Thick 2" maple amp platform--couple or isolate?

I'll soon be receiving a pair of TimberNation 2"-thick hard-maple platforms for my ASL 805s. The concensus seems to be to couple the amp to the platform, but how 'bout the platform and the floor, in my case carpeted concrete? I was going to spike it to the concrete, but Mapleshade certainly doesn't do that.

What's your experience?
In my system, I have two sets of monoblocks sitting on maple blocks from Timbernation. I had considered cones/spikes, but opted instead to have Chris (Timbernation) build a laminated box that I partially fill with sand. The maple block then sits in the 'sandbox'.
Hope that helps,
Howard, that sounds like both coupled and decoupled, 'coupled' in that the sand certainly is harder and more coupling than pile carpet but not as much as a stiff spike. Hmm...

What kind of floor?

Didn't Marco and I have a good deal of fun awhile back reliving our thrilling adventures in your sandbox? I seem to remember something like that being discussed [or is it "disgust"?] in the forums.

On a serious-er note. What other iso-schemes were you able to compare with your custom sandboxes? What were the sonic differences?

The only other thing I tried was the Sound Anchors amp stands, which are beautifully made. I happen to like the looks and the sound better with the maple. Seems a little livelier, and the bass has more body, less thud. So I'm using the amp stands to support a maple block under my CDP. Just my experience, obviously.

That was you who left that litter in my sandbox? Bad kitty!
Your sandbox sounds very promising. Didn't you post plans for that once?

I just bought a Bel Canto SET40 which is pretty big and runs super damn hot! I had purchased a Solidsteel 6.4 rack a month ago in anticipation of new gear, but I'm afraid this amp will cook whatever is above it. The stock MDF platform above the SET40 gets so hot I can't touch it.

I was using a Magro 24 wall rack and a Zoethecus amp stand before this, which created a lot of open space and allowed air to circulate around my amp. Bel Canto suggests at least 6" of clearance above it and no closed cabinets. I may have to go back to the open configuration of the Magro to insure there's enough ventilation for the amp and I don't end up starting any fires.

Your Timbernation sandbox may be another alternative for my Zoethecus amp stand. Previously, I had also thought of replacing the Solidteel MDF with 2" thick solid maple shelves or Neuance platforms. And before that I thought of building a custom Magro rack using the same metal rods, but with 1 1/2" - 2" thick maple boards.
Would spikes to concrete really be a bad idea? I've been thinking about timbernation platforms as well and maybe ganymede feet below.
This is what Chris made for me. I have one for each monoblock...four in all.

Is it the best thing out there? No idea. They work well for me, were reasonably priced IMO, come in any size I want, and the amps won't move even when my 170lb. English Mastiff decides to show off like a rodeo bull in front of the system.

I guess I should mention that I have no affiliation with Timbernation. Just a satisfied customer who likes playing in sandboxes.
Howard, I have seen those before. Nice!

If a 170lb. English Mastiff or small Mongolian Cavalry Pony can't budge your amps, those Timbernations platforms must be solid.

Dig around a bit in the sandbox and you may find some toys Marco left behind.
I have a couple of (hopefully not stupid) questions. Does it matter if the stand is unfinished or finished? Does the coating on the finished stand cause the stand to not be as effective? Thanks.
That's a great question, Krell_man. I opted for unfinished but only because I preferred that look. I know that Chris at Timbernation finishes many of his amp stands. Ask him, but I think his finshed stain leaves only the thinnest of layers on the surface, so the amp feet would not slide.

From what I've read, some people don't like to use things like tung oil which looks great but seeps into the wood, thus "deadening" it and affecting the sound.

I've heard people say a varnish, shellac or a poly coating might be better, and I think you can add a bit of stain to those before applying them.

These are all ideas I haven't tested myself, but have just heard about. Hopefully some of the woodworkers and master carpenters will chime in. I have great respect for these artisans and craftsmen.
I can understand how the amount and type of varnish used on a violin might change its tone a tad, I assume by altering is resonant frequency. I can't begin to understand how the type of finish on a two inch thich slab of hard wood is going to creat any audible difference, including changing its resonant frequency.

If I had to speculate, I would think that you'd want the wood to absorb vibrations from the amp and floor, acting sort of as a buffer. As such, it would seem to me that the most aborbent finish would be no finish at all. The harder the finish the less it will absorb high frequency vibrations, in fact at some point if the wood or its surface is hard enuf it will ring like glass or stone. JMHO.
What about a sandwiched platform: Corion, 2 inch maple, and an MDF or high grade 3/4 inch marine plywood layer in the middle? Or some other variety of heterogeneous layers, possibly bonded with epoxy.
I used 2" maple block for years and it was terrific. I do agree to use decouplers under the amps and my strongest recommendation is to consider the Aurios Pro MIB. IMO there isn't a better one on the market
That sounds like a terrific idea,have you or anybody you know done it?Any more detailed info?
The maple blocks that are shown on Boa2 link are IMO pretty much easy to make.Basically long pieces of maple glued and clamped together,then sanded and corners being eased off with a router.The maple box is a little more challenging with the dovetails locked corners.Thanks for the Aurios suggestion,I think I will get some used.


Here is what I did and the price was very reasonable.

I had a local cabinet maker buy 2" maple butcher block. He cut it to the desired sizes , then gently smoothed off the edges with a router and sealed the maple with a light oil sealant. I would NOT suggest that you stain or varnish to minimize potential vibration.

Definitely get the Aurios Pro MIB

You can find them at

Ask for Bob Williams
George, no I have not heard anyone constructing stands with heterogeneous materials sandwiches. Here are a couple of related ideas for composite platforms:
1. Timbernation offers already some nice stands made from a triple layer of 1 inch thick maple boards, running front to back. The idea of the multiple layers is of course to break the continuity of the grain hence reduce sound wave propagation. One possible improvement to this concept is to turn the middle layer at 90 degrees, thus with the grain running left to right. This should further increase rigidity and further dampen vibrations.
2. Related to the previous idea is simply to take several sheets of marine grade plywood and bond them to a thickness of 3 to 4 inches. As plywood is formed by multiple crossgrained and bonded layers of wood veneer to start with, the resulting composite structure should prove extremely rigid and well dampened.
Thank you guys.

Guidocorona,your marine plywood idea sure sounds like a good project to do.I just need a source to get the stuff,Home Depot don't carry it.I did my own sandbox in the past,and also a home made all aluminum rack.

Thanks for the suggestion,I will definetely get the Aurios.

I use a 20"x20"x3" maple block from Tony's woodshop (~$77) on top of Mapleshade brass footers into carpet over concrete. Amp is also on brass footers into the maple. Works well.
George, my local wood crafting supply store in Austin (Wood Crafter (512-407-8787) sells Baltic Birch plywood sheets 3/4 inch thick for $35. A single sheet can be cut into 6 tiles measuring 20 x 30 inches. All of them can then be sandwiched together to form a single platform 4.5 inches in thickness. I defy anyone to make such a beast resonate. . . at any frequency!
An interesting variant would be to bond this structure to a top sheet of Corion. I am expecting a call from Dupont today with some pricing.
I tried 2" maple. It is very mellow sounding with no dynamics. The cork and rubber isolators from Mapleshade further killed any of the pace of music. I cannot imagine why anyone would like maple as a base. Butcherblock although made of maple sounds more neutral, especially as used in the Walker Audio bases with his Valid Points. With these you use points under the components and the bases also have points below. If you can find 2 or 3 inch thick maple, I would think this is the way to go.
As far as I know butcher block IS made of maple and I used 2" maple butcher block before I went to Zoethecus stands and it performed great in my system
True, maple butcher block is made from maple. But I think Tbg is referring to sold board planks of maple 2" thick as opposed to maple butcher block. Mapleshade Records, for example, is a proponent of the solid maple as opposed to butcher block maple. Lloyd Walker is a proponent of the butcher block as opposed to the solid board, for the reasons Tbg cites.