Try the Gingko platform - you will be pleasantly surprised
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I have another variation of Dgarretson/Cmk ideas combined but with spikes or isolation bearings between the maple on top and the granite on the bottom, and TT directly on the maple. That will keep the design coupled. I have mono block tube power amps on an oak suspended floor adjacent to their floor standing full range speakers in this composition and it sounds great. I would only caution that springs or racquet balls create a additional suspension (uncoupling) if the Voyd TT is suspended, thats usually bad news. If it is not, what is the logic behind adding a suspension to a non suspended TT? It may well defeat the sound qualities of a rigid design. Why not buy a suspended table in that case? Which I realize is not your consideration, Im speaking rhetorically. Gentlemen, I mean no offense, I only wish to raise some questions to help us (maybe) all better understand the task at hand. Best of luck in any case.
I view the matter as transfering envirormental and TT vibration to ground. The Granite adds mass, so you put it on the shelf rack suspension to isolate and deaden the enviromental vibration.The 4 inches of maples will draw and dissapate the TT vibration away from it towards its furthest point in effect absorbing it as opposed to being reflecting back or being impervious to it. Thus the maple goes on top of the granite. I would not use springs they create a source of enenegy and will be reactive in both directions. If anything- put a dampening layer between the wood and the granite. I wood use only wood and maybe a shot filled rack.Adding more mass is supposed to be better but it is overkill for me. Thats My story and I'm sticking to it.
I think it depends on your sonic preferences, equipment and setup.
I use a ~4" sandbox for my table. I first tried hard maple butcher block under my 'table. It was cut almost 3" thick and glued edge grain up. Dull, sluggish, boring. A granite slab is working better for me. But then, to give an idea of my sonic preferences, I also don't care for most every NOS tube I've ever tried. I want clear, neutral details with my music. I've heard from some that a 3/4-1" slab of aluminum is even better. Someday I'll give that a try.
My amp sits below my 'table. Also on a bed of sand and a granite slab. Here the granite is just to match the top shelf. I use Symposium roller blocks under my amp so it doesn't matter as much what the surface is.
Heavy springs between two platforms is a variation of the Promethean platform. Ideally the TT suspension would be unsprung so as to improve coupling between the TT and the top platform layer. The spring layer below decouples from earth, and the platform and plinth above couples the motor/stylus to a more substantial & absorbent mass than is available in the stock TT chassis/plinth.
I heard improvement with this system using both sprung & unsprung TTs. One could experiment by trying the Voyd on its spring suspension & also with its suspension clamped down. I tried both set-ups with my VPI TNT and preferred rigid coupling inside the VPI suspension towers in lieu of the stock sorbethane.
I found that although a sandbox is a good dump for vibration from a TT, a sandbox does pass vibration from earth to the TT and from the rack underneath acting as an antennae for acoustic waves propagated by the speakers. So I elevated my sandbox on springs with a maple layer below the springs. Even with a very solid rack on a cement floor this system improves coherance. Others I know have heard similar improvements with Raven and VPI Scout TTs.
In any event for $35 it's an easy experiment.
I'm a big fan of Neuance platforms by Greater Ranges. I have my TT on a Mana Rack with a Neuance platform. Before I got a Gran Prix Monaco Rack I also had my cd player on one. I've used any number of materials and nothing did what the Neuance platforms did. I've heard much more expensive stuff and not heard any appreciable difference, and nothing else (maple, other woods, cones, acrylic, cast concrete, granite -- rough and polished -- and combinations of these) did nearly as much. Especially on the TT.
But if you can spend the $$$, the Gran Prix stuff is pretty amazing.
Neuance platforms are not to be found on the 'Gon. I E-mailed my specs to the owner of Neuance and never heard back. Wally Tools?
Somehow with my order with Mapleshade the size came out being the same size as the Voyd in width and 1'' longer.
MS told me to returm it to get a 1'' over size plateform. He told me the improvement would be less than 5%. Any thoughts. $40.00 to ship and $40.00 back. He told me if it had holes in it he could not resall it. I asked hom how he does a 30 day MB if his cones are stuck into the Maple for 30 days. His answer was no one returns them. Anyone have trouble returning platforms to MS?
I've just ordered an Adona equipment rack. They use granite shelves that are damped by wood or a wood product that is bonded to the underside. I'm hoping this gives the best of both worlds, but if not, they do sell various kinds of wood shelving to fit their stands as an option. My experience with "plain" unadulterated granite several years ago was not favorable, however. Neuance shelves do not seem to be available any longer. DGarretson's idea can be tried with any shelf material one prefers.
For those who tried just granite alone and found it unfavourable, it really depends on the TT design. Some TT already have some sort of absorption/deflection designed into the TT's footers. You really have to see the total package.
