Erg veelzijdig en handig maar niet erg transparant (alles klinkt minder spannend en een tikje afgerond met minder pit) en met beperkte headroom (0dB is 0dB, GEEN overload mogelijk!), gebruik hem liefst puur digitaal. Dan valt hij nog mee, maar verwacht geen transparantie...
Kemp SNS plug (parallel plug-in mainsfilter)
Zorgt voor vloeiender, korrelvrij hoog ten koste van de dynamiek en de strakke transients. Het geluid wordt duidelijk minder levendig. Dit effect heb ik al in meerdere setups bemerkt. Enkel aan te bevelen indien u een vuile stroomvoorziening heeft en/of uw setup neigt naar scherpte en onrust, en dit niet op een andere manier is op te lossen.
LCaudio clock upgrade for the Sony XA50ES cd player
Makes for a more stable soundstage with more control, speed and detailing and at the same time more authority and calmness. All you need is a little solder-effort and some guts to actually stick the solder iron into your player.
Musical Fidelity X-Tone equalizer
Subtle and effective. Also nearly transparent when used in the buffered tapeloop of an amplifier or at the output of a cd player with a powerful output. Absolutely no hum or noise added. Just the slightest defocus, as with nearly all equalizers.
Siltech Octopus extension block with SPX-20 cable
In combinatie met powercord SPX-20 klinkt het als een SPX-20 in het kwadraat. Veel kracht in het middengebied en heel veel detail en pit. Het blok zelf is vrij neutraal.
Sound Anchor stands for use with B&W Nautilus 804 speakers
Geeft de N804's een strakkere bas en betere afbeelding. Alleen rechtstreeks vanaf de fabriek in Amerika te bestellen.
De blauwe rubbertjes zijn bijgeleverd en geven de mooiste afbeelding en mid/hoog. Het gebruik van extra spikes geeft een nog strakkere en snellere bas.
Solid Tech Feet of Silence
Doet voor het geluid precies wat je verwacht: meer lucht en gemak, het geluid hangt wat meer losjes en subtieler tussen de speakers, de bas is iets afgerond met minder duidelijke contouren dan met gebruik van ceraballs, maar zonder dynamiek of snelheid te verliezen. Doet eigenlijk het omgekeerde van de diverse spike-principes: harde koppeling = strakker geluid, zachte koppeling = softer geluid. Aanbevolen voor wanneer je geen "in your face" geluid wilt.
Precision Audio Cable Elevators
Geloof de reviews: deze Cable Elevators doen wat er beloofd wordt! Een opener hoog en midden, meer detail en meer presence. In standaard vorm zorgen de zacht rubber voetjes voor iets afgeronde transients en een tekort aan presence, indien deze rubbertjes verwijderd worden wordt de bas een stuk sneller en strakker dan zonder Elevators. Echter, met of zonder rubber voetjes, wordt de bas niet alleen strakker maar ook minder vol en het geheel kan naar het analytische gaan neigen indien de set reeds over een hoge resolutie beschikt. In mijn geval vindt ik het geluid lekkerder zonder de Elevators, ook al verlies je dan weer iets van de absurd goede doortekening.
Nanotec Nespa Optical Disc Finalyzer (tested in normal and pro versions)
Laat ik maar direkt duidelijk zijn: het is geen voodoo, dit apparaat doet echt wat, en het is niet subtiel. Echter, of de resultaten bevallen, is sterk afhankelijk van de samenstelling van de audioset. Inderdaad wordt het geluid ruimtelijker en 'analoger' dwz, vloeiender, luchtiger, minder hard en/of rafelig. MAAR, en dat is een dikke MAAR, de dynamiek neemt ook af, alsmede de snelheid en afbeeldingsscherpte. eea wordt wat gezapiger. Dit effect heb ik waargenomen in 3 verschillende high-end setups, inclusief de mijne. Indien de setup iets aan digititis lijdt, en dus wat schel, hard en forward klinkt, kan de Nespa succesvol zijn, in een zorgvuldig uitgebalanceerde setup met een natuurlijk klinkende cd speler zou ik het absoluut niet aanraden.
