RINGMAT VIVACITY AR

 

 

 

Richard Black
Hi-Fi Choice
November 2011

RINGMAT VIVACITY AR – AV VIVACITY PANEL
Richard Black looks at four of the best ways to improve turntable and CD player performance

 

“THE CASUAL OBSERVER could be forgiven for thinking that this couldn’t possibly address the same issues as the ‘Pro-Ject Ground it’, principally because it weighs about one per cent as much. But Ringmat’s Vivacity range of panels … does indeed address the problem of vibration coupled upwards into equipment. It’s just that the approach is very different. The Vivacity technique relies on rapid damping of vibration thanks to the low mass, very lossy materials used, which are related to those used in NXT’s distributed-mode loudspeakers.

The version we reviewed is intended to supplement a shelf in a rack, sitting on top and damping, redirecting and generally defeating mechanical vibration. … We tried it under various items of audio electronics and … there was a perceptible improvement in treble clarity and CD players and amplifiers also acquired more of a sense of air and space, as if some background mush had been reduced. Imaging also tightened up a notch.”

VERDICT
“A COST-EFFECTIVE UPGRADE for good-looking, but under-performing racks, especially those of a metal and glass variety.”

See here on our News Pages under 24/11/2011 for our comment about the circumstances surrounding this very good review.

 

 

 

 

 

AUDIOPHILE
The High End Audio Journal of Hong Kong
June 2008

Ringmat Vivacity AR is probably the most effective hi-fi accessory I have ever used. By adding it, the overall performance of the whole sound system, CD transport, DAC, preamp, power amp and AV system is immediately upgraded to a spectacular level.

Famous cables may cost you a fortune, while a set of Ringmat Vivacity AR is sold for only a little bit more than a thousand Hong Kong dollars (= £Sterling 78). Up to this very moment, you cannot find any accessory that is more effective and more cost effective in relation to performance. This is the first time in history that people have mastered the technique of anti-vibration and elimination of hated resonance in home hi-fi and AV systems.

Ringmat products, like Ringmat Support System, Ringmat Feet, Statmat CDi Blue, Ringmat Spike Stoppers and Ringmat Domes, are so popular, so famous, that they have received many praises and awards from hi-fi magazines all over the world. After several years of research and with the cooperation of New Transducers Ltd. (NXT), Ringmat Vivacity AR was born.

My first experience with Ringmat Vivacity AR was when I put the AV Vivacity Panel underneath my Marantz preamp Model 7. Wow! There was such an immediate improvement; the characterization and vividness of the human voice as a musical instrument was so impressive. Furthermore, both separation and low frequency had reached up to 30% improvement. I can say that the improvement was much greater than having an expensive pair of interconnect or speaker cables. In other words, it was just like switching my system into some very expensive preamp or power amp.

The AV Vivacity Panel is just a basic product of the new line. There is a version of Ringmat Vivacity AR specifically made for hi-fi systems; this hi-fi version brings forth the following enhancements:

1. Superior resolution and separation
2. Unusually wide and deep soundstage
3. Surprisingly robust and clean bass
4. Better dynamics and timing
5. Clearer ambient information

Our recommendations for using Ringmat Vivacity AR hi-fi version:

* Simply use the Positioning Guide and the Placement Guide to ensure the correct position of the four domes and then take them away; put the Dark Vivacity Panel on top of the domes and then lay the Vivacity Sparkle Sheet on top of the Dark Vivacity Panel; finally, lay the Vivacity Topper Panel on top of the Sparkle Sheet; then put your equipment on top.

* Best results can be obtained by using Ringmat Vivacity AR with sound source equipment like CD players and preamps.

* Larger domes (on existing shelves) are more effective than smaller domes.

In conclusion, Ringmat Vivacity AR is definitely the best solution for the elimination of resonance in hi-fi and AV systems.

 

 

 

 

 

Sven Bilén
High Fidelity (Denmark)
Issue 6/08

Do you want to avoid vibrations and resonance?
We try a complicated/uncomplicated solution

 

Ringmat Developments is one of the companies that produce sound improving "things" with more or less an aura of mystery surrounding them. They have done so for more than 20 years under the leadership of John Rogers. First product was a mat for vinyl records, but they do also produce feet, cables, "mats" for cd players and now a range of resonance damping panels.

