Symposium Super Segue ISO Wide-Bandwidth Isolation Platform

Symposium Super Segue ISO Wide-Bandwidth Isolation Platform

$549.00

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Symposium Super Segue ISO Wide-Bandwidth Isolation Platform

$549.00

Loading...

  • Description

     

    MY TAKE: We've used the Segue ISO under quite a few turntables and have been impressed with the results each time. The Seque ISO is a cost-effective way to provide wide-bandwidth isolation for your turntable or other sensitive components. - Galen Carol

     

    Note: Symposium can make a custom Segue ISO to any size you need. Please call for a quote.

     

    The Super Segue ISO is a heavy duty, double thickness version of the Segue ISO, offering double the damping and isolation power of the normal Segue section, greater stiffness and weight capacity, and an expanded LDSS footer suspension. It offers the same superlative performance of the Segue ISO and more, with greater dynamic retrieval, bass authority, background quietness, and weight capacity.


    Introduction -


    The Segue ISO was expressly designed for the isolation of analog turntables and other sensitive components, including preamplifiers, amplifiers, digital disc (CD, DVD, BluRay, etc.) players and more. The Segue ISO takes up where the standard Segue leaves off - by adding unique isolation footers which isolate and damp low-frequency vertical waves without the distortions and compromise of the more common approaches employed other designs.

    Placed under all types of analog turntables, it's not just hyperbole to state that the Segue ISO achieves a new dimension of musical transparency in a reasonably priced solution. The ISO achieves its goal through an innovative, effective isolation system, combined with neutral platform damping - something you can't get with footers alone - and does away with the euphonic resonances, colorations, dynamic restriction, and "hi-fi" artifacts that are the bane of isolation systems that rely upon rubber balls, polymer layers, magnets, cones or airbags.


    The Technology -


    The Segue ISO combines Symposium damped-layer technology with a simple yet effective breakthrough in footer isolation to provide both low-frequency isolation AND musical spectrum damping. Usually, isolation platforms may provide one or the other function, but not both at once. The Segue ISO is the first platform to provide both functions at an affordable price. We guarantee that it will match or exceed the performance of most isolation platforms at up to triple its price, or more!


    The LDSS Foot Isolator - Simple, yet advanced -


    We searched and experimented for years to find an affordable, effective method to isolate high-quality vertical waves. While during research on the problem of Low-frequency severe low-frequency waves, we discovered and rejected rubber balls in cups as an isolation system in the late 1990s. Although visual tests indicated promising results, actual listening tests revealed that this method of isolation did severe and unacceptable damage to essential aspects of sound quality. Five years later, another company came out with this very same concept using a plastic platform and rubber balls. They were welcome to it; it's a terrible way to isolate high quality audio components! Similarly, Sorbothane rubber pads, polymer layers, and bumpers, while inexpensive and widely used in other "isolation" footers, platforms, and rack systems, were found to cause the same, all-too-familiar problems of bass bloat and overhang, as did inflatable airbags. We also experimented extensively with magnetic suspension, and while magnetic techniques have their uses (Symposium has been awarded two U.S. patents that involve magnetic techniques), we also rejected these for isolation purposes, since opposing-magnet suspensions exhibit markedly non-linear displacement which causes dynamic restriction and related distortions. The reason that magnets create this problem is that as the opposing magnetic poles move closer and further away from one another in response to vibration (as they would in an isolation application), the repulsion force created by the opposing magnetic fields does not remain constant, but instead changes at an exponential, non-linear rate. Nearly all of the above systems share Non-linearity problems and especially damage the sense of dynamic range or "liveness" of music. Low frequency isolation requires that the opposing, isolating forces remain as constant as possible under the influence of vibratory waves. If they do not, a new form of distortion will be transferred to the component. You may get rid of catastrophic footfall problems, but you will have irrevocably damaged and compromised the musical quality that your isolated component is capable of providing. Making things even worse is the fact that rubber and Sorbothane materials block the mechanical ground pathway, and in essence introduce a kind of "tone control" which, once in the system, marries the system to time delay distortions which can't be compensated for by adding more tweaks. The only way to rid yourself of time delay distortion is to remove the devices and techniques which cause it.


