Review: Aurios Media Isolation Bearings Pro

Category: Accessories

After holding out for well over a year, I finally tried out a "bearing" type isolation product. I went for the best of the Aurios Media Isolation Bearing product line, the "Pro" model. The prices have come down on both the new and used markets making them almost justifiable. Still $100 per bearing is a lot to spend on a footer product, and I was very skeptical going into the trial. The idea of these "bearing" products is to isolate the supported component from the rack/floor vibrations through the use of ball bearings. In the Aurios products three bearings are used verses the single bearing in the Daruma 3 product. The results are the same, the bearings are allowed to move in a horizontal plan, thus breaking the component from the shelf.

O.K. so that is the theory, but I am still skeptical. I was advised to use three bearings on each speakers Dunlavy IVa, 185 lbs, and my digital front end Sony SCD-1, 55 lbs. While waiting for the Aurios to arrive, a friend and I discussed the physics behind these things and how allowing the speaker to float was not going to work. "Impossible, I've been scammed, another product to add to the closet", we were in complete agreement.

I received three sets of bearings, very funny when I opened the first box and there set into a foam surround were three 3" diameter metal disks freely moving around, they looked like three "Bobble Heads." After a few scarey moments my friend and I had the Aurios under the speakers. The moment of truth was at hand. "UNBELIEVABLE, HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?, NO WAY IT'S THIS MUCH BETTER SOUNDING" This went on for a while, the two of us throwing out every audiophile phrase we knew. Tighter bass, crisp clean highs, palpable, dynamic, depth, IMAGING, clear, focused..... We were amazed, this was truly jaw dropping. (We did go back to the old spike method just to see if we had been in the sun too long during the day on the boat) No this is and was amazing. We also tried to analyze the speaker vibration pattern. With no Aurios the speaker had quite a bit of vibration/movement at the top. The sides seem to react with the bass, and the floor, the floor vibrates and bounces out from the speakers for quite a ways. With the Aurios the speaker is dead still on top, the sides near the tweeter have a very faint inner vibration, and the floor is quite! The bass is tighter and with a stronger punch, but no vibration or movement even when I played double bass pieces LOUD. Placing the last set under the SCD-1 found a similar experience but not to the same degree.

Big problem!!!!!! Every aspect of the presentation was improved, including the high frequency. I'm not a fan of ultra etched high frequency. This is called edgy, bright, etched, fatiguing, electronic and more than any adjective, metallic sounding. "Something must be done or I'm leaving with the first violin" I said to my friend, and it's my house and my system. There is no possible way I could listen for an extended time with the system sounding like this. So out they came again. WRONG, now I know what was possible, that detail and imaging must come back, but the highs must be tamed. I tried everything I had, E-A-R footers, BDR cones and pucks, Sorbothane, brass, titanium, wood, MDF, if I had it I tried it. Over the next few days a solution began to appear. #3 BDR pucks between the Aurios and the speakers. This was cleaner and more open than the pucks and cones in between and yet the brightness was gone from the speakers. Now the SCD-1 player was much more sensitive to footer material. I settled on E-A-R rubber footers, two on the disk under the platter, two under the transformer and one on the other side (the light side of the unit) Three was too much dampening in the highs, and a bit of slowing of the signal came about. One was just a bit too edgy still.

So with a whole lot of taming, these are a must have for my system, and I might add a bargain. If your not willing to find the right material to tame the metallic sound, these my be very disappointing indeed.

Now my question on these "bearing" products. How is it the result of using them is a dead still speaker with greater dynamics and punch? I simply do not understand how when allowed to move it feels dead still, and when it's spiked to the floor it moves.

Associated gear
Sony SCD-1 with Mod's
Placette active pre-amp
two Plinius SA-102 amps (bi-amp vert.)
Dunlavy IVa speakers
Hydra power conditioned
Nordost Valhalla interconnects and speaker cable
NBS Statement power cords

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Great review. I've been using the Pro model for about a year and I think it's a very effective product. I live in a wood frame house with wood flooring and my neighborhood is often disturbed by traffic, trains and airplaines that introduce a fair amount of low frequency vibration. Rather than using the Aurios on a single component, I placed my entire equipment rack on a BDR shelf which in turn is supported by the Aurios.
I've used the Pros for over a year, and think they're great. But I don't use them the way the manufacturer suggests, in threes directly under the components, which seems to me to roll off the highs. I put one Pro under each of the four speaker spikes, and one under each of the four spiked feet of Signal Guard isolation platforms on all of my electronics and source components. Expensive? Yeah, but until you've heard your system, or at least your speakers, turntable and transport, isolated this way, you don't know what the Pro's can do.(No, I don't sell nothing.)
Expensive ? Heck Ya. Pull their weight ? More than.

I bought three sets of the pro's to put under my scd-1 and heavy eidolon speakers. I was floored at the improvement. It seemed to just put the whole room at ease. Finally the bass was not coming from the floor so much as the soundstage. The improvement is very similar to spiking a speaker just greatly magnified. An outright bargain. I have a feeling they are most effective with heavy bass speakers.

After this improvement, I decided to go hog wild and bought Aurios 1.0's for the preamp, phono, and amp & my recording computer. Now my turntable is the only thing not floating. The 1.0's are quite a bit more work to set up than the pro's. You must make sure the surface underneath is level, after which you need to determine (roughly) the balance points of the system. I recommend them more for 'set and forget' components such as a phonostage or amplifier. After adding the four aurios sets, I noticed an increased quietness still, though not on the level of the speakers and digital sections with the pro's.

The aurios under the speakers was far and away the biggest improvement. This just causes much less vibration to enter the room itself. Accordingly, whenever I turn my subwoofer on now I hear lot's of congestion and smearing enter the picture. A much bigger difference than than pre-aurios.

Has anyone tried putting aurios under a turntable ? I am concerned with cartridge damage in case I bump it and cause the table to shimmy sideways then stop. I also wonder if it would disturb the interaction between the arm and the rotating platter.
turntable question. I placed 3 1.2's under a 16" x 16" x 2" concrete patio paver, then the turntable on top of the concete. I works just great, and not to much movement.
John, thanks for the imput. You answered my question, after using the three sets I'm concidering buying three more for my amps and pre-amp. Sounds like it will be more of a push as to being worth the cost. It also sounds like once I do it, I'll never look back.
Samtan, aurios, when placed under digital components, improve every aspect of music . I use them under almost everything. But, the key is to get rid of metallic sheen (BDR cones and pucks are very effective).