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Quiet! – Silent Running!

Audio Equipment Review By: Ultimate Audio, Lars Fredell

Kevin Tellekamp, main berth and master propeller of Silent Running Audio, is one of those congenial but slightly mysterious guys that you love to know, but really never do know. He’s a chemical engineer with a multinational company background that now works with various governmental agencies on projects which he won’t discuss (thus the mystique). He’ll just disappear, without a word, occasionally for a few weeks and if you’re lucky there’ll be a cell phone call from some obscure area in remote New Mexico or Colorado. Then, suddenly, he’ll resurface and continue his quest of removing any residual resonance from hi-fi equipment.

Kevin’s specialty is something called chemical coating which, for you and me, translates into sound damping and elimination of various surfaces. Huh? Elimination of surfaces? "Well," says Kevin, "think in terms of making something invisible. You know, like the stealth bomber. Or, the new type of nuclear subs. That sort of thing."

Silent Running Audio manufactures very special audio isolation equipment stands. These audio isolation racks will can be used to shelf anything from turntable platforms to amplifiers and speakers stands or even full equipment racks. The outer shells of the audio isolation stands are made of a variety of esoteric wood materials finished to a very high level of refinement. The inner substructure, a robust metal frame that incorporates coned legs, is separated from the outer wood platform by at least five layers of special open-celled foam. Each layer has it’s own range of frequencies where it filters out any resonance, i.e. the vibrations travel through the foam layers eventually turning into heat and dissipated.

In order to function optimally, the foam layers in the stands and platforms have to be tailored to the weight of the component they support. Thus, they are actually custom made to work with specific components. There is a flexibility factor of about 5 lbs. which, for instance, makes it possible for me to use the same Silent Running stands for both my LAMM M1.1 and my LAMM ML2 amplifiers, although there is a slight difference in weight between them.

Over the years, I’ve tried just about everything available out there (I’ve been a resonance freak for longer than I care to remember) to shield my gear from the evils of unwanted vibrations, knowing full well that there are tremendous rewards to be had in terms of sonic purity and timbral integrity. For some time I felt that the ingenious Laserbase stands made by Robert Genna, which so conclusively showed the shortcomings of most phenumatic contraptions I tried, was the last word in this particular area of refinement. However, the Silent Running Audio audio isolation stands have, somewhat to my surprise, turned out to be even better.

Those of you who listens to vinyl know best how critical a resonance free environment is for front-end retrieval of information. To ensure this, the excellent Clearaudio turntable now incorporates a Silent Running Audio base to isolate it from any detrimental resonance. Personally, I use Silent Running Audio audio isolation platforms under both my LAMM mono block amplifiers and my Meitner digital drive to great satisfaction. The platforms have an uncanny ability to purify the harmonic content of the music and sharpen the imaging properties of my system. It is, like so many other things in audio, difficult to fully comprehend until experienced first hand.

In fact, I was so intrigued by the effect of the Silent Running Audio audio isolation platforms in my audio system that it gave me the idea of replacing the granite "sandwich" in my Verity Audio Parsifal Encore reference speakers with a similar plate made by Kevin. What a significant improvement to an already extraordinary speaker! Wow!

This experience leads me to a very serious recommendation to those of you who own a speaker system where the monitor is resting on top of a bass module such as is the case with the Wilson Watt/Puppy system and several others. For most of the 6-7 years that I used the Watt/Puppies as my reference, I was looking for a way to isolate the Watt from the Puppy without opening up too much of an empty airgap between them (this would create a lower midrange suckout in this sound system). I tried just about anything I could lay my hands on and that seemed like it might work. I actually managed to improve on the sticky pads that are standard with this speaker system but it never got to where I wanted it. So, when I laid eyes on the Parsifal and it’s "sandwich" I know that my prayers had been answered and I changed speakers. Who knows, if the Silent Running Audio audio isolation platform had been available at that time and if I had understood the significance of them I might never have thought of changing speakers. If you own Watt/Puppies or similar speakers, do yourself a big, BIG favor and contact Kevin! Excellent as these speakers might be, they can be much better.

The Silent Running Audio audio isolation platforms and audio isolation equipment stands produce significant improvements to a high-end audio system. Highly recommended.

Ultimate Audio

View Silent Running Audio's, Kevin Tellekamp, response to the editor of Ultimate Audio


© 2006 Silent Running Audio