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The Gingko ARCH Platform and Acoustic Resonance Clarifier™ (ARCH) Follow-up

12-06-2018 | By John Zurek | Issue 100

After I had such a positive experience with the Gingko ARCHs vibration control devices, Vinh Vu of Gingko asked me if I'd like to listen to the latest addition to the ARCH line, the ARCH Platform. It took me about a millisecond to say "yes, please."

The ARCH Platform is an attractive, low-maintenance vibration control solution that is tuneable to suit your listening taste. It works in concert with Gingko's Mini ARCHs to help your components vibrate less, and thus sound better. Made of acrylic, the ARCH Platform consists of a top plate that rests over a number of Mini ARCHs placed on a bottom plate. The standard-size platform that I used measures 18 x 14 inches and comes with six Mini ARCHs. Up to 21 Mini ARCHs may be used to support a maximum load of 100lbs with the standard-size platforms. ARCH platforms come in three other sizes: Medium 20 x 16, Large 22 x 18, and Jumbo 26 x 20. The bigger platforms can be used with the entire range of ARCHs to control vibration for heavier components. Gingko suggests you contact them directly for precise matching of heavier components with the appropriate Platform/ARCH combination.

The platform comes in a shiny piano black finish, and has an elegant look. None of your audio finery will be embarrassed sitting atop the ARCH Platform. A simple device, the ARCH Platform consists of a base panel with three rows of indents that accommodate six or seven Mini ARCHs. The base is a little smaller than the top panel. The ARCH Platform is similar to Ginkgo's award-wining Cloud vibration control platforms for turntables except the Mini-ARCH replaces the balls used in the Cloud. While you use all the balls included with the Cloud, you can customize the Platform by adding and removing Mini ARCHs depending on the weight of the components placed on top of the platform. The Mini-ARCH has been improved for use under audio components such as preamps, digital sources, and turntables. Each Mini ARCH can support a maximum load of 5lbs. For heavier components add more Mini ARCHs to support the weight.

I decided to concentrate on listening to my heavily-modified Dared MC-7P preamp with the ARCH Platform since a tubed component would likely yield the most audible changes, and I couldn't fit both of my monoblock amps on this ARCH Platform. I previously listened to this preamp using just a mini ARCH under each foot, and the results were OK, but I'd always hoped for a little more.

While experimenting with the platform, using more than the recommended Mini ARCHs gave me a brighter sound, using less than the recommended gave me a thicker, less detailed sound. I finally went the Goldilocks route, and eventually used the Gingko recommended number of Mini ARCHs for the weight which was just right. The ARCH Platform immediately improved on what the Mini-ARCHs did solo. Specifically, with my 27.5lb preamp sitting on the ARCH Platform using the recommended number (6) of Mini ARCHs, I heard the following:

Everything came across cleaner and clearer. Microphonics were reduced. The 1960s vintage RCA and Raytheon tubes that I rolled in were able to work more of their magic. There was both a macro and micro effect. The midrange bloom was effective and prominent while subtle musical details lurking in the shadows were brought further out into the light.

The entire presentation became more relaxed while at the same time a more coherent sense of flow emerged. This translated to more foot tapping, head bobbing, and pure fun. Leading and trailing edges of notes became better defined. The attack of every instrument was a little more distinct, and you could more easily feel the beginning of phrases. The decay of trailing edges, especially strings, seemed to last longer and was easier to hear and appreciate. Everything had a bit more ahhh.

Why is it the ARCH Platform sounds better than just using the ARCHs directly under the feet of the component? I couldn't have placed all six mini ARCHs under my preamp because of the way it is built, and I'm sure the correct weight loading—i.e. how many ARCHs you place in the Platform for the component you're using—really makes a difference. The Platform allows you to get that weight ratio correct, and you can easily experiment with the number of ARCHs to tailor your sound. Depending on the size of components you could also use more than one component on each ARCH Platform.

Gingko ARCH Platform

I like the flexibility of the Gingko ARCH platform. It's like giving your components an upgrade. The ARCH Platform does for tubed components what the Gingko Cloud Platform does for turntables.

Once again, Vinh Vu has come up with a winner. I can easily recommend this device. You've got nothing to lose with the 30 money back guarantee, but lots to gain.

Gingko ARCHs Follow up

I've been living happily with the Gingko ARCHs in my system for about six months now. I felt the best way to do a follow-up was to remove the ARCHs and see what I heard.

The biggest disappointment was on my stand-mounted monitors, which made sense since they showed the most improvement with the ARCHs installed. Removing the ARCHs resulted in noticeably reduced clarity and transparency. Bass response had less impact, volume, and punch. The mid-range had less magic, and imaging was less defined. Mid-bass response was reduced and leading-edge transients were less pronounced. The energetic momentum and timing seemed to lose a quarter of a step. My gut feeling was to get the ARCHs back under the speaker stands asap.

Removing the ARCHs from under my subwoofer also yielded a dramatic result. Bass definition suffered, and overall flow seemed less smooth. The bass tonality also had a different quality, not quite as refined and slightly thinner. In addition, the sub seemed less coherent and not as well integrated with the monitors when the ARCHs were removed.

Without the ARCHs, my system lost some of the enchantment and excitement that makes the music so much more enjoyable. It's not that the system was terrible without the ARCHs, but the magic was reduced.

All my observations from the original review (HERE) still ring true for me.

Bottom line, the Gingko ARCH is the currently the easiest, most cost-effective way I know of to give your system a very respectable upgrade.

ARCH Platform

Regular 18 x 14: $499

Medium 20 x 16: $599

Large: 22 x 18: $699

Jumbo: 26 x 20 $799


Retail: $199 8 pieces


Retail: $299 12 pieces


Retail: $399 8 pieces

Super ARCH 1

Retail: $399 8 pieces

Gingko Audio