The world is a funny place sometimes. Arya Audio is a British based company that makes high performance cables and damping feet (and an innovative drive unit in search of a loudspeaker!). The products are designed and made in Europe and yet remain little known outside of places like Hong Kong, where they are highly prized. That’s about to change, as this first of two reviews – on the company’s innovative RevOpod – will hopefully demonstrate.
Disregarding those who invoke anything from quantum entanglement to Cthulhu in trying to justify their designs, when audio manufacturers in the anti-vibration field start talking, many of them seem to call upon the aerospace industry, but some of the real success stories have a less ‘Bonkers’ approach and come from people who have real mechanical engineering chops. This is perhaps why Arthur Marker (MSc in Engineering Acoustics), and his team of engineers, researchers and designers look to a more civil engineering solution to combating vibration: the pot bearing. This type of bearing is used because it provides efficient damping through the compression of a compact, confined elastomeric disc that affords some horizontal displacement. In other words, rather than trying to fix the component rigidly in place, the RevOpod bearing allows for limited and damped movement in all directions. This controls vibration, significantly reducing distortion in the process. Turning this from ‘concept’ to ‘RevOpod’ still required a lot of prototyping and iterative development to apply perfectly to the audio world, but the results are worth it.
Where we are used to high-end anti-vibration feet being made of a handful of well-machined components, each RevOpod is made of 35 individual parts, machined to a very high quality. Of course, that shines through in whichever of the four variants of chrome and black (with or without contrasting gold) you opt for. But beneath that rich finish there’s a lot of interference fit components, which makes for a very precise vibration-reduction instrument. Height adjustment – for example – is made by an outer ring that drives a piston through a series of 50µm click-stops. The RevOpod sits on a cup-shaped Delrin foot.
The RevOpods come supplied in a set of four with a range of screw-threads to fit into the spike holes of most loudspeakers. However, they also come with silicone discs (originally silicone rings, but the discs are better… and retrofittable) which make the RevOpod ideal for sitting under components too.
The RevOpods work. They really work. Irrespective of the component they are holding up, the RevOpods give the soundstage extra depth and definition. Voices have greater diction, are more resonant and more like the real thing. The individual instrument sections in an orchestra are more clearly defined and delineated, making the intentions of the composer and conductor – and the precision of the orchestra – shine through. Kick drums get deeper and ‘kickier’. In fact, it’s something of a clean sweep here, with detail, dynamics, rhythm, and more all improved. I suspect these improvements are more geared toward fine-tuning to extract the last scintilla of performance out of higher-end equipment than transforming middle-market audiophile equipment (because it can highlight minor unbalances in a system), but using the RevOpods with careful product selection at all price points can produce musical wonders.
There’s a downside to the RevOpod. I find myself typing ‘Rev-O-Pod’, ‘RevOPod’, and ‘RevoPod’ and each of the four ways of typing this suggests its own pronunciation. Spellcheckers don’t work here, either. Oh, and they are addictive… start with a set of four for a source component, and pretty soon you’ll have a quartet of the things supporting everything in your system. I didn’t have the pods to double up (putting one set under each component on a stand and one set under the legs of the stand itself) so I can’t speak to its cumulative benefits, but I suspect anyone who tries the RevOpod… well, that’s just a matter of time.
I can’t wait to see what the cables can do.
Min height: 32.0mm
Max height: 37.0mm
Height adjustability: 5mm (in 50µm steps, 100 steps total)
Weight limit: 120kg per set of 4
Included: RevOpod dampers, silicone rings for mounting, thread adapters for M6, M8 and ¼-20 (other sizes available upon request)
Versions: Chrome, Chrome + anodised Gold, All Black, Black + 24k gold
Weight: around 150g per damper (600g per set of 4)
Manufacturer: Arya Audio Labs
Tel: +44(0)7400 188317
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