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Rogoz Audio 5SMX12/BBS Anti-vibration Audio Rack

10-20-2016 | By Marek Dyba | Issue 88

Rogoz Audio

This is probably not the first and neither the last time you shall read a similar introduction to the review of this type of product from Rogoz Audio. I believe, however, that some things are worth repeating again and again. Those who are already well aware of the role of anti-vibration elements should just skip this part without losing anything important for them, but maybe there are at least few people whom I can convince about it. For them it is worth to repeat once more that the anti-vibration elements are important parts of the audio system. I'm not going to tell you how important they are, quantify their contribution to the final performance of the system because this contribution will be different in various systems. Some components such as, for example, turntables, CD players, or tube devices, are more sensitive to vibrations, and there are those whose sensitivity is lower, sometimes even very low.

It is safe to say though, that other components—electronics and loudspeakers—are more important for the sound of the system. I will go even further with that - in my opinion, elements such as racks, platforms, feet, stands and so on are, along with the cables, the last elements of the puzzle (although some cables are recommended if you actually want to listen to any music at all. Setting up a high class audio system is about fitting together several pieces of the puzzle. There are "easy" solutions available—complete systems offered by a single brand—all one has to do is buy such a system, bring it home, place it on the shelf / cabinet / table / floor, turn it on and play some music. Is this an optimal solution—each music fan has to answer this question for himself. In my opinion they may be if the entry or basic level of performance is expected, and people who don't want to spend too much and highly value convenience often buy such systems or even an all-in-one.

However, if you can afford to spend more for your audio system and/or expect high quality performance you need to start playing with several components offered by different brands to find the best matching ones. There is a reason behind using the word "block" as a synonym for an audio component—one uses blocks to build bigger structures, right? Same goes for an audio system. So looking for the best—let me repeat once more for the individual user—solution many people reach for products from various manufacturers. When building system from the scratch one should start by choosing electronics and loudspeakers first (not necessarily in that order), and then connect them with cables, including power chords, and only then decide what to place this system on, or in other words, how to "fine-tune" one's sound system.

At this point a large range of manufacturers from around the world and, importantly, also from our country enter the stage. I emphasize at every turn, that the audio industry in Poland is doing pretty well, at least when it comes to always  increasing variety and quality of the offer. Some of you (the bit older Readers) probably remember the days when those well informed audiophiles used racks made by Mr. Sroka, those who preferred more avant-garde solutions purchased products made by Stand Art, and the majority chose the more friendly priced products by Ostoja or VAP. A little later another name appeared on the market with truly world-class products offering fantastic design, make & finish but also... appropriate price level. I mean the JTL brand. After a few years, the company has disappeared from the market, but fortunately some time ago they returned again offering classy products.

Today there are even more manufacturers of audio anti-vibration furniture and accessories in Poland. The are brands like the well-known: Rogoz Audio, Franc Audio Accessories and AudioPhilar (review in Polish), to name just a few. It is therefore plenty to choose from. Unlike with electronics, loudspeakers, or even cables, it is difficult to test and compare anti-vibration elements. I mean when it comes to platforms, or feet tests are feasible and even recommended. But when it comes down to the rack selection decisions are usually based on the aesthetic qualities, workmanship, ergonomics or answering some specific needs.

Rogoz Audio

One of the few truly successful Polish audio companies is the already mentioned Rogoz Audio. I dealt with their products many times testing racks, platforms, anti-vibration feet, and even acoustic panels. Reviewing numerous  products over the years gave me an opportunity to observe how brand's lineup developed and improved. How the  relatively small, local company, Rogoz Audio, transformed into a firm working with distributors in many countries around the world. The company followed a similar path to many well-known, global brands, fine-tuning details of their designs, improving quality of make & finish, creating new solutions and working on adapting the offer to the actual needs of the customers.

From the beginning (at least from my first contacts) the company presented a professional and technical approach to the subject. By "technical" I understand both, such a (seemingly) simple matter as technical drawings with dimensions of products, but also an extensive knowledge of the materials that company uses for their products to achieve certain results. Nothing is left for a chance here, and detailed descriptions of the materials used are not supposed to impress customers, but rather to tell people with proper knowledge that the engineers of Rogoz Audio actually know what they are doing.

Rogoz Audio

Lets add one more advantage to the equation, one shared with many domestic manufacturers, although in the case of Rogoz Audio not only Poles can fully benefit from it. It gives these brands a huge advantage over most imported ones—I mean the so-called "customization". And in this particular case, unlike in the case of many foreign manufacturers, it is not only a choice of finish or between few available dimensions. Browsing the product catalog of this Silesian company one can not help noticing that virtually every model can be adapted to individual customer's requirements. On the website even before the presentation of the current lineup one can also read:


You can change any of these:

  • size
  • kind of frame
  • kind of audio stand shelves
  • shape of speaker stand tops
  • kind of decoupling

And then:

To satisfy our customer's needs, we can modify our stands according to individual requests. It is possible to alter the frame size and color and select a different kind of shelves.

