Most music enthusiasts and audiophiles alike spend a great deal of effort researching, auditioning and selecting their amplifiers, DAC’s, streamers, turntables and associated electronics. Yet only people who properly isolate their components actually get to hear what their components can sound like optimally. Despite this, enthusiasts regularly change their components, looking to ‘upgrade’ their sound quality. Resonances originating from within the component (eg. power supplies) or from the surrounding environment (eg. ground-borne or from the speakers) severely affect a component’s ability to do its job. These vibrational energies interfere with the signal path and often result in smear, distortions, phase anomalies and interferences which degrade the final sonic presentation. To hear what your system is capable of, implementing proper isolation is an absolute must.
Driven by a passion for great sound and extraordinary appreciation for quality, Aspire Audio have managed to achieve what has eluded so many – to create an audio rack with scientifically documented, performance proven isolation technology that also looks beautiful and would be the envy of the fussiest interior designers. After many years of experience as an audiophile, Richard Moore realised the performance benefits of proper isolation and he discovered that brands of racks that performed at the highest level sonically were so expensive to acquire, that they were not accessible to the average audiophile.
He set out on a mission to study the most commonly implemented isolation technologies and see if it was possible to create a rack that combined high performance with greater affordability. He researched, measured and tested many materials, finally opting for carefully selected kiln dried FSR certified solid timber shelves and solid metal supports. Nothing hollow, no particle board – everything had to be solid, heavy and rigid. He realised that to manufacture the isolation mechanisms, the level of precision engineering and manufacture was so demanding that only a select few artisans were capable of achieving this level of quality. This relentless pursuit of perfection resulted in the establishment of Aspire Audio, a relatively new yet accomplished brand of audiophile rack systems. Manufactured in Sydney Australia, Aspire Audio stands are simply exceptional.
Many experienced audiophiles will concur that you have not heard what your system is capable of achieving unless you have heard it supported by proper isolation. And what does ‘proper’ mean in this context? It refers to isolation technologies that have a demonstrable scientific basis, have been measured, tested and proven to seriously mitigate specific resonance frequencies. Now imagine that, with the added benefit of a design aesthetic that is attractive and compliments your furniture and décor. Imagine that this is available for a price that does not require you to mortgage your home. Finally, imagine the satisfaction that you are hearing your system perform at its best and any future component upgrades will benefit from your investment.
Aspire Audio delivers this ownership experience. Heirloom quality, sonically unmatched at their price level… a true performance bargain. Elegant simplicity, sonic bliss.
What you place your hi-fi components on affects your listening experience
Why? Your components are creating vibrations. These vibrations move down to the shelf, energise the shelf and more vibrations are reflected back into the component. Each material (glass, wood, aluminium, etc) has its own unique resonance frequencies. Vibrations moving from multiple components all around a stand are interacting and coming back into the same components. Vibrations from the floor, ground or building are also travelling up the stand. Vibrations from the air-borne sound waves in your room are also hitting the components, shelves and stand. All of these vibrations create a chaotic cacophony of resonant energies that are interacting with your hi-fi components. Furthermore, RF interactions between different cables create a low level noise that sounds like a low frequency hum. This is known as ‘the noise floor’ of the system.
These resonances interfere with your component’s ability to process the musical signal accurately and quietly. To achieve optimum sonic performance for your components, ideally you would want them to be free of resonances.
For a hi-fi system to sound at its best, each component needs to be mechanically isolated from the shelf it is placed on. Ideally, it needs to be treated so that the vibrations originating within its electronics are isolated and minimised. The shelves need to be isolated from the rack and the rack needs to be isolated from the floor. These precautions do not eliminate resonance however they isolate it and compartmentalise it in a way where it can me reduced or eliminated. The affect of simply isolating just one component can be transformative, let alone a whole racking system. When a system noise floor drops, you can instantly hear micro-details and nuances which were not apparent before. A lot of emotional and spatial information is contained in those subtle details.
A rack designed with solid sonic engineering principles reduces the sound floor. This optimizes:
- Musical information – micro-detail & nuance
- Resolution and articulation
- Sound stage
- Bass extension and detail
Aspire Audio’s Patented Technology
Aspire Audio Hi-Fi stands feature a unique combination of technologies:
- Custom built specifically selected solid metal supports.
- Custom built high density polyurethane vibration absorbing material.
- Solid timber shelves.
- High-mass design which absorbs the vibrational energy and converts it into thermal energy.
- High load-bearing design.
Aspire Audio has featured a physical cable management system incorporated into every shelf. This allows the physical separation of power, interconnect and speaker cables. By isolating these cables with their considerably different RF emissions, distortion is minimised which improves your listening experience. By reducing the EMF between the different cable sets, the stand helps to optimise the sonic performance of the system. Even large diameter cables can fit into the isolation voids.
Verified by Independent Testing
The mitigation of resonance and subsequent isolation of componentry is the main function of a properly designed hi-fi stand. When Aspire Audio engineered the Belgravia system, listening tests indicated an obvious and substantial improvement in the sound of hi-fi componentry that were placed on the shelves. As important as the listening test are, Aspire Audio wanted to place the Belgravia through a rigorous and extensive testing and measurement process via an independent testing authority.
Independent testing was conducted in an Anechoic chamber by Day Design in Sydney, looking at the difference in acceleration velocities when a stand is exposed to a loud and wide frequency sound (produced by a Pig Generator). Aspire Audio used the same testing framework and models used by Bassocontinuo in Italy, which conducted identical tests on the Belgravia stand and a ‘standard’ entertainment unit like you might see some people use for their stereo. Overall vibration levels were found to be significantly lower on the surface of each tier for the Aspire Audio rack when compared to the standard rack. This scientific testing process validated the listening experiences and gave solid evidence to support the success of Aspire Audio’s extensive investment in R&D.
If you would like a copy of that report, please contact Nirvana Sound and we would be happy to provide it to you.
Custom Requirements are Welcome!
Aspire Audio are able to customise the dimensions, shelf spacing, metalwork finish, timber and paint finish options for their stands. Please contact Nirvana Sound to discuss you specific requirements and build your dream audio stand.