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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 follow a common direction. There are of course differences but what they share appeals more strongly. The reason is that the sound with such contraptions becomes more refined.


The Symposium system is a perfect illustration. Initially it isn't clear what to look for. The sonic change is clear but only after three or four tracks a pattern emerges whereby we may identify the elements which change after coming off an ordinary shelf. This results in a slightly different set of changes for different discs but their origin is common.


This is actually symptomatic of vibration isolation products in general. If they are good to begin with and the sound is good (the system was set up properly), listening to components as they sit on their own feet on a classic shelf of an equipment rack seems to merit no improvement. We are aware of the fact that swapping one component for another usually far more expensive will net improvement but we don’t really care now. We are happy with our current hifi belongings and somewhat apprehensive of what a misguided upgrade might bring.


This remains true until we make an upgrade like something which at first glance appears insignificant such as changing the surface on which a component sits. If everything else is proper and our efforts to set up a coherent audio system have already proven successful, 'plugging in' the Ultra platform with Rollerblocks will demonstrate what's been missing still.


Symposium products release what we call air around instruments to reveal their recorded acoustic environment. To some extent they also improve the greater venue acoustics—natural or engineered—but the most striking colossal change concerns the immediate space around instruments and vocals. Everything seems to take a small step back to be less close. Yet it’s not because something is muffled. Stepping back improves clarity and perceived information density.


While the piano on Daft Punk’s "Within" previously seemed resonant and free, with the Symposium it was deeper, more resonant and freer. Moving back to the raw rack shelf moderated all that again. It seemed that the sound moved forward but very clearly it also was drier and less teased out.