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Anti-vibration platform


Manufacturer: ASURA
Price (when reviewed): from 825 EUR



Provided for test by: ASURA

pecialization is the key to success on a market dominated by large players, especially if one starts business without any serious capital. One has to distinguish somehow from all others - and it is not just about an idea for a given product, but also a fulfilling a particular demand. Perhaps the latter is even more important. It seems to me that the proposal of Rafael Szymanik is a good idea, from both audio and marketing point of view.

Mr Szymanik has treated audio as a hobby for the last 17 years. The anti-vibration platform under review is his first commercial product. It was built based on his experience and his research for the theoretical basis for the influence such accessories have on audio systems.

The anti-vibration platform used under the power distributors has a dual role: it is primarily an anti-vibration element that converts vibration into a heat, but it is also a component that minimizes electromagnetic radiation from the distributor. The latter is not a new idea, of course, let me recall the active Tranquility Base platform from Synergistic Research, ground filters, etc. This particular product is an original blend of minerals and other elements combined with wood and leather. Importantly, the platforms are custom-made for specific power distributors/strips so that it fits into a wooden frame and its bottom is exactly adhered to the leather that closes the blend.

Quality Recovery System Level 1

The platform is delivered in a large, nice plywood box. Inside one finds a board and three feet, as well as flat plywood element, which help to level the filling. The platform has a special design that Rafael called Quality Recovery System Level 1 (QRS L1). The feet are also wooden and have a distinctive shape resembling a rectangular triangle. On the bottom of the platform there are small milled pits that accommodate these feet.

There are two options: for the "lazy" users, i.e. with three, equally aligned on shorter sides, and the "right" way with these pits spaced with respect to the center of gravity of the platform. Setting up the platform is not easy and I would prefer that these pits were larger. In everyday use, each time I had to move the platform I also had to set up the feet properly which takes time. Time that I'd rather spent listening to the music.

The stand resembles a wooden frame with the bottom made of the same wood. Inside, an original mix of minerals and other elements was added, and to make sure it is not spilled, the mixture was sealed with a leather belt embossed with the company's name: ASURA (originally the brand was supposed to be called Rafaell's cable High End Audio and the platform was to be called HUMANIZER). The whole looks really good, reminding me products prepared by small Japanese companies. In my opinion this is not quite yet the same level of make and finish quality, but it is already very, very good.

The key elements, is the QRS L1 technology. As Rafael says, it is the result of "converting 17 years of hobby and passion into something real, tangible and effective." Over this period, he created many audio-related products including interconnects (passive and active), power cables and some other that improved performance, or rather "removed obstacles and traps in the audio system that affect the music that we hear from loudspeakers."

To quote his product brochure:

With QRS L1 I focused on improving working conditions for power strips/distributors and achieved enhancements in three aspects:

  • power conditioning by the power strip,
  • separation of vibrations coming from the surface strip is placed on,
  • minimizing the influence of static charges on the operation of the power strip.

Listening to the Asura platform should be performed in a slightly different way than usual. As it reads in the company's materials, "this platform does not" like "to be removed from under power strip (it requires much longer settling time in the system than when installed for the first time), so one should start using it when all other elements of the system has been already selected." This “settling” in the system should be audible for the first 3-4 hours (the whole system has to plugged in and playing) and after that time one can start initial listening test. The ultimate test should be performed no sooner than after three full days of playing, although there still might be some minor changes to the sound even after that. So the comparison must be done as follows – one has to use Asura for a few days listening to one's system performance with it and only than remove it and listen without a platform, placed on the floor or with a different platform.

Owner, designer

I am 57 years old and already have a lot of life experience. I started my career in the heavy machine industry, first as a CNC machine operator, and then I was promoted to the supervisor position. I worked on lathes, milling machines and CNC machining center. Later, the direction of my career changed due to additional education which enabled me to change the profile of my job and join a thriving Polish business. I was responsible for organizing new production and technological lines and securing continuity of production. The company was active in three industries: furniture, frames and electronic (watches, cash registers).

