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Anti-vibration platform

+ anti-vibration feet + resonators

Finite Elemente

Manufacturer: development & design 4U GmbH
Price (in Poland):
6640 zł + 2840 zł/4 szt. + 1400 zł
Contact: Bleikaule 9 | 59929 Brilon | Germany
tel.: ++49-(0) 2961-96611-0
fax: ++49-(0) 2961-96611-69

Manufacturer’s website:
Country of origin: Germany

hen it comes to perfectionist audio or audiophilism, the opinions of people outside the audio industry who haven’t got anything to do with it or in other words don’t own high-end or at least sensibly set up audio systems, have not been exposed to high quality sound at audio shows and usually don’t really know the sound of live instruments and how it translates into recording studio techniques and hence the sound played back at home, degenerate. While in most other industries such people are able to acknowledge the value of tests and experiments that complement or even modify existing theories (the so-called state of knowledge), in the case of audio they put blinders on and repeat ad nauseam that “such and such” theory does not predict anything like that. They often try to support their opinion with specific arguments which, however, are derived from the same theory, or at least from what they understood and learned from it. Yet in audio we do exactly the same – we test the existing knowledge and push its boundaries further. Audiophilism is not about “breaking” the laws of physics. That’s nonsense. It’s about their better understanding and interpretation. If we were to believe engineers-theorists who do not listen to music but are instead turned on by their measurements, we would still have been listening to music on audio systems powered by lamp cord, built only on transistors or even ICs, with deep negative feedback and multiple stages to correct each other, housed in substandard enclosures and placed anywhere, even on a cardboard. We would all have been listening to mp3 files, since the ABX or "double-blind" tests conducted at the AES meetings on a representative group of people from the industry showed no statistically significant difference between MP3s and CDs. The theory would have been intact and we would need to forget about genuine music reproduced at home. What caused this state of affairs? Why is it that the people who by definition should have an open mind, be curious and thirsty for new answers, are locked in their cage of an idiotic “NO” that rejects any criticism? Experience has provided a clear answer – it’s because of their ignorance. Although the basic tool of people who are deaf to the results of direct listening tests or auditions is the same, lack of knowledge, in reality they (I apologize for the "us" and "them" that quite unintentionally came out as a kind of segregation) have gaps in their education. Which is a perfectly illustrated by the example of Finite Elemente.

We find the following significant statement on this German manufacturer’s website:
“For the first time a hi-fi rack designer is using scientifically based arguments in its fight against sound-distorting resonances.”
It’s one of a few examples proving that it’s indeed possible to verify and confirm the appropriateness of using such solutions and of engineering anti-vibration racks, feet and other accessories that convert kinetic energy into heat. Finite Elemente is not alone on its path to the goal and has joined forces with scientists from Fachhochschule Dortmund (University of Applied Sciences, Dortmund) to have its products measured and optimized, and provided theoretical background in the document titled Sound Optimization of hi-fi racks using resonator technology (see HERE). I know of two other manufacturers that equally effectively use available theoretical knowledge by collaborating with technical universities and high-tech companies: Acoustic Revive from Japan and VertexAQ from the UK.

Finite Elemente employs its own characteristic method of eliminating vibration or actually converting it into heat, which is broadly similar to that used by both above manufacturers. All the components are rigidly connected and their overall mass is small.
In the reviewed Pagode Edition HD-09 platform the mechanical coupling of individual components is via finely crafted spikes and their mounts, and ceramic balls. The wooden platform has a rather complex design. Its frame is made of solid Canadian maple wood, with side braces in place. The braces are fitted with mounts of hardened high-carbon steel. The shelf that supports an audio component is not very thick and is made of the same maple wood as the frame. Low spikes underneath are from the same material as the mounts. The spikes are fitted with short tubes of a porous rubber-like material. They can be removed and treated as a cover protection during transportation, but can be also left in place to minimize micro-displacement of the spikes in the mounts. One of the shorter platform sides features an aluminum plate with the series logo. I haven’t yet mentioned one component that makes it more than just another anti-vibration platform. Finite Elemente together with the Dortmund University developed a proprietary system of resonators. These are short steel cylinders with quite long steel rods. Their length varies depending on the frequency at which they start to vibrate. There are six resonator types with resonant frequencies of 220 Hz, 486 Hz, 512 Hz, 550 Hz, 670 Hz and 882 Hz. They vibrate in resonance with the shelf and convert the vibration to heat. The Finite Elemente website features measurement charts showing the effect of the resonators on the shelves structure. The whole platform rests on four spikes and looks insanely awesome. It’s the top level of finish quality I know. The overall dimensions are 640 x 590 mm with the height of 110 mm (including feet). The platform can be fitted with something better than the spikes, like the CeraBall series interface feet for example. I opted for the CeraBase Classic, with three ceramic balls separating other metal components from each other. A set of four costs 2,840 PLN.

