Stillpoints ultra mini position under DS Dac


#1

Finally bought a set of 3 Stillpoints Ultra Minis with bases. Thought I would ask other users of the Ultra Mini footers what they have found to be the best position for the footers under the DS Dac. Have read the Ultra Mini footers can be finicky. Not knowing exactly what works best, I put one under the large transformer coil, about 5" back of front and about 3" in from right side. Then I put one in the middle about 1" in from the back side and the 3rd is placed on the left about 5" back from front and about 2" in from left side. Would appreciate any information from more experienced Ultra Mini footer users as to what you have found to be the best positions under the DS Dac.


#2

I have Ultra Fives (4) in probably the same or close to same position in the front. The rear two are about an inch or so inboard and a few inches in from the sides and it sounds sublime.

You just need to experiment with placement if you have the urge that maybe you’re not getting the best out of your minis.

Placement of 4 Ultra Fives under my DMP is about the same except the front left one is directly under the drive unit.

I urge you to obtain a fourth mini at some point as there is a noticeable improvement over three Stillpoints even if you had Ultra SS the Fives or Sixes.

Enjoy! Keep going. The more you float your system the more improvements you’ll hear especially under your speakers.


#3
oddeophile said I urge you to obtain a fourth mini at some point as there is a noticeable improvement over three Stillpoints even if you had Ultra SS the Fives or Sixes.
Very interesting. I have always liked a tripod approach and have never tried four, but admittedly for no particular reason. Thanks for the suggestion.

#4

The problem with using 4 SP is that everything needs to be exact level to not unbalance the apparatus. When using 3 SP such an unbalance will never create a problem.


#5

Indeed. Three legs are inherently stable.


#6

Correct. Except using Stillpoints bases they are adjustable. On any reasonable audiophile shelf/rack I’ve never seen an issue. There is quite a noticeable difference adding the fourth Stillpoint.

Shocking I know.


#7

Adjustment features clearly helps.


#8

I agree re: three vs. four. Though I don’t actually use Stillpoints. I’ve found two very good isolation components: VooDoo Cable Iso-Pods, and Herbie’s Audio Lab Iso-Cups. And with each adding a fourth was a decided improvement! (And I can achieve leveling using the PS Audio PowerBases).

At the moment i have the Iso-Pods under all my components in my main system, though in the past I have used the Iso-Cups throughout and they work admirably, and they also have different “balls” that can be used which DO influence the final sound and can help with “fine tuning.”


#9

Thank you oddeophile and others for your responses to my question and for the information provided. Have already ordered the 4th riser. Should have ordered it the first time.


#10

Please report back after you have had a chance to experiment. Given how they work, it makes sense more would be better.


#11

Hi I agree with Elk. It helps to hear everyone’s differing thoughts. You’re very welcome indeed! The reason these wonderful forums exist. An exchange of thoughts, ideas and questions/answers. Everyone has limits if varying degrees especially finances. Three as you’ve found is superb still. I hope I didn’t make you feel you have got to buy it. In restrospect I feel badly for that. I did not take into account financial limitations if any. An example is my current condition financially due to my disability. I can’t afford anything new for my system. Lucky I bought everything quite some time ago none of which I could do now. In fact I had to sell my Ultra Fives that were under my power plants (total 8 Ultra Fives) this past several months to pay for home expenses. There was a dramatic reduction in my systems musicality arising from that elimination. It’s taken me months to be able to listen around that loss to reappreciate the sonic presentation I still receive. Enjoy.


#12
oddeophile said I hope I didn't make you feel you have got to buy it.
Please do not ever worry about this. You are sharing great information and opinions. It is our job to synthesize and decide what may work best for us individually.

#13

Received the 4th Stillpoints Ultra Mini today. Listened without the 4th, then inserted the 4th and it definitely made a positive difference. The piano high notes, which sounded to sharp, were smoother and cleaner sounding. And the string bass notes were tighter and clearer sounding also. Midrange about the same. It is a keeper. Going to enjoy the Ultra mini risers for a long time. Thanks for the advice oddeophile.


#14

Of course my immediate question is whether five would be that much better. :slight_smile:


#15

My experience is, which feet are best for a setup, changes from time to time, depending if one damps bass better by room treatments, depending on changing equipment, cabling etc.

Personally, after quite some experiments with different feet, I’m just using very sophisticated ones for the record player. Important seems to be that resonances are drained off very quickly but also this energy should be crushed out immediately, subsequently in a controlled and calculated/measured way within the feet in both directions. Most feet just drain off to the base, which isn’t exactly doing what it should with this energy.

For all other components and speakers/sub, after using various cones together with resonance killing counterparts, I lately took Jim Smiths advice and bought several gliders/isolation devices from Herbies audio lab, because they were what I always looked for and not expensive.

IMO all kinds of spikes or cones, especially when used without counterpart, help when equipment/room still has not the cleanest bass performance and/or not the very best dynamics. The better and more revealing and accurate a setup/room gets, the more those devices show a certain peak (higher region) and extinction (lower region) behavior and those which isolate and kill resonances effectively produce a clearly more natural sound and body.


