ISOLATION  PRODUCTS

             

NEW ANTI-RESONANCE PLATFORMS

    RINGMAT    VIVACITY AR 

A modular controlled resonance solution for hi-fi  

 

Picture: Vivacity AR 'Fireworks' Dark Vivacity Panel prototype

   

Press Release

27 March 2008
For immediate release

Ringmat Developments has launched its Vivacity AR Anti-Resonance Equipment Platforms for hi-fi and home cinema systems.

As announced in September 2005, NXT technology has been utilised to develop this unique anti-resonance solution. It was first previewed at the 2005 London Hi-Fi & Home Entertainment Show.


For some 7 years, Ringmat Developments have been using NXT's Distributed Mode Loudspeaker technology to investigate resonance patterns in flat materials - in particular, the effect of hi-fi and home cinema system support structures like equipment stands, shelves and home cinema units. The results of this research were applied in the design of Ringmat Vivacity AR; a solution based on specially designed support panels that neutralise distortion caused by resonance. Throughout development, tests have shown significant improvements in both sound and image quality from LPs, CDs and DVDs.

 

                                           


John Rogers(photo), chief designer for Ringmat Developments, said: "Resonance has long been a corrupting factor in sound and image reproduction and one which has remained largely unaddressed. Since its inception, and in conjunction with DNM Design, Ringmat has been designing products that eliminate distortion from static, vibration and resonance. With Ringmat Vivacity AR, we wanted to delve further into the problems caused by resonance in shelves, platforms and other structures supporting hi-fi and audio-visual equipment. With NXT's unique Distributed Mode Loudspeaker technology, we are now able to deliver an exciting and, I can safely say, unprecedented solution."

NXT's Distributed Mode Loudspeaker technology uses a small motor (an exciter) to generate bending waves across the surface of a flat panel, thereby creating sound. Ringmat used this concept to study resonant modes across panels when excited by equipment and equipment supports. Now, in the design of its Vivacity AR platforms, it has been able to implement an inversion of NXT's Distributed Mode Loudspeaker (DML) technology concept so as to rid sound and images of the problems associated with resonance during sound and image reproduction.

Neil Harris, NXT's Chief Scientist, said: "The number of commercial applications for NXT's Distributed Mode Loudspeaker technology continues to grow, with most related to the loudspeaker design and sound reproduction. The Vivacity anti-resonance equipment platforms use DML to eliminate unwanted vibrations and are an excellent example of the flexibility of our technologies. We congratulate Ringmat Developments on successfully bringing this innovative range of products to market.

NXT technology can open up whole new areas of possibility in the fields of audio and home cinema. It is now widely used to design loudspeakers and it is also good to see it applied creatively for applications other than the amplification of sound. In deploying the technology to eliminate resonance, Ringmat looks set to deliver an industry first."

Ringmat Vivacity AR is commercially available now.

ENDS

A concept photograph of a Vivacity AR Panel is available.
Photography of other Ringmat products is also available on request.

About NXT
NXT's commitment to inventiveness in sound and touch has enabled it to deliver new technologies already deployed in audio systems, TVs, PCs and laptops, mobile phones, PA systems, cars, aircraft and in public buildings and facilities around the world. With its unique portfolio of patented technologies and unparalleled expertise in the field of bending wave physics, NXT helps its partners invent, create and market innovative sound solutions that offer sustainable differentiation.

NXT is fully listed on the London Stock Exchange (symbol NTX) and has operations in Hong Kong, Japan and the USA as well as the UK. Further information is available from www.nxtsound.com.

About Ringmat Developments
Ringmat Developments is at the leading edge of sound technology. It creates products designed specifically to improve the sound and picture quality from domestic hi-fi and audio-visual systems, from the kitchen CD player to the expensive hi-fi or home cinema system in the lounge. Its philosophy is aimed at bringing the understanding of sound reproduction out of the dark ages and helping users to escape that flat and rather uninteresting sound quality produced by most domestic sound reproduction equipment. The same concepts apply equally to picture quality in audio-visual systems. Established in 1992, Ringmat Developments' product range encompasses the award-winning RINGMAT Support System for vinyl records; the award-winning STATMAT electrostatic control system for vinyl records, CDs and DVDs; and a wide selection of complementary isolating equipment supports, cables and other products designed to eliminate signal distortion from sound and picture reproduction. Visit www.ringmat.com for more details.
 

