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Thread: Center Stage 2-My Settle In Experience and a Possible Way to Shorten Settle In Time

  1. #1
    Site Founder And Administrator Steve Williams's Avatar
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    Post Center Stage 2-My Settle In Experience and a Possible Way to Shorten Settle In Time

    I have been trying to find time to post my thoughts about the recent switch from Center Stage version one to Center Stage 2 in my system. When Joe announced the introduction of the version 2 my first thought was how one could improve on a product that I thought was perfect in every way. I remember several years ago I had similar thoughts when Shunyata introduced the Triton 2 when I also thought this product was so perfect in every way. Well it is obvious that something so new and so different in the audio marketplace results in learning on the go and much to my amazement Joe has found a way to make these feet better by addressing three very important issues. In his announcement Joe states

    1. He has decreased the amount of vibration moving upwards through the foot

    2. He has decreased the amount of noise inherent to the materials in the foot

    3. He has increased the amount of entropy transferring out of the component

    In Joe's opinion this results in nothing lost and everything gained


    As for looks the two versions are identical visually in every way except for a superscript "2" after the Center Stage name

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    I received my shipment of feet on July 23. I have gone through the settle in process on 6 previous occasions all with the version one footers. On each and every one of those occasions there was an almost immediate degradation of sound that slowly resolved over the next 7-10 days in my system so I was expecting the worst but hoping for the best.

    I have a total of 60 Center Stage feet 2 under my system. I have 44 of the 1.0's under all of my front end equipment and 16 of the 1.5's under my amp and power supplies.


    With the help of my wife we got all 60 properly seated in less than 30 minutes. It was nice to find that I did not require the use of a single shim to get a perfect application to the component above.

    I powered up my system and let it warm up for 30 minutes before listening. The first night I played some of my favorite demo disks to get an idea of what I was hearing. Well much to my amazement, unlike 6 prior applications I found that immediate impression was "this is very listenable". There was definitely some roll off at the top end and the bottom end sounded loose and tubby. Inspire of this the 2 hours of listening always had something great to hear, so much so that I found I wasn't paying too much attention to the deficits but rather was drawn in to the midrange which was spectacular from the beginning

    I will discuss in a bit what I heard when allows said and done but I do want to comment on what I did as an experiment to shorten the settle in time but for now I'd like to go day by day in what I heard

    The following day I followed my usual routine of playing a demo disk in auto replay for 8 hours. I always listen to the same few tracks in the final half hour to understand the changes heard. Well by the end of day 2 the mid range always had something good to hear. It was the top end rolloff and loose tubby bass that was now more noticeable. One of the demo disks that I use to get an idea on what I hear with strings is Rodrigo y Gabriela Live in Japan. Suffice it to say that whatever track of that album that I played it was virtually impossible to say with any certainty that what i was hearing was two guitars. It sounded dreadful. I didn't know if it were a guitar, banjo, violin except to know that there was sound of a very loose bunch of strings.

    On day 3, I started to play the same demo album and it still sounded like crap so I decided that I would play that album all day in auto replay at a slightly higher than normal spl. When I listened 7 1/2 hours later there was marked improvement in the sound with the tone and timbre improving. I wondered if I was onto something. In other words I wondered that if playing music which I know is still problematic and exposing the system to all of the same frequencies perhaps this could facilitate the settle in process

    On day 4 I then had the brain wave that rather than playing a diversity of music all day wondered if the settle in might be hastened (made shorter) if I play something that exposes the system to the full sound spectrum. For the past 10-12 years I have used all of the iterations of the System Enhancer made by Jim Auld at Purist Audio. This is 78 minutes of computer generated white, pink and brown noise with many different algorithms he developed for this disk. It is his recommendation that the disk be used when any new equipment is introduced to the system. He suggests playing once at normal listening levels and then repeat it 4 more times at decreased spl and after the 4th spin he feels the system has settled. He also recommends using the disk once a month prophylactically. Jim also now makes the disk in a vinyl version and also a digital version with a USB thumb drive.

    I figured I would give it a try. Well 7 1/2 hours later I can say that I was shocked that most everything sounded dramatically better.There was much better resolution of the strings hear previously. Midrange IMO was flawless. The top end roll off was almost gone and the deep bass was starting to come in. It was noticeably tighter and better defined. I thought this little experiment was leading me in the right direction as I felt that with a 4 spin play of the System Enhancer disk I was 80% where I was wanting to be

    Days 4, 5 and 6

    Once again I played the System Enhancer Disk 4 times. By Day 5 I found the system to be vastly improved. There were a few isolated instances that the sound would drop off for a while and then return as if nothing happened. In fact I called Joe to reveal my findings and said that if there is more settle in to be had the overall sonic benefit might be minimal or difficult to hear. IOW I was thinking that by day 6 the settle in was pretty much done

    Days 7,8,9

    Just to be sure I played the System Enhancer for 3 more days and to my ears there was little if any change.


    So what did I hear different from the new version that I felt was better than version 1


    A simple observation was that there was an ease of presentation that for me made the music more natural

    This biggest change however was the timbre, tone dynamics and decay. I felt these were so real that I couldn't stop listening. There was no glare or top end fatigue. Everything sounded natural and I felt that I could hear deeper into the voices of the singers or the musical instruments themselves

    But here is the real kicker. If you all remember I finally removed my pair of Fathom F113 subs from my system and my deep bass comes now only from my speakers. Well for my amp that produces all of 32 wpc the deep bass was the best, most articulate and well defined that I have ever heard in my system. I was shocked but elated by that finding

    Finally the Immersive Effect of the version 2 is much deeper and wider than version one and in fact on the Rodrigo and Gabriela album I had never heard the Immersive Effect ever until I used the version 2 feet

    I can say that the version 2 feet are truly so much better than the first version BUT having said that, if one has heard only the first version he would be eternally happy

    I am convinced as well that the addition of the 1.5's under my amps and power supplies paid big dividends in the development of the deep bass


    In the next few months there will be several published online reviews of there Centre Stage 2 all of which continue to espouse their amazing virtues.


