VBH-1 Vibration Reduction Feet – Vera-Fi Audio by Greg Voth
I’ve been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the VBH-1 Vibration Reduction Feet since I was first made aware of their development through Vera-Fi Audio’s Facebook posts. It was apparent that the company’s Mark Schifter and the product’s designer, Viet Nguyen, were both excited about the product, sharing photos and test measurements with the group’s membership, and, from the replies posted, the group’s members were equally enthusiastic.
Some brief background is due. Schifter’s career has spanned decades in the audio business, sometimes intersecting my interests. I.e., I still own a working Audio Alchemy Digital Decoding Engine v1.0 from the company where Schifter was a founding partner, to name but one. Nguyen, a newcomer in comparison, has established himself as an audio designer with a great ‘“present” and exciting “future,” having already designed several notable and great-sounding products while still within his first decade designing for the audio industry.
Once delivered, I promptly unpacked the VBH-1s and questioned which of my turntables upstairs would benefit most. The Well-Tempered Turntable rests on a brick wall-mounted Target plinth, while the Neat-made Shield MO-19 idler rests atop a 3-drawer, mid-century, solid-wood dresser loaded with audio cables and accessories. Sitting nearest our outer brick wall, the dresser is supported underfoot by four vibration-reduction feet meant for a laundry appliance. The Shield MO-19 might benefit the most from this affordable tweak.
Vera-Fi’s VBH-1 feet will each support 30 lbs. Nguyen says a set of four will support a speaker up to 120 lbs. With my Tekton Double Impacts weighing 120 lbs. a piece, I might have been tempted to try such an install had I two sets of VBH-1s in hand. Common sense tells me maxing out this product with its maximum load will likely reduce effectiveness. A second set would allow me to check effectiveness under a smaller pair of speakers, something I’ll try in the new year.
The 4-footer VBH-1 Vibration Reduction Feet sets are hefty for their size – the set also includes adhesive spike cones. I had previously mounted three cones to the underside of the Shield MO-19’s beautiful heavy wood plinth, so I did not need the included cones. Installing the front pair of VBH-1s went smoothly, but a phone call, received as I had this heavy plinth hoisted awkwardly, made the third VBH-1s install more of a challenge. The VBH-1s have no height adjustment, so I spent additional time shimming under the three VBH-1s to level the idler’s platter. I’ve no way to weigh this idler beast, but I’d peg its weight at over 45 lbs. Even so, three VBH-1s worked well in this install.
The VBH-1 Vibration Reduction Feet Tech
Paraphrasing the Vera-Fi Audio site, each “Vibration Black Hole” (VBH) foot consists of a precision machined stainless steel body, stainless steel inner core, and a machined nylon piston-like conical contact pad. The unique Constrained Viscous Layer Damping (CVLD) dampening compound is between each of these components.
The isolated device mounts on the included machined aluminum spike feet, which mate to the nylon conical contact pads to provide the first isolation stage. This stage is then in contact with the main external base through a second CVLD pad. The second stage of CVLD has an external backup silicone o-ring bumper to prevent bottoming out under heavy loads and also acts as a CVLD under heavy loads.
The VBH has been tested with an instrumented turntable plinth and a special instrumented and calibrated test hammer and has shown a significant reduction in the transmitted mechanical shock and a reduction in transmitted mechanical energy.
I’ll cut to the chase: the VBH-1 Vibration Reduction Feet worked wonderfully. They significantly reduced my taps and bangs on the dresser supporting this heavy idler table, and footfalls were non-existent in my particular installation. Of course, I wondered how other components might be fair with such isolation and procured two more sets of VBH-1 footers from Mr. Schifter for further testing.
My request for two additional sets was fulfilled promptly, so I could now split the sets to use under four components. I placed groups of 3 footers under my preamp, am, Memory Player, and DAC. The DAC had its own cone feet; for the rest of the components, I bypassed the use of the included cones since I might want to move them around to speakers and other components. I shimmed under the rear VBH-1 footers to match the height of the front feet with footers under the preamp and memory Player. The feet under the amp were very short, so I placed the footers under the bottom of the chassis.
Playing some music, I started with Joey Alexander’s latest, Continuance (2023 Mack Avenue), and sat back, hoping to hear a difference, even a small one. What came out of the setup surprised me – Alexander’s piano was more solid and larger, with the bass firmer and the stage deeper and wider. There was more grip in the delivery. “Abstraction,” from Amanda Whiting’s Lost In Abstraction (2022 Jazzman Records), confirmed that I was not just hearing things, as it delivered taught imaging, speedy dynamics, substantial low frequencies, and percussive fills that were both physical and exciting.
A play of “Shell Pink “ from Jakob Bro’s Streams (2016 ECM Records), a song I’ve heard often, rendered better than prior listens. Transients were tighter, the stage was deeper, and more air was around the musicians. The brushwork spoke with more personality, as the transients lent more dimension and the appearance of more excellent resolution.
Craving more percussion, I clicked on “Duende,” from Bozzio, Levin, and Stevens’ Black Light Syndrome (1997 Magna Carta Records) and sat back to enjoy the performance. Once again, transients had more energy and life; the stage was deeper, images were enhanced, and instrumentation was more present and dimensional.
To quote Mr. Schifter, “Real Deal Science at a humane price,” he’s spot on with that description. Frankly, I didn’t expect quite this level of vibration reduction and isolation from such a cost-effective product. Vera-Fi Audio LLC’s VBH-1 Vibration Reduction Feet is an “easy lift” for even the most frugal audiophile to use under single or multiple components. Color me impressed!
Vera-Fi Audio, LLC VBH-1 Vibration Reduction Feet $199.00US
Vera-Fi Audio LLC
9025 Crestview Drive
Denton, Texas 76207
Phone: (818) 584-6870
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