The Ultimate Enhancement

We considered designing a height adjustable footer for turntables the ultimate challenge.  Executing this design ultimately led us back to our proving grounds for a footer requiring the ultimate in vibration mitigation; our Center Stage LS series footers for loudspeakers.

Critical Mass Systems TT Footer

Loudspeakers are powerful machines whose function is to vibrate.  Transferring mechanical energy out of a resonating enclosure without affecting the performance of the loudspeaker is no small challenge.  But by building on our previous success with loudspeaker footers, we developed a new form of excellence for you in the height-adjustable Center StageUltra TT footers for turntables.


Diameter: 2”

Height: just over 1” with a height adjustment between 1.5” and 1.75″ (50.8mm x 41mm to 45mm) +/- 5 microns

Weight: 7 ounces / 200 grams (There is no weight limit)

Adapters are available.


My daughter-in-law, Ewa, visited recently. She made an off-the-cuff comment I found to-the-point and worthwhile passing along.  Ewa is a Ph.D. Electrical Engineer as is my son, Justin.  Justin’s field of expertise is photonics.  Ewa’s field of expertise is making the lasers that create the photons. You don’t want to play poker for money with these two.

Ewa asked me what I was working on and before I could finish explaining she said, “Oh, this is very interesting.  We have many problems with the power units we use with lasers.  They tend to vibrate like crazy and calming them down can create measurable output issues.  So, what you are trying to do is find the perfect balance point between not too much and not too little energy transmission; the sweet spot.  You need the perfect balance point between push and pull.  If you push too hard, the sound will become too brittle and if you pull too much, the sound will become too soft.  Is that it?“   Yes, that was it.

Ewa stripped the complexity out of the problem (as brilliant people tend to do) and simply and clearly described the ultimate challenge; avoid over-damping and under-damping the turntable to find the “Sweet Spot”, as she called it.

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.