Brass footers are the first of the three elements of our vibration control system (see below) that has transformed the sound
of thousands of audiophile systems over the years. Install a set of brass footers, by themselves, under speakers, disc players,
DACs, amps, tuners, turntables, power conditioners, or cable boxes—and get a major sonic (and video) upgrade. The
footers efficiently drain vibration out of components into the shelf (or floor) below, causing the music to sound strikingly
more live, more gripping.
For first-time users, the Heavyfoot will give you the most sonic bang for your buck. They are 2½ times heavier than Surefeet
(p.18). They yield much deeper bass and warmer mid-range. As the Absolute Sound’s Fred Kaplan puts it, “The difference is not
subtle.” Where the Heavyfoot can’t fit because it’s too high (2"), we offer the Low Heavyfoot with 1½" height
and 2" diameter. Use it only if necessary; there’s a 15% reduction in performance. Only for uncarpeted surfaces.
We recommend using unattached footers in sets of three to avoid shimming. Using four may require shimming the height of
one footer to compensate for slight unevenness of the surface below and there’s no sonic advantage to using four.
Please call 1-888-236-2753 to order footers a la carte.
The Mapleshade Vibration Control System
Our Vibration Control System has three elements: brass footers drain vibration out of the component or speaker and down into a platform; air-dried maple platforms receive and dissipate that vibration; and Isoblocks under the platform isolate it from resonances below it (except for speaker platforms which must be rigidly mounted via brass footers to the floor below). Each element alone will upgrade your sound. Used together, they yield startling improvements. Here are the fundamentals:
• Electrical signal currents create unwanted vibrations (through both magnetic and piezo-electric forces) inside every electronic component and speaker cabinet. Carefully controlled listening tests prove that these internal vibrations muddy the music signal far more significantly than external airborne or floor-borne vibrations.
• Mounting components on standard isolating and damping devices (like springs, rubber feet, sand boxes, magnetic suspensions, or air cylinders/bladders) traps 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 convenient footer. Unfortunately, such all-in-one devices can serve none of the three functions well. They may change, perhaps even improve, sound a bit in one area, but with penalties in other areas, e.g better midrange detail but soggier bass, less edgy treble but slower, duller transients, etc.
Mapleshade's Vibration Control System serves the three functions using three different components, each optimized for one and only one function:
• First, our brass footers are designed only to cleanly drain out as much internal vibrational energy as possible from electronics and speakers. We
specifically optimized our footers’ shape, material, alloy, and mass to maximize the vibrational energy transferred out of the gear and minimize the
energy reflected back. Fifteen years of customer shootoffs have shown they do so more effectively and sound better than any competing footer or hybrid
at any price.
• Second, maple platforms (or SAMSON shelves) serve as the optimal sink for receiving and dissipating the vibrational energy transferred out of the
component by the footers. Surprisingly, exhaustive testing against every space age damping material and composite used in high-end platforms today shows solid
wood (not plywood or MDF) to be better sounding sink. And, among the wood species available, the same tests show maple to have, by a sizable margin, the
most detailed and uncolored sound (click HERE for more details on this and on the importance of air dried maple).
• Third, the specific size and laminate composition of Isoblocks was designed, by ear, to best isolate the maple platform from resonances or vibrations
in the supporting shelf or floor below. The final six-laminate design proved to sound better than any of the myriad suspension systems we've tested,
even the megabuck magnetic or air suspensions. One exception: Mapleshade DOES NOT recommend using Isoblocks under speakers or speaker stands because
they let speakers rock slightly, producing somewhat muddier bass and imaging. Here, 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.
• 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 to eliminate the sonic degradation caused by poor sink materials.
Adding our Maple Platform 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 Micropoint Heavyhats) 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.
• optimal, non-resonant point shape for uncarpeted surfaces
• precision machined, optimized alloy, solid brass
• Dimensions: 2" tall, 2" diameter
• Weight per footer: 1 lb. 9 oz.