 
 
RINGMAT NEW LP MAT
 
 
 
 
See full size image

 

Gold Spot Anniversary Ringmat

 

                      Spot the Difference                     
 
            An evaluation of the new Gold Spot Ringmat by Christopher Breunig

 

                                                                                                                                                               
So similar is the new Gold Spot Ringmat in appearance to the Anniversary Ringmat 330 (apart from the spot itself) I suspected that I would not find substantial audible differences between them - but this proved to be not the case! As noted in the accompanying literature, with a different adhesive used to bond the cork rings, the Gold Spot is thinner by 0.1mm, so for precise A-B comparisons some height compensation is necessary. Using the complete Ringmat Support System (on a Linn LP12 driven by Origin Live's most highly specified motor kit) I added a green spacer for these listening tests.

But even without it, sound differences were immediately noted.
A 1961 Mercury recording of Copland ballets with the LSO conducted by Dorati had just been reissued as a Speakers Corner 180g pressing, and I had already noted, via headphones, a degree of traffic noise outside Watford Town Hall picked up by the three-channel microphones. This was now much more distinct over Quad Electrostatic speakers; the orchestral sound itself becoming more focused and dynamic.
Putting in the spacer added weight to the sound. This gave a very convincing immediacy to a 1966 Decca pianoforte LP of Schubert played by Vladimir Ashkenazy [SXL6260], notorious for the tracking difficulties presented in the finale of the Sonata D664 - though not to my current OL Conqueror tonearm and Zyx moving-coil cartridge. Adding or subtracting the spacer changed the tonal nature of the sound, making it thinner when (effectively) the arm-rake was not the same as set up with the earlier Anniversary mat. With the Gold Spot and the extra spacer I found the stereo image more centred and solid.


Turning to two historic discs, of Mozart symphonies with Peter Maag and the Suisse Romande [Ace of Clubs ACL157] and Duke Ellington 1940s transfers to LP [RCA LSA 3069], and playing these as double-mono, amply confirmed that the sounds of the original tapes/78rpm shellacs were more accurately reproduced than I had heard from them before - by a wide margin in the case of the jazz LP.

My conclusions are that the Gold Spot is better able to convey timing - the articulate stream of notes in the Schubert Allegro, the attack and imaging of solo instruments such as harp, or xylophone, in the Copland. The music reproduction is cleaner and thereby allows increases in comfortable listening levels. It might seem extravagant to consider exchanging an Anniversary Ringmat 300 for a Gold Spot, but a moving-coil upgrade to achieve a comparable quality uplift would involve a far greater outlay!
 

 

 

                              

 

REVIEWS

  

CDi BLUE

 

 

Statmat CDi Blue
Ultimate Guide to Home Cinema 2004
 

STATMAT CDi BLUE

The CDi BLUE is a new and far more powerful Statmat for controlling static and other unwanted electronic fields and for correcting signal anomalies. It comprises two Statmats working together at 90º to each other and on different sides of a blue polyester substrate of 0.1mm. The Statmat on top is a mirror image of the standard one below and is connected to the substrate at three equidistant points. The one below is connected at two points.   

Picture: Statmat CDi Blue

 

The story of Statmat and the Statmat Film

 

The greater mass of the CDi BLUE makes it much easier to handle, yet it is only 0.25mm thick and weighs just 1.8g.

