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Sheesham / Indian Rosewood Platform

76.28.209.43

Posted on February 1, 2017 at 14:21:54
Duster
Audiophile

Posts: 12355
Location: Pacific Northwest
Joined: August 25, 2002



Notice the rubber gripper pads at each corner on the bottom of the board. These should be removed and replaced with audiophile-quality footers/pads. The stock grippers suppress the sonic qualities of an otherwise musical sounding tonewood. Otherwise, it's a waste of funds to invest in the use of the board as a custom system tuning tool.

I came across a new tonewood board while at Pier One Imports. After the proverbial knuckle-test, which produced a quite musical tonality with a strong initial attack and subtle level of sustain, I knew it was a keeper to give a try under a preamplifier unit with outboard power supply, which already has a carefully configured vibration control platform for use under the external power supply. So the particular board is for placement under the preamplifier unit. BTW, a two-piece audio component can benefit from different vibration control footers and platform approaches under each piece for fine tuning that's considered better optimized to one's ear.

The board is a striking looking and rather dense two-tone wood from India called Sheesham or Indian Rosewood. At 16" W x 12" D x 1" thick, the footprint is a bit smaller than a typical audio component, but there's plenty of room to place a set of footers both above and below the platform. And as to this, it makes substantial difference when carefully-considered footers are used with the board. In my case, a customized tripod set of three 40mm x10mm Carbon Fiber Discs, with a Herbie's Audio Lab Thin grungebuster Dot (black version, with optional adhesive backing) affixed under each Carbon Fiber Disc, with a BDR Black Diamond Racing Cone adhered with Liquid Nails silicone adhesive to the top of each Carbon Fiber Disc. The rounded tips of the inverted BDR Black Diamond Racing Cones make contact with the metal enclosure bottom rather than a wooden rack shelf or platform surface, while the Carbon Fiber Discs function as a resonance dissipating and vibration wave blocking base for the cones + discs. I find this custom footer to sound very dynamic when placed under my preamplifier unit, and also my power amplifier, which is placed on a thin Hickory board.

When the Sheesham board is allowed to resonate without dampening its natural-sounding sonic characteristics, it helps present assertive dynamics and a full-bodied tonality without stepping on more subtle listening cues. Allowing such a thing in this case also involves the use of yet another set of 40mm x10mm Carbon Fiber Discs, this time a set of four adhered under each corner of the Sheesham board, with an Everbilt 1.5" thin anti-skid pad affixed under each Carbon Fiber Disc. Again doing the proverbial knuckle-test showed that the sonic signature of the Sheesham board is better removed from the influence of the MDF rack shelf that it's placed upon, and that the board resonates with a more pronounced tonality and sustain. Comparing the different stages while configuring this vibration control platform was yet another confirmation that attention to detail can make all the difference as long as each layer is carefully evaluated before the next step is taken, and before one jumps to conclusions. In my case, the use of tonewood boards with Carbon Fiber Discs + anti-skid pads is a vital custom system tuning tool.

 

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RE: Sheesham / Indian Rosewood Platform, posted on February 3, 2017 at 09:07:40
Jim Hodgson
Audiophile

Posts: 359
Location: New York City
Joined: March 9, 2006
The board is a striking looking ...

It sure is!


... and rather dense two-tone wood from India called Sheesham or Indian Rosewood.

I wonder if this is the same "Indian Rosewood" that is so commonly (if not expensively) used for acoustic guitar backs and sides?


... there's plenty of room to place a set of footers both above and below the platform. And as to this, it makes substantial difference when carefully-considered footers are used with the board.

I had to diagram this out on a piece of paper! Is this correct (minus the adhesive)?

Component
Inverted BDR cones
Carbon fiber discs
Dot
Sheesham platform
Carbon fiber discs
Anti-skid pads
MDF shelf

I note that you're using three disc/inverted-cone footers under your pre-amp, and four discs under the platform.


After the proverbial knuckle-test, which produced a quite musical tonality with a strong initial attack and subtle level of sustain, I knew it was a keeper ...

This seems to represent a very different approach than "the-deader-the-better" approach of seeking out really dense and inert shelf and platform materials. I've read a bit about "sonorous tonewoods," and I'm curious. I note your following comment: "When the Sheesham board is allowed to resonate without dampening its natural-sounding sonic characteristics, it helps present assertive dynamics and a full-bodied tonality without stepping on more subtle listening cues."


BTW, a two-piece audio component can benefit from different vibration control footers and platform approaches under each piece for fine tuning that's considered better optimized to one's ear.

I think that this is an excellent observation -- and goes to an issue that's been on my mind as I consider how to deal with my phono pre-amp separates. While both the power supply and main amplification units are entirely tube-based, it strikes me that they may benefit from much different vibration-control approaches. It sounds like you may be in a similar boat with your pre-amp.


So the particular board is for placement under the preamplifier unit.

As opposed to the power supply ... because?


Notice the rubber gripper pads at each corner on the bottom of the board.

They look like a disaster from a vibration-control standpoint! Does that mean I'm finally starting to catch on? ;)

 

RE: Sheesham / Indian Rosewood Platform, posted on February 3, 2017 at 11:01:52
KONA
Audiophile

Posts: 51
Joined: March 31, 2002
I am also a fan of BDR cones and use them in combination with other materials beneath components. I'd like to thank you again for your recent recommendations. I now have two Oyaide Black Mamba V.2 cables feeding my ARC SP16 and VS55. They are a significant improvement over an Empirical Audio and an Alan Maher cable which they replaced.

I also have incorporated the 40 mm carbon fiber discs into my system to good effect. I was wondering, in addition to the usual suspects, have you ever experimented with thin brass sheets? I find that these can provide a unique benefit in the right location. One example, beneath the spikes of my Sonus Faber Cremona floor standers I employ two 40mm carbon fiber discs with non slip feet at the rear (the heavier side) and two ebony cups with a thin sheet of Herbie's material beneath, and under that a thin square of brass next to the oak floor. These brass shims are quite thin. In this application they are just thick enough to be stiff however in other applications I've used the even thinner, foil like, brass material. If the brass is too thick the benefit is lost.

 

RE: Sheesham / Indian Rosewood Platform, posted on February 3, 2017 at 12:16:38
Duster
Audiophile

Posts: 12355
Location: Pacific Northwest
Joined: August 25, 2002
------------------------------------------------

"... there's plenty of room to place a set of footers both above and below the platform. And as to this, it makes substantial difference when carefully-considered footers are used with the board.

I had to diagram this out on a piece of paper! Is this correct (minus the adhesive)?

Component
Inverted BDR cones
Carbon fiber discs
Dot
Sheesham platform
Carbon fiber discs
Anti-skid pads
MDF shelf"

------------------------------------------------
Duster: Yes, that is correct.
------------------------------------------------

"I note that you're using three disc/inverted-cone footers under your pre-amