Introducing Center Stage 2M

joelavrencikCMS

Industry Expert
Jul 30, 2021
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As promised here is my assessment.

A few details: I felt that the only / best way to A/B/A is to let the CS2s break in, listen to 1/2 a known highly resolving full range track with primarily acoustic instruments, then quickly (but safely) raise the amps, first front, then back and insert the Stillpoint Ultra SS without moving the CS2s and listen to the same 1/2 track. Since the CS2s are shorter than the Stillpoints I was also able to go back and listen to the CS2s by reversing the aforementioned footer install procedure. I was concerned that with no weight on the CS2s after the Stillpoints listen that the CS2s might need to be re - broken in, but that's not what I found. It was identical to the sound after ~7 day break - in. Below are my notes that I captured real time:

4: CS2s versus 4: Stillpoints Ultra SS. Track - Michel Camilo - Triangulo, Tel Arc CD, Song: Piece of Cake

- Referencing the CS2s vs. Stillpoints:

- overall more organic, less metallic

- a bit more attack /dynamics

- bass a tad tighter

- wood sounds more like wood (wood block in song)

- high hat open and closed yields a bit more detail, delineation between open and closed within the short decay.

- depth / forward instrument positioning are a bit different. CS2s brought the wood block further forward but the piano which is panned left further back and to a bit further left (essentially behind the speaker). Which is right, who knows…

Net: Upon first listening to the Stillpoints, there was no outright night and day glaring change. But upon more critical listening the CS2s were better because multiple facets were better. For me, the slightly more "analog" sound and other benefits mentioned above are gravy but the keeper is the lack of the slight bite / tininess on instruments / vocals that seems to be 90% gone. For me that is worth the investment. Whether the CS2 are fully broken in is TBD, if they continue to improve, even better.

Edit - I should have added that I could see how replacing Stillpoints with the CS2s under every component versus just under the amps would further augment their goodness. I may just pursue that route, funds permitting. ;-)

Steve
Hi Steve

You are correct, and this goes for every footer, the more of the same Brand you add, the more your system will reproduce the qualities you are hearing initially.

There may be a few outlier components here and there, but in general your logic is spot on.

Joe
 
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Thieliste

Well-Known Member
Aug 31, 2014
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Hi Guys, I would like to try out the CS2M under my digital which consists of the Aqua LinQ streamer and Aqua Formula xHD DAC.
My question is since i am already using Artesania Dampers on top of them would that interfere with the CS2M footers or not .
Also since both units are not very heavy should i get 1.0 or 1.5 model ?
I have not tried any footers under my digital yet.
Thanks
 

joelavrencikCMS

Industry Expert
Jul 30, 2021
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Hi Guys, I would like to try out the CS2M under my digital which consists of the Aqua LinQ streamer and Aqua Formula xHD DAC.
My question is since i am already using Artesania Dampers on top of them would that interfere with the CS2M footers or not .
Also since both units are not very heavy should i get 1.0 or 1.5 model ?
I have not tried any footers under my digital yet.
Thanks
Am I correct in assuming the dampers are a plastic-ish material attached to a "screw" that threads into a supporting framework?

Please advise...
 

Thieliste

Well-Known Member
Aug 31, 2014
558
113
165
Am I correct in assuming the dampers are a plastic-ish material attached to a "screw" that threads into a supporting framework?

Please advise...
Not the ones i own, i think they are made of stainless steel no platic at all and no screws.
They are just sitting on the units, result is spectacular with them. Artesania Dampers.jpg
 

wil

Well-Known Member
Jul 22, 2015
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Center Stage2M

Designed by Joe Lavrencik, Critical Mass Systems​



Introduction

We are very pleased to announce a major revision and replacement to our Center Stage2 audio feet. Each Center Stage2 model has been improved and replaced by Center Stage2M.




There were several objectives behind the development of Center Stage2M. Firstly, we wanted to build upon the proven approach developed for the LS (loudspeaker) series of Center Stage2 products.

Secondly, each new Center Stage2M product had to be a clear audible improvement over its current facing Center Stage2 relative. In other words, compared to the current CS20.8, CS2 1.0 and CS2 1.5, each new Center Stage2M had to be greatly improved across the audible spectrum.

Finally, and most important, we wanted the performance improvement of each new Center Stage2M product to be so great, it leapfrogged its bigger brother in the current CS2 line up. In better words, the Center Stage2M 0.8 had to be better than the CS2 1.0. The Center Stage2M 1.0 had to be better than the CS2 1.5 and the Center Stage2M 1.5 had to set a new standard for audio footer performance in the industry.

Center Stage2M accomplishes every objective we set by a wide margin. We are thrilled with Center Stage2M and we hope you will give them a try throughout your system. The “M” stands for “MAXX”.

What was the Innovative Approach?

Center Stage2M is direct trickle-down technology garnered from advancements made in the development of the Center Stage2 LS series of loudspeaker feet. The LS series of Center Stage2 products reduce stored loudspeaker cabinet resonances and entropy to a vanishing level resulting in enhanced clarity and musicality across the audible spectrum.