My next employer was the Institute of Nuclear Physics where I worked in a department that was responsible for instrumentation for all the institute's science departments. At the time we built our own cyclotron and we did also some work for the largest CERN cyclotron in Switzerland. That experience allowed me to get to know some very "exotic" technologies, materials and people. This is where I participated in the study researching an impact of the reactor explosion in Ukraine.

As my family grew working for state-owned companies was no longer an option so I quit the technical profession for a couple of years and became a manager responsible for the maintenance and operation of the biggest sports club in Krakow. There was also an interesting "historical episode" in my carrier when for one year I worked in the best, four-generation arts and crafts factory in Krakow. I worked in a forged metalwork section and re-mastered the old techniques of making beautiful metal things (I used tools and equipment from the early nineteenth century - so cool!). Among other things this small factory made the door to the famous St. Mary's Church in Krakow, and I myself left my mark in the form of a wrought storefront of the Voight workshop on Florianska St. (my father was a sculptor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow so I guess I inherited for of his artistic talent).

After some time I returned to the furniture-frame-electronic company, and after it was overtaken by new investors I got transferred to the head office of a new company where I was involved in advertising (e.g. 80% of Mercedes salons in Poland use my and my colleague's work). To utilize my knowledge and experience company transferred me to the department building prototype street cleaning machines for a well-known German company. Later, since I did my best and had a lot interesting ideas, I decided to leave this company and start my own business.

For almost 20 years I was involved in servicing and selling of hard and super hard tools (carbides, diamonds). After this period, as a result of working over 740 hours a month my health gave up and I lot three years of m life. However, I finally got better and took some additional training I got a job at a 50-person engineering company working mainly for the automotive industry. 40% of its projects were done for Audi. I was responsible for setting up a whole new department of prototypes and then converting ideas of our engineers into tangible objects.

I prepared e.g. a prototype machine for ABB company allowing them to produce the largest transformers in the world. There were four of us working in a 1,000-meter hall with a sheet metal laser and Rapid Prototyping machines. My last job was to secure the operation of a 100-person electronic company producing drivers. For 2.5 years I was involved in the design and implementation of induction (element of home oven) for the largest domestic appliance manufacturer in Poland.

Now the most important thing: my whole life I liked to learn and assimilate knowledge from various fields so that I could later use it in the specific activity that I was dealing with at the moment. The same applies to audio, which I have been interested in for over 35 years, and I have been practicing for over 17 years. The solutions that I use in my audio products are often from “far-away” fields of science-technology, apparently having no connection to audio. Some people seem very upset that I have a vast knowledge and experience in various fields but after all reading does not hurt ... Well, I tried to follow Parkinson's rule and not to stay in one company for more than three years (the longest period ever was 7). Except for my own company, which was a beautiful period in my life and now, starting with Asura QRS L1, I plan to repeat such a wonderful period.

Let me add that music is my passion - during a record year I was able to listen to 1500 CDs, and some of them, more than once. I like live music very much so I try to go to concerts as often as I can. I listen to a wide spectrum of music genres ranging from classics, jazz, rock, pop to etno and even contemporary music of the 21st century composers. I keep in touch with the lecturers of Music Academy in Krakow and I often attend their lectures.

As the QRS platform manufacturer talks about a few days of "settling" in a system, i.e. neutralizing static charges, I had to change the method of my test accordingly. By default, I run A / B / A tests with A and B known. This time it was an A / B comparison, also with A and B known. The comparison was performed twice a few days apart. The first time, 'A' was the Asura platform, and 'B' the reference platform, Acoustic Revive TB-38H. The second time 'A' was the Asura platform, and the 'B' was the floor - the platform was using its own feet. I separately looked again for the difference in the sound between the "floor" and the Acoustic Revive TB-38H.

