what is the theory behind maple stands and racks?

I have not "heard" a maple amp stand or rack - using Billy Bags products now, which are made from steel and mdf - but don't grasp why maple would be a good material to use - quite the opposite. Maple is used for some electric guitars because it "rings" - it is very dense and causes notes to sustain, which is to say, it continues to vibrate for a long time. This would seem to be exactly the opposite of what one wants in a stand or a rack. If there is some claim that vibration is "drained away", well, if the rack is continuing to ring, that would likely cause acoustical feedback - the equipment isn't isolated from the thing it is sitting on. Can anyone who is not a vendor of these things explain the why of it, or relate positive experiences that seem to have a basis in fact?
Your question and comments don't apply only to maple. They are equally relevant to any type of wood. A search of the archives will turn up some threads on glass versus metal versus wood racks/stands.

Why is maple often used as opposed to any other wood? Well, it's hard with good stiffness and rigidity. A lot of baseball bats are made with maple because of this. These characteristics are augmented by the fact that it does not have a lot of knots. It's dense, as you note. The grain is very tight. Its grain doesn't split with time like oak has a tendency to do. Many woods have these characteristics but some of them are exotic or otherwise expensive because of limited availability. Maple is common, readily available, and inexpensive. It's kind of bland and neutral (except for curly or bird's eye maple), even when stained, but it fits in with most decors because of this. That's why maple is one of the standard finishes for many speakers, along with cherry or basic black. It has good WAF, especially when compared to many metal racks that often have a macho, industrial look to them.

So for all of these things, it's very practical if you want wood rather than glass, metal or veneered MDF.

Now, what about the acoustical properties?

All the things you say about ringing and vibrations are of course correct. However, it applies to everything else too, including glass or metal stands/racks. All physical substances have a resonant frequency and will "ring" if you hit the right frequency. The platter on my Linn turntable rings like a church bell. So you deal with it the same way you deal with any other type of rack you have, or with any other component in your system. You alter the resonant frequency in the way you construct it to make it less audible; you isolate vibrations; you “drain vibrations” away, etc., etc. In your post, you seem to anticipate and dismiss the draining away of vibrations as a satisfactory answer. However, that is one of the techniques used. So like it or not, that is one of the answers. And you can find many, many threads in the archives on vibration control, both in theory and in practice. I can’t possibly repeat all the points made.

Your point about the component not being isolated from the stand/rack is a bit difficult. Many techniques of vibration control, and products made to assist in this, do isolate the component from the stand/rack. And many components themselves are constructed with internal vibration control or isolation.

I can’t resist making a few comments about your post’s points about electric guitars and sustaining notes. I’ve made a couple of solid body electric guitars as a DIY hobby. It was part of a guitar making course I took at a local pro shop. I’m not a pro or an expert, but the guys who taught me are. The choice of wood for a solid body electric guitar, as opposed to an acoustic guitar, isn’t typically related to its acoustical properties. It is certainly possible that some musician may come into the shop to have a guitar made and say such a thing. But it’s a bit of a stretch. Any acoustical properties of the wood in the guitar will be overwhelmed by the tone control/settings on the guitar amp, or any effects pedals/boxes. The guys at the shop told lots of stories of pro musicians who came in to have their guitars made/modified a certain way for whatever reason. Well, the customer is always right so they do what they’re asked to do.

Anyway, to succinctly answer your initial question, the theory behind maple racks/stands is the same theory that is behind racks/stands made out of anything else, wood or otherwise.
Markphd, your Linn TT platter rings? That can't be good, especially if the music contains that frequency.
I had a Dual many years ago with a 2 piece platter.....Each piece by itself would ring....nice sustain, too. But together they were pretty inert because they were at different, non-cogging frequencies.

Here is a very theoretical and probably not very satisfying explanation for what I have experienced first hand with my system. I think part of the appeal of hardwoods (not just maple) for this application is that in fact they are not so hard that vibrations just bounce off the material and back into your gear. When the piece of wood is thin like a violin or a guitar, the wood will resonate a great deal (a good thing), and these musical instruments tend to be made with thin pieces of softer woods put together in configurations that will resonate just the right amount.