Granite on its own would generally "sound" hard, cold, because it reduces low frequency vibration, but rings some where in the upper frequencies, unless it is dampened by the TT's own absorption. However, granite is good for reducing ground borne vibrations, especially if your system is full range.
The solution then is to combine the benefits of granite with those of a wood based platform. The granite below to cancel out vibrations from below, the wood/semi-hard composites to absorb vibrations from the TT itself.
I'm using the DH squares above granite and it works wonderfully.
For information and to avoid unnecessary frustrations.
In August this year Ken Lyon of Neuance posted the following on VA:
"Unfortunately, early this year the business was forced to shut down for repairs after encurring storm damage to the shop and my home.
Once those repairs were in place, my efforts were soley concentrated to ensure all pending orders were filled in as timely a fashion as possible and that my existing clients were attended to for their service,warranty and consulation matters.
During this closure, it has been my intent to restructure the operation for better efficiency/shorter leadtimes and to use a portion of the downtime for personal leave as I'd not taken any time off for myself for many years.
In the interim, some recurring health issues have cropped up which have caused me to reconsider my return to full time operations.
As of this moment, I am as yet undecided as to Neuance's future and I have not been taking in any new business.
I agree with Cmk's take on granite and the dependency on the component, 'table or other, that sits on it.
I'm offering up my experiences here not to counter what others have posted, but rather to share what I tried and what did not work in my case. I would encourage everyone to experiment for themselves to see what really works for them and their system.
I also tried blocks of maple between my table and the granite. I still was not happy with the sound but others may find this works very well for them. So far, I prefer my Galibier's sound when directly on the granite. Just to clarify a bit more, I use a granite slab as well as 3, 4" square blocks of granite that are about 7/16" thick under the table as well to keep the ground wire from being pinched.
But this thread has brought to mind an idea I have not explored, in addition to the aluminum. I should try cocobolo blocks under the table. This wood is much, much more dense than maple and may do better. As with most things, I won't know until I try it.
Maple is normally superior with most components, And or speakers in my experience, and yes I have purchased fancy full sized blocks of both these materials, is this really necessary to explain why maple over a ringing rock is normally a safer bet? Then again I don't see too many guitars or other instruments made out of granite, but maple makes some of the best ones, so I guess you will just have to experiment :0)
Has anyone tried as an alternative to maple, (laminated) bamboo like say, cutting board products? They are starting to show up in the U.S. market place and bamboo is about 18% harder than maple in a lamination. I have no idea where that puts the resonant frequency yet it may have possibilities.
Over the years, I have expriemented with various layerings; granite , maple, MDF , marble & thin lead ,etc.
The most significant challenge for me dealt with the discovery that certian reflections / vibration returned from the platforms affecting whatever electronics that sat on that platform. Not that all colorations sounded bad to my ears , but distortation is the muck of audio-swampland.
I found the coupling either dry , bolted , glued and/or the compound used in gluing had and equal impact . Thus, the whole sheebang and the apparent random-ness of what sounded "good vs bad " started to drive me "audio-insane (AI)" , until, I bought the resonance dampers The Stillpoints.
The Stillpoints sit beneath my unsuspended turntable that sits above a 4hx15wX18d" custom-made platform of seasoned mapleblock. No AI anymore -- just music.
The motto of my story : A platform is just a platform for troubles until its isolated from the electronics above.
Interesting, Crem1. My box of Stillpoints are being delivered today. This issue of what the shelf material is and how it affects the sound does seem like a never ending trail. I really like the look of my Dakota Mahogany granite shelves, so I ordered the Stillpoints in hopes they would make the matter moot. If they work as well as the roller blocks I'm going to be done with this piece.
Here is a Link to some great old links on AudioGon about system shelves or platforms. Much of this ground just keeps being discovered and rehashed endlessly. Hope you all find this of some value.
I'm sure Vibrapods are good for some components but they can't handle the weight of my table. Springs are interesting but they'll resonate at certain frequencies. Stillpoints have some compliant materials inside. There is always a trade-off.
I installed the Stillpoints under my table. The noise floor has dropped and there are more details coming through. However, the bass is not quite as strong. For now I like it enough to leave them in. I'll just have to listen to this for a while to decide if I like the change or not.
I found that slightly moving the stillpoints/risers just a tad left/right/forward /backward changed the sonics ever so slightly .
As for other threaders views , stillpoints vs whatever , read www.stillpoints.com , for a tech explaination.
Stillpoints work differently than most dampers/isolation devices. Thomas Woschnick , inventor of the Raven Turntable(s) includes stillpoints on all his tables; he said he could find no better device (so far) to isolate his tables.
For me , I have found nothing that works as well with my Maplenoll unsuspended table.
One note of caution -- The tip of each still point is a ceramic-type ball. When pushed a turntable can roll. I know I nearly lost mine early on.