De Mat by Art Speak
Bedoeld als mildmaker en volgens de maker zelfs detailverhogend. Het mildmaken lukt inderdaad wel maar helaas ten koste van de dynamiek. Pieken worden afgetopt en low-level detail wordt minder duidelijk waarneembaar. Getest in 3 verschillende cdloopwerken is dit effect telkens duidelijk waarneembaar. De enige nuttige toepassing is in een setup met een teveel aan scherpte of cd-achtige hardheid. In een goed samegestelde setup heeft de Mat dus niks te zoeken.
Musical Fidelity X-10D Tube Linebuffer
Zeer slim apparaatje dat daadwerkelijk goed werkt aan de uitgang van betaalbare cd spelers. het geluid wordt krachtiger, levendiger en vloeiender. Achter een goede cd speler en bij gebruik van goede kabels heeft het echter weinig zin, dan worden zelfs sommige aspecten minder hoewel hij altijd een zekere prettige vloeiendheid verleent aan het geheel.
Yamaha EQ-630 10 band equalizer with remote
Niet bijzonder transparant, een beetje softe transients en dynamisch wat ingedrukt maar niet plastickachtig of schel, juist een beetje warm en vriendelijk. Gewoon een handig apparaat voor noodgevallen zoals slechte VHS- of cassettebanden...
Wattgate 320 IEC Connector
Much better than regular plugs: more dynamic, more lively, more detailed. But in a natural fashion. This connector could be described as particularly neutral. It is not, however, the best connector around, as others, such as IeGO can provide better low level detailing, airier highs and an overall smoother presentation.
Geloof het of niet maar dit ding maakt een ENORM verschil! Ikzelf viel ook van de bank toen een vriend hem bij mij demonstreerde. Het effect varieert van subtiel tot enorm, afhankelijk van plaatsing nabij of bovenop componenten. Het effect is een luchtiger en opener hoog, meer levendigeheid en een betere doortekening. En dat brengt totaal geen nadelen met zich mee: geen hardheid, schelheid of droogte. Sterker nog, als je hem weghaalt, baal je van je oude geluid. Ten zeerste aanbevolen. Zie ook reviews voor meer info.
Doet voor het geluid precies wat je verwacht: ze maken het soepeler en losser met meer gemak en minder strengheid. Maar helaas gaat dat wel ten koste van de snelheid, attack en levendigheid. Ten opzichte van de Feet of Silence lever je met deze discs gewoon teveel in. Doet het omgekeerde van de diverse spike-principes: harde koppeling = strakker geluid, zachte koppeling = softer geluid. Aanbevolen voor sets met erge digititis maar bijvoorbeeld onder een oude Philips cd speler toch echt teveel van het goede. Gebruik onder cd spelers in het algemeen is niet zo'n goed idee omdat het geheel wel erg wiebelig is.
Solid Tech Saucers (for use instead of Feet of Silence on Rack of Silence)
Nodig om bijvoorbeeld Feet of Silence te gebruiken op het Rack of Silence. Op zich geen betere koppeling dan rectstreeks op de latten (indien mogelijk) maar in combinatie met Feet of Silence een echte verbetering (met CEC TL1x Belt Drive CD transport). Het geluid wordt meer ontspannen en vloeiend en verliest maar een klein beetje transientscherpte. De snelheid wordt echter niet minder. De schotels blijken ook op zichzelf het geluid ontspannen te maken. Bijvoorbeeld gebruikt op het onderste level waar het normaliter erg strak gecontroleerd is, wint het geluid aan vloeiendheid en gemak. Waarschijnlijk komt dit door de wiebeligheid van de schotels.
Solid Tech Rack of Silence
Dit rack heeft een met Spider vergelijkbare construktie. De verschillen: Levels in het ROS kunnen letterlijk per poot op alle standen gezet worden, en niet zoals bij Spider per gat. Verder kun je bij het ROS niet achteraf een level invoegen maar moeten alle bovenliggende levels er eerst uit. ROS heeft een bij aanschaf vastgelegde hoogte; Spider altijd hoger of lager maken door rackhoogte bij te kopen of weg te halen. Ook de klank verschilt iets van Spider: uiteindelijk is de ROS iets minder open en luchtig maar in de bas wat krachtiger. De manier waarop ze het karakter van de componenten blootleggen en het ontbreken van toegevoegde kleuring hebben de beide racks echter gemeen.
Deze voetjes worden bij de huidige generatie ROS bijgeleverd. Ze bestaan uit een combi van hard en zacht materiaal. Ze maken het geluid erg vloeiend, vergeleken met harde koppeling op Ceraballs, maar de dynamiek neemt ook duidelijk af en de bas wordt minder doortekend. Normaliter ben ik dan ook tegen het gebruik van rubberachtige materialen maar omdat de versterker helemaal onderin het rack staat klinkt hij te streng en te strak met gebruik van Ceraballs, vandaar de "verzachting" mbv deze voetjes.
IeGo Cryo treated Gold plated schuko connector
Simply the best schuko we have heard: fluid and smooth, absolutely without grain, open, refined, fast, detailed, rhythmic, fresh, lively but never aggressive and absolutely not dull or undynamic. An asset to every cable. Somehow this connector manages to sound more real and more "analog". We actually decided after many tests that connectors make out at least half of the sound of a cable.
After replacing a standard fuse by an AHP it's easy to hear that the sound is now fuller, richer in colour and more detailed. There is also more control and in my setup (Martin Logan electrosatics) this results in too much dryness. In itself the sound is better, but in a technical manner. The highs are also more detailed but they feel lesh fresh and less airy than when using a standard fuse. Comparing with a Hifi Tuning fuse confirmed a slightly dry and dark sound. If your setup is in need of control, AHP can definitely do good things for you but if your setup is already very detailed, AHP is probably too much of a good thing.
Finite Elemente Spider Ceraball (for use on Spider Racks)
These feet lend more speed, stability, drive and airyness to the component under which they're placed, without changing the sound by adding colouration like rubber or wood tend to do. They are available for Spider racks but also for universal use. Highly recommended!
Compared to components placed on the floor these racks lend more speed, drive, stability and airyness to the sound without altering the sound of the components like wood or steel racks tend to do. Compared to most other racks, Spider sounds more airy, more detailed and moe neutral. On top of their sonic attributes, they are also infinitely configurable.
Although this is a very refined connector, and it is both more detailed and more airy than the Wattgate, it has less PRAT. Tempo is slightly down and dynamics, although better than from Wattgate are slightly compressed and this connector just seems somewhat less enthusiastic than OEM product IEC-Gold or IeGO Gold. Nevertheless in a well balanced setup this connector can do wonderful things.
It is immediately clear that this connector is a lot more lively than the Fl11G. Tempo is also up now but compared to AA-IEC-gold and also IeGO it still sounds a little too controlled. The sound is very fluid, neutral, not processed and even more finely detailed than Fl11G but dynamics are still compressed compared to the other connectors. IeGO also has more natural mids and sounds altogether more real.
This connector is sturdy, looks good and comes cheap. But it has some characteristics that you should definitely take into account if you consider using it. It adds a lot of hard brightness to the sound that for example the Bals does not. Although in some setups this is actually a good thing, in most balanced setups this will be too much of a good thing. Also it is a lot less natural than Bals. I'd advise not using the Kupp at all and at least use Bals as the cheapest alternative.
When we swapped from the cable with Kupp to the cable with the Bals connector there were major differences. The difference was very obvious. A fat layer of metallicness was removed, revealing a much more natural, organic sound. Everything was a lot more supple but not at the expense of openness, speed or detail. The highs were still very open and airy, just way more natural and less brittle. And never was this connector boring. A very fine connector at a very reasonable price.
When swapping from the regular Bals to the Hifi Tuning Gold II schuko, the high frequencies become more natural, better differenciated, and so does the midband. There is more room for tiny sounds to develop instead of them being crammed against each other. This connector is even more natural and less electronic than the Bals, on which it is based. Apparently the gold coating does have a large effect. But the sound is also less spectacular, and a little less airy in the highest highs. So apply only if your system has enough openness to begin with.
Even though I realise that some people might find this hard to believe but the fuse actually makes a remarkable difference to the sound. In the case of Hifi Tuning, this results in more differenciated detailing, less hard and glassy highs and instead very fluid and somewhat more relaxed and full sound. AHP fuses have a different balance, they are tighter, drier and are more dark sounding. In contrast, regular fuses are fast and dynamic but can sound relentless and can in fact be responsible for a harsh treble.
Finite Elemente Spider Cerapuc (for universal heavy use)
Cerapucs are essentially larger versions of the Ceraball. They too have a ceramic ball and a rubber damping ring. But they can take a heavier load, are heavier and look better. Instead of the lighter aluminum they are now made from highly polished metal. They sound different too. Compared to universal ceraballs, the cerapucs lend more weight to the midbass and lower mids but are less well-articulated. Ceraballs are very nuanced and articulate but thinner and perhaps more analytical than the cerapucs. Overall I would say the pucs are more relaxed and full and the ceraballs are more articulate and analytical.
Cheaper but much better than Wattgates due to gold plating and a much tighter grip. This connector always brings more excitement to the mix making detail stand out better and giving moe focus to the soundstage. Its highs are very open but free from harshness but the very open nature of this connector can make mismatches in the system stand out. If you're seeking a more fluid, gentle, forgiving sound, consider Furutechs or even better, IeGO's
A short conclusion is difficult to make but overall you could say that brass strips, while providing a subjectively more open and dynamic sound, are also shouty, bright and unnatural sounding. Starwiring with Lapp cable rids the sound completely from these effects but makes the sound so natural and relaxed that some people might miss the artificial brightness that these strips provide. Read more in the review.
The highs are extremely fluid and supple, very open and fresh and even more airy than our long time reference standard IEC-Gold. The IeGO mids are much more natural and somehow more "analogue" than almost any other connector. Compared to the very enthusiastic IEC-Gold, the IeGO has a skightly more rounded bass and is ever so slightly less tight. If your system is neutral, the IeGO will probably stun you with its natural portrayal in combination with extreme resolution. If your system tends toward the dark and dull and needs a boost, then IEC-Gold may be the better bet as it livens up the sound with its unbridled enthusiasm.
These feet came in after I tried the RF-900's (shown above). They not only look the part but they also make for a much more engaging sound. First, they relax the highs, buit importantly, without taking away air, openness or fluidity. In fact, I feel that they add to the sense of relaxation. But they also bring colour to the mids and make the bass more rich, if slightly less fast than with the standard stailness steel discs. But the standard disks make the treble sound incredibly brittle and hard so this tiny sacrifice is well worth it. Okay, they are expensive, but if you have a top-system, you owe it to yourself to give these little buggers a listen. Very Highly Recomended!
These nicely finished Tuning Feet sure make your components look the business when you place them onto them. They provide solid placement and in effect are much like cones but tuned with the large wood/metal body. The resulting sound (placed under any component) is that of a lot more speed and livelyness but at the expense of fluidity. They actually made my Rowlands sound a lot more dry as well as taking away from the airyness of the treble. This effect was also noticeable under the Levinson no.390s cd player. Although they do provide an overall better sense of timing (PRAT) I feel that they simply do too much to the sound to make them useful in an already balanced system. I know that I am fanatical about the airiness in the treble and that most people are much more forgiving than I so the results may vary but I would rather go for the Sun Mook Ultra Diamond Resonators instead. Only recommended for very warm sounding systems that need livening up.
