Grade 2.5 Superball Upgrade (Single)
What is a "Superball"
The Superball is a very special ball bearing made to the very limits of current, 21st century technology, made from the hardest machinable metal known. Quite literally, it is "state of the art."
What is it used for?
Superballs are the ultimate bearing replacement/upgrades for Symposium Rollerblocks. In order to deliver the finest resolution and lowest distortion possible, the Rollerblock® is machined to tolerances beyond any other bearing isolation device in the world- and the Superball exploits these inherent advantages to the fullest degree, by taking the envelope of resolution and blowing it wide open.
What does Superball mean?
"Superball" is this ball's pedigree. The "Grade" number of a ball refers to how many parts per million precision it meets, and the smaller this number, the better. Most ball bearings that you find in hardware stores or are used as ball bearings in automotive or standard industrial applications are Grade 100 - which means that they meet or exceed a tolerance of 100 parts per million precision in their sphericity (that is, how perfectly round they are) and their diameter (size). Our standard Tungsten Carbide ball has a Grade 10 rating, which is 10 parts per million - ten times better than the standard bearing precision (we are speaking only of the precision of the ball, not the material - since the common ball bearing is usually made of chromium steel, and does not share the elevated pedigree of Tungsten Carbide, which is quite important in and of itself for sound quality [and is superior to ceramic for sonic applications, due to the inferior transmission characteristics of ceramic, which creates artificial brightness]). Our former Superballs had a Grade 3 rating, which meant that the ball met guaranteed tolerances of 3 parts per million. We now offer Grade 2.5, which indicates a precision of an incredible 2.5 parts per million, or better, in diameter and sphericity precision. There is no higher grade available at present - anywhere. Symposium is always striving to improve our products and services; the power and beneficial effect of the Superballs makes the long hours and hard work we put into perfecting the Rollerblock well worth the effort.
Spending just a few minutes listening with a set of Superballs in your Rollerblock set will forever answer that question! You'll hear even more detail without harshness or "edginess," more soundstage air, superior extreme low bass impact and definition; in short, imagine any of the Rollerblock's impressive qualities, and take those to a higher level. The Superball pushes the "state of the art" performance of the Rollerblocks by an order of magnitude, or more. It is offered with an unconditional, money-back guarantee. In over 15 years since the introduction of the Superball program, and hundreds and hundreds of sets sold with the same guarantee, there have been, to date, zero returns. Once you hear what they do, you'll keep them.
What will I hear with Superballs that I don't hear with my regular Tungsten Carbide balls?
More air, more detail and transparency. More musical coherency and a more enhanced sense of the organic harmonic structures inherent in live music and instruments. A greater ability to visualize and hear instruments as individual entities, rather than sonic parts. A wider, deeper, and larger soundstage. And an often quite surprising improvement in extreme low bass performance. And, while it may sound like a cliché, you will hear "hidden" details and instruments on your favorite recordings you never heard before.
...the Superball is the most perfect tungsten carbide ball possible with present day technology, and makes an almost "perfect" bearing...
How does the Superball make this possible?
The Rollerblock, like any "ball bearing" isolation device, depends primarily upon a few key aspects of bearing design for good performance: the degree of "chatter" (or bearing noise) generated; and the uniformity of ball rotation. The near-perfect quality of the Superball means that its surface is extremely uniform- so good, in fact, that Superball balls are slippery to the touch. Interfaced with the mirror-smooth surface of the Rollerblock's cup, the Rollerblock's already very low chatter is vanished to practically non-existent levels, making an almost perfect bearing point. This aspect of bearing-isolation engineering is primary. Without a perfectly quiet bearing, the device (if intimately coupled to the component) will actually add noise (and thus distortion) to the component's output, which, since it is usually in the high-frequency range, will be heard as a "brightness" or "forwardness." This may initially be perceived as an increase in definition, but it is actually an increase in distortion. Eventually, on truly high resolution systems, poor bearings will yield unlistenable results. Leaving them in one's system creates more problems later, as one tries (in vain) to "compensate" for the extra brightness, since the only way to do this is to reduce the overall definition of the system (you cannot "equalize" for randomly generated noise- you can only remove it at its source!). The sad result in these situations is that one is now gravitating toward euphonic coloration instead of toward musical transparency- that is, in the wrong direction.
