Footers- Break In? Such A Change.

So, I know components and cables break in and this has always been a source of mystery, not to mention the EE’s and the naysayers who believe firmly it is just not possible.

I am of the mindset based on my actual experience that electronics need power run through them for a time to perform their best. And that may mean hundreds of hours of electrical energy running through the item to fully form.

So, with this understanding I use this as the preamble to what I will describe next.

Footers. You know those little devices we put under our components, speakers etc., to isolate or stabilize the item.

Well, I must disclose that I have always been a tweaker and have tried many of the accessories we add to get the best out of equipment. I have also tried so many footers, many brands, types, even some DIY etc.

Critical Mass makes racks and footers. I have always wanted their racks, but due to my needed configuration just never have tried a rack. But I have tried the footers. The ones I have are called the Center Stage 2(CM2). I have them in the 1.0 and the 1.5 versions. There is also now a newer version called the 2M.

Anyway, these CM2’s is amazing. When you first place them under the equipment the music becomes dull, soundstage is narrow and the highs/lows are restricted. First comments you will have is; WTH?

But, wait about 7-10 days and these footers really open up and improve in all aspects that is important in sound reproduction.

How the heck a footer breaks in is amazing to me? The only thing that makes sense is that they must be adjusting to the weight that is on top of them and it takes that long to adjust.

Anyway, these are kinda relatively expensive but since the newer versions are now out perhaps you can grab some at a good discount. These will probably be the last footers I will ever own… Maybe?

I highly recommend them, even as strange as they are with break in.



+1 @ozzy The difference with good platforms is very distinct and quantifiable. Live Vibe platforms also have a break in period, but it is so worth it.


What you are talking about seems to be more akin to someone not assessing the improvements correctly. That is most assuredly not the case with the Center Stages. Their advance over most other footers is obvious after the 10 days. I suppose, as someone who has had Audio Research, Goldmund Jadis and other expensive components, that take weeks to pass their break-in point (in the ’80s, it would take continuous playing for weeks before the most exalted components showed their virtues), 10 days is not a long time to wait for a component to break in.

They remove a "step-ladder" type effect - and particularly in digital - that allows voices to sound vastly more organic and the mechanism (control of the throat, chest and diaphragm) the singer uses to achieve an effect (i.e., "bending a note") becomes vastly more obvious. And the use of the word "vastly" is not - in this case- hyperbole.

This is more akin to having a decent (but not great) amplifier, and then getting an amplifier that reproduces sound in a far more closer-to-live-than-before effect. One that reproduces musical improvements, such as hearing if a passage is played staccato instead of how it sounded before: portato (which would have been wrong), but the "noise" that covers up the spaces between the notes is quite a bit more present in lesser equipment. In fact, even some very, very good equipment is not great at distinguishing between staccato and portato effects.

As well, instruments have more "texture," so when a trombone plays, you clearly hear the "blatty" sound it makes. Or xylophones, where you can hear the actual physical properties of the xylophone, instead of just hearing "notes" that help you fill in the blanks - as it were -  that allow you to  identify that it is an xylophone, but that you could only do by  focusing to come to this conclusion, whereas, with the Center Stage 2ms, it is immediately obvious. It’s much more like it is in a symphony hall performance and I hear those quite regularly.

You would just have to hear them yourself to understand how far ahead they are of any of the Stillpoints (and I’ve had Ultra Minis, Ultra 5s, both generations). The sonics are just not comparable. But it is hard to describe some effects in print. Sometimes nothing will do except the live experience.

So, since I posted previously, I added the CMS TT footers, and upgraded 3 sets of the original CMS 1.0 footers to the 2M. 

The CMS turntable footers were installed under a TW Acustic Raven Anniversary replacing the upgraded Black Knight version feet which were an upgrade when I bought the table.  The improvement in terms of lower noise was immediately audible. 

I didn't really want to replace the 3 sets of original CMSs with the 2Ms under my front end equipment (ARC REF phono, line stage, and Luxman D10X player), but I tried just the line stage and Wow - I was hooked.  The improvement was as much again as I experienced with version 1!  I hate it, but I'll probably end up buying a bunch more.

These things are so amazing that they are not a "tweak". They are a must have.