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Critical Mass Systems Sapphire 2

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We developed dual-zone 12-stage damping systems for our Ultra-Platinum, Ultra-Diamond, MAXXUM-Ultra and OLYMPUS-Ultra filters. None are identical.  Each is designed to function exclusively with its associated architecture and damped in accord with tolerances of 1 to 10 thousandths of an inch.  Inside each of the above-mentioned filters are 3 fixed damping plates.  These are located on the base plate of the filter, the resting area of the filter upon which the component is placed, and the interior plate below the resting area of the filter.  The remaining 8 internal damping stages are arranged in 4 zones below and 4 zones above an elastomer.  The elastomer, of course, serves to lower natural frequency.  Each of the 8 internal damping stages is precisely calculated thicknesses of aluminum alloy and acrylic damping materials or precisely calculated thicknesses of aluminum alloy, copper alloy, and acrylic damping material. There is an important reason why we use very specific metal alloys, elastomers, and acrylic damping materials.

You know the term “push/pull” as it relates to amplification.  We use push/pull in a different, very important way that describes the solution to the degradation vibration causes in stereo systems. Remembering that vibration cannot be stopped, think of the Critical Mass Systems, Inc. architecture described in the Approach Section as sophisticated resonance shaping systems that deliver energy into the dual-zone, 12-stage damping systems in a predictable manner. This architecture represents the “push” in the push/pull equation. The dual-zone 12-stage damping system represents the “pull” in the push/pull equation, managing the energy pushing upward toward the component to develop a balanced transfer of energy into and out of the component.

The reason balanced energy transfer is crucial is because of 2 fundamentals that are often ignored. First, you can overdamp a component.  Overdamping results in a loss of depth, detail, slam, presence, pace, and so on.  Dull and lifeless systems sound like big, expensive, hi-fi radios.  Second, components can be underdamped.  Underdamping results in annoying, unnatural brittle edges in the presentation which cause listener fatigue. And, worst of all, both abnormal conditions can occur in systems at the same time.  There is nothing worse than a flat, hi-fi soundstage with glaring edges in the vocals and instrumentation.



(available alone as an amp stand or with Sotto Voce and Ultra-Q) 

  • Aluminum alloy framework
  • Constrained Layer damping
  • Five-stage, dual-zone damping system
    • Upper 3-stage Damping Zone
      • 4-layer sandwich grouped in constrained damping layers
      • Singular top plate material for rigidity under load
    • Lower 2-stage Damping Zone
      • 2-layer sandwich in constrained damping layers