Rather than approaching the problem of reducing vibration using new untested methodologies, we decided to “use the advancements we knew worked well with loudspeakers”. We used tested design fundamentals resting within the discipline of material science to determine the correct sequencing of the Center Stage2M materials. We established the proper proportions of the materials. And, we added damping in the very last stage in an amount that would eliminate the internal noise of the product and the component without rolling off the top end of the acoustic envelope.

How Does Center Stage2M Work?

Gain, Relative Permittivity, and the efficiency of electrical devices can be expressed as dimensionless numbers. For a moment, think of electricity as dimensionless energy moving through 3 dimensional pathways; printed circuit boards, resistors, capacitors, inductors, power supplies, wire, transformers, etc. When vibration is introduced into the atmosphere at the front baffle of the loudspeakers, vibration becomes a 3-dimensional form of energy that can only dissipate by permeating into 3-dimensional objects causing an unnaturally high state of mechanical excitation to occur within them; the objects vibrate. They will continue to vibrate when music is playing and eventually establish a relatively constant state of unnaturally high equilibrium that is well known to degrade the performance of audio components.

Center Stage2M helps components reach their engineered potential in 3 ways. First, they mitigate vibration coming up from the surface below them. Second, they cancel out their own noise. This very difficult accomplishment ensures truth to source material and truth to component engineering design. Third, they transfer entropy out of the component. This feature requires time and is the reason for the extended settling process.

It might be more appropriate to view Center Stage2M as the counterbalance to a destructive energy cycle within your components that will greatly reduce unwanted damaging energy and permanently hold a more peaceful state of equilibrium. The pleasant surprise is the wonderful sonic envelope that results.

Audio Becomes Visual - The Total Immersion Effect

The Total Immersion Effect can be described as a highly articulated acoustic sound field that extends from the back of the soundstage and sometimes wraps around the listener. It is crossing the threshold where audio becomes visual and the listener becomes part of the recording.

Center Stage2M suspends disbelief. You experience something on the order of a 4k hi-rez 3D surround-event. You see the image in space, you hear and see the musical event occur inside the image, and then you hear, see and feel the sensory event spread out around you from the soundstage. Audio becomes visual and you become immersed in the sound field.

Knocking down the “wall” that separates the listener from the musicians requires the electromechanical balance inside the components to reach an ultrafine point of equilibrium and to hold that equilibrium point across 20,000+ Hz in a fluctuating energy field so that the component can remain stable enough to create the Immersion Effect with consistency in the listening space.

What to expect during settle in

The settling in period is generally 7 to 10 days, but it can be longer. Because Center Stage2M will dramatically change the current electromechanical equilibrium of your components, you should expect your system to temporarily degrade at the outset. This is perfectly normal. Your soundstage will then begin to reconstruct itself by gently tipping upward and downward as it establishes a new and better equilibrium point.

In the end stage, the oscillations will become ultrafine and be largely experienced in the high frequencies. They will be barely perceptible unless you really focus. It is extremely important to let the system play for at least 14 days before assuming it has reached equilibrium. Playing a system 24/7 is not always necessary, but the more playing time the better. Think of it like running in a brand-new component. Run in time is normal.

Your end of the Bargain, or Making the Experience Better

Center Stage2 is good for beginners and advanced listeners, so long as you exercise extreme patience during the settling period. Sonic fluctuations you may experience during the settling period will subside as time passes. Here’s what you need:

  • Components crafted by a known and reliable manufacturer. Your components do not need to be among the “most expensive” or the purported “best” in the world. You will experience excellent results with low cost components. A host of components were used to design Center Stage2M, some of them very low cost. This was done to assure consistency of performance. It is certainly true, however, that the better your components, the better your results.
  • Neutral wiring crafted by a known and reliable manufacturer. Some wiring is a “tone control”. Tone control wiring is not necessary. The more invisible your wire, the less it makes its presence known in your system, the better your results.
  • A Clean Circuit. It is critically important to make sure that “cheap” power supplies from computers, screens, servers and most turntables etc. are plugged into a circuit separate from the circuit servicing your main components. The dirt from these low-end plug-ins will contaminate your signal. You may not have heard it before, but you will certainly hear it with Center Stage2M.
  • Stable rack(s) and/or stand(s). Home furnishings are fine. Center Stage2M was vetted on various flat wooden surfaces with Janka ratings of 1200 and higher equating to an elastic modulus of 4 GPa or greater. This means that virtually any flat surface will net tremendous results. Having said this, the better the surface with respect to its associated and/or inherent technological properties, the better the results. The results on CMS racks is superlative.
  • Proper loudspeaker set up. This is essential. Center Stage2M was designed to be most effective in 2-channel stereo system listening rooms with conventional loudspeakers of appropriate size and design for the room, and with seating positions reasonable and appropriate for the loudspeaker and room dimensions.
  • When you put Center Stage in, pull every tweak out. Center Stage2M will take about 7 to 10 days to settle. Be slow, careful and cautious about adding any other device
Hi Steve

You are correct, and this goes for every footer, the more of the same Brand you add, the more your system will reproduce the qualities you are hearing initially.

