August 1, 2009

Finite Expenses.

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

The Ceraball Universal, with the M8 screw and jamming nut assembled(as per diagram D).

We were provided loaners to play with the last time(smart tactic Adrian!, give'em honey and they'll stick like bees). After returning the loaners, I started missing the Ceraballs effect. So I had to get some of my very own, but this time with a twist.

I managed to wrestle two sets of Ceraballs Universal from our friend GCK. I decided to use them under my pair of Audio Physic Spark speakers, which weight in at 17KGs each. Just nice for the Ceraballs.

Audio Physic Spark with the original spikes in use.

When using the Ceraballs Universal to screw under the speaker feet, do remember to use the jamming nut on theM6/M8 attachment screws provided. I tried using the Ceraballs under the Audio Physic with and without the jamming nut, and found that the Ceraballs does nothing for the sound without it. It sounded exactly the same as using the M8 spikes provided by Audio Physic. The speakers are then adjusted to balance on all four Ceraballs using a water mark level provided by Audio Physic.

Audio Physic Spark with the Ceraball Universal.

With the jamming nut in used, and the speakers put back in to their original position, the effect was like as if my system had an EQ installed, with the adjustment of a smiley curve! The bass and treble frequencies overwhelmed the mids! But that was just what I needed, I had always thought, that if I had a little more in room bass response, I could pull the speakers a little further in to the room, to better re-create stage depth, an area which my system could further improved upon.

The speakers are further pulled in to the room by 4 inches. Making them sit 36 inches away from the speaker's back wall, and 16 inches away from the side wall. With the speakers repositioned, I found the smilley EQ curve effect gone. The system now sounded very tonally even, as before, with a touch of warmness, but that mid range bloom so evident before has very much subsided. With the new speaker position, the stage depth does indeed improved, without compromising stage width, which is something that, I had to do a balancing act before. not this time. Bass also extends lower and tighter. In short, it's like I've upgraded to a bigger Audio Physic in to my room!

Nice shoes!

Since I had FE Spider like rack, I wondered if the FE Spider Ceraballs fit? Again I borrowed some from Adrian to try for fitting. To my surprise, they fit really well! Some how the rack and the Spider Ceraballs just locked in like hand in gloves.

I opted to retain the glass shelves I had and allowed them to sit in between the Ceraballs and the equipment instead of having the equipment sitting directly on top of the Ceraballs. I like the look better that way, well, hi fi can also be eye fi sometimes. With the limited lateral movement of the Ceraballs along the X beams on the Spider like rack, the glass shelves also makes equipment balancing on 4 Ceraballs easier. The whole rack was re-adjusted for even balance using the same Audio Physic provided water mark level.

As before, with the Ceraballs under the Marantz CD7, only minor effect was observed. The sound tightened up somewhat, with an overall tidier presentation. The Ceraballs did a little more when added below the Pass Labs X2.5 pre amp. It allowed music to breath a little more freely within the sound stage. Musician which sometimes appear to elbow each other now has their own playing space within the sound stage. You can say the sound stage is a little more 3D in effect. The slightly excessive highs have given way to a more mature, mellow yet airy qualities. The mids now allows the voices gain more palpability and density. The already tight bottom end now gained an elastic quality too, that makes bass guitars and double bass instrument that little more believable. Kick drums are now distinctly heard, with each kick, even when the music mix is very busy.

Ceraball Spider under CDP and Pre amp.

The biggest benefactor of the Ceraballs Spider is the Rega P25 Turntable and phono stage. With the Ceraballs underneath both equipment, the vinyl part of the system can finally catch up to the CDs. I found my self suddenly playing much, much more LPs than before.

Ceraball Spider under Turntable and Phono stage.

The final tally, I got 2 sets of Ceraballs Universal, and 4 sets of Ceraballs Spider.

Perhaps it's the way my system is flawed, kinda plays to strengths of the Ceraballs. I can't be sure, but I suppose YMMV is still a caveat that is relevant, based on ML's earlier findings with the Ceraballs.

Lastly, word leaked out to some of my hi fi buddies that I had spent a small fortune on the Ceraballs. Suddenly, I am the butt of all jokes Ceraballs.
One suggested perhaps that I should also have 4 Ceraballs under my listening chair, but with my weight, the Cerapucs would be a better option!, if only he'd pay for it.

Another even suggested that I should have a Ceraball stuffed in to my ass! Well, if it made my hi fi sound better, with out feeling the pain in the ass!, I'd certainly consider.

No comments: