Which begs the question, what happens when you put the B2 underneath these products? It’s even more impressive and, used as a footer it represents a healthy step up on the already impressive performance of the B1. But – and it’s a big BUT – does it deliver three or four times the performance lift of a single B2 on the top-plate? In a word – No. The B2 does a great job as an equipment support. It’s just that it does an even better job, used as an absorber for tuning chassis, cabinet or cable performance. And that’s before you start taking in the various ‘environmental’ applications. So, given a single set of four B2s, I’d be placing them on both speakers (if they’ve got suitable cabinets) and under, either the AC distribution block or the speaker cables, rather than using them to lift a single component. With two sets of four, you can attack the most vulnerable parts of an entire system and in some cases, start to play with the room too. That’s a whole lot more cost effective than trying to lift the whole system, using three or four B2s per component. Of course, once you have deployed B2s on equipment, floor and furniture, it makes perfect sense to then extend their use beneath components. It’s an expensive option, but once well-heeled audiophiles have heard what a single B2 does on top of a favourite component, they ain’t going to be able to stop wondering what three or four of them could do underneath.
But the best thing about the B2 – aside from the fact that its benefits are so obviously significant – is that it’s so easy to try. Placing a B2 in a whole range of positions and on various different surfaces is almost easier to do than it is to describe. So all you have to do is figure out where they work best and away you go.
What’s in a name?
It wasn’t until I was writing this that the bizarre coincidence of the B2’s designation struck home. Anybody who knows aeroplanes will know that the B1 was the last of America’s ‘higher/lower, faster, further’ strategic bombers, intent on evading or outrunning the defences. It’s eventual replacement – naturally enough, designated the B2 – signalled a step-change in strategy, tactics and technology. A subsonic, stealthy, flying wing, it simply made itself invisible. In doing so it also looked about as different from the arrowhead profile of the B1 as you could get – as different as a manta ray and a great white shark. Neodio’s footers might well look almost identical to each other, but they too signal a step-change in application. The B1 was arguably the ultimate expression of ‘footer’ thinking. The B2, by dint of its extraordinary efficiency has turned that thinking on its head. I’ve used B1s on top of speakers and on furniture for a few years now – but only after lifting, grounding or isolating the system as a whole. The B2 changes that priority, reversing the thinking completely. It doesn’t eliminate the importance of support. It gives us another way of impacting and optimising a product or system’s mechanical operation. This isn’t so much a case of opening the same old window wider, but offering another, different and perfectly placed window altogether. In a field that’s littered with alternative offerings and ever more outrageous promises, the B2 is (quietly) one of the most musically effective upgrades I’ve ever experienced. Neodio might not do a great job of blowing their own trumpet, but in this case there’s few better ways of helping your system blow trumpets, tubas or pretty much anything else… Few accessories achieve ‘essential’ status, but the B2 has quickly done just that.