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Anti-vibration feet


Pro Audio Bono

Manufacturer: PRO AUDIO BONO
Prices (when reviewed): 840 PLN/pc

Contact: Władysław Skrzypczak
ul. Polnych Kwiatów 21
05-500 Piaseczno/Mysiadło | Polska


Provided for test by: PRO AUDIO BONO

t first glance it might seem that I already conducted this test. In September 2015 I reviewed PAB 5 MT ceramic feet that look very similar to the PAB ceramic 5 N, that I intend to assess this time. From design point of view there isn't much difference between these two products from Audio Pro Bono catalog. Those two feature a high-aligning ceramic bearing mounted in a hub on the top and the pin in its base. The foot is quite slim.

Mr. Władysław Skrzypczak, designer and owner of Pro Audio Bono, keeps experimenting and playing with the shape, and materials and combinations of the latter. And just such, a slightly different, set of these elements constitutes the new PAB ceramic N. 5 feet. The 'Ceramic' in the name indicates the bearings used for this product. “N” on the other hand indicates an alloy with a large share of nickel, used as basic material for the feet. Additionally, brass collars are screwed on the feet, that can be rotated to adjust level. In contrast to the MT, the tested model is not painted.

It would seem that these are just cosmetic changes. And indeed, the “cosmetics”, meaning appearance, is different. But every such modification results in a change in the sound - the truth is that each element of the system contributes to its performance one way or another. As it turns out even taking the brass elements out changes the performance considerably.

Also a packaging these feet are delivered in is different. Now it is elongated, with foam filling. The feet are attached to an acrylic plate, which does not allow them to move inside the box. The whole is stabilized with polyurethane foam. Each foot features a hologram on its bottom, and there is a plate with a description of a specific set on the box.

Ceramic 5 N +

The anti-vibration feet with roller bearings, PAB ceramic 5, were introduced in late March 2015 on the brand's 5th anniversary. In contrast to the previously produced feet with steel roller bearings, new ones utilized ceramic bearings. The company currently offers three types of PAB ceramic 5, that all base on the same ceramic rolling, self-aligning (self-leveling) bearings, All share almost identical construction, but differ with the materials used for bearing's housing:

(1) The bearing housing is made of Monel metal, a very expensive alloy of nickel, copper, cobalt and manganese (1 kg of this nickel alloy used in the machine tool industry costs 85-110 EUR); This nickel alloy is also very difficult to handle, and therefore costs of lathing and grinding are high; due to the high specific weight of Monel metal, these feet are very heavy.

(2) The bearing housing is made of Monel metal, but a threaded brass element with knurled rant, which allows user to adjust the height of the foot is screwed on the base of the foot; in such a combination this version is called PAB ceramic 5+. This version was created as an answer to customers suggestion that the nickel feet with ceramic bearings were very expensive. The company decided therefore to lower its price by reducing the amount of the nickel alloy.

(3) The bearing housing consists of a magnesium alloy, that is cheaper than Monel metal; magnesium alloys have a low specific weight, so the feet made of it are very light.

Housings of the feet 1 and 2 are not painted, but polished. Nickel alloys are in fact highly resistant to corrosion. So there is no sense to protect the surface, the more that it could worsen the superior insulating properties of the elements made of this material. Housing of the feet 3 are powder-coated with high-quality paints from Du Pont, or anodized.

  • AWARD BEST SOUND 2016: Pro Audio Bono PAB SE 5 – anti-vibration feet
  • TEST: Pro Audio Bono PAB SE 5 – anti-vibration feet (Polish)
  • TEST: Pro Audio Bono PAB CERAMIC 5 MT – anti-vibration feet (Polish)
  • AWARD BEST SOUND 2014: Pro Audio Bono LIGNOFOL AVP – anti-vibration platform (Polish)
  • TEST: Pro Audio Bono LIGNOFOL AVP – anti-vibration platform, see HERE (Polish)
  • TEST: Pro Audio Bono PAB SE HAT | PAB Acrylic AVF - anti-vibration platform, anti-vibration feet, see HERE (Polish)
  • TECHNIQUE: Najbardziej efektywne składowe zestawów stereo i kina domowego, see HERE (Polish)
  • TEST: Pro Audio Bono PAB SE AP ALU - anti-vibration platform, see HERE (Polish)
  • TEST: Pro Audio Bono ACRYLIC AP - anti-vibration platform, see HERE
  • AWARD BEST SOUND 2010: Pro Audio Bono (original) - anti-vibration platform, see HERE
  • TEST: Pro Audio Bono (original) - anti-vibration platform, see HERE

  • Recordings used for the test (a selection)

    • Ella Fitzgerald, Like Someone in Love, Verve/Esoteric ESSO-90143, SACD/CD (1957/2016) w: 6 Queens of Jazz Vocal, „MasterSoundWorks”, Esoteric ESSO-90143/8, 6 x SACD/CD (2016)
    • Depeche Mode, Fragile Tension/Hole to Feed, Mute Records CDBONG42, maxi-SP CD (2009)
    • Cyrus Chestnut, Midnight Melodies, Smoke Sessions Records SSR-1408, CD (2014);
    • Bill Evans, Conversation With Myself, Verve 521 409-2, „Verve Master Edition”, CD (1963/1997)
    • Rosemary Clooney, Rosemary Clooney sings Ballads, Concord/Stereo Sound SSCDR-007, „Flat Transfer Series”, CD-R (1985/2016)
    • Maroon 5, Songs About Jane. 10th Anniversary Edition, A&M/Octone Records/Universal Music LLC UICY-10029/30, 2 x SHM-CD (2002/2012)

    Japanese CD editions are available from

    For you to better understand my findings concerning using PAB ceramic 5 N + anti-vibration feet with some devices I thought it would be best to describe conditions under which the test was performed. I call it: test method, and in other tests this paragraph is placed by me before the part describing sound. Anti-vibration feet, and in a broader perspective of all the components used for vibration damping, are very much dependent on where they stand (or on what), what we put on them, and what we compare them with. The method of the test is therefore actually a part of a listening process, which is why I didn't want to use a separate paragraph for it in this article.