                                              

RINGMAT FEET

                         

                        

RINGMAT DOMES

 

                   

  

                                     RINGMAT SPIKE STOPPERS

                                         

               

 

                                                  

 

RINGMAT  CABLES 

         RINGMAT PURE POWER MAINS CABLE

 

RINGMAT AUDIOPHILE CABLES
Ringmat Developments have been researching the design of multi-strand cables for many years, as they felt that existing cables did not provide the level of performance required by other Ringmat products. This research continued until a manufacturer was found with the right cable technology and design resources. The fruits of this co-operation can be found in the concept and design of the Ringmat OFC Pure Power Cable and the Ringmat Pure Signal Cable.

 

 

Picture: Ringmat Pure Power Mains Cable

 

 

 

 

 

MAINS CABLES

The need for good quality Mains Cables in a hi-fi or home cinema system is well documented and recognised and these types of product now have a high profile in all serious Hi-Fi and Home Cinema magazines.  Whilst the damage caused to the sound of any hi-fi or home cinema system as a result of using the relatively poor quality mains cables that are automatically provided with all supplied equipment is generally known to those who read up about these matters, for many systems owners the extent of the problem caused by inadequate Mains Cabling cannot be appreciated without first hearing the effect on the sound of a well designed Mains Cable.

 

We have been using and evaluating high quality Mains Cables for many years, originally when we had a retail hi-fi dealership, but more recently since we decided to concentrate solely on designing our own Ringmat and Statmat based products.  With the opportunity to design and develop our own cables, we also turned our attention to Mains Cables to see if we could go beyond what had previously been achieved by other cable manufacturers.  We very soon discovered that we could, indeed, go a lot further and the result is the concept and design of the Ringmat Pure Power Mains Cable.  In any suitable system, the effect on the sound in terms of delivered power, speed, bandwidth, the width, depth and height of the sound staging, secure imagery, timbre of voice and other instruments, resolution of detail and pure clarity is simply awesome.   But above all, there is the sheer musicality of the sound, that makes the music lover just want to go on listening and listening through their whole collection of software titles.

Our RINGMAT PURE POWER MAINS CABLE is a very considerable Mains Cable with a length of 4-core Ringmat OFC Pure Power Cable and a weighty Earth cable at its heart. Prototypes of this Mains Cable have been in use in Ringmat Developments' test bed system for some years.  As explained above, the results are awesome. However, there was a practical problem in bringing them to the market in that the thickness of the Pure Power Cable and the Earth Lead (up to 10mm²) meant that they could not fit into even the very largest versions of domestic or professional AC mains plugs or high power IEC plugs/sockets. These problems have now been solved by linking the very large conductors at the heart of the Mains Cable to another substantial 5-core 'connecting' Mains Cable of significant quality, via a recently developed and very neat 5-pole connector at each end. Although the 'connecting' Mains Cable is very substantial, it is possible to terminate it with traditional UK and international type mains plugs. The exceptional quality of the Ringmat OFC Pure Power Cable is well documented and considerable care has been taken through extensive listening tests to ensure that the other components are of complimentary and comparable quality. Every care has been taken in the design of this Mains Cable to avoid those conditions whereby sound signals dependent upon mains power are adversely affected, such as where the wrong polarity has been used, the wrong number of strands have been used in conductors and through the use of solder to secure connections - only screws have been used to secure connections. Those familiar with the use of the Pure Power Cable as speaker cable will be recognise the practice. We have effectively used 5-core cables throughout, with a single Earth conductor and two conductors each for live and neutral whereby 'opposite' conductors are paired.

 

Picture: Ringmat Pure Power Mains Cable with Schuko Plug


With the Ringmat Pure Power Cable at the heart of our Mains Cable, with its very low capacitance and very low resistance, the design enables an extraordinarily accurate sound reproduction to be provided
in sound systems using it. Obviously, the quality and set up of the sound reproduction system itself is a crucial factor, but with the Ringmat Pure Power Mains Cable there is the capability of exceptional bandwidth, tonal performance, firm imagery and remarkable transparency. The sense of power and space can be awesome, and yet fine nuances can still be exquisitely presented.

