I went from Michigan Maple, which is butcher block and which I liked a lot, to solid maple Mapleshade which I liked a lot more. The Mapleshade is more expensive but holds it's value very well.
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Thanks for the responses. Please keep them coming.
FYI, I already have some nice spikes to use under any platform I make from butcher block. MapleShade platforms also come with spikes.
Then with either solid maple or butcher block the speakers would have spikes sitting on disks to prevent scratching the maple.
I am not trying to raise the speakers. I am wondering if maple really does sound better than concrete.
I have proven to myself with three different speakers that spiked to concrete sounds better than not spiked. My curiosity is whether or not a platform (in this case maple) would be an improvement.
One issue I have with using a maple platform is that, while the platform would be spiked to concrete, the speakers would not be spiked directly to the maple. The speaker spikes would be on disks.
Downsides to platforms include cost, aesthetics, and increased complexity in moving speakers. Depending on whether or not I buy premade or use a DIY platform my speakers would be raised by 5-6". Not only would that change the sound by raising the tweeters but it would change the first reflection point for the bass. Aesthetically I prefer shorter speakers and the simple, clean look of nice spikes on carpet.
But those are issues I am willing to deal with if there is a definite sonic advantage to be gained by using platforms. DIY would involve significantly less money but significantly more time. And either DIY or premade would involve a real pain in the butt as far as installation goes.
Jl35, I am skeptical of manufacturer's claims. I have been fooled too many times. I am trying to get actual user experience. Thank you for the information on the improvement with the MS spikes.
Timbernation uses butcher block for their racks and they work just fine. If your speakers aren't that heavy, I'd go for something as thin as 1" with some of those cork footers or something from Herbies Audio Lab between the floor and the maple block and spikes for the speaker.
Whatever you use between the floor and maple block doesn't have to be that big or thick at all: just enough to provide separation. That way, balance is more secure and you end up getting two types of isolation without raising your speakers too high.
All the best,
Thank you. That is the kind of direct experience I was looking for. How did the speakers interface the maple? I mean spikes directly onto the wood or disks or something else.
How thick was the maple? 2" is a lot less expensive than 4" and aesthetically more acceptable for final speaker height.
I really like my speakers (Quad ESL-2805) so I am not trying to make up for any deficiency. I am merely trying to tweak them to their maximum potential since I consider them "keepers".
Unfortunately the 4 inch sounds better than the 2, though the two is way better than nothing. Spikes under the board, spikes from speaker to board, no discs. Also the Michigan Maple sounds very good, though I like the Mapleshade better. Speakers were Aerial 7b and Dali MS4. I'm a huge Mapleshade fan, and have their boards and brass for most components. As for trusting them, I was ready to buy boards and brass for my speakers and was told I had a good floor and didn't need the boards!
Opps! I just noticed that you have carpeted floors so forget about the cork footers or Herbies stuff placed under the maple block. Sorry.
Depending on how thick your carpets are, you may be able to get away with just a heavy maple block laying flat on the floor with your speakers spiked to the maple block.
After reading this, I happened to look at my speakers (which are on thin carpet) and noticed I never got around to replacing the stone tile under them when I first set them up a few years ago. I always meant to get something made of wood but forgot about it. I couldn't find anything maple so I just got some bamboo cutting boards (for the kitchen) that were a perfect fit and tried it to see if I could hear a difference from the stone tile that was under it.
At first I thought I was imagining things but no, there is a difference and it is for the better, becoming more apparent the more I listened. Now I have to source some maple. It seems that the bamboo is too soft and maple is a much harder wood so it's going to be interesting to hear what the difference will be.
Sorry if I highjacked your thread but thought it was relevant.
All the best,
FWIW- From Totem Forests on carpet over concrete (Totem uses this claw and ball arrangement instead of spikes), went to 2" thick Timbernation maple on heavy (18x18") Travertine tile under each Forest. Travertine directly on carpet. A definite improvement in sound. It has been quite a long time but my recollection is of increased clarity...I guess you could say better resolution. I'm not sure how much was due to the lumber vs just greater stability. While I'd love to try 'em, hard for me to justify the cost of Mapleshade plinths. Good luck with your decision. Can't speak to the difference between solid maple vs butcher block.
Funny you should say that. Replacing the stone tile with the bamboo cutting board raised the speaker about and inch, at best. It seemed to dial back ever so slightly the upper end and at the same time introduce me to a better defined midrange.
I thought it was due to the wood taking the place of the stone and to some degree it was. But, all I had to do is sit more upright and it changed a bit back to the old way. There's more here at play than what I thought would be as the tweeter is still within the area of my ears (it's a vertical ribbon tweeter so there is room for a slight difference in height).
But I do believe that the solidity of the wood has as much to do with the sound as the speaker height. As I move around my room or sit at my Mac and type this, the presentation has changed somewhat from a slightly upper end emphasis to a mid range emphasis and this is from a position that always gave me the former impression. Being away from and out of the main listening field didn't change it a bit: this new mid range emphasis is still there.
Bamboo, being a softer wood than maple is, to my mind, the main reason with a change of speaker height a contributing factor. I'll know for sure when I source some nice, hard maple. I'm hoping it will bring me back about halfway to the sound of the stone tile and keep that midrange magic. I'd love to try what Ghosthouse did with the stone under the wood but I'm now totally spoiled by being able to precisely adjust the speakers position by gently coaxing it about on the carpet. This is fun.
All the best,
I don't know about that. I found some of those flat metal discs with the indent for placing the point of the spike in to keep from damaging floors and now I have a more even handed result: I've gotten back the high end air and sparkle without the minor tizzle (which I didn't know I had until I got rid of the stone tile piece and went with the bamboo cutting board) and I've got the added midrange embellishment from raising the speaker about an inch. I'm really happy now and am going to hold off on getting the maple cutting boards for awhile.
Like I said, this is fun.
All the best,