    During the test I used the new PAB-feet with two devices: Ancient Audio Lektor AIR V-edition CD Player and headphone amplifier Ayon Audio HA-3. Devices were placed on the upper shelf of Finite Elemente Pagode Edition rack. I compared them to two sets of feet, that I use in my tests: Franc Audio Accessories Ceramic Disc Classic and Harmonix TU-666M „BeauTone” Million Maestro 20th Anniversary Edition . I use the former in my system all the time under Ayon Audio Spheris III preamplifier and my CD player. The Harmonix feet serve as the point of reference for me, but I also use them when I need to slightly change the sound characteristics of some device.

    The FAA feet offer vibrant, open sound and cause the device to gain "momentum", they “have” excellent dynamics. The tonal balance with them is well-balanced, though they sometimes tend to slightly shift the “center of gravity” of the presentation. This is not some unwanted feature because in many systems it actually nicely supports the "own" sound of the devices placed on top of these. They provide an energetic presentation with strong rhythmic accents.

    The PAB-feet from the start presented a different tonal balance. Their provide a bit warmer sound and focus the attention of a listener on lower midrange, while the FAA directed it towards the range of 800 Hz - 1 kHz. The Ceramic 5 N + cause music sound more "serious", as if they were focused on extracting the very essence of the recording. It was particularly clear with one of the first albums that I listened to during this test, and that in terms of sound quality is very far from the usual audiophile choices audiophiles: Maroon5 Songs About Jane, the anniversary edition on SHM-CD.

    It's a “classic” pop recording, ie. highly compressed, with emphasized attack and not so resolving. But because I like this kind of music, it gives me energy, I do not pay attention to it. PAB-feet proved it possible to arrange all elements in such a way that the presentation was quite fluid. FAA on the other hand slightly emphasized recording's problems, because the instrumental parts of it was not always "compatible" with the vocals – the latter sometimes seemed set apart, sort of “next to the music”. Ceramic 5 N + smoothed everything in the right manner, because it nicely tied all musical elements together.

    These observations were confirmed after I listened to an ultra-purist recording, a CD-R copy of the master, with two recordings of Rosmeary Clooney. In this case, there was no need to “save” or “repair” anything, and the changes I mentioned before introduced by feet just affected the distribution of accents in the recording. PAB-feet slightly increased the volume of sound and - again - lowered its “center of gravity”. It was perfectly clear for me that if I place a device on them they will tend to fill the sound with colors and to combination all elements into an interesting story.

    So it was interesting to compare them next with Harmonix products. These have a distinct "personality" as they extract a lot of information from midrange and lower treble. With them in a system one finds out that there is much more happening in the recordings than we knew and that the richness of tone in this part of the band can be even greater. When it comes the tone balance, the Harmonix feet are situated further to the right than the Franc Audio Accessories products. No brightness, this is not the type, but still with a clear shift of our attention to the upper part of the band.

    PAB ceramic 5 N + are very different. They rather unite than divide and offer clearly richer midrange and denser, more powerful bass. The latter is more fleshy than the FAA's, but the extension is comparable. That's not, however, the biggest difference: PAB-feet fill the spaces between sounds with a “tissue”, they do not leave anything in the suspension. The sound with them is refined and noble, ie. it doesn't rush things, as if we subconsciously knew that everything has its time. This feature works great with high-end systems, but shall be useful whenever the sound system is too light, there are too many in the accents in the upper midrange.

    The FAA and Harmonix are equally competent, but each in a different area. FAA offer dynamics and energy that are unparalleled to any other anti-vibration element I know. If you play music with a distinct kick drum, the Ceramic Disc Classic will deliver in the best, tautest, most focused way among these three. PAB slightly blurred the attack of lower bass, but offering richer and more saturated sound instead. On the other hand the Harmonix go deeper into the sound in the higher part of the band, providing listener with incredible wealth of information about a violin, trumpet, etc. They are, however, less focused on the attack and do deliver equally rich sound as the FAA and PAB.

    I mentioned at the beginning of the test, that PABs sound differently with the brass collars than without them. It is worth to try both versions out, because they are equally interesting. The collars add to the speed of sound and open it. Without these, recordings seemed bit slower and warmer. The treble doesn't lit up, the attack is rounded, but in turn richness of the sound is outstanding which makes listening a memorable experience. The collars restore a better tonal balance, but we lose some of that magic offered by "bare" feet.


    For years, the Ceramic Disc Classic are "my" anti-vibration feet. I compared them with many other elements of this type and have not found anything yet that would be clearly better. Only Harmonix showed something that the FAA does not have, but even they are not as versatile.

    The PAB ceramic 5 N + are the first anti-vibration feet, that allowed me enjoy music with equal satisfaction. Their rich tone, sort of serenity and naturalness managed to convince me to reach for them more and more often. The FAA is still for me a point of reference, Harmonix will be still used for "special" tasks, but for the first time I reviewed other anti-vibration feet offering an equally impressive set of advantages. Congratulations to the designer!



    - 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