Tungsten Grooves Audio vibration isolation feet

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
11,933
2,687
653
E. England
Yes, it's that time when I talk about more interesting stuff that I've found to meaningfully boost system performance and significantly increase musical enjoyment. And the product under discussion here has prompted me to write this little review.

www.tungstengroovesaudio.com

Now, after reading Romaz's and Ray-Dude's fantastic reviews for the Extreme, I realise I'm just playing at being a reviewer Lol. But hey, I keep practising.

So, I met Paul Fowler, designer and founder of Tungsten Grooves vibration isolation feet (hereafter known as TG) at a little North London soiree where I attended a demo of top Ares Cerat horns based system. He's a very friendly fellow, and we talked a little about the streamer he was trying to design, and touched on his passion for tungsten-based vibration isolation.

A little later in the yr the rest of the group came up to trial HRS Damping Plates in my system, and they brought along his Tungsten-based record clamp...and it comprehensively beat my Panzerholz-based one. So I remained intrigued he was onto something.

Further conversations about his strong conviction that what I heard would be replicated w his TGs on a bigger scale as footers led to me offering to trial a few sets in my system. And that's what I've been doing this week.

So, there are more details on his website, but in a nutshell, we have two sizes/weights of footers, plus a custom larger set for spkrs (not tested by me).

Both 70mm diameter
Small, 33mm high, 1.4kg
Large, 50mm high, 3kg

It works on the principle of breaking up/absorbing vibrations, converting them to heat, from component-generated noise and noise trying to enter gear.

Paul's interesting and unique take (patented) is to use Tungsten. So we have a 3-part structure...Tungsten plate (mixed w some sort of secret sauce only known to Paul), via multiple silicon ball bearings to a central aircraft-grade stainless steel chamber filled w carefully graded Tungsten powder, to another Tungsten plate.

Paul has chosen Tungsten for it's innate hardness and ability to absorb vibrations. And I believe this powder mix in the central chamber does the vibration to heat conversion.

The only downside is that Tungsten is a bitch to manipulate because of it's hardness, but as Paul reports it to me, it's abilities to do what he wants and it's benefits for our purposes handily beats any other materials. It's also non magnetic, thus ideal again for our gear.

Paul I read has had a varied career, working in many engineering scenarios incl radar, and was a cable skeptic back in the day. Great baptism and training to do a 180 and provide an uber tweak option for us Lol.

How TGs fit my system report at next post.
 
Last edited:

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
11,933
2,687
653
E. England
TGs review, part two...my story and how TGs fit it

For me, my journey has all been about finding a component blend that talks to me. Coherency, mids texture and palpability, immersiveness, dynamic shove...this is what keeps me listening to all hours. And finding the blend of rim drive analog, hugely analog-like digital, and the magic of triodes on Zus, has really been rewarding.

The room acoustics and clean power here at the chapel has given me the foundation to wring more and more performance from my system. And my Sablon loom and Stacore uber tt isolation has boosted things on the tone/timbre front dramatically.

Other changes like filling my floor void have just taken neutrality and solidity up several notches. And thus I wasn't expecting massive changes w the TGs.

Remember, I've had hugely varying results w vibration isolation. My Symposium Acoustics Isis rack and Rollerblocks to gear, Stacore to tt, Arya Audio Revopods to Zus, all massively positive...three other hugely well regarded and loved isolation products, proved a liability on trial/comparison to better stuff.

And this is all YMMV etc etc etc. No way will I say my findings are universal. But my findings are so positive here, just wanted people to at least be aware theres a new hugely impressive contender.

And my findings are in relation to my system/room evolution. But I'm getting results w this TG cherry on cake I could only dream of just 5 years ago.

SQ report next...
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
11,933
2,687
653
E. England
SQ report...

So, now when I put in a change, I'm acutely aware that any positives need to be carefully assessed. Is it euphonic coloration? If its lovely bass, is it one-note bass? If there's more air, is the tonal balance tipped up? Is tone and timbre maintained, or is a character imposed.

That's led to me only choosing to keep three vibration isolation products...the Symposium/Rollerblocks, Stacore Adv, and Revopods. All others failed one or more of the above tests.

So, in go the TGs. Set of 3 medium under my small Straingauge energiser box, two sets of 3 large, under cdp and tubed preamp. I allowed them to settle for an hour or so...I never let audio interrupt my eating Lol...returned and listened to a variety of material.