    After more than a decade of investigation to find a solution to low frequency vertical isolation that would not compromise sonics, the breakthrough came when we developed a precision, conical spring design internally damped with air cell foam. While the initial idea of a spring didn't seem very glamorous or "high tech," this is a better spring design, and one with a superior pedigree. The coils of precision conical stainless steel springs nest within themselves, and as they do so, exhibit linear displacement characteristics over their entire compression range - meaning that as displacement occurs in response to wave vibration, the amount of resistance or opposing force remains constant and linear. This factor dramatically improves the sense of dynamics in the affected component (nothing else robs music of life more than the restriction of quickly changing energy levels) and preserves bass integrity and transient accuracy. In addition, unique internal damping material eliminates any resonances which may be caused by the metal material of the spring footer itself, and further damps isolation response to eliminate "ringing" or overhang. Further, the footer's conical shape terminates to a point, emulating the drainage and damping characteristics of cones, points, and spikes. Taken all together, the Linear Displacement Suspension System is a deceptively simple yet effective method of releasing sonic performance untapped in nearly all turntables, regardless of price; but it is also effective for ANY source or active components, such as digital source players, preamplifiers, amplifiers, and more, and will enhance their performance as well.


    Component Load Matching for Low-Frequency Isolation -

    Although the Segue ISO works well with a wide range of component weights, optimizing the weight of the component to the ISO suspension should be observed for best results. An ISO platform can be tailor-made for virtually any weight load upon special order, but is commonly made available in two versions, "LD" (Light Duty), and "MD" (Medium Duty); see table below. Best low-frequency isolation effectiveness will occur with component weights that approach but are not higher than these limits. If you have a special weight range or limit in mind, please contact your dealer or Symposium direct.


    Setup Recommendations for Proper Results -


    All Symposium platforms will work best if rubber or Sorbothane feet or footers are bypassed or omitted altogether. While these types of feet are often supplied, especially by turntable manufacturers, as a "minimum" approach to providing some kind of isolation, rubber and Sorbothane block the ability of the platform itself to absorb and dissipate vibratory energy from the component's chassis. Energy drainage or resonance damping is a vital aspect of vibration control, and rubber feet usually cause unwanted, non-linear resonances which negatively affect bass and midbass definition and quality. Further, very soft "ball type" feet represent a non-linear suspension, and the secondary suspension resonance caused by these soft rubber footers will usually interact unfavorably with the ISO's suspension system and can cause even more significant problems with footfall and feedback. Further, when placed on a Segue ISO platform, such footer suspension systems become superfluous, since the idea of a Symposium platform is for it to be an extension of the component's chassis essentially, so that internal resonances and generated mechanical energy can be absorbed and neutrally dissipated. Therefore, for best sonic results, always couple components (and turntables) to the top of the Segue ISO through hard footers (such as metallic points, cones, Symposium Couplers, SuperCouplers, Fat Padz or Rollerblocks), and not a soft or compliant one, because hard footers provide good mechanical throughput, necessary for an effective mechanical ground circuit. It is not usually necessary to remove the existing feet, as long as the rigid footer device contacts the chassis or plinth directly. Bypassing or getting rid of rubber footers altogether can often be the single most beneficial and affordable improvement one can make to realize better sound and accounts for the success of the simple metal cone, which first appeared on the hi-fi horizon 40 years ago.


    NEW!  The Movable 5th Footer -


    Segue ISO platforms now ship as standard with 4 of the ISO footers permanently attached, and the 5th footer is supplied as a separate unit with a deployable adhesive layer. This allows more precise leveling of components by shifting the position of the 5th footer left/right or back/forth under the platform to compensate for any irregular weight distribution the component may have (especially useful for turntables with separate motors). If desired, the movable footer can then be permanently attached by deploying the adhesive layer or left as is for a future position change. However, if it is desired to attach the footer in a given position permanently, this is easily done by simply removing the white release paper on the footer's top surface, which exposes a layer of contact adhesive, and then pressing the surface to the underside of the platform. We can also, if requested, supply any number of the footers as separate and movable if desired, at no extra charge.