When hardwoods are cut or glued together into thick slabs, their resonant properties are different from thin pieces. Vibrations entering the slab from one side are dampened as they travel through the material and as they are reflected back. So while the maple slab doesn't absorb and eliminate all vibrations from your gear and the room, it definitely mutes them. Think about the difference between being inside an old wooden ship made of thick timbers and a newer steel ship made from relatively thin sheets of metal - they definitely "sound" different with the steel being much more resonant and "live" sounding.

So why not use particle board or MDF which are less lively than solid or glued hardwoods? All I can say is that they are either TOO dead, or because they lack the complex structure of intact wood fibers, they cannot drain vibration away from your gear as effectively. Apparently some vibration is a good thing!?!

Lastly, the best hardwood vibration platforms I have used are thicker and very heavy - a full 2" thick or more - so they have a lot of inertia to stay put and not respond to vibrations coming from the room or your gear itself. Thinner glass, steel, MDF shelving while strong enough to hold up your gear would be easier to set in motion - especially by lower and more powerful frequencies.

Hope that helps a little.
>>A lot of baseball bats are made with maple because of this<<

Actually most are made of ash.
Charlie Watts likes solid maple drums, I think he has them made in Maryland somewhere. Could be the maple preserves the dynamics without screwing up the tone, as might be the case with other materials like MDF. Maybe NASA or someone should do a full blown dynamic analysis to see why maple is good for sound.
Most pool cues are made of maple (at least the shaft portion), probably because the highish specific gravity leads to improved stiffness and a lower susceptibility to moisture related changes.

Many audio equipment platforms, etc. are made of maple because audiophiles believe they can hear a difference between an amp sitting on maple and one sitting on oak, and also because we receive a catalogue from "Mapleshade" and none from "Oakshade."
The trouble with oak is it is far too lofty and grab up all the light. Maples have been oppressed.
Maple is also used for quasi mystical reasons. .. i.e. there exists the urban legend that the old master luthiers like Stradivari, Guadagnini, Testori, Guarner, Amati, made their violins, violas, cellos mostly from maple. . . truth is that maple was frequently used, but only for instrument backs, and was often replaced by other inexpensive local timber, like poplar, nowdays relagated to constructing orange crates.

Why not experiment with other inexpensive hard timber in racks? Lyptus for example is slightly harder and denser than maple, mechanically as stable, and slightly inexpensive. Ype is even harder, heavier, and even less expensive. . . and then there is Ash, as mentioned by Bill. . . yet, the mystique of maple continues unabated. G.
Apparently most if not all high end drumsticks are made of maple, for example all 10 models of Vic Firth drumsticks. Including, yup, the Charlie Watts Signature Drumstick. Probably just coincidence.
Audiofeil, you are correct in that most baseball bats are traditionally made of ash. A few years ago, maple became the trendy new bat when MLB approved the "Sam" bat made by a guy in Canada. When Barry Bonds adopted the maple bats, they started to become more common. However, there is now a movement by MLB executives to get maple bats banned. When they shatter, they tend to break into big chunks with huge jagged sharp ends that go flying into the crowd. They're considered dangerous because of this. The players who like to use the bats are not too thrilled about this and there might even be some union issues involved if MLB follow through on trying to ban them.

Anyway, the new season starts today! Take me out to the ballpark!
Mapleshade claims they have done comparison tests and have found that North American Maple "sounds the best". They are in the business of selling the stuff, so I take their claims about maple with a pinch of saw dust. Who knows - maybe a little bit of the right kind of "sustain" in your platform makes your audio gear "sing" like a stratocaster?

In my limited fooling around with different isolation platforms, I cannot tell the difference in sound between Maple, Ash or Bamboo. BUT I find that I can tell the difference between intact wood and MDF, particle board, synthetic materials or steel (although Aluminum may be a good choice), with wood sounding the best to me. And the thicker and heavier the wood the better.

