Greg Weaver Reviews Center Stage 2 In Positive Feedback

Steve Williams

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#1

KeithR

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#2
Ahem. So Greg writes that a $325,000 system upgrade elsewhere wouldn’t be as transformative as his $13k in new feet- right. If any footer even made the difference he’s talking about he needs to find better made components.


Sorry Doc, I’m afraid I don’t understand this one.
 
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joelavrencik

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#3
Ahem. So Greg writes that a $325 system upgrade elsewhere wouldn’t be as transformative as his $13k in new feet- right. If any footer even made the difference he’s talking about he needs to find better made components.


Sorry Doc, I’m afraid I don’t understand this one.
Hi KeithR

Center Stage are the product of 18 years of experimentation and development. The final idea came from my son who is finishing his Ph.D. in EE at Georgia Tech. He’s been offered Post-Doc positions at MIT, Johns Hopkins, the University of Berlin and, GT. So, perhaps the explanation is that a singular individual imagined an application of existing physics which furthers high end audio because his dad asked him to. Greg calls it as he hears it. Call me if you want to talk.

All the Best,

Joe
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#4
Keith

They are very transformative to a system. JackD201 said here several months ago that these feet are the least expensive way for a system do over. I offered you the opportunity to demo them Keith. The only way one can understand what they do in a system is with an A-B-A test
 

KeithR

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#5
I'm sure they are an improvement - but it doesn't do a service to your product to claim a set of feet is equivalent to a $325,000 upgrade in this hobby.

Would Mr. Weaver think a set of feet is a bigger improvement than Ultra 11s? I highly doubt it.
 

joelavrencik

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#6
I'm sure they are an improvement - but it doesn't do a service to your product to claim a set of feet is equivalent to a $325,000 upgrade in this hobby.

Would Mr. Weaver think a set of feet is a bigger improvement than Ultra 11s? I highly doubt it.
Keith,

I get what you’re saying, but with all due respect, Greg has the feet under all his electronics and the reason Greg is right is because the feet are helping all his components process the signal at or near their design limits. Simply put, your electronic components are capable of more than you think they are. Loudspeakers are a down-stream recipient of the signal components produce and their performance is limited by the quality of that signal. Greg is telling you that your loudspeakers are also capable of much more than you think they are. I would be thrilled to learn my gear was capable of a 2X/3X improvement. There’s too much anecdotal proof of his thesis to continue to believe your gear is capable of little more than what you have now.

Very Respectfully,

Joe
 
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Leif S

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#7
I'm sure they are an improvement - but it doesn't do a service to your product to claim a set of feet is equivalent to a $325,000 upgrade in this hobby.

Would Mr. Weaver think a set of feet is a bigger improvement than Ultra 11s? I highly doubt it.
Hi Keith,

I like the ULTRA 11's a lot lol. I can't comment on the $325k upgrade but I would like to share my experience with the CMS footers.
When Steve let me borrow 20 of these footers for my less expensive system at home the result was beyond words for me to explain but I will do my best. And there are a few people here on the forums who have been to my house to hear my system with and without the footers. My system is the Von Schweikert E-5 tower speakers and the electronics are Audio Alchemy 200 watt monoblocks, preamp with external power supply, and his digital media player. Basically $8,000 in electronics. I run the MasterBuilt Audio Cables with the Signature Line on the speakers, Reference Interconnects, and Reference power cables. I have the .8 CMS footers under all the components. Overall system retail is probably around $75,000. Knowing our products very well and their performance with many different high end and expensive electronics, I kid you not when I say that the footers under the Audio Alchemy is outperforming a very large number of these expensive electronics and have done several shootouts. My last comparison was using a very well known $30k amp with a $30k preamp and the Alchemy with the footers outperformed it in every way. So for me the $8K in electronics with the $6k in footers just wiped out $60k from another manufacturer. Being a speaker designer and believing that I have heard our speakers at their peak performance, I soon discovered I was wrong. What these footers did to the electronics gave me the sensation that I was hearing our speakers for the first time. It exposes a weak link in the electronics that apparently the footers correct. I have had several people over that own systems that cost as much as five times what my system cost and their system by their own words can't touch what mine does. These things are simply amazing! When I took the footers out of my system for a few days I didn't want to listen to music much because I have heard the difference they make. After I put them back in and a little settling time I was back in business:)

