Confessions of an Audiophile Junky-I Got Center Stage With Pitch Perfect Sound

steve williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#1
I am known through the internet community as “oneobgyn” as in my former life I was an Obstetrician and Gynecologist for 35 years before retiring from active practice in 2007. I have been involved in high end audio throughout most of my adult life and, as a result, in 2010 I founded the very popular and rapidly growing high end audio forum called What’s Best Forum

A lifetime of hard work afforded me the opportunity to put together my dream system. You can see the detailed progression of my listening room on What’s Best Forum at Doctors Orders Part Two http://www.whatsbestforum.com/showt...Steve-Williams&p=191656&viewfull=1#post191656

Like most audiophiles, one of my final steps was finding a great audio rack. And, like most audiophiles I didn’t expect a significant improvement but I went for it nonetheless. I was happy to discover Joe Lavrencik and Critical Mass Systems. I found Joe to not only be bright and articulate but he was so enthused about his products that I decided to redo my entire system in stages with Joe’s CMS Black Diamond racks. Suffice it to say I was stunned by the major improvements in my sound system. Most noticeable was the significant reduction in my noise floor. Before using CMS racks I felt that I was listening from the rear of the orchestra but with my front and back end gear sitting on CMS Black Diamond racks I was transported to the first three rows of the orchestra.

In my mind it just couldn’t get any better than what I was hearing. You guessed it, I was wrong!

Joe and I became friends and in June of 2017 after the L.A. Audio Show, he spent a few days at my house. He told me about something new he felt was the best product he had ever designed. When asked what it was, he said a “foot” for under components and he asked if I wanted to try a few in my system. My first reaction was “oh no, not another foot”, but I agreed.

Before he left, a set of 4 feet went under my CD transport, my preamp, my phono stage and my amps. He warned me that there was a 7-10 day break in. Having owned and/or tried countless audio feet over the years I was very skeptical about everything.
Boy was I in for a shock. For the first 3 days my system sounded worse than terrible. Joe was now back in Chicago and I would call him every day for this first 3 days and tell him I wanted to remove the feet from my components because my system was unlistenable. Joe would say “be patient as the wait will be worth it.” The one thing I have learned about Joe is that when it comes to the design of high end audio racks he is a veritable genius and when he said to be patient, that is what I needed to do.

I am so thrilled that I took his advice. On day 4 my system suddenly had a very pleasant sound. On day 5 the top end of my system was spectacular. By days 6-7 there was such a dramatic change in my mid bass that it had me listening non stop as there was no glare and no fatigue. I was mesmerized.

It wasn’t until days 8-10 however that the true magic of Joe’s “foot” came to life. The deep bass was truly the best I had ever heard in my system and the total integration of the sound literally “snapped into place”. In fact, there was such a profound improvement in the mid bass and deep bass in my speakers that I could turn down the crossover on my JL Audio Fathom subwoofers to the lowest point without any loss of foundation, pace or slam. We all know the acronym PRAT but honestly, I never appreciated pace, rhythm and timing as much as I did with these feet in place.

But there was more! I was not ready for what I heard. Joe, as an audio rack designer for the past 17 years has been working on removing the “wall” at the front plane of the loudspeakers that separates the listener from the musicians. His idea was to lower the noise floor so that the recorded acoustic already found in each song filled the room and immersed the listener in the sound field. This is exactly what I began to hear in my room. Music that I use often for demos had the sound field extending from behind the speakers (as always),and then forward into the room as if there were no speakers there at all. I have never experienced such an audio accomplishment as this in all the years I have been involved in this hobby. On some tracks the sound came so far forward that it seemed to wrap around my head. I became totally immersed in the sound field.

