Mapleshade

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Free Audio Upgrades

Far Better Mountings Under (and Over) Components

• Speakers on stands or shelves MUST use feet, but never soft ones: eliminate rubber/plastic feet, Blu-Tac, Sorbothane, etc. For firmer bass plus clearer mids and treble, try speakers and stands on three hardware store wood plugs or buttons. See our brass footers to get two to three times the effect.

• Ditto for all CD players, amps, power supplies, etc. Nothing sounds worse than factory rubber feet. If the wood buttons aren’t high enough, try three small wood blocks (¾” or so), to raise components off their rubber/plastic feet. You’ll hear an instant bass-to-treble upgrade. Of course, stacking components is the worst of all worlds: you’re failing to drain vibrations and forcing the components to share vibes.

• Never mount components directly on glass, marble, granite, tile, metal, plastic or concrete shelves (or floors). All these materials add harsh treble resonances and kill bass. Any solid wood shelf (not MDF or plywood) replacement sounds way better—the thicker the better, but do NOT glue two pieces together to increase thickness. If you need to keep your original poor-sounding shelves, cure their bad sound with a thick wood platform mounted on our IsoBlocks. To understand the underlying physics and experiments--and the resulting optimum vibration mounting system, click here.

• Adding weights on top of components is much more effective after you've replaced rubber or plastic (or no) feet with wood buttons.

• Too much weight, wrong placement, or wrong materials seriously degrade potential improvements. Don't use lead, sand, concrete, brick, stone, corian or damped laminates. Of course, brass is still best; next iron, then wood.

• The right way to add weight is one (or 1/2) pound at a time. Listen, then add one weight ore. Eventually, one more will deaden everything. Remove the last weight, then move the weights around to find the sweet spots.

• Removing the metal covers of electronics enclosures leads to large, sometimes HUGE, sonic improvements in 98% of components: amps (a must-hear for big solid state amps), preamps, CD players, power supplies, processors, etc. The dramatic improvement is due to a) elimination of cover resonances and b) even more important, elimination of major eddy current losses generated in the cover by the big leakage fields of the component’s power transformer. Once the metal cover is off, improve the sound further with weights on top of transformers and/or on top of any wood cover you may use to replace the metal cover (wood covers cause essentially no degradation).