SPECIFICATIONS
Pure Power Cable:
4 PVC insulated conductors of stranded high purity oxygen free copper wire
Each conductor has 56 x 0.30 mm dia. strands, giving a core size of almost 4 mm2, reducing to 49 strands at termination

Earth Cable:

Single conductor of 7 x 1.35 mm dia. strands of plain copper in LSF thermosetting insulation, giving a core size of 10 mm2
 

Connecting Cable:

5-core mains cable, each conductor having a core size of 1.5 mm2
 

Place of manufacture of complete Pure Power Mains Cable: EU

Plugs and Connectors
The design of the plugs and connectors used with the Pure Power Mains Cable is very important and a considerable period of research was needed to find and select the ones chosen. Indeed, it took several years, which is why the Mains Cable was not released earlier.

Cable Terminations
At the power socket end, the Mains cables are available with UK 13Amp, Schuko or IEC plugs, or with bare ends to meet local requirements with regard to mains plugs. At the equipment end, standard termination is with IEC plugs. They can also be supplied with bare ends.

The standard length of the Ringmat Pure Power Mains Cable is 1.4metres. Lengths of 1.7 and 2 metres are also available, as are other lengths to order.

Further Advice
If you would like further advice or help with regard to the Ringmat Pure Power Mains Cables, please contact your local hi-fi dealer, supplier or Ringmat Developments.

INTERCONNECTS

PURE SIGNAL CABLE

 

Picture: Ringmat Pure Signal Cable

RINGMAT PURE SIGNAL is a very flexible interconnect cable of 4 conductors. Its low capacitance is maintained by advanced manufacturing techniques, with the screen helically wound over a polyester tape and connected to ground at the signal destination end of the cable. With only one of the conductors used for the signal, and the other three being connected to ground, this makes a very substantial screen for the whole interconnect without adversely affecting the signal and provides a very effective barrier against radio frequency interference.

The cable jacket gently holds the conductors in position, enabling the cores to adjust position as the cable is wound and handled, avoiding permanent twists and knots. As in the case of the Pure Power Cable, this arrangement helps reduce vibration internally and further enhances the sound.

 

 

Picture: Ringmat Pure Signal Cable

The cable is directional and normally this is the same as the print on the cable. There are indicators on the made up cables showing the direction in which the signal should flow through the cables.

With its very low capacitance, inductance and near ideal resistance, measurements that are remarkable by any standard (see under Cable Specifications), the design of the Pure Signal Cable complements that of the Pure Power Cable and again results in exceptional tonal performance and a transparent and accurate sound reproduction. The over-riding impression is one of extraordinary "speed", giving great pace to lively music, but more importantly it allows every detail of a performance to be savoured, starting from the full atmosphere of the recording venue before a note is sounded. The leading edge and decay of each note is completely natural.

  • PURE SIGNAL DIGITAL INTERCONNECT

We have pleasure in introducing our new Pure Signal Digital Interconnect.
We use the same Pure Signal cable and plugs as for the Pure Signal Stereo Interconnects, but the spiral screen termination is different. As will be seen from the Cable Specifications, the Pure Signal Cable is well suited for digital use.

  • PLUGS & CONNECTORS

 

Picture: Ringmat Pure Signal Stereo & Digital interconnects

Initially, all interconnects were offered terminated with Ringmat RCA phono plugs in stereo pairs or for digital connection, in lengths of 0.5m, 0.7m, 1.0m, 1.2m and 1.5m. These Ringmat plugs have been adapted and modified from those used with the DNM/Reson cables. Until the new WBT Nextgen RCA type phono plugs became available more recently, the Ringmat RCA type plugs were by far the best we had found in our listening tests.

These new WBT plugs are now the best RCA type connectors for the Pure Signal cable. Accordingly, they are now available with all our Pure Signal cable products. They are, however, more expensive than our Ringmat RCA phono plugs. Also, for certain applications, such as where the centre hole of some RCA type phono sockets are too small for the WBT Nextgen plugs, the Ringmat plugs are the ones to use.

In due course, other plugs and types of connector will also be available, as a wide range of uses for the Pure Signal Cable is anticipated in future.

