Another review of the Gaia loudspeaker feet in a completely different set-up by Mr Underhill.
A couple of years ago I was wrestling with a system that sounded good most of the time, less than optimal some of the time and execrable occasionally. If you have invested time on any of my reviews then you will have a feel for those tracks that I label ‘problems’, those are the tracks that made me cringe when played on my then system.
In the event I found layers of issues, which included: Grounding; Power; Room acoustics; and, more latterly I suspect there was a slight mismatch between my push-pull EAR534 and my Focal 1008be beryllium tweeters. Whilst working my way through this list the way I was supporting my speakers bubbled into my thoughts
In the late ‘70s the pervasive wisdom was to spike your speakers and place each spike into a Philips screw head judiciously positioned. I won’t enter into the debate about whether this is coupling or decoupling the speakers, a semantic discussion, but suffice it to say that this became my system M.O. for the next fifteen years. I revisited this by accident. I was using some ART Skibo speakers and was not satisfied that I was getting the best from them, this lead to their removal from the screw heads and gradual repositioning. These fractional moves had the spikes picking up the carpet during moves, only very slightly IRRITATING!!! So I placed the spikes in some Goldring pucks I had to hand. Well, blow me and knock me down with a feather! This was a not very subtle improvement. I was shocked and chagrined at my blind adherence to HiFi orthodoxy, what an idiot.
I had tried the Focals in screw heads and moved to pucks in preference, but I really fancied trying some Townshend Seismic Isolation Podiums. However, in my house I suspected that this would lead to falls and breakages as family members missed the fact that the bases project that bit beyond the speakers. I started to track alternatives and became so frustrated with my system tuning issues that I decided to throw some money at the problem, the Gaias were purchased.
The Gaias come in a range of models that work within varying weight categories, the threes were what I required. Nicely packaged they come with alternate threads to fit most speakers. I found them straightforward to fit and was up and running in half an hour. The effect was obvious and positive. I generally find that improvements of this type are most evident in the bass and so it proved here. What had been indistinct and approximated was nicely cleaned and honed. The Focals were delivering even more in terms if low level information and imaging, imaging that I was already very pleased with.
A while later and a ‘friend’ led me on a system refresh. Out went the Focals and in came a pair of used Naim SBLs. This led to other wholesale changes, but that is another story. In setting up the SBLs I read many comments about the importance of siting the boxes and was very cautious about repeating the tried and true setup solutions. The Gaias were repurposed as equipment supports, where they also had a positive effect. Then a few weeks ago I was asked to listen to the Sonus faber Lumina IIIs. This proved to be an excellent bit of matching the reviewer to the equipment. My room is a bit of a pig and the SF Compact Tower worked very well, but this led to the SBLs being repositioned during auditioning. The effect of the Luminas was to make me feel a bit disgruntled with the SBLs in a few areas, this was the spur that I needed and so when replacing them I fitted the Gaias.
The effect of the Gaias on the SBLs was more profound. Yes it focused the imaging and improved the bass as before, but it additionally sweetened and refined the treble. The mid-field of the SBLs can edge towards the lean, the Gaias warm and thicken it a tad. I am not talking about massive differences here, these are things that if you are reading this you will hear and understand …….you NERD! I’ll sell you a team t-shirt. I was rather grateful as this tilted the scales back in favour of the SBLs and saved me some sleepless cogitations.
The IsoAcoustic Gaia get a hearty recommendation from me.
Gato FM 30 – Loudspeakers – White High Gloss
Royd Sorcerer- nearfiled monitor from 1995-excellent condition
Matrix Audio X SPDIF 2
Matrix Audio Quattro II
DEAL OF THE DAY
YG Acoustics Carmel 2 – Black
2014 Midwest Audiofest Tent Sale & Vintage Audio Swap
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