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EsseCI Design S.A.P. Audio RELAXA 750
Foto © Michael Holzinger sempre-audio.at

EsseCI Design S.A.P. Audio RELAXA 750 Review

This solution, which was available to sempre-audio.at for an extensive test, is intended to offer nothing less than optimal decoupling. It is the EsseCI Design S.A.P. Audio RELAXA 750 isolation platform from the EsseCI Design S.A.P Audio RELAXA Series.

EsseCI Design S.A.P. Audio RELAXA 750, this isolation platform represents something quite extraordinary, we can state this quite clearly right at the beginning of our detailed test of this solution from the EsseCI Design S.A.P Audio RELAXA Series.

The Italian specialists from EsseCI Design not only deliver an exciting system from a technical point of view, but also a solution that is a real ornament for every living space.

The optimal decoupling

The solutions from EsseCI Design serve one single purpose above all others, and that is the optimal decoupling of hi-fi components of any kind.

But why is this essential? Why should one pay a not inconsiderable price for it, because this must also be stated right at the beginning, the cheapest solutions on the market in this area are not those from Italy.

Well, the answer is ultimately quite simple, and it is to guarantee the best possible sound, to offer hi-fi components the best conditions to ensure their respective tasks optimally and free from disturbing external influences.

Diverse components with different requirements

It must be clearly stated that the topic of optimal decoupling is not that simple, starting with the question of which solutions actually require special attention. And there are, as we have seen time and again, very different approaches.

For example, there are components of a hi-fi chain for which it is obvious that an optimal set-up and thus optimal decoupling is indispensable, and these are systems that are particularly susceptible to even the smallest vibrations, even if they are hardly perceived.

Record players in focus

This applies first and foremost to record players, because as fine as these systems can be for audiophile music reproduction at the highest level, they react mimosa-like to adversities caused by their environment.

This is due to the fundamental principle of music reproduction from records. One has to bear in mind that the smallest deflections of a small needle induce the smallest voltages, and thus the smallest currents massively amplified ultimately result in what we want to enjoy as an outstanding musical performance.

Any disturbance of this sensitive structure, no matter how inconspicuous, inevitably leads to a massive impairment.

Impact sound, transmitted from the floor to the hi-fi furniture, is only the most noticeable of these evils; even the reproduction of music via the speakers themselves is enough, as their sound energy can have a negative effect on the sampling, partly via the floor and the hi-fi furniture, partly directly via the hi-fi furniture itself.

In short, an absolutely solid foundation as well as the best possible decoupling is simply obligatory for record players, and this is largely independent of whether the designer of the turntable has already taken various measures against unwanted resonances and vibrations – keyword sub-chassis drive.

Does this also apply to CD players, SACD players, Blu-ray players…?

The question arises as to how it looks with other solutions that also involve “mechanics”, such as CD players, SACD players or Blu-ray players. And here, too, one has to say that yes, in principle it is, although the problems here are by no means as dramatic as with record players, especially since high-quality solutions here already have quite effective design features to prevent external interference to begin with.

Whether or not to invest massively in appropriate measures for optimal decoupling is primarily a question of personal requirements.

Amplifier, streaming client, D/A converter…

Of course, the same applies to those hi-fi components where no mechanical components are used, i.e. nothing is sampled, nothing rotates, such as streaming clients, D/A converters and amplifiers.

Here, the hi-fi community is clearly divided into those who do not take any measures at all for optimal decoupling and those who consider optimal decoupling to be essential. Both philosophies have their full justification, of course, and although there is a lot of discussion about them, there is really no need for it… Everyone should be happy according to his or her own wishes.

However, there is one type of amplifier that should definitely be given special attention when it comes to decoupling, namely those that rely on tubes. These are also extremely sensitive when it comes to resonances and vibrations, not only in amplifiers, but also in all other components that rely on this technology.

EsseCI Design S.A.P Audio RELAXA Series – Enormous load capacity

And this is where one of the outstanding features of the entire EsseCI Design S.A.P Audio RELAXA Series comes into play – in the truest sense of the word. One of the distinguishing features of this product series is that, despite its unique construction principle, surprisingly heavy components can be placed on it without any problems.

