The Micropoint Heavyfoot (set of three)
Brass footer supports for speakers, CD players, amps and preamps, etc. improve sound quality markedly by draining vibrational energy out of the component down into the underlying shelf, stand or floor.
Nothing hurts the sound of speakers more than mounting them unrigidly on carpet, on rubber feet, on damping pads, on flimsy stands or on shaky shelves. Flexible mounting lets the speaker rock back as the drives cone(s) moves forward. That means boomy bass with weakened attack and dynamic punch. Similarly, freely vibrating speaker enclosure panels muddy the midrange and treble. To make a speaker sound its best you must stop it from rocking and you must drain panel vibration efficiently. This requires coupling the speaker, via massive brass footers, directly to the floor or directly to an ultra-rigid stand. You can’t get good sound just by placing the speaker’s flat bottom on the floor or on a stand. Because of the large area, low-pressure contact, much of the cabinet’s vibrational energy is reflected back instead of being drained efficiently and cleanly down into the floor.
• The Micropoint Heavyfoot is our very best sounding 2 inch diameter footer-but only for gear with flat metal or plastic bottoms. Upgrade to Megafeet for even cleaner, clearer treble detail.
• Three-point contact eliminates the micro-rattles between a flat top footer and the imperfectly flat bottom of the supported equipment.
• Adding three points on top yields suprisingly more detail everywhere-from the deep thunder of the tympani to the silvery treble of triangles.
• The smaller the point's inherent resonances, the sweeter the treble. The Micropoint's height is 1/15th that of the original Triplepoint (which was designed with points 1/4 inch high to support both wood and hard surfaces).
• If you have a Mapleshade Platform under your electronics, you will double its good effect by properly coupling the electronics to the platform with our brass footers.
Design Concept of the Mapleshade Component Mounting System:
• Electrical currents (the music signals that drive your speakers) create unwanted vibrations inside every electronic component and speaker cabinet. These internal vibrations muddy the music signal much more significantly than external room vibrations do.
• Standard isolating devices like springs, rubber feet, sand boxes, magnetic suspensions, or air bladders trap the sound-degrading vibrations inside the component, exacerbating muddying of the music signals, especially in the bass frequencies.
• Hybrid isolation/coupling devices like Roller Blocks, IsoBearings, magnetic couplers, etc. purport to serve three essential functions —vibration transfer, vibration dissipation and external isolation—all in one nice, neat convenient footer. Unfortunately, these all-in-one devices serve none of their purported functions very well. That is to say, hybrid devices change the sound of your system and may even yield improvements in some areas, but with penalties in other areas, e.g better midrange detail but less warmth, increased treble clarity but more edginess,etc.
• Mapleshade's Component Mounting System serves all three above functions, but using an ensemble of three different devices, each optimized for one and only one function.
• First, Micropoint footers are designed only to cleanly drain out of the component as much of its internal vibrational energy as possible. They do so more effectively and sound better than any competing footer at any price (and are exceeded only by our Triplepoints and Micropoints). Through long hours of listening experiments we have specifically optimized their shape, material, alloy, and mass to maximize the vibrations transfering out of the component and minimize vibrations transfering back into the component.
• Second, Mapleshade Platforms (or SAMSON shelves) serve as the sink for, or receiver of, vibrational eneregy transferred out of the component by the Heavyfeet, a sink intended to dissipate as much of this energy as possible. But no vibration transfer-dissipation system, including Mapleshade's, is 100% efficient - which is why the resonant quality of our air-dried maple is a significant element in the good sound of our component mounting system. Inevitably, some small percentage of the vibrations transferred from the component reflects back into the gear. The waveform of these reflected vibrations is changed (that is, distorted) by the acoustical transmission properties of the material of the sink or platform. Each specific material introduces different waveform changes; thus, each material "colors" the sound of your system differently. Even low quality generic, kiln-dried wood typically yields more pleasing sound than metal, stone, glass, MDF, plywood and the myriad of highly damped composite platform materials on the market. Our listening experiments demonstrated thick, air-dried maple to be less colored and closer to the sound of our master tapes than any other platform material—audibly better than harder or softer or denser woods, and notably better than comparable kiln-dried maple or maple butcher block.
• Third, Isoblocks serve to isolate the component and platform from reflected or external vibrations in the supporting shelf or floor. In this role they sound better than any of the myriad suspension systems we've tested: sand boxes, air bladders, sorbathane, Vibrapods, even megabuck megnetic suspensions or air suspensions. One exception: Mapleshade DOES NOT recommend using Isoblocks under speakers or speaker stands, as you'll notice if you peruse our speake stand page. Because they let speakers rock slightly, Isoblocks produce somewhat muddier bass and softer image focus. Thus, under speakers and speaker stands we always recommend using brass footers. This is just one example of the attention to detail that has gone into the development of Mapleshade's deceptively simple-looking component mounting system. Our experience is that optimal mounting for electronics is different than for speakers; carefully scutinize any product that does not acknowledge this distinction.
• Footers work optimally on wood or MDF surfaces, but still give excellent sonic improvements on concrete, granite or tile. On glass you will hear excessive trebler brightness due to the strong high frequency resonance of glass reflected back into the footer. On glass, concrete, granite or tile, we strongly recommend adding a Mapleshade Platform under the brass footers; together they will yield a huge improvement over just footers.
• If you use three footers under a component, they do not need height adjustment. If you use four footers (for added stability), check each one to make sure it is bearing full weight. Typically one of the four will be too short and slightly loose due to slight unevenness of the equipment bottom or the mounting surface below; a loose footer causes audible sonic degradation. For unthreaded footers, use a shim above the loose footer to fill in the needed height. To shim, use 2x2 inch squares cut from standard manila folders (i.e., very hard cardboard). Even better is wood veneer or brass shim stock.
• Footer effectiveness is almost always improved by adding weight on top of the component. Brass weights sound much better than weights of lead, iron, bricks, stone or sand (that’s why we offer our Heavyhat brass weights). Weights sound best if supported on three sharp points (like our Heavyhat Triplepoints) rather than just resting on their flat bottom surfaces. Increase weight by increments of no more than 3/4 to 1-1/2 pounds. You’ll eventually reach a total weight where just one extra 1/2 pound dramatically dulls the sound; “eventually” may be as soon as the second weight. The optimum number of weights cannot be predicted and differs from one component to another.
• Solid, precision-machined brass
• Dimensions: 2" diameter, 2" tall
• Weight: 1 lb. 8 oz.