I phoned Joe on day 10 and told him that he was going to have to shoot me to get the feet back because in my mind they were such a dramatic improvement I just couldn’t be without them. I had several further talks with Joe about the product as I felt it was far ahead of anything available today. I convinced Joe that it was important for the every listener to hear and own this product. In fact, I was so excited about this product that I licensed retail distribution from Joe to do that very thing and I now find myself the global distributor for what I call Center Stage. I started a new company for this product and aptly decided to call it “Pitch Perfect Sound”. My new website for Center Stage can be found here www.pitchperfectsound.com

I have a very appropriate tag line as a result, “Get Center Stage with Pitch Perfect Sound”. Appropriate, because this is exactly what the product does.
Having lived with these feet in my system since June of this year I find it totally impossible to listen to my system when they are removed. The sound stage totally collapses into the traditional “listener” / “wall” / “music behind the wall”, old boring way of listening. Music should be an experience, not a song!

Before this product was released I sent many to friends just to make sure the effect was consistent in their systems. They refused to remove them. In fact, they ended up buying them.

Joe continues to OEM the product to manufacturers and he has already had a thousand preorders.

People ask, “how do they work” and included in this website is Joe’s White Paper on the product. He says they act like a catalyst in an energy reaction that changes the equilibrium inside the component. Actually, they reduce thermodynamic entropy which occurs naturally inside the component and, of course, they reduce vibration.

The sonic effect is simply staggering. There is no coloration and definitely no fatigue. The best way I can describe these feet in my system is by offering a comparison. Without the feet I compare my system to a 16 x 9 1080p picture which everyone knows. With the feet, this same 16 x 9 palette becomes a 4K picture with life-like detail and a thrilling “surround sound” component that makes me feel like I’m really there. I become transported from the first three rows in the orchestra to sitting “Center Stage”. Because of this mesmerizing, realistic sonic effect I decided to call the product “Center Stage”. I believe Center Stage is the best product Joe has ever brought to market. Center Stage creates a holographic image in your room that will leave you gasping as you become totally immersed in sound as it moves forward from that imaginary “wall” at the front of one’s speakers.
“I was now transported from those first three rows in the orchestra to sitting “Center Stage”
“Welcome to the magic of center stage”

Welcome to the magic of Center Stage. An American made product by Critical Mass Systems. You don’t have to be a CMS rack owner to hear the effect of sitting Center Stage. It doesn’t matter what your components are sitting on. The overall change is always heard.

There are two versions available. The regular size is 13/16″ tall and is recommended for all front end components under 100 pounds. The tall version is 1″ high and the shorter version 13/16″ . Both are sonically identical and priced the same. The tall size is recommended for use under all amplifiers regardless of the amplifier weight as well as under front end components weighing over 100 pounds.

It is recommended that four feet be used under each component rather than three as the product is voiced best with four feet per component. Both regular size and tall versions sell for $300 USD per foot. Further information about Center Stage can be found in Joe’s White Paper here. http://pitchperfectsound.com/joe-white-paper/

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Here is my first full page ad in the November issue of TAS

TAS Advert.jpg

The response to this product before it has even been released has been simply amazing, so much so I put up another full page ad in the December issue of TAS

AS-Critical-Mass-Full-Page-Bleed-Dec.jpg

So these are the confessions of an audiophile junky and what it took to get me out of 10 years of retirement. This product should be evaluated in every system because the sonic change will simply astound you. I can honestly say that Joe has IMO created a whole new listening experience and I guaranty that you will be immersed in the sound.
 

steve williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#2
May 25, 2010
493
1
18
Jersey Shore- waterside
#3
Since Labor Day I have been evaluating Centerstage Footers from Pitch Perfect Sound, an improvement on the CMS footers offered by Joe Lavrencik, owner and designer of CMS. Steve Williams is the sales and marketing force behind Pitch Perfect Sound and will be selling these directly to audiophiles, while CMS will handle OEM sales. I used 16 footers under four pieces of electronics. I put four tall footers under my Spectral DMA 300 RS amp and under my DMC 30 SV preamp because the Spectral feet necessitate the increased elevation so that the pieces are resting on the footers. I also placed four short footers under my ARC Ref CD-9 and Lamm LP2.1 phono stage. My system is fairly good with regard to my mix and match of components, overall resolving power, with attention paid to every cable, the quality of the incoming AC and more than 50 years of listening.

