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

joelavrencik

[Industry Expert]
Nov 15, 2016
197
0
0
Chicago
www.criticalmasssystems.com
Hi All

I just returned from the Capital Audio Fest. The Audio Company room (Potomac room) was great fun.

Steve advised me that some folks were wondering if inserting one (or more) of our approved shims under center Stage will in any way degrade the performance of the foot. I can say without equivocation that the results will be the opposite because the shim(s) engage the 4th foot which causes audible improvements.

To answer the question from a different angle, the materials we use for the shims (metal and/or otherwise) conform to those used in the development, testing and final design of Center Stage; there is no science-based interference that would cause degradation. I hope this helps.

All the Best,

Joe
 
May 30, 2010
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Gradual improvement isn't akin to getting used to the new sound is it ?
Although there is always this risk, as I was comparing it to a valid reference (the ARC REF40), now side by side, I am sure that there was a real difference. I used gradual to refer to the changes due to burn-in or whichever it was.

For the next days the system will be GAT + Lamm ML1.2 ref - I will have probable something else to add. At some moment I will take the Center Stage feet out to confirm my findings, but not now!
 
May 30, 2010
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Thanks for the kind words Bob. I tell what I listen and feel - surely I can easily be mistaken anytime.

I would not recommend anything to audiophiles :) - at best I tell them it is worth listening IMHO. It is the case of these feet - they definitively change the sound presentation in a sense that pleased me and it is what matters me most.
 

LL21

Active Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,548
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Thanks for the kind words Bob. I tell what I listen and feel - surely I can easily be mistaken anytime.

I would not recommend anything to audiophiles :) - at best I tell them it is worth listening IMHO. It is the case of these feet - they definitively change the sound presentation in a sense that pleased me and it is what matters me most.
I noticed your signature block has changed Micro - CJ GAT + Lamm now? Most interesting! It used to say Constellation?
 
May 30, 2010
13,934
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Portugal
I noticed your signature block has changed Micro - CJ GAT + Lamm now? Most interesting! It used to say Constellation?
They were a few weeks loan from the distributor - great combo but just to show me how good the deep bass of the XLF can be. The new Centaur + Virgo are excellent sounding. But my heart (and wallet) is still with tubes!
 

LL21

Active Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,548
2
38
They were a few weeks loan from the distributor - great combo but just to show me how good the deep bass of the XLF can be. The new Centaur + Virgo are excellent sounding. But my heart (and wallet) is still with tubes!
I am with you on tubes...and definitely with you on CJ GAT...you must try GAT 2 at some point if you wish to stay with CJ with your remarkably good XLFs. However, I recall how many times you have espoused using preamp and amp from the same manufacturer...so are you considering Lamm LL1.1 Pre or CJ ART300 monos? Sorry to detract from OP...feel free to PM or just post this once and we can carry on offline.
 
May 30, 2010
13,934
18
38
Portugal
I am with you on tubes...and definitely with you on CJ GAT...you must try GAT 2 at some point if you wish to stay with CJ with your remarkably good XLFs. However, I recall how many times you have espoused using preamp and amp from the same manufacturer...so are you considering Lamm LL1.1 Pre or CJ ART300 monos? Sorry to detract from OP...feel free to PM or just post this once and we can carry on offline.
I own a pair of LP275M's - they are very close to the ART's, same power supply, output transformer and coupling capacitors - they will come soon back in service for the cold season.
 

LL21

Active Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,548
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38
I own a pair of LP275M's - they are very close to the ART's, same power supply, output transformer and coupling capacitors - they will come soon back in service for the cold season.
Fantastic...please let me know how they fare as a team. Most interested...i remember years ago seeing photos of CJs reference system...big Wilsons and Transparent Cable...
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Co-Owner, Administrator
Gradual improvement isn't akin to getting used to the new sound is it ?
In most cases yes, however in this case Christian it's pretty simple by doing the A-B-A test. Once they come out you will know


Francisco seems resistant to taking them out
 
May 30, 2010
13,934
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(...) Francisco seems resistant to taking them out
I am now in the burn-in phase of the second set, this time under the DCS Vivaldi - I do not want to do anything that could compromise my evaluation of this set.

When I get more I will play more freely with them - until now I could only find positive aspects, I must look also for the negative ones! :)
 
May 30, 2010
13,934
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As I have written the second set of Center Stage feet was put at service last weekend under the Vivaldi DAC. Last Monday I listened a to a few recordings and it seemed to me the system had a nice improvement - more space around performers and more energy and presence. However, I was busy and I postponed writing about it to next day. However, the next two days the evolution was really negative - it become harsh, violent sound, really tiring. Peter Schreier was shouting not singing. Detail and bass was too etched, I decided to postpone writing about again...