In other words, the purchase of a Rogoz Audio rack is not a matter of a simple choice—one doesn't just choose model and click "buy" or ask for the chosen item to be packed and shipped to his home. I know that from experience because I underwent this process myself twice already, buying the first, and later also the second rack from Rogoz Audio. Ordering a rack is quite a time-consuming process—one has to choose preferred model, color of shelves and frame, dimensions of all shelves, the distance between them, type of legs—the more things will be specified, the better the product will fulfill specific needs of the customer.

What's more, customers can count on practical tips, as long as they need them. I remember that while I was ordering a rack for myself Mr. Janusz drew my attention to some practical aspects, and it was definitely helpful in obtaining the desired end result, that is, the rack not only looking nice, fulfilling its core, anti-vibration function but also being practical, which in reviewer's case is even more important than in a "normal" system. It may seem that all this is not worth the effort, that it is better to just go to the store, choose a nice product and ask for home delivery. But I see such an approach as a great opportunity for a customer who wants to get a product that will perfectly fit into his room's decor and which, if he gives it enough thought before ordering, will easily, conveniently receive his precious system, and in addition will offer an easy access to it. Most manufacturers of audio furniture offer customization of their products, but its scale offered by Rogoz Audio is simply unique.


This time I received the 5SMX12 / BBS audio rack for a review, which combines two important features. First of all it features the patented solution called BBS (Balancing Board System). For explanation of the BBS system let me quote the manufacturer:

The system consists of a threaded, height-adjustable spike made of high-fiber-content steel alloy, on top of which two elements are placed, each with an inner bearing. An intermediary (middle) element is made of carbon fiber and supports another element, a steel bearing inserted into the shelf. Point contact between the steel spike and the carbon intermediary element prevents movement of either element relative to its axis, but it allows pendulous motion. Meanwhile, the contact between the intermediary element and the bearing inserted into the shelf allows restricted rolling motion and sliding motion. Consequently, the advantages of spike point support (contact area has been minimized and kinetic energy turns into heat) have been combined with the effects of deadening vibrations owing to to sliding friction and rolling resistance.

Secondly the tested model is a modular one. The former solution has been used by the Rogoz Audio for some time now not only for racks but also in the stands and platforms including the ones for the cables. The latter is particularly interesting for people who have large systems, or relatively often replace components with new ones. In the latter case it is always possible to add more modules or to take some out, or use single modules separately—basically one can do whatever is needed with such rack.

This model, that's a solid information and not just my guess, gets chosen also by distributors and dealers for presenting their systems in their own showrooms, but also for trade shows. They appreciate the versatile configuration, a possibility to take only a required number of modules for some event, also the fact that they don't have to carry a big, heavy single-body rack but rather smaller, not so heavy modules is a clear advantage of this model. We agreed with Mr Janusz Rogoż that he would deliver pretty minimal configuration for this test—just two levels, which would simply not take up so much space in my room. As you can see from attached pictures and drawings one can build a much bigger structure using the same modules.


Recordings used for the test (a selection):

  • AC/DC, Live, EPIC E2 90553, LP
  • Alan Silvestri, Predator, Intrada MAF 7118 , CD/FLAC
  • Arne Domnerus, Antiphone blues, Proprius PRCD 7744, CD/FLAC
  • Cannonball Adderley, Somethin' else, Classic Records BST 1595-45, LP
  • Coleman Hawkins, The Hawk Flies High, Mobile Fidelity MFSL 1-290, LP
  • Isao Suzuki, Blow up, Three Blind Mice B000682FAE, CD FLAC
  • John Coltrane, Blue train, Blue Note TOJJ-6505 (BN-1577), LP
  • John McLaughlin Trio, Que alegria, Verve B00000478E, CD
  • Keith Jarrett, The Koeln Concert, ECM 1064/65 ST, LP
  • Leszek Możdżer, Kaczmarek by Możdżer, Universal Music 273 643-7, CD/FLAC
  • Louis Armstrong & Duke Ellington, The Complete Session. Deluxe Edition, Roulette Jazz 7243 5 24547 2 2 (i 3), CD/FLAC
  • Mahler, Symphony no. 1, EMI Classical/Hi-Q Records Supercuts HIQSXR35, XRCD24
  • Mccoy Tyner, Solo: Live from San Francisco, Half Note Records B002F3BPSQ, CD/FLAC
  • Michał Wróblewski Trio, City album, Ellite Records, CD/FLAC
  • Miles Davis, Sketches of Spain, Columbia PC8271, LP
  • Mozart, Le nozze di Figaro, cond. Teodor Currentzis, MusicAeterna Orchestra, Sony Classical, B00GK8P1EG, LP
  • Pavarotti, The 50 greatest tracks, Decca 478 5944, CD/FLAC
  • Renaud Garcia-Fons, Oriental bass, Enja B000005CD8, CD/FLAC
  • The Ray Brown Trio, Summer Wind, Concord Jazz CCD-4426, CD/FLAC

