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Anti-vibration platform

+ anti-vibration feet + anti-vibration accessories


Manufacturer: Symposium Acoustics
Ceny: 4030 zł + 3290 zł + 1660 zł
Contact: Cannonball Road Pompton Lakes
NJ 07442 | USA
tel.: 973 616 4787 | fax: 973 616 7848

Manufacturer’s website:
Country of origin: USA

ymposium Acoustics has been present in Poland in the official distribution since 2009 and is still represented by the same company, audiofast from Lodz. I know it from many shows and presentations, where it usually appears as a fully-fledged part of audio systems alongside electronics, speakers and cables. For the first time, however, I now had the opportunity to have a closer look at a set of Symposium Acoustic products at home. Previously I came across it only once, reviewing the Dan D'Agostino Momentum Stereo amplifier , when I used the Ultra Padz mini platforms on which it was placed. Yes, it’s that kind of quality level and that is how products from this American manufacturer are perceived in the world.
For this review I asked to receive a whole set, an anti-vibration system designed for a single audio component. It included:

  • Ultra Platform anti-vibration platform
  • Rollerblock Series 2+ (with Superball - Tungsten Carbide Balls) isolation devices
  • Rollerblock Series 2+ Double Stack Kit isolation devices
The platform sat on double Rollerblocks (Rollerblock Series 2+ / Superball / Double Stack Kit), and the auditioned component on footers that came with the set.

The Ultra Platform that evolved from the Super Platform is the second from the top in Symposium Acoustics’ product lineup. It's a nice, solid product made of several layers of varying elasticity materials. There are no elements that travel relative to each other and hence the platform can also be used under turntables, even those with decoupled subchassis. While it is not designed to protect against extremely low frequency vibration, and for that needs to be combined with other products from this American company’s catalogue, it provides a notable isolation of upper nine octaves of the audible frequency range. The Ultra has virtually no weight limit to the audio components it supports. Its top and bottom surface layers are precisely machined aluminum plates, giving it a distinctive look. The platform works on principle of multi-layered design in which layers are arranged in a specific order, from dense metal top to less dense in the middle and back again. According to the manufacturer, the idea is that the vibrations are absorbed in two directions – both from the component side and the support bottom side.

To make the best use of its mechanical properties, care must be taken to provide good mechanical coupling in the two directions – between the component and the top layer of the Ultra, and between the platform’s bottom and the underlying surface. Symposium postulates that it is best to quickly transfer vibration and suppress it in different mass density layers. Hence, no components with a high mechanical ‘reactance’ (like rubber or elastomer) are used and all connections are rigid. Together with the Ultra Platform, we receive three large metal Precision Couplers with perfectly polished tops and bottoms, to be used instead of standard component’s feet. The manufacturer recommends placing the Couplers directly between one’s component's chassis and the top of the Ultra Platform. This is to help quickly drain vibration energy from the component, and prevent it from being trapped. However, if we want something more, it will be inevitable to reach for what the Americans are probably best known for – the Rollerblock isolation/coupling system. They operate on a similar principle to that we find in the Cera series of spacers from Finite Elemente and the feet from Franc Audio Accessories. In short - a ball acting as a mechanical interface is inserted between two hard surfaces. In the Rollerblocks we have very heavy, despite their small size, Tungsten Carbide Balls. The Finite and Franc products employ ceramic balls and the Human Audio Libretto HD CD player uses steel ones (see HERE). In the Symposium isolation devices the balls sit in polished steel cups. The latter are in turn mounted to rectangular blocks with a specially shaped bottom that improves mechanical coupling between the body of the block and the supporting surface on which it is placed. The blocks are made of aircraft grade aluminum and are finished with s special "hard-coat" anodizing. It resembles a roller bearing design, highly praised in the context of vibration isolation by Mr. Wladyslaw Skrzypczak, owner of Pro Audio Bono (see HERE). All the more so as the ball can be put in the Double Stack Kit to make a three-piece unit. The Rollerblocks are mainly used under audio components. But they can also be used under the Ultra platform which was what I did.

A review published by the magazine "Confessions of a Part-Time Audiophile" quotes the following statement by Peter Bizlewicz, head of Symposium, on the newest version of Rollerblocks:

In 1999, Symposium determined that grade precision – that is, how perfectly round each ball is, and how similar in size each ball is to each other – is of critical importance to performance in ball bearing isolation devices. All Tungsten Carbide balls now supplied by Symposium are Grade 10 precision; off-the-shelf bearings, by comparison, are Grade 100, or 10 times LESS precise. How perfectly round a ball is has a profound effect upon its vibrational characteristics and directly influences the amount of distortion produced (or not produced) by the Rollerblock system as it responds to micro-displacements caused by vibration. The more perfect a ball and the more uniform each ball is, the better the Rollerblock system can respond to vibration, and the less distortion is induced into the electro-mechanical system which the Rollerblock system is protecting.

Scot Hull, Symposium Acoustics: Rollerblock Series 2+, Junior, Svelte Shelf, Precision Couplers and more, „ Confessions of a Part-Time Audiophile”, 14.12.2012, see HERE, accessed: 18.06.2013.