I also added to the system a component with perhaps a slightly misleading name – Resonator 1000 Hz, designed to minimize vibration at this frequency. It is a flat disc with the diameter of 120 mm and the height of 28 mm. Its aluminum enclosure houses a vibrating component. The latter comprises of metal strips coupled in the center by a 35 mm steel cylinder that protrudes down 1 mm from the bottom to be in direct contact with the top surface of an audio component it is placed on. The whole unit weighs 380 g and is available in silver or black. It operates on the “minimum energy principle,” or in other words the second law of thermodynamics. It states that if we have two flexible surfaces of different weights connected to each other, the lower mass element absorbs the kinetic energy from the one with greater weight and turns it into heat, provided that both have the same resonant frequency. As the name suggests, the Resonator 1000 Hz is tuned to the frequency of 1,000 Hz (1 kHz) and helps to suppress vibration of that frequency. It costs 1,400 PLN per unit. I used two of them during this review.

Finite Elemente in “High Fidelity”
  • KRAKOW SONIC SOCIETY: Meeting No.51 – isolators, see HERE

  • Records used during auditions

    • A Day at Jazz Spot 'Basie'. Selected by Shoji "Swifty" Sugawara, Stereo Sound Reference Record SSRR6-7, 2 x SACD/CD (2011).
    • Dominic Miller, Fourth Wall, Q-rious Music QRM 108-2, CD (2006);
    • Daft Punk, Random Access Memories, Columbia Records/Sony Music Japan SICP-3817, CD (2013).
    • Danielsson, Dell, Landgren, Salzau Music On The Water, ACT Music ACT 9445-2, CD (2006).

    • Frank Sinatra, Sinatra Sings Gershwin, Columbia/Legacy/Sony Music Entertainment 507878 2, CD (2003).
    • The Modern Jazz Quartet, Pyramid, Atlantic Records/Warner Music Japan WPCR-25125, “Atlantic 60th”, CD (1960/2006).
    • Johann Sebastian Bach, St. John Passion, BWV 245, Smithsonian Chamber Players and Chorus, Kenneth Slowik, Smithsonian Collection Of Recordings ND 0381, 2 x CD (1990).
    Japanese editions of CDs and SACDs are available from

    "Theoretically" (I am talking about widely accepted knowledge that is taught at most technical universities) the sound of audio components should not be significantly impacted by the type of surface they sit on. The system from Finite Elemente – even without knowing the measurements taken at the Fachhochschule Dortmund – proves it to be a nonsense. The changes it introduces to the sound are big, even very big and markedly different to just about any other platform and anti-vibration system we review in this issue of "High Fidelity". At the same time, it is the only system whose reception at first is not clearly positive, far less enthusiastic. This experience teaches humility towards one’s own expectations and perception of one’s own knowledge. For the first time in a long time, since the review of the Acoustic Revive RST-38 platform, I have been able to go forward, deeper into what I think I know about audio.
    Actually, I faced an identical situation as in the case of Mr. Ishiguro’s platform. Back then, my first tests had not been uniformly good, either, and some had been downright negative. The sound with the RST-38 under the speakers or amplifiers seemed to me (and not only to me) sharper and less rich. Exactly the opposite of what I wanted to achieve. It's been two years now; my sound system and my understanding of the sound have changed and I think I know why I was so hopelessly wrong. What I took for dryness was the effect of minimizing euphonies or coloration resulting from vibration. It was a lowering of sound distortion. This in turn allowed to point out weaknesses, to identify places that needed improvement. Among other things, that is why all my power cords are now the top Acrolink 7N-PC9300. Incidentally, I'm most curious about its successor, the 7N-PC9500, which is soon coming to us. The Acrolink cords have moved the sound a few levels up and remedied what seemed to me a problem with the platforms and what turned out to be a problem with wiring and with what my other components were placed on. They allowed a real, big step forward in my system configuration. Not just polishing its sound but the kind of change that opened the way for other smaller improvements impossible to achieve without this step, yet crucial for the high-end.

