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Monolith Audio

Manufacturer: Audio
Price: 400 euro

Contact Audio
ul. Nowickiego 5/54 | 02-112 Warszawa | Poland
tel. +48 78 4 50 50 50

Manufacturer’s website:

Country of origin: Poland

Monolith Audio brand is a little enigmatic. The owners of Audio, a company owning this brand, eagerly share information about the design, but avoid disclosing much information about designers team:

The design of this anti-vibration platform was created by a Audio team lead by Tomasz Kamiennik and Arkadiusz Supieta. We were hoping that we would be able to send you a unit from a regular production but as we didn't manage to start regular production we had to ship a pre-production unit, the only one we actually had at our disposal. As it is a pre-production version it still has some minor flaws that, of course, won't be a case with final product. The official name of this platform is "Anti-vibration Platform Monolith Audio", so no model name – in this way we wanted to express that this was our flagship model.
Several people were involved in this project, so it would be difficult to name all of them even if we tried. Each and every of this people brought something to the project in their area of expertise, even if some inputs were quite small, they still were vital for the success of the whole project. Anyway, two leading persons of this project were: Arkadiusz Supieta and Tomasz Kamiennik. There are another two man responsible for the block design and anti-vibration feet, who do not wish their names to be disclosed.
The previous version was equipped with ceramic feet (made of ceramic alloys), and you had reviewed it already some time ago, but the production of these feet was so expensive that we decided to replace them with something costing less but equally good from sonic point of view.
The recipe of an alloy we use now for feet is to remain undisclosed by the request of its designer. What we can tell you is that this is not an aluminum alloy, and that the designer is a person who has been active in audio industry for many years.

Tomasz Kamiennik

Lets summarize what we already know. This brand belongs to the Polish company Audio, who is a Polish distributor of well known brands like: Rega, Guru, Neotech and ArtAudioLab, but also a manufacturer of wooden elements for other companies. Actually the main field of company's activity is a production of wooden components, and raw wooden panels for other manufacturers. Most of company's production output is exported to the most demanding European customers. Audio has its own CNC machining center, 3D moulding machine, as well as its own drying room and paint room. The company offers also following services:
• loudspeaker casings
• casings for audio devices and accessories
• turntable plinths
• platforms, bases and stands
• wood panel fronts
• roller painting
• spray painting (also high polish piano finish).

The platform under review consists of two wooden panels – a thicker, heavier upper one, and thinner, lighter lower one. Both panels are decoupled with small balls made of some undisclosed alloy. It looks like a tungsten carbide, but that's just my guess. I also don't know what the cradles for balls are made of. There is a company's logo which is also a name of the platform engraved on the front edge of the platform. Although Mr Kamiennik declared it was only a pre-production unit (I needed it to be delivered quickly for this review), apart from few very small details, make and finish were great. This platform is very well made, looks damn well, its really heavy and its impact on the sound is very obvious. When you look at it, see how it is made, then listen how it impacts sonic of the device placed on it, you have to admit that this price is a real bargain.

Anti-vibration feet

The platform combines two special wooden plates with three anti-vibration feet between them. Each foot consists of a ball placed between two round, concave discs. When a weight is applied to the upper board all three feet try to achieve a balanced position, which means that each ball should find itself between lowest spot of lower disc and highest spot of upper disc. This helps to compensate vibrations coming from below platform by micro-movements of upper board. The precise placement of all discs has great importance as it guaranties that platform works in a way it was designed to.
Using some kind of ball suspension is not a new idea, but the key factor here is a choice of materials balls are made of. This product evolved over few years during many tests and trials and the final choice was a proprietary alloy.

Wood type

Anti-vibration feet are not the only element that dampens vibrations, the other one is a special structure of both wooden boards. Boards are namely made of a pine wood. But this is not any pine wood, but carefully selected wood with the natural parallel wood grain that ensures a deep aesthetic experience and proper dampening properties. Using of alternate layers of soft and hard material helps to dampen vibrations, and lack of knags eliminates risk of vibration transmission between layers. Owing to the block structure, it is possible to obtain material with no defects, one that is dimensionally stable in changeable conditions of use. This wood looks a lot like plywood as it has several layers, some of which are softer, some are harder which also helps to dissipate vibrations.
Pine wood was chosen for some reasons. The most important are special proprieties of this wood, its multilayer structure, and its high availability is also an important factor. In order to manufacture one platform, it is necessary to presort ca. 100M3(!) of sawn timber that is dried to reach the humidity of 8-10%, which requires a lot of work and high production capacities. There are few manufacturers who could afford such a hard selection and using so few material sorted out of such a large quantity. But in this case the material that is not selected is sold to other companies manufacturing windows, doors and so on. Wood used for platforms comes from own sources, than it is properly dried, and finally used for platform production, which ensures high, repeatable quality of each unit.
Manufacturer of this platform has an additional asset - its 35 years of experience in wood business.
Mr Kamiennik told me also that they did some trials with beechwood, but considering presumption of a block design, this material couldn't be used as it wasn't dimensionally stable in changeable conditions of use. This type of wood is harder (than pinewood), its structure is homogenous and as a result it rather propagates vibrations instead of damping them. Oak wood wasn't really considered because of its hardness and embrittlement.
Other materials were not even considered because they were not commonly used in wood related business, and this was a necessary condition to make sure that the most of the material not used for platforms could be sold to other manufacturers. Upon customer's order it is possible to make such a platform of any wood (although it will not have the same properties) in any color in any size.

Monolith Audio in HighFidelity
• TEST (as a part of a system): Rega RP6 'Union Flag Edition' + Exact – turntable + cartridge, see HERE • AWARD (as a part of the system): Best Sound Audio Show 2012, see HERE

Recordings used during test (a selection)

  • A Day at Jazz Spot 'Basie'. Selected by Shoji "Swifty" Sugawara, Stereo Sound Reference Record SSRR6-7, SACD/CD (2011).
  • Daft Punk, Random Access Memories, Columbia Records/Sony Music Japan SICP-3817, CD (2013).
  • Danielsson, Dell, Landgren, Salzau Music On The Water, ACT Music ACT 9445-2, CD (2006).
  • Dominic Miller, Fourth Wall, Q-rious Music QRM 108-2, CD (2006);
  • Frank Sinatra, Sinatra Sings Gershwin, Columbia/Legacy/Sony Music Entertainment 507878 2, CD (2003).
  • Johann Sebastian Bach, St. John Passion, BWV 245, Smithsonian Chamber Players and Chorus, Kenneth Slowik, Smithsonian Collection Of Recordings ND 0381, 2 x CD (1990).
  • Portishead, Dummy, Go! Disc Limited/Universal Music LLC (Japan) UICY-20164, “My Generation My Music”, SHM-CD (1994/2011).
  • Portishead, Third, Go! Disc/Universal Music K.K. (Japan) UICI-1069, CD (2008).

  • The Modern Jazz Quartet, Pyramid, Atlantic Records/Warner Music Japan WPCR-25125, “Atlantic 60th”, CD (1960/2006).
Japanese versions of CD and SACD available at

A structure of human ear is a subject of studies of science called physiology, how a man perceives sound is an object of psychology studies. The branch of science that studies physical structure of human ear, the way that sound has to travel, and the interactions between these two is called psychoacoustics. It is a relatively new branch of science of particular interest for us, as it covers both, human ear structure and how this ear works.
The soundwave entering human ear starts some processes, that result in sending signal via nerve cells to the brain thus creating some auditory sensation. At this point a question arises: how the sounds are recognized and interpreted in our brain? Despite many years of research considering all aspects of human hearing, our knowledge in this respect is still limited. […]
We can't actually „read” results from eyes or ears, but ears are a perfect instrument for making comparisons

F. Alton Everest, Master handbook of acoustics, Katowice 2010, p. 65, 95.

I couldn't think of a better introduction to the Monolith Audio platform review. As you will see in the „Test methodology” section I did A/B/A comparisons with A and B known. „A” in this case is an amplifier standing directly on my rack, and „B” amplifier standing on platform. I used 1 minute long samples for this test. It is the simplest experiment man can perform, that offers relatively scientific and reliable results. To perform it one, obviously, needs a lot of experience, and some sort of training in „listening” that comes with years of doing it. As the author of Master… wrote, a skilled man after proper training, when listening to the sound of violin is able to tell apart different aliquot tones from a basic tone. When comparing platforms to a shelf of a regular rack even not so „skilled” person should be able to hear some differences.
An inexperienced audiophile/music lover might have a problem with proper interpretation of these differences. For example – when one moves amplifier from shelf to the platform sound seems to get bit darker. When one moves it the other way around sound seems to be more dull. Which impression is actually real? Both are, but they require proper interpretation, which is only possible if one realizes what FORCES such perception of the sound.