These tiny thingies are just incredible. They make people laugh in disbelief. Me too. I bought them because I wanted to hear for myself if they did or did not make a difference and consequently, if reviewers worldwide were crazy or paid by Harmonix to write favourably about them. Well, I wanted to know for sure so when I had the chance to buy them at a reduced price I decided to give them a try. At first I did not pay attention to the instructions and just laid them out in the room. Like this, the altered the tonal balance and made for a friendlier, warmer and smoother presentation. But it wasn't until I was preparing to sell them and decided to give them another go in my new house. This time I made sure to follow the instructions carefully and attach the disks to the walls in just the right places. You wonder what happened? In a word: disbelief. The effect was so large that I started doubting myself. But the good thing was that I did not need to hear a positive effect. After all, I wanted to sell them and even had a bidder waiting. But the combined effect was so large that I wasn't going to sell anymore. When carefully and precisely placed, the disks transform the sound. They provide more colour, more fluidity, a wider and deeper soundstage and an overall more "analogue" feeling. So, it is absolutely not understandable how they work but they definitely do work. Yes, they are incredibly expensive but considering their effect I would still recommend them.
These feet not only look beautiful; they also do beautiful things for the sound. They belong to a friend who uses them under his Nottingham Analogue turntable to great effect. I tried them under my Mark Levinson no.390s cd player as well as under the Coherence II preamp. In both cases the inprovements were clear: more open mids with more liveliness, but importantly, without added aggressiveness or loss of fluidity. The treble became more open and airy but remained absolutely fluid and stress-free. I definitely liked them better under the Levinson than under the Coherence because they made the latter sound less relaxed. For sure, the Shun Mooks made for better speed, detail and dynamics but I kind of like the Coherence (and any Rowland for that matter) for their relaxed nature and I felt that these feet changed that character too much. With the Levinson it was much more a matter of decision. The 390s sounded good with or wiothout them so it really came down to taste. My system is already very open and revealing. I found that they made good cd's sound even better while bad cd's sounded worse so I decided not to use them because the player is more forgiving without them. Nevertheless: highly recommended!
Finite Elemente Pagode Signature Rack
The Pagode is a bit of a mixed bag. The results are not universal. In my system it sounded much like the Spiders had sounded before but in a friend's system it was exactly not what the system needed. Compared to Spider, it added a nasality, a certain colouration to the sound as well as being rhytmically restrained and less airy in the highs. I know that it becomes boring to hear my say it all the time but again here is proof that in matters audio, all is relative. A beautiful Pagode doesn't have to beat Spider at twice the cost. So, should I rate the Pagode? Give it a final score? I think I'll refrain for the moment. I need to hear it in more systems before I can make such a judgement. But I can say that although the same company made it, and it costs double what the Spider costs, it is in my opinion not better than Spider. Just different.
Alas, this extensionblock was a letdown. Differences between various cables appeared smaller and it was soon clear why: this block smooths everything down. Rhythms are more vague, dynamics are compressed and colour and contrast are diminished. A comparison with the netkabels.nl starwired extensionblock, which itself is pretty full and warm, it turned out that the Sign was even more mellow and witheld, to the point of being lacklustre. I can't think of a setup in which this block would be a welcome addition.
A nice looking extensionblock at a decent price. I tried it with the same cable as I use with my own extensionblocks to rule out those differences and make sure that only the block itself is listened to. The Supra's character is fast, open, fairly detailed and quite neutral. But it is also slightly tinny and lacking body and colour. A comparison with the most open extensionblock from netkabels.nl made clear that you can get more colour and substance while not losing anything in the PRAT department. Overall, it sounds like a good basic extensionblock. But it looks better, and doesn't cost a fortune.