    The Pagode Edition with the CeraBase Compact feet and the Resonator 1000 Hz discs that minimize vibration took it a step further, though in a very similar "style". I say “further” as I already had in my system the large RST-38H platforms under the Harbeth M40.1 stands. It turned out, however, that the euphony which I thought I’d dealt with once and for all, without losing tangibility and fullness, richness of sound, was still present in my system. I was of course aware of a slight preference given by the speakers to frequencies below 100 Hz, but I did not think that it was combined with a sort of blurring the attack and boosting the lower midrange. It was not a simple emphasizing of that range but rather such shaping of the sound that results in it being "thick". This distortion has its roots in the superimposing of the sound and distortion, something much more difficult to correct than usual dips in the frequency response.
    An amplifier placed on the Finite platform with the Resonators on the output transformers housings sounded a little quieter. Not by much, as a 1-2 dB correction was sufficient to even out the subjective sound level, but the change was quite clear due to a further modification. The sound seemed a little smaller and the soundstage felt narrower. That’s why for a while I missed something that was there before. After moving the amplifier back to my rack, Sinatra's vocal seemed to grow larger. Put it on the Finite and the vocal got smaller again. The same thing happened with the instruments on the Daft Punk album and the saxophone and bass on the Salzau… disc. It was the latter purist recording, however, that showed me for the first time what was really going on. I heard it over and over again since, wondering at myself how I could not have noticed it earlier. The problem was a blurred attack and – the way I hear it now – not good enough definition. Raising the volume by 1 dB, apparently not much, restored the instruments’ size and added their much better organization. The difference lied in showing a better, more interesting and richer instruments’ texture and their clearer bodies. The sound was internally richer, more full-bodied and clearer at the same time. The instruments were not emphasized at the top and actually had a little less energy. It's just that they were better defined not only by their clearer attack but also by their richness, now more accurate, anchored somewhere deeper than the surface.

    The same thing happened with soundstaging. The impressively vast soundstage on The Modern Jazz Quartet album Pyramid, resulting from a simultaneous recording of all instruments with fairly closely placed microphones that’d also caught other instruments, narrowed down with the reviewed platform. Or so I thought. I listened again to the first track, then again and again and once more. After each single "try" I became keenly aware of what was really going on. Apparently, the Finite Elemente system preferred the sounds reaching the microphone directly. All the others were conveyed equally well, but due to a relatively higher level of the former they descended into the background. Now I better understood the ideas of sound engineers who had worked on the album. Earlier I wondered sometimes why they’d needed so unnaturally inflated soundstage. Now the cymbal crashes were better defined and the sound had an overall better definition and nicer body. I think that previously a part of the seeming "space" was in fact noise, something related to a disturbance of the sound field. The Finite Elemente calmed it down.


    This German anti-vibration system is outstanding. It does not alter the sound in the sense that the sound’s color WITH and WITHOUT it is identical. Its effect doesn’t show in certain aspects but is manifested in a more structural way. The improvement of definition and transparency, but not at the expense of richness, covers the whole frequency spectrum and not just its selected band. It’s an overall, homogeneous effort. After this kind of experience, we begin to look for things we can improve in our own system. We begin to think. And that is what separates us from unreflective barraters. Hallelujah!

    The products from Finite Elemente including the Pagode Edition platform, the CeraBall Compact feet and the two Resonators 1000 Hz were reviewed as a whole system. The platform was placed on the floor, in front of my equipment rack. The Resonators were placed on the metal covers for the amplifier’s output transformers. The testing was a multiple repeated A/B/A comparison, with the A and B known. Since the Pagode was the only platform that did not fit on the top shelf of my Base rack, comparing it with the "bare" rack shelf was one of the two I did. The other one included the amplifier placed next to the rack, directly on the floor. Given that the changes in the sound with the Finite system were very similar for both comparisons and differed only in intensity, I discussed them together in the “sound” section of the review. Sample tracks had the length of 1 min. and as such were shorter than usual, but that allowed me to make more comparison swaps before fatigue set in.

