South Korea is quite the emerging hifi market. In some ways, it mirrors Poland's parallel ascent in the West. And if Astell&Kern hadn't yet suggested just how far out design and finishing can go over there, log onto MetalSoundDesign or check out April Music's Eximus range or their Aura V2 CD receiver. With that covered, we need to get something else out of the way. Ever since the original ModSquad spike, the myth of the mechanical diode draining away vibrational energies to ground has dominated our audiophile imagination particularly for loudspeakers. That something about this popular concept isn't terribly effective was borne out in a prior residence where my speakers sat on a massive concrete floor. Barefoot, I could readily feel bass pulses migrate through all that lovely presumably inert dead mass like morse code hammered down a railroad track whilst tickling my soles. Ever since, I've felt that decoupling/floating our hifi jackhammers aka loudspeakers from/above the floor is a far better idea. Sven Boenicke's Swiss SwingBase is just one ingenious way how to do that.

With HifiStay's flotation devices, one ought to accomplish the very same thing in a more concealed fashion. That had my attention. DC Son was game enough to ask for my speakers' weight and pre-configure a set of two Vega quads to the 't'. Height would be adjustable under load by simply rotating the central part.

As users of Sorbothane and similar viscoelastics know, matching any spring suspension to the mass one means to isolate is key. Too loose a setting and you end up with something overly fussy that oscillates and never settles down. Go too hard and isolation suffers. Under constant compression, Sorbothane as used by Grand Prix Audio's stands will eventually harden. This requires annual replacement for best results. With the Korean silicon loops, one expects some form of eventual material fatigue as well. If one remained within the recommended tolerances, the fact that here stress is distributed across so many members perhaps makes them more resilient than solid Sorbothane washers. In any case, it's why EquaRack's Joe Ciulla uses many small viscoelastic pellets in his footers. Whilst it makes for small incremental load adjustments—add or remove pellets as here we do loops—it also "spreads out the pain" like a fakir's bed of needles. At this juncture reader Lloyd Smith chimed in. "Read your preview of the Vega Gyrotension isolators and noted how you observed that they may need periodic elastic replacement for tension. I had a chance to try and buy the new levitation devices from Gershman Acoustics here in Canada. These LVCs work big time. The effect of floating the Luxman integrated and Oppo 105 is equivalent to a system upgrade. In my system, there appears to be no give and take with these, quite unlike other footers I tried in the past. The soundstage opens up and everything has more space to live in from bass to treble."

Regardless of how it is accomplished, the key words again are flotation or levitation aka isolation, not mechanical grounding, earthing or coupling. That said, magnetic flotation would appear to trap self-generated vibration inside a component rather than provide a mechanism whereby such energies may exhaust themselves. When the EMS postal package arrived from Seoul, it contained a blue box emblazoned HifiStay. Inside of it was thick black foam with four circular cut-outs. VoilĂ , four 2-tone footers in small Ziploc bags. I emailed DC Son. Given our prior very specific communication about loudspeaker flotation, did he think me a monophile? After all, two footers per speaker just wouldn't cut it. With my Albedo speakers being 4-spike jobs, two Vega plus one spike wouldn't work either, never mind that the spikes were far too short to offset the significant height of the Korean footers. As it turned out, Nasotec were moving office. In the ensuing chaos, DC Son had made a simple mistake. He'd put a second quad in the mail tooth sweet. Meanwhile I could get started on my Pass Labs XA30.8.