Everyone understands the importance of tire balance on an automobile: enough velocity and enough improperly-placed mass can have deadly results at high speeds. While there is no life and death issue (we hope) in high end audio and video applications, the importance of balance in a bearing isolation device is of paramount importance. As lateral vibration occurs, the bearing isolation device's body slips and its ball (or balls) rotates. How well the system can isolate and dissipate (as work) lateral vibration is directly related to how fast its balls can rotate and respond to tiny amounts of lateral displacement. In this function, the quality of the ball is akin to the diaphragm speed of a very fast tweeter in its ability to correctly reproduce high frequency waves, although the ultimate function is opposite: in the tweeter's case, it is making waves, and in the Rollerblock's case, it is absorbing them. Any departure from perfection in roundness will cause the balls to "wobble," and will also create disparity between the rotation rates of the different Rollerblocks. Each of these results of imperfection in roundness has its own damaging effect upon the job of the bearing isolation device. Wobble in the ball's rotation causes additional vibration, which is in turn transmitted through the system, just like the vibration caused by a car tire that is out of balance. The Superball ball's nearly perfect roundness practically eliminates bearing "wobble" or non-linearity of motion. This reduces vibration further and makes for super-quiet and extremely linear behavior. Further, any ball-bearing isolation system with more than one ball (the Rollerblock system exploits the minimum number possible - one per device, for a minimum of three in establishing a plane) is affected if each ball is not absolutely identical in size. Imagine a system with three different diameter balls: each, for an equal amount of lateral displacement, rotates at a different speed. These different rotation rates induce directional "prejudices" and skew lateral motion. Thus, it is important that all the bearings be as identical in diameter (size) as possible. Diameter precision is another vital aspect of the Superball: if the diameters of different balls in the same system are different, the rotation rates will be different. If the rotation rates are different, the different balls will, in effect, "fight" each other and constrain each other's ability to move freely and quickly. The super-uniformity of each of the Superballs minimizes problems in this area, and contributes to how the Superball and the Rollerblock achieve their unparalleled levels of performance.
Make Sure It's a REAL Superball
The Superball balls are specially made for Symposium, and each batch made is certified by precise calibration that guarantees their incredible ±0.00000125 precision (click on image at right). Extremely expensive and time-consuming to make, these balls require one hour to grind off just one millionth of an inch of tolerance in the final stages of their manufacture.
(BE ADVISED! Other sources of "Superball" balls do not have the same unit to unit tolerance as Symposium Superball. Other sources will be very happy to sell you "orphan" balls from different batches which may vary by 5 years or more. What this means is that the balls you buy will differ from one another by much more than ours, and to realize best sound quality, all balls in your Rollerblock set must be as close to each other in size and sphericity as possible for best performance. Our Superballs' diameter tolerance is certified and guaranteed to be +/- 0.00000125 inch or better among each other - an order of magnitude better than the nominal Superball specification of +/- 0.000025. Please call for more information.)
Superballs are unconditionally guaranteed; if you're not delighted with the increase in performance after you receive your Superballs, we'll gladly take them back and give you a full refund. But be forewarned, especially if you have more than one set of Rollerblocks in your system: Superballs are addictive!
Grade 10 or Grade 25 Tungsten Carbide Trade-In Program
If you already own standard Grade 10, or older Grade 25 Tungsten Carbide balls originally sold with genuine Symposium Rollerblocks, you can trade them in for FULL original retail credit at any time toward the purchase of an equal number of Superballs. Please contact Symposium direct or your dealer for more details.
WARNING! BEWARE OF FRAUDULENT SELLERS MISREPRESENTING BALLS AS GRADE 3 or GRADE 2.5. Unscrupulous sellers have been offering COUNTERFEIT Rollerblock products with balls represented as "Grade 3," but which are of unknown origin and vastly inferior quality. If you have any doubts, call or email us for assistance in determining authenticity.
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