Product: G-Flex M1 vibration-dampening devices
Manufacturer: Handelsagentur - Franz Spitaler - Austria
Tel. +43 2262/63516 - Fax. +43 2262/71052
Approx. price: 200$ - 160 Euro (set of 4)
What are these golden eggs? More or less this has been my wife's first comment as soon as I unveiled the content of a small black box containing four G-Flex dampers.
Let's admit it, she wasn't all that wrong: the G-Flex box arrived at home during the Easter holidays (when our house is crowded with chocolate eggs...) and their appearance is just that: four mid-sized golden eggs...
Also, as any regular Easter egg the G-Flex's contain a gift inside: it is the flat metallic spring which is the hidden secret for their damping action.
Each G-Flex comes with a set of 5 identical flat springs to accommodate different weights. Five identical springs to be used as the table below should clearly explain (please remember that you need to use 4 G-Flex under each HiFi component):
|1 spring||Up to 5 Kg|
|2 springs||Up to 9 Kg|
|3 springs||Up to 20 Kg|
|4 springs||Up to 32 Kg|
|5 springs||Up to 50 Kg|
Installation is eaaaasy: just put 4 G-Flex's under the HiFi component or loudspeaker you want to treat and "dampen" and you're done! The flat spring will isolate the unit both on the vertical and the horizontal plane.
The G-Flex feet have been highly appraised by many HiFi reviews/reviewers and they have been awarded with the Diapason d'Or up there in France.
They are made in Austria, if memory serves me well, by a Company that designs and manufactures devices for suspended bridges.
The device is patented (Pat. nr. 697) and claims to have a maximal efficiency due to computer-optimized force-displacement response, so it should work fine with HiFi components, loudspeakers and any other device which suffers from vibrations.
With loudspeakers things change a bit...for worse, especially with heavy and large floorstanders. Though the "cleaning" effect is still there for everyone to hear, there is also an aubible countereffect on dynamics and imaging: with the G-Flex's the loudspeaker tends to oscillate and this affects the dynamic capabilities of the loudspeaker itself, because of the Newtonian law of action/reaction (push/pull).
The same happens when the musical program is rich of very low frequencies since the amount of energy delivered by the woofers is somehow "damped" by the oscillation/rocking of the cabinet.
Now you can easily guess what happens to the 3D image: are you able to take a sharp camera picture when your hands are trembling? I can't. And so a large floorstander with the G-Flex's under it: the cabinet rocks back and forth (and sometimes laterally...I'm talking of micrometric and invisible movements here!) and hence the image loses its focus and precision. As a result the contours of the players and singers are "blurred" and everything becomes quite unnatural.
With small bookshelf loudspeakers things work better, though.
As usual there's nothing as a free meal: you earn something, you lose something. While the G-Flex's can "clean" the mids and the highs of any loudspeaker they can worsen the dynamic and soundstaging performance: the taller the loudspeaker the uglier the effect.
As announced, I've tried these devices even under my Umax scanner. Well, it is a very vibrating and noisy unit indeed and putting 4 G-Flex's under it almost cured definitely the problem: scanning is now quieter and smoother! Kudos to the G-Flex's!
And no, I can't swear the scanning quality has increased as this is affected by higher order troubles...
In the "sonic" department I have few complaints to make when the G-Flex's are used under electronics but I can't honestly suggest these devices under heavy and tall floorstanders...unless you listen at very moderate levels.
To make things even worse there's the fact that you need 8 G-Flex dampers to treat your loudspeakers (4 for each one) and hence the cost becomes even a major concern here...
Anyway, don't take anything for granted: try with your own loudspeakers and judge by yourself...
A warm Merci! to Yair Wahal, deus-ex-machina at Miroir de la Musique, Italian distributor of the G-flex dampers, for having sent us these golden eggs for reviewing.
© Copyright 1999 Lucio Cadeddu - http://www.tnt-audio.com
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