Audio Equipment Review By: Ultimate Audio,
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.
Silent Running Audio's, Kevin Tellekamp, response to the
editor of Ultimate Audio