Isolation devices are tricky because there are so many on the market with a wide range of impacts. I have no doubt that how people will perceive these Centerstage footers will be somewhat dependent on the sophistication of their listening, especially with regard to the impact of noise floor. It will also be dependent on their previous experience with isolation devices and footers in particular, not to mention any bias they may have due to the wide ranging crazy claims about footers and isolation devices in audio that unfortunately cannot be reproduced and thus somewhat discredit the entire category

Like most people on WBF, I have been playing with DIY vibration mitigation techniques since the early 70’s with progressive, but limited, benefit. In 1976, Steve Mc Cormack who I met at Jonas Miller Sound in LA in 1975, decided he would open an audio business selling one of the first audio footers, Tip Toes, cylindrical pieces of aluminum machined to a point at one end. Unlike the Centerstage footers, it was easy to understand the physics behind Tip Toes, while the mechanism of action of Centerstage footers is a trade secret. There was no doubt that the Tip Toes immediately improved the image of the sound, although the benefit was limited.

Since then I have tried many other footers, sometimes using three and sometimes using four under each piece of equipment. I have spent thousands on Nordost footers and Stillpoints. I even bought a Vibraplane for use under my turntable. With time I removed each of my previous attempts at vibration isolation short of throwing out my vibration isolation racks, which help somewhat although a dismal failure when it comes to acoustic feedback with my turntable due to some floor instability.

During my month plus evaluation of the Centerstage footers my reference system underwent some changes while I am trying to deal with an acoustic feedback problem when playing records. Throughout these system changes I continued my evaluation of the footers. Midway through the test, both Steve and Joe asked that I return the footers to Joe to have them upgraded to a new design (V2) that Joe is convinced is superior and then reinserted them into my system in the same locations. I have continued the footer evaluation throughout these changes.

My system is based on Vivid Audio G3 speakers and a pair of JL F 113 subwoofers from 34 hz down, connected to a Spectral DMA 300 Reference Series Amp, connected to a Spectral DMC 30 SV preamp. To soften the Spectral sound a bit, there is a tube piece in both the digital chain and the analog chain. On the digital front I use an Audio Research Ref CD-9 CD player and the DAC component (an ARC Ref DAC 9) for my digital music server, a highly modified Mac Mini with an outboard linear power supply. On the analog front, I use a Lamm LP2.1 phono preamp, connected to a VPI Aries 3D with a 12” arm with a ZYX Universe Premium installed. There is also a VPI ADS controlling the speed. MIT SHD level interconnect cables are used throughout, MIT HD90Rev 2 biwire speaker wire for the Vivid’s and Analysis Plus Super Sub wire for the subs. Cardas Beyond Clear is used as the interconnect between the VPI tonearm and the Lamm.

I have two dedicated 20 circuits with Shunyata CopperCon modules. The conditioning has been conducted with a Shunyata Triton V2 and during the last week a Audioquest Niagara 7000, plus a Shunyata Typhon.

My listening has included digital, and analog, plus some TV and movie sound track material.

My footer evaluation occurred in two stages with two different sets of footers. The first set, which I will call V1 were very strange because of the way they broke in over 7-10 days. Just in case you missed what I just said, let me repeat it—The sound changed noticeably, sometimes dramatically, each day. The overall change was a progressive movement towards more cohesiveness, with expansion of the sound stage in every direction, especially toward my listening position. The most important change for me, was a dramatic increase in listening involvement. There were even times I am came back to listen in the middle of the night when I woke up to pee because the sound was so involving. Almost every morning included a listening session, something I have not done in years.

I must say I was puzzled from the first moment when I first installed the V1 footers when the initial sound was so disjointed and wrong that I listened in disbelief that these footers could make such a negative change. With each day the sound improved with disjointed elements progressively replaced with beautifully dimensioned sound that became more engrossing each day. Of course, the bass was the last to come in, but it did with an abandon of clarity, force and depth, not to mention a firmness of the leading edge.

Just as I finally was getting to a point of V1 stability, Steve said that Joe had made a modification to the footers and wanted mine back for modification. Upon reinserting them a week ago, it was clear that these modified feet V2, were different in initial sound and the nature of the progression of their break-in. These sounded much better when first put in than V1. They also developed cohesion in a more linear quality with acceptable sound on day 3, at least 2-3 days sooner than happened with V1. Day 4 was somewhat of an improvement in bass, but day 5 the soundstage started to blossom with a marked increase in bass, although a bit flubby. Day 6 was quite impressive with regard to believability and tonal quality. The sound stage was beyond the speakers both with regard to speaker boundaries, vertically and horizonatally.