Recordings used for the test

  • Art Farmer and Jim Hall, Big Blues, CTI/King Records KICJ-2186, „CTI Timeless Collection 40”, CD (1978/2007)
  • Depeche Mode, Going Backwards [Remixes], Columbia 5477452, SP CD (2017)
  • Ferdinand Fisher, From Heaven on Earth, wyk. Hubert Hoffmann, Challenge Classics CC72740, SACD/CD (2016)
  • John Coltrane Quartet, Ballads, Impulse!/Universal Music LLC (Japan) UCCU-40001, Platinum SHM-CD (1962/2013)
  • Lisa Gerrard, The Silver Tree, Sonic Records SON212, CD (2006)
  • Nat ‘King’ Cole, The Nat King Cole Love Songs, Master Tape Audio Lab AAD-245A, „Almost Analogue Digital”, Master CD-R (2015);

Japanese issues available at

As you can read in the section on the test methodology, this test was performed differently. Since I had to listen to the system with Asura for several days, without a quick A / B / A comparison, I used this chance also to listening to music with the Acoustic Revive platform and with power distributor placed directly on the floor for an equally long time. A quick comparison was made only when I switched from Mr. Rafael's platform to the AR one and from platform to the floor.

Every time I “downgraded” the changes were - for me - devastating. And the hierarchy was set up quickly: at the very top of was the Asura QRS L1, than the Acoustic Revive TB-38H and at the end the floor. I know the positive impact of Mr. Ken Ishiguro's, the owner of AR, platforms by heart. After all I his his platforms also under my loudspeakers. The improvement delivered Asura came as a huge surprise for me. I knew, I mean I felt that it could be very good because when someone like Mr. Rafael Szymanik decides to present his creation it must a “sure thing”. But I also had to listen to it to believe it.

And I will get to it in a moment. First, however, I would like to propose that you go back to the previous paragraph. Breaking the test routine allowed me to look at the changes introduced by this type of product from a wider perspective. Because what percentage of quality increase can such product offer? I mean, for real. The question seems simple, just give a percentage and "there it is". In fact, the answer depends on whom you ask, i.e. how experienced this person is and what are his expectations. While globally we can observe a retreat from the idea of elitism, in reality there are and always will be some elites. Of different types and importance, of course, but there always will be some. The same is true in audio.

The "elite" in this case will mean a group of people who are experienced, who listened to variety of audio components and music / music and audio component, in any order. For them, for the well-prepared ones by multiple exposure to live music and music played on high quality systems - differences in the performance between the Asura and AR platforms and the "floor" will be significant. I will not be surprised if it is even as big as a 100% (improvement).

However, it is important to know that this will be something like "tunnel vision". You know what it is about – one is focused on one, selected aspect of an issue and nothing beyond it. Improvement in the sound quality that such types of products deliver is appreciated by experienced people, from their point of view, which also means that others will think it is exaggerated. What's the truth than? In this case, both parties are right - but each truth is one only for the particular individual. There is simply no universal truth.

Let's return to the test. The objective differences between the Polish and Japanese platforms are that big. They are much larger between the two platforms and the "floor". Moreover, I am sure that not all music lovers and not all of their systems need what fascinated me in the Polish platform. In spite of the objective assessment, in my subjective sense of what I heard, the Asura delivered performance that was much closer to my own idea of a good sound. Before I heard it I was 100% satisfied with my Acoustic Revive. But I heard it and so I have to state it clearly: it was a unique experience.

The Polish platform causes the sound to “darken”. Everything become velvety. The elements that are usually “covered” by loud sound become more distinct. The frequency range is actually much wider, although the first impression is that there is less top end and that the bottom is less accentuated. All of these features are combined into a whole that leaves listener fascinated when hearing well-known recordings from yet another perspective than usually. I am not saying that one hears “more" or that what one hears is "better", because it's obvious - I mean that a recording is presented from different perspective, the more interesting one.

