The Ultimate Enhancement

Critical Mass Systems, Inc. is proud to announce the launch of the Center StageUltra TD footer made for tape decks.  You know that tape decks are motorized devices that function using constantly turning spindles powered by internal motors whose vibrations cause tape decks to be in a state of elevated internal resonance.  Transferring mechanical energy out of the resonating enclosure without affecting the performance of the tape deck playback mechanisms was accomplished by building upon what we learned from executing the height-adjustable Center StageUltra TT footers for turntables.  We eliminated the height-adjustment features and recalibrated the damping materials to account for the reduced mass of the foot.

Critical Mass Systems TD Footer

Make no mistake, the Center StageUltra TD foot is just as finely tuned as its bigger brother.  It delivers clearly audible excellence under tape decks with the same 30+ damping touch points of varying dimension built in. The benefits of the height-adjustable Center StageUltra TD footer transfer to electronic components too.


Diameter: 2”

Height: just over 1” (50.8mm x 27mm) +/- 5 microns

Weight: 5.3 ounces / 150 grams (There is no weight limit)

Adapters are available.


We named these two footers “Ultra” for a reason.  In both, the damping “sweet spot” achieved using 30+ touch points is so finely tuned, so accurate, so perfect for the weight, dimension and materials used to fabricate the foot that placing 1 set of either under your front end component is, well, amazing.

Amazing means an unexpected expansion of the soundstage in width, height, depth and image definition.  Expect improvements in vocal expression and realism, and instrumental timber, separation and weight.  Expect to hear new musical details previously obscured by an elevated noise floor. Expect greatly improved front-to-back layering and image stability.  The bottom line: Expect your system to bring you closer to the original real event as it was originally recorded.

What to expect during settle in

The settling in period is generally 7 to 10 days, but it can be longer. Because Center Stage2M will dramatically change the current electromechanical equilibrium of your components, you should expect your system to temporarily degrade at the outset. This is perfectly normal. Your soundstage will then begin to reconstruct itself by gently tipping upward and downward as it establishes a new and better equilibrium point.

In the end stage, the oscillations will become ultrafine and be largely experienced in the high frequencies. They will be barely perceptible unless you really focus. It is extremely important to let the system play for at least 14 days before assuming it has reached equilibrium. Playing a system 24/7 is not always necessary, but the more playing time the better. Think of it like running in a brand-new component. Run in time is normal.

Your end of the Bargain, or Making the Experience Better

Center Stage2 is good for beginners and advanced listeners, so long as you exercise extreme patience during the settling period. Sonic fluctuations you may experience during the settling period will subside as time passes. Here’s what you need:

  • Components crafted by a known and reliable manufacturer. Your components do not need to be among the “most expensive” or the purported “best” in the world. You will experience excellent results with low cost components. A host of components were used to design Center Stage2M, some of them very low cost. This was done to assure consistency of performance. It is certainly true, however, that the better your components, the better your results.
  • Neutral wiring crafted by a known and reliable manufacturer. Some wiring is a “tone control”. Tone control wiring is not necessary. The more invisible your wire, the less it makes its presence known in your system, the better your results.
  • A Clean Circuit. It is critically important to make sure that “cheap” power supplies from computers, screens, servers and most turntables etc. are plugged into a circuit separate from the circuit servicing your main components. The dirt from these low-end plug-ins will contaminate your signal. You may not have heard it before, but you will certainly hear it with Center Stage2M.
  • Stable rack(s) and/or stand(s). Home furnishings are fine. Center Stage2M was vetted on various flat wooden surfaces with Janka ratings of 1200 and higher equating to an elastic modulus of 4 GPa or greater. This means that virtually any flat surface will net tremendous results. Having said this, the better the surface with respect to its associated and/or inherent technological properties, the better the results. The results on CMS racks is superlative.
  • Proper loudspeaker set up. This is essential. Center Stage2M was designed to be most effective in 2-channel stereo system listening rooms with conventional loudspeakers of appropriate size and design for the room, and with seating positions reasonable and appropriate for the loudspeaker and room dimensions.
  • When you put Center Stage in, pull every tweak out. Center Stage2M will take about 7 to 10 days to settle. Be slow, careful and cautious about adding any other device(s) back into your system. Adding Center Stage under more of your components is the only means to realizing the full “Total Immersion Effect” so highly valued in high end audio.