Moving amplifier from shelf to the platform slightly moves tonal balance towards lower end plus there is a general impression of a more orderly presentation. It seems that there is less treble, and that presentation centers more around lower midrange. I had a similar impression with CEC Wellfloat platform (see HERE). The Japanese platform apart from many things it did right, also introduced small tonal alterations. Monolith Audio doesn't change tonality at all, instead it makes listener to focus his attention on something else than before. But the consequences are far more important than you might think after reading this previous sentence. Slightly lower tonal balance comes in fact from much better resolution and better definition. Treble doesn't attract attention so much any more, because it seems to be integrated better with the rest of the range. It is clearer and richer. So actually when you compare sound of an amplifier put on the shelf with same amp placed on the platform, the sound of former setup (A) seems bit brighter, harsher, with not so much punch in the bass. This sound seems bit raw, less sophisticated. Obviously that is a subjective assessment because when I finished my test and got used to listening to this amplifier without platform, I started to appreciate its sound again, and I also liked it a lot. The point is that when I placed it on Monolith (sound B) sound got even better, which made me think about how we really perceive sound, how we interpret it; it is not a simple, „linear” process at all. The tonality did not really change a lot – other elements of sound changed and that affected my perception of tonal balance.
As I already said, psychoacoustics influences our subjective perception of objective changes. That is why going back from platform (B) to my stand (A) produced different observations. Then I could hear that amplifier, when placed directly on the shelf of my rack, without additional anti-vibration platform, sounded dull. I observed the same effect each time with different recordings – sound A seemed flat, muddy, like with its colors bleached. Placing an amp on the platform (B) immediately added some verve, colors, vividity to the sound.

When I got used to the „new” sound (B) I could finally try to define what changes to the sound should be expected when using Monolith Audio platform, and even try to establish why. This platform improves resolution of the sound, I have no doubts about that, because presentation gets richer and the differentiation better. Without this platform in the system all music seems to sound more alike. For example all cymbals on A Day at Jazz Spot 'Basie'… sounded the same, and dynamics on Portishead's Dummy didn't change at all, and Beth Gibbons' voice always delivered the same level of emotions. Which was of course false in all of these cases even considering that these recordings are much more quiet than anything you might hear during live concert. And I've recently attended one – in Hala Ocynowni ArcelorMittal (June, 25th 2013). A concert is a pure power, energy. But regardless such a huge contrast between live performance and above mentioned recording, when listening to the latter using good quality system you can easily tell, that Gibbons' voice is not flat at all – there are a lot of different emotions in it, and it has a nice depth to it. Monolith allows you to hear even such small nuances and even with hardly compressed material of an old recordings that are not supposed to contain so much information about dynamics and such a nice three-dimesionality. The first example are above mentioned albums of Portishead, available as SHM-CD (highly recommended version – available at CD Japan). The other is amazing Sinatra from Sinatra Sings Gershwin. Not all pieces on this album are so well recorded, but you should listen to 1947 I’ve Got A Crush On You, and then you should wonder what's wrong with the recording industry as within last 60 years not only haven't they improved recording techniques, but maybe even got it worse. An amplifier placed on the platform delivered Gibbons' and Sinatra's voices with bigger volume, in a more intense, more colorful way. The whole presentation sounded better, but the elements that profited most from using Monolith were vocals. Now there were more 3D instrument bodies, also voices gained some body, there was finally a real „chemistry” between musicians – it all seemed like a color, sharpness and clarity were added to and old discolored photograph.


As always I'd like to point out that there is some subjectivity to all my observations. I don't mean that these are not reliable or listener's dependent. What I mean is something that is called in the literature a „learning curve”. There is no such thing as an „absolute sound” and none of us really knows it. In our audio business we have some references, the best sound we know, and until we hear a better one we don't really know it even exists. Only when we finally come across something more sophisticated, more complex we realize that our reference point is only just that – a point on a long line going to non-existing “absolute sound”, and not the end of this line.
The anti-vibration platforms are a good example of this process, especially the Monolith Audio one. Since this platform doesn't change tonality of an amplifier placed on it there is no quantitative change/improvement. What we witness is a qualitative change/improvement. It delivers better resolution, that is followed by better depth, better differentiation which leads to more vivid, more „alive” performance. I was satisfied with the sound of an amplifier before I placed it on Polish platform for a first time, but once I did place it there I simply could go back to listening to it without Monolith Audio platform.

