Oriton SC-35 Support Cones were designed Mike Stone, a master in military engineering technology and are created completely in-house using custom tooling by himself. They are constructed from a special compound of plastics and alloys which Mike keeps under his hat.
Their appearance is slightly different to other cone type supports, mainly in the top section where the chrome plated alloy part of the design is reminiscent of the Battlemented Parapet which is the top section of a church with the raised and lower sections of stone construction. The cones also have an unlimited weight support, a one for all design.
Equipment supports or feet are absolutely essential in any mid to high end audio system to my mind. Generally used for tweaking the sound and correcting tone, a well implemented system will benefit greatly from a well implemented set of supports.
Getting the synergy of the system correct first in my eyes is an absolute must. A common mis-conception is that people will buy products which have been recommended, reviewed or demo’d with different kit and room acoustics to their own, although anyone of these aspects is essential to getting an idea of presentation at home, things are not always that simple, careful matching and synergy is key before considering supports for your equipment, although a good rack as a basis is essential to begin with.
Once I have the synergy and tonal character of the system correct I then look into the individual supports for the electronics.
However, there are some products on the market which change the sound in a particular manor regardless of equipment being used, these products are always detrimental to the sounds rigidity in one way of another in my experience. For example: cleaner and brighter and edgier or smoother and warmer, sucking out the midrange as a result.
Other products of this type simply enhance the already painstakingly constructed ability of a well thought out system. These products for me are classed as ‘High Resolution’ supports and the SC-35 stands firmly in this category.
Placing three or four of the SC-35’s under a piece of equipment has an immediate effect. There is a sudden release of inner detail, smaller quieter sections of the performance have more prominence in clarity and micro dynamics without a perceived gain in volume… just presence. Instruments and vocals have a darker space around them with an increase in timbre and palpability. Cleaning up the soundstage doesn’t have to be associated with a brightening of character, in Oritons case it’s a release of texture, less smearing and clean up of unwanted grain, lending its hand to more naturalness and musicality.
There was a stronger and more solid image presented during Chris Browns ‘Long After Your Gone’ whilst ZZ Tops ‘Blue Jeans Blues’ had a textural complexity that decreased any mechanical type presentation by a fair percentage into a more natural and harmonious sound.
To hear whether this newly appreciated tweak to the overall presentation was complimentary across a wider range of frequencies I tested some female vocals (which really hit the upper mids hard) from singers such as Mariah Carey, Rachelle Farrell, Christina Aguilera and Diana Krall, each having tracks which really push said frequency. Well, I will admit my system does control these difficult to control frequencies much better since owning the Totaldac d1 tube DAC but I do have to protest the Oriton SC-35 had a noticeable improvement adding extra control and less rattle to the extremities of the higher pitch tones and adding a little more roundness and control without losing the emotional quality of the performers extension in range.
The midrange as a whole sounded complete, it was never dis-jointed in my system to begin with, and this is one of the all valve combo of the Totaldac and Emillé amps’ finest characteristic, but I have to say there was little bit of added magic in there. Vocals as well as notes emulated a little more eerily from a darker space… I say emulate as they project and grow from differing depths within the black background and grow into the listening space.
Bass on various tracks from different genres such as Trad Jazz, Acoustic, Electronic and Reggae was more expressive and a notably tauter, displaying a greater layering effect in the lower regions.
The top end in my system is clear and analogue sounding… never rolled off and always controlled. The SC-35’s released that little bit of sparkle on higher frequencies and gave things a little more snap, which also in turn created the feel of a more open and airy top end to the sound.
The Oriton Support Cones are magic under my extremely heavy amplifier, but under digital equipment they are a staggering performer, the cones gave a step up in performance to easily justify their price tag of £240 for a set of three and £320 for a set of four…or singly at £80.
I would urge anyone in the market for support cones/feet/pads to get hold of or audition a set of Oriton SC-35 Support Cones and try them in your system. These are high-end, high-resolution supports which will allow your precision electronics to breath more effortlessly and work at their very best potential.
Author – Dan