Coffman Labs Equipment Footers Audio components get some new shoes

By Jerold O’Brien

The Coffman Labs G1-A preamplifier is among the most unique-looking pieces of audio equipment we’ve reviewed. It includes custom-made feet that Damon Coffman designed to reduce that unwanted vibrations that reach internal components and vacuum tubes. As a nice piece of trickle-down technology, Coffman found a way to adapt the feet for use under virtually any audio component.

Each type of material employed in the footers has vibration-dampening characteristics. Combining several layers of different materials makes it very difficult for vibrations to travel upward through the footer. Coffman’s design uses four different materials and when all the components are put together, the footer looks a bit like a thick Oreo cookie.

Custom-milled aluminum discs serve as the outer layer; between them—after experimenting with many materials like cork, rubber, carbon fiber, and other metals—Coffman concluded that felt served best sonically as the interior layer.

For the third material, a recessed circle is milled into one flat surface of each aluminum disc, with a dense, rubber-like ring pressed into it. This grippy material contacts the bottom of the component and the shelf it’s resting on, which helps reduce risk of scratches and also keeps the component from sliding, as it sometimes the case with other footers.

The final element holding the entire footer together is a threaded post. Coffman chose a synthetic post instead of a metal one, because it offered a more natural sound in his testing. Also, the post can flex a bit to ensure the footer rests squarely against contact surfaces.

While functional, the O-ring, post and felt don’t do much for aesthetics, but the specially made matte-finish aluminum discs make up for it. They are the bulk of the footer structure and the parts most visible from a distance.

Tightened down, each footer can support 20 pounds maximum. A set of three feet placed in a triangle formation supports a 60-pound component nicely. Coffman Labs suggests a weight limit, because too much weight could bend or strip the nylon post. For speakers or heavier pieces of equipment, additional feet can be purchased to handle the extra weight.

An assembled footer measures 1.5 inches in diameter and about 1.5 inches tall. Each footer can be tightened or loosened slightly by twisting it, changing its height by about 1/8 inch, if you want to make a CD player or a turntable shelf perfectly level, for instance.

Coffman suggests that, when placed under equipment, the footers contribute a slightly smoother, warmer sound while maintaining clarity and solid bass. We concur. A set of three footers costs $115. In the often-expensive world of hi-fi, that’s a very reasonably price to pay for a highly beneficial audio tweak.

Coffman Labs Equipment Footers

$115 per set of three