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ASB3545WF Wellfloat

Manufacturer: CEC Co., Ltd
Price: 4300 zł
Contact (in Europe):
C.E.C. International GmbH ǀ Wacholderweg 16
22335 Hamburg | Germany

Manufacturer's website:
Country of origin: Japan

hile you're reading this text, the latest issue of Polish „Audio” magazine should be already available, containing my test of the Japanese C.E.C. (I should use from this moment on CEC abbreviation to make it easier) CD3N CD Player. It's an outstanding product, one of the first made in a new, own factory build in Japan, some time after a „divorce” with Carlos Candeias. A trauma after this „divorce” was so significant that Japanese decided to go back to their core activity and manufacture only CD Players/Transports – for now there are no amplifiers with CEC logo, or are any even planned in the nearest future! CEC is a large Japanese company, that has been manufacturing OEM audio parts since 1954, mostly turntable elements like motors, power supplies and bearings. They had such well known customers as SME and Oracle. In 1993 they presented the first product with their own brand, that was named: TL1 drive. This device quickly earned a lot of interest because of its innovative Belt Drive CD mechanism. A lot has changed since then but this drive has been and still is what differentiates CEC from other manufacturers.
The flagship at the moment is a TL-0X model. It's a masterpiece of engineering art, with two belts driving main ax and laser pickup. The TL0X's revolutionary three part chassis suppresses micro-vibrations and resonances that cause unwanted jitter in the digital data stream. A superior isolation of the TL0X drive mechanism has been achieved by suspending it from three rubber-damped suspension, which towers extend to their tiptoe feet as unified assemblies to decouple resonances from the chassis and drive mechanism. The drive mechanism is a massive 30mm sandwich of nonmagnetic materials with dissimilar resonances a 20mm aluminum plate and a 10mm brass plate. Since the drive mechanism is only slightly wider than the compact disc it must hold, the susceptibility to airborne interference is greatly reduced.
I mentioned that because CEC offers also an anti-vibration platform that works in a similar way. There are two boards – upper and lower - and they use a patented pendulum movement floating suspension system. The system consist of an U-shaped special stainless steel spring connected via a piano wire. When weight is applied on top board, U-shaped stainless steel comes down to make piano wire free movement. Piano wire works for pendulum movement. Thus the vibration up-down, right-left, forward-backward will be totally absorbed. This is super effective at minimizing floor vibrations and eliminating microphonics within components.

Obviously CEC wanted to offer to its customers something that would work basing on similar approach as the suspension in their own flagship CD Transport. The Wellfloat platform carries CEC logo, but in fact it was designed by other Japanese company, G-CLEF Acoustic, and Wellfloat is a brand name (owned by Zeke lev sound Co., Ltd.) that is used for the whole family of platforms. The ASB3545WF Wellfloat model, we received for a review, is also called Wellfloat BW-001 and it is offered also by some other Japanese companies (AirBow for example).

C.E.C in HighFidelity
  • TEST: C.E.C. DA 3N i TL 3N – D/A converter + CD Transport, see HERE
  • TEST: C.E.C. CD 3800 + AMP 3800 – CD Player + integrated amplifier, see HERE
  • TEST: C.E.C. DA53N – D/A converter, see HERE
  • TEST: C.E.C. TL53Z + AMP53 - CD Player + integrated amplifier, see HERE
  • TEST: C.E.C. TL51XR – CD Player, see HERE
  • TEST: C.E.C. TL1N/DX1N – CD Transport + D/A converter (world premiere), see HERE
  • TEST: C.E.C. AMP3300R – integrated amplifier, see HERE
  • TEST: C.E.C. AMP6300 – integrated amplifier, see HERE

  • Recordings used during test (a selection)

    • A Day at Jazz Spot 'Basie'. Selected by Shoji "Swifty" Sugawara, Stereo Sound Reference Record SSRR6-7, 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).
    • Nirvana, In Utero, Geffen GED 24536, CD (1993).
    • 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 at

