Brass footers placed under speakers, turntables, CD/Blu-ray players, DACs, streamers, routers, power conditioners, satellite and cable boxes, surround receivers, amps and preamps markedly improve sound quality—and video quality—by draining vibrational energy out of the component down into the underlying shelf, stand or floor. Years of careful listening (and viewing) experiments have led us to the following conclusions:
• Footer material makes a bigger difference than anything else: brass sounds significantly better than aluminum, carbon fiber, titanium, steel or ceramics.
• Heavy footers sound better than light ones.
• Footers of equal height and diameter sound better than shorter, shallower ones.
• Sharp points on the bottom of the footer transmit vibration and sound better than rounded ones—and far better than any flat contact feet.
• Small contact areas on the top of the footer sound better than fully flat tops--and three tiny,sharp points sound best of all.
Draining vibration out of video components like monitors, disc players, processors/receivers, cable boxes, routers and streamers yields picture quality improvements--in terms of better resolution and better color--just as significant as the sound quality improvements for audio gear.
Brass Footers Improve Speakers
Nothing hurts the sound of a speaker more than mounting it unrigidly on a carpet, on isolating rubber feet, on damping pads, on flimsy stands or on shaky shelves. Flexible mounting lets the speaker rock back as the cone moves forward. That means boomy bass with slowed attacks and weakened dynamic punch. These flexible and/or damped mountings also prevent draining vibration out of the speaker enclosure, thus allowing the freely vibrating speaker enclosures or panels to muddy the midrange and treble.
To make a speaker sound its best you must stop it from rocking and you must drain enclosure or panel vibration efficiently. This requires coupling the speaker, via massive brass footers, directly to a sink that will cleanly receive the vibrations without reflecting them back in distorted form—for example, a sink like an old-fashioned solid wood planked floor, a thick and rigid wooden stand, or a massive wood platform. You can’t get good sound just by placing the speaker’s flat bottom on the floor or on a flat-topped stand. Because of the large area, low-pressure contact, much of the cabinet’s vibrational energy is reflected back at the flat interface instead of being drained efficiently and cleanly down into the floor or stand by the brass footers acting as an optimal vibration transfer link.
Electronics Sound Better With Brass Footers
All electronic circuit parts—particularly transformers, inductors, capacitors, tubes and transistors—generate significant mechanical vibrations when fluctuating currents (like music signals or AC power) low through them. These vibrations are efficiently transmitted through circuit boards and cases to all nearby electronic parts. There, the vibrations received audibly distort the waveform of the audio signals flowing through these nearby circuit parts. You hear the effect as slower, fuzzier transients, blurred harmonic detail and smeared, weakened treble. Massive, rigid, pointed footers under the component efficiently drain almost all of these mechanical vibrations out of your equipment chassis. This yields often-startling improvements in sound, particularly in turntables, all digital front end gear, amps, power conditioners and power supplies (both solid state and tubes).
Our Best-Sounding Brass Footers
The weakness in conventional cone footers is that the footer’s top flat surface does not fully drain vibrations from the component resting on it. Why? Because large area, flat surface contact tends to reflect rather than transmit vibration (as mentioned in the speaker section above). Our best-sounding brass footers all have a three-point top, another unique Mapleshade design feature that is a pioneering advance over conventional cone footers. That three-point contact eliminates the unavoidable reflections and micro-rattles between a flat-topped footer and the imperfectly flat bottom of the component it supports. Adding the three points on top yields surprisingly more punch and detail everywhere—from the deep thunder of the tympani to the silvery treble overtones of the triangles.
Micropoint Heavyfeet & Megafeet
For our brass footers, bigger is better—even under light components. More mass means the footer has audibly lower resonances. For gear with flat metal or plastic bottoms, Micropoint Heavyfeet are our best sounding 2" diameter footers. However, our no-holds-barred best are the 3" Micropoint Megafeet, three and a half times as heavy as Heavyfeet. The Megafeet are significantly better sounding than Heavyfeet, equally so under both heavy and lighter weight components. Highly recommended for any high resolution digital components, hard-bottomed turntables and all fine tube gear.
The Micropoint design grew out of our discovery that the shorter and the better-supported the points are, the smaller the tip resonances and thus the sweeter the treble. So, to take advantage of components with hard and flat bottom surfaces, Pierre designed the Micropoint height to be a 1/64”, about 1/12th the height of our original Triplepoint (which was designed with points 3/16" high to support relatively soft wood surfaces and hard corrugated surfaces)--a radical lowering and stiffening that greatly reduces tip resonances. Listening confirms the very audible improvements. The blacker backgrounds improve ambience and sustain. Transients, especially bass transients, are cleaner and more powerful. Treble and midrange are sweeter and less smeared, yielding more beautiful harmonic detail.
Triplepoint Heavyfeet & MegafeetTriplepoint Heavyfeet are our best sounding 2" footers for components with a wood bottom or with a metal bottom with protrusions that exceed the 1/64” height of the Micropoints. Three and a half times as massive as Heavyfeet, the 3" Triplepoint Megafeet are our very best footers for these situations—particularly recommended for wood-bottomed turntables, highly resolving wood cabinet speakers (especially ones with large enclosures) and wood-enclosed electronic components. When used together with our Maple Platforms to form a complete Mapleshade Vibration Control System, the results are remarkable indeed.