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In its metal architectures, Critical Mass Systems utilizes specific certified aluminum, titanium, and carbide alloys based on quantifiable metrics to assure uniform propagation of mechanical energy (vibration) through the rack architecture and into the filter systems.  

In the rack architecture, the sequencing and separation of the metals is such that the molecular and atomic properties of the metals result in a predictable transfer of mechanical energy (vibration) through the rack architecture, into the filter systems, and by reasonable extension, into and out of the electro-mechanical devices and their internal circuitry placed upon the filter.  This is extremely important for achieving life-like and life-sized images in sound reproduction no matter the Brand or type of component used.  

In the MAXXUM (4-leg rack architecture), the aluminum alloys are identical in their critical energy transfer areas.  Similarly, their titanium and carbide alloys are identical and virtually identically placed in critical areas.  Using identical metals ensures that the support architectures and the filter systems work similarly across a wide range of price points with a broad range of components.  


Critical Mass Systems chooses specific metals used for its rack architecture with respect to their elastic modulus and thin rod speed to ensure even energy transfer throughout the rack architecture thus transferring vibration into the filter systems at predictable frequencies and velocities.  This greatly reduces energy spikes that can otherwise propagate through the filter systems and degrade the performance of electrical circuitry and mechanical devices such as turntables and transports causing audible degradation of the output signal.

Elastic Modulus is a mathematical description of a substance’s tendency to be deformed elastically when force is applied to it. The elastic modulus of an object is defined as the slope of its stress-strain curve in its elastic deformation region: as such, a stiffer material will have a higher elastic modulus.  The elastic modulus of a material is directly related to the degree to which it propagates and/or reflects energy as vibrations are applied to it.  Critical Mass Systems uses high purity metals in the construction of its rack architecture with Elastic Modulus as follows:

  • Vertical legs and horizontal supports are high purity (96% to 99%), solutionized, stress-relieved, stretched and artificially aged aluminum alloy – 10 X 106 psi (69 GPA), with a thin rod speed of approximately 5,014 m/s.
  • Spikes and connectors are high purity (99%) titanium alloy – 15 X 106 psi (105 GPA), with a thin rod speed of approximately 5,090 m/s.
  • Fixed balls interfacing to filter systems are sintered tungsten alloy – 98 X 106 psi (550 GPA), with a thin rod speed of approximately 6,220 m/s.
  • Internal damping material is augmented by a soft metal – 17 X 106 psi (117 GPA), with a thin rod speed of approximately 3,810 m/s.

The thin rod speed of sound is the speed energy moves through a material and is dependent upon its atomic and molecular constituents.  The speed of transmission of sounds waves (longitudinal and transverse) in metals depends on the mechanical properties of the metals.  High modulus metals allow the transmission of mechanical energy at high speeds. Shear waves propagate at speeds governed by the shear modulus of the material. Depending on the material, these can be very different speeds.  If you think about it, elastic modulus and thin rod speeds explain why the old adage, “everything does something”, is true.

MAXXUM MK3 Filters

  • Certified aluminum alloy framework
  • Constrained Layer damping
  • Six stage, dual zone damping system separated by a 2.5” proprietary elastomeric buffer
    • Upper Damping Section
      • 22 layer sandwich arrayed in constrained damping layers
      • 3 different top plate materials for rigidity under load
      • 6 different damping materials precisely sequenced based on nomographic damping data
    • Lower Damping Section
      • 14 layer sandwich arrayed in constrained damping layers
      • Select bottom plate material for rigidity under load
      • 5 different damping materials precisely sequenced based on nomographic damping data


Critical Mass Systems

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