This rack consists of two types of modules, labeled A and B. The first one is a metal frame with three, round legs. Adjustable spikes are fitted to the legs to allow leveling of each module. Leveling (screwing / unscrewing) is performed using a supplied key, which makes the operation relatively simple, even under load. The set includes user also anti-vibration pads placed under the spikes. On the top side of each module one screws on three cones and on top of these places three carbon fiber "caps". On top of those one places a shelf with three steel bearings inserted into shelf's bottom side. These are components of the BBS system. There is one important notice for prospective users—each component should be placed centrally on each shelf so that the "balancing" could actually work. One can always place another A module on top of previous one, thus adding another level to the rack.

Rogoz Audio

Rogoz Audio

Rogoz Audio

B Module is sort of a metal frame that by means of four adjustable spikes (also positioned on the anti-vibration pads) sits on the two A Modules positioned side by side (at a suitable distance). Both A and B modules are big enough for a  full-size component. This means one can put up to three devices on each level. The top shelves are bigger than the ones on lower levels, allowing user to place the biggest components on the top level of the rack such as, for example, a turntable. A modules are equipped with the right or left elements that allow putting B Modules on top of them. It is something one has to remember about when ordering additional modules—even number of "right" and "left" A modules is a must unless one wants to use them separately.

Rogoz Audio

The thick legs of A modules are made of S235JR carbon steel, used for load-bearing structures subjected to high dynamic loads such as cranes, while bars connecting them are made of S355 stainless steel with increased strength. The frame is filled with quartz sand ballast - holes bolted in the back of each leg make it possible to change the amount and type of ballast. The unit that was delivered for the review featured golden brass finish with the shelves finished with natural Czeczor Birch veneer with matte surface. This color set screamed for some devices with gold or champagne finish, such as, for example, Accuphase products. This does not change the fact that all the devices in different colors also looked great when placed on the rack. The rack itself looks fantastic, in my opinion of course. One has to appreciate how well might this rack satisfy individual needs due to so many features that might be customized.  


Of course, there is still one aspect, quite important one, I might add. If you already invest in a high quality audio rack, and let's be honest—it's usually quite a significant investment if we want to have something as cool as the reviewed model—you are right to expect that it will not only look good, fit into your room (in terms of size and appearance), but also allow your system to perform better. In one of my previous rack tests I honestly admitted that a direct comparison of the two products of this type is highly troublesome—it requires a lot of patience and a healthy spine. While I could offer a lot of the former, the latter was out of question so there was no way I could move the whole system from my rack to the reviewed one and back several times. What I could do was to move single components of my system and some of those I had in for other reviews to Rogoz rack and try to assess how they performed on it.

Among some other components, I also placed two turntables on top shelves of this rack—the affordable Pro-Ject The Classic and much more expensive Vertere MG-1. In the first case the word best describing the first impression was a "refinement" of the sound. Just like other relatively inexpensive turntables from Pro-Ject's lineup also The Classic delivers a musical, engaging performance, but it is not the most resolving or most transparent deck on the market. Placing it on Rogoz Audio rack did not change that but there was an audible improvement to the performance also in these areas. There was an improvement of the sound's purity and transparency, and a better detail retrieval and more colorful presentation were noticeable when the Vertere landed on this rack. This improvement was primarily a result of a "blacker" background, or in other words of the lower background noise level, which is difficult to notice itself but impacts our perception of music. With both turntables on top of Rogoz I tried thumping and jumping around the rack to check whether or not it would influence playback. It didn't, which proved a good isolation from even significant vibrations this rack provided.


I did a test with two tube preamplifiers too—my ModWright LS100 and Air Tight ATC-2. Placing them on 5SMX12/BBS shelves resulted on one hand with deepened saturation of sound that seemed even more natural, organic, on the other hand improved control and precision of presentation. The sound became even more fluid, smoother, but certainly not by rounding band's extremes. The sound became also more vivid. Both the bass and treble, gained on compactness and precision, yet without adding any harshness to the sound. Presentation seemed to receive kind of energy shot,  but a well controlled one.