Our test candidate, for example, the EsseCI Design S.A.P. Audio RELAXA 750, is designed for systems with a mass of up to 50 kg.

But why is this so astonishing, after all, placing heavy components on a platform is in principle not an issue?

In this specific case, it is particularly astonishing…

EsseCI Design S.A.P Audio RELAXA Series – The floating platform

The models of the EsseCI Design S.A.P Audio Relexa Series are designed in such a way that the components placed on them are actually completely decoupled from the ground, completely, because they float from then on.

Outstanding design principle

This concept was invented by Silvano Cremonesi, a specialist in the field of optimal decoupling, and he relies on a patent that dates back to 1999.

For the EsseCI Design S.A.P. Audio RELAXA Series, and thus also for our test candidate EsseCI Design S.A.P. Audio RELAXA 750, the Italian relies on tempered glass, which is described by the manufacturer as an absolutely rigid material and thus designated as the ideal material. It is said to withstand even prolonged and heavy use. By the way, this glass comes from Murano.

The outstanding feature, however, is that the glass deck of the EsseCI Design S.A.P Audio RELAXA Series actually floats above the ground, because the actual insulation is based on magnets, especially powerful neodymium magnets.

These magnets are supposed to prevent any influence of external vibrations, regardless of frequency and type. According to the manufacturer, this enables an isolation that cannot be achieved with any other solution.

The magnetic field is vertically aligned here, and even the slight residual magnetism is shielded by the housing used here. The base plate is actually not a plate, but rather an elegantly curved, very graceful frame. Only two guide pins ensure that the glass plate is held in position. Practically, there is thus no connection whatsoever between the base and the upper platform on which the units are placed.

Outstanding design

This special construction also makes it possible to realise a very special design. In fact, we would describe this solution as a noble living accessory, the actually quite sober task recedes completely into the background.

Whereas other systems of this kind are usually very simple and downright sober, this is a solution that is a real eye-catcher in the room on its own, elegantly setting the scene for the hi-fi components placed on it.

Generous space

Despite this elegant appearance, our test candidate EsseCI Design S.A.P. Audio RELAXA 750 offers an enormously generous footprint, allowing components up to 560 mm wide and 460 mm deep to be placed.

The two smaller siblings of the series are also dimensioned in such a way that almost all components with HiFi standard dimensions find their place. The EsseCI Design S.A.P Audio RELAXA 622, for example, also offers an actual usable surface of 515 mm in width and 460 mm in depth. Another option is the EsseCI Design S.A.P Audio RELAXA 530, which can accommodate equally large solutions of up to 512 mm in width and 460 mm in depth. However, these two platforms can only support up to 30 and 20 kg respectively, whereas our test candidate, as already mentioned, can hold up to 50 kg.

From a very practical point of view…

Of course, the EsseCI Design S.A.P. Audio RELAXA 750 can easily be adapted to individual requirements, this applies to levelling, for example. The magnets offer screws for this purpose, in order to make a levelling if necessary and to guarantee an absolutely horizontal installation of the components.

A small spirit level, which is part of the scope of delivery, helps here; specifically, it is a so-called bubble level.

To ensure that even high-quality furniture is not affected, the platform also comes with a set of felt stickers that are affixed to the underside before setting up.

The assembly of the platform is very simple. First, as already mentioned, you stick the felt stickers to the underside, place the base plate on the hi-fi furniture, and then let the top side slide gently down the two guide pins until it floats in an optimal position. And that’s it.

From practice

For this test, we decided to place a record player on the EsseCI Design S.A.P. Audio RELAXA 750, as this is where the most obvious gain in sound quality is to be expected. And we were not disappointed at all.

It is generally accepted that a high-quality, solidly constructed hi-fi rack is a very good measure to prevent resonances and vibrations that damage the sound. The developers of record players often do their best to arm their solutions against adverse external influences.

And yet, there is always more, in the case of the EsseCI Design S.A.P. Audio RELAXA 750 even much more!

To emphasise it again, with no other component is it so obvious what constitutes perfect decoupling as with a record player.

Anyone can make this test themselves quite simply by tapping discreetly on the furniture on which the turntable is placed during a quiet passage while playing music from a record. But be careful, only do it discreetly, you will be shocked by what is transmitted from the furniture to the turntable and what effect this has on the playback.

