Questions About Monoblock Amplifier Stands/Racks/Platform Materials

cjf

New Member
Nov 19, 2012
314
0
0
#1
Hello,

I'm considering the purchase of some stands for my Monoblock amps and am leaning towards going the DIY route for various reasons but am not fully married to that idea yet. Its certainly not price based because some of the options I'm considering aren't exactly cheap when all the components involved are calculated.

One approach I am considering involves the use of an Optical Breadboard. While doing research on this topic it appears that these Breadboards offer one the ability to have a very rigid, highly damped, fairly lightweight flat surface right out of the gate. The one's of most interest to me are those that use a Steel/Stainless Steel "Honeycomb" Core since they are said to offer the most immunity to vibrations compared to some of the other Optical BB options out there in the wild.

I'm curious if anyone has experimented with using these for Audio purposes and what your thoughts are?

Another option I am considering is the use of heavy, thick A36 steel plates or Stainless Steel Plates. Given the weight of these buggers I'm thinking that I would either have to go with two 3/4" thick plates or a single 1" in thick plate. I'm not sure if there would be any benefit to having a single 1" thick plate verses two stacked 3/4" slabs and if the stacking itself would introduce other issues or more resonance problems. I assume if the two plates were bonded together tightly or maybe separated with a constraining layer such as ISODamp or Herbies Audio Lab sheet material then it would be less of a concern.

Lastly, the final option I've thought about was using a sandwich of thick Aluminum Plate, Copper and ISODamp or just plain Aluminum plate of some substantial thickness (maybe 4" total of 6061).

Some concerns I have are not knowing how these materials are known to sound in an Audio application when used by themselves or in combination. I guess that is part of the fun with DIY. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose :p .Part of me would like to think that of the choices I listed the Optical Breadboard and the heavy slab of Steel would be fairly harmless or not negatively impacting of the sound due to how "Dead" they are considering the thicknesses I am contemplating (3-4"). I know I've wrapped a few knuckles on thick steel plates in the past and heard nothing in terms of resonance and was only rewarded with a good bruise. But with that said, is it possible that all that "deadness" could result in a serious darkening of the Sound?

The Aluminum/Copper sandwich is a total gamble but I do see companies like Magico using similar ingredients in their footers/racks though I'm not sure of their exact recipe obviously, which is of key importance.

What are your thoughts on this and have you experimented with any of these materials along the way?

Thanks
 

cjf

New Member
Nov 19, 2012
314
0
0
#3
Hello,

I'm still thinking about trying those but am not 100% sold on the product just yet. The price of course is very attractive.

I think my hesitation is mostly related to the platforms long term affects given the use of "Foam" as its base material and that being subject to a fairly heavy(90lbs) Monoblock who's load is not so evenly distributed. A fear would be that over time, without me being 100% aware of it, the "Foam" will slowly begin to lose its firmness. Before you know it, 3-5 years have past that you will never get back and you have been listening to your amplifier investment in a compromised state all that time. One could argue that a weak sagging foam base may be worse then just leaving the amp sitting on the bare floor via its factory feet.

Then again, I may be just over thinking this to much and none of these concerns will ever materialize in real life :confused: :eek:
 
Jun 17, 2010
256
0
16
SE Pa
#4
Then again, I may be just over thinking this to much and none of these concerns will ever materialize in real life :confused: :eek:
you see, you've just shown that it's possible for an audiophile to express an ounce or two of logic / common sense !
 

LL21

Active Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,549
2
38
#5
Hello,

I'm still thinking about trying those but am not 100% sold on the product just yet. The price of course is very attractive.

I think my hesitation is mostly related to the platforms long term affects given the use of "Foam" as its base material and that being subject to a fairly heavy(90lbs) Monoblock who's load is not so evenly distributed. A fear would be that over time, without me being 100% aware of it, the "Foam" will slowly begin to lose its firmness. Before you know it, 3-5 years have past that you will never get back and you have been listening to your amplifier investment in a compromised state all that time. One could argue that a weak sagging foam base may be worse then just leaving the amp sitting on the bare floor via its factory feet.

Then again, I may be just over thinking this to much and none of these concerns will ever materialize in real life :confused: :eek:
All fair points. From my own experience, 90lbs is not a heavy load for the really big Auralexes...they can take up to 250-300lbs as i recall. I had a 190lb amp on the original Auralex SubDude (my Colosseum) which had some mass damping on top...but because it is nearly 3 feet tall, it did start to tilt after a year...but with the big Velodyne and new (even bigger) Auralex...it seems fine after 2 years...and more weight probably 250lbs so near the limit.
 

sujay

Member Sponsor
May 5, 2012
255
2
18
Singapore
#6
Hi,

I believe the Townshend Seismic platforms are quite effective. I haven't tried them under components but have their Seismic podium under my speakers, with excellent results. I am told the sesismic platforms are pretty good and have the capability to be adjusted to match the uneven weight distribution of components, especially power amps which may have the transformer on one side. They can also taken on significant overall weight. They are not very expensive in my view but I would refrain from commenting further about that since it's highly relative.