There may be a few outlier components here and there, but in general your logic is spot on.

Joe
Joe, could you comment on the synergy between you’re a footers and the Daiza platform? — with the CS footers between the Panzerholtz and component.

The Daiza consists of 2” Panzerholz resting on metal feet and there is a compliant layer between the feet and the wood.
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
12,758
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Correct me if I'm wrong, am I looking at a wood surface? If so, I admit I'm confused.
The Artesania dampers are the circular metal plates (1 on top of each component) with some kind of softer elastomer-like substance on the bottom. They make them in 1.5kg, 3.5kg and a great big 12.5kg one.
 

Carlos269

Well-Known Member
Mar 21, 2012
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Correct me if I'm wrong, am I looking at a wood surface? If so, I admit I'm confused.

Joe,
He is referring to the silver color disks, hockey pucks, on top of the components.
 

Thieliste

Well-Known Member
Aug 31, 2014
558
113
165
Yes the Artesania dampers are the stainless steel plates sitting on my units, here you can see the one sitting on my Formula DAC.
Aqua combo.jpg
 

joelavrencikCMS

Industry Expert
Jul 30, 2021
76
16
8
72
Not the ones i own, i think they are made of stainless steel no platic at all and no screws.
They are just sitting on the units, result is spectacular with them. View attachment 82592
My suggestion is to start without the dampers atop the components.

Place the CS2S or CS2M feet under the component and let's see how much things improve without adding additional weight.

My concern is added weight atop a component sometimes creates a clamping affect. Clamping can cause a deadening affect after a week or 2 of playing time. At first it seems to tighten things up, but then it has a tendency to do too much. Weight is not an issue with our feet.
 

Thieliste

Well-Known Member
Aug 31, 2014
558
113
165
My suggestion is to start without the dampers atop the components.

Place the CS2S or CS2M feet under the component and let's see how much things improve without adding additional weight.

My concern is added weight atop a component sometimes creates a clamping affect. Clamping can cause a deadening affect after a week or 2 of playing time. At first it seems to tighten things up, but then it has a tendency to do too much. Weight is not an issue with our feet.
Hi Joe,

Yes i will do the 10 days settling without the dampers and hear what the footers bring to the Aqua combo first.
Thanks
 

scot

Well-Known Member
Jan 4, 2018
92
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73
Hi Joe

Are the new Center Stage 2M footers shipping yet? Thank you.

Best regards
Scot
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
Hi Joe

Are the new Center Stage 2M footers shipping yet? Thank you.

Best regards
Scot
They’ve been shipping for the past 2 months
 

Bobofei86

Member
Apr 11, 2021
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I put 2 sets of cms2 1.5M under Extreme and Golden Gate2 for 2 weeks already, i have experienced the best sound i have ever heard in my system on day 2, the mid range was so sexy and i could hear lots of details which i have never heard in some familiar tunes.

Everything suddenly being 'masked' from day 3, it sounded so horrible which my system lost the dynamic, resolution and sound stage .etc I thought it's the dark period which every one talked about and usually happens from day 2 or 3 then it will bounce back and improve, however, the sound is still so boring after 2 weeks and far behind what i have heard on day 2, im using wooden board under the footers, anyone have simliar experience which tool longer than 2 weeks to settle down?
 

joelavrencikCMS

Industry Expert
Jul 30, 2021
76
16
8
72
I put 2 sets of cms2 1.5M under Extreme and Golden Gate2 for 2 weeks already, i have experienced the best sound i have ever heard in my system on day 2, the mid range was so sexy and i could hear lots of details which i have never heard in some familiar tunes.

Everything suddenly being 'masked' from day 3, it sounded so horrible which my system lost the dynamic, resolution and sound stage .etc I thought it's the dark period which every one talked about and usually happens from day 2 or 3 then it will bounce back and improve, however, the sound is still so boring after 2 weeks and far behind what i have heard on day 2, im using wooden board under the footers, anyone have simliar experience which tool longer than 2 weeks to settle down?
It's not uncommon for the settling period to vary from system to system. Please give it more time and let me know personally if you are still having an issue after the next week.

The 1.5Ms should be awesome under the components you specified...

Thank you for your patience!
 
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Bobofei86

Member
Apr 11, 2021
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It's not uncommon for the settling period to vary from system to system. Please give it more time and let me know personally if you are still having an issue after the next week.

The 1.5Ms should be awesome under the components you specified...

Thank you for your patience!
Thanks Joe
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
Hi Joe

one of our beta testers for the new feet found settle in
on his system and under the Extreme was 3-4 weeks
 
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dminches

Well-Known Member
Oct 22, 2011
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Hi Joe

one of our beta testers for the new feet found settle in
on his system and under the Extreme was 3-4 weeks

Is the 3-4 weeks just calendar time or is it affected by how much you use the system?
 

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