Review: panzerholz as a material Tweak
I recently acquired some panzerholz and built a small armboard that supplanted a mahogany armboard. The dimensions, fastening method and cutouts in both arms were almost identical. The panzerholz armboard was a few mm thicker than the mahogany but all other things remained the same in the system. No cables were changed, speakers or mats for the turntable platter. I wanted to make sure my conclusions were valid so i paid careful attention to this.
All things being equal the panzerholz armboard gave the music more foundation, improved the rendering of instrumental timbres and lowered the noise floor. ie. more "clarity".
Imagine you were looking at a flooded town ...some things would be visible from above the waterline, some things would fade as you looked through and into the water and some things you couldn't see at all cause the water was too deep and "buried" them. With the panzerholz it was like the water receded and you could see more of the "town".
Because of this. It made other adjustments like vta, tightening of cart mounting bolts more meaningful as you could hear more clearly if the changes were valuable or not.
It renewed my confidence in the allaerts mc 1b mk2 cart and my breuer 8c mk2. Suddenly they seemed like more impressive pieces, whereas before i would have questioned their cost to performance ratio.
The degree of change it brought, if i had to put a figure on it would be like maybe a 5-15 percent improvement of the above named sonic attributes , which is a meaningful gain in this game of ours.
I would recommend panzerholz if someone has the kind of system that is relatively high performance , ie "resolving enough" or is moving in that direction ultimately.
Based on this "test" it is reasonable to conclude that going from a cld plinth to a panzerholz plinth will bring the same results and to a greater degree.
How much of what i heard was just me wanting to believe it sounded better for psychological reasons or other biases? Very little...Immediately i heard much better rendering of timbres. On a sliding scale...timbres moved more away from "bland grey" to more "rich tonal shading" Previously when i went from a maple armboard to mahogany armboard the differences were negligible... plus ...usually i'm the kind of audiophile who is let down by a change! (smile) so i would say the results are objective and bonafide.
Gear: reference 3a royal virtuoso speakers, fim gold speaker cables, osiris speaker stands filled with sand, audion elite 3 box, audion quattro 2 box, acoustic zen II interconnect, fim silver, cardas golden reference, vh audio flavor 4, power cords, acoustic revive rtp 4(used only for preamps)