    The anti-vibration platforms come in all forms and shapes. I think that the only common element of almost all of them is a flat surface one puts a device on. There are still some exceptions – there are „spider” platforms , with just some sort of frame with feet, one puts device on. Anyway – whatever it looks like it is the look that impresses us most even though its the sound, the design, the idea behind particular solution that should be more important factors when choosing platform for particular system. For me how the platform looks like, or should I say, how the device I put on a platform presents itself on it, is equally important. Honestly Wellfloat doesn't really fulfill the last criteria too well. When put next to any other platform I tested for this issue of „High Fidelity”, it looked unimpressive: its height was smaller, there were no elements that would attract the eye, and it was... well, just black. By its look it reminded me of a Polish product manufactured many years ago by a company Troks. Both are made of two decoupled MDF boards and that's it. At least until you check the smallest details that, as I found out later, really make a difference and make CEC platform one of the most interesting products I tested for this issue.
    You can find similar information in marketing material from many companies dealing with vibration dampening, or turntable manufacturing, that in the process of vibration dampening it is important to deal with movements in horizontal plane to minimize them, while leaving lateral movements unaffected. This goes for turntable suspension as well as for CD Transports and anti-vibration platforms. That is why Wellfloat designer's approach is quite unorthodox, but obviously using pendulum movement floating suspension system is very effective.

    A sound of an amplifier put on CEC platform seemed very mature. Although tonal balance did not change almost at all (I mean there was no emphasis on any part of the range, nor roll-off of any), it seemed as if a general balance was placed slightly lower. Sound was very rich, saturated, with more three-dimensional instrument bodies. It also seemed slightly warmer. And again, like when concerning tonal balance, it was more of an impression than true sonic change, and it was caused by an immanent set of features that this platform introduced to sound.

    I already told you about richness of the sound. You can hear it mostly in the midrange, which makes sound more palpable, richer. But it doesn’t mean that soundstage gets closer to the listener. Usually warmer sound means also that the front plane gets closer to the listener, attracts his attention and on the other hand it decreases the depth of the soundstage. This platform does the opposite – whatever is happening in the front of the soundstage seems to get back a bit giving listener an even better perspective. But since bodies of instruments are more three-dimensional, with a clearer outlines, what we get is more distinct, more 3D sound that we can watch from some perspective and not just up close. Also everything that happens deeper into the stage is shown in a clearer, more distinct way. At the beginning one might think that there is less treble, that it is more dull. But again that's just the first impression. What one really gets is a much richer treble. I could hear that very clearly when listening to the breathtaking, realistically sounding Salzau… – when different elements of artistic installation were jogged from time to time by musicians (see the pictures taken during recording) the slightly dull sounds made by them, sounded truly realistic. I could guess what these pieces of installation were made of and how strongly they were hit. When I listened to this recording with CEC platform under amplifier, these sounds were no longer just occasional, additional elements I listened to independently from the music, but they became a part of the performance, having common acoustic background with singing birds (it was recorded at the lakeside), with instruments' texture, with „air” surrounding musicians that „sounded” different from own tapes' hiss or microphones' noise. It was a PERFORMANCE and not just a listening session.

    Actually you don't need such a sophisticated recording to hear and appreciate what I'm talking about. Nicely produced, but still a commercial production (meaning – meant for wide audience and many different playback systems) a Daft Punk album sounded more natural, and the sounds of all instruments coexisted in a better harmony, playing together and not just one next to the other. Until I heard that I was very happy with the sound without this platform – the Ayon amplifier and Jeff Rowland D/A converter delivered a nicely extended range, great dynamics, fast attack, and very good timbre. A vibrant, powerful piano opening Within piece seemed to offer bit lower pitch, but this change was introduced by an Austrian amplifier, as I did not hear that with Jeff Roland's DAC itself. There was a nice, fast attack of a kick drum and rich, saturated voice right after that. The platform did not do any significant, revolutionary changes. As already mentioned Wellfloat does not change the tonal balance much. It rather introduces a lot of information to the presentation, as if there was more sound in sound. Sound is more dense, and everything that is happening is more meaningful. The outlines of instruments become better defined, but their three-dimesionality seems to gain even more, and the differentiation of instruments improves. After a while I took platform out and sound seemed flatter, lost some depth. It doesn't mean that there is some problem with amplifier, nor DAC – these are very good devices – but it is a way our brains work – the best sound we hear automatically becomes a reference, and that makes us immediately forget about previous reference.

