Massif Audio Design racks incoming, and......

Amir

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i highly recommend the Massif racks. and they don't break the bank, in my case i did upgrade the expense of the more exotic wood. so that is a variable.

Massif Racks are also beautiful. Your Rack picture shared by esoteric instagram .
Massif also accept custom orders for Ebony wood.
I would like visit Trev and see his art.
 
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T Boost

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Massif Racks are also beautiful. Your Rack picture shared by esoteric instagram .
Massif also accept custom orders for Ebony wood.
I would like visit Trev and see his art.
Thanks Amir. I currently have an order for a really exotic ebony rack. I can’t wait to show it.
 
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Amir

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Thanks Amir. I currently have an order for a really exotic ebony rack. I can’t wait to show it.

Thanks, Please share the pictures here when ready
 

T Boost

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Thanks, Please share the pictures here when ready
I will want to confirm that it is ok to share pictures, since I am the manufacturer.
 

strapper211

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Aug 6, 2013
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Hi Mike,

Have not heard anything about your new racks.
What is the sonic difference between Massif and what you had.
I guess there are positives and negatives with everything.

Robert
 
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T Boost

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Hi Mike,

Have not heard anything about your new racks.
What is the sonic difference between Massif and what you had.
I guess there are positives and negatives with everything.

Robert
Hey Robert, he did post his findings here.

 
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thedudeabides

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Pierre Sprey of Mapleshade would certainly agree with your choice. Beautiful stuff Mike. Congrats.
 
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jeromelang

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Dec 26, 2011
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the massif don't appear to do anything towards the elimination of vibration, and yet, by espousing metallic materials in their make up, they help the system attain a level of openness, musical ease and naturalness previously not achieved by support structures heavily laden with eddy-current susceptible metals.

now, think about how you can further push the boundaries of this concept by reducing metallic count in your system.
 

timztunz

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Apr 23, 2018
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the massif don't appear to do anything towards the elimination of vibration, and yet, by espousing metallic materials in their make up, they help the system attain a level of openness, musical ease and naturalness previously not achieved by support structures heavily laden with eddy-current susceptible metals.

now, think about how you can further push the boundaries of this concept by reducing metallic count in your system.
I’m not 100% sure what you’re saying here.
 

Mike Lavigne

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the massif don't appear to do anything towards the elimination of vibration, and yet, by espousing metallic materials in their make up, they help the system attain a level of openness, musical ease and naturalness previously not achieved by support structures heavily laden with eddy-current susceptible metals.
while i think that is fair and certainly positive, i think it misses part of the picture. the combination of different wood densities and weights and the method of assembly and fitting the pieces does provide effective impedance changes, which mitigate resonance in a complimentary way.....and in my case i use the decoupling Nordost Sort Fut footers under each rack, which seem to be a finishing touch to what the rack structure is doing.

i cannot assign the sonic improvement to the lack of metal and granite, but that could be a part of it. why not? i know Herve Delatraz of darTZeel claims that the see thru acrylic walls and tops of his amplifiers allow for certain bad stuff to flow away from the signal path. who knows?
now, think about how you can further push the boundaries of this concept by reducing metallic count in your system.
every piece of gear in my system (except the CS Port tt and Esoteric tt) has a (engineered wood resin composite) panzerholtz Daiza shelf interface between the rack and the gear. and the build quality of the darTZeel and Wadax chassis is way over the top even among top level high end gear. and i use active isolation too throughout the system and the RevOpods under all the Wadax chassis. the EMIA take an alternate chassis minimalist approach which works too.

so my Massif Design racks are only the start and not even the main part of how i approach resonance control. but for sure they are complimentary to my other efforts. and i love how they look in my room. they are just right for me.
 
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Backo NYC/SF

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Oct 15, 2021
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while i think that is fair and certainly positive, i think it misses part of the picture. the combination of different wood densities and weights and the method of assembly and fitting the pieces does provide effective impedance changes, which mitigate resonance in a complimentary way.....and in my case i use the decoupling Nordost Sort Fut footers under each rack, which seem to be a finishing touch to what the rack structure is doing.

i cannot assign the sonic improvement to the lack of metal and granite, but that could be a part of it. why not? i know Herve Delatraz of darTZeel claims that the see thru acrylic walls and tops of his amplifiers allow for certain bad stuff to flow away from the signal path. who knows?

every piece of gear in my system (except the CS Port tt and Esoteric tt) has a (engineered wood resin composite) panzerholtz Daiza shelf interface between the rack and the gear. and the build quality of the darTZeel and Wadax chassis is way over the top even among top level high end gear. and i use active isolation too throughout the system and the RevOpods under all the Wadax chassis. the EMIA take an alternate chassis minimalist approach which works too.

so my Massif Design racks are only the start and not even the main part of how i approach resonance control. but for sure they are complimentary to my other efforts. and i love how they look in my room. they are just right for me.
Just weighing in here. I have two Massif racks and one amp stand, both of ash and also use the Daiza isolators between the gear and rack shelves. In some cases I also use Stein Super Natural Matrix footers both with and without the Daiza.
I don’t think i try to isolate as much as tune the components i have. To that point, I have found that ferrous metals aren’t my friend in getting the satisfying sound out of my gear. IMO of course.
 

