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.


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In my experience the critical mass footers are as Ozzy describes them. Nothing subtle or subjective.  Placing them under my integrated tube amp elevated the entire musical spectrum in my system. Could not believe my ears. I noticed less of an additional improvement when I added them under my DAC. I have never really found a "tweak" that really did a lot for me. I can't think of one "tweak" that really impressed me unless I wanted to imagine something, which I am not inclined to do. Not so with the critical mass footers in my system. As all things, Im sure system dependent.


Glad to see that another has tried these footers. I consider them essential to my overall sound pleasure.

Did you also experience the weird break in?



Well, I’m happy I found this thread, because I had a similar experience and I’m still busy playing with the decoupling of my system, I’ve been busy with it for a couple of weeks now, swapping various footers and trying to get the right balance between precision and musicality (much harder than I thought, by the way).

I’ve had the experience first with some AliExpress footers (3 ceramic balls pucks, ala "finite elements" without the price tag): I put them under an Ikea APTITLIG board, with my CD transport resting directly on the board. Not a good way of doing things but I was experimenting stuff. Anyways, from the moment those footers were under the board, the sound became open and wide but also lean with anemic bass. It was late that night and I decided to just go to bed and take them out the day after. But, to my surprise, when I played some music the day after the sound was much more "grounded", the bass was back (with a revenge!) but there was less bloom and openness. NOTHING ELSE had changed in the system, so I concluded that after a few hours, the footer settles in, maybe at microscopic level - the ceramic balls taking their final position, maybe, I don’t know, but it was very different.


Since that day I’ve been playing with a few different footers and I’m still busy with it, under my transport, under my preamp, I have a few different footers, some are soft and some are hard, and I have to say, it almost always changes (for better or worse) after a few hours of installation.

Now I must say, my system is a magnifying glass, every little change is heard big time, it has to play a part.