‘The two sets of Apex Component Couplers have already taken my listening to a new level, exceeding my expectation …’ – More
Chosen by hifi+ magazine as ‘Accessory of the year’ December ’21
Most audiophiles know something about “microphony”, that equipment can be affected by vibration from the floor. But don’t the manufacturers’ rubber feet provide isolation?Well, actually they don’t at all frequencies and anyway isolation is only part of the story for equipment to work well and deliver its potential.
Andrew in Bristol has a high end Meridian system but adding some Couplers under components:– ‘Added clarity, agility and punch to every part of the music. In practice, there were timing benefits, tightening of percussion/ drums, far better definition of vocals, more of instrument characteristics, tighter bass, leading edge and trailing edges of notes better defined, whilst also revealing previously masked minutiae in the music’.
If you then experiment with cones of different materials under the equipment – steel, brass, wood, ceramic – they all sound different. Are any right?! And, of course, glass shelves in a rack sound … glassy, adding a hard edge to the sound.
It’s a recipe for deep uncertainty and long-term misery if you experiment mixing and matching the sounds of components unless you first lay a neutral foundation that doesn’t impose its character. Imagine trying to choose a room colour scheme when you’re wearing tinted glasses.
Vibration and microphony
The big problem is that equipment generates its own vibration – internally. Villains are power transformers and loudspeakers that distribute vibration effectively throughout the system via the metal connecting cables. So, isolating components the traditional way, just from floor vibration, actually traps system-generated vibration inside the components where it does a lot of damage because it can’t escape.
What we really need is the right combination of draining energy from the components and also isolating them from external sources of vibration.
The Apex supports from Quiescent are amazingly effective at both isolating and also draining energy from component casework into their own internal labyrinths where the energy is dissipated. We strongly advise their use under any source components – turntables, CD players, streamers – and especially the preamp, at the heart of the system. After that look at any power supplies and microphonic valve equipment.
Use the 40mm high Couplers in racks where headroom is limited but wherever possible move up to the 50mm sets that have twice the absorption. We recommend you consider the 60mm versions that offer 3.4 times the absorption of the small ones for high energy components such as amplifiers. Remember they are vulnerable to the vibration fed back from the loudspeakers.
We think of the supplied standard equipment feet as suitable for nothing more than protecting the furniture.