Results of granite platforms for Silverl

ine Sonatinas-over the last month I've experimented- repoting my progress -with platforms for my floor-standing (Silverline Sonatina) speakers. While my very happy with my current setup, I chose to pursue the issue of bases and footers (again), more out of a need to know than any dissatisfaction encountered. Pre-trial setup: speakers on a low-pile carpet over a suspended wood floor, using a trio of Vibrapods to decouple-nice improvement over stock (brass) spikes. I placed 4x12x24 polished granite slabs under each speaker with Vibrapods decoupling. Imaging was much better, along with an enchanced sense of believeability: it just felt like I was, to a greater degree (seemingly) in the presense of musicians in a real space-the absolute truth. But the drawbacks were anemic bass, along with a slight thinning of the harmonic structure. Let me backup, while I was lugging around the granite, I was also burning-in (2) power cords that through prior association, I know to take forever to stabilize (Shunyata Viper v2's). My question and self-imposed dilemma was how much of what I was hearing was due to the stone platforms or to the cords rippening. I knew I would have to wait (and wait) on the cords to ultimately find the answer. I also realize that i should have waited on the platform experiment, as it is always adviseable to make (1) change at a time. But since when do I listen to my own advice! So while trying different cones, pulling the platforms out, I was always debating this issue. Seeing how the granite weights about 130 lbs (each), playing with footers was much more user-friendly. Surprisingly, the leanness and hardness diminshed when I subbed the Vibrapods for the stock spikes, sitting directly on the granite. The bass response slowly improved (the cords) but was still an issue. Subbing Poly Crystal (composite) cones for the spikes improved detail retrieval and harmonic-richness. When I slipped 1/2" ebony spacers between the cones and the granite, everything improved. All the negatives affects of the granite lessened, while retaining all the positive attributes, except fot the bass problem. An AA inmate, suggested that I replace the granite with hardwood platforms, that the wood would have a warming affect while maintaining higher resolution, accurate imaging, etc...without the "clean sound" of the granite (read analytical). While not subbing the speaker bases, I did slip a 2" block of bubinga hardwood under my F.T. Audio passive, which rests on a 24" Ionic stone column. I used B.d.R. (carbon fibre) cones and Vibrapods to decouple the passive from the wood/stone, with a VPI brick topping everything off. I found he result very pleasing. Eventually, the cords stabilized and I was very happy with the synergistic effect, except- to a lesser degree -for the bass response. But just recently I tried another power cord on my transport........whoooooo that bad booy is killer! Whatever bass issues I had are now gone and if memory serves, I may habe experienced an equal degree of deep bass attack but never better performance from another pc (IMS). So the experiement with the granite platforms was a big success, eventually, but only after much trial and tribulation. As I had stated in a related post; "The thing I really like about this type of process is how cost-effective it is, relative to component upgrades". The granite I pulled out of a scrap bin from a monument dealer, costing me $60.00 (to have it custom ordered would have run $1100.00). The (6) Poly Crystal cones were $100.00, the ebony $10.00, the bubinga $14.00 bucks. So for $184.00 bills my system is much improved, not even considering the (added cost AND performance) new power cord. One last thing, I found that using a combo of (2) Poly Crystal cones and (1) spike was perferred, the slightly shorter spike angled the divers downward and as another poster mentioned, "An amalagam od dissimlar materials is proablly the best road to take". Yes I found through experimentation and critical listening, that a combination of materials brought the best results, IMS. I hope the reporting of my "speaker platform" experiement will be helpful to others in their pursuit of musical enjoyment through the means of enhanced playback. Thanks to everyone who kindly assisted me with their time, experience and wisdom. Mike
I found sandstone to be better than granite - but tend to prefer rigid spiking directly to a stable floor anyway.
I havent tried sandstone, and have been using marble lately, first, on a nice hardwood floor with small felt pads and some large floorstanding speakers spiked to them. THis was pretty good. Now I use the same slabs of marble on carpet with Tiptoes underneath for equipment. For the CD, I've got a CD Player-slab-innertube-slab-tiptoes-carpeted floor setup. The preamp gets the preamp-tiptoes with small rubber pads on the POINTED END-slab-tiptoes-carpeted floor treatment. THe amp is sitting on top of yet another marble slab, with tiptoes underneath. Overall sound is nice, but there is something to the idea that the shelf imparts something of itself to the component. I bet sandstone would sound rather inert when rapped. THe marble sounds anything but inert, ringing like a cross between glass and metal. I think that I will try maple butcher blocks next.
