From the time Pierre first started using brass footers under his studio equipment he has been using weights on top of the supported equipment. Adding the weights almost always resulted in a satisfying magnification of the footers’ good effects. The weights do two things: they help kill the resonances prevalent in most equipment enclosures and, by adding downward force, they improve the contact pressure between equipment and footers.
Several years ago, we tested lead weights head-to-head against brass ones of equal mass. Much to our surprise, the brass sounded much better than lead. It appears that the high internal damping of lead (which leads to the dead “thunk” when you tap it) is not beneficial, despite the intuitive appeal of the idea of killing vibrations through heavy damping. Other experiments we have done with applying high damping materials (sorbothane, asphalted felt, lead sheet) to enclosure panels tend to confirm that extra mass and/or extra stiffening works better than damping.
Design and Performance:
• The weights come in ¾ pound and 1½ pound versions, these having proved most useful in our studio. Several sizes are necessary because of a non-obvious principle that evolved from the tests: to get best results, you need to add weight in moderate increments, listening at each increment to make sure the sound has continued to improve. You will hit a point where adding one more pound will dramatically deaden the sound of your system.
• The Heavyhat weights also come in a Micropoint and Hemispherical Triplepoint version. Just like the footers (the Original Triplepoint, the Hemispherical Triplepoint and the Micropoint heavyfeet), the Micropoint and Hemispherical Triplepoint weights yield a major advance in midrange and treble resolution. The reason, of course, is the same: large area, flat-to-flat contact always leads to unwanted rattles, resonances and reflections of vibrational energy. This is eliminated by the very high pressure point contacts of the Triplepoint and Micropoint versions.
• 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. Weights sound best if supported on three sharp points (like our Heavyhat Triplepoints) rather than just resting on their flat bottom surfaces. The optimum number of weights cannot be predicted and differs from one component to another.
• Start with one Heavyhat centered on top of the equipment (electronics or speaker) that you’re upgrading. If this gives you better sound, add another weight near the center. Continue until you hit the point where one more weight deadens the system sound; remove that weight.
• Take the remaining weights and spread them across the top of the equipment. Very often, sound will improve with the weights spread out rather than centered. Sliding individual weights around in small steps will lead to fine-tuning improvements.
• As a very loose guideline—equipment in the 5 to 20 pound range (such as entry-level CD players, preamplifiers, D/As and small speakers_ require optimum weights in the vicinity of 1 to 5 pounds. Even the heaviest gear such as behemoth amplifiers or subwoofers will rarely require more than 10 pounds total weight.
• When using, make sure the weights are not placed on a screwhead or other protuberance.