I notice you aren't to far from me. If you ever going to be out this way you are welcome to visit and hear my system and maybe grab some lunch.
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#8
Leif

I have heard your system both before and after the addition of the feet and suffice it to say I was startled by how great your system sounded. The bottom end in your system is spectacular and I agree wit you when you stated that you were hearing your speakers for the very first time. When I heard your system with Russ I can say honestly that had one not known your system make up it easily portrayed itself as one worth magnitudes more than what we were hearing

KeithR has chided me in my upgrade path and stated I would have done better if I had bought new speakers rather than an expensive CMS rack with the CS feet. I have offered KeithR several times that I would come over to his home and place several demo sets in his system but he had no interest. I am cool with that BUT I am not cool when people make comments about the feet and have never heard what they do in a system.

For me these additions squelched any thought I had of buying new speakers
 
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mountainjoe

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#9
I'm sure they are an improvement - but it doesn't do a service to your product to claim a set of feet is equivalent to a $325,000 upgrade in this hobby.

Would Mr. Weaver think a set of feet is a bigger improvement than Ultra 11s? I highly doubt it.
I just sold a second set of these (1.0) footers to a gentlemen who started with one set of the 0.8 footers under his DAC. He's been blown away by the improvement of his system with just the one set he has installed and while he is budget conscious, he decided he couldn't live without an additional set under his amp (he is running a preamp-less system). He also said he believed that these footers should be part of every audio system - they are that essential to getting the full potential out of your gear.

We were chatting about this and he asked if the equipment manufacturers were simply not designing their equipment properly given how much more performance he is getting from his DAC now.

You could make the argument that most, if not all audio electronics are flawed in this respect, but the fact is practically all equipment manufacturers include crappy power cords with their equipment and do not include any interconnects. Why is that? Mainly it's because of specialization - they know that folks who exclusively focus on cables will do a better job than they can - and they want to focus their attention on the actual equipment they are designing and building. There's also a cost factor involved - manufacturers don't want to raise the cost of their goods by adding a high quality power cord, even though it would improve their performance.

Also, specifically wrt vibration management, that is quite a different discipline than designing electronics so it shouldn't be surprising either that most equipment manufacturers don't put a lot of attention to this area.

So while you may be surprised that there is so much performance to be had with the CS2 footers, imo it's an indication that vibration management is fundamental to the performance of any audio gear (likewise so is AC power quality) and that the CS2 footers are extremely effective - more so than any other footer - in mitigating the effects of intrinsic and extrinsic vibration of the equipment under which they are installed.

Cheers, Joe
 
#10
I'm sure they are an improvement - but it doesn't do a service to your product to claim a set of feet is equivalent to a $325,000 upgrade in this hobby.

Would Mr. Weaver think a set of feet is a bigger improvement than Ultra 11s? I highly doubt it.
Hello KeithR,

So, you clearly have no idea what the CS2 footers are capable of. How could you if you’ve not experienced them for yourself?

It seems clear that you have no real idea how system synergy and upgrading work. Adding a $300,000 speaker to my existing system alone WOULD improve the resultant sound, but it would DO NOTHING to improve the performance of the sources or supporting electronics the way the CS2 footers have. That resultant system would ONLY enjoy the advantages contributed by the better speaker, but would still be hampered by the impeded sonics of the supporting electronics, whose voices would still be masked and contaminated by the unaddressed destructive, polluting forces of vibrational energy.

What occurred for me were dramatic changes brought about by releasing the more honest, clearer, more faithful voices of the sources and supporting electronics, using exactly all the same gear, including the same loudspeakers. What I'm experience is a wholesale and remarkable increase in performance that simply cannot be realized by replacing the speakers ONLY.

These improvements included a dramatic decrease in the noise floor, affording a darker, starker, background, revealing a newfound power and persuasiveness to everything I played, allowing me to be informed as much by the silence between musical impulses as by the effortless drive and pace of the musical gestalt itself.

They wrought a laid-back, relaxed ease to the presentation. This sense of neutrality, of naturalness, of faithfulness, was broad-band, extending from the deepest reaches of the bass to include a newfound shimmer and sparkle in the uppermost octaves.

