Review: Core Audio Design Stands Mod4 v.2 Stand

Category: Accessories

Kudos to Core Stands and Arnold Marr!

About 9 months ago I decided to revitalized my love of music and move my equipment to a more dedicated listening room. It's not quite a fully dedicated room and is very much a part of our living space which required my need and desire to find an audio stand that was functional and beautiful. My research led me to several very nice and informative phone discussions with several stand manufacturers but ultimately I invested in a 4 shelf stand from Arnold Marr and Core Audio Designs.

I was interested in Core because their website reflected the kind of stand I was looking for at a price point I was comfortable with. I purchased the stand because Arnold Marr clearly understood what I was looking for and shared with me valuable information and details about the stand that seemed to ring true. I'm writing this review to confirm that all my hopes and expectations have been met by this wonderful product. What's on the website is absolutely accurate and Arnold Marr is a very knowledgeable and honest person and a pleasure to deal with.

Here's an overview of my thoughts about the product itself before I put my components on it.

1. The shipping and packaging were the best I've ever seen for an audio product.
2. The fit and finish is spectacular. The wood is silky smooth and was delivered to me absolutely flawlessly.
3. Assembly was simple and straight forward with all tools provided.
4. Arnold provided useful and helpful phone support for all my questions.
5. The lead and sand filled shelves are heavy. The stand feels very solid.

Now onto my listening impressions once I had the stand set up. Prior to the Core Stand I had my equipment on a nice piece of av furniture. Nothing fancy, just nice looking. I used a variety of puck, cones, shelves, etc for vibration control and I was generally happy.

My equipment included:
Well Tempered Turntable
CAT Signature Pre-Amp
Audio Mecca CD Player
Gamut Amplifier
Reynaud Offrande Speakers

My equipment fit beautifully on the new stand and I can honestly say the improvement in sound was wonderful. No cones, no pucks, I just put all my original equipment directly on the Core Stand and everything sounded so much better than before. I'm not going to list the adjectives that we all have become familiar with but the stand did reveal to me what a solid, well made stand can do for vibration control and ultimately give your equipment a platform for them to perform their best.

Once I had my new room set up I got the bug to upgrade which ultimately required me buy a second Core stand. It had been many years since I bought anything new and my kids were off at college and business has been good to me so I decided on getting a new pair of speakers (Dali Euphonia 4), new cd player (Ayon CD5s) and a new tube amp (VAC 300.1). I've also got my eyes set on a new pre-amp (Messenger) and eventually a new turntable (TBD) as my next upgrades. Ultimately, this equipment required more real estate than my four shelves. I also ran into another very big problem. I wanted to put the VAC amp on the bottom shelf and although it did fit, I didn't realize that the 1 inch clearance wasn't enough for proper cooling of the amp and also overheated the shelf above.

So I called Arnold Marr to see what my options were in terms of adding an additional stand. Arnold did not initially have an easy solution for me since he didn't offer custom sized stands at that time, but he does now because of what transpired the last several weeks. After my initial call to Arnold he did find an old pair of legs that would meet my spacing needs for the VAC amp in his inventory. It was a set of legs he had done several years ago and were in new condition and I thought my problems were solved. Arnold sold them to me along with the new shelves but the story doesn't end there. When I received the new stand it seemed to me it was slightly different. Initially it was hard to put my finger on the difference, it look almost identical, it felt almost identical, but there was a difference. At that time I emailed Arnold my concern and we exchanged a couple of emails about the situation. As it turns out, the legs that Arnold used were previously finished in a dark walnut which required them to be bleached to match the finish of the shelving and stand I previously purchased. And unfortunately, bleaching the wood back to it's natural color did change the wood very very slightly. I might have been able to live with it but before I had make that decision Arnold decided to change his policy about custom work. He is making be a stand that will fit my needs perfectly and he now offers custom spacing on his stands should you need it.

So, in the next couple of days my new, custom made core Mod2 stand with custom spacing to handle my VAC 300.1 amp will arrive and I'll be a happy camper. And if there is a problem when it arrives, I have 100% confidence that Arnold will make things right.