I can see it now - knownothing's Genuine North American Tree Stump Equipment Stands...
Magfan, I used a 1.5" exotic granite slab under my TEAC Esoteric X-01 Ltd CDp for a while. . . In my opinion it hardened the sound. At the time I 'solved' the problem by interposing a $15 IKEA square stool top between the 2. But now the pretty granite has been relegated to end-table-top duties in the living room, and I have the CDp on top of a 50 year old 42"x22"x2" slab of solid african Mansogna wood. . . it does not seem to impart the system bizarre resonances. Some rack makers do use granite, but often not by itself. E.G. HRS does not use pure granite shelves. . . but uses granite as the top layer of composite shelves. G.
thanks for the interesting reponses. It appears that maple may be worth experimenting with. It is mysterious, or at least, not clear to me, how the coupling/draining vibration thing works, but that it can audibly improve things I have no doubt. There seems to be some combination of equipment coupling, vibration draining and isolation that works, but it appears to be difficult to predict how or why or what works. For example, I tried putting my amp (large tube amp, has large rubber=type feet) on spikes (i.e., instead of the "rubber" feet), on a white acrylic cutting board, sitting directly on the floor - poor result. Then tried the amp on the cutting board which was sitting on spikes, on the floor - excellent result (at least as good as a Billy Bags amp stand, which is, in a way, a similar combination of an inert shelf supported on steel coupled to the floor.)
Interesting - I had a similar result with solid state amp. Wooden platform had almost no impact on sound. Wooden blocks in place of amps rubber feet and placed on polyethylene board = little but slightly less appealing effect. Amp's rubber feet directly on poly board with the board on metal blocks on shelf - slightly better.

For all other applications (speakers, CDP, TT) I use wood - maple, ash and bamboo. The applications of these materials are driven more by cost, size available and aesthetics of a each piece, rather than focusing on the particular variety for given use. As long as the wood is fairly hard, it seems to work pretty well, again the thicker the better. Someday I may get around to doing an independent test of Mapleshade's claims for NA maple.

On a related note, I have tried Sorbothane dots directly under my gear, and used it to isolate shelves from stands and heavy wooden platforms from shelves. In these applications, I was not happy using the material to decouple equipment from whatever is directly supporting it as it seems to suck some of the life out of the sound. But I am happy using this material to decouple the platform from the shelf, or the shelf from the rack (can play system louder through room speakers before compression or distortion sets in).

This leads me to believe the purpose of the wooden platform is to drain INTERNALLY generated vibration away from your gear, while the purpose of an elastic material like Sorbothane is to decouple or isolate your gear from room vibrations originating from your speakers and transmitted to your gear through your rack. I say this because the benefits of the wooden platforms and anything you put between the platform and your TT or CDP (e.g. wood or metal blocks, cones, Sorbothane, etc.) are clearly apparent even when using headphones, and so must be interacting directly with the gear irrespective of room vibrations.

Finally, for your tube amp, I would think the platform material is a more critical factor than it seems to be for my SS rig. Since tube amps generally have big transformers, they can generate a significant amount of vibration on their own, and since the tubes can be affected by both internal and external vibration, I would also experiment with heavy wooden platforms and spikes/cones/Sorbothane as well for that application.
Shadorne, and they quite believe they are right!

Maple is easy to look at, reasonably stable, easy to source, easy to machine, and easy to finish. That's it, nothing more. Well, except that in some uses people believe it sounds better.

I built my stands using maple and walnut. Why? Because both woods are easy to look at, reasonably stable, easy to source, easy to machine, and easy to finish. ;-)

In my system I found that maple shelves (all of my shelves are on sandboxes) work ok under most of my components. It was horrible, IMO, under my turntable. So I tried granite. it was horrible in another way. I eventually wound up with 1/2" aluminum plate under my 'table, the table is spiked into the plate, and the plate is supported above the granite shelf with Stillpoints. I'm using rollerblocks under my source power supplies (that's where the tranny vibes are), and I let the stock rubber booties handle the CDP, preamp and phonostage chassis. So, in the end, I'm finding that no one shelf material works for me in all applications.

But if you notice I'm using several forms of vibration control. Some isolation, some damping, some coupling. It all just happens to be sitting on those maple and walnut stands.
Interesting thread.
Not sure how the density or hardness of wood types have on vibrational adsorbtion, but in the process of experimenting.
Per the Janka rating for density of hardwoods (steel ball thrown at material) I believe American cherry is 950, Oak 1250, Maple 1350, hardest being Brazilian Cherry 2750

I have some exotic hardwoods I will try under my primaluna 8 tube cd player, that should be revealing device to test.