    When listening to Daft Punk recording I also heard something, that, when now going back to listening to it before reviewing Wellfloat, I also heard but didn't fully realize. When I listened to, already mentioned, Within I realized that when kick drum hit very hard with a very low sound, difference between the sound with and without platform was very clear, surprisingly clear. This might be the best, short description of how Wellfloat influences sound: what you get with Wellfloat reminds of what you get with a very good, closed design speakers, compared to what you get without it reminding a sound from bas-reflex design. Even the best BR speakers offer very good impulse attack phase and somehow worse decay phase. Closed designs deal with decay phase in a much better way. That offers clearer sound, although bass is not so well extended. Sometimes you might miss powerful punch of a BR design, but in this particular case of CEC platform, you might not even hear that. The lower midrange is so rich, and so 3D that this part of the range attracts attention giving us little chance to realize that we might be lacking something in the upper or lower part of the range.


    The CEC anti-vibration platform is quite an inconspicuous design. You cant' really see how elaborate mechanism was used, as it is hidden from our eyes inside upper board. Also its height is rather unimpressive – the upper board is 30 mm thick, the lower just 15 mm plus there are few millimeters clearance between them, which will make it a perfect choice for systems where the space is limited. Its only downside, and that's from my point of view as for some of you it might be an upside, is that it looks so normal, so „boring”. Other than that it does its job extremely well, slightly changing the sound towards bit warmer, more 3D presentation.

    Most of the manufacturers of resonance control/damping products specialize only in these. Surely there are some examples of companies doing otherwise, like Finite Elemente for example, that manufactured also some lifestyle electronics (Hohrizontal), and surely some others too, but most manufacturers stick to what they do best. Some manufacturers of loudspeakers and/or electronics also introduce some vibration control products once in a while, but usually they do it to complement their portfolio rather than to become an important player in this business. So it should not be a surprise that CEC, a synonym of belt drive CD players, asked a specialized company to prepare an anti-vibration platform for them. I have no idea whether this is a coincident or not, but the solution used by Wellfloat is similar to the solution used in TL-0X – the top model of CEC CD transport.
    Another interesting fact is, that these platforms were originally designed to be used with loudspeakers, which is clearly stated by its full name in the manual. Later on in the manual you will find information that it can be used with amplifiers, speakers and other components. It is highly recommended for turntables and CEC CD transports and players with belt drive. In fact there are two logos on the sides of each platform – on shorter, and on longer side – so depending on its application (wider side to the front under electronics, shorter side to the front under most speakers) there will always be a logo on the front side. This platform measures 350 x 450 x 58(h) mm and it weights 5,5 kg. A weight capacity of Wellfloat is between 5 and 90 kg.
    During this test I used Wellfloat for Ayon Audio Spirit III amplifier, Jeff Rowland Aeris D/A converter and Ancient Audio Lector AIR V-edition CD Player. Test was run as A/B/A comparison repeated many times, with A and B known. The platform was placed on the top shelf of my Base VI [Custom Version] stand with shelves made of special plywood. I was comparing the influence of using WellFloat by putting each device on it and directly on the top shelf of my Base stand. I used 1 minute music samples, meaning shorter than usually, but that allowed me to repeat test many times without getting to tired of carrying quite heavy devices.

    Polish Distributor
    RCM S.C.

    40-077 Katowice | ul. Matejki | Polska
    tel.: 32/206 40 16 | 32/201 40 96 | fax: 32/253 71 88



    - 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