Tuckers

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Swisstrips

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Coming a little late on this, but the racks look fantastic. I'm also in the same line of thinking with supplementing the components with their own isolation, similar to Mikes implementation.

I've been on the hunt for a new rack as well and prefer the wood designs, but a question WRT temp and humidity. Being in the midwest with some serious cold winters, maintaining 40% humidity ain't happening. I should get a whole house humidifier, but that's not the question here. How important is maintaining that 30-40% for those months that it gets crazy cold and thus dry (20%) indoors with these types of racks?

I here about warping/cracking (was mentioned earlier) and wondering if in those cases low humidity is the probable cause in material shift? I'm not a woodworker so I don't know which build methods (solid slab vs. butcher block type vs. ply construction) lend itself to stability in those dry winter environments.
 

T Boost

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Coming a little late on this, but the racks look fantastic. I'm also in the same line of thinking with supplementing the components with their own isolation, similar to Mikes implementation.

I've been on the hunt for a new rack as well and prefer the wood designs, but a question WRT temp and humidity. Being in the midwest with some serious cold winters, maintaining 40% humidity ain't happening. I should get a whole house humidifier, but that's not the question here. How important is maintaining that 30-40% for those months that it gets crazy cold and thus dry (20%) indoors with these types of racks?

I here about warping/cracking (was mentioned earlier) and wondering if in those cases low humidity is the probable cause in material shift? I'm not a woodworker so I don't know which build methods (solid slab vs. butcher block type vs. ply construction) lend itself to stability in those dry winter environments.
Hi, Im sure you could find an opposing opinion to mine, but I do feel my opinion is both experienced and educated. I have built and installed , no lies, a few thousand solid wood pool tables. From Quebec to Nevada. Ive also built ( I should know this better) about 300 racks. If the wood in a rack (or pool table) is properly dried to around 7-8% moisture, and then sealed you shouldn't have a problem. Im in Ontario , 1 hr west of Toronto. Our winters are crazy dry. Our spring is wet, and our summer can be as humid as Memphis, y'all. Massif ships racks all over the US. We've yet to have a single one come back for warping or major cracking. All solid wood can possibly develop hairline fractures. Even wood that was grown, dried, finished and sold in your own area could , but that would be rare as well. Catastrophic splits and cracks would be a another story. Thankfully that hasn't happened. Most domestic and exotic hardwoods are fairly stable. Some aren't. We try to stay away from those.

As for construction styles. A single slab has a good chance or warping sometime within its life. A good woodworker would know to use alternating grains and use at least 3 slabs to make up any given shelf. Ill attach a pic of a black walnut rack that is shipping out tomorrow to South Carolina. Note the shelves have several pieces their respective make up. Im confident that Ill never see this rack again, except in photos.

If a rack can survive SW Ontario massive seasonal temperature and humidity changes, it can handle the Mid west as well.
 

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Chop

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Aug 9, 2020
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I have a footers question, which I think does relate to this thread.
Mike mentions using "Bubinga/ball bearing sandwich footers" as part of his Massiv racks set up. I don't recall seeing them mentioned on the Forum before and I've just run a Forum search for that term and can't find anything.

My question is are the Bubinga/ball bearing sandwich footers the same principle as Symposium Rollerblocks but simply made out of wood not metal?

Thanks !
 

T Boost

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I have a footers question, which I think does relate to this thread.
Mike mentions using "Bubinga/ball bearing sandwich footers" as part of his Massiv racks set up. I don't recall seeing them mentioned on the Forum before and I've just run a Forum search for that term and can't find anything.

My question is are the Bubinga/ball bearing sandwich footers the same principle as Symposium Rollerblocks but simply made out of wood not metal?

Thanks !
Without knowing too much about about the Symposiums I’ll still say yes. They don’t offer isolation in the true sense. They offer a degree of easily movable constrained damping , they’re most effective on lesser quality racks made of aluminum, glass or other non visco-elastic materials. They were a tiny bit overkill on Mikes racks as he had already ordered racks built of rock maple with bubinga legs…..2 totally different yet complimentary tonewoods which are on opposite ends of the Janka scale. Mike and I together miscalculated the exact length required for his longer racks so we decided that adding massif turntable platforms and footers could give him the added length he required for his turntables. Did Mike “need” them for damping purposes? Maybe not-his gear was already on 2” maple and 3” bubinga. But we’re both happy everything fits nicely, and looks great. I don’t advertise the footers but I do offer them on occasion to good customers. I’ve only gotten positive responses.
Theres a few gents on this forum with them actually. Ebony, bubinga , and cocobolo really work well. I even have a custom set of Lignum Vitae footers shipping to Western Australia this week.
Hope that helps.
 