Good news...a total feeling of familiarity. Tonal balance unchanged. It was still my system, a very good thing. And esp since my system has been by far the best it's ever been.
But some subtle and not so subtle changes.

On the subtle front, a seeming "decluttering" of the sound. Veils lifted, haziness cleared, smear wiped away. A good example of this is Rush/Exit...Stage Left, Jap vinyl pressing. There's always been a cloying upper bass color that damps some detail. With the TGs in tow, Geddy Lee's bass articulation is way clearer and Neil Peart's cymbals and toms are really precise and focussed. I had heard this track on Blue58's SGM/Aqua, and that precision now mixed w analog tone and palpability is really something.

This decluttering has also positives on albums that border on out of control. John Coltrane/Selflessness/Impulse original vinyl pressing can be hard and grainy. With the TGs, that energy is directed into decluttered resolution and real additional involvement w cognitive ease. Scrunched shoulders replaced w a real feel for the venue and the performance. This is a really amazing upside of the TGs.

John Coltrane/Crescent/Impulse original vinyl is a revelation. Now an amazing aspect of the TGs is revealed (in common w Stacore and Revopods)...its even handedness and amazing balance of detail and texture.

The footers that have failed for me either highlighted air at expense of groundedness, or earthiness at expense of sparkle. These TGs like my other choices do the "broadband" thing...no enhancement of frequency bands, impvts up and down the scale, and thus other than revealing musical truth, do not "editorialise" music.

So as I'm listening to Crescent, Jimmy Garrison's bass is way more revealed to me, but the proportionate relationship w McCoy Tyner's piano is as it always has been, those piano harmonics feel natural, and the air as Coltane's sax rises and Elvin Jones's cymbals resonate is unrestrained.

I know vinyl compared to cd is anathema, but these TGs are combining the full tone and unlimited rising energy of great analog w the solidity and stability of fantastic digital. I've heard Crescent many times, from my dodgy 80s reissues, to originals, and 30 years of improving playback. These TGs are nailing things.

For classical, I've picked Brahms complete works for piano/Piano Sonatas in C Maj and F Sharp Min/Decca 1970. Zus are not the first choice for classical, but my remaining tweaks efforts are showing they are way more applicable than you'd ever have thought. The TGs decluttering really helping w the sparseness of the ambience and deep emotion. I'm really getting an impression of extra micro resolution of trails and timing aiding understanding of the performer and performance.

Last lp to talk about. My fave album of all time, Stomu Yamashta/Go/Island UK pressing. I've played this 00s of times. It remains a landmark in terms of prog/orchestral crossover. Just touches my soul everytime. Now I dont rave about extra resolution often...this can be showy for showy sake. But I've never run a tweak that has so opened things up that my most familiar album has hidden orchestral runs I've really never been aware of before. This album is chock full of brooding ambient synths, spacey drums, manic percussion, amazing vocals, incendiary guitar, and some of the best orchestral arrangements. And I'll swear whole strings lines I'm now hearing for the first time. But again, critically w mids palpability and bass texture unaffected.

Addendum, picked a handful of cds w challenging bass, and totally in control.

So, there you have it. They work here spectacularly, in their broadband evenhandedness. And are doing resolution upticks that even my other established tweaks aren't.

Hugely impressed, and hugely worth a listen as an end point vibration isolation destination.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Lagonda

Blue58

Well-Known Member
Jan 20, 2013
609
274
310
London, UK
Great write up Marc and thanks for not using the word epiphany ;)
Now the question is, are you keeping them in situ or resolve to listen to your system below it’s capabilities without them?
And, do they work better with the Stacore or without? If it’s with then you are looking at isolation around the £10k mark.

blue58
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
11,933
2,687
653
E. England
Um, a little known world event in 2020 has put all my spending on hold. So, no go on that. But for those who CAN go ahead, and may be considering the ultimate footers/vibn isolation, I'd extol them to consider these.

FWIW my Stacore in my particular case is a tt-only solution, I cannot physically use the two together. Just an ergonomics reason.
 
Last edited:

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
11,933
2,687
653
E. England
Great write up Marc and thanks for not using the word epiphany ;)
Now the question is, are you keeping them in situ or resolve to listen to your system below it’s capabilities without them?
And, do they work better with the Stacore or without? If it’s with then you are looking at isolation around the £10k mark.

blue58
Epiphany comes if I ever hear an Extreme...
 