    Also for those who want to try my little System Enhancer experiment here is where you can order it in all 3 iterations

    http://www.puristaudiodesign.com/Dat...line_syse.html

    I am also convinced that using this System Enhancer reduced the settle in time in my system by at least 3-4 days

    I am now going to use the Vinyl version as I start the settle in on the analog side of my system

    I do know that Joe is presently swamped with work but as he stated he will be offering an upgrade path from the version one to the version 2. For those interested you can contact me by email or private message here or at www.pitchperfectsound.com

    As users of the product have posted here time and again, the use of these feet for the money, in essence is the least expensive but best way to do an immediate system upgrade. I have been taken to task here by one member who was critical of the feet as well as my decisions in my system upgrade.He suggested the CMS racks were not necessary and perhaps a better speaker should have come first. Suffice it to say that a year ago, all of these things were on my radar but having these Center Stage Feet in my system has for now obviated any desires on my part to consider a new speaker etc

    All of this sounds too good to be true but all I can say is once people try these they cannot ever get enough of them as some users have ordered from me on 7-8 different occasions as they continue to insert them under their components.

    There are many feet on the market many with similar modes of action but when it comes to Center Stage Feet I can say with certainty that there is nothing like it in the market today. It is Joe's feeling that in 17 years of being in this business, the Centre Stage footer is the best product he has ever brought to market. It has been mentioned previously that the idea and development of this foot has been based upon his top of the line Olympus rack and shelves.

    I do have several demo sets and if any are interested please contact me. You won't regret it
    Steve Williams
    aka oneobgyn
    There's ALWAYS another Steve Williams BUT there's only "oneobgyn"
    USA Dealer of Center Stage Feet and owner of PitchPerfect Sound (www.pitchperfectsound.com)
    Dealer Lamm Electronics
    My System

  2. #2
    Site Founder And Administrator Steve Williams's Avatar
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    There are now several CS2 users around the world. I am hoping that those who read this thread might comment on their own observations with the CS2. Also there are many users now who have both versions in their systems. Have you been able to do an A-B test with the two versions and if so can you post your experiences

    Finally, several users have reached out to me regarding upgrading their series one to the current version. I have replied in private to all of you. I do know Joe is working hard to catch up with his back orders. Once he is caught up and the smoke settles I am hoping to have more information for you
    Steve Williams
    aka oneobgyn
    There's ALWAYS another Steve Williams BUT there's only "oneobgyn"
    USA Dealer of Center Stage Feet and owner of PitchPerfect Sound (www.pitchperfectsound.com)
    Dealer Lamm Electronics
    My System

  3. #3
    Site Founder And Administrator Steve Williams's Avatar
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    I spoke to Joe yesterday. He is working on the logistics of the upgrade. He is trying to catch up on all his backorders and told me that he is shooting for September to begin upgrades for those so desiring.

    Many have already contacted me so I am certain it will be on a first come first served basis
    Steve Williams
    aka oneobgyn
    There's ALWAYS another Steve Williams BUT there's only "oneobgyn"
    USA Dealer of Center Stage Feet and owner of PitchPerfect Sound (www.pitchperfectsound.com)
    Dealer Lamm Electronics
    My System

  4. #4
    [Industry Expert] mountainjoe's Avatar
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    I’m on day 1 with the CS2 footers and one of the first things I noticed is the clarity in decay and sense of space. Imaging is nice right out of the bag and mid range seems more relaxed (as in flowing with a greater sense of ease).

    Will see how it goes - so far so good and can already tell these things are better than the first generation.

    Cheers, Joe

    Full disclosure - I am a Center Stage 2 and CMS dealer.
    Joe Hakim
    President & CEO

    Eigen Audio
    Northern California Bay Area dealer for Von Schweikert Audio, MasterBuilt Audio Cables, Critical Mass Systems, and Aurender

  5. #5
    Site Founder And Administrator Steve Williams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountainjoe View Post
    I’m on day 1 with the CS2 footers and one of the first things I noticed is the clarity in decay and sense of space. Imaging is nice right out of the bag and mid range seems more relaxed (as in flowing with a greater sense of ease).

    Will see how it goes - so far so good and can already tell these things are better than the first generation.

    Cheers, Joe

    Full disclosure - I am a Center Stage 2 and CMS dealer.
    Hi Joe

    Interesting comment because when I started last week the first thing I told Joe was how great the decay is compared to the first version I also said there was an ease of presentation such that it sounded more natural to me.
    Steve Williams
    aka oneobgyn
    There's ALWAYS another Steve Williams BUT there's only "oneobgyn"
    USA Dealer of Center Stage Feet and owner of PitchPerfect Sound (www.pitchperfectsound.com)
    Dealer Lamm Electronics
    My System

  6. #6
    Site Founder And Administrator Steve Williams's Avatar
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    Here are the finalized plans for all of you who have contacted me regarding upgrading your CS feet to version 2

    The upgrade will ONLY be available during the month of September. For those still interested and wanting to do the upgrade, please email or message me for particulars. Joe has stated clearly that the upgrade is only available in September. Many have been in touch with me and already made arrangements
    Steve Williams
    aka oneobgyn
    There's ALWAYS another Steve Williams BUT there's only "oneobgyn"
    USA Dealer of Center Stage Feet and owner of PitchPerfect Sound (www.pitchperfectsound.com)
    Dealer Lamm Electronics
    My System

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