Fadel Art PC800 transformer-based power filter
This power conditioner makes for a beautifully smooth and fluid delivery that's full of colour, is very relaxed and has ripe bass. But it also robs dynamics and makes for less PRAT.
This filter sure looks very nice but soundwise I found it to be a letdown. It made for less stark dynamic contrasts, slowing of rhythm, shrinking of the soundstage and on top of it all it robbed colour and substance, taking away from the natural delivery, making everything sound more artificial.
This compact device is actually a power regenerator: it takes raw power from the mains, breaks it down and rebuilds it in a perfect AC waveform. It also keeps a user-defined specific voltage, no matter if power drops or rises. And it is very efficient: no heat while still being able to supply 1500 watts. This all makes for a presumably technically perfect product. And in a way it does sound perfect: bass is tighter, there's more drive and better focus. But it comes at a price: you lose a lot of fluidity, as well as air and colour. You could say that the PPP makes music technically better but emotionally less appealing. Read the entire review for more detailed information.
A highly neutral and transparent extensionblock of reference class. Neither warm nor cool, analytical nor velvety, ultra-dynamic nor compressed and rounded off and fast nor slow. But despite its neutrality it can come across as slightly unexciting due to a certain projection and dryness in the midband. Also, PRAT, resolution and HF extension can be bettered by certain alternatives.
At once highly detailed and ultra-refined. Extremely open yet effortlessly grainless. Its treble is extended and airy, the midband is glorious: open and communicative but also colourful and smooth and the bass is articulate, fast and dynamic, albeit slightly thin in a way reminiscent of some Nordost cables. Despite this, it is one of the best extensionblocks that I have heard, even beating the Vibex Reference Rhodium at its own game.
This connector certainly looks the business but soundwise I found it to be disappointing. It sounded a nicely detailed, but a little slow, and dynamically compressed. Even without comparing to the other connectores these characteristics stand out. This connector simply sounds uninspiring. Neutral but somehow synthetic. Compared to its golden brother, it is dry, thin and has poor communication skills. Rhodium or no, it doesn't have good PRAT.
The gold plated connector sounds better than its rhodium counterpart in that it is more involving, has more color and warmth and richness and has a little more speed. Although it sounds dynamic at first, with time you start to notice how everything still sounds a little too smooth and too compressed, compared to regular outlets. The Furutech however, is much more refined, fluid and detailed than regular outlets.
While the Furutech connectors I compared it with manage a little bit more air at the extreme HF and are even smoother, the Hifi-Tuning simply sounds more real. It is at once more acoustic, more dynamic, more engaging, fuller and richer and not at all dry, synthetic or sterile. This would be my pick of the bunch.
Max 24/192. In: USB 2,0, Out: cinch, AES/EBU (on mini XLR), IIS (only one output active at a time). This compact and pretty interface performed well above my expectations. I cannot express in few words the impact that this device had, even compared to my excellent resident HiFace EVO. Under Windows it is neccesary to install ASIO4ALL and it is recommended to use Foobar2000 but suffice to say that this combination beat my previous solution on many areas. Read the full review for a detailed explanation.
After having the Wraps in place for a couple of days and upon removal I already feel that the sound is less luxurious and that feeling was only substantiated during further tests. I feel that the Wraps make for a more intimate, more emotional sound that is at once more relaxed and more focused. The soundstage gains size in all dimansions and presents musical instruments in it with more air and so provides a more entertaining, more holographic presentation. For me, the Wraps are a keeper.
Simply amazing little tweak. More open and lively than Hifi Tuning Ultimate 2 or 3 but without any agression. Fast and articulate bass with open midrange and airy highs, combined with a polished sound.
Listened to on Alpha 3 powercable. Very well-balanced, adding refinement and subtle fluidity while not tipping over into restraint. While less microscopically refined than the Rhodium counterparts, much more engaging, live and dynamic. Comparison with the Fl-11 still to follow.