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Chop

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Without knowing too much about about the Symposiums I’ll still say yes. They don’t offer isolation in the true sense. They offer a degree of easily movable constrained damping , they’re most effective on lesser quality racks made of aluminum, glass or other non visco-elastic materials. They were a tiny bit overkill on Mikes racks as he had already ordered racks built of rock maple with bubinga legs…..2 totally different yet complimentary tonewoods which are on opposite ends of the Janka scale. Mike and I together miscalculated the exact length required for his longer racks so we decided that adding massif turntable platforms and footers could give him the added length he required for his turntables. Did Mike “need” them for damping purposes? Maybe not-his gear was already on 2” maple and 3” bubinga. But we’re both happy everything fits nicely, and looks great. I don’t advertise the footers but I do offer them on occasion to good customers. I’ve only gotten positive responses.
Theres a few gents on this forum with them actually. Ebony, bubinga , and cocobolo really work well. I even have a custom set of Lignum Vitae footers shipping to Western Australia this week.
Hope that helps.

OK thanks T Boost.

As an aside, & FWIW I know the principle behind Symposium & Rollerblocks stuff is that they aren't attempting to be isolating or damping systems. I think Symposium state them as energy transference devices, the idea being to get energy away from the component as quickly as possible thus preserving more of what the component is designed to do. This is why they work well with their very solid and very hard platforms. All this is pretty much the opposite of isolation devices.

I have no skin in the game with Symposium, I'm just a happy customer. I am not qualified to comment on whether energy transference or isolation is a better way forward. They might be old and not fashionable on this forum but I can only state that the Rollerblock approach works a treat in my system and they aren't being replaced with anything any time soon.
 

Backo NYC/SF

Active Member
Oct 15, 2021
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I have a footers question, which I think does relate to this thread.
Mike mentions using "Bubinga/ball bearing sandwich footers" as part of his Massiv racks set up. I don't recall seeing them mentioned on the Forum before and I've just run a Forum search for that term and can't find anything.

My question is are the Bubinga/ball bearing sandwich footers the same principle as Symposium Rollerblocks but simply made out of wood not metal?

Thanks !
I actually used a set of Trevor's ebony/metal ball bearing footers under my Aqua La Scala DAC with good results. It all falls into the "Everything you do is going to tune your system elements, for better or worse". I found them very helpful and it wasn't until I upgraded to Klein Music Super Natural Matrix footers that i noticed a difference which, IMO, makes them (Massif footers) quite a value.
 
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Swisstrips

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Jan 15, 2016
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Hi, Im sure you could find an opposing opinion to mine, but I do feel my opinion is both experienced and educated. I have built and installed , no lies, a few thousand solid wood pool tables. From Quebec to Nevada. Ive also built ( I should know this better) about 300 racks. If the wood in a rack (or pool table) is properly dried to around 7-8% moisture, and then sealed you shouldn't have a problem. Im in Ontario , 1 hr west of Toronto. Our winters are crazy dry. Our spring is wet, and our summer can be as humid as Memphis, y'all. Massif ships racks all over the US. We've yet to have a single one come back for warping or major cracking. All solid wood can possibly develop hairline fractures. Even wood that was grown, dried, finished and sold in your own area could , but that would be rare as well. Catastrophic splits and cracks would be a another story. Thankfully that hasn't happened. Most domestic and exotic hardwoods are fairly stable. Some aren't. We try to stay away from those.

As for construction styles. A single slab has a good chance or warping sometime within its life. A good woodworker would know to use alternating grains and use at least 3 slabs to make up any given shelf. Ill attach a pic of a black walnut rack that is shipping out tomorrow to South Carolina. Note the shelves have several pieces their respective make up. Im confident that Ill never see this rack again, except in photos.

If a rack can survive SW Ontario massive seasonal temperature and humidity changes, it can handle the Mid west as well.
Thank you for the thoughtful response, appreciated. Would seem our climates are pretty similar, if not identical.
 
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jeromelang

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Dec 26, 2011
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This is really the best time to test the theory - "less metallic parts, better, more opened, more natural sound"

while you taking apart the whole system to set up the massif rack in its place, try using only 1 playback source driving the amps at this stage.

use either the digital (preferably a 1-piece component), or the turntable/phono.

take care to maximize the distances between each component, as much as your interconnect will allow.

it always helps if the power amp(s) is/are placed further away from the rest of the other upstream electronics.


when you are familiar already with this new sound, start adding other metallic clad components one by one into your system again (without plugging it in) and check how that affect the system's soundstaging, and timbre....
 
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