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.