If the turntable is placed on the EsseCI Design S.A.P. Audio RELAXA 750, you can knock on the rack as much as you like, but nothing will happen!

The wonderful thing about such solutions is that you can determine their effect in a very mundane way; you don’t need extensive test series and sophisticated measurements, you just put on one record after the other and notice that the reproduction gains immensely in contour, clarity and precision. Especially in the bass and lower mid-range this is immediately apparent, everything is reproduced much more tidily, much more accurately, and thus allows for a much more exact sound image overall.

Yes, it is almost frightening to realise what a “bad” sound one has been satisfied with up to now, the potential that the existing hardware actually offers has not been exhausted to any degree.

For me at least, it quickly became clear that the EsseCI Design S.A.P. Audio RELAXA 750 was here to stay, it simply had to be a permanent part of my hi-fi chain. And I began to think about how I could “sell” this to my wife so that she would also give her and ultimately the only relevant consent. By the way, it is not a small investment after all. Especially since it is not a new device that is standing there, it is nothing more than a base for the record player, which, however, looks absolutely ingenious.

Well, and that was the only really decisive “trigger” with the best of all wives, because even before I could put together my “sales strategy” with a complete chain of argumentation, she stood next to me and simply said, “That looks good!”

That’s all it took, “man” has to know when it’s better to keep quiet and take it as it is – especially when the result is entirely in his own interest!

It couldn’t be clearer to say that the EsseCI Design S.A.P. Audio RELAXA 750 has received nothing other than a clear recommendation from the editors as a test result.

I at least, and I want to state this openly, will use the EsseCI Design S.A.P. Audio RELAXA 750 under my record player in the future. There is no CD player in the listening room any more and for D/A converters, phono preamplifiers based on transistors, streaming clients and amplifiers based on transistors, I personally do not consider the need for such a sophisticated decoupling solution to be so relevant. However, to reiterate, this is a purely subjective impression of previous experiences, and everyone may hold this as they deem relevant.

For the record player, however, I no longer want to do without it!

Getting to the point

The EsseCI Design S.A.P. Audio RELAXA Series is characterised by two outstanding features: on the one hand, an exciting effect, on the other hand, an outstanding design, and on top of that, the materials used here are not necessarily common in this field. But all this adds up to a truly unique solution that is far more than a simple platform for the best possible decoupling; it is clearly one of the best products of its kind that we have had the pleasure of testing so far. Above all, the EsseCI Design S.A.P. Audio RELAXA 750 receives a clear recommendation as a reference solution!

Manufacturer:EsseCI Design
Distribution:CMI Distribution Europe
Price:EsseCI Design S.A.P. Audio RELAXA 622 € 1.299,-
EsseCI Design S.A.P. Audio RELAXA 530 € 1.499,-
EsseCI Design S.A.P. Audio RELAXA 750 € 1.699,-


HiFiBLOG Award Reference

The isolation platform EsseCI Design S.A.P. Audio RELAXA 750 by the Italian developer Silvano Cremonesi and his company EsseCI Design offers a particularly sophisticated construction and an extremely elegant appearance. It is clearly a reference solution in this product category that allows record players in particular to perform at a completely new level and is a true ornament for every listening room.


Positive

  • Unique design principle
  • extremely effective mode of action
  • outstanding design
  • enormous load capacity
  • generously dimensioned
  • simple to assemble

Negative

  • not the cheapest solution in its class

Test environment

  • Wilson Benesch Circle 25 Turntable
  • Wilson Benesch A.C.T. 25 Tonearm
  • Axia Transfiguration S MC Cartridge
  • Trigon Advance II SE Phono Preamplifier
  • Musical Fidelity M8xi
  • KEF Blade
  • Clic HiFi Rack

Conclusion

SOUND
DESIGN
HANDLING
PRICE/PERFORMANCE

The EsseCI Design S.A.P. Audio RELAXA 750 from the EsseCI Design S.A.P Audio RELAXA Series presents itself as a truly floating isolation platform.

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About Michael Holzinger

Michael Holzinger, founder and editor-in-chief of HiFi BLOG and sempre-audio.com, has been working for years as a journalist in the fields of IT, photography, telecommunications and consumer electronics.

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