Like with the Point Point Remix of the Depeche Mode Going Backwards. In my review of the Spirit album, which includes original version of this track, I wrote that it is not particularly well recorded, and the album itself is not a top achievement of the band (more HERE). Meanwhile, it seems that the new remixes underwent much better mastering since they sound better. And the one I'm talking about is quite unique. Gahan's vocal comes from all sides, as if we were sitting in a large room, maybe a church. With the power strip placed on the floor it was easy to read, but the plane was narrowed to a single horizontal one. The AR platform emphasized the attack of the sound, so that the leading edges of the notes were clearer, and therefore the whole presentation was more powerful. The Asura took proper care of the decay of the sound which made it deeper, richer and more believable, and the room was huge.

The same recording showed that the Polish platform allows better bass extension. It is also richer and more powerful. The Acoustic Revive is more "forward-sounding", the sound has rougher edges and compared to the "floor" is a big step forward as it improves selectivity and resolution and clarity. The "floor" in comparison seems dull, lifeless. But it is the Asura that builds a fuller sound without emphasizing any sub-ranges and with a darker top end. This really did a trick for Nat 'King' Cole's recordings. His vocals are notoriously brightened up, making him sound hoarse. And yet it was not supposed to be like that, he is a crooner, and distinguishing features of his voice are: sensuality and velvetness. And that exactly what the Polish platform gave it.

The dark sound does not mean the absence of treble, on the contrary. It's a very rich presentation in which everything is so connected that we no longer pay attention to the "top end" as such but rather to the instruments that play there; to the "drum cymbals", not the high tones. All albums I listened to just confirmed it. The sound was creamy and smooth. The Japanese platform does not “sound” nervous, but the Asura seemed even more organically melted with the music. AR's tonal balance is clearly set up higher. The "floor" means lower resolution and selectivity, which creates an impression of a lower tonal balance. In fact, the Acoustic Revive power strip without a platform delivers a less differentiated sound, which makes it seem richer while it actually is leaner.

Which brings us back to the beginning of this test, to the question of improvement quantified in "percentages". The Acoustic Revive power strip placed on the floor lets you listen to music in a comfortable way, with great dynamics and clarity. It does not differentiate the top of the band in particularly impressive way, the attack is a bit harder, but it's still one of the best power strips I know (see also Verictum Cogitari). It delivers a performance that totally satisfies my needs. When I first put it on the Acoustic Revive TB-38H platform, I appreciated the influence of Mr. Ishiguro's product, since it had improved everything - from resolution, dynamics to frequency range extension. And again it was all I needed.

The Asura proves that there is yet another approach to this issue that ultimately means an even better performance. And only NOW I feel truly satisfied with the performance of my system. But I also realize that if I listened to music with the AR platform for a while and even without it, with power strip placed on the floor, the performance would still be very good, I would just have to "forget" what changes the Asura introduced. Because that's how such products work - they support the basic components of the system, emphasizing or exposing their qualities without changing them. So the value in a given system of the Polish platform can be 0% if we agree to some sort of selective amnesia - because if we have a good system, it will still sound good - or 100%, as for me, because my system's performance with it was remarkable.


In Sanskrit the word Asura means "seeking the power" or "thirsty for power". It is related to the Zoroastrianism, Hinduism and Buddhism, where it means a deity or a demon (former deity). Using it in isolation from the deity means "pursuing the darkness." Naming a business in this way may, although doesn't have to, suggest the direction it will follow.

This is probably a coincident, but that's exactly how I understand the changes the Quality Recovery Platform Level 1 brings to the sound: a high-end's characteristic “darkness” of the sound. Its performance is exceptionally well suited to the character of the Acoustic Revive power strip, as well as my entire system. The "usual" darkening works to its detriment. What the Asura does is enhancing its performance, improving its perception, focusing listener's attention on the music itself, which sounds much more interesting and engaging. Simply better. That is why it stays with our Reference System.



- 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

- 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

- 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
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: 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
- 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