Peruse the Hifistay catalogue. Like Metal Sound Design also from South Korea, they love to precision machine metal. Be it spikes, footers, outriggers, clamps, stands or racks, they fascinate and repel by equal overkill measure. Consider the below stands for Dynaudio's XEO monitors. Don't they look sturdy enough to hold up a lorry whilst replacing a tyre?

Having previously reviewed Hifistay's rubber-band aka gyro tension Vega introduced to me by their then distributor DC Son of Nasotech/Highendcity, this time Hifistay contacted me direct. My contact used the email handle butifull01. I told them what I'd told DC. Using Artesania Audio's Exoteryc rack, I can't use component footers. I could, as I'd done then, review their isolators on loudspeakers. That would necessitate two sets of four. I was far from certain they'd entertain such a prospect given the new part's steep sticker of $480/ea.

Undeterred, "we have various custom HardPoints. Among them, the Artesania Audio Exoteryc custom is the very best." So I'd receive eight to experiment on two chassis in the rack. I was advised not to use these underneath speakers.

Unlike the spring-based Vega, the HardPoint needn't be altered to conform to a specific load. Each footer is rated for eight kilos. With its threaded base, height adjusts easily. If I thought that I had talked myself out, not. I had talked myself squarely into this thing. Minor reluctance was due only to a preference. I fancy simpler over more complex. And there's no doubt that the HardPoint is a sizeable, complex and expensive affair. But then, Harley Davidson built an empire around bolt-on chrome bobs. Some go faster, others are pure dress bits. Either way, there's a big market. Boys luv their toys!

To load up my inner metalurge, I was told I'd also be shipped the Dharma. That's a chassis damper or record clamp filled with stainless steel micro spheres. It's available in a variety of anodized colours. I wrote back that I neither spin acrylic nor polycarbonate discs. Butifull01 wouldn't have any of it. I learnt in no uncertain terms that the device works equal wonders on DACs. Clearly I had a number of those. My Dharma was coming.

Punters keen on a firm presenting a unified design front won't find one here. From spikes to mass dampers to spring suspension to ball bearings, Hifistay embrace it all with more-is-merrier gusto. Consider the newer GyroPoint at left. It combines stacked rubber bands (how many are used sets the load compliance) with a coiled spring of fixed rating plus a ball bearing at the very tip plus one more O-ring. How two springs of clearly dissimilar compliance interact is anyone's guess. Still, the general idea is decoupling. Meanwhile the spikes at right are all about coupling: 'draining' energies by creating a 'one-way' path to ground. Don't believe in one? Hifistay have you covered with the other. That's reminiscent of certain Chinese tube audio firms. Their every model sounds utterly different from any other. They reflect no house sound conviction. If there is a unifying design concept with Hifistay, it must be obvious excellence at precision machining and finishing; plus a willingness to support custom work including turntable plinths and full-metal-jacket speaker cabs. Perhaps call it Heavy Metal?