The Symposium Ultra Platform evolved from our first product, the Super Platform, and was created to push the performance limits for a solid equipment platform further than had previously been possible. Experiments and listening tests in many different types of systems indicated that those aspects of the Super which could directly benefit lay in the thickness of the foam center section (which serves as a "heat sink" that converts mechanical energy to heat) and in additional constrain-layering of the critical top aluminum layer.
The Ultra is available in standard (see picture at top of page), Stealth Edition (with 3rd laminated black top laminated aluminum layer), and Pro Ampstand versions.
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
The Ultra retains the following features of Symposium energy absorption construction:Density-ordered constrained-layer construction
Linear energy dissipation with low reflection to the component
Solid platform with no "bounce" for superior bass performance
No leveling problems
No leakage problems
No practical weight limit
No tuning or adjustment required- works with all components
Performance independent of its support surface
Ideal interface for Rollerblocks, cones, and all footer devices.
Resonance-free isolation of upper 9 octaves of the audible range
No interaction problems with tuned suspensions of turntables
Ideal for use on top of low frequency isolation devices
Not for isolation of extremely low frequency footfall problems - see the Segue ISO Platform page for low frequency vertical wave isolation solutions.
Note: The Ultra Platform is identical in design to the Super Plus Platform, but its center foam heatsink is twice as thick (1.5" vs 0.75"), with greater isolation and dissipation capacity. Choose the Super Plus when vertical space is at a premium or when use will be with most medium to large-sized loudspeakers.
"...your Ultra Platforms work fantastic under my McIntosh MC601 mono blocks. I wish I had purchased them sooner.
They are keepers and definitely worth the upgrade."
P.C., New York
The Ultra consists of a multi-layered design (right) of varying density materials. But what's different about Symposium constrained-layer construction is that we have arranged the density of these layers in a specific order, from dense (metal top) to less dense, and then back again. The idea here is to gradually change density in steps, in the same direction, so that energy may penetrate more easily through adjacent layers. This unique but essentially simple design achieves optimal energy drainage from both the component side AND the support (bottom) side at the same time. This "dual direction" absorption provides effective isolation without eliminating the advantages of good energy drainage, and does it without introducing any mechanical "reactances" which are caused by materials which store and release energy, such as sorbothane and other rubber products. Instead of behaving like a reactive load, the design is more resistive, which means it is resonance-free, adding no colorations to the component's sonic "character" in attaining its goal of reducing noise and distortions in the components it treats.
Linking Your Component to the Ultra with Precision Couplers
The Ultra's design is not just for isolating, but for also simultaneously draining vibratory energy from the component. In order to do this efficiently, a good mechanical connection must be made between your component's (usually metal) chassis and the top layer of the Ultra which can act as a conduit between them. To this end, you can use any material which has a high transmission efficiency - such as metal cones, Rollerblock® systems, or other equipment "feet," as long as they are hard and afford good mechanical conductivity. Rubber feet and squishy devices are NOT suitable and will actually trap internal mechanical energy inside the component, increasing inherent resonances and the distortions (whether euphonic or unpleasant) they cause. While a number of established footer devices can be used, mechanical coupling is an essential part of the Ultra's function, and so we supply a simple device which we have found to be quite effective with all Symposium platforms: the Coupler.
Every Ultra Platform is now supplied with the result of 12 years of technical evolution of the original coupler: the Precision Coupler. These bring performance up a notch beyond what was possible with the original Large Couplers due to extremely high precision machining of their top and bottom surfaces, which are almost perfectly flat and parallel, so much so that when a Precision Coupler is lifted directly off an Ultra's surface, air suction can be felt! By placing the Precision Couplers between your component's chassis and the top of the Ultra Platform, they facilitate superior mechanical linkage to the chassis of your component, improve the interface between both and achieves the design goal of making the Ultra Platform a functional "extension" of the component's chassis for optimal energy drainage and damping of unwanted mechanical energy. While it isn't necessary to use the Couplers in all cases (such as when your component already has built-in hard feet, or a flat, unventilated bottom), we encourage their use if you don't have an alternate "footer" device, such as Symposium Rollerblocks, a set of cones, etc. For more information on setup with Precision Couplers, click here.
An Ideal Ground for Analog Energy
The Ultra is an excellent support for analog turntables, because it provides a nearly ideal mechanical ground without introducing any spurious reflections or resonances. If you have serious low frequency "footfall" problems, however, you must combine the Ultra with a low frequency isolation system to eliminate low frequency footfall interaction, since the Ultra is designed to conduct energy at lower and lower frequencies. However, if you're serious about getting the best sound possible from your analog system, consider an Ultra directly under your turntable - which will "clean" up haze, improve bass, and provide added authority to your playback. Even if you already have a low frequency "decoupling" device (that is, an extremely low frequency isolation device), the addition of an Ultra between it and your turntable will make significant additional improvements. For a more in depth discussion of the technical aspects of using Ultras with turntables, please click here.
| The shelf [Ultra Platform with VPI] is outstanding... There is so much more clarity in the bass, and a lot more detail all around. My UK copy of London Calling by The Clash is a great example - I can visualize the drum kit, each drum, each cymbal. And I've never really appreciated Nick Lowe's basslines on John Hiatt's Bring The Family until now. Interestingly, I noticed a lot more dynamic range: recordings that used to sound compressed are now coming alive. Tom Petty's Wildflowers, for example with the acoustic and electric instruments. Nat King Cole sounds like he is in the room on the DCC releases."
-T.C., New Jersey
Our Pride, Your Joy
At the moment you are reading this, there are thousands of Ultra Platforms in service around the world, making audio and video systems better. Ultras are used beneath CD players, Transports, DACs, Turntables, Preamps, Amps, Power conditioners, video scalers and tuners, and even with electronic crossovers and loudspeakers. An Ultra Platform is indispensable, attractive, and will work as well with the next component you own as it will with the one you have right now. We are proud of the great care that goes into the manufacture of each and every Ultra that leaves our doors, because we know that each Ultra carton that goes out will provide years of enjoyment and pride of ownership. If you're interested in finding out how an Ultra may benefit your system, please call Symposium direct, or your nearest dealer.
|Ultra Platform Specifications