Cheers

Sujay
 

cjf

New Member
Nov 19, 2012
314
0
0
#7
I took a look at the Townshend Seismic platforms. It appears none of the default sizes offered by Townshend would fit my Amps which means a custom job would be required.

I found these guy below for similar to slightly more money then the Townshend unit. I guess one benefit of this guy is that its not "Audiophile" targeted and it includes real vibration measurements down to the sub 10hz range.

Hrrrmmm :confused:

https://www.newport.com/p/VIP320-1824-70140.

VIP320-Front_800w.jpg
 

sujay

Member Sponsor
May 5, 2012
255
2
18
Singapore
#8
I took a look at the Townshend Seismic platforms. It appears none of the default sizes offered by Townshend would fit my Amps which means a custom job would be required.

I found these guy below for similar to slightly more money then the Townshend unit. I guess one benefit of this guy is that its not "Audiophile" targeted and it includes real vibration measurements down to the sub 10hz range.

Hrrrmmm :confused:

https://www.newport.com/p/VIP320-1824-70140.

View attachment 37863
Hi,

Indeed, these look comparable. However, I feel you might just do well by calling Townshend and enquiring about their custom platforms. Mine are custom made as well and they turned out to be cheaper than the list price for the standard ones since I dealt direct.

Also, fwiw, the townshend list price for the standard sizes appears to be lower than the Newport ones and they offer broad spectrum isolation to under 3hz. Might be useful to call and check with them directly.

Cheers

Sujay
 
Oct 30, 2017
496
0
16
USA
#9
I use 450 lbs of solid walnut custom made by Timber Nation. Hardwoods have a very good combination of natural absorption and isolation characteristics due to the cellular construct and mass/density. Oh.... and they are stunningly beautiful IMO.

IMG_1113.jpg
 
Last edited:

cjf

New Member
Nov 19, 2012
314
0
0
#10
Hi,

Indeed, these look comparable. However, I feel you might just do well by calling Townshend and enquiring about their custom platforms. Mine are custom made as well and they turned out to be cheaper than the list price for the standard ones since I dealt direct.

Also, fwiw, the townshend list price for the standard sizes appears to be lower than the Newport ones and they offer broad spectrum isolation to under 3hz. Might be useful to call and check with them directly.

Cheers

Sujay
What are your thoughts on Townshend's use of a very thin platform? In pictures it appears like it could be flexible, especially when dealing with larger sizes. Do you know if the platform rings at all when tapped or if it twists when grabbed at the extreme edges and you attempt to bend it by hand?

I agree that the Newport stand is a bit pricey. It looks like 3/4 of its cost is tied up in the isolation feet which are about $375 each. I'm not too concerned with price within reason.

In my case I think a stand that uses some flavor of "Spring" configuration is the best way to go though. I have suspended wooden floors. A stand that uses a thin platform for the Amps to rest on does concern me a bit though. But with that said, the feet of my Amps appear to be made of either rubber or some kind of Poly so I'm not so sure that they are really doing much in terms of attempting to direct chassis related resonances to the floor or the stand they would rest on in which case platform thickness wont really matter anyway. Removing the factory feet is not something I am will to do though because the Amps were most likely "Voiced" with the feet in place and I dont want to open that can of worms.
 

cjf

New Member
Nov 19, 2012
314
0
0
#11
I use 450 lbs of solid walnut custom made by Timber Nation. Hardwoods have a very good combination of natural absorption and isolation characteristics due to the cellular construct and mass/density. Oh.... and they are stunningly beautiful IMO.
Stunning Indeed! The tree huggers would have a field day if they saw this :)
 
Oct 30, 2017
496
0
16
USA
#12
Stunning Indeed! The tree huggers would have a field day if they saw this :)
The walnut is organic, vegan, gluten free, and local artisan prepared so they are chill.
 

sujay

Member Sponsor
May 5, 2012
255
2
18
Singapore
#13
What are your thoughts on Townshend's use of a very thin platform? In pictures it appears like it could be flexible, especially when dealing with larger sizes. Do you know if the platform rings at all when tapped or if it twists when grabbed at the extreme edges and you attempt to bend it by hand?

I agree that the Newport stand is a bit pricey. It looks like 3/4 of its cost is tied up in the isolation feet which are about $375 each. I'm not too concerned with price within reason.

