After the emotions awaken by the review of the Eliminator we decided to revisit from time to time the topic of fighting vibration. We do not have any obsession about that, or any phobia, we are just too long in the audio business to ignore this topic. In addition, it turns out, that many times, using hardly noticeable accessories, we are able not only to significantly improve the sound of our systems, but also to give some field away to our wives, in terms of listening room arrangement. Because we, together with Jacek, are perfectly aware, how fortunate we are, and how tolerant and patient our “More Beautiful Halves” are, observing the emanations of our hobby, including specialist furniture. Unfortunately some of the population infected with ‘audiophilia nervosa’ must endure more or less painful compromise, resulting in placing owned systems on tables, cabinets and places not really suitable for this task. And let us be frank – regardless of the stage of the voyage to the audio-nirvana we are currently on, there is always something we can improve, better or fine-tune in our system’s sound. To not spend too much money on this kind of “cosmetics”, we should look for … the mentioned accessories. As you know for yourselves, it does not matter how you approach the topic, time will come, when you need to face the topic of anti-vibration gear personally. To make such encounters resemble less a blind date, or searching for a needle in a haystack, and not to lose money on something, we are presenting another proposal from this area, the anti-vibration feet Thixar Silent Feet Basic.
The Thixar Silent Feet Basic are quite heavy and perfectly crafted round feet, supplied in sets of four pieces in elegant, wooden boxes filled with soft foam and the company logo on the outside. Looking at them with the naked eye, you can see, that they are composed of two cylindric parts mounted together, where one, with a rubber ring on the bottom works as the base, while the second (top) one fits inside like a piston. The top part of the piston has threaded mounting holes, allowing to screw the feet in place of the original ones, or, if you do not want to make too many changes to the protected gear, to mount them below the original feet, however I would recommend against the second approach. As you can see on the pictures, for testing we received two from the three available color versions – the TSFB finished in satin matte and polished. The only version missing was black matte, but this can be ordered from the German company. While the color version does not influence the sound, there is something what does, namely when ordering one or more sets of the TFSB, you need to watch out for the weight they will be carrying. We have two options available – “-20” abd “20+”. The first one is designed to handle weights up to 20kg per foot, while the second handles loads between 20 and 60 kilograms, so we can even support devices up to 250 kg in total.
Regarding the construction of the feet it is hard to say anything meaningful, besides the things the manufacturer himself posted on his pages, and there is not a lot of information found there. The only thing we can learn from the very laconic company materials, is the information, that the construction is multi-layered, and the proportions between the individual materials are chosen not only based on the frequencies they are destined to ‘extinguish’, but also to match the load they will work with. But when we dig deeper into the information available in the internet, we can find out a bit more. In some places (amongst others on a sub-page on the company servers, not accessible from the main page, yet still active) we can see the project in a different form. Instead of elegant, metal cylinders, we see the TSF (without the ‘Basic’ addon), which look similar to … blue fried eggs, served on wooden cups with similar shape, with only one difference – instead of white-yellow proteins we have blue-light blue gel slices, asymmetrically placed in the wooden cups. According to what was written, the asymmetrical shapes should eliminate standing waves, while the structure of the gel strips would be limiting vibration. I do not have the slightest idea how this looks now, and as I did not want to make any destructive vivisection, I can only assume, that something was taken over from the early ideas and now it is packed in different materials used for the outer casing. We can take for confirmation of my assumptions, that the feet supplied by Core Trends – the distributor of the brand, had a kind of elasticity, which would lead to think, that between the coaxially placed cylinders a kind of elastomer or other gel damping material was placed.
Although the technical aspects are a tad misty and kept by the manufacturer as a secret, the influence of the Thixar Silent Feet Basic on the sound of the devices placed on them was absolutely and clearly audible and obvious. Even taking into account, that for the needs of almost every review, the changes observed during the listening sessions of described devices and accessories are enlarged and exaggerated by us, obviously, yet this time, you would need to have a serious hearing defect to not hear their influence on the sound. Also having two sets of feet, we could not only verify, how the TSFB fate placed under the sound source, and then under the amplifier, but we could use both at the same time. And immediately I would like to alleviate any concerns, if such full “thixarization” would not cause to much “sugar in sugar”. Nothing like, as the way the German feet work, is not to improve the ideal or the master, but to eliminate external influence and distortion by taking away the element that causes it, in this case, vibration. In short, we could say, we deal here with an effect known already from the Eliminator, but more intensified. While with the “brick” the first impression regarding the volume of the sound generated by our system, especially in the area of lowest notes, we could think, that together with the improvement of control a certain cumulation comes, a condensation of the volume due to the increase of its density, now the volume stayed untouched. Both the size of the stage, as well as the sizes of the virtual sources do not change at all, all the modification, please read as improvement, went into their clarity and stability. A certain kind of vibration – blinking was eliminated, or further eliminated if we already use the brick, using the Thixar feet. Using a certain semantic hyperbole, we could compare that to an increase of refreshing frequency in a CRT screen, what makes things clearer and even long-time usage does not fatigue the eyes … pardon, ears. As the effect of this we see most improvement in the area of resolution – besides the mentioned improvement of the stability of contours and readability of the tissue filling it, the second and third plane events become more palpable, but not by moving them forward and flattening of the stage, but much better insight into the recording and a free, completely unrestricted exploration of the further planes. Let us take for example the album “Afro Bossa” Duke Ellington, where, amongst others, in the pieces “Absinthe” and “Sempre Amore” the climate is made by the percussion, and although it does not come to the first plane, the clearer we can see it, the completer seems the presented picture. Delicate fingering of the bongos, rustling of other instruments, all is clearly visible, but not intrusively, with enough taste, ideally fitting into the whole and being part of the whole. Simply perfect.
But to feel the positive influence of the Thixar, we do not need to limit ourselves to noble jazz or audiophile samplers, as with the heaviest repertoire, to which the “13” from Black Sabbath can easily be included, where the noble, monumental and squeezing us in the chair intro of “God is Dead?” sounds even more brutal and apocalyptical. With the TSFB in the system the whole disc sounds, as if Rick Rubin signed a pact with the Master of Hell, as the voice of Ozzy enchants with incredible and long not heard power and vitality; Tony Iommi paddles his guitar as if he was 20 years old again and creates a beautifully hellish spectacle together with Geezer Butler on the bass. A spectacle, where even a man from outside, meaning Brad Wilk on drums, ideally fitted in the climate. Here, theoretically, should be no place to work out the sounds, enjoy the nuances and audiophile tastes, but if you can implement the tested feet in your systems, please play the “Zeitgeist”, and then, when your delight slightly diminishes, you can take a breath, phone the distributor and finalize the purchase asking for the bill.
The Thixar Silent Feet Basic not only are quite affordable, look very nicely (especially in matte finishes) and in the 20+ version can handle true monsters, but their influence is only positive. Compared to lots of their competition available on the market, they do not model or boost the sound, but only bring us a step closer to what was recorded in the source material. It can be, that in times where sweet artificiality is king, where silicon breasts, collagen and other Botoxes are normal, this approach may seem a bit dated, but you know what, I personally like it much better to be with a beautiful woman, with natural beauty, than with a woman, who is the walking advertisement for a beauty surgeon. This is also the reason, that when I would like to recommend accessories, which will combat the source of trouble, and not mask the problems, I would point your attention to the Silent Feet Basic from Thixar.
P.S. If the topic discussed in the text above was interesting for you, please stay tuned to our page, as we will be publishing shortly our observations from using the Silence Plus Platform, also coming from Thixar.
System used in this test:
– CD/DAC: Accuphase DP-410; Ayon CD-35
– Digital player: laptop Lenovo Z70-80 i7/16GB RAM/240GB SSD + JRiver Media Center 22 + TIDAL HiFi + JPLAY
– Digital source selector: Audio Authority 1177
– Turntable: Kuzma Stabi S + Kuzma Stogi + Shelter 201
– Phonostage: Abyssound ASV-1000
– Integrated amplifier: Electrocompaniet ECI5; Audio Analogue Maestro Anniversary; Constellation Audio Inspiration INTEGRATED 1.0
– Loudspeakers: Gauder Akustik Arcona 80 + spike extenders
– IC RCA: Antipodes Audio Katipo
– IC XLR: LessLoss Anchorwave; Organic Audio; Amare Musica
– Digital IC: Fadel art DigiLitz; Harmonic Technology Cyberlink Copper; Apogee Wyde Eye; Monster Cable Interlink LightSpeed 200
– USB cable: Wireworld Starlight; Goldenote Firenze Silver
– Speaker Cables: Organic Audio; Signal Projects Hydra
– Power Cables: Furutech FP-3TS762 / FI-28R / FI-E38R; Organic Audio Power; Acoustic Zen Gargantua II; Acoustic Zen Twister
– Power distribution board: Furutech e-TP60ER + Furutech FP-3TS762 / Fi-50 NCF(R) /FI-50M NCF(R)
– Wall Socket: Furutech FT-SWS(R)
– Antivibration platform: Franc Audio Accessories Wood Block Slim Platform; Thixar Silence Plus
– Ethernet cables: Neyton CAT7+
– Table: Rogoz Audio 4SM3
– Accessories: Sevenrods Dust-caps; Furutech CF-080 Damping Ring; Albat Revolution Loudspeaker Chips
From my personal experience, gained during many visits at befriended audiophiles, I am inclined to tell, that the need to separate audio systems from external vibration is very important for them. Yes, each of the mentioned hosts fight vibration based on his abilities, either financial, or negotiative, when they need to negotiate everything with their wives, but for sure, there are at least two different ways of fighting vibration from the surrounding world. Of course, when we dig deeper into the topic, we can find a vast amount of tricks solving the problem, but I think, that the two main ways are decoupling and adding mass to the devices. So I would like to invite you to read a few paragraphs about products from the German brand Thixar, which, caring for our good perception of music, prepared a few products and placed them in their catalog. Due to the fact, that our western neighbors recently proposed us a “brick”, Thixar Eliminator , a polished steel device to increase the mass of the device used on, this time we received an isolating product, in the form of anti-vibration feet called “Thixar Silent Feet Basic”. On a final note, the tested devices were supplied by the Lodz based Core Trends.
