Top: FE Resonator.
Under: Cera Ball, Cera Puck & Cera Base.

Hifikaki had been poisoned by the FE Cera products, that we all know. He wants me to test it out to see if I feel the same. Ever so kind, he passed them all, the Cera Balls, Pucks and Resonator to me just before the CNY holidays to play with.

It been a few days that I've been playing with the Cera stuff plus Resonator, and can form my 2nd opinion of them.

First the FE Cera Balls, in my short, honest opinion, every hifi system, irregardless of price range, should at least have set of these sitting below the source components. If your budget allows, have a set below every component! Even though they're not exactly cheap, they're so good, they'd out last your component upgrades till the end of your hifi journey!(If there's an end to it all?)

Every component I put them under, from my friend's modest Marantz CD63SE to my own Marantz CD7, seems to wrought out very positive results, especially more so with budget to mid end equipment! With the Cera balls under the CDP, you can expect to get an overall the tightening up of rough edges in the sound, yet give mids, i.e. vocals, more density and "natural" presence within the sound stage. The bass also benefits from the tidying up, by sounding fuller, yet each note more distinct. Splashy highs are mostly subdued overall(if it's there, it'll still be there somehow, but only much less heard!).

Cera Balls unders my Rega, spot them?

Here's my surprising find, with the Cera Balls under budget CD and turntables(if my humble Rega P25 qualifies as one), you get the most bang for buck sound wise! Whilst placed under my own Marantz CD7, the result were merely a whiff of subtle the improvement found on the budget machines mentioned earlier! That said, you also can't expect a Marantz CD63SE with Cera Balls, to sonically out class the CD7 sans the Cera balls. You just can't turn sows ear in to silk purse!

Next up is the FE Cera Pucks, which works very much just like the Cera Balls, but on heavier equipment, like power amps and so on. I had no chance to try them under my mono blocks with only a set of 4 pcs. But opportunity presented itself when I got the back breaking heavy Isotek Titan power line conditioner for review. From my experience with the Isotek Sigmas, I knew the Titan would benefit from some kind of an after market feet or equipment stand. With the Isotek Titan sitting on the four Cera Pucks, the result were pretty much the same as I got from the Cera Balls under source equipments, but only more! There was much less back ground hash heard with the Cera Pucks placed under the Isotek Titan PLC.

Cera Pucks under Isotek Titan.

Lastly, the FE Resonator. I find that the resonator did absolutely nothing to the sound when placed on top of my CDP, pre-amp or phono stage! Strange, I thought I must have done it wrong! I checked the manual again, and follow the instructions carefully one more time, but the results were the same! I heard absolutely no difference to the sound coming out from my system, with or without the Resonator!

Then I remembered what a hifi buddy told me on an earlier listening session of my system. He told me that he had heard some metal ringing qualities in my system(yes, his ears are that sensitive!), and he had proceeded to check the top plate of every hifi equipment that I had by feeling it with his hands as we played the system aloud. He picked out the Isotek Sigmas's top plate as the culprit! Then asked me to do something about it. I haven't the opportunity to get around to it.

Resonator on top panel of Isotek Sigmas, note: instruction says you can't place Resonator dead center for good effect!(I tried that too!)

So the Resonator was put a top the Isotek Sigmas(see picture on top) and now, finally, I heard an overall smoother high mids. The high hats though previously non splashy and never edgy, now gained just very slightly more refinement and "air". I must stressed that the improvement is very subtle, and not easily distinguished. My very own opinion formed of the Resonator is that, unless you've got equipment with rather thin, undamped steel plates as top panel, I don't think it will do much if placed on most high end equipment with 5/8 inch thick aluminum top panels.

Did I get poisoned? Well, I am lining up to get my self some Cerra Balls!

Finite Elemente is sold by Audio Image, tel: 03-79563077


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13 comments:

GCK said...

Hi Panzer, I have 2 sets available for you to try if you want to. I am taking only 1 set. I took 3 sets remember?

tj said...

absolutely right on the money.......

Panzer said...

GCK,

You mean the Cera Pucks or Cera Balls? Either way I am game! Will contact you later. Thanks.

cbkong said...

very good review.highly informative.

thanks for the great effort panzer..........

GCK said...

Panzer, it is the Ceraballs. I did not try the Cerapucs. Ceraballs can take up to 80kg of equipment weight.

fafafion said...

congratulations for a very good and thorough review.

I concur with you the enthusiasim of the finite elemente products;no system should be without them ,it is as simple as that.

i have elaborated the wonder of the Finite elemente for many years on other forums[Try Audiogon search]and I use them on every piece of my equipments.

You wisely and rightly assesed the right use of the various feet[can be confusing at times!!!!]

My own experience though shows that the BEST benefits are seen with the speakers.Replacing the spikes with them {I Use Cerabases for the speakers,you could try the pucs for lighter speakers]are the very few jaw dropping [literally!!!]moments I experienced in Hi-fi.

No electronics worth its salt could do without a power cord upgrades and no speakers worth its salt could do without the finite feet.JMHO

lance said...

My experience is the same as fafafion...

MK said...

Is Maggielurva and master Ken jumping in the bandwagon???

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reviews on the FE. How do they compare to the Aurios and Soundcare? I have some so i wonder if i should switch to FE.

Thanks.

maggielurva 愛美姬 said...

hi mk,

i need another week or so to get my system back to optimum... after which i will launch my attack on hifidom;-)

thanks for the concern!

hifikaki said...

haha, Panzer, welcome onto the FE bandwagon! After I passed the cera feet to you, I could not listen to my system, that is how transforming they were.

Noticed that on the turntable you put the ceraballs upside down, Adrian mentioned that he found the sound to be better the right side up. Did you try both positions?

karl said...

aurios are ok for cdp but not to the same level as the ceras

as for the feet ,the soundcare are nowhere near the cerabases.that has been my experience and i am glad mr fafafion feels the same way

wilfred said...

the ato extremo are equivalent in performance with the finite elemente feet,but the aurios are not in the same league imo