    Going Further: Achieving 6 Degrees of Isolation -


    Used by itself, the ISO reduces or eliminates floor-borne disturbances as well as bass feedback, but very difficult installations may benefit from more comprehensive low-frequency isolation. By adding a set of Rollerblock Jr., HDSE, or Series 2+, Rollerblocks, 6 degrees of freedom isolation can be achieved. The Rollerblock® system provides nearly perfect X-Y axis or lateral wave isolation, while the Segue ISO provides Z-axis or vertical wave isolation. This combination provides a "6 degrees of freedom" true isolation system, otherwise only available in systems costing many thousands of dollars, and at its very affordable price, represents a cost breakthrough in effective isolation/damping performance. Further, dedicated active isolation platforms are not made for audio components, but rather for scientific instruments such as electron microscopes, etc., and provide little or no damping throughout the audible range of music, because resonance neutrality through the upper nine octaves of the audio spectrum is irrelevant to technical instrument applications. The Segue ISO, like all Symposium Platforms, provides the neutral, critically damped interface necessary with any audio component, and as such, is a comprehensive solution for anyone desiring to enhance the emotional involvement and excitement promised by the musical experience.


    REVIEWS:


    Positive Feedback:  "Setup is quite straightforward. 1. Level the rack's top shelf and adjust the spikes so there is no wobble or "chatter". 2. Place the Segue ISO on the shelf, and then the turntable and pod atop it, avoiding any interference from tonearm or power cables by taping them to the rack. 3. Level the Segue ISO (as shown, I used a 2-way level from Home Depot) by positioning the turntable and pod. Because of the two tonearms and motor pod, the Spacedeck ended up somewhat forward and to the right of center, with the Segue ISO's footers compressed a bit over half their height. 4. Recheck and level the turntable. I used tape markers to keep the motor pod in a consistent location relative to the table itself for the trials. This made it possible to compare the sound of stock footers versus mechanically grounding the deck to the Segue ISO platform with a changeover time of about 30 seconds.


    "Over the review period, I listened to a wide variety of material, but several long-familiar LPs were of particular help. For bass clarity and transient response, the old direct to disc Sheffield Lab Drum Record has few peers. Wuorinen's Ringing Changes on Nonesuch for 3D spatial information, transient attack
    and decay. The 12 Cellists of the Berlin Phil on Telefunken for instrumental texture resolution. Cantate Domino from Proprius as Xmas approached to parse the parish choir. The Ronstadt/Parton/Harris Trio album, Ry Cooder's Jazz, the Classic Records Kind of Blue and some classical & jazz LPs I have used for so many equipment evaluations I pretty much know them by heart.


    "I made 24/96 dubs of select tracks of different configurations played at levels about 10db higher than normal for initial comparisons. The Spacedeck with spacers directly on the undamped MDF shelf (i.e., analogous to generic metal cone footers) fared worst. It was easy to hear why the late Tom Fletcher, the Nottingham designer, employed the visco-elastic footers for isolation, and why he felt the expense of the sub-platform was justified by the increased isolation. However, upon replacing the stock platform with the Segue ISO, things got interesting. First, the Segue ISO proved superior to the stock platform in isolating the turntable from low frequency grunge—the Drum Record and the Cellists were noticeably tighter and cleaner, for example. Inserting the metal spacers particularly affected the spatial, dynamic, and resolution characteristics. The Spacedeck was not idly named, but the Segue ISO re-mapped the soundstage wider, higher, and deeper than ever before, be it the clang and rattle of the Wuorinen or the airy acoustic surrounding the Swedish choir and organ. The Segue ISO reveals that much of the criticism leveled at the Nottingham "sound"—a very slight tendency towards vagueness, blurred transients, muted dynamics—can be chalked up to the out-dated rubbery button footers. Simply put, the Segue ISO returns the once groundbreaking Nottingham Analogue design to contemporary high-end standards.