The tested anti-vibration set is quite simple visually, as it consists of two cylinders, connected in an elastic way. However trying to learn more about the construction form the point of view of the used components shows, that things are not as easy as they might seem. There are a few issues to be solved. One of them is the choice of appropriate thickness of the top and bottom plates, working with the table and the device placed on it. The second is the material used for the construction. The third, and probably the biggest one, is the efficiency of the isolation, what means appropriate usage of elastic elements. Simple? Simple. But I assure you, the devil is in the details. When you will look at the pictures attached to this text, it will turn out, that the manufacturer proposes three different finishes, to match the desires of the clients (our audio gear is our shrine), so the feet are available in grey matte, polished steel and black matte (we did not receive the last version). So you can choose whatever suits you best. The last sign of a certain exclusivity is – please remember, that we tend to resolve the issue of vibration once we reach the sonic abilities of our system we desire, and the accessories are treated like jewelry – the wooden box, which holds the set of the feet.
So what do the tested devices to the sound? At the beginning I will note, that my observations are directed towards people, who are trying to master fighting vibration, and not for the die-hard opponents – unfortunately due to the fact, that they do not try to test this for themselves, there is still a lot of them around. After application in the audio system the Thixar feet interestingly make the sound heavier. But not by strangling it, but due to making the world more colorful. Why am I saying so? This comes from only symbolic touching of the treble, and them not being degraded, what sometimes carries the name of musicality. In this case, with a balanced additional dose of saturation in the midrange and bass, the upper registers combine the sound into one, coherent sonic idea, limiting themselves to bringing some quietness there. Things happening on the virtual sound stage are still vital, but with a slightly sweetened aesthetics. This is always perceived as something pleasant, and even with me, where I do not need such additional artefacts (as I have them in the original package), such presentation was very interesting, and from experience I know, that many systems just wait for something like that. And please do not say it is not like that, as negating such way of presenting the world, you really need to be focused on speed in sound, on the borderline of analytical sounding. The Silent Feet Basic are the last element in the puzzle, so I will not be not pointing out with my finger, how they fare with individual recordings, but I will just notice, that regardless of the genre played, they introduced something interesting into the virtual event playing out in my listening room. What does this magical “something” mean? One time it helped anorectic music gain on timbre. Another time a theoretically balanced world was shown in the beloved colors of the Polish golden autumn. But one thing I can say for sure, in my, already very dense system, I have never felt any mudding of the sound. This was a very balanced move of the saturation of the sound one notch up and nothing else. So only a test in person can tell you, if you should use the Thixar feet or not. There is no other way.
As it usually happens, the topic of vibration and their elimination should slightly quiet, but not mud the sound generated by our system. This was the way the manufacturer from Germany was following. And after this test, I must say, that in the vast amount of devices on the market, which do not really help, but in fact murder the sound, the products from Germany stand out, their designers made a good job. They did turn up the button of color, mass and sweetness, but in a very noble way, what was clearly shown by our reference system, which is very sensitive to any superfluous actions.
Distributor: CORE trends
Silent Feet Basic P (Polished stainless steel): 2 015 PLN
Silent Feet Basic M (tainless steel mat): 1 603 PLN
Silent Feet Basic M Bl (black mat): 1 832 PLN
Diameter: 50 mm
Height: 24 mm
Model/Max. load (set of 4): -20 (0-20 kg), 20+ (2-60 kg)
System used in this test:
– CD: ReimyoCDT – 777 + ReimyoDAP – 999 EX Limited
– Preamplifier: Robert Koda Takumi K-15
– Power amplifier: Reimyo KAP – 777
– Loudspeakers: TRENNER & FRIEDL “ISIS”
– Speaker Cables: TRELLURIUM Q Silver Diamond
– IC XLR: TELLURIUM Q Silver Diamond
– Digital IC: Harmonix HS 102
– Power cables: Harmonix X-DC 350M2R Improved Version, X-DC SM Milion Maestro, Furutech NanoFlux – NCF
– Table: SOLID BASE VI
– Accessories: Harmonix Beauty Tone Milion Maestro, Harmonix TU 505EX MK II, Stillpoints „ULTRA SS”, Stillpoints ”ULTRA MINI”; antivibration platform by SOLID TECH; Harmonix AC Enacom Improved for 100-240V; Harmonix Room Tuning Mini Disk RFA-80i
– Power distribution board: POWER BASE HIGH END
Drive: SME 30/2
Arm: SME V
Cartridge: MIYAJIMA MADAKE
Phonostage: RCM THERIAA