When using only our ears all we can do is to compare what we hear. While testing audio products we compare an object of a test with our reference device of the same kind. When testing anti-vibration platforms one more variable has to be considered – a device we put on the platform. Reviewing different platforms I used few devices but the main one was Ayon Audio Spirit III integrated amplifier. I chose it because it is a tube device (tubes are susceptible to microphoning effect), has large transformers (that generate vibrations) and it's quite heavy (31 kg). The latter factor allowed me to put a lot of pressure on the platforms. During tests I occasionally used also Jeff Rowland 625 power amp and Ancient Audio Lektor AIR V-edition CD Player. Test, as already mentioned, was based on many A/B/A comparisons, with known A and B: A was a top shelf of my Base VI [Custom Version] rack, and B was a Monolith Audio platform. I compared it also to other platforms like: CEC Wellfloat, HRS M3X and Rogoz Audio 4SG50. I used 1 minute music samples.

Polish distributor Audio

ul. Nowickiego 5/54 | 02-112 Warszawa | Poland
tel. +48 78 4 50 50 50


- Turntable: AVID HIFI Acutus SP [Custom Version]
- Cartridges: Miyajima Laboratory KANSUI, review HERE | Miyajima Laboratory SHILABE, review HERE | Miyajima Laboratory ZERO (mono) | Denon DL-103SA, review HERE
- Phono stage: RCM Audio Sensor Prelude IC, review HERE
- Compact Disc Player: Ancient Audio AIR V-edition, review HERE
- Multiformat Player: Cambridge Audio Azur 752BD
- Line Preamplifier: Polaris III [Custom Version] + AC Regenerator, regular version review (in Polish) HERE
- Power amplifier: Soulution 710
- Integrated Amplifier: Leben CS300XS Custom Version, review HERE
- Stand mount Loudspeakers: Harbeth M40.1 Domestic, review HERE
- Stands for Harbeths: Acoustic Revive Custom Series Loudspeaker Stands
- Real-Sound Processor: SPEC RSP-101/GL
- Integrated Amplifier/Headphone amplifier: Leben CS300XS Custom Version, review HERE
- Headphones: HIFIMAN HE-6, review HERE | HIFIMAN HE-500, review HERE | HIFIMAN HE-300, review HERE | Sennheiser HD800 | AKG K701, review (in Polish) HERE | Ultrasone PROLine 2500, Beyerdynamic DT-990 Pro, version 600 - reviews (in Polish): HERE, HERE, HERE
- Headphone Stands: Klutz Design CanCans (x 3), review (in Polish) HERE
- Headphone Cables: Entreq Konstantin 2010/Sennheiser HD800/HIFIMAN HE-500, review HERE
System I
- Interconnects: Acrolink Mexcel 7N-DA6300, review HERE | preamplifier-power amplifier: Acrolink 8N-A2080III Evo, review HERE
- Loudspeaker Cables: Tara Labs Omega Onyx, review (in Polish) HERE
System II
- Interconnects: Acoustic Revive RCA-1.0PA | XLR-1.0PA II
- Loudspeaker Cables: Acoustic Revive SPC-PA
System I
- Power Cables: Acrolink Mexcel 7N-PC9300, all system, review HERE
- Power Distributor: Acoustic Revive RTP-4eu Ultimate, review HERE
- Power Line: fuse – power cable Oyaide Tunami Nigo (6m) – wall sockets 3 x Furutech FT-SWS (R)
System II
- Power Cables: Harmonix X-DC350M2R Improved-Version, review (in Polish) HERE | Oyaide GPX-R (x 4 ), review HERE
- Power Distributor: Oyaide MTS-4e, review HERE
- Portable Player: HIFIMAN HM-801
- USB Cables: Acoustic Revive USB-1.0SP (1 m) | Acoustic Revive USB-5.0PL (5 m), review HERE
- LAN Cables: Acoustic Revive LAN-1.0 PA (kable ) | RLI-1 (filtry), review HERE
- Router: Liksys WAG320N
- NAS: Synology DS410j/8 TB
- Stolik: SolidBase IV Custom, read HERE/all system
- Anti-vibration Platforms: Acoustic Revive RAF-48H, review HERE/digital sources | Pro Audio Bono [Custom Version]/headphone amplifier/integrated amplifier, review HERE | Acoustic Revive RST-38H/loudspeakers under review/stands for loudspeakers under review
- Anti-vibration Feets: Franc Audio Accessories Ceramic Disc/ CD Player/Ayon Polaris II Power Supply /products under review, review HERE | Finite Elemente CeraPuc/ products under review, review HERE | Audio Replas OPT-30HG-SC/PL HR Quartz, review HERE
- Anti-vibration accsories: Audio Replas CNS-7000SZ/power cable, review HERE
- Quartz Isolators: Acoustic Revive RIQ-5010/CP-4
- FM Radio: Tivoli Audio Model One