Just made an entertainment center from 2 layers of 3/4" maple plywood with mdf in the middle, 2" thick. Seems to decouple well between components.
Also Picked up some squash and racketballs to add a poor mans floating layer on top of that by routing a cove bit pit to keep balls in place. Will let you know how it works.
In reality, is there a difference between someone placing their components on a $380.00 4 inch maple amp stand from Mapleshade records vs. a maple butcher block of the same dimensions that probably costs $150.00?

My cabinets are Maple on the oustide (MDF shelves and acoustic batting inside) and my Roland electronic drum set has a V-Expressions "Maple" acoustic set that sounds absolutely awesome (when played with maple drumsticks);-)

Frankly, I agree with you that when it comes to wood I think it is the finish/durability/wear is much more of a consideration than any "technical" consideration. For example, if I made my cabinets out of pine - it would look ugly and would get dinged all to easily, as pine is so soft.
I don't know about Mapleshade but I purchased some 1.75" thick maple butcher block counter top pieces from Grizzley and cut it up to fit my components. Seems to work just fine. To be fair though, I have not done A/B tests with other materials or with Mapleshade products. Seems like it would be a lot of effort for what would be minor, if any, noticeable results.

I think you are most certainly right that different approaches and materials work better for different components. I use heavy wooden bases for many because I haven't found something better yet (but may try some of your suggestions - especially for my TT which I don't think I have quite dialed in yet!?!)

One generality - for most applications I haven't found a piece of wood yet that I thought was so thick and heavy that it actually degraded rather than improved the sound of the supported component compared with a thinner and lighter board.

Thus I see we are at the dawning of the era of the "salvaged timber component stand look" where, as a backlash by pocket protector'ed electronic hobbyists and knuckle dragging hedonistic red meat audiophiles towards the new effeminated PC Enviro-Nazi Congress and Administration, and in search for the ultimate HiFi "High", we as a group reject the increasingly passe' B&O minimalism along with our Volvos, Cuisinarts and All Other European Kinds Of Things in favor of large old growth stumps in near natural condition arrayed along one wall of the listening room, each one supporting a single massive tubed component resting on pure plutonium footers, connected by Alpha Beta Gamma Delta Double Triple Helix "Atlantic Crossing" cables to taller stumps on each end, hollowed out to contain the 35 blood diamond speaker drivers and the finest PBDE and pthalate laden crossovers. All in Pennsylvania (USA!) Amish Maple, of course...
got to get me some of them pure plutonium footers and some extra virgin maple :)
Maple is a very dense wood and does not absorb vibration,it is also very heavy. thus not passing the vibration on to your components.
Steven, I am curious as I have a maple platform for my power amp and was under the impression that the Maple did absorb the vibration created by the amplifier and any external forces. If the vibration is not being absorbed by the Maple or the component, then what is actually happening to the vibration?
The way I understand it the maple will not pass the vibration on, as it is so dense and has so much mass that it is very hard to get it to vibrate at all. I have Know idea what happens to the vibration given off by the component it self. Now you have me reading more to find out what happens on that side of things. I will do my best to find an answer.
My guess is that the wood "absorbs" the vibration, just as your house absorbs and dampens noise (to a greater or lesser degree). The thicker and heavier the wood, there greater its ability to absorb and dissipate vibration from either direction. I am sure certain woods are better at this than others.
Ok this is what happens. Your amp stand carries the vibration to the spikes and they in turn disperse it into the floor.Maple does not absorb vibration what so ever it acts like a conduit carrying it away.When the vibration reaches the softer pine in the floor it is absorbed. The pine being the subflooring and joistes.That is why baseball bats are not made of maple it would carry all that energy into your hands.Ever hit a ball and gotten that sting well the bat carried the vibration instead of absorbing it. Ash absorbes vibration thats what bats are made from. Thakyou Cyclonicman I needed that investagation to keep me interested in audio.Some times I get bored and take crap forgranted.
Does that mean that, at least in principle, ash platforms may be preferable to maple platforms? G.
You know its fishing season here in Oregon and even tho its a slow year there's lots of out of work people trying to catch dinner. Well, I went to the local fishermans supply store with the same notion in mind until I came across a bunch of lead weights in the shape of doughnuts called sand dollars. They ranged from 4 to 10 ounces. Naturally my mindset shifted to the potential of for these toxic beautys as audio vibration isolators, so I scooped up 8 of the 6oz weights and some 1.5" cork bobbers and forgot all about fishing.
Back home I went to waste another weekend with obsessive experiments. The guilt soon vanished as I found audio nirvana in a funky configuration that was insightful about vibrations both coming and going from my system. It may be germaine to this discussion.