They contributed to a decisively more accurate tonal shift, one in which Instrumental tone colors, including their textures and verve, had bloomed.

They render (especially the 1.5” versions) much deeper, more powerful, and substantially more defined pitch in the bass.

Their effect on imaging and staging, including the deepening and tightening of focus of imaging and soundstaging cues, which become even more expansive, more enveloping, and more accurately sized, was freakishly improved.

Until you’ve experienced this transformation for yourself, slowly, in your own surroundings, as it swings to-and-fro, you’ve no idea just how significant a change they afford. I firmly believe that it would easily take more than twice the investment in my system, leveraged across all the components (changing speakers alone, cables alone, sources alone, electronics alone, simply could not achieve this sweeping degree of improvement), without the use of these footers, to realize this kind of performance.

Please refrain from shooting an extremely well-informed and educated messenger, one with over four decades in and around the high-performance audio industry, for heralding news that seems unlikely or incomprehensible to you. Ask Leif Swanson, Chief Designer at Von Schweikert Audio, (see his testimony above) if you choose to not believe me. He reports that their effect in his system when using $8000 worth of electronics was better than not using them and running $60,000 worth of electronics. I said I felt it was an improvement that I couldn’t duplicate with double to triple the investment. What Leif described ($60k/$8k) is an increase of seven-and-a-half times… They are un-FREAKING-believably effective. Thank you, Joe, for bringing them to market!
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#11
Hi Greg

First off thanks for your two reviews as well as the time to post here. Like you I have told everyone that the only way they can wrap their heads around what CS2 do is to try them in their systems by doing an A-B-A test. IMO it’s a no brainer
 

KeithR

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#12
First, thanks for your response Greg. I was simply commenting that your use of hyperbole in the review was over the top.

So, you clearly have no idea what the CS2 footers are capable of. How could you if you’ve not experienced them for yourself?
Because $4-5k of feet for my $16k Devore Fidelity speaker-based system really makes no sense. I've tried numerous other feet before under dacs and preamps and none of them have had the experience you relayed. I've also asked for a comparison of CS with some that I own in the CS thread and nobody stepped up to the plate.

It seems clear that you have no real idea how system synergy and upgrading work. Adding a $300,000 speaker to my existing system alone WOULD improve the resultant sound, but it would DO NOTHING to improve the performance of the sources or supporting electronics the way the CS2 footers have. That resultant system would ONLY enjoy the advantages contributed by the better speaker, but would still be hampered by the impeded sonics of the supporting electronics, whose voices would still be masked and contaminated by the unaddressed destructive, polluting forces of vibrational energy.
I'm going to skip the personal attack and just say that doesn't the $300k speaker trump a bunch of $450 (or $695 for the preferred 1.5s) feet on a relative basis? This would be like saying driving a 911 on summer tires vs performance ones that the 911 itself doesn't matter vs a 3-series coupe. Our own Mike Lavigne, in probably a top 5 room in the country with a pair of $200k speakers, believes tweaks are ~=5% of system performance. What % do you believe them to be after the changes with the Center Stage footers?

Also, you never removed the feet in your review (as Steve Williams recommends), so I really don't have any idea after the 2 weeks of thoughtful description what semblance of improvement can be deciphered from simply the feet - especially as you've tried different speakers and other products no doubt over time as a reviewer (I read with interest your Gamut review before I recently auditioned them, thank you). I also note from your Positive Feedback system the extensive use of feet and tweaks:

ACCESSORIES

Grand Prix Audio Monaco Modular Isolation System equipment stand (with Apex Footers and Formula Shelves), Grand Prix Audio Monaco Amp stands, Critical Mass Systems CenterStage2 footers, Magico QPods, Grand Prix Audio Apex Footers, Aurios 1.2 MIB, Vibrapods & Vibrapod Cones, Herbie’s UltraSonic SS Tube Dampers, Home Brew Cable Lifters. PS Audio P20 DirectStream Power Plant, Audience adeptResponse aR-12-TSSOX passive power conditioner with Audience Au24-SX powerChord, Furutech eTP-80, Monster Cable HTS 800, a pair of Quantum Products, Inc. Symphony Pro's, and a liberal application of HiFi-Tuning Supreme3 fuses. Shakti Hallographs, CornerTunes. Furutech RD-2 demagnetizer, Digital Systems and Solutions UltraBit Platinum-Plus™, Digital Systems and Solutions TruVoice Dampers™, Audience Auric Illuminator.


