1. Footers work best on wood, plywood or MDF surfaces. They still give well worthwhile sonic improvements on concrete, granite or tile. On glass shelves, you will hear the strong high frequency resonance of glass reflected back into the footer, that is, you will hear excessive treble brightness.
2. To use brass footers on glass shelves, you need to use our complete Vibration Control System (i.e. a 2" or 4" maple platform mounted on Isoblocks between the component footer and glass shelf.) The same approach will seriously improve the effectiveness of footers on concrete, granite, tile, and relatively flimsy wood/plywood/MDF shelves.
3. If you use three footers under a component, they do not need height adjustment.
4. For initial placement of unattached footers, always put footers under the most rigid parts of the chassis. For speakers, this means the outer corner or a cabinet edge. For electronics, this means next to the existing factory feet or the case edge. (After your initial trial installation, unscrewing or ungluing the factory feet is a good idea to make more room for properly positioning the footers.)
5. Unattached footers should be set-up in triangular pattern under the component, like it is being mounted on a tripod. Start by putting the first footer under the lightest side of the component (left, right, front or back) close to the edge of the frame and on center. Normally this is the edge furthest away from the transformers or the speaker magnets). The other two footers go under each corner of the opposite heavier side.
6. After mounting, always look under the component to make sure each footer's top surface (or three point top) are not contacting a screw-head, a ridge, or a hole. Double check by lightly rocking the component to make sure there is no 'footer wobble' (wobbling degrades effectiveness). If there is wobble, one of the footers is not seated flat. TIP: gently twist the troublesome footer back and forth about a tenth of a turn to get it to seat flat.
7. If you have trouble getting the footers to sit flat under the component, start by installing them upside down. Especially under gear with irregular bottom plates, it is sometimes easiest to initially mount the component with the footers inverted so they won't tip as you refine and optimize the positioning of each one . Once they are positioned so the weight of the component is distributed equally across all three footers, gentle flip each footer into its correct position one at a time. Start with the footers under the heaviest side. If needed, you can leave one footer inverted with very slight effect on the sound.
8. We recommend final tweaking of footer position by moving each footer an inch or two from its initial position and listening for possible improvement.
9. Under speakers with pre-existing threaded inserts for spikes: make sure the thread-on footer is not seated up against the metal insert instead of up against the actual wood base.
10. If you need to prevent sharp points from marring furniture or floors, use our radiused footers. This will degrade sound far less than using pennies, wood, brass, or lead discs under the point. Any such flat-bottomed “protector” will degrade the footer's performance by at least 50%.
11. For footers used directly on carpet to work, their point must firmly contact the solid floor under the carpet and padding. If necessary, stomp on them, hammer them or first hammer a thick nail through the carpet to allow them to penetrate through to the floor.
12. Footer effectiveness is almost always improved by adding our brass Heavyhats on top of the component. If you're having trouble with footer stability under light components, the Heavyhats will improve both stability and sound quality. Brass weights sound better than weights of lead, iron, bricks, stone or sand; that’s why we offer our Heavyhat brass weights. Weights sound significantly better if supported on three 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 the second weight.
13. If you are installing four unattached 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 or too-short footer causes seriously audible sonic degradation. Take the loose footer and superglue three small shims evenly spaced around the outer circumference of the footer's top. For shims, use three of the smallest possible brass washers or small brass nuts for thicker shims or tiny squares cut out of the right thickness of brass shim stock. If you haven't added enough height, double up the shims or use thicker ones. Add enough shim height so that the loose footer now feels just as firm against the floor or shelf as the remaining three. Note that the three-small-shim approach sounds much better than using a single big flat washer to fit the footer's central screw.
14. If you are installing four thread-on footers, unscrew the short footer until it is the right height. Insert three little shims into the gap above the loose footer at three equally spaced points around the outside circumference of the footer’s top. As in 11), use as shims three of the smallest possible brass washers or small brass nuts or tiny shim stock squares. Then tighten the footer just enough to lock in the shims. If the shims don't firmly fill the gap, double up on the shims (the stacked shims can be superglued together) and repeat. The shim thickness must fit into the gap tightly enough that the loose footer now feels just as firm against the floor or shelf as the remaining three. For threaded footers, the three-point shimmed footer sounds better than a footer that is simply unscrewed and thus supported only by the threads of the adjusting screw.
15. To at least double the sonic improvement you get with just footers, we strongly recommend upgrading to our complete Vibration Control System by adding one of our Maple Platforms with correcting mounting for the shelf or floor it is mounted to. Users report that our VCS sounds better than $3500 air suspension platforms or $8500 active suspension systems.