                                 

 

 

OFC PURE POWER SPEAKER CABLES

We have pleasure in introducing our new OFC Power Line speaker cable. Both the Power Line and our existing OFC Pure Power are now also available terminated with WBT insulated 4mm connectors.

Why another new speaker cable?  The reasons are explained below.

The difference between our existing OFC Pure Power cable and the new OFC Power Line cable is as follows:

OFC Pure Power

4 conductors, each containing 56 strands of 0.30mm diameter, so each conductor is about 4mm², with a nominal D.C. Resistance of 4.3 Ohms/Km.

OFC Power Line

4 conductors, each containing 50 strands of 0.25mm diameter, so each conductor is about 2.5mm², with a nominal D.C. Resistance of 6.8 Ohms/Km.

 

Picture: Ringmat OFC Power Line Speaker Cable

In all other respects, the design of the two cables is the same.

So while the Pure Power cable measures like a dream, has tremendous power handling capability and reproduces better in many ways, especially in the bass, certain amplifier designs look for more resistance in the load presented to them and may therefore react more dynamically with the Power Line cable than with the Pure Power cable.   For this reason the Power Line cable might also, in some circumstances, be suitable as a bi-wire cable.

  • OFC PURE POWER SPEAKER CABLE

RINGMAT OFC PURE POWER is a sizeable speaker cable with an outer diameter of 13mm.  It is very flexible and the interior mould of the outer jacket hugs 4 substantial conductors in position around a central filler.   Although the cable can be used to bi-wire to 2 pairs of terminals, it is designed for use as a single run cable from one pair of terminals to another pair, with the 'opposite' conductors paired. It also sounds very much better that way.  The design of the cable is such that it has very low capacitance and very low resistance, resulting in exceptional tonal performance and a transparent and accurate sound reproduction.  The sense of power and space is awesome, and yet resolution and fine nuances are exquisitely presented.

Inside the cable jacket the ridges that hold the conductors in position are talc lined, enabling the cores to adjust position as the cable is wound and handled, avoiding permanent twists and knots. This also helps reduce vibration internally and further enhances the sound.

Conductor sheaths are colour coded.  Accordingly, cores north and south (blue) should be joined together as, say, positive, and cores east and west (black) joined together as, say, negative.

The cable is directional.  Normally, signal direction is the same as the print on the cable, but the manufacturers cannot warrant it.  We shall check it out each time there is a production run.

  • TERMINATION

The Pure Power Speaker Cable is available in 3m or 5m stereo pairs, terminated with 4mm connectors.  Other lengths, terminated or unterminated, are also available, on request. 

For some systems, it may be sufficient that the full 56 strands of the speaker cable are used as provided when unterminated.  When used in this manner, the cable has the additional merit of smoothing over deficiencies in many systems.  However, when the number of strands has been reduced to 49, the clarity and other aspects of sound quality are transformed.  When the cable is provided terminated, this reduction in the number of strands has already been done.  The following guidance is therefore given for when the cable is provided unterminated.  It also gives purchasers of terminated cable an appreciation of how this has been done should the cable ever need to be terminated at some other point.

Picture: Ringmat Pure Power Speaker Cable

Ringmat Pure Power Speaker Cable

 

The insulation of the cable is quite easy to cut with a sharp blade, rather like Cheddar cheese, and full guidance is either given at point of sale or, where the sale is not direct through Ringmat Developments, subsequently on request.

For some systems, it may be sufficient that the full 56 strands of the speaker cable are used as provided when unterminated.  When used in this manner, the cable has the additional merit of smoothing over deficiencies in many systems.  However, when the number of strands has been reduced to 49, the clarity and other aspects of sound quality are transformed.  When the cable is provided terminated, this reduction in the number of strands has already been done.  The following guidance is therefore given for when the cable is provided unterminated.  It also gives purchasers of terminated cable an appreciation of how this has been done should the cable ever need to be terminated at some other point.   The insulation of the cable is quite easy to cut with a sharp blade, rather like Cheddar cheese, and full guidance is either given at point of sale or, where the sale is not direct through Ringmat Developments, subsequently on request.