Records used during auditions

  • 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 from

It is interesting that while anti-vibration platforms come in different designs and employ various types of materials, as long as the theory behind them translates into practice, the end result is generally similar and the sonic changes are in a similar direction. There are, of course, differences; what they have in common, however, appeals to us more strongly. The reason is that the sound is more refined with such a "contraption" under an audio component.
The system from Symposium is a perfect illustration. Initially, it is not clear what to look for. The sonic change is clear, but only after three or four tracks a pattern can be noticed and we are able to identify the elements that change after coming over from an ordinary shelf. It results in a slightly different "set" of changes in each track on every disc, but their origin is common.
This is actually quite symptomatic of vibration isolation products. Listening to the components for which they are intended as they sit on their own feet on a classic shelf of an equipment rack, if they are good components and the sound is good (which means that the audio system has been set up properly) it doesn’t seem to need any improvement. We are aware of the fact that swapping a component for another, usually much more expensive, will bring an improvement but we don’t really care for now, since we are happy with our current "belongings" and at the same time somewhat apprehensive of what a misguided upgrade might bring. It is true until we make an "extracorporeal" upgrade, something - at first glance - insignificant such as changing the surface on which the component sits. If everything else is fine and our efforts to set up a coherent audio system proved successful, "plugging" the Ultra Platform with the Rollerblocks in the audio chain will show what it’s been missing.

Symposium products release in the sound what we call air around instruments, their acoustic environment. To some extent, they also improve room acoustics – natural or sound engineered – but the most striking, colossal change concerns the immediate space around the instruments and vocals. Everything seems take a little step back and is not as close to the listener as before. Yet it’s not because something is now muffled, but rather because it is clearer and we are presented with more information. While the piano on Daft Punk’s Within track previously seemed resonant and free, with the Symposium it is deeper, more resonant and freer. Moving over from the platform back to the shelf moderates all that. The sound becomes closer again, or so it seems, but it is much drier and less refined.
The American products enhance the depth of sound. It was incredibly clear and tangible on Sinatra's track I've Got A Crush On You. After placing the amplifiers on the Symposium his vocals grew bigger and nicer. In comparison, they seemed crippled before, sounding dry and lifeless. It was a very interesting experience, because I was dealing with mono material, more than sixty-year old. Sometimes the vocals are closer up to the listener. If everything is OK, we're happy with that. However, sooner or later, usually on other tracks than those listened to in the beginning, it turns out to be an exaggeration and we realize that some "breath" is needed, a little distance from the recording plane. The Symposium gives something like that. It indulges us with a large space, distances us from the foreground, and at the same time brings us emotionally closer to the artist. Really great!
Lifelessness is probably the best word to briefly describe the sound without the Rollerblocks and without the platform. In spite of what I’ve said before that without a point of reference it can’t be easily heard and hence we’re not aware of it. What’s really puzzling is how much our evaluation of the sound depends on our experience that comes through listening to audio products and systems better than our own!


The anti-vibration system from Symposium will bring out the best from our audio components, without changing their color and general sonic "parameters" for which we value them. The amount of treble does not change, for example. With the platform the treble is more vibrant and much deeper, but its overall level remains exactly the same. Some improvements, such as the better resolution, vibrancy, and definition are clear and reproducible from album to album. Nevertheless, that does not change the overall tonal balance.
We can, however, have an impression of such change in the case of midrange. The reason is that one of the advantages of the American products is a better tonal saturation, adding taste and maturity to the sound. Hence, the vocals and instruments seem stronger and better defined in that range. This, in turn, creates a feeling of "stronger" midrange. But it is really not so. I had to listen to a few albums I know very well to come up with a kind of explanation: the whole range from the mid-bass to the top end had a very similar tonal balance with or without the Symposium products. Nothing was emphasized or withdrawn. Subjectively, however, the midrange seemed stronger. It is not a zero-one kind of change, which takes place with a real shift of accent and color modification, but rather a different "flavor" of the sound. The accent does not change as clearly as with the platforms from HRS or CEC, but it is even deeper, more visceral. So if we are missing something like that in our system, if we like deep vocals that slightly dominate the rest of the presentation, the Symposium system will be the best high-end modification to our audio system we can imagine. It will not break anything in an already set up system, but instead will emphasize the features we most care about.

During the review the platform was placed on the top plywood shelf of the Base VI [Custom Version] rack, supported by the three sets of Rollerblock Series 2+ / Tungsten Superballs / Double Stacks – one in front, two in the rear. The auditioned component was the Ayon Audio Spirit III integrated tube amplifier. The audition was a multiply repeated A/B/A comparison with the A and B known. The A was the sound of the amplifier sitting directly on the rack shelf, and the B was with the platform under the amplifier. For a cross-comparison I used the RST-38H platform from Acoustic Revive and the Pagode Edition from Finite Elemente. I listened to 1 min. long music samples.

Distribution in Poland
FAST M.J. Orszańscy s. j.

Romanowska 55e, | 91-174 Łódź | Polska

tel.: 42 61 33 750 | fax: 42 61 33 751



- 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