Dominic Marsh experiments with the Solidair Audio Magnetic Isolators in this review for Hifi Pig.

I will begin by saying that I am no stranger to using isolation supports employing magnetic levitation principles, as a good few years ago now I owned a SAP Relaxa 1 support that really was effective under my then CD player.  Of course I did try it under my turntable, a Logic DM101 as I recall, but that already had a sprung subchassis suspension system, so it was less effective in that role, plus the weight of the turntable was just a bit too much for the poor old Relaxa to bear comfortably.  It worked rather well though on a Technics direct drive deck which was much lighter.  My biggest surprise was the effect it had on my power amplifier, which, given that it has no moving parts and being solid state electronics, was not as prone perhaps to microphony, as say a valve amplifier can be.

It was with the SAP Relaxa that I also discovered (the hard way) just how powerful Neodymium magnets can be when two magnets fell out of their housings while moving it and I picked up one magnet in each hand and they drew together rather rapidly with my finger in between.  That resulted in a huge blood blister on my finger and no small measure of profanities from me.  Hifi can be a rather dangerous pastime you know.

Solidair Audio is run by a gentleman by the name of Miles Kilby, based down in the far bit of Cornwall before it joins the Atlantic.  I had the pleasure of meeting him when he came over to discuss how best to install the supports into my system.

The Solidair supports are supplied as individual units in sets of 3 or 4 (more can be added), rather than 4 pairs of bare magnets fitted rigidly into a Perspex chassis as per the SAP Relaxa platform.

Although the idea of harnessing the forces that high flux rating opposing magnets generate is a good one, they also tend to throw themselves sideways away from each other at the same time as part of that force, so keeping lateral forces under control is very difficult without introducing friction.  The SAP Relaxa1 kept the lateral movement under control by fitting vertical stainless steel guide rods at each corner of the bottom plate, with roller bearings fitted to the uppermost plate which ran up and down the vertical guide rods, preventing any sideways movement.  The roller bearings were there to minimise that inherent friction.  Solidair have addressed that issue by putting the magnets inside their non-ferrous cylinder so that only vertical movement is permissible from the units.

The range is quite extensive and arranged by the weight carrying ability of each product.

Solidair Audio also produce isolation platforms in clear Perspex for turntables and such-like, custom feet for the Michell Gyrodec turntable, with custom build requests catered for.

At this point I would normally give an indicator of pricing, but the range of products is quite considerable and can be easily viewed on the Solidair website.


What I can best describe as a ‘piston’ arrangement, with the opposing pair of magnets fitted inside a cylinder, with a stainless steel rod extending down to a “foot”.  The outer case of the cylinder and the “foot” are made of non-ferrous metal, in this case, polished and lacquered brass.   Miles has just released another variant using aluminium to replace the brass components, primarily to reduce costs and another variant using wooden machine turned Burr Oak  cylinder casings.  Most of them are of fixed length, although one of the models could be adjusted for height.  The latest models have cork discs attached top and bottom.

A set of four loudspeaker “bridges” was also supplied which consists of a substantial bar of stainless steel wider than the speaker it is to be fitted to, with a magnetic unit at each end, two for each speaker fitted fore and aft underneath.  Once mounted on these bridges the speaker does sway about at the slightest touch and seems to go entirely against the grain of the ethos of keeping the cabinet sited rigidly on the floor using spikes or conventional feet.  Incidentally, my colleague Dan Worth was evaluating a set of Townshend speaker supports at the same time that uses springs instead of magnets in their construction and his floor standing Ayon speakers were also swaying about just as much.  Did make I laugh.

As well as my resident floorstanding speakers, I had a pair of Audiovector SR3 Avantgardes submitted for review which were considerably bigger and heavier than my own pair and the Solidair bridge supports coped admirably with the additional size and weight.

Sound Quality

Using no rationale at all behind the choice, I decided to fit the speaker bridge units first under my own resident floor standing speakers and marveled at the way they swayed about like a Weeble without toppling over.  Don’t know what a Weeble is?  It was a toy brought out many years ago that had a spherical base with a weight inside which made the character roll about back and forth, side to side.  Not connecting with that?  Try visualising an intoxicated person unsteady on their feet while standing still then, with just a bit more tilting in any direction. Have we got there?

Anyway, into the CD player went Blue Nile “Hats” CD and pressed play.  I was blown away by the sound improvement, not in an absolute night and day kind of difference, but in the way the bass had acquired just a bit more power and control at the lowest octave, plus subtle changes in inflections from bass guitar and kick drums, with the former having a deeper growl to it and the latter having a shade more “thump” and energy.  Dominic was impressed.

Spurred on by that, my next move was to fit a set of four units under my CD player, the much revered Sony XA50ES which tipped the scales at a mere 14 kilograms.  I will say now it was not easy fitting the units under the player, as 14kg is rather an unwieldy weight holding the player up with one hand and fitting two units at the front and two at the back without mishap in a combination of some skill and a big bucket of luck, especially so as the player was sliding about on the rack for good measure. Another pair of hands would have been very useful at that juncture.  I tried to place the units equidistant front and back under the chassis, but the player was very much lopsided as the heavy mains transformer is situated to the left hand side of the chassis.  Moving the right hand pair towards the centre levelled it all up nicely.