To not mention any of them in the review was dissappointing - maybe you don't wish to criticize other products, but this would have been more helpful to me and others to outline clear, specific differences (I own a few Aurios and Wave Kinetics for instance).

Please refrain from shooting an extremely well-informed and educated messenger, one with over four decades in and around the high-performance audio industry, for heralding news that seems unlikely or incomprehensible to you. Ask Leif Swanson, Chief Designer at Von Schweikert Audio, (see his testimony above) if you choose to not believe me.
I have no doubt of your reviewer experience, but what you described didn't help me as a consumer. It just seemed the typical "rave review" which is never challenged and when Doc posted it up as the best review I felt puzzled. I honestly hope you can take constructive criticism.

What Leif says is really unrelated to your review and as you are a reviewer of one of his products currently, there should be a natural barrier between the two.

Thanks again Greg for joining the forum - I look forward to reading more of your thoughts over time.
 
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DaveyF

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#13
I hate to say this Mr.Weaver, but IMHO IF your electronics and source gear is so improved by adding these footers, and IF we are to believe you, by more than adding a pair of $300K speakers, you have stated something very interesting...and it's this:

Your electronics and source gear must be SEVERELY flawed under this circumstance!!!:eek::eek::eek::eek:

Ok, flame suit is on, lol.:rolleyes:
 
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Leif S

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#14
I hate to say this Mr.Weaver, but IMHO IF your electronics and source gear is so improved by adding these footers, and IF we are to believe you, by more than adding a pair of $300K speakers, you have stated something very interesting...and it's this:

Your electronics and source gear must be SEVERELY flawed under this circumstance!!!:eek::eek::eek::eek:

Ok, flame suit is on, lol.:rolleyes:
I take it you didn't understand what Greg said below

It seems clear that you have no real idea how system synergy and upgrading work. Adding a $300,000 speaker to my existing system alone WOULD improve the resultant sound, but it would DO NOTHING to improve the performance of the sources or supporting electronics the way the CS2 footers have. That resultant system would ONLY enjoy the advantages contributed by the better speaker, but would still be hampered by the impeded sonics of the supporting electronics, whose voices would still be masked and contaminated by the unaddressed destructive, polluting forces of vibrational energy.
 
#15
KeithR, DaveyF, and others who appear as ill-equipped to deal with logic and debate,

What has become clear to me by your over-reaching and vacuous response is that you either cannot read, cannot comprehend what you read, or are just ignoring reality and the facts. If you choose to take these comments for anything other than what they are, counterpoint facts revealing your own misinformation and obfuscation, well, that is your own problem.

First, there was NO hyperbole in my review…there NEVER is… I make my points as clearly, concisely, and accurately as I can. I spend a considerable amount of time constructing them, and avoid making rash or unconsidered statements. Again, if you had read these two reviews it would become clear that missed some very important cues and information.

You state, “Because $4-5k of feet for my $16k Devore Fidelity speaker-based system really makes no sense.” Fine. That is clearly your choice. No one can argue with you not wanting to try them.

Yet you go on to say, “I've tried numerous other feet before under dacs and preamps and none of them have had the experience you relayed.” DUH! Really? No kidding… To suggest that any other footers you’ve tried can offer even 5% of the effectiveness of the CS2, is merely fooling yourself. With so many users of these footers having shared that they are far and away more effective than any others you’ve ever seen or heard, that they simply cannot be compared to any existing product, you should be able to understand that point. Not trying them, that is your valid choice. But, saying they aren’t worth it because nothing else you’ve tried is, that is just faulty logic.

You ask, “…doesn't the $300k speaker trump a bunch of $450 (or $695 for the preferred 1.5s) feet on a relative basis? This would be like saying driving a 911 on summer tires vs performance ones that the 911 itself doesn't matter vs a 3-series coupe.”

