Simple Yet Highly Effective Vibration Control
The Semi-Cloud from Gingko Audio is a simple yet effective vibration control platform. Its elegant design belies its functional effectiveness. It works well because of the correct choice of material coupled with a flexible design that lets you experiment with a wide variety of applications. In the end, you make the ultimate judgment of how to best allow the Semi-Cloud to meet your needs, functionally, and aesthetically.
Since 2004, Gingko Audio has sold thousands of Cloud-series products and garnered critical acclaim from users. The Clouds have also received rave reviews in such audiophile publications and websites as Stereophile, The Absolute Sound, Positive Feedback, 6Moons.com, Audio Asylum, and The Critical Ear. Harry Weisfeld, President and Chief Designer, VPI Industries, recommends using a Cloud 10 under the VPI Scoutmaster turntable.
The Semi-Cloud is an entry-level version of the Cloud that makes Cloud technology nicely affordable. The Semi-Cloud consists of an acrylic base plate with nine holes for placement of the included five support balls that optimally support up to 50 lbs. The balls support the underside of your component while lifting the feet off the shelf. The idea is to place the balls in the holes so as to not interfere with the feet while floating the equipment freely on the balls. Add more balls in other positions should you need additional support (up to 100 lbs.).
Semi-Cloud's Design and Materials Advantage
It's a well known fact that vibration can adversely effect sound quality. Acrylic does an excellent job of dissipating vibrating energy because of its complex, dense, and irregular, molecular structure. It's no accident that many audio products use acrylic in their designs, including acrylic turntable platters and chassis for CD players.
In addition to using an acrylic platform, the Semi-Cloud also uses rubber balls to further isolate vibration from the environment from the equipment. The rubber balls serve two critical functions.
First, they provide four degrees of freedom in the movement of the platform relative to the base. Your supported component can freely move up and down, front to back, and side to side, and rotationally while minimizing undulating, repeating motion that continues after the original vibration. They work as very effective shock absorbers.
Second, the rubber balls balance the uneven load of some equipment such as amplifiers or turntables. By placing the rubber balls in the different positions in the base, you can level the equipment and even the load.
In the tests conducted by Gingko, the standard rubber balls that come with the Semi-Cloud are found to provide the most neutral sound and best overall performance. But you can also have fun experimenting with different kinds of balls to find ones that match your system and to suit your taste in music.
Reviews of Gingko Cloud Products
"Is it worth adding a Gingko to a turntable like the MMF, which more than doubles the cost of the setup? It seems an absurd proposition, I grant, yet the improvements are more audible than what you will hear most accessory products, including cables, interconnects, line conditioners, cones, pods, pucks, mats, clamps, weights, yak, yak, yak. But, hey, you can answer the question yourself, thanks to Gingko's 30 day money back guarantee, to which I'll add a guarantee of my own: put on Kind of Blue at a healthy level and listen for thirty seconds-the difference will be loud and clear in all senses of those words. The pun is as unavoidable as it may be egregious, but the ball's now in your court."
- Paul Seydor, The Absolute Sound, March 2009
"I said in my article about the Oyaide AC receptacles that the $85 I paid was the best money I ever spent. Well, when I add the second set of Mini Clouds to my system, the [money] for those footers will be money even better spent! Want a massive jump in sound for very little money? I can heartily recommend the Mini Clouds."
- Mark Wagner, Positive Feedback, Issue 30, March/April 2007
"The Mini Clouds will readily give you a 20% improvement and perhaps even more, especially if you play things loudly and have full-range speakers. For the money asked, this becomes a slap-me-silly idea whose time is now."
- Srajan Ebaen, 6moons.com