Reviewed by Roy Gregory, HiFi+ Issue #42
"...it's hard to fault their value once you hear what they can do."
Reviewed by Chris Thomas, HiFi+ Issue #60
The David Berning Quadrature Z Mono Power Amplifiers (& Stillpoints ESS Rack)
Reviewed by Robert Harley, The Absolute Sound
"Frankly, I'm a bit chagrined that I've been reviewing for 23 years and it took me this long to discover the benefits of no-holds-barred vibration-isolation technology. It's a new trick that this old dog was thrilled to learn."
Reviewed by Chris Thomas, HiFi+ Issue #99
"Without the resonance control it slips by almost unnoticed, and the timing is hard to pick up on as it is tripping forward and over itself. But slip four Mini Ultras on bases beneath both the CD plalyer and the amplifier and the difference is incredible."
Reviewed by Chris Thomas, HiFi+ Issue #59
"If I had spent the same amount on a new pre-amplifier or CD player and got these improvements I would be absolutely delighted. It opens up new and exciting system building options and those in the market for a serious system upgrade should perhaps consider Stillpoints before they look at some new electronic box, because what the ESS rack and in fact all of the Stillpoints products are really about are the musicians that make it all happen -- and I have never heard them given such an eloquent voice."
Reviewed by Jonathan Valin, The Absolute Sound
April 28, 2015
Stillpoints and Tidal Audio at Axpona Chicago, 2015
Reviewed by Chris Thomas, HiFi+, Issue #59
"If I had spent the same amount on a new pre-amplifier or CD player and got these improvements I would be absolutely delighted. It opens up new and exciting system building options and those in the market for a serious system upgrade should perhaps consider Stillpoints before they look at some new electronic box, because what the ESS rack and in fact all of the Stillpoints products are really about are the musicians that make it all happen – and I have never heard them given such an eloquent voice."
Reviewed by Roy Gregory, HiFi+ Issue #61
"My first exposure to Berning electronics was in a system at the Montreal Show a good few years ago. It was the same system that introduced us to Stillpoints – and was producing not just one of the best sounds at the show, but impressive sound by any measure. It was an encounter that had a profound effect on our thinking..."
Reviewed by Roy Gregory, HiFi+ Issue #62
"The ESS rack achieved exactly the same result for the electronics, drawing mechanical energy out of their chassis so that it was no longer able to interfere with the signal."
During the more than thirty years of experimenting with cones, footers and spikes I've come to the conclusion that many of these products shift problem from one frequency to another. Most of them sound like they look or feel, the pointy ones are sharp and the soft ones soft. Sure, some exception as it's interactive with the equipment you put it under but this observation is not far wrong.
For turntables I've had a long running problem finding a device that maintains clear, sharp imaging, great dynamics and transparent high frequencies without sounding artificial, hyped or bright. The solution is the Stillpoints adjustable riser combined with Stillpoints Universal Resonance damper.
Not only will this combination allow you to precisely level your turntable and reduce interaction with the environment, it lets the music flow in a clear natural way.
We often forget that a turntable is a purely mechanical device. Not only the motor but also the mechanism of picking up vibration from the groove with a tiny polished diamond. This is possibly the most demanding place to test the ability of an isolation device and Stillpoints is the clear winner.
Reviewed by Steve McCormack, SMc Audio
Hi Paul - I want to thank you again for your support with my Stillpoint standoff trials. With the proper number of standoffs in-hand to fully populate the VRE-1 preamplifier, I decided it was time to give them an "official" evaluation. Let me preface my remarks by saying that the VRE-1 is my statement piece. It is the result of an open-ended project to develop the highest-performance preamp possible, and it was in development for over 5 years while I examined every aspect of its performance. I believe it to be among the finest preamps available today, without regard for cost. Its performance in a truly fine system - like The Lotus Group's "Granada" speakers or the Kaiser "Kaweros" at Hi-Fi One - can be startlingly lifelike...and that was before the addition of the Stillpoints standoff technology.
I replaced the hefty stock Focal spikes with Stillpoints Ultras, sat back, and was shocked by what I heard. With the Stillpoints, the soundstage opened up with greater width, depth, and bloom around images. The sound became even more detached from the loudspeakers, with a greater solidity of images between and around the Focals …
… The bass improved to a similar degree. The bottom end became tauter, better defined, and cleaner. The Stillpoints made the midbass a bit leaner, but more articulate. The improved midbass conferred greater clarity in the midrange, as well as in the bottom octave, where very low bass notes were more audible and defined once the midbass was better controlled. Bass dynamics were also improved; notes seemed to start and stop more quickly, giving the presentation greater dynamic agility and conveying more of the musicians’ dynamic expression.
Finally, replacing the stock spikes with Stillpoints make the background “blacker” and quieter, allowing greater clarity and resolution of very low-level information. Sounds that had been somewhat undifferentiated with the stock feet became vividly clear. For example, percussion instruments that produce a series of very fine transients (shakers and guiros, for examples) sounded much more real with the reduction in transient blurring. Moreover, it was much easier to identify exactly how the instrument produced its sound. All this added up to a more lifelike reproduction.
~ Robert Harley, The Absolute Sound, November 2011, Issue 218