Your analogy is totally incongruous with our situation. Clearly it would not; it would in fact be like comparing a stock BMW 5 series, with a ton of performance mods, like the high-performance engine chip replacement, sweeping ignition, injection, exhaust, manifold, suspension, steering, and braking modifications, using $110 all-weather touring radials, to an identical pure stock BMW 5 series, with no modifications, fitted with a set of $350 each Pirelli P Zero high-performance tires. Do you get it now? My system with my speakers, and all the CS2 footers, versus my system, with no CS2 footers, and the ULTRA 11’s.

Clearly, if you knew anything about how to debate, to use logic, or, dare I say it, had any understanding of engineering, you wouldn’t embarrass yourself making such an incongruous analogy. You simply cannot compare the contributions of a single component, like the speakers, to the overall advances realized by something as comprehensive as the CS2 footers. We are talking about the synergy of the system. Your analogy is as ineffectual as your logic has been thus far.

What the hell do ANY of my ancillary products or items have to do with the review? You clearly dug into something somewhere to find that list. But, again, like the poor construction of your above analogy, you overlook the obvious flaws with your assertion. All footers under any components, other than the CS footers in the original review, or the replacement CS2 footers in the follow up, were removed. At that point, nothing other than the footers was different or was changed at any point during the review, logically nulling any contribution from anything else (the stands, conditioners, room treatments, etc.), as the conditions were identical before, during, and after the application of the CS or CS2 footers. Again, this leads me to believe that either you didn’t read or cannot comprehend all the information in the reviews, or you aren't much of a critical thinker.

Your most outrageous and false assertion yet, that Leif’s independent conclusions made long before I posted, one that comes to the same conclusion (that listening to a cheaper system with them in place offered better sonics than listening to much more expensive equipment without them), somehow isn’t supportive of my conclusions, is patently absurd. Beside apparently not being able to comprehend what you read, an intelligent and reasonable person would realize just how meaningless, unsupportable, and uniformed your implied bias from that "connection" becomes. The fact that he is associated with the same loudspeaker brand that I have used for decades, and now, coincidentally happen to be starting a review of, has no relation or bearing whatsoever on the sonic impact we both independently observed using these footers, separated by thousands of miles, and with completely different systems.

You suggest that I don’t compare or contrast the CS or CS2 footers to other isolation devices. I’m starting to sound like the proverbial “broken record” (GAWD I hate that idiom) here, but, go back and read the articles you say don’t include that information, and pay attention. While you are correct in that I don’t compare them directly, one by one, to every footer I’ve ever played with, an informed reader would understand, as I do clearly state that that would be meaningless, given that they are an order of magnitude better than any other similar device/s I have experienced, starting at the dawn of the footer/isolation history in 1983, with both Steve McCormack’s Tip-Toes and the Mission Isoplat.

And while I have known Mike since the late 1990’s, to suggest that his system is one of the five best in the nation is, well, naïve, at best. No disrespect to Mike and his efforts to build a synergistic system, but, you clearly have little understanding of, or experience with, such systems.

In conclusion, I’m sorry to be so critical with my statements on this matter, but you, (and seemingly a good number of others), are clearly not here to learn, teach, or share useful information. Your motives seem to be to piss and moan, rather than afford critical thinking and clarity of purpose. Thanks for making my first experience here such a miserable and exasperating one. If this is typical of the culture here at WhatsBestForum, you won’t have to worry about me wasting any more time here. I have much better things to do with my time than spanking flamers and trolls… So long.
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#16
I've also asked for a comparison of CS with some that I own in the CS thread and nobody stepped up to the plate.
Keith

all due respect, when this product launched and again many months later, I asked you if you wanted to demo these in your system and your response was "sorry doc, I don't believe in tweaks, not interested" The second time I offered to come and set them up in your system as I know the difficulty they could impose upon you

Again you said , not interested so I let it go

To say you asked for a comparison in your system against your other feet just didn't happen. If you had asked for a comparison before my first communication I would have sent them to you and to ask for a comparison after my second follow up with you again I would have sent them. You know how to reach me.We've known one another for at least 15 years It's very easy here at WBF with a private conversation I answer all of mine. So to say no one stepped to the plate Keith, all I can say is "really?" o_O

As far as my saying Greg's review being "the best to date" was meant not in terms of hyperbole but rather his findings confirmed what users of CS2 were all finding and he had a way of stating in simple terms just what it was that he was hearing.
This is what I posted'

This is the most current and IMO the most comprehensive review of the Center Stage Feet.
 