After all those exertions I could not hear any improvement in sound quality, which somewhat crushed me after the immediate success I had with the speaker bridges.  Had started the process and had to continue, so I then continued with adding the supports under my power amplifier, but I came across my first major snag which I had not forseen.  The CD player was on the top shelf of my rack so installing the supports was (relatively) easy, but not enough headroom in the shelf spacing further down the rack for power amplifier and the supports. My rack consists of 8 shelves of 10mm toughened glass held up by 4 long threaded rods with nuts holding each shelf in place above and below.  Trust me, I do need 8 shelves for my system and review components, so a commercially built rack of that size would cost right leg/left arm kind of money, so this arrangement was the best option for me without making me a pauper.  The major benefit of this arrangement though is the shelves are adjustable for spacing.  Out came my trusty 10mm spanner and loosening off and tightening the support nuts managed to create enough space between shelf 3 and shelf 4 for power amp, supports, plus keeping some space above the amplifier for ventilation.  Potential purchasers should do some measuring to make sure there is enough space between shelves on your own rack and allow for adequate ventilation where necessary.

When an hour later I had adjusted shelves, juggled the supports under the power amplifier and fired up the system again, I was just a bit miffed when the improvement in sound quality was of a very low order – around 10% at a rough guess.   My power amplifier had a centrally mounted mains transformer so balancing was a lot easier than the CD player.   The final item to be “levitated” then was my pre-amplifier, which again was on a central rack shelf with no room for it and the magnetic supports, and so that 10mm spanner got warm once more and some more perspiration thrown in too . . .   Who said reviewing was easy?

This time though there was much larger leap forward in sound quality, which led me to think that it was perhaps having all the components mounted on the supports that was key.  There was only one way to find out.  I took out the supports from underneath the CD player and I noticed a drop in sound quality much larger than I heard from installing them in isolation, then removed the supports from under the pre-amplifier and that too was a bigger drop in performance than when putting them in.  Interesting.

To really mess things up during the evaluation, I then decided to buy an Audiolab Q-DAC at a bargain price, which then replaced the pre-amplifier.  Luckily though that occurred just before Miles was due to visit and that was a question that needed to be answered;  “What about very light components Miles?” says I, pointing at the Q-DAC.  “Aha!” says he, “glad you asked” as he pulled out a set of newly designed tiny supports sporting the new aluminium cylinders.  These went under the Audiolab Q-DAC and the system was really singing then.  As an experiment I removed them from under the Q-DAC and that magic vanished immediately, so my conclusion was that it was all the units working together that produced that fine sound and that applied too if any one of the supports was taken out, yet didn’t manifest as an improvement when installed individually.

So what effect overall did the supports make to the sound?  It really was a classic case of bass tightening, yet losing none of the power. The floor tom whacks in the track “Sort of Revolution” on Fink’s ‘Wheels Beneath My Feet” album had real weight and body behind them, the best I have heard them yet, to be truthful.  Treble and midrange seemed to leave the speaker cabinets entirely and just hung freely in space, so imaging was three dimensional and almost walk around realistic.  When I bought a pair of Pylon Audio Diamond Monitors complete with their own dedicated stands to replace my floorstanders, I wasn’t going to risk placing these speakers on the bridges as the speakers are not  coupled at all to the stands.  However, a pair of Audiovector SR3 Avantgardes was soon wobbling about nicely on the bridges when they arrived for review and the already excellent SR3’s sound quality moved up a notch or two.


My own conclusion of what I experienced during the evaluation is that just one set of supports isn’t going to provide a big improvement in sound quality on it’s own, unless of course that one particular hifi component you own is prone to high levels of microphony.  I didn’t genuinely think that any of my components suffered from that problem, but a complete set of these Solidair units from stem to stern proved me to be incorrect and am not ashamed to admit that.  None of my components are valve based, nor do I have a turntable now and if any component was likely to need isolation then it would be the Sony XA50ES player, although with a deadweight of 14 kilos and a central laser transport mechanism, who would have thought it might be susceptible to vibration?  Maybe the toughened 10mm glass the rack is made from is part of the problem, I don’t know, so if you have a wooden rack would that change the outcome from what I have experienced?  What I do know for sure is that now they have all been returned to Solidair Audio, I do miss them and the sonic magic they produced.

I realise that a complete set of these isn’t going to be cheap, but when they are as effective at remedying a problem you didn’t even realise you had in this first place, then their value becomes obvious and if you want maximum performance from your system then they could be an essential purchase.


Build Quality:  Exceptionally well made and nice looking too.

Sound Qualty:  It seemed to be a case of the whole being greater than the sum of it’s parts.

Value For Money:  When it solves an issue you never realised you had, then the value becomes clear.

Pros:  These really do reveal the full sonic potential from your system.

Cons:  You need some dexterity to fit them under heavy items.  Ensure you have enough room in your rack for component, supports and maintaining necessary ventilation before purchase.


Ukishima 6 Aluminium £25 each £100 set of four

Brass £45 each £180 set of four

Burr oak £50 each £200 set of four


Ukishima 10 Aluminium £30 each £120 set of four

Brass £52.50 each £210 set of four

Burr oak £55 each £220 set of four


Ukishima 15 Aluminium £35 each £140 set of four

Brass £75 each £300 set of four

Burr oak £90 each £360 set of four

Height adjusters for oak and brass feet £6each

Acrylic platform 350x450mm £295

Speaker suspension bridges from £580 set of four

Dominic Marsh

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