Arya Audio Labs RevOpods damper review part 1


What is so exciting about Arthur Marker’s RevOpods, that wouldn’t let yours truly mind at ease and push him to continually swap them from one component to another? Well, quite a few things! The scientifically based well thought-out research, the young mind with an inspiring background, the substantial performance shift and nonetheless the price, that won’t rush you to split your piggy bank. 

Arthur could have easily jumped aboard the ship of the Titanic pricing realms, yet he has determinably enter the market with a way more reasonably priced products, that compared to some other so-called ultra high-end offerings not merely cost a few times less, but has actually something objective to tell about the design and technical features of the product.


We’re living in the era where audiophiles and high-enders are no longer triggered solely by the charming aesthetics. They (we) are a way more demanding in the understanding of the technical inner-workings and why particular techniques/materials were implemented. Especially with the high-end audio accessories like RevOpods.


For many decades other industries have profoundly investigated and invested in researching the complex dealings of the vibration’s management. Too often we ignore, how this specific energy-momentum is interlinked through our daily lives and how it influences the qualities of our endless interactions. Count in the cars, safe bridge crossing, flying etc. It’s way more insidious than these examples, but you’ll pick up the initial concept. 

MEET THE MAKER


Arthur Marker (Founder OF Arya Audio Labs) is an audio researcher based in UK but originally from Germany. He graduated with MSc in Engineering Acoustics from the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research (ISVR) in UK and with BEng in Electrical Engineering from DHBW University Stuttgart in Germany. 

Previously he worked for Apple’s Audio department (California, USA), Cirrus Logic (Southampton, UK), Valeo (Stuttgart, Germany) as well as in academia for ISVR on topics like Audio Hardware Design, Vibration Control, Echo Cancellation, Acoustic Validation, Failure Analysis and others. 


Arthur has been interested in audio since an early age and running his own audio company now is certainly a dream come true. His goal is not just to recreate existing products but to redefine the audio experience and push the boundaries of audio reproduction.

THE VIBRATION CONTROL!


There are many misconceptions about vibration control leading to misunderstandings about principles like damping, isolation, coupling and decoupling.

When it comes to vibration it is important to note that every mechanical system has a certain resonance behaviour and, if wrong type of damping material or vibration control strategy is used, it can make vibration issues actually worse. Audio applications are in that sense quite challenging because the vibrations we are dealing with can be very broadband and developing efficient vibration control strategies, that are working across a wide frequency range, is not easy. Arya Audio Labs has spent almost two years developing and testing different vibration control strategies until they've found a suitable solution. The approach that achieved the best results in the end, and is now incorporated in the RevOpods, was not even one that you would usually find in audio applications but rather in civil engineering.

For the vibration control of heavy structures such as bridges, civil engineers make use of so-called pot bearings. These bearings use elastomers constrained in a short cylinder, or pot which become significantly more compliant under loading thereby providing vibration isolation. By combining this strategy with a spherical bearing it is possible to achieve highly efficient vibration isolation in all degrees of freedom. The challenge, however, is to realise this approach in a very compact form while optimising it for the requirements of audio applications. 


After countless prototypes Arthur and his team have succeeded to refine and adapt the pot bearing concept to broadband audio applications and implemented it in the RevOpod damping feet. It is the first product to offer our proprietary vibration control system with superb damping performance.

THE INNER HEARTH  


The RevOpod is an engineering marvel with 35 high precision manufactured parts per each damper, using lowest tolerances for a tight fit and perfect functionality of the intricate mechanics. It features a unique height adjustment mechanism where rotation of the outer ring moves an inner element up or down, translating the rotary motion of the ring into linear movement of an inner cylinder. This allows for a precise adjustment in just 50μm steps, each indicated with an audible “click”. In addition, RevOpod offers up to 6 degrees of tilt in any direction through a single pivot Delrin® part to adapt to uneven surfaces.

RevOpod damping feet during the assembly process

THE DESIGN


All of RevOpod’s structural parts are CNC machined from solid billets of highest quality stainless steel while the contact element to the floor is made of Delrin® providing outstanding internal damping properties. To achieve the shiny surface finish of the metal parts, Arya Audio Labs use a highly labour intensive mirror polish method where each part is polished by hand until a “chrome-like” finish is obtained. 


For the black versions, an additional coating is applied on top of the mirror-polished surface using high temperature and vacuum environment thus tightly bonding it to the material underneath. This special process creates a spectacular “black chrome” finish.

RevOpods in different finishes with optional M10 thread adapters

IN ACTION


Despite the RevOpods's complex inner core, the actual application is really a no brainer. Wide range of applications embraces practically all of our beloved high-end audio components. From active/passive electronics (preamplifiers, phono stages), power amplifiers, loudspeakers to the high-end audio racks. RevOpods are  also allowing easy experimentation with the sub-platforms, shelfs etc.  

Like described above, the RevOpods implements a special mechanism that allows the setting of a highly precise adjustments (50μm steps) as well as a omnidirectional (up to six degrees) tilt adjustment. This is not only applicable for perfect horizontal and vertical alignment, but also highly useful with the installation of the speakers that need a finer, subtle adjustments for achieving the perfect listening spot. 

SUM UP


One of the true luxuries of doing what the I’m loving the most is the discovery and revealing of the original new products, that are pushing the boundaries of what’s predicted. However niche our beloved industry might look like from the outside, there are infinite possibilities and prospects that can help boost the sonic performance. The quest is as ever-expanding as the never-ending refinement off the sport’s cars performance. 


While car enthusiasts and connoisseurs are benefiting in a bit different way, the signs of progress in our trade bring transforming advantages, that are moving us closer to a more exact mirroring of the sonic reality.

I can easily see the Arya Audio Labs RevOpods implementation way beyond of the domestic use. These extremely potent mechanical passive devices can assuredly find many OEM implications with the high-end audio electronics and loudspeakers manufacturers.  

RevOpods introduces sort of that special LEGO brick part that you’ve wanted to employ in as many possible situations. Yes, these Arya Audio Labs micro apparatus are that highly addictive and effective!

For what they represent Arya Audio Labs RevOpods damper was award with Best of 2018 by Mono and Stereo!

 

Stay tuned for the part two, where I’ll concentrate on the individual sonic advantages backed up with the reference music tracks. 

Matej Isak

PRICES


- Chrome: £550 (set of 3), £700.00 (set of 4)
- Chrome + anod. Gold: £560 (set of 3), £720.00 (set of 4) All Black: £580 (set of 3), £750.00 (set of 4)
- Black + anodised Gold: £590 (set of 3), £770.00 (set of 4) Black + 24k gold: special request

SPECIFICATIONS


- Weight: around 150g per damper (600g per set of 4) 
- Diameter: 40mm • Min height: 32mm • Max height: 37mm 
- Height adjustability: 5mm (in 50μm steps)
- Weight limit: standard 40kg per set of 4 heavy version 120kg per set of 4
- Included: silicone rings for mounting, thread adapters for M6, M8 and 1⁄4-20 (M4 and M10 available upon request)
- Versions: Chrome, Chrome + anodised Gold, All Black, Black + anodised Gold, Black + 24k Gold and others

CONTACT


Arya Audio Labs
71 - 75 Shelton Street
Covent Garden
London WC2H 9JQ
UK  
Tel: +44 7492 868 556