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KeithR

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#17
I'm sorry Greg doesn't like constructive criticism. But I don't deal in personal attacks - to which his post was littered so much with them I have multiple messages about how unfair they were. This post was so PeterB by nature - the whole separating the wheat from the chaff by the ones who "really know."

The sad part is that if Greg knew me in person he would never have written that post - maybe he can start by reading my recent speaker search thread if he thinks I'm a simple troll. I love this hobby - and love the people in this hobby including the numerous industry types, designers, dealers, and manufacturers I know personally. But just as I told a reviewer friend that his Wilson Alexia review read like the Robb Report or when I gave Steve Williams constructive criticism in his own room - in Danville and OC, or a dealer friend on a certain brand of cables, I felt the need to comment on a review. Perhaps after 4 decades, Greg might realize that's a positive not a negative.

What is clear:

1. Greg didn't feel the need to compare footers despite an extensive break-in period (ps. the equipment list is on his own reviewer page - not exactly digging deep)

2. Greg never removed the feet from his system afterward, or the "A-B-A test" that the distributor recommends and reinserted his prior references

Steve: Honestly, I'd rather have you over for a session (which unfortunately, you have never done despite invite) then selling me feet. A common friend was interested but you required to bring over a set of feet for every component instead of a simple quad as you felt that was more optimal. I was actually going to join him for a subsequent session. I don't have the budget anyways for 20 feet which if I'm not mistaken would cost me $9k.

My point:

Feet can most certainly make a difference. But all the synergy in the world can't equate what a speaker does to dominate the room. There is no confirming review or post on any forum of these feet that would say it's the equivalent upgrade of a $300,000 speaker upgrade. And yes, I've talked to people who have heard the feet! So I'm sorry, I found the following review statements and others like it hyperbole:

"It was as if my linestage, mono amps, and sources, even my loudspeakers, had all been replaced by components that were at least two to three times more expensive!"

"I honestly don't believe that I could reap this significant a sonic improvement if I were to double the total invested price of my system, maybe even if I were to triple it!"

To conclude:

I'm going to politely bow out of this thread as it stirred emotions that I don't prefer to dwell on. Greg, if you're in the LA area sometime look me up and come for a session - we can chat about music, not feet.
 
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DaveyF

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Aug 1, 2010
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#18
Why is it Keith and I do not reply with statements like...” I take it you didn’t understand what Greg said below”, or better still .. “Keith R, Davey F, and others who appear ill equipped to deal with logic and debate “:oops::(:(:(
 
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bonzo75

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#19
Why is it Keith and I do not reply with statements like...” I take it you didn’t understand what Greg said below”, or better still .. “Keith R, Davey f, and others who appear ill equipped to deal with logic and debate “:oops::(:(:(
Because you are not reviewers like Greg W and Peter B
 

Ron Resnick

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Jan 25, 2015
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#20
Other than being extremely happy for Steve's fantastic success in evaluating Joe's footers himself, in persuading Joe to allow Steve to market them as a stand-alone (and not solely OEM) product and in selling them, I have no dog in this hunt.

As a general matter on WBF a prima facie empirical report beats a theoretical hypothesis to the contrary. Here we have the actual experiential review of Greg Weaver, a highly respected and long-tenured high-end audio reviewer, versus KeithR's reasonable theoretical skepticisms about the CS footers' reported efficacy and value.

I, too, am fascinated by and, candidly, baffled about the amazingly, and almost entirely uniformly, positive reports members and reviewers alike have written about the CS footers. KeithR, you know I have a skepticism about tweaks. I would agree with you that a claim of a 2X to 3X improvement in the sound quality/believability of every high-end audio system by adding a tweak would appear to be per se hyperbolic.

But until we evaluate the CS footers for ourselves we have to stay open-minded. In virtually every other audio context and controversy, whether we are arguing the affirmative position or the negative position, you and I both would say that until we hear it for ourselves, or they hear it for themselves, we, or they, cannot form a judgment, and our, or their, theoretical supposition is nothing more than a prejudice, an assumption, a guess. We have to apply that discipline here as well.
 
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