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.



The Center Stage 2m footers are extremely impressive. I’ve been through many footers: Nordost Sort Kones, Stillpoints and several other top footers. I previously used the Stillpoints, but read about these 2M footers (in TAS) and decided to get a set.

At this point, with the experience I’m having with them in the system, I’d rather keep my current electronics and just get two or three sets of footers. The substitution of better electronics would not, I fear, bring the music to Life in this way. Apparently, removing all vibration can yield some staggeringly great results. I can’t even imagine that if I went back to Jadis or VAC electronics that this same result could be achieved. One need look no further than playing a good recording of a particular singer, and be awestruck by how the voice sounds vastly more the way it does in life. I’d just played a Cleo Laine CD which was nearby, and in this, her return to Carnegie Hall (the album is 1975), her voice is quite lifelike in the way it "moves."

It’s too bad they’re so expensive. If they were only $700 instead of $1100, it still wouldn’t be an insubstantial purchase, but it would certainly allow a (slightly) wider set of people to hear what their electronics are truly capable of. And there would be substantially more benefit than one could get even by spending $5,000. Superb isolation has no substitutes. I would have been happy with the Stillpoints had I not heard about these babies and then tried them out (I like places with 60-day returns. It allows time to live with a component). And, having lived with them for a month? No way I could go back to anything less now. Except for (eventually) getting a new integrated and a pair of Magnepans 2.7i, I’m real good.

Try these little suckers out, but you must give them the full 10 days of putting some component on them and then not touching them or the component again. You cannot move them, even an inch or two, for at least the next 10 days. Fourteen would be better. Just put them under a component (any digital or even your line conditioner would be the best place to start), listen at the 1 day, 3 day, 7 day and 10 day mark. 10 is where it gets magical.  Oh, and you will not like how they sound at the beginning. You might even think something's wrong with your system. It's not. These things will make you wonder while they're going through whatever settling they do, though. So, expect it.




You are right on.

I just got some new very heavy (140lb ea.) amps and I waited until they were broken in before adding the CM footers. Now, with the footers underneath, they really add extra depth and realism. BTW, I have the CM under all my components.

I still don’t know what is inside them, perhaps some rich dude can take one apart? I’m hoping it isn’t just some glue and horsehair...LOL!


Expensive footers was always something I read about but never seriously considered. Until a few years ago I purchased one set of Stillpoints Ultra SS out of curiosity and it blew me away. Amp, DAC, even power distributor, it did not matter which component it went under, it brought a noticeable improvement to each of them.

The only problem I need another 5-6 sets to fully complete my system. An expensive proposition but one I will eventually get around to.

In the meantime Stillpoints released a V2 version of their footer line. Apparently giving 30-40% more performance.

The guys on Whatsbestforum has been big on the Critical Mass footers. The new CS2M, as Ozzy has. It's a bit of a PITA to have a 7-10 days settling time, it makes things hard to A-B compare, especially if things go so negative in performance during this period as has been reported.

I would like to know how the Stillpoints Ultra SS v2 and Ultra 2 compare to the CS2M 0.8 and 1.0 as they are price comparable.


Thank you for your post. I have tried the Stillpoints Ultra SS and they are good, but the Critical Mass footers are in a different league. Both companies now have revised versions, not sure if the gap has closed or widened.

BTW, I am also using the ISO-Acoustics Gaiai 1’s under my Clarisys planer’s.