    "And then, I just listened to records. One example. The Rodrigo Concierto de Aranjuez presents problems in performance, recording, and reproduction: a solo classical guitar pitted against an orchestra is just plain nasty, and most modern recordings are heavy into multi-miking and spotlighting to compensate. Everyone knows the tune, perhaps from Miles's version, perhaps just from elevators; the guitar mostly plays off it. Something of an audiophile legend, the Yepes/Argenta version dates from the mid-'50s (Yepes premiered it in 1947). It is classic, simply miked early stereo, and earned a place on the late Harry Pearson's Super Disc list. A few days after he passed, I cued up a vintage copy (London CS 6046, FFSS Blueback) to check out the Spacedeck/Segue ISO combo. HP was a soundstage maven, so we can ignore the period microphone coloration and the non-audiophile vinyl. What's left is the soloist in the middle distance, and the orchestra arrayed in precise panorama beyond the listening room wall. This is an experience of listening in/to the recording, and thus into the performance, literally the back and forth between guitar and orchestra. You sense the hall, you follow the guitar line, supported by the way-back, often low-level winds and strings, even as you suddenly notice the almost inaudible squeak of fingers on frets, all simultaneously. On a recording over 50 years old. Gotta love that analog immersion rush.


    "Which makes the Symposium Acoustics Segue ISO an easy recommendation for a wide range of turntables. For many vintage decks (like mine), it's a no-brainer, I'm buying the review sample. As a $349 upgrade, it should be well within the reach of owners of the many "entry High End" tables from Rega/Pro-Ject/Music Hall/VPI etc.—which typically have little or no effective isolation. Hold off on that new cartridge until you try one, pal. On the other hand, owners of "serious machines" in the $2-5K and up range should not hesitate to take one out for a spin—especially the MD version for decks over 44lb: there's no other economical option for the heavyweights. My one caveat would be for turntables with suspended sub-chassis or other sophisticated suspensions that cannot be easily bypassed. A suspension with two different spring resonances may not exactly work synergistically." - Bruce Kinch



    SPECIFICATIONS:


    Standard Sizes: 19" x 14", 19" x 18", 21" x 19", and 24" x19" - custom sizes available upon request.

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Symposium Super Segue ISO Wide-Bandwidth Isolation Platform

$549.00

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Description

 

MY TAKE: We've used the Segue ISO under quite a few turntables and have been impressed with the results each time. The Seque ISO is a cost-effective way to provide wide-bandwidth isolation for your turntable or other sensitive components. - Galen Carol

 

Note: Symposium can make a custom Segue ISO to any size you need. Please call for a quote.

 

The Super Segue ISO is a heavy duty, double thickness version of the Segue ISO, offering double the damping and isolation power of the normal Segue section, greater stiffness and weight capacity, and an expanded LDSS footer suspension. It offers the same superlative performance of the Segue ISO and more, with greater dynamic retrieval, bass authority, background quietness, and weight capacity.


Introduction -


The Segue ISO was expressly designed for the isolation of analog turntables and other sensitive components, including preamplifiers, amplifiers, digital disc (CD, DVD, BluRay, etc.) players and more. The Segue ISO takes up where the standard Segue leaves off - by adding unique isolation footers which isolate and damp low-frequency vertical waves without the distortions and compromise of the more common approaches employed other designs.

Placed under all types of analog turntables, it's not just hyperbole to state that the Segue ISO achieves a new dimension of musical transparency in a reasonably priced solution. The ISO achieves its goal through an innovative, effective isolation system, combined with neutral platform damping - something you can't get with footers alone - and does away with the euphonic resonances, colorations, dynamic restriction, and "hi-fi" artifacts that are the bane of isolation systems that rely upon rubber balls, polymer layers, magnets, cones or airbags.


The Technology -


The Segue ISO combines Symposium damped-layer technology with a simple yet effective breakthrough in footer isolation to provide both low-frequency isolation AND musical spectrum damping. Usually, isolation platforms may provide one or the other function, but not both at once. The Segue ISO is the first platform to provide both functions at an affordable price. We guarantee that it will match or exceed the performance of most isolation platforms at up to triple its price, or more!