In my case I think a stand that uses some flavor of "Spring" configuration is the best way to go though. I have suspended wooden floors. A stand that uses a thin platform for the Amps to rest on does concern me a bit though. But with that said, the feet of my Amps appear to be made of either rubber or some kind of Poly so I'm not so sure that they are really doing much in terms of attempting to direct chassis related resonances to the floor or the stand they would rest on in which case platform thickness wont really matter anyway. Removing the factory feet is not something I am will to do though because the Amps were most likely "Voiced" with the feet in place and I dont want to open that can of worms.
The top plate appears to be thin but are likely very sturdy. As I said, I don't have experience of these platforms but have the podium under my speakers. Each podium weighs 20 kg by itself and the top plate is extremely sturdy. Hence, I think it's highly unlikely that the platform will bend. So I wouldn't be worried about that.
 

cjf

New Member
Nov 19, 2012
314
0
0
#14
Update,

Shown below is the Amp stand solution I chose to go with for now. I may add some form of spring type feet at a later time but I'm not so sure that will be possible or needed. Basically I took the caveman no frills approach here that cost me just under $50. The stone is a 2.5" thick 18" x 18" slab of Pennsylvania Bluestone that weighs about 70lbs.

Wikipedia Says:

"Pennsylvania Bluestone is a layered sandstone found only in the northeastern tier of Pennsylvania, parts of northern New Jersey and the southern tier of New York. It was formed over 360,000,000 years ago during the Devonian Period as large inland seas deposited sand in the Catskill delta region. It is composed of feldspar, sand, and mica (among other minerals) and is clear of most organic residues."

For "feet" I am using four 5" round felt/foam rubber carpet sliders from Lowes. The surface of these Slabs aren't exactly flat so I had to move the Amps around until I found a spot on the surface that allowed all four feet to find a spot that was most level to prevent rocking.

End result...I can't complain. There have even been a few moments so far where I think the system sounds better then before. Of course that is almost always the case when we add something new though :)


 
Oct 30, 2017
496
0
16
USA
#15
Update,

Shown below is the Amp stand solution I chose to go with for now. I may add some form of spring type feet at a later time but I'm not so sure that will be possible or needed. Basically I took the caveman no frills approach here that cost me just under $50. The stone is a 2.5" thick 18" x 18" slab of Pennsylvania Bluestone that weighs about 70lbs.

Wikipedia Says:

"Pennsylvania Bluestone is a layered sandstone found only in the northeastern tier of Pennsylvania, parts of northern New Jersey and the southern tier of New York. It was formed over 360,000,000 years ago during the Devonian Period as large inland seas deposited sand in the Catskill delta region. It is composed of feldspar, sand, and mica (among other minerals) and is clear of most organic residues."

For "feet" I am using four 5" round felt/foam rubber carpet sliders from Lowes. The surface of these Slabs aren't exactly flat so I had to move the Amps around until I found a spot on the surface that allowed all four feet to find a spot that was most level to prevent rocking.

End result...I can't complain. There have even been a few moments so far where I think the system sounds better then before. Of course that is almost always the case when we add something new though :)
I can't imagine how long it's going to take to burn those in properly.
 

Chuck Lee

New Member
Feb 6, 2015
70
0
0
#17
I replaced butcher block with Symposium Ultra under my Acoustat servo amps.I didn't buy them thinking they would improve the sound.Improve they did.
 

LL21

Active Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,549
2
38
#18
I replaced butcher block with Symposium Ultra under my Acoustat servo amps.I didn't buy them thinking they would improve the sound.Improve they did.
Congrats...isolation, emi/rfi for me have been great experiences using HRS, Artesania, Stillpoints. They really have made FAR more of my existing electronics and speakers than I thought possible over the last 3-4 years since I started on this. Enjoy.
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
5,051
29
48
Beverly Hills, CA
#19
I use 450 lbs of solid walnut custom made by Timber Nation. Hardwoods have a very good combination of natural absorption and isolation characteristics due to the cellular construct and mass/density. Oh.... and they are stunningly beautiful IMO.

View attachment 37999

These are very pretty, Paul!
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
5,051
29
48
Beverly Hills, CA
#20
I took a look at the Townshend Seismic platforms. It appears none of the default sizes offered by Townshend would fit my Amps which means a custom job would be required.

I found these guy below for similar to slightly more money then the Townshend unit. I guess one benefit of this guy is that its not "Audiophile" targeted and it includes real vibration measurements down to the sub 10hz range.

Hrrrmmm :confused:

https://www.newport.com/p/VIP320-1824-70140.

View attachment 37863
The Newport stand looks pretty good!

But for, I think, a modest amount more money you can get a pneumatic Stacore Basic. I am planning to get Stacores for my amplifiers.
 

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