Isolation: the process or fact of isolating or being isolated
Stillpoints have been instrumental in helping me unlock more performance and music from customers systems over the past couple of years, they rarely disappoint and they can completely transform the way a system can perform. They don’t manipulate the presentation but simply allow you to hear your system perform to the very best of its abilities, getting the best out of what you have already paid for!
All of the components that make up a system, the speakers, amplification, sources and power distribution all create unwanted mechanical noise and vibrations that rattle around inside the casework of your electronics and loudspeaker cabinets. These vibrations and energy can be very small in some cases, but it can be enough to veil and disrupt what a system is trying to musically communicate.
By placing some Stillpoints under the components in your system and bypassing those soft rubber feet and metal spikes you are effectively giving that bad energy somewhere to go. The ‘technology pockets’ within the Stillpoints are made from multiple layers of ceramic ball bearings and they trap and dissipate this energy within and effectively lower the noise floor and subsequently lift the veil.
What do they do?
The Stillpoints raison d’être is to remove excess mechanical energy. When a system is correctly ‘floated’ Stillpoints increase the transparency and resolution of whatever you use them with and they really do work incredibly well, it is quite unusual for their impact to be anything other than instant and the vast majority of people who try them end up putting some in their system. They give your music more immediacy, space and air and give you an uplift in clarity and resolution.
Build quality is of the highest standard with the name laser etched into all of their products. All of the stainless steel has been especially selected for the job in hand and every piece has been cryogenically frozen in the factory.
Technically they could be called resonance control filters. Inside the Stillpoints are a number of technology pockets containing ceramic ball bearings and steel races; these are designed to offer absolutely minimal contact with one another effectively “floating” the component they sit underneath. The number of pockets varies from component to component and the performance on offer changes as you move up the range.
What they can do to the performance of a system is nothing short of incredible; as outlined above, they increase resolution and textures enabling you to hear multiple musical layers and subtle nuances and textures that previously were just congested together as one or not even audible.
One brilliant example is the opening track to the fantastic album ‘Diamond Mine’ by King Creosote & John Hopkins called ‘First Watch’ which is a field recording set in a busy cafe.
On most systems you can hear the background noise as one, the clinking of china cups and the voice of people working in the cafe, but once a system is floated what you hear is so much more. There are various conversations taking place which you can now hear that previously just disappeared into the background.
By the way it’s a superb album and I one I would highly recommend, a very powerful and emotional recording!
There is an extensive range of Stillpoints available, with 6 primary models, a brilliant acoustic wall panel, bases, threaded adapters and a wonderful device for turntable lovers! Plus of course the highly coveted equipment stand.
Ultra Mini £399 for 3 or £499 for 4
Ultra SS £699 for 3 or £920 for 4
Ultra 2 £440 each including an Ultra Base
Ultra LPI £569
Ultra 5 £679 each
Ultra 6 £899 each including an Ultra Base
Ultra 7 £1249 each (£1349 for the Avalon Ultra 7)
Aperture II Acoustic Wall Panel £849.00
The Ultra SS and Ultra 5 can be used under both electronics and loudspeakers, the Ultra 7 can only be used under loudspeakers. The Ultra Mini, Ultra 2 and Ultra 6 are for electronics only. The Ultra LPI is a turntable weight.
Where do I start? What do I Stillpoint first?
Good question and a very important one.
Not everyone is in a position to purchase enough Stillpoints to float a pre-amp, power amp, streamer, DAC and speakers in one go. Most of my customers will go one component at a time (or 2) so they can spread the outlay over a sensible length of time and really appreciate what they do to the sound each step of the way.
Putting some Stillpoints under a power conditioner or strip can also be incredible effective, it raises eyebrows, but it really works.
An entire system which is ‘floated’ can be quite an experience and depending on your budget, taste and budget in many respects you would better floating the whole system on a smaller Stillpoints as opposed to throwing all the budget on a ‘better’ Stillpoints but only every floating one device. As to which device you Stillpoint first there is no right or wrong – every system is different.
What your system sits on also has an impact, larger than most people realise, glass shelves and metal framed equipment stands are bad with lots of ringing and energy transference from the stand/glass back into the components, so starting there makes a lot of sense. Generally wood furniture is less bad.
That said, in most scenarios starting with the loudspeakers will give the biggest benefits, after all, the speaker is moving lots of air, creating energy and the speaker (and its cabinet and its interaction with the room) is what gives you the open window to how you hear your system.
With the correct threaded adapters, bases, some patience and experience the effect they can have is truly exceptional. If you are using stand-mount speakers they should go between the stand and the speaker, NOT underneath the stand. We want the technology pockets to be as close to the speaker as possible! You’ll hear less of the speaker, a lot less of the cabinet and a huge increase to the amount of music you can hear as a result. Obviously with a pair of floor-standers they simply replace the spikes.
I must stress Stillpoints do not have a sound of their own they simply show you what you system is really doing, one customer described them to me a being a bit like an honesty filter. If you don’t like what they do, it’s not the Stillpoints, they are simply showing you your system perform unveiled and honestly.
Stillpoints cannot transform a fundamentally poor system and in some systems more resolution doesn’t help, you cannot make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear ultimately, but if your system is in a good place and is well balanced the addition of Stillpoints is almost always positive.
Having a proper demonstration in the comfort of your own home with your own system is the only way to experience Stillpoints.