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Performance under amplifier: Four Boston Audio Design TuneBlock SE feet were placed under the Bel Canto amplifier. In turn, first the Weizhi Precision Gold Glory and then the Solid Tech Feet of Silence were placed under the CD player to see if the TuneBlocks would accurately pass through the character differences.

When an isolation component is placed under the amplifier, it should do two things. First, the isolation device should remove vibration-based distortion, allowing the component to work to better potential. Second, it should also allow the character of the rest of the playback chain to pass through unimpeded without introducing a character of its own. How did the TuneBlock SEs affect the sound of the amplifier?

Using stock feet as a point of reference, there were large gains in imaging precision, soundstaging, dimensionality, dynamics and more accurate frequency response. The difference was night and day. The TuneBlock SEs were effective in removing vibration-based distortion and allowed a powerhouse of performance to emerge. How successful were the TuneBlock SEs as “pass through” devices in revealing the playback chain in front of them?

The unique characteristics of both the Solid Tech and the Weizhi Precision were preserved. Minor differences in focus, imaging and frequency balance were obvious. The Boston Audio Design feet were doing a good job as a pass through device. Did the TuneBlock SE contribute a character of its own?

Focus was improved regardless of where the TuneBlock SE was employed. The mild rise in the extreme upper midrange remained as a characteristic of the Boston Audio Design TuneBlocks. The minor upper bass anomaly which occurred under the CD player did not repeat under the amplifier. An interesting conundrum that merited further study. The results promised the potential for higher levels of performance under the CD player than the original tests had revealed. It was time to revisit the CD player and try to realize that potential.

Performance under the CD player, round 2:
Three Boston Audio Design TuneBlock SE feet were positioned under the CD player. Experimenting with different positioning eventually took me back to the proven optimum points. Then four feet were tried in various placements for differences but no improvements.

The next step was to explore interactions with the laminated fiberboard shelf surface of my support. I placed high-density porcelain ceramic tile between the feet and the shelf. This resulted in a minor increase in focus indicating that high density shelving would result in further performance enhancements with these graphite feet.

A spare DH Labs power cable then replaced the stock cable on the CD player to see if the change would be beneficial. There was a small increase in soundstage dimension.  I then examined the bearing contact with the underside of the CD player. My initial observations had indicated that the contact might be a little slicker than optimal due to the combination of highly polished bearing and high-gloss underside of the CD player. There was the possibility that contact integrity was being compromised. As a point of reference, both the Weizhi Precision and Solid Tech isolation devices employ a minimal amount of elastomer in their interface around the contact point. I decided to experiment with that method.

Three elastomer O rings of effective diameter were chosen to offer the least interference with the bearing interface adding only a tiny amount of friction. I placed them atop the tungsten carbide bearing and carefully lowered the CD player back into position. The first CD went in.

Tonal body and air increased, extending the bubble of coherence lower into the frequency spectrum. The upper bass dip was gone. There was warmth and superior dimensionality where it existed in the recording and the previous virtues were retained. The bearing had simply demanded more positive contact to function properly. The anomaly, which was unique to my situation, was simple to solve. The capabilities of the TuneBlock SE were elevated to the point where I felt they were working to potential.

Conclusion: The Boson Audio Design TuneBlock SE offers a powerfully convincing argument for anyone on the fence about the benefits of isolation and resonance control devices. It is an effective isolation device with remarkable virtues and an inexpensive price tag for a product of this caliber. Who will it appeal to?

Anyone looking to move up from no product or a lower-end product should consider the TuneBlock SE. Anyone looking for a viable alternative to an expensive isolation shelf system should consider this. It offers ease of setup with minimal change to an existing system. It will also appeal to the budget-conscious audiophile looking for superior performance regardless of system price. It offers obvious improvements in dynamics, placement, soundstaging, focus and detail. This level of performance enhancement is the equivalent of what audiophiles would not hesitate to spend thousands of dollars for if the purchase had a faceplate and a power cord.

To paraphrase a comment the manufacturer made to me: “They aren’t works of art, but they work.” I am going to dispute that remark. They look quite attractive to me. Recommended. Boston Audio Design offers a 30-day money back guarantee. The TuneBlock SE is sold Internet direct and through select dealers. See website for details.

Quality of packaging: Product boxed in a standard shipping box. Labeled Ziploc bag for the bearings.  Paper wrap and Styrofoam wrap.
Reusability of packing: Yes.
Condition of components received. Perfect.
Website comments: Laid out well.
Delivery: Prompt.
Warranty: Lifetime against defects in workmanship.  30-day money back guarantee.
Final comments: Excellent value.
Manufacturer's reply:
Just a quick note to thank the 6moons team for the recent TuneBlocks SE review. In the review, Glen mentioned the benefits he found using an elastomer between the TuneBlock bearing and component enclosure in certain applications. We manufacture steel and elastomer sandwiches called TunePlates specifically for use with TuneBlocks. Unfortunately, Glen did not have a set on hand for the review. For customers with highly resolved systems, the TunePlates can indeed take performance further than TuneBlocks alone.

Thanks again,
Austin Jackson
Boston Audio Design
Boston Audio website