The LDSS Foot Isolator - Simple, yet advanced -


We searched and experimented for years to find an affordable, effective method to isolate high-quality vertical waves. While during research on the problem of Low-frequency severe low-frequency waves, we discovered and rejected rubber balls in cups as an isolation system in the late 1990s. Although visual tests indicated promising results, actual listening tests revealed that this method of isolation did severe and unacceptable damage to essential aspects of sound quality. Five years later, another company came out with this very same concept using a plastic platform and rubber balls. They were welcome to it; it's a terrible way to isolate high quality audio components! Similarly, Sorbothane rubber pads, polymer layers, and bumpers, while inexpensive and widely used in other "isolation" footers, platforms, and rack systems, were found to cause the same, all-too-familiar problems of bass bloat and overhang, as did inflatable airbags. We also experimented extensively with magnetic suspension, and while magnetic techniques have their uses (Symposium has been awarded two U.S. patents that involve magnetic techniques), we also rejected these for isolation purposes, since opposing-magnet suspensions exhibit markedly non-linear displacement which causes dynamic restriction and related distortions. The reason that magnets create this problem is that as the opposing magnetic poles move closer and further away from one another in response to vibration (as they would in an isolation application), the repulsion force created by the opposing magnetic fields does not remain constant, but instead changes at an exponential, non-linear rate. Nearly all of the above systems share Non-linearity problems and especially damage the sense of dynamic range or "liveness" of music. Low frequency isolation requires that the opposing, isolating forces remain as constant as possible under the influence of vibratory waves. If they do not, a new form of distortion will be transferred to the component. You may get rid of catastrophic footfall problems, but you will have irrevocably damaged and compromised the musical quality that your isolated component is capable of providing. Making things even worse is the fact that rubber and Sorbothane materials block the mechanical ground pathway, and in essence introduce a kind of "tone control" which, once in the system, marries the system to time delay distortions which can't be compensated for by adding more tweaks. The only way to rid yourself of time delay distortion is to remove the devices and techniques which cause it.


After more than a decade of investigation to find a solution to low frequency vertical isolation that would not compromise sonics, the breakthrough came when we developed a precision, conical spring design internally damped with air cell foam. While the initial idea of a spring didn't seem very glamorous or "high tech," this is a better spring design, and one with a superior pedigree. The coils of precision conical stainless steel springs nest within themselves, and as they do so, exhibit linear displacement characteristics over their entire compression range - meaning that as displacement occurs in response to wave vibration, the amount of resistance or opposing force remains constant and linear. This factor dramatically improves the sense of dynamics in the affected component (nothing else robs music of life more than the restriction of quickly changing energy levels) and preserves bass integrity and transient accuracy. In addition, unique internal damping material eliminates any resonances which may be caused by the metal material of the spring footer itself, and further damps isolation response to eliminate "ringing" or overhang. Further, the footer's conical shape terminates to a point, emulating the drainage and damping characteristics of cones, points, and spikes. Taken all together, the Linear Displacement Suspension System is a deceptively simple yet effective method of releasing sonic performance untapped in nearly all turntables, regardless of price; but it is also effective for ANY source or active components, such as digital source players, preamplifiers, amplifiers, and more, and will enhance their performance as well.


Component Load Matching for Low-Frequency Isolation -

Although the Segue ISO works well with a wide range of component weights, optimizing the weight of the component to the ISO suspension should be observed for best results. An ISO platform can be tailor-made for virtually any weight load upon special order, but is commonly made available in two versions, "LD" (Light Duty), and "MD" (Medium Duty); see table below. Best low-frequency isolation effectiveness will occur with component weights that approach but are not higher than these limits. If you have a special weight range or limit in mind, please contact your dealer or Symposium direct.