Setting my digital devices (no CD player though), on the reviewed rack also delivered noticeable results. I moved a dedicated PC and its separate linear power supply and the Lampizator Big 7 DAC (just in case, let me remind you that it features tubes) to the Rogoz rack. This time the noticeable influence on the performance included even greater tangibility of the sound and enhanced impression of performers' presence in my room. On one hand it was a matter of  bigger phantom images, on the other a higher precision of stereo imaging. When I listened to live recordings the ambiance seemed a to play a greater role with components placed on this rack enhancing the feeling of participation in the event. The above described better clarity of the sound and higher energy of the presentation were also confirmed here.

I observed relatively smallest impact on the performance after placing solid-state amplifiers on the 5SMX12/BBS rack. I used my ModWright KWA100SE and Bryston 4B3. Yes, this time the presentation was also a bit more energetic, and it seemed that performance had more drive. Sound, while even better controlled and defined, seemed more vivid, more visceral. Bass extension improved a bit too as well as its richness. Also its differentiation seemed slightly better allowing me to enjoy a full range of double bass sounds, and the lower octaves of the grand piano. Even when I played some not so perfect rock recordings, sound was more orderly, less chaotic.


Most potential buyers of audio racks have little, if any, chance to perform any comparative listening tests. So they are stuck with a judgment based on what the eye sees and the mind understands, where the eye assesses the looks and make and finish, and the mind studies the ergonomics and the technical information presented by a manufacturer. To help you make an informed decision (although it still has to be your decision) let me summarize this text.

Rogoz Audio products have some undeniable advantages—starting with the quality of make and finish, the ergonomics and flexible customization. The 5SMX12/BBS rack features the patented BBS system and additionally offers a choice between number, size and finish of modules, distances between shelves, and colors of both frame and shelves. Even when the rack is already installed in one's room it is still possible to "tune" the sound by adding more ballast inside A Module legs. Leveling using a supplied key is feasible even when the rack is already loaded with components—that's another big advantage.


And what sound enhancement can this beautiful piece of audio furniture provide? It depends on the system you use, type of components and so on, but I think that some improvements should occur in most cases. The sound will be energetic, well-controlled, focused—the difference is most apparent in the bass range, but it really applies to the whole band. You can also count on greater palpability of the sound, on more convincing presence of the performers in your room whenever particular recording will allow it. Sound should also be more liquid and smoother, but still very natural. You'll hear more details, subtleties, or at least—depending on what equipment you actually move to Rogoz—they will be easier to perceive, it will take less effort to hear them. This effect is a result of noticeably lower noise level, and the sound "cleared" of all this "dirt" will be perceived in all its glory with an abundance of details, plenty of color, it shall be properly differentiated and delivered with a nice separation and dynamics.


Tests with turntables and vacuum tube devices proved best that the tested rack provides a very good isolation from vibration, which is crucial for maximizing the performance of this type of components (I mean it is more important for such devices than it is for other types). Will this rack elevate your system's performance to a whole new, much higher level? I don't think so. No rack or other anti-vibration elements shall do that. It should however allow you to push a performance of your already sophisticated system to its limits. It should dot the "i", cross the "t", polish already great sound. Do not expect any huge, spectacular changes, jaw dropping experience or anything like that (unless of course until this moment you kept your system on some crappy piece of furniture). You will, however, get used to all these small improvements this rack introduces to the performance of your system and soon you won't be able to go back to living without them, living without Rogoz Audio rack. Again, the gains/improvements introduced to the sound due to placing the system on 5SMX12/BBS rack will be minor, but they will cover many aspects of the performance and summed up will most likely pay off this investment.

Specifications (according to manufacturer)

  • Maximum height - 1158mm
    • Overall width: - 1814.4mm
    • Overall depth: - 550mm
    • Leg profile: steel pipes (Ø 76 mm – front/back)
    • Top shelves: (A modules) – 662,2 x 550 x 50mm
    • Lower shelves (A modules): 490 x 460 x 40mm
    • Top shelves (B modules) - 490 x 550 x 50mm
    • Lower shelves (B modules) - 490 x 550 x 40mm
    • Usable distance between the A modules (moving upwards) - 300, 180, 180 mm (the order of modules may be changed)
    • Usable distance between the B modules (moving upwards) - 300, 180, 180 mm (the order of modules may be changed)
    • Ballast: quartz sand
    • Net weight - 160kg
    • Maximum load for each A module - up to 80kg (total: 640kg)
    • Maximum load for each B module - up to 25kg


Price: depends on number of modules

Module A: 800 EUR/PC.

Module B: 570 EUR/PC.


tel.: 504 080 690

[email protected]



Provided for test by:  ROGOZ AUDIO

Text: Marek Dyba

Images: Rogoz Audio | Marek Dyba

Translation: Marek Dyba

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