Finite Elemente Ceraball
Vibration Control

Finite Elemente Ceraball Universal

The finite elemente CeraBalls are among my favourite equipment supports. Reasonably priced and based on solid engineering principles, these small alloy "top-hats" provide an effective earth path for energy contained within equipment. I first reviewed them back in Issue 21 and use with heavier loads. thev've been in more or less constan use ever since, despite being joined by the more expensive and even more effective CeraPucs and CeraBase.

Their ability to clean up the performance and dynamic definition of budget electronics (their natural price partners) has proved invaluable. Well, now they've been improved, the new CeraBall Universal adding important refinements to the basic design.

Inside, there's still a single contact ceramic ball, with a rubber Gring providing a damped iunction between top and bottom parts. But now, the structure is beefed up, with a thicker base and a contoured top cap, providing greater mass, a larger contact area and spreading internal resonance more evenly. The result looks nicer, feels far heavier and more solid and is more widely applicable. Howso? The larger contact area increases stability and allows the CeraBalls use with heavier loads.

In addition the base is now threaded meaning that you can use the isolaton under speakers, not something I'd have remotely contemplated with the original design. You even get beautifully executed, threaded poss in both M8 and a stepped down M6 size to ensure compatibility.

Given the plethora of affordable floorstanders out there and their history of cabinet related colouration poroblems, this is a welcome development indeed - especially as I´ve been using the much more expensive CeraPucs with such success in just this role.

With but a single quartet of the new Universals to play with I headed straight for the CD player. Sure enough, even under a top-end machine like the Audio Research CD7 the little feet worked their, opening out the soundstage, adding focus and presence to images, life to dynamics. And they did it without any tendency to thinness, which could bedevil the original version in some cases. Further experiments under budget electronics the Henon phono€tage and an Arcam FMJ universal player all delivered consistent improvements in sound (and picture) quality. Looks like an allround improvement in an already impressive performer...

Unreservedly recommended