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I've having a custom rack for my stereo built and the cabinet-mmaker droped off a piece of oak and a piece of maple for me to decide. Price would be the same for either material.
Which wood is better for this purpose, in your opinion?
Addicted to content-free jazz music.
Also, the late Backwoods Ontario Barry used cutting boards under his gear and reported that the maple boards were audibly superior. He never told a lie not exaggerated an iota, at least within my hearing.
I don't want anything to do wih his company.
But thanks for your reply!
Addicted to content-free jazz music.
After the several posts suggesting that the original poster check out Mapleshade, I'm glad someone has mentioned this. Isn't it Frank Kimbrough who has written at length about Sprey's tactics? Perhaps the company name should be changed to "Mapleshady"?
I've experimented with different woods for shelves. Personally I prefer the sound of Maple or Cherry Wood.
If it is white Oak riff or vertical grain cut, it has much to recommend it visually. If the choice is red oak, which has nothing to recommend it
visually, then I would think Maple is a better choice. Basically red oak is considered "low end" and rarely used by custom cabinetmakers.
Just my 1 1/2 cents worth.
Are you sure you're not confused? In person white oak is quite grey looking and red oak tends to actually be whiter in color.
Perhaps it is because you live on the west coast where red oak is less common naturally, but red oak gets used FAR more in the furniture industry than white oak does, at least in this part of the country it does and being a cabinetmaker I can attest that this is true. Even in audio Magnepan for example has used red oak on all it's speakers exclusively until just recently.
And to answer his question every setup varies and any wood can sound better or worse because of it, but generally speaking maple is better, or perhaps more neutral is the correct phrase. Maple adds the least color, but then again he might like the color oak ads, whichever color it is that is...
Yes, re red oak. I haven't seen the figures lately, but at one point
90% of mass manufactured kitchen cabinetry was red oak. I disagree about the greyness in color of white oak, and I believe it is more dense. Frankly I've sort of tossed the concept of audiophile wood for a rack to the back of the line in my thinking. Seems that with all of the various methods of isolating
equipment, that the actual sonic signature that wood brings when used
in a equipment rack is of no importance. Obviously I feel differently about shelves, but the basic rack doesn't really seem that tonally important.
Just my opinon.
I agree that if the shelves are on isolation points any effect the stand itself had should be neutralized. Shelves however do effect it. That's the theory part...
In application I've been amazed too often. We're probably right, yet I would not be surprised if different materials did somehow manage to effect the whole. But I would also surmise in each application it would be a different wood that might be best as every room and every system is so different. (and I'm not signing up for that project either :^ )
So again I agree. Since you can't make a stand out of all the countless choices to try them, worrying about this is pointless.
As for oak, the problem is there are so many sub species of both white and red that you can't really know what it is you have if you never saw the tree itself. White is only just slightly denser, mainly because red oak has overly large pores. (That never close either. In fact if you have a straight grained piece you can actually drink thru it like a straw. Not good for boat building :^ )
Actually, for the ultimate in certified audiophile snobishness Oregon Mrytle holds the crown (at least according to Cardas, ggg). Solid boards can be sourced on the net out of Oregon. Pictured is a turntable
stand where I used 3" thick Oregon Myrtle under the turntable--not terribly expensive to buy the wood. Oh, the rest of the wood is black walnut.
I had my table located similarly in an alcove corner. One day I had occasion to lean my head over the cartridge while playing music. The reasons for not placing speakers in corners applies to tts as well - I was amazed at the lower frequency energy I heard. Moving my table to the other end of the shelf so the cartridge was further from a corner helped clean things up.
and it looks like the execution was first class. Also, the haphazard shelf for the Bottlehead helps to punctuate the beauty of everything else. (Last comment a joke :-)
I like the breadboard ends on the platform.
It was a get it done project, so I used a catalyzed lacquer (Sadolin) by
Cloverdale paints of Canada (best lacquer I've ever used, but expensive).
Pierre Sprey of Mapleshade claims to have evaluated the sonics of many different types of wood, stone, and man-made products for shelving and bases. His favorite by far is maple. So far as I know, this has nothing to do with the name of his business since he had that before he made his evaluations.
You can read more in his catalog or web site - www.mapleshaderecords.com.
This guy has some wacky recommendations, but also was instrumental in the development of the A-10 Warthog and the F-18.
This is nonsense. 6/4, 8/4, even 12/4 maple is readily avaiable. Harder to find is a width in those thicknesses that would allow one to make a platform from a single plank, but IMO you shouldn't do that anyway. Warping and twisting is a definite possibility.
Gluing and clamping narrower lengths butcher-block style (preferably with the edge-grain up) is a much safer, and much cheaper, construction method, all that "Amish lumbermill" hyperbole notwithstanding. And I'd wager that it sounds just the same.
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