Feets Don’t Fail Me Now

I write this post at the end of a long journey. A journey driven by my tweakophile heart through a minefield of pseudoscience towards a counterintuitive conclusion.

I have, at last, found the right footers for my speakers. (At least for the next couple of weeks.)

I am here to tell of my journey but not to give advice. I have no knowledge to impart to anyone else. My journey that has touched on the far corners of the audiophile map but found peace in a very simple solution.

Spoiler: My speakers are resting comfortably on carpet sliders. Specifically, one-inch GorillaGlides from Amazon.

They work for me in my system and my room but I have no idea about other circumstances. I have LS50s that are poster-puttied to KEF metal stands that rest on a suspended wooden floor. That floor is in a Brooklyn brownstone from the late 1800s that was gut renovated about 15 years ago.

Of course, there was nothing wrong with the sound before I started this journey. That’s where my love of tweaks comes into play. Couldn’t I do better. In answer to that question, there are not many parts of an audio system that can has so many Solutions, so many different parts and so many possible set-ups, most of which don’t break the bank.

And I’ve been through them all. Spikes, various iso-pucks, about half of the Herbie’s catalog, and self-selected sorbothane bits and pieces. I don’t know why it took me so long to reach the oft-recommended carpet sliders, given that they’re probably the cheapest and easiest solution out there but, unfortunately, I’m not known for doing the cheap and easy thing.

Some observations from the journey:

—Spikes suck the bass out of the music like Donald Trump sucks the civility out of civilized discourse. It’s not that they produce “audiophile bass,” they just produce less bass.

—Few debates are as long and unproductive as coupling v. decoupling. Cables are the once and future king when it comes to misplaced debates, I guess, but (de)coupling must rank high. Which does what? Who knows? Who cares?

—Carpet glides have very little give, which serves to reinforce a conclusion I’ve reached several times before in several different ways: Damping is bad. I’ve tried damping in various places for various reasons but the consequences have been negative every time.

My belief, wholly unsupported by scientific fact, is that while damping—from iso-pucks and Herbie products, for example—may work to prevent vibrations from traveling from the room back up the stand to the speaker, they also degrade the stability of the platform from which sound is launched. In my experience, anything that is producing a signal that we will eventually hear as music—source, amp, or speaker—works better when it sits on something solid. “Solid” as in fixed and unmoving.

It makes sense that those components work better with less vibration but it makes more sense that producing and launching the signal is the primary concern. Anything mushy make the launching surface less solid. It sucks up signal that we should be hearing as music.

—If solidity is the goal, shouldn’t spikes work best of all? Makes sense. But that’s not the way it is under my speakers. It will take a wiser man than I to divine the reason.


I know some people just can't help themselves but can we all try harder to keep this site about audio.  Really, it shouldn't be that hard.


pkatsuleas: When you’re right, you’re right. I’m sorry. I can’t take it down. I tried.

Curious Jim: Yes, when I got locked out for some reason, I had to switch my name. If I was trying to be deceptive, I think that I could have done a little better.

When I said "less than 10" I meant less than 10 threads. I never counted the number of individual posts. For you to arrive at the "89" number I assume that you had to count every post. Re: your obsessive detective work about my Audiogon activities. You’re not stalking me, are you? Have you developed some sort of obsessive online love? Should I call the authorities?

Hilde45: If you’re an amateur physicist and you want to study that kind of stuff, have at it. Whatever peels your potatoes. But this knowledge that you speak of is totally irrelevant to how I set my system up. All that matters—"all" as in the only thing that matters—is how it sounds to me. How my ears experience the music. There is no higher form of knowledge. I could do general relativity equations all day long but it wouldn’t make a damn bit of difference to the sound of David Bowie’s voice on "Heroes."

Actually, the knowledge you speak of could even be damaging if it distracts me from the purity of his voice. To me, the particular type of ignorance you speak of is bliss.

And, without any disrespect to brownsfan, my skepticism of "science" in audio forums is well-earned.

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