#16

I totally agree with your comments jazznut. And would appreciate it if you would share more about the “several gliders/isolation devices from Herbies Audio lab” that you are using, especially under components like the DAC, preamp, cd player and/or media server, power conditioner, etc. And would you also mention the platform under the footers. I have found that the platform also affects the SQ. I am using Herbies cone/spike decoupling gliders under my speakers and the giant decoupling gliders under the rack. Also have tried grungebuster dots between rack and maple blocks with mixed positive results.

As an interesting side note, I had a set of 4 Nordost Quasar Points, the original version, under my P3 power regenerator. They are made of aluminum with a 1/4" steel ball between the top and bottom halves. Before I bought the Stillpoints Ultra Mini, I replaced the Nordost steel ball with a 1/4" ceramic ball. It made enough of a positive difference in the SQ that I made the decision to go for the Ultra Minis. Beginning to really like what the ceramic ball does to the sound.

Hope you will share your experiences with Herbies products under you components as well as information about the platforms under your components.


#17

I use Herbie’s Audio Lab Iso-Cups with Deep Moss Quartz balls (those are no longer available) under my speakers, work really well for me.

http://herbiesaudiolab.net/special.htm

I have also used Ingress Audio Engineering Rollerblocks which may be very much like the Nordost aluminum ones in concept and build, but I haven’t liked these under components as much as the VooDoo Cable Iso-Pods I use or under speakers as much as the Herbie’s Iso-Cups.

http://www.ingress-engineering.ca


#18
Cory said ... Hope you will share your experiences with Herbies products under you components as well as information about the platforms under your components.
First: I don't make a science out of most of this, I'm still using stock rubber feet under the power supply of my preamp on the floor, LP motor drive, drive electronics unit and drive power supply unit, power cable distributor etc. I.e. I use home made cable stands just to keep power cable from my active speakers in enough distance to the signal cable.

Im using the giant fat gliders under speakers and sub as well as the soft fat dots under preamp and DAC. Although I’m using heavy schist platforms under my equipment, when using soft isolators,IMO just the stability plays a major role, not so much the structure of the material (except under the turntable). Different when using spikes or cones directly on the base.

Im generally too lazy to evaluate feet under electronics deeply, but under speakers and sub the giant fat gliders outbalanced some peaks/dips in bass and mids nicely in my case without taking away dynamics. I also bought a turntable mat and tube dampers from Herbie’s, put all that stuff in and was happy with the results, namably also with the mat, which also flattened slight peaks/dips.

Besides under Speakers and sub, the only place where I made quite some experiments was especially under the turntable, because there was biggest impact. That’s where I use the devices which alone do all the work of feet and resonance killing base. Additionally all this sits on another thick and heavy isolated schist platform.

By far the best were these different feet on the picture, which are too bulky to use on electronic components for my taste and too unpractical under speakers while positioning, even if it probably would be the best solution in all cases. But as I said I count the level of improvement under electronics as limited and I’m lazy in finding out tiny sound differences.

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#19

Thank you jazznut for your response regarding your experiences with Herbies Audio Lab products in your system. But I can’t help but ask where you found the schist platforms? Very interesting platform. And are you using tube dampers on the output tubes? I am using an AR VS115 amp that comes with tube dampers on the smaller 6H30 tubes but no dampers on the KT120 output tubes. Just wondering if tube dampers on the KT120s would be an improvement?

In your use of the soft fat dots under the preamp and DAC, since the dots are low profile did you remove the component feet or add something between the dots and the platform to raise the height of the dots? Again, thanks for sharing your system isolation information.


#20

The schist platforms are specifically made at a larger supplier for stone material, they are not from an audio manufacturer. I use 4 cm thickness for electronics and 6cm for the turntable, all in roughly 45x55cm size, which is really a heavy platform one can hardly carry alone…but it’s dead like hell and looks nice.

The tube dampers I use on all 5 tubes of my preamp (3 for linestage, 2 for phono), but as it’s a hybrid amp I think all are input tubes, but I’m no expert.

The soft fat dots I use without the stock equipment feet, it’s still 6mm space to the bases, so no problem.

I think probably no one of us is sure if coupling or decoupling makes most sense with electronics, and futhermore as i.e. my preamp has an outboard power supply which means there’s no resonance of a transformer to drain off anyway, my opinion is that isolation in both directions might be the most meaningful strategy anyway. In case of a large power amp transformer inside the electronics housing, generating some vibration, or a less solid housing that takes over air vibration, coupling could make sense if the platform is really able to kill the resonances. Decoupling with cones never had much logic to me, but that’s possibly just my own limitation of proper knowledge.

So what I did with the turntable…isolating a heavy schist base from the rack, then using the feet between turntable and base, which drain off resonances from both sides to a resonance killing interlayer is best I could do.

I once tried the electronically regulated silencer platform, coming from isolating electron microscopes, for some time, but it was technological overkill in my eyes for my demand.

So if your perfectionist, take this :wink:

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