However, it was day 7 that left no doubt about the overall benefit of these footers. The sound detail, cohesion, speed and believable bass were now undeniable, regardless of the sound source. Historically an important guideline for me about the quality of a new product is revealed by how much a single other change impacts the overall sound. The better the new product, the greater the difference in sound throughout the entire spectrum. Put simply, these footers have created essentially the same magnitude of positive change to the overall sound as many very expensive new component substitutions.

At the end of my evaluation I had to remove these footers because Steve needs them back while I wait for my final production models. I chose to remove the footers one by one so I will be able to do the AB-A comparison, since this change will be instantaneous rather than during the progressive changes that occurred on the two insertion processes. I believe that this is the single best evaluation technique for the footers. When I get V3, hopefully everything in my system will be stabilized, including the Niagara 7000 and then I can perform and longer evaluation and see if there is any improvement beyond the 8 day duration of each of listening tests.

Before giving you a step by step assessment of what happened when I removed one set of footers at a time, I want to repeat that an AB-A test is the only true way to evaluate the benefit because it demonstrates the full impact of the footers, rather than the progressive changes upon insertion.

Removal of each set of footers at a time was very obvious in its impact. At each step, the reduction of sound stage and most particular believability was the most noticeable change. I was somewhat surprised that the removal of the footers from my solid state Spectral 300RS amp made the single biggest change, although it is possible that it was because it was the first part of the overall system to be removed, suggesting that one must have these under all of the core electronics. I next removed a set from under my ARC Ref CD-9, a tubed unit, which produced the same qualitative change as I experienced when I removed the footers from the Amp, although with about only 1/3 ot the difference compared to the removal of the amp. The same thing happened when I removed the Lamm phono stage while listening to a record, although the difference was greater than removing footers on the digital leg. I do not know if this is due to the increased resolving power of analog, the higher quality of my analog leg or the more likely, a combination of both. This is not surprising since the main thing I listen for is believability and real life is analog and not a bunch of sample points with algorithms filling the gaps, regardless of sampling rate.

So in the midst of an audio spending spree, my take on the wisdom of spending another $4800 for these footers was simple----It is all about believability for me. I want to be taken away from my overwhelming daily life as a psychiatrist and addiction specialist. It is the rare system that I have listened to that achieves that. While I thought I had that ability with my system pre-Centerstage, I could not have predicted the magnitude of the benefit of the Centerstage footers on this front. I have no doubt that regardless of the level of sophistication of your system, these footers will push the sound in the direction of increased believability. It is my belief, based on the system improvements I made during my evaluations, from listening for a week since removal of the footers and from listening to high end systems for 55+ years, the better the system, the greater the benefit of these footers.

I have spent much more money many times with only a small amount of benefit these footers provide. My V3 versions are already paid for and I am counting the days till they arrive. Thanks Steve for bringing these to my attention and affording me the opportunity to explore them pre-release. I will post my findings after receiving my production footers and listened for about 3 weeks.
 

spiritofmusic

Member Sponsor
Jun 13, 2013
6,297
21
38
E. England
#4
Noise is the enemy.
And the hobby continues to astound.
Your story Steve is another great one to add to the list.
In my room, acoustics and power grid optimisation is allowing all my vibration management to excel.
Maybe I'll try a set.
Are we talking about footers that can be placed under all components?
Could work great w my Stacores.
How much per set?
 

steve williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#5
Hi Mark

These feet can be put under anything that is in the signal path.