Listened to on Alpha 3 powercable. Highly refined, bringing the setup to a higher level in matters of refinement, resolution, articulation and neutrality, however, also lacking some enthusiasm, colour and drive compared to the gold versions. This effect is double checked with the connectors mounted to a Lapp cable versus the same cable with IeGO connectors, also see the extensive review.
My advice is to stay away from these fake racks. I agree that the real Finite Elemente racks are pricey but now that they are no longer made, they should appear even more often on the second hand market. If you buy the fake ones, you won't be doing yourself a favour: the wooden struts have been cut so inaccurately that it takes a lot of effort to get them even to stand level and straight. The fit and finish is surprisingly fine considering the price but it pales compared to the real Finite Elemente rack. Lastly: don't expect them to sound the same - they don't.
There's no denying that these tweaks really do work. The effect isn't even subtle: it is easy to hear and mostly entirely positive. The GEM1's add soundstage width and depth, harmonics and luxuriousness while taking away only little in terms of absolute transparency. I found that their contribution can either be a good thing or not such a good thing, depending on the overall soundbalance of the system. In a well-tweaked, warm sounding system their addition can be a little too much of a good thing. character.
The effect of these wraps is even larger than that of the GEM1's. They do exactly as advertised: to take away sharpness and add warmth. But in my system their contribution was simply too big. They're probably just what the doctor ordered in many other systems that suffer from a slightly clinical character.
So you thought that these little buggers couldn't possibly make a worthwile difference to the sound? So did I. I chose them for their looks. After all, if you have a beautiful system, you want beautiful feet as well. Boy was I in for a surprise! Not only do they make a difference: the difference is HUGE! I kid you not. Going from regular stainless steel disks to these made me realise how grainy and hard my treble had been until now. Also, the bass became fuller and more tuneful and the mids more communicative. Sadly there is bad news as well and I'm not talking about the price. The treble, most important to me, was indeed a lot less hard and brittle but it also lost air, openness and fluidity. Regular readers know that I cannot live without this. So out they went again. But going back to the regular saucers was no option, so in came the RF-909x. Much to my relief, these luxury discs exhibited the same positive effects as the RF-900's but without the downsides. Overall, I'd recommend the RF-900's as long as you aren't focussed on that airy top like I am.
A&B SYSTEMS ABS-02 Steel Balls Aluminum Isolation Cones
The other day a friend came by carrying what looked like Finite Elemente's Ceraballs, only slightly differently shaped. He had them off Ebay for 15 euro/3 pc. The real thing starts from 100 usd! Naturally I had to compare them to real Ceraballs, read on!
Purposeful, arguably ugly looking sandwich construction that is fortunately also cheap to buy (around 43 euro for a set of 4). In use their influence is easily noticeable but my tests were inconclusive. Sometimes there was an improvement in clarity and bass articulation, other times the dynamics were too much flattened and the sound became boring. Their effect is largest when used directly under the bottom of the equipment, ie not under the component feet. At their price though I would recommend you just try them out for yourself.
Not only is this rack flawless in design and adjustability; soundwise it is also perfect and a massive improvement over any rack that I have used. The rack doesn't hide its highly technical nature, but I perceive it as a classic case of "Form Follows Function". It is just really well thought out and I personally think it looks spectacular. But more importantly, the added emotionality that this rack is able to squeeze out of my system is quite simply staggering.
These couplers, perhaps even more so than other couplers, are very system-dependent. While I really like the smaller Ultra Minis and Ultra SS, the Ultra 5s were ultimately not a good match in my own system, even if they provided the best bass I have yet heard my system produce. Listening to the 5's in a friend's system was nothing short of a revelation: his sound improved so much that we couldn't help but be perplexed. The Ultras (both Minis and SS) are really dangerous: hear them once and you'll be addicted. They are so effective that other such accessories, even products that are akin to the Stillpoints principle, such as Finite Elemente Ceraballs, pale by comparison.