I only wish I could get my hands on some Maple Butchers Block - too far away here in NZ.
Mike, I enjoyed reading your thread and observations on speaker set-up. I have a similar speaker/floor situation. On a related topic, any recommendations for materials to use for stands for big SS mono-blocs over the same type of flooring? I haven't started yet, but was considering going with a heavy steel stand with corner posts mortar filled and tip-toes under the stand. For stand surface double thick 3/4 " MDF bolted to the steel frame. Don't mean to take over your thread Mike, but you guys seem a likely lot to have suggestions about this. Thanks. Craig
Garfish, well not actual experience with amps on flooring. i do have an identical or very similiar situation for my floor -sitting PLC and my triode amp. the amp is on a triangle (lead-filled) Lovan stand, sitting on top. there are (2) pices of 3cm granite under it with vibrapods between the stone. tip-tops seperate the bottom stone from the rack, points resting in dimples of rack. the amp footers have been replaced by a combo of b.d.r. "those things" (base-only) and vibrapods screwed into the amp, resting on "those things". i made sure to off-set the bases from the vibrapods between the granite so they ("those things/vibrapods) were not directly above the vibrapod (sandwich). the PLC has its footers replaced with vibrapods and another "vibrapod sandwich" between (2) pieces of 3cn granite. nice improveent, effectively creating another sub-floor for my equipment to rest. mike
Redkiwi- even New Zealand has to have cabinetmakers, you may call them "joiners". The local equivalent of maplem i.e, a straight grained hardwood between oak and cherry in hardness, (perhaps yew or stinkwood?) should be joined so that the top and bottom surface is endgrain. It's a simple matter to glue and clamp the boards together and then run them through a planer. Any cabinet shop could do this for a nominal cost over the price of the wood. Even tho I have a shop, when I make table tops, I take them to another's shop for planing and sanding because I don't have a large enough planer. It's common practice. Good luck.
I discussed the use of Maple for shelving with Pierre of Mapleshade and was told that gluelams are fine as long as the seams are vertical (visibal from the top or bottom of the shelf like butcherblock). Horizontal layered seams I was told ruin the sonic properties of the wood. Redkiwi, I also checked out USPS snail mail to NZ and 40 lbs (for example) can be mailed for under $50.00 US freight. The unfunny thing is that I have been trying to locate sheet maple in the Los Angeles area and even the lumber yards are not certain where to purchase it. My father and myself used to purchase hardwood at the local lumberyard in Iowa when I was a kid, I guess that this has all changed as the years have gone by and the wood has become scarce. I had the same problem 10 years ago when trying to locate small 2-3" peeler poles to connect larger peeler logs for a project. I was told that the poles were only available to manufacturers by the large mills in Northern CA. They were being used at that time for Southwestern furniture. Another thought that I had about you and your maple is what if you just used small blocks of it under your cones, Pods, etc., instead of a whole shelf? Kind of like maple feet or footers. Anyway, my parents are to be driving cross country for a visit around New Year, I will see if my father can locate some of the precious material in the Midwest before they leave, short of cutting down the tree in their backyard.
Sorry: I thought that I was posting to the "Shelf Material" thread.
I've had all my equipment on a 6" sandstone slab that sits atop my raised fireplace hearth. (NO FIRES PLEASE)I've tried all the base materials and at this point just use BDR cones with no other material. I've selected power cords and the like that best utilize the inert material. I believe that our equipment will pick up on the resonance of the material it sits on. In the same vain that sand is used in racks and base/ isolation products, sandstone is as neutral as I've found. I believe I'm listening to the component and not the base. The two 3'-6" x 22" x 6" slabs I bought fron a stone supply yard for $80.00! Like I say I've tried alot of base materials on top of the sandstone, but I like the sound of just sand best. I've read alot about stone slowing the pace of the music/ equipment. That seams so illogical to me, but I know alot of people have had that problem. Redkiwi, If you can't find the maple, I'd be happy to send you what ever you want as long as you pay the cost. No mark-up required, just want to help. I've read you looking for it for some time now. It's a damn weed here in Minnesota!
Thanks for the suggestions, and particularly the kind offer Jadem6. I think I have finally found a way to get some Maple Butchers Block and so I can compare it with the Neuance shelf (which is great by the way). I will definitely report back when I have tried it.