There are several unique features about Center Stage

1. It is an isolation device much the same as other feet on the market

2. What is so absolutely unique is the total immersion effect. People are asking about the sound stage. The stage remains intact and in fact IMO better than without the feet. What is so unique is the sound stage moving forward from that imaginary horizontal line between the speakers such that the listener is truly Center Stage and immersed in the music. This is not a gimmick but it is what distinguishes Center Stage from any other foot on the market. I have used many of the most popular feet over the years but have found them to strip out the ambient sound from the sound stage. It is only when the listener does an A-B-A test with Center Stage as with other feet to understand what happens. Removing the other feet to my ears restores some of the magic removed whereas removing the Center Stage creates a profound collapse of the Center Stage.

This product is only just being released to the public and as stated earlier one of the major electronics manufacturers has ordered 1000 of these for their components. Have had many demo feet out to friends to use in their systems and I can say unequivocally that not one person who has demoed CS has returned it. They have all been purchased and having sold just over 200 i am simply amazed as to the reception this little foot has gotten. For those wanting more information please contact me by PM or email as people are already ordering from the next 200 I am receiving soon

As to price Mark, they are $300 each

It is recommended to place them initially under source components, then preamp, then amp and then power supplies and power conditioners

Initially we were going to provide adapters for the feet and the component however after evaluating the Center Stage with and without the adapter the sonic change is identical

There are 2 sizes

Regular measuring 13/16" high and the tall measuring 1" high. They are sonically identical

The larger foot is recommended for front end equipment loads over 100 lbs and an amplifiers regardless of their weight as often the attached foot on the amplifier is taller. There is no need remove the stock foot

The caveat I tell everyone is to expect your system to sound terrible for 5-7 days and sometimes up to 10-14 depending on the comments however I can promise you that once they have burned in, sit down and tighten your seat belt as you will be in for the ride of your life

The Center Stage was voiced best for 4 feet as I have been asked by people if 3 would suffice. The answer is no. They sound best with four
 
May 25, 2010
493
1
18
Jersey Shore- waterside
#6
Noise is the enemy.
And the hobby continues to astound.
Your story Steve is another great one to add to the list.
In my room, acoustics and power grid optimisation is allowing all my vibration management to excel.
Maybe I'll try a set.
Are we talking about footers that can be placed under all components?
Could work great w my Stacores.
How much per set?
Mark,

I included the story of sequential removal in my post because it was astounding how removal from just one component caused the overall effect to diminish substantially. I am ordering another 4 to put under my newest piece in my system, an Audioquest Niagara 7000 power conditioner that is feeding everything but my 2 JL F 113 subs because of the tremendous amount of power they draw for their 2000 watt amps, although I will try them through the Niagara after it breaks in. I was quite skeptical, but the benefit is well worth it because of the increase in involvement.
 

Jazzhead

VIP/Donor
Aug 26, 2012
1,378
1
38
#7
Hi Steve , Congratulations on your new venture. Very interesting , I shall be watching as to how this thread develops with more user feedback . Is the Pitch Perfect lettering, present on both sides. It is of a large sized font and having say a dozen of these , with the lettering visible may not add up , or then is not eye catching ?
 

steve williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#8
Hi Jazzhead. Only on one side and TBH once under the component you cannot see the lettering unless you're right up close

Bear in mind they are 13/16" and 1" tall The lettering is virtually unnoticeable
 

Jazzhead

VIP/Donor
Aug 26, 2012
1,378
1
38
#9
Hi Jazzhead. Only on one side and TBH once under the component you cannot see the lettering unless you're right up close

Bear in mind they are 13/16" and 1" tall The lettering is virtually unnoticeable
Good to know , thanks . Is there any minimum/maximum recommended component weight , for coupling to the feet to be optimal .
 

steve williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#10
Use the regular size on everything except your amps and front end components weighing over 100 lbs. the lettering is virtually impossible to see once under the component
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,095
25
48
#11
Hi Jazzhead. Only on one side and TBH once under the component you cannot see the lettering unless you're right up close

Bear in mind they are 13/16" and 1" tall The lettering is virtually unnoticeable
sitting in that room at RMAF, even though every piece of gear had the Pitch Perfect footers underneath, I could not see any of them. which is why I asked about them.

pretty stealthy as far as how they look.
 

steve williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#12
sitting in that room at RMAF, even though every piece of gear had the Pitch Perfect footers underneath, I could not see any of them. which is why I asked about them.

pretty stealthy as far as how they look.
Exactly. They are virtually invisible. In fact if you look at the photo you took Mike you can barely see them but they are there
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,095
25
48
#13
Exactly. They are virtually invisible. In fact if you look at the photo you took Mike you can barely see them but they are there
here ya go since it's relevant.

