This review page is supported in part by the sponsors whose ad banners are displayed below

This review first appeared in the July 2013 issue of hi-end hifi magazine High Fidelity of Poland. You can also read it in its original Polish version here. We publish its English translation in a mutual syndication arrangement with publisher Wojciech Pacula. As is customary for our own articles, the writer's signature at review's end shows an e-mail address should you have questions or wish to send feedback. All images contained in this review are the property of High Fidelity or C.E.C. - Ed

Reviewer: Wojciech Pacula
CD player: Ancient Audio Lektor Air V-edition
Phono preamplifier: RCM Audio Sensor Prelude IC
Cartridges: Miyajima Laboratory Shilabe & Kansui
Preamplifier: Ayon Audio Polaris III Signature with Regenerator power supply
Power amplifier: Soulution 710
Integrated amplifier/headphone amplifier: Leben CS300 XS Custom
Loudspeakers: Harbeth M40.1 Domestic + Acoustic Revive custom speaker stand
Headphones: Sennheiser HD800, AKG K701, Beyerdynamic DT-990 Pro 600Ω vintage, HifiMan HE6
Interconnects: CD/preamp Acrolink Mexcel 7N-DA6300, preamp/power amp Acrolink 8N-A2080III Evo
Speaker cable: Tara Labs Omega Onyx
Power cables (all equipment): Acrolink Mexcel 7N-PC9300
Power strip: Acoustic Revive RTP-4eu Ultimate
Stand: Base IV custom under all components
Resonance control: Finite Elemente Ceraball under CD player, Audio Revive RAF-48 platform under CD player and preamplifier, Pro Audio Bono PAB SE platform under Leben CS300 XS
Review component retail in Poland: 4.300zł

Concurrent with this review, our Polish print magazine Audio published my review of the Japanese C.E.C. CD3N CD player. It's an outstanding product, one of the first to be made in their new Japanese factory some time after the 'divorce' with Carlos Candeias of B.M.C. The trauma of this split was so significant that the Japanese decided to return to their core activity and solely manufacture CD players/transports. For now there are no amplifiers with the CEC logo nor are there any planned for at least the foreseeable future. CEC is a large Japanese firm who have been manufacturing OEM hifi parts since 1954, mostly for turntables i.e. motors, power supplies and platter bearings. They had well-known customers like SME and Oracle. In 1993 they presented the first product under their own brand called the TL1 drive. This quickly earned a lot of interest because of its innovative digital belt-drive mechanism. A lot changed since then but this drive continues to differentiate CEC from all other manufacturers.

Their flagship at this moment is the TL-0X, a masterpiece of mechanical engineering whose two belts drive the main axle and laser pickup. A revolutionary three-part chassis suppresses micro vibrations and resonances that cause unwanted jitter in the digital data stream. Superior isolation of the TL0X drive mechanism is achieved by floating it on three rubber-damped suspensions whose tower enclosures extend to their tiptoe feet as unified assemblies to decouple resonances from the chassis and drive mechanism. The latter is a massive 30mm sandwich of nonmagnetic materials with dissimilar resonances, a 20mm aluminium plate and 10mm brass plate. Since this mechanism is only slightly wider than the compact disc it holds, susceptibility to airborne interference is greatly reduced.

I mentioned all this because CEC also offer an anti-vibration platform which operates in a related fashion. It has two horizontal parts—upper and lower decks—connected by a patented pendulum suspension. This visually concealed system consists of a U-shaped stainless steel spring and piano wire [see lower drawing]. Once weight mass-loads the top board, the stainless steel anchor depresses to free the piano wire which can now move laterally like a pendulum.

Vibrations attempt to swing this assembly and get exhausted in the effort to physically displace the weight of the component bearing down. Such a multiple-degree-of-freedom approach is related to roller bearings and super effective at attenuating floor-borne vibrations and component-generated resonances [it also recalls Sven Boenicke's ingenious SwingBase for speakers and component shelves – Ed].

Obviously CEC wanted to offer its customers an effective solution based on a similar approach to their own flagship CD transport suspension. The Wellfloat platform thus carries the CEC logo though it was in fact designed by Japanese company G-CLEF Acoustic whilst Wellfloat the brand name is owned by Zeke Lev Sound Co. Ltd. and is applied to an entire family of flotation platforms. The ASB3545WF Wellfloat model I received for review also goes as Wellfloat BW-001 from some other Japanese companies like AirBow for example.