The termination at the end of each conductor should not be soldered to any connector or plug.  Use of solder not only destroys the benefit of removing the 7 strands, it also limits the overall performance of the cable.

  • PLUGS & CONNECTORS

Where the speaker terminal sockets are sufficiently substantial to take the paired conductors, it is obviously better to connect in this way rather than use connector plugs.  However, the thickness of the paired conductors is often too great for direct insertion into most speaker cable sockets.  It is then necessary to use plug connectors to clamp onto the bare wire cores and for the pins of the connectors to be inserted into the speaker cable sockets.

 

Picture: Ringmat large diameter 4mm stackable banana plugs

The design of the plug connectors used with the Pure Power Cable is very important, which is why we have chosen to use UK made 4mm pin plugs when the Cable is provided terminated.  All other plugs we have tried have degraded the sound.  The connectors we use are not insulated.   Therefore, it is important to ensure at all times that they do not touch one another or other conductive objects whilst connected to an amplifier which has not settled after being turned off, or has not been muted in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.

Terminal plates - ugh!  It has become the practice of some speaker manufacturers to provide pretty gold coloured plates to connect same polarity speaker sockets where making provision for single wiring of bi or tri-wirable speakers.  These plates destroy the sound and should be replaced with speaker wire similar to that used for carrying the signal from the amplifier to the speaker (assuming this cable is found to be satisfactory).  Whilst this is a general point, in practice, of course, we would expect our Pure Power Speaker Cable to be used.

  • Essential Guidance for Users

In general, it is usual to connect the positive (red) conductors/connectors to the red speaker cable sockets at both ends and the negative (black) conductors/connectors to the black speaker cable sockets.  However, there are two reasons why this may not be the best way.

1.   Some speakers have certain of their drive units out of absolute phase to the other drive units.  We find this arrangement damages the sound, and so where separate terminal sockets are provided at the rear of the speakers for each drive unit, it may be desirable, in respect of those drive units out of polarity with the others, to reverse the connections.   In such cases, connect the positive (red) conductors/connectors to the black speaker cable sockets and the negative (black) conductors/connectors to the red speaker cable sockets.  Treat both speakers the same.

2.   To accurately reproduce recorded sound, the absolute phase of the signal to the speakers should be the same as that used for the recording or embedded in the software (record, disc, tape, etc.)  The absolute phase of the recording can either be at 0° or 180°, and can vary between tracks and at edits.  The same problem exists with broadcast sound.  To obtain most pleasure from your music, it may be necessary to invert the phase of the signal to your speakers to match that used for the recording, in which case reverse the polarity of the connections for each pair of terminals at the back of both speakers.  Before you do so, however, first ensure that the (power) amplifier is switched off and allowed to settle, or its output muted, in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.  How do you know which is the correct absolute phase to use?  The only way to find out is to listen, both with and without the absolute phase being inverted.  Stick with that which is the more musical and where the detail of the image is the most defined and focused.  We have interesting developments to report on this subject, which we shall publish in due course.

Remember, when listening after a change of cables or of any equipment, allow some time before the transfer of the signal, and therefore the sound, settles down.  It should start to improve after half an hour and will be better after two hours, but will improve still further after a few days.   The same applies each time the system is switched on, though the time taken will usually be less when no changes have been made, depending upon how long the equipment has been left turned off.

Another aspect affecting the sound when changing cables or equipment is the change in the 'loading' of the system.  Not enough is yet known about this 'loading' factor, but it appears to have a great deal to do with the timing of the signal and the timing of sound reflections.  Inevitably, this affects the timing of the music, which can suddenly seem to go flat after a change in the system.  These tiny changes in the timing of sound reflections can also give rise to what might otherwise be thought to be distortion, and can be found throughout the frequency range.  It is, however, possible to accommodate most of these changes in timing by adjusting the distance the speakers are placed from the rear wall and the extent to which the speakers are 'toed-in'.