Setup Recommendations for Proper Results -


All Symposium platforms will work best if rubber or Sorbothane feet or footers are bypassed or omitted altogether. While these types of feet are often supplied, especially by turntable manufacturers, as a "minimum" approach to providing some kind of isolation, rubber and Sorbothane block the ability of the platform itself to absorb and dissipate vibratory energy from the component's chassis. Energy drainage or resonance damping is a vital aspect of vibration control, and rubber feet usually cause unwanted, non-linear resonances which negatively affect bass and midbass definition and quality. Further, very soft "ball type" feet represent a non-linear suspension, and the secondary suspension resonance caused by these soft rubber footers will usually interact unfavorably with the ISO's suspension system and can cause even more significant problems with footfall and feedback. Further, when placed on a Segue ISO platform, such footer suspension systems become superfluous, since the idea of a Symposium platform is for it to be an extension of the component's chassis essentially, so that internal resonances and generated mechanical energy can be absorbed and neutrally dissipated. Therefore, for best sonic results, always couple components (and turntables) to the top of the Segue ISO through hard footers (such as metallic points, cones, Symposium Couplers, SuperCouplers, Fat Padz or Rollerblocks), and not a soft or compliant one, because hard footers provide good mechanical throughput, necessary for an effective mechanical ground circuit. It is not usually necessary to remove the existing feet, as long as the rigid footer device contacts the chassis or plinth directly. Bypassing or getting rid of rubber footers altogether can often be the single most beneficial and affordable improvement one can make to realize better sound and accounts for the success of the simple metal cone, which first appeared on the hi-fi horizon 40 years ago.


NEW!  The Movable 5th Footer -


Segue ISO platforms now ship as standard with 4 of the ISO footers permanently attached, and the 5th footer is supplied as a separate unit with a deployable adhesive layer. This allows more precise leveling of components by shifting the position of the 5th footer left/right or back/forth under the platform to compensate for any irregular weight distribution the component may have (especially useful for turntables with separate motors). If desired, the movable footer can then be permanently attached by deploying the adhesive layer or left as is for a future position change. However, if it is desired to attach the footer in a given position permanently, this is easily done by simply removing the white release paper on the footer's top surface, which exposes a layer of contact adhesive, and then pressing the surface to the underside of the platform. We can also, if requested, supply any number of the footers as separate and movable if desired, at no extra charge.


Going Further: Achieving 6 Degrees of Isolation -


Used by itself, the ISO reduces or eliminates floor-borne disturbances as well as bass feedback, but very difficult installations may benefit from more comprehensive low-frequency isolation. By adding a set of Rollerblock Jr., HDSE, or Series 2+, Rollerblocks, 6 degrees of freedom isolation can be achieved. The Rollerblock® system provides nearly perfect X-Y axis or lateral wave isolation, while the Segue ISO provides Z-axis or vertical wave isolation. This combination provides a "6 degrees of freedom" true isolation system, otherwise only available in systems costing many thousands of dollars, and at its very affordable price, represents a cost breakthrough in effective isolation/damping performance. Further, dedicated active isolation platforms are not made for audio components, but rather for scientific instruments such as electron microscopes, etc., and provide little or no damping throughout the audible range of music, because resonance neutrality through the upper nine octaves of the audio spectrum is irrelevant to technical instrument applications. The Segue ISO, like all Symposium Platforms, provides the neutral, critically damped interface necessary with any audio component, and as such, is a comprehensive solution for anyone desiring to enhance the emotional involvement and excitement promised by the musical experience.


REVIEWS:


Positive Feedback:  "Setup is quite straightforward. 1. Level the rack's top shelf and adjust the spikes so there is no wobble or "chatter". 2. Place the Segue ISO on the shelf, and then the turntable and pod atop it, avoiding any interference from tonearm or power cables by taping them to the rack. 3. Level the Segue ISO (as shown, I used a 2-way level from Home Depot) by positioning the turntable and pod. Because of the two tonearms and motor pod, the Spacedeck ended up somewhat forward and to the right of center, with the Segue ISO's footers compressed a bit over half their height. 4. Recheck and level the turntable. I used tape markers to keep the motor pod in a consistent location relative to the table itself for the trials. This made it possible to compare the sound of stock footers versus mechanically grounding the deck to the Segue ISO platform with a changeover time of about 30 seconds.


