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Vinyl Asylum: REVIEW: Gingko Audio Cloud 11 Isolation Platform Turntables by Skylab

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REVIEW: Gingko Audio Cloud 11 Isolation Platform Turntables

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Model: Cloud 11 Isolation Platform
Category: Turntables
Suggested Retail Price: $379
Description: Acrylic Isolation Platform
Manufacturer URL: Gingko Audio
Model Picture: View

Review by Skylab ( A ) on November 17, 2004 at 18:12:03
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for the Cloud 11 Isolation Platform

A while back I decided I needed to upgrade the "isolation" devices I was using for my Denon DP-59L turntable -- hockey pucks. Yes, actual hockey pucks, one under each of the Denon's own feet. This was inexpensive -- the hockey pucks were less than $2 each. But they looked kinda silly, and I was not sure they were doing a very good job.

I had bought a very nice dustcover for my DP-59L from Gingko Audio. They custom made me one, and it's beautiful, and the service was terrific. When I read that they were making Isolation Platforms, I thought this might be the ticket. Then when I read Michael Fremer's positive review in Stereophile, I decided to try one.

The Cloud 11 arrived very well boxed. It consists of a acrylic base, an acrylic top, and dense rubber balls that go between them. Since I had told Vihn Vu from Gingko Audio what I was using it for, he sent along 5 balls. (Just to confirm, I bought and paid for this item, I am reviewing it just because I think it's great). I placed the balls in the base, placed the top on, and put the Denon on top. Couldn't be easier.

At first I was a little unnerved that whenever I touched the Denon itself, it and the top of the platform would jiggle a bit. A quick email from Vihn confirmed this is as it should be. I put on Alison Krauss's "So Long So Wrong" (the new MFSL 180g version), and let 'er rip.

And rip it did. I immediately noticed that the bass was better. ALL OVER better. Firmer, deeper, tighter -- the whole nine yards. And I could play the LP VERY loudly with no problems at all. This was great, because my turntable is no more than 3 feet from my 15" servo-controlled Velodyne subwoofer. But all was totally well. During some REALLY deep bass from Holly Cole's "Temptation", I placed my hand on the shelf the DP-59L sits on. It was vibrating noticably. Then I placed my hand on the top part of the Cloud 11. It was not vibrating. And neither was my turntable. The Cloud 11 did its job in spades.

I thought it also may have improved the midgrange, making it a bit clearer. After playing a few more LPs, I decided this was the case. although this was subtle. But in any case, it was certainly good.

And oh yeah, the Cloud 11 looks great. MUCH better than the hockey pucks! Highly recommended.

Product Weakness: None, really, that I can think of. At $379, not dirt cheap, but certainly afforable, and worth it.
Product Strengths: Truly performs the isolation trick very well, as described. Improved the sound from my turntable, especially the bass. Looks nice.

Associated Equipment for this Review:
Amplifier: Sunfire Signature II
Preamplifier (or None if Integrated): Sunfire Vaccum Tube Classic
Sources (CDP/Turntable): Denon DP-59L with Benz L2
Speakers: B&W Nautilus 800 Signature
Cables/Interconnects: Monster 2.2
Music Used (Genre/Selections): AKUS, Holly Cole, Yes
Type of Audition/Review: Product Owner

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Topic - REVIEW: Gingko Audio Cloud 11 Isolation Platform Turntables - Skylab 18:12:03 11/17/04 ( 6)