Earlier experience
It is true that the products have actually been shown to work. In High Fidelity No3/2002, we had a test of the Ringmat Support System; also, we have tested the LP Blue Statmat, Ringmat 300 MkII XLR, Anniversary Ringmat 330 and the Statmat CDi Blue.

Ringmat Developments have a transparent "film" by the name Statmat, to be placed on the CD. It is kept in place by the normal cd-clamp in the transport mechanism and is said to cause the sound to be clearer, cleaner, with better detail and to be more natural. And so it was, believe it or not.

Polarised panels
Ringmat is not completely new to me and, as the company does not ask sky-high prices for their products, I was curious when they introduced their Vivacity series. The product is placed under equipment in order to reduce resonance. Development is stated to have taken seven years until all details of the system were completed.

Simply, it is a platform, a panel in Ringmat terminology, in the form of a sandwich with two hard shells on the outside and a softer material inside. The construction (and the way it is used) is a kind of ‘opposite’ NXT panel, where the technique that is used to create sound in the NXT panels is inverted so as to eliminate resonance. The panels also have a "polarity", due to the directionality of the materials in the structure. Ringmat suggest that, if possible, the shelf on which the equipment is normally placed be turned over to hear which side sounds best - by the way, this should also be done with the Vivacity panels.

The thinking behind the Vivacity panel is very logical.

Help!
Is the first thing you think when you open the Vivacity Starter Pack box. Things come out that make no sense at all. My first idea, on daring to read the installation guide, is to tape the box up again and send it all back.

But this would be too easy. Take a seat and understand the ideas behind the system. The guide seems rather complicated, although everything is, in fact, very simple.

You get a platform, four cork feet, a template in order to position the cork feet correctly and a little film, the Statfoot - very similar to the earlier mentioned Statmat, though it is square and should be placed on the panel underneath the rear right foot of the item of equipment being supported. The panel should be placed on the cork feet positioned on the existing shelf or furniture. The panel features some blue 6 mm dots and a pair of blue labels to ease the placement of the appliance on the ‘nodal’ lines, which is important for the performance of the panel.

Besides this there is more, with an additional pack (the Vivacity Topper Panel Upgrade Pack). I opened this box right after opening the first box - and again, "Help". In the box was a Fireworks Topper Panel with a "fireworks print design" that is said to have a sound improving effect. The Topper Panel is placed on top of the standard panel, with a thin polycarbonate sheet placed in between. And in order to use the standard panel together with the Topper Panel, it is necessary to achieve the right polarity for the standard panel by turning it upside down.

Significant sound improvement
The standard panel, when placed on the cork feet, has an immense effect on the sound. We get an absolutely more balanced and detailed sound with a cleaner and blacker background. The bottom becomes tighter and the complete soundstage becomes more precise and not least with more depth. And it is actually not a case of small details - it is all quite obvious. We have also tried the panels with other items of equipment that normally do not seem to be affected when changing support feet, and here also there is an effect. It works, and it works surprisingly well.

The Fireworks upgrade does add an extra positive effect, but considering the effect of the basic panel, you are not getting the same again with the upgrade.

As usual, it is important to find out what happens when everything is removed. Do you miss it, or is everything a placebo effect? In our experiment, we miss it and the panels are back in the system.

Conclusion
Ringmat Developments Vivacity products have been a surprising acquaintance.

If we have to have pluses and minuses, they would both come into use. We find that the supported equipment is stable and stands well on the panel, as it always should do. But if you tend to change cables a lot, you risk the alignments becoming messed up if you pull the equipment out of position. Also, if you have a heavy item of equipment in the middle of a system, it is not so much fun - it is best if you have the space to lower such a heavy appliance down from the top without having to adjust anything afterwards.

For the curious, the sound improvement is surprisingly positive, even with the basic pack, and, compared to other "sound improving" products, you do not get financially ruined by the purchase.

 

 

 

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