My Primaluna CD player rests atop 2 inches of maple plywood and mdf. It sounds great but gets little use since hddtv dvr and plasma caught my eyes.
Anyway, If your not familiar with it, the primaluna8 is a tube hybrid cd player with a nice heavy chassis and some beefy rubber feet. I recently swapped the power chord out with a CCAC silver one and rolled the tubes for the first time to some NOS ones that came with it but I had never tried,the improvments were beguiling and compelled me to see what else I was missing out on..
So I started balancing the player on various things. I tryed the dali speaker spikes and their bases. It was an improvement, but the biggest improvement came when I balanced the player on 1.5" smashballs resting on the lead dougnuts. The players big rubber feet have a cavity in the center that somewhat fit the smashballs. The smashballs are quite squishy or resiliant, and so reduced to 1" in height. and the lead sat atop the maple. The lead seemed to act as a heet sink and the air cushion of the ball under stress seemed to insulate the player from ground vibrations coming the other direction.
So long story long, I think you a right, mass matters.
What was cool about this setup was it is a very delicate balancing act and one can see the effects of vibration by simply walking up to the player, the balls would start to roll off balanc.
By the same token the vibrations coming from the player could also move the balls out of alignment. eg I got the balls perfectly aligned under the feet and in the lead doughnuts, turned it on and sat down to listen, After a time the balls would move. I know they are under constant pressure to push back just from being squashed, but the they moved more when a cd was playing.

Bottom line is the improvements were huge with an air cushion separating sources of vibration and the density of the lead as an asorber was astoundingly better than just the balls on the maple itself.

Your example of the vibrational consequences of a poorly hit ball is quite graphic, but if efficient transfer of vibration is the only story wrt audio platforms, then I think wood would not be the material of choice. There are much stiffer materials available that would pass all the vibration through to whatever your block is sitting on. Unfortunately, they would also pass ALL the room vibration imparted to the rack-footer-platform "system" back to your electronics gear. So if maple absolutely "does not absorb vibration" as you suggest, that would not necessarily be a good thing for your hifi. Fortunately, for musicians, music lovers and audiophiles everywhere, this is not the case.

Maple is very dense and very hard for a wood, but in applications for musical instruments and audio equipment platforms it displays complex behaviors. It functions to dampen some of the vibrations, transfer others, and under certain conditions, it can actually amplify or increase the resonance of certain frequencies. The tendency to accentuate certain frequencies may have positive or negative effects on overall sound in hifi applications.

From the Imigi Audio Products webpage:

"...The benefits of solid-maple as a component platform have been known for many years. The sonic properties are unique. In addition to the natural damping properties of maple, when the platform is properly designed, it has a unique ability to allow upper harmonic overtones to fully develop. This is often apparent in the way you can hear a bow drawn across a violin string, the crispness of a sax or in the decay of a drum beat..."

In fact, these complex and unique resonance and damping properties are what makes maple valuable for certain applications in acoustic instrument manufacture.

See this exert from "Tapping Tonewoods", by Dana Bourgeois

"How the Selection of Species Helps Define the Sound of Your Guitar"

Acoustic Guitar Magazine, March/April 1994

"...Maple and walnut tend to be more acoustically transparent than other tonewoods, due to a low velocity of sound and a high degree of internal damping. That is to say that they allow tonal characteristics of the top to be heard without the addition of extraneous coloration and may even serve to attenuate some of the overtones emanating from the top.