However today the system is brilliant - decays are superb, voices are present but well articulated and full bodied, percussion is fabulous, sometimes clearly remembering me the ultra fine very fast transient performance of the Soundlab's, and yes, plenty of what people have described as center stage - the performers invade my room.

I was listening to Reference Recordings Stravinsky "Ebony Concerto" and other nice pieces for clarinet - the instrument was simply fabulous, more natural than ever. My only concern is very deep bass and stage depth - but I am not sure if it is related to the recent short stay of the Constellation Centaur II + Virgo III or to the Center Stage feet still burning-in ...
 

joelavrencik

[Industry Expert]
Nov 15, 2016
197
0
0
Chicago
www.criticalmasssystems.com
As I have written the second set of Center Stage feet was put at service last weekend under the Vivaldi DAC. Last Monday I listened a to a few recordings and it seemed to me the system had a nice improvement - more space around performers and more energy and presence. However, I was busy and I postponed writing about it to next day. However, the next two days the evolution was really negative - it become harsh, violent sound, really tiring. Peter Schreier was shouting not singing. Detail and bass was too etched, I decided to postpone writing about again...

However today the system is brilliant - decays are superb, voices are present but well articulated and full bodied, percussion is fabulous, sometimes clearly remembering me the ultra fine very fast transient performance of the Soundlab's, and yes, plenty of what people have described as center stage - the performers invade my room.

I was listening to Reference Recordings Stravinsky "Ebony Concerto" and other nice pieces for clarinet - the instrument was simply fabulous, more natural than ever. My only concern is very deep bass and stage depth - but I am not sure if it is related to the recent short stay of the Constellation Centaur II + Virgo III or to the Center Stage feet still burning-in ...
Hi Microstrip

I've heard the very same sound stage depth and deep bass issues you are hearing now. Please be patient. This will come. Promise.

All the Best,

Joe
 

joelavrencik

[Industry Expert]
Nov 15, 2016
197
0
0
Chicago
www.criticalmasssystems.com
As I have written the second set of Center Stage feet was put at service last weekend under the Vivaldi DAC. Last Monday I listened a to a few recordings and it seemed to me the system had a nice improvement - more space around performers and more energy and presence. However, I was busy and I postponed writing about it to next day. However, the next two days the evolution was really negative - it become harsh, violent sound, really tiring. Peter Schreier was shouting not singing. Detail and bass was too etched, I decided to postpone writing about again...

However today the system is brilliant - decays are superb, voices are present but well articulated and full bodied, percussion is fabulous, sometimes clearly remembering me the ultra fine very fast transient performance of the Soundlab's, and yes, plenty of what people have described as center stage - the performers invade my room.

I was listening to Reference Recordings Stravinsky "Ebony Concerto" and other nice pieces for clarinet - the instrument was simply fabulous, more natural than ever. My only concern is very deep bass and stage depth - but I am not sure if it is related to the recent short stay of the Constellation Centaur II + Virgo III or to the Center Stage feet still burning-in ...
And, thank you very much for hanging in there with CS......
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Co-Owner, Administrator
Just a brief update for all who have been patiently awaiting delivery of their CS feet and tall those who expressed interest in demoing a set of these in their system I will have adequate supply in the next few days and I would just ask that you contact me by PM or email.

This supply of CS feet should catch us up on all the backorders as well as having sufficient product to send out demos.So to all those interested, this is a good time to contact me and to those who have waited patiently I want to thank you for that. I am hoping you will find the wait well worth it
 

joelavrencik

[Industry Expert]
Nov 15, 2016
197
0
0
Chicago
www.criticalmasssystems.com
Just a brief update for all who have been patiently awaiting delivery of their CS feet and tall those who expressed interest in demoing a set of these in their system I will have adequate supply in the next few days and I would just ask that you contact me by PM or email.

This supply of CS feet should catch us up on all the backorders as well as having sufficient product to send out demos.So to all those interested, this is a good time to contact me and to those who have waited patiently I want to thank you for that. I am hoping you will find the wait well worth it
The initial delay in Center Stage availability was due to time-sensitive OEM demand bumping up against retail production. Critical Mass Systems apologizes for this. We’ve added CNC capacity so that OEM and retail availability will not be an issue going forward. Sorry again, for the initial delay.

