Country of Origin
Reviewer: Srajan Ebaen
Financial interests: click here
Main system: Sources: Retina 5K 27" iMac (4GHz quad-core with Turbo, 32GB RAM, 3TB FusionDrive, OSX Yosemite. iTunes 14.4), PureMusic 3.02, Audirvana 3, Qobuz, Tidal, Singxer SU-6 USB bridge, LHY Audio SW-8 network switch, Sonnet Pasithea DAC; Active filter: icOn Gradient Box; Power amplifiers: Kinki Studio EX-B7 mono, Enleum AMP-23R, Goldmund/Job 225; Headamp: Cen.Grand Silver Fox; Phones: HifiMan Susvara; Loudspeakers: sound|kaos Vox3awf + sound|kaos DSUB 15 on Carbide Audio footers, Audio Physic Codex, Qualio IQ, Raidho X2t [on review]; Cables: Complete loom of Allnic Audio ZL; Power delivery: Vibex Granada/Alhambra on all source components, Furutech RTP-6 on amps, Furutech DPS-4.1 between wall and conditioner; Equipment rack: Artesanía Audio Exoteryc double-wide 3-tier with optional glass shelves, Exoteryc Krion and glass amp stands; Sundry accessories: Acoustic System resonators, LessLoss Firewall for loudspeakers, Furutech NCF Signal Boosters; Room: 6 x 8m with open door behind listening seat
2nd system: Source: Soundaware D300Ref SD transport, Denafrips Terminator +; Preamp/filter: icOn 4Pro + 80Hz active filter; Amplifier: Crayon CFA-1.2; Loudspeakers: MonAcoustics SuperMon Mini, Dynaudio S18 sub; Power delivery: Furutech GTO 2D NCF with Akiko Audio Corelli; Equipment rack: Hifistay Mythology Transform X-Frame [on extended loan]; Sundry accessories: Audioquest Fog Lifters; Furutech NFC Clear Lines; Room: ~3.5 x 8m
Desktop system: Source: HP Z230 work station Win10/64; USB bridge: Singxer SU-2; Headamp/DAC: iFi iDSD Pro Signature; Headphones: Final D-8000; Active speakers: DMAX SC5
Upstairs headfi/speaker system: Source: smsl Dp5 transport; DAC: Auralic Vega; Integrated amplifier: Schiit Jotunheim R; Phones: Raal-Requisite SR1a; Active DSP speakers: Fram Midi 120
2-channel video system: Source: Oppo BDP-105; All-in-One: Gold Note IS-1000 Deluxe; Loudspeakers: Zu Soul VI; Subwoofer: Zu Submission; Power delivery: Furutech eTP-8, Room: ~6x4m
Review component retail: CHF775/set with custom-length struts [incl. 7.5% Swiss VAT]
Äbä, genau. It's Swiss German for yeah as in, correct, exactly. It reassures someone that you agree with them. Today it makes the perfect opener. I knew going into this review exactly how it would end. Why doesn't that equate nöd so guet or a badly tarnished thing? My prior review of the Delta Extreme from Japan's Wellfloat founded in 1978 comes clean on that. It's the only other compact component support I know of which to the gnarly job of vibration attenuation applies wire suspension not roller balls or viscoelastics. Stillpoints do use wire suspension in the below rack but their engineers haven't downscaled the approach to fit under speakers and subwoofers. Ditto Grand Prix Audio. Their Silverstone Quattro rack suspension has no really compact equivalent.
If the dimensions were correct, one certainly could reappropriate Alvin Lloyd's amp stand for loudspeakers or subs. Height alignment would simply be off and cosmetics on the industrial side.
Time to hit the brakes and go into reverse. Why not use spikes for hifi's air-moving gear aka transducers and be done? Most of us have since the ModSquad first introduced the myth of the mechanical diode of one-way resonance drain. Sadly, suspended flooring particularly upstairs becomes a structural amplifying device like a boom truck's chassis is for its hard-coupled woofers. While that adds free loudness like acoustic room gain does, structural gain is invariably behind the beat. Again that's like room gain whose late-arriving reflections travel longer than direct sound. So to disrupt the transmission of physical resonances into reactive flooring requires isolation not coupling. Now spikes are out, isolators in. Did you wonder why I called the isolation job gnarly? It's far from easy. I tried any number of solutions for my office desktop where compact speakers sat on tempered glass with a plywood keyboard tray beneath. Eliminating vibrations in the heels of my hands was impossible. I certainly managed to minimize them but the exercise showed how ineffective common hifi footers are at killing resonances beneath even compact bass-limited speakers. To varying degrees whatever I tried passed on or leaked vibrations into my table top then hands. It drove me bananas. I ended up moving my office speakers off the desk onto separate tall stands on either side. Bananas. Eaten. That's before I knew of the compact Wellfloat boards that would have sorted out my issue. Live. Learn.
If I were still in my futon and Birkenstock days, I might have considered hanging my boxes off the ceiling in stylish macramé slings. That would have fit with the patchouli oils and trays of homegrown wheat grass at the time. But today full-size speakers and heavy 2×15" subs in a rented house rather vote against industrial ceiling-suspended wire harnesses like a nightclub might do. A far better thing is hanging our transducers off the floor. It reads impossible but is äbä genau what Wellfloat and Boenicke do. It explains not only why I knew today's outcome going in but pursued a follow-on review. If one good thing is good, two are better. For all the roller-ball footers to market already and more coming at a steady clip, more effective wire suspenders are still as rare as Tasmanian devils. How do I know them to be more effective? I already did the A/B. That saucy tale is the Wellfloat review. It makes for required reading so today needn't regurgitate it. Here we're simply on about a different implementation of the very same principle. The rationale is crystal or should be. It's to give ambitious audiophile pilgrims climbing up Mount No Compromise another route of ascent. It's where preferences on cosmetics, price or ease of domestic availability all come into play.
Wellfloat's implemention of one of three wire suspensions inside a 'sandwich' footer.
It's how I solicited Sven Boenicke. I proposed to test his SwingBase with my upstairs 2×9½" force-cancelling Dynaudio 18S sub then downstairs 2×15" cardioid/Ripol version from sound|kaos. Both take over from their main speakers at 80Hz/4th-order Linkwitz-Riley via outboard active analog crossover. The speakers reproduce no mid/low bass at all to destress excursion needs, keep voice coils cooler thus boost resolution and dynamic expression. The primary structural floor couplers are my subs. Plenty of experiments showed them to be exceptionally responsive to ever more effective floatation. That's a bit like enjoying their own hover craft. Now they create fewer ripples through the floor which also means less structural leakage into adjoining rooms, even that at the opposite end of a 10m corridor. Since you already saw the opening photo, you appreciate that the struts linking up Boenicke's suspension towers can be ordered at custom lengths to suit the speakers, subs or electronics we mean to float. Finish options are silver or black. Though the SwingBase adds some height, it's only marginally more than your average audiophile mega spike. It thus won't throw off the intended tweeter alignment by much. But yes, by not fitting wholly underneath any kit held aloft, four suspension towers remain visible not hidden away. Load rating is 280kg for a set of four towers.
Boenicke's integral SwingBase for their floorstanding speakers. The cross member between the suspension towers features a 90° bracket which slips into a recess in the speaker's back. The front of the speaker rests on a metal sphere. Photos by Dawid Grzyb.
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