The Ultimate Enhancement

Critical Mass Systems is proud to announce the launch of the Center StageUltra TD footer made for electronic components.  Critical Mass Systems is strictly focused on the principles of thermodynamics applicable to High End Audio. High End audio presents a range of challenges wider than those found in any other industry where vibration is a barrier to performance.  Our mission is to suspend disbelief, meaning; to provide the means to which electronics can make reality come out of your loudspeakers.


After Reviewing our approach laid out in the Approach section, you now understand that there is no such thing as isolation in a listening room because sound is vibration and sound is everywhere in a listening room.  Given that vibration is present on all sides of a component, you cannot build a vibration firewall in a listening room and there is no such thing as a vibration diode in a listening room.  Furthermore, electrical systems resonate internally. Mass stores energy. The misinformed are kept unaware that a vacuum is the only thing that can stop vibration and, there is no naturally occurring vacuum in the universe.  You can’t solve a problem until you understand the problem. The problem is that vibration is everywhere in a listening room and you can’t stop it.


Diameter: 2”

Height: just over 1” (51mm x 25mm) +/- 5 microns

Weight: 6 ounces / 150 grams. There is no weight limit

We named this footer “Ultra” for a reason.  In the Ultra Series, 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 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 Stage Ultra 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 as it establishes a new and better equilibrium point.

In the end stage, the settling changes will become ultrafine and be largely experienced in the high frequencies. They will be barely perceptible unless you really focus and then variances will disappear altogether. 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 necessary, but the more playing time the better. Think of it like breaking in a brand-new component where break-in time is normal.

Your end of the Bargain, or Making the Experience Better

Center Stage Ultra 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 Stage Ultra, 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 Stage Ultra.
  • Stable rack(s) and/or stand(s). Home furnishings are fine. Center Stage Ultra 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 Stage Ultra 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 Ultra in, pull every tweak out. Center Stage Ultra 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 Ultra under more of your components is the only means to realizing the full “Total Immersion Effect” so highly valued in high end audio.