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Srajan Ebaen
Financial Interests: click here
160GB iPod Classic with AIFF files, Cambridge Audio iD100
Integrated amplifier: Wyred4Sound mINT
Speakers: Amphion Helium 410, Amphion Helium 510, Amphion Impact 400, Mass Fidelity Model One [on review]
Cables: Zu Audio Event
(S/PDIF, speaker cable, power cord)
Desktop: IKEA tempered glass, HP 2710m monito
r screen

Sundry accessories: Extensive use of Acoustic System Resonators, noise filters and phase inverters
Room size: 5m x 11.5m W x D, 2.6m ceiling with exposed wooden cross beams every 60cm, plaster over brick walls, suspended wood floor with Tatami-type throw rugs. The listening space opens into the second storey via a staircase and the kitchen/dining room are behind the main listening chair. The latter is thus positioned in the middle of this open floor plan without the usual nearby back wall.
Review Component Retail: €488/pr

Brushing up on Gàidhlig which my Scottish forebears would have known, Ardán was a platform, stage or high place. Picking that Gaelic word for their new Irish firm's name thus made perfect sense to Brent Finlayson Smith and John Gallen. And looking at the elevation pro™  EVP-M1 as their first product, so it does. Dìreach sin! 

As happens often, if you can't find what you want, you must build it yourself. In their case the unobtainium was the perfectly adjustable console or desk-top stand for monitor loudspeakers. Besides placing a speaker at just the desired degree of tilt and pan, the stand was to also make its hosted/hoisted speaker sound noticeably better. For that proper isolation would be catch and key. Enter real engineering.

Two years in the making, Ardán Audio's end result certainly looks the laboratory Swiss-made part. The recipe called for an Isobase™ rubber mat with silica-filled pipes as the first vibration barrier between stand and support surface. Atop this mat aligned with four locators goes the elongated alloy base with cable management rear.
  Its forward-of-center raised section clamps a lock collar to a vertical shaft. The shaft allows for ±40° lateral turns or toe-in/toe-out of the top assembly relative to the base. Inside the collar sits a burly cross bar marked with a scale. Clamped to this bar are two moveable L brackets with scale markings on all members. The user fixes these brackets in mirror-image symmetry to proper width for the speaker which gets cradles on adjustable elastomeric bumpers of synthetic SBR or styrene-butadiene rubber. That's another barrier against bad vibes. The cross bar itself rotates inside its lock collar with a fine-mesh gear. That dials in desired tilt over a range of 36° backward and 15° forward whilst fully loaded. All fixtures get hand-tightened with proper lock wheels and perhaps retightened a few weeks later to account for materials settling down. In an upright position the EVP-M1 supports a maximum weight of 20kg (44lbs). Maximum recommended speaker dimensions are 390 x 292 x 332mm HxWxD (15.3 x 11.5 x 13 inches). The stands ship DHL Global Express two to a box from Ireland's Dublin usually within 4-5 days of order clearance. Price inclusive of global delivery is €488.

The problem the M1 addresses for home audio is quite common. On the desk top suitably small speakers with ordinary vertical baffles [see below] tend to aim their tweeters at your sternum, not the ears. That muffles the sound. The ugly DIY cure used to be all manner of jerry-rigged elevators, stilts or unsightly shims. But those still left out the isolation aspect. And unattended that too muffles the sound. The only prior success I've had at completely eradicating speaker resonances through my desk's thick tempered glass were Anthony Gallo's petroleum-based squishy pads. Now comes Ardán Audio to handle vital tweeter directivity and very comprehensive resonance isolation in one fell and properly executed swoop. What's Gaelic for shazam? Of course if you cheat with something clever like the Swans, you're golden already except for the isolation aspect. Damnaigh! Unlike us upright mortals you needn't first go to that higher place to enjoy your tunes properly served up.

"We are true technologists with a passion for audio. We understand the need for a purist as well as a budget-conscious approach in these times. Our Elevation Pro™ range achieves the level of audio purism we aimed for whereas our Elevation™ range coming soon retains the quality of a standard reference at a budget price with the selection of different production materials and construction. In the audio industry innovation is key. An attitude of constant listening and learning together with a level of humility are always wise. That said we are proud of our products. We have another four product ranges and 21 products in entirely different areas of audio enhancement in the concept and design stages already. Our company will remain resolutely focused on elevating audio quality. We do not design speakers and never will. There are already many superb speakers available."