For those who might be interested, the link below speaks to the core principle of all CMS products, that being to faithfully communicate the engineering of the components that rest upon our support systems. The link is not an endorsement of any product or Brand, rather, it lays the groundwork for an important truth about Center Stage. Whereas OLYMPUS represents an evolutionary advancement of the engineering approach we employ in our support systems including MAXXUM, Center Stage is a breakthrough product that represents (what I consider to be) the most important advancement in thermodynamics we’ve developed in 17 years. The coverage of the Potomac room beginning at the bottom of the page is explanatory of CMS’s core principle. Additional coverage of the room is available on the web.

http://www.enjoythemusic.com/Capital_Audiofest_2017/Weaver/page3.htm
 

adyc

VIP/Donor
Jan 6, 2013
351
1
18
As I have written the second set of Center Stage feet was put at service last weekend under the Vivaldi DAC. Last Monday I listened a to a few recordings and it seemed to me the system had a nice improvement - more space around performers and more energy and presence. However, I was busy and I postponed writing about it to next day. However, the next two days the evolution was really negative - it become harsh, violent sound, really tiring. Peter Schreier was shouting not singing. Detail and bass was too etched, I decided to postpone writing about again...

However today the system is brilliant - decays are superb, voices are present but well articulated and full bodied, percussion is fabulous, sometimes clearly remembering me the ultra fine very fast transient performance of the Soundlab's, and yes, plenty of what people have described as center stage - the performers invade my room.

I was listening to Reference Recordings Stravinsky "Ebony Concerto" and other nice pieces for clarinet - the instrument was simply fabulous, more natural than ever. My only concern is very deep bass and stage depth - but I am not sure if it is related to the recent short stay of the Constellation Centaur II + Virgo III or to the Center Stage feet still burning-in ...
Any further update on the set under your DAC?
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Co-Owner, Administrator
IME (and I have them back in my system and breaking in now for the 4th time) it seems that there is some initial improvement on day one but this is short and fleeting. What I have been hearing is the same as microstrip. What I find interesting is that this final production version is far more linear than previous versions and by day 3 in my system there was huge improvement in the midrange. Today is day 8 for me and my deep bass started evolving yesterday. My anticipation is that burn in will be complete in the next day or two at which time I will begin to burn in the analog section of my system. I am also finding that the mere weight of the overlying component on the CS foot serves to facilitate the break in but for reasons that we are not sure playing music seems to be essential.

The other caveat that in my system that I am now convinced is that having the feet on CMS racks tends to shorten the break in process by at least 3-4 days. Yesterday was the first day I began to experience the full immersive effect on some songs

What I have been doing and suggesting to new users is to play a CD on auto replay for 8 hours a day and only listen to that CD for the last 30 minutes of each 8 hour session to learn how the sound develops. Short of that listening for the first few days is painful to say the least as one wonders what is broken in their system but by day 3 when the midrange begins to show up the evolution fun begins. I tell everyone to be patient and what they hear is very normal and under no circumstances should they remove the feet as they start all over again
 

PeterA

Active Member
Dec 7, 2011
4,875
10
38
North Shore of Boston
IME (and I have them back in my system and breaking in now for the 4th time) it seems that there is some initial improvement on day one but this is short and fleeting. What I have been hearing is the same as microstrip. What I find interesting is that this final production version is far more linear than previous versions and by day 3 in my system there was huge improvement in the midrange. Today is day 8 for me and my deep bass started evolving yesterday. My anticipation is that burn in will be complete in the next day or two at which time I will begin to burn in the analog section of my system. I am also finding that the mere weight of the overlying component on the CS foot serves to facilitate the break in but for reasons that we are not sure playing music seems to be essential.

The other caveat that in my system that I am now convinced is that having the feet on CMS racks tends to shorten the break in process by at least 3-4 days. Yesterday was the first day I began to experience the full immersive effect on some songs

What I have been doing and suggesting to new users is to play a CD on auto replay for 8 hours a day and only listen to that CD for the last 30 minutes of each 8 hour session to learn how the sound develops. Short of that listening for the first few days is painful to say the least as one wonders what is broken in their system but by day 3 when the midrange begins to show up the evolution fun begins. I tell everyone to be patient and what they hear is very normal and under no circumstances should they remove the feet as they start all over again
This break in is a curious thing. How are they able to get them to sound good at shows if they only have a couple of days to allow them to break in? I had thought I read up thread that once a set is broken in, if it is moved to another component, then the break in is not the full 8 or so days but substantially shorter. Is this true? I wonder what playing music has to do with it. The component's weight and transformers being on I would think would do the trick. I assumed the footers are "settling" or compressing during this break in period. Perhaps something more radical is happening and heat from the component is important to the process.