The harder, denser examples of these woods, such as sugar maple and black walnut- particularly quartersawn examples-tend to lean slightly more toward the tonal direction of mahogany, while softer examples, such as bigleaf maple and claro walnut, tend toward greater tonal transparency. Curly, quilted, or bird’s-eye figures do not seem to have much effect on the tone of the wood, but they can be used, like bearclaw, as an indicator of other properties. Quilted figure, for example, occurs most often in softer species and is best displayed when the wood is flat sawn-two characteristics that tend to produce higher damping properties..."

So I surmise that, in addition to wood type, thickness, mass and angle of cut of the piece of wood will alter the way the wood responds to, absorbs or resists vibration. Greater thickness and mass means greater energy required to get a maple or other wood platform to resonate. Thickness plus cut can also increase the internal path length, and the number and configuration of wood fiber bonds available to dampen vibration. That's why guitar backs aren't four inches thick! For some applications, a thinner platform may be better because the resonant frequency of the wood actually enhances the perceived performance of certain electronic gear.
Maple isn't really all that hard, IMO. The vibrations that enter the platform are bounced around and some converted to heat within the wood. With most butcher block platforms there are many surface boundaries which effect the waves traveling through the wood. This causes even more scattering, but there is also attenuation as some of the energy is lost in the reflected wave. Eventually, things settle down.

The butcher block I used caused a smearing of the midrange that resulted in loss of detail and too much warmth. I may try a solid chunk sometime, but I suspect it will still be too warm for my preference.

There are many folks using big hunks of maple as shelves and I'm sure it does work in many applications. But obtaining better sound by using maple is no guarantee.

And those spikes that folks think act like some kind of mechanical diode, well it doesn't work that way. The spikes provide coupling which means vibrations can travel in both directions. They can be effective in some cases and detrimental in others. In general, spikes help emphasize bass and devices like rollerballs (non-compliant) help emphasize air and space around instruments. Products like Stillpoints are somewhere in between as they have both high-rigidity and some compliance. Personally, I have better luck getting the sound I want by using these kinds of products over what material the shelf is made from. YMMV, and all that.
Steven, FYIF, many baseball players have been using maple bats for years now. In fact, the maple bat seems to have taken over those bats made of ash.
Typically 2" - 4". Some application may work better with thinner platforms. For turntables and CD players for me, thicker has worked better.

By better I mean less exaggerated and more "natural" sounding highs, smoother but more detailed midrange, cleaner and better articulated bass. The whole presentation just sounds more coherent and better put together.
Has anyone tried any maple platforms under their speakers?
My old wood floors are a little soft, and I've been using small sheets of birch - 1/2inch thick- to set my speakers on. It did tighten the bass. Some of the maple platforms for speakers I've seen aren't cheap.
Thanks, I'm going to try that. I've heard of others using bamboo, and it's a lot cheaper than maple.
I had my lil' Paradigm Studio 20's on 2" thick maple with brass feet and tilted up and I can swear they sounded almost as good as my new floor standers sitting on the same tile floor with only brass footers. They were detailed and really smooth and really nice to listen to.

Because of that past experience, I am back in the market to get some platforms for my new floor standers.

I am considering 1" TerraStone from Eden Sound or 4" maple.

Synthetic fancy "plastic" vs. real wood, not sure.
Hi Photonman, I have never heard of "TerraStone from Eden Sound"...

But here is the URL....


The product line is intriguing.... Whether it works better/worse than maple bases, or Adona bases, or HRS... I have no idea.

Thanks Guidocorona for your comments concerning string instruments. Funny as it may seem, some violins are now being constructed out of graphite. There are no worries over temperature or humidity but I believe most string players would prefer a natural wood sound over the graphite sound. Using graphite for building violins seems odd as some record mats and isolation cones are also made with graphite. So does graphite in some way offer the best of both worlds with respect to resonating and decoupling?
I knew someone who owned a beautiful sounding guitar made of course, from Brazilian Rosewood and I'm not convinced that other woods can achieve this quality but it's still too early to tell.
My other question involves varnish. As you know a Stradivarius is a Stradivarius because of its ground and varnish. How do certain finishes add or take away or alter wood TT plinths, decoupling platforms, etc...?
Yo Guido,

I am not crazy about the idea of "plastic" platforms as wood has more of a romance to it. The advantage of the plastic is that I would only need a 1" plinth according to Eden whereas with the maple, 4" was recommended which wood really make my tower speakers TOWERS.