Pitch Perfect.jpg
 

marty

Active Member
Apr 20, 2010
1,108
4
38
Far Hills, NJ
#14
We'll, now that the train has left the station.....a few comments if I may on Center stage footers.

Anti-vibration tools have been a useful adjunct for audiophiles for many years. My own experience has been translated mostly from the laboratory bench to my home listening environment by trial and error. When I was a young postdoctoral fellow, and long before they were modern laboratory tools to control vibration, I used a make-shift contraption from springs, foam rubber and tape to control vibration in a high-performance liquid chromatography apparatus that almost buzzed off the bench unaided. Controlling vibration allowed for a 100X improvement in sensitivity and detection of a tiny amount of a chemical in eye fluid that I otherwise could not measure in the undamped HPLC gear. Thus I learned first hand the benefits of anti-vibration gear to reducing background noise to let a signal become more identifiable.

Fortunately, anti-vibration equipment for laboratory equipment has come a long way in the past 3 decades. When I ran a research lab for a large pharmaceutical company, we used a plethora of pneumatic and piezoelectric benches to reduce vibrations from a wide variety of equipment that included electron microscopes to spectroscopy instruments. However, having a virtually unlimited budget for such gear was a luxury I did not have at home for audio equipment. Although I am certain that the Herzan and TMC devices discussed in this forum are the “real deal” as supported by transmissibility vs frequency plots that show as much as 100-1000 fold reduction of vibration in the region of 1-20 Hz and often beyond, most of us mere mortals are unable to allocate $10+K for the best of these devices. However, there are many of us that incorporate $1000 devices such as the venerable Vibraplane that work quite well for specific applications (i.e. turntable support) although they must be tethered to an air pump which can be a sonic nuisance if located in one’s listening room. Although useful and affordable, it is impractical to put a Vibraplane under every piece of gear if for no other reason that the base is larger than most audio racks and shelves. And those pumps are not truly innocuous (mine is a located a floor away).

When it came to finding self-sufficient, free-standing devices to reduce component vibration from my audio gear, I would often use trial and error methods to select devices that ranged from classic tip toes (in multiple varieties from metal to plastic to carbon fiber) to absorbent materials such as sorbothane to rubber mats to see which worked best under a given piece of gear. I am sure I am not the only audiophile who had a box of assorted goodies lying in a closet somewhere from which to choose.

So now comes along another footer with a fancy name “Center Stage” that I was asked to try under my gear. As you surely know by now they are made by Joe Lavrencik, the manufacturer of CMS racks. They apparently use a skillful combination of materials to derive benefits that surpass those of other conventional footers in a way that is neither disclosed nor explained. Don’t look for transmisibility vs frequency plots either. They aren’t available. But since they come from a credible manufacturer of audio racks that are well reviewed by a wide circle of publications and users alike, I figured, OK, why not try them? After all, their installation is effortless (just stick them under your gear) and if I didn’t like them, they can be removed as easily as they were installed.

So how did they sound? Or put more accurately how did my system sound with them in place? Before coming to a final impression, I unfortunately had to suffer the phenomenon we know collectively as “break-in”. Huh? Am I saying that a puny little footer needs time to acclimate under the gear that is supports before the system sounds its best? Unfortunately, that is the case. To be clear, I hate break-in. Some of it I understand (with cables, I get that it takes time for different metal surfaces to anneal) and some it (actually, most of it) I have no understanding of the voodoo that occurs during the break-in process. But one thing is clear. These things take some time to sound their best. In fact, the manufacturer states clearly that you should not expect optimum performance for several days. Yes, days. Lavrenchik also goes so far as to tell you that your system will likely sound worse initially, but then provides a note of optimism by telling you that your patience will be amply rewarded. He is right on both counts.

