Audiophilia’s Henry Wilkenson adds his thoughts to Martin Appel’s review of this Audiophilia Star Component winning isolation device.
by Henry Wilkenson
Over the years I have used many different isolation devices, everything from ceramic to soft jell to brass. Simply stated, the Redpoint Blakholes are the most effective isolation devices that I have used.
These deceptively simple devices are made up of a metal cone with a ball made from a material that Redpoint’s Peter Clark is silent about. If you drop the ball, it does not bounce; it just sits there; very unusual indeed.
I placed a set of three Blakholes under my VAC preamp. Since you place them with the ball facing upward, it is very easy to balance components on them. For heavier components, you simply use more of them.
Once in place, I noticed an increase in focus and articulation. I could hear slightly more low level detail. While the difference wasn’t night and day, it was audible.
Since I only had two sets of Blakholes, I couldn’t place them under my SONY 777ES because it weighs in the neighborhood of fifty pounds. I placed a set under my Virtue Piano CD player. The Virtue is an inexpensive ($750.00) player that displays sonic performance that suggests a much higher price. Here is where the Blakholes really showed their prowess. The same improvements that were made with the preamp were made to a much greater degree with the CD player. The soundstage became noticeably wider and deeper. The images within the stage had much better focus and stability. Overall, I would have thought that I was listening to a much more expensive player.
Given their performance, I feel that the Redpoint Blakholes are well worth their asking price of $305.00 for a set of three including U.S. shipping, highly recommended.
by Martin Appel
Redpoint is noted for its superior turntables. Lately, Peter Clark, the ‘Master and Commander’ of Redpoint Audio Design has been busy responding to the challenge of designing and developing the perfect footer. One that would isolate your equipment to dramatically reduce the negative and dulling effects that resonances and vibration have on your system’s sound.
As Clark is a perfectionist, he hated to hear the beautiful sound his turntables produce jeopardized. It frustrated him to see how these gremlins were preventing his equipment from achieving their full sonic potential. Some results of vibration and resonances manifested themselves in reduced soundstage, both width and height, a reduction in image quality, loss of focus and a reduction of separation, and the creation of frequency anomalies. After many laborious hours of scientific research and development, the final design for the Blakhole Isolation Feet was born.
My first encounter with the footers was on a visit to Wes Bender Studio NYC. After several hours of listening and evaluating a preamplifier, we were ready to pack it in, but Wes suggested one more thing and placed three Blakholes under the preamp. The changes were dramatic. Immediately, the soundstage opened up, clarity and articulation improved, and bass performance, which had been good, became stellar in areas of extension, definition and impact. Wes sat smirking with an ‘I told you so’ look on his face and asked me to take a set of three and review them.
I’m no stranger to the use of isolation devices and have accumulated many such devices over the years. Some worked, others had negative effects on the sound. None had worked to the degree the Blakhole’s did.
I tried them under my Music First Classic II preamp with similar success. I then used them under my MSB transport where further gains were made in separation, focus and soundstage growth. The impact of these footers is substantial and could save you from spending far greater amounts by not replacing your gear.
The Blakhole is another example of how one seemingly unimportant item in our system has such an impact on the sound of that system. I wonder what further improvements might be realized if I could outfit my entire system with these footers? I look forward to finding out.
I congratulate Peter Clark for developing the Blakhole Isolation Feet. His understanding of the importance of proper isolation in combating the negative effects that vibration has on a system comes as a result of many years of pure dedication and passion. The same passion, I might add, that went into the development of his highly lauded turntables. One day I hope to be able to satisfy my lust for one of his turntables.
[We are proud to award the Blakhole Isolation Feet by Redpoint Audio Design an Audiophilia Star Component Award. Congratulations! - Ed]
The Blakhole Isolation Feet
Manufactured by Redpoint Audio Design LLC
4841 North Scottsdale Road Suite 102
Scottsdale, Arizona 85251
Price: $300 (set of three)
Source: Distributor loan