"Over the review period, I listened to a wide variety of material, but several long-familiar LPs were of particular help. For bass clarity and transient response, the old direct to disc Sheffield Lab Drum Record has few peers. Wuorinen's Ringing Changes on Nonesuch for 3D spatial information, transient attack
and decay. The 12 Cellists of the Berlin Phil on Telefunken for instrumental texture resolution. Cantate Domino from Proprius as Xmas approached to parse the parish choir. The Ronstadt/Parton/Harris Trio album, Ry Cooder's Jazz, the Classic Records Kind of Blue and some classical & jazz LPs I have used for so many equipment evaluations I pretty much know them by heart.


"I made 24/96 dubs of select tracks of different configurations played at levels about 10db higher than normal for initial comparisons. The Spacedeck with spacers directly on the undamped MDF shelf (i.e., analogous to generic metal cone footers) fared worst. It was easy to hear why the late Tom Fletcher, the Nottingham designer, employed the visco-elastic footers for isolation, and why he felt the expense of the sub-platform was justified by the increased isolation. However, upon replacing the stock platform with the Segue ISO, things got interesting. First, the Segue ISO proved superior to the stock platform in isolating the turntable from low frequency grunge—the Drum Record and the Cellists were noticeably tighter and cleaner, for example. Inserting the metal spacers particularly affected the spatial, dynamic, and resolution characteristics. The Spacedeck was not idly named, but the Segue ISO re-mapped the soundstage wider, higher, and deeper than ever before, be it the clang and rattle of the Wuorinen or the airy acoustic surrounding the Swedish choir and organ. The Segue ISO reveals that much of the criticism leveled at the Nottingham "sound"—a very slight tendency towards vagueness, blurred transients, muted dynamics—can be chalked up to the out-dated rubbery button footers. Simply put, the Segue ISO returns the once groundbreaking Nottingham Analogue design to contemporary high-end standards.


"And then, I just listened to records. One example. The Rodrigo Concierto de Aranjuez presents problems in performance, recording, and reproduction: a solo classical guitar pitted against an orchestra is just plain nasty, and most modern recordings are heavy into multi-miking and spotlighting to compensate. Everyone knows the tune, perhaps from Miles's version, perhaps just from elevators; the guitar mostly plays off it. Something of an audiophile legend, the Yepes/Argenta version dates from the mid-'50s (Yepes premiered it in 1947). It is classic, simply miked early stereo, and earned a place on the late Harry Pearson's Super Disc list. A few days after he passed, I cued up a vintage copy (London CS 6046, FFSS Blueback) to check out the Spacedeck/Segue ISO combo. HP was a soundstage maven, so we can ignore the period microphone coloration and the non-audiophile vinyl. What's left is the soloist in the middle distance, and the orchestra arrayed in precise panorama beyond the listening room wall. This is an experience of listening in/to the recording, and thus into the performance, literally the back and forth between guitar and orchestra. You sense the hall, you follow the guitar line, supported by the way-back, often low-level winds and strings, even as you suddenly notice the almost inaudible squeak of fingers on frets, all simultaneously. On a recording over 50 years old. Gotta love that analog immersion rush.


"Which makes the Symposium Acoustics Segue ISO an easy recommendation for a wide range of turntables. For many vintage decks (like mine), it's a no-brainer, I'm buying the review sample. As a $349 upgrade, it should be well within the reach of owners of the many "entry High End" tables from Rega/Pro-Ject/Music Hall/VPI etc.—which typically have little or no effective isolation. Hold off on that new cartridge until you try one, pal. On the other hand, owners of "serious machines" in the $2-5K and up range should not hesitate to take one out for a spin—especially the MD version for decks over 44lb: there's no other economical option for the heavyweights. My one caveat would be for turntables with suspended sub-chassis or other sophisticated suspensions that cannot be easily bypassed. A suspension with two different spring resonances may not exactly work synergistically." - Bruce Kinch



SPECIFICATIONS:


Standard Sizes: 19" x 14", 19" x 18", 21" x 19", and 24" x19" - custom sizes available upon request.