsten carbide bearing and Boston Audio Design feels that this pairing of graphite and cryogenically treated tungsten carbide bearing is the optimum combination of all possible choices.