Initially, my system sucked with the footers in place. I used them under my VTL pre-amp, Meitner DAC and transport, and ASR phono stage. It was ugly at first. Unlistenable actually, particularly in the bass. I wanted to remove them after 2 days but persevered only because I promised I would do the experiment correctly and keep them in for at least 7 days. I’m glad I persevered because at day 4, something positive happened and the sound started to go beyond the speakers for the first time since their installation. By day 5, the soundstage was in full bloom, extending well beyond the speakers, with impressive depth as well. And by day 7, the bass finally popped. I shook my head in astonishment. The sound was actually superior to my starting point, which BTW, wasn’t too shabby to begin with. But the revelations did not stop there. At day 10 there was yet another incremental improvement, and now I'm starting to use words like "miniature space machines" to describe their benefits. Downside? Well, yes in the sense that you may have to tweak a few things here and there to derive the optimum sound stage with them in place. For example, I had to move the inside edge of my Gotham subs forward about 1 cm to regain optimum time arrival of the low bass with that of the Alexandrias. Not really unexpected or traumatic perhaps, but still, I didn't anticipate performing a slight phase adjustment tweak on my subs as a result of installing mere footers.

So what’s the bottom line? I neither understand how they work, and honestly do not care. I have no measurements to guide me either. Even for a scientist like me, those would be a “nice to have”, not a “must have”. But work they do. The proof is in the listening. They clearly improved the soundfield of my system like any good footer should do, but they did so in a way that was better than what I was using in my current set-up. The validation of their performance was put in high relief when I had to remove them to return them to the manufacturer as the units I had initially were not final production units. That was very telling. I missed them immediately and was therefore eager to get the units back permanently. (Absence makes the heart grow fonder as they say.) So that's the bottom line. They are cost effective. They are easy to install. They work well. What else do you want? I guess you could always choose to spend 10K for an active piezo device under every piece of audio gear, but I'll pass on that option when there's a far more cost effective way to reduce pernicious vibrations in my system that doesn't lead to divorce court.
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
5,086
41
48
Beverly Hills, CA
#15
Congratulations, Steve, on embarking upon this very exciting venture!
 

steve williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#16
Thanks Marty and Russ who were amongst the beta testers for Center Stage as it has gone through two iterations both of which produced a much better and tighter bass. In fact with these feet in my system the bass has never sounded as good.

Like Marty discovered, Joe and I also found that with the Center Stage the crossover on my subs needed to be readjusted. I run my X2’s full range and use a pair of JL Audio F113 Fathom subs. I had the crossover at which nothing above gets through set at 43Hz which before the Center Stage sounded fabulous. With Center Stage we had to turn the crossover to the lowest setting after which we used the master volume control. I’m leaving final adjustments to Marty for a return visit here :)

The point for readers is that if you are using subs in your system you will have to retweak them after the Center Stage has broken in

As marty says how these work remains Joes secret as the Patent is pending.

The other caveat is that Joe voiced the Center Stage on virtually everything except his own CMS rack as he didn’t want to create bias. In fact it wasn’t until Joe was here in June that he got to hear the Center Stage on his racks. What I think I have learned from this is that everyone will hear the “pop’ in their system regardless on which it sits but there seems to be a quicker break in when sitting on a CMS shelf.

Joe has truly created a product for the masses with a sonic change that is profound. IMO he has advanced the way in which we audiophiles listen to music.

Personally I think this is his best product as it gives everyone a sense of the magic of CMS
 

steve williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#17
Congratulations, Steve, on embarking upon this very exciting venture!
Thanks Ron

With the system you are putting together these deserve a place under all of your electronics
 

rbbert

Active Member
Dec 12, 2010
3,423
0
36
Reno, NV
#18
No discount for long-time WBF members? :D

It’s fun to read about your new venture and enthusiasm; thanks Steve.
 
Jul 18, 2014
583
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#20
Best of luck with the new venture Steve... would love to know why they have such a unusually big settling in shift in their nature over that first week. Sounds promising if they are imparting some of the qualities from the CMS racks as well.

Is their greatest strength in terms of sound stage and do you find they shift of bring other things out in the presentation eg viscerality, flow etc
 

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