August 1, 2009

Finite Elemente Cera Ball/Puck & Resonator.

This is an old post of ours in the blog we previously contributed to.

Top: FE Resonator.
Under: Cera Ball, Cera Puck & Cera Base.

Hifikaki had been poisoned by the FE Cera products, that we all know. He wants me to test it out to see if I feel the same. Ever so kind, he passed them all, the Cera Balls, Pucks and Resonator to me just before the CNY holidays to play with.

It been a few days that I've been playing with the Cera stuff plus Resonator, and can form my 2nd opinion of them.

First the FE Cera Balls, in my short, honest opinion, every hifi system, irregardless of price range, should at least have set of these sitting below the source components. If your budget allows, have a set below every component! Even though they're not exactly cheap, they're so good, they'd out last your component upgrades till the end of your hifi journey!(If there's an end to it all?)

Every component I put them under, from my friend's modest Marantz CD63SE to my own Marantz CD7, seems to wrought out very positive results, especially more so with budget to mid end equipment! With the Cera balls under the CDP, you can expect to get an overall the tightening up of rough edges in the sound, yet give mids, i.e. vocals, more density and "natural" presence within the sound stage. The bass also benefits from the tidying up, by sounding fuller, yet each note more distinct. Splashy highs are mostly subdued overall(if it's there, it'll still be there somehow, but only much less heard!).

Cera Balls unders my Rega, spot them?

Here's my surprising find, with the Cera Balls under budget CD and turntables(if my humble Rega P25 qualifies as one), you get the most bang for buck sound wise! Whilst placed under my own Marantz CD7, the result were merely a whiff of subtle the improvement found on the budget machines mentioned earlier! That said, you also can't expect a Marantz CD63SE with Cera Balls, to sonically out class the CD7 sans the Cera balls. You just can't turn sows ear in to silk purse!

Next up is the FE Cera Pucks, which works very much just like the Cera Balls, but on heavier equipment, like power amps and so on. I had no chance to try them under my mono blocks with only a set of 4 pcs. But opportunity presented itself when I got the back breaking heavy Isotek Titan power line conditioner for review. From my experience with the Isotek Sigmas, I knew the Titan would benefit from some kind of an after market feet or equipment stand. With the Isotek Titan sitting on the four Cera Pucks, the result were pretty much the same as I got from the Cera Balls under source equipments, but only more! There was much less back ground hash heard with the Cera Pucks placed under the Isotek Titan PLC.

Cera Pucks under Isotek Titan.

Lastly, the FE Resonator. I find that the resonator did absolutely nothing to the sound when placed on top of my CDP, pre-amp or phono stage! Strange, I thought I must have done it wrong! I checked the manual again, and follow the instructions carefully one more time, but the results were the same! I heard absolutely no difference to the sound coming out from my system, with or without the Resonator!

Then I remembered what a hifi buddy told me on an earlier listening session of my system. He told me that he had heard some metal ringing qualities in my system(yes, his ears are that sensitive!), and he had proceeded to check the top plate of every hifi equipment that I had by feeling it with his hands as we played the system aloud. He picked out the Isotek Sigmas's top plate as the culprit! Then asked me to do something about it. I haven't the opportunity to get around to it.

Resonator on top panel of Isotek Sigmas, note: instruction says you can't place Resonator dead center for good effect!(I tried that too!)

So the Resonator was put a top the Isotek Sigmas(see picture on top) and now, finally, I heard an overall smoother high mids. The high hats though previously non splashy and never edgy, now gained just very slightly more refinement and "air". I must stressed that the improvement is very subtle, and not easily distinguished. My very own opinion formed of the Resonator is that, unless you've got equipment with rather thin, undamped steel plates as top panel, I don't think it will do much if placed on most high end equipment with 5/8 inch thick aluminum top panels.

Did I get poisoned? Well, I am lining up to get my self some Cerra Balls!

Finite Elemente is sold by Audio Image, tel: 03-79563077

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