    Distribution in Poland
    Audio System

    tel.: (22) 662-45-99 | fax: (22) 662-66-74



    - Turntable: AVID HIFI Acutus SP [Custom Version]
    - Cartridges: Miyajima Laboratory KANSUI, review HERE | Miyajima Laboratory SHILABE, review HERE | Miyajima Laboratory ZERO (mono) | Denon DL-103SA, review HERE
    - Phono stage: RCM Audio Sensor Prelude IC, review HERE
    - Compact Disc Player: Ancient Audio AIR V-edition, review HERE
    - Multiformat Player: Cambridge Audio Azur 752BD
    - Line Preamplifier: Polaris III [Custom Version] + AC Regenerator, regular version review (in Polish) HERE
    - Power amplifier: Soulution 710
    - Integrated Amplifier: Leben CS300XS Custom Version, review HERE
    - Stand mount Loudspeakers: Harbeth M40.1 Domestic, review HERE
    - Stands for Harbeths: Acoustic Revive Custom Series Loudspeaker Stands
    - Real-Sound Processor: SPEC RSP-101/GL
    - Integrated Amplifier/Headphone amplifier: Leben CS300XS Custom Version, review HERE
    - Headphones: HIFIMAN HE-6, review HERE | HIFIMAN HE-500, review HERE | HIFIMAN HE-300, review HERE | Sennheiser HD800 | AKG K701, review (in Polish) HERE | Ultrasone PROLine 2500, Beyerdynamic DT-990 Pro, version 600 - reviews (in Polish): HERE, HERE, HERE
    - Headphone Stands: Klutz Design CanCans (x 3), review (in Polish) HERE
    - Headphone Cables: Entreq Konstantin 2010/Sennheiser HD800/HIFIMAN HE-500, review HERE
    System I
    - Interconnects: Acrolink Mexcel 7N-DA6300, review HERE | preamplifier-power amplifier: Acrolink 8N-A2080III Evo, review HERE
    - Loudspeaker Cables: Tara Labs Omega Onyx, review (in Polish) HERE
    System II
    - Interconnects: Acoustic Revive RCA-1.0PA | XLR-1.0PA II
    - Loudspeaker Cables: Acoustic Revive SPC-PA
    System I
    - Power Cables: Acrolink Mexcel 7N-PC9300, all system, review HERE
    - Power Distributor: Acoustic Revive RTP-4eu Ultimate, review HERE
    - Power Line: fuse – power cable Oyaide Tunami Nigo (6m) – wall sockets 3 x Furutech FT-SWS (R)
    System II
    - Power Cables: Harmonix X-DC350M2R Improved-Version, review (in Polish) HERE | Oyaide GPX-R (x 4 ), review HERE
    - Power Distributor: Oyaide MTS-4e, review HERE
    - Portable Player: HIFIMAN HM-801
    - USB Cables: Acoustic Revive USB-1.0SP (1 m) | Acoustic Revive USB-5.0PL (5 m), review HERE
    - LAN Cables: Acoustic Revive LAN-1.0 PA (kable ) | RLI-1 (filtry), review HERE
    - Router: Liksys WAG320N
    - NAS: Synology DS410j/8 TB
    - Stolik: SolidBase IV Custom, read HERE/all system
    - Anti-vibration Platforms: Acoustic Revive RAF-48H, review HERE/digital sources | Pro Audio Bono [Custom Version]/headphone amplifier/integrated amplifier, review HERE | Acoustic Revive RST-38H/loudspeakers under review/stands for loudspeakers under review
    - Anti-vibration Feets: Franc Audio Accessories Ceramic Disc/ CD Player/Ayon Polaris II Power Supply /products under review, review HERE | Finite Elemente CeraPuc/ products under review, review HERE | Audio Replas OPT-30HG-SC/PL HR Quartz, review HERE
    - Anti-vibration accsories: Audio Replas CNS-7000SZ/power cable, review HERE
    - Quartz Isolators: Acoustic Revive RIQ-5010/CP-4
    - FM Radio: Tivoli Audio Model One