Mattcone, I use the Walker Audio amp stands
made from 3" rock maple butcher block and I've been very pleased with the result. They are mounted on Walker Audio Valid Points screwed into the maple butcher block.
You can come close to replicating these on your own if you find a source for rock maple, such as Boos (cutting boards) or various manufacturers/providers of butcher block kitchen counter tops (e.g., Timbernation.com or McMaster-Carr).
FIM is fine but CDP and phono is where I've used it.
Butcher blocks are my favorites ...... especialy Bamboo and Maple.
You can also try two layers of Baltic Birch Ply and MDF in between.
Add cones or isoblocks, depending on the component and desire effect.
Sand boxes also work in some applications ( turntables, speakers for exemple ).
Parts-Express is good store for inexpensive tweaks.
Marshall is best for discounted Butcher blocks.
Check Agon from time to time for good deals on cones, spikes and similar.
Is it the experience of those using butcher blocks that edge grain is superior to end grain?
My Mapleshade maple base shows edge grain, if I am interpreting the terminology correctly.
And, the gorgeous Walker Audio amp stands (reached using the link provided by Rushton) show edge grain construction.
I use 3-inch custom-made maple platforms under my Audio Space tube monoblocks. I ordered them unfinished from Arcadia Audio at what I think was a very reasonable price, then finished them myself.
I set my amps on EdenSound BearPaw heavy brass cones, again a very reasonably-priced product. The cones alone improved mids and definition, but add the maple blocks and triple the effect. The image is very much better defined, timbres truer across the spectrum.
Listener57, this is my second set of monoblocks and second set of maple platforms. I haven't tried the edge grain vs end grain comparison but don't you have to have an end grain somewhere? My blocks are made of three pieces glued edge-on so that there is end grain at front and back. I like the look and think the sonics superior. Could there be room for improvement?
I've made my platforms from hard rock northern maple. Maple seems to be a default go-to wood because it does sound good, it's easily available in the quantities a manufacturer needs, it's environmentally responsible, and it's reasonably cheap. Is it the "best?" I'd like to experiment myself with other woods to find out. In particular, I'd like to get some Sitka spruce and make a platform. I know Altmann audio claims spruce has remarkably good qualities for supporting their Attraction dac circuits.
I quoted four 24"x48"x3" maple shelves from Scott at Arcadia,and even though he gets his maple at competitive prices ,I thought it was expensive for my budget anyways.
I got some pine at 1" thick to use temporary.I am planning to buy 2"x6""96" solid maple planks and make my own maple blocks.It's not that hard,all you need is a mitre saw,biscuit jointer,palm sander,and perhaps a portable router.I enjoy DIY so I will get them done this spring.If you are in Toronto,a good place to buy maple is from Fairbank Lumber at Steeles West of Dufferin.
Edge grain can be done on four sides by orientating the maple the right way.
Yioryos, thanks for the carpentry info. The maple is really worth doing IME. For platforms your size I would go the same route as you, I think. Mine are a lot smaller, at 12.5" x 17".
I'm glad to hear you are happy with the platforms! I've tried to keep the pricing of the platforms as fair as possible and still be competitive on pricing and quality with other major Maple products on the market.
In regards to pricing, I have a set per sq. ft. pricing policy so it doesn't matter how large or small a piece is, the price is proportional to the amount of Maple needed.
As for grain, in general my platforms up to 2" are flat grain (sometimes you can get as much as 2-1?4"), and beyond that it has to be edge grain. If you can hear the difference in sound between edge grain and flat grain....you have better ears than me:)
Ay ay ay, Scott, I beg your pardon for not keeping you updated, I seem to have convinced myself I had told you already. Actually I am not perfectly happy... with my finishing job. First time I've used polymerized tung oil and it really shows up the three scratches I left after sanding. However the resolution of my amps is very much improved (and the amps hide the scratches anyway). I'll be back for more.
Hey, Yes you did updaye me...I just stumbled upon this thread and thought I'd pipe in! I just sold a whack of large platforms to someone building a clone of the Mapleshade rack...should be nice when its finished.
Is that tung oil from Lee Valley?
Tung oil from Lee Valley, yes indeed. The high-lustre finish is IMHO very gorgeous.
I was in Ottawa on the weekend (visiting my "under-construction Lenco TT) and passed by the Lee Valley there, but didn't have time to go in. Maybe when I go up again to pick up my TT, I'll have time to wander through.