I have lots of Eden brass footers on my equipment and the guy is really great to work with as far as customizations go.

I saw a show about the Stradivarius violins and I vaguely remember what was the cause of the unique sound and how it has not been duplicated to date. Maybe it was something with the varnish? darn, now I will have to google it.
Photonman, the old saying is that a violin maker will spend all day telling you about his/her varnish but won't talk to anyone about the grounds they use.
Hello Photonman, the problem of 4" of maple butcherblock under speakers is probably not going to be the maple.... 'Tis the darn 4 extra inches, which my raise the drivers too high for ideal listening... Why not experiment with some Terrastone footers first.... They should give you an idea of what the proprietary co-polymer does for living... compared with brass. G.
well, the vendor says the gains in sonic performance of the 4" maple vastly outweighs any effects of the increased driver height. As a compromise, I could do 2" plinths but they recommend 4" for tile/concrete floors.

as for trying out the polymer footers, did you see the prices of those things, that would be an experiment I cannot afford!

I do believe the platforms make a difference as I had my monitors on 2" maple and they sounded better than the stereo shop setup on the mfr stands and using better components than my rig.
Hi Photonman, what is the source size, and pricing of the 4" maple platforms? Those things tend to be ghastly expensive as well.

Post the URL if you can.

Saluti, Guido

Here are the maple platforms.

Actually, the maple platforms themselves are reasonable, it is the brass feet that run up the price.

For example, their 4" platforms with large brass feet are $505/pair. The retail of the brass feet separately are 8 ea at $35 = $280 so that means the two platforms are $225 total which is not bad taking into consideration the finishing and labor.

I was thinking of doing a custom setup with 3 feet, but the third would be a bolt through megafoot. Each megafoot retails for like $110 each.
Well, I could not resist, I went ahead and ordered TerraStone platforms for my speakers. There was a good case for the TS over the maple and the TS was actually more cost effective and instead of raising my towers up 5.5", the TS platforms will only be 1.5" high (1" platform and 0.5" brass radiused feet)

And the black looks nice too :)
Hi Photonman.... Could you give us more info about the particular Terrastone platforms you have ordered.... Size and price.... What is your hypothesis about sonic advantages over 4 inch maple? And of course, let us know actual results once you install them.

Saluti, Guido
I ordered 12" x 16" x 1" for my speakers with a 8" x 13.5" footprint, with three 0.5" radiused brass footers. $534 + shipping. About 3 weeks for delivery for custom order. Paraphrasing my received responses to my questions:

The grain structure of hardwood makes it resonant. This means sympathetic vibration at one or more frequencies within the audible spectrum. The resulting reinforcement can be benign, with a boost in the midrange.

Often this is experienced as non-problematic, or even welcome at first. Less resolving or coherent systems may sound, initially, more musical for the artificial bump in midrange fullness or warmth. But longer listening reveals the effect for what it is: coloration, inaccuracy. Where accessories and furniture are concerned, the ideal is to avoid internal resonant frequencies which result in distortion or coloration. Maple stands WILL color the sound, or even, in some cases (inferior-grade hardwood or that which is incompletely and inconsistently dried) contribute uniquely audible distortion. Also, wood is subject to environmental conditions such as humidity pressure and temperature which can also add to the effect.

TS is some "space age" polymer claimed to be more neutral and will not color reproduced sound. TS is non-porous and inert. It is completely stable and cannot absorb moisture, therefore no warping, cracking, etc. Complete dimensional stability. It does its work of dissipating mechanical energy without adding any evidence of its presence. And the TS platform can be lower than the recommended Maple 4" thickness keeping my drivers at the approximate same height.

The maple platforms would be almost twice the price.
Thank you Photonman.... Keep us posted with your results once you install the new platforms! Guido