  • Like
Reactions: Blue58

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
11,933
2,687
653
E. England
Thanks for the write-up! YAF:)

Is Tungsten the new Panzerholz?
There's always a new "new" just around the corner, Tim.
For me, this broadband aspect I hear so well in Stacore is also familiar here, and it's what I'm attracted to.

At the Ares Cerat demo where I met Paul, there were so many ABs of uber pricey cbls...none of them passed the broadband test. I know which cables do, the ones I own.

And these TG footers absolutely pass this test. With the resultant major advantages over footers that don't. As I see it/hear it/perceive it.
 

Audiophile Bill

Well-Known Member
Mar 23, 2015
3,042
1,692
420
UK
Here are the photos for Marc:
32A72445-4C76-42E0-924D-C82B47F1AF8C.jpeg
2596738C-96ED-426F-803B-2A3657AE2F2B.jpeg
28ECD655-FEF3-47A7-B83C-786895640498.jpeg
F33755D1-E9FA-4B59-B587-5FEB7AD61098.jpeg
094A2BA8-D10D-4510-8402-9D16896762A3.jpeg
 
  • Like
Reactions: Stacore

the sound of Tao

Well-Known Member
Jul 18, 2014
2,285
2,066
470
Epiphany is a lovely thang. Thanks for the write up. Sounds like you have been really enjoying your time with these devices Marc.

You mention that there is a small and a large version of these footers. Do they sound the same. Also what do these beasts look like? Is three the optimal number of these footers or are four footers better. Many tia.

Edit: thanks Bill for the pics.
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
11,933
2,687
653
E. England
I'll try and get a couple of photos in better light, it's my sound that's illuminating, not the visuals.
 
  • Like
Reactions: the sound of Tao

Audiophile Bill

Well-Known Member
Mar 23, 2015
3,042
1,692
420
UK
447F49D8-5C7C-45DA-8A0E-5F7B8D1F3E3F.jpeg
88CECCE2-669E-46A1-AF9D-35308F2F3890.jpeg
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
11,933
2,687
653
E. England
Epiphany is a lovely thang. Thanks for the write up. Sounds like you have been really enjoying your time with these devices Marc.

You mention that there is a small and a large version of these footers. Do they sound the same. Also what do these beasts look like? Is three the optimal number of these footers or are four footers better. Many tia.

Edit: thanks Bill for the pics.
Graham, I may move the medium footers from phono to cdp and try that. Haven't attempted 4 per component. Can't comment on applicability of the two sizes...for me I have to use the medium ones under phono for ergonomic reasons.
 
  • Like
Reactions: the sound of Tao

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
11,933
2,687
653
E. England
Thanks DoP Bill, ASC.
 

Paul

Member
Hi Marc, thank you so much for taking time out to review these and share your thought. I'm glad and somewhat relieved you like them so much. Its nerve racking handing them out to be reviewed but so rewarding to receive positive feed back and praise. Thanks again
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lagonda

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
11,933
2,687
653
E. England
I remain amazed at how photography can sell products...even humble power cords.

Paul, I did stress a little had the results been poor or unremarkable. I initially trialled these as top chassis dampers, because we had talked about that a lot. And I probably wouldn't have posted the lukewarm results.

As footers, after one little bad install detail was suited, the results proved compelling. Hence the review.
 

Lee Henley

Well-Known Member
Feb 21, 2014
141
76
235
England, UK
Looks quite an interesting product but I feel the price they are asking for one small footer at £1350 could put quite a few people off. A set of 3 would be £4050.
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
11,933
2,687
653
E. England
Lee, Paul can answer yr point. I ran the review to highlight a product that absolutely performs in my system. It's benefits are really compelling and thus any spending decision has to be based on this. But I hear you re pricing.
 

About us

  • What’s Best Forum is THE forum for high end audio, product reviews, advice and sharing experiences on the best of everything else. A place where audiophiles and audio companies discuss existing and new audio products, music servers, music streamers and computer audio, digital to audio convertors (DACS), turntables, phono stages, cartridges, reel to reel, speakers, headphones, tube amplifiers and solid state amplification. Founded in 2010 What's Best Forum invites intelligent and courteous people of all interests and backgrounds to describe and discuss the best of everything. From beginners to life-long hobbyists to industry professionals we enjoy learning about new things and meeting new people and participating in spirited debates.

Quick Navigation

User Menu

Steve Williams
Site Founder | Site Owner | Administrator
Ron Resnick
Site Co-Owner | Administrator
Julian (The Fixer)
Website Build | Marketing Managersing