Glen Wagenknecht
Financial Interests: click here
Sources: Audio Space CDP 8A CD Player
Wyred 4 Sound Music Server
DACs: Wyred 4 Sound DAC-2, Grant Fidelity Tube DAC 11, Ideon Ayazi
Preamplifier: Audio Space Reference 2S, Tortuga Audio LDR6 Passive
Amplifier:Bel Canto 200.4 Tapping TP22
AV Receiver: Pioneer Elite SC-25
Main Speakers: Audio Space AS-3/5A,  Mark Daniel Maximus Mini Monitor, Paradigm Servo 15 subwoofer
Rack: Codia Acoustic Design Stage 3000 BAB
Stands: Charisma Audio Function Stands   Target Stands
AV Speakers: JohnBlue M3s  Axiom M22 v3s, VP160 & QS8s
AV Subwoofer: Paradigm PW-2200
Desktop Audio Speakers: Swans M200 MkIII
Desktop DAC/Pre Headphone Amp: DA&T U-2
Cables: Arkana Physical Research Loom, Audio Art SE and Classic cable looms, JPS Labs Ultraconductor 2 speaker cables, Madison Audio Lab E3 Extreme 1 Interconnects/Extreme 2 speaker cables, Signal Cable Silver Reference interconnects and speaker cables, digital optical and coax cable, Audio Sensibility Impact SE balanced interconnects, Statement S/PDIF and Impact USB digital cables, DH Lab Power Plus AC cable.
Resonance Control: KAT Audio Terminator 1 Feet, Solid Tech Feet, EquaRack Footers, Weizhi Precision Gold Glory footers, Boston Audio TuneBlock2 footers, Audio Exklusiv Silent Plugs, Audio Exklusiv d.C.d. Base and d.C.d. Footers, Superspikes, CA Electronics Standard Cones, Feet, Cable Clamps, Isoacoustics L8R130, Aperta and L8R200 SUB speaker stands
Powerline conditioning: Exact Power EP15A, Noise Destroyer power filtration GutWire Ultimate Ground cable
USB conditioners: Ideon 3R Renaissance
Accessories: TrueHarmonix Black Magic CD Mat   Herbie's Super Black Hole CD Mat
Main Room size: 12' x 17'
Home Theatre: 10.5' x 16.5'
Review component retail: Min set of 12 = $299; Super set of 8 = $399; Arch 1 set of 8 = $199; Arch 2 set of 8 = $199

L'arcs de triomphe? I met Norm Ginsburg and Vinh Vu with their wares at the Gingko Audio booth while covering TAVES 2017 in October. I was aware of their reputation for innovative and effective resonance management product so seeing them with a few new tricks up their sleeves, I dropped by to chat. They showed some upscale aftermarket headphone cables and an unusual series of small devices called Arches, purported to be resonance clarifiers. Vibration management tweaks have always been a favorite of mine and although the arches looked simple, I trusted that Messrs. Ginsburg and Vu's extensive backgrounds would back up claims with serious results. They expressed interest in a review and the stage was set for some fun.

Hailing from Farmingdale/New Jersey in the US, Gingko Audio formally began operation in 2000 with an initial offering of acrylic turntable dust covers. That product remains current to this day thanks to the continuing popularity of the vinyl medium but the lineup has long since expanded to encompass other acrylic accessories like their highly regarded Cloud vibration control balls and platforms as well as two speakers. Beyond their own product they have also become the world exclusive marketer for Dana Cable product. Sales are a hybrid, with dust cover and Cloud via dealer network and Internet direct for their ClaraVu speakers, Dana Cables available through a sister website. Their new patent-pending Acoustic Resonance Clarifier™ are currently available on the Gingko Audio website although may also be available in the near future from select dealers. Pricing on their offerings has been attractively tiered at the affordably serious but not boutique nosebleed range, making them accessible to a much wider audience.

Since Gingko already marketed an established line of well-reviewed resonance management solutions under the Cloud banner, the introduction of the Arches presented an unusual situation. Rather than an evolution of prior designs, it marked a radically different approach. As such, it appeared to be a case of a manufacturer competing against his own product. That merited an obvious question and out went an e-mail to chief designer Vinh Vu.

Q: You have the Cloud design in your core stable of products. It's publicly well respected and still gets positive press. Why the new product? What do the Arches do better or differently? Are they intended to replace your Cloud line?
A: Very good questions. I am glad you asked. Even though the Clouds work extremely well at absorbing vibration especially at lower frequencies, we found that they don't work at all under speakers. The design's inherent wobbliness doesn't provide the firm base needed for speakers. So for years I have toyed with different solutions for speakers: constrained layer platforms, sand-filled beds etc. I found that constrained layers work well but vibration is still transmitted vertically in both directions. Then it dawned on me that if I could deflect it to a horizontal direction, the up/down transmission would be minimized. Hence the idea of a bridge or arch shape. The shape works similarly to a car's leaf spring while the multi-constrained layers of the Arch absorb much of the vibration. We also found that this works better if rested on its edges to minimize the transfer of energy. As compared to the rubber balls in the Cloud, the Arch works better in the midrange frequencies. We find that it clarifies the sound across the audio spectrum. But the Cloud still works exceedingly well in cases of specific problems such as system feedback or footfall issues for turntables. Also, for non-suspended turntables such as the Rega or VPI Scout, the Cloud provides a suspension that works well not only to isolate vibration but also to achieve a richer fuller sound. So we will continue to offer the Cloud in our product line.

The Arch is more versatile than the Cloud by providing a more stable base under speakers and heavy components where the Cloud is too wobbly. The Arch can be put directly under component feet whereas the balls cannot without a base to support them. We also offer the Arch platform where the Arch is used under the Cloud's top plinth instead of the rubber balls. The Arch platform also has a lower profile, being only 1" high versus the 2.5" of the Cloud. Vibration is a complex problem and difficult to solve. It is a fine balancing act that is very dependent on the system and the environment it is in. That's why we provide support to customers who contact us for advice on using the Arch. When they ask, the first thing we request is a complete description of their system, including size and weights of the components. We recommend the right Arch models similar to what I did for you when we started the review process. Most importantly, we give our customers 30 days to return the product, no questions asked. We only want delighted customers. If the Arch doesn't work for them, we want them to send it back. To date, our return rate has been well under 5% and more customers have come back to purchase more sets than returned them. We are confident that the Arch will help most systems.

With that settled, it was time for a closer examination of the different versions of Gingko Audio's Arch. The basic design and construction of the Clarifiers is deceptively simple. To paraphrase the designer, it is a curved multi-layered band composed of wood-based materials. Its constrained-layer design filters vibration at different frequencies to minimize what is transmitted and dissipate what is reflected back. The curved shape turns vertical vibration into smaller sub components in the vertical and horizontal dimensions. The horizontal sub components are not reflected vertically back. The device rests on the floor or shelf on its edges, thus minimizing transmission both downwards and upwards. The Acoustic Resonance Clarifiers™ come in varying sizes to handle different loads. Some offer metal inserts to accept spiked components or speakers. The manufacturer states that those Arch products specifically designed to accommodate spiked components can potentially provide superior results when used to replace the spikes. Weight specifications per individual piece are as follows: each Mini Arch can support a maximum load of 5lbs which increases when stacked. Each Super Arch, Arch 1 and Arch 2 supports up to 30lbs. The Arch 2 can be placed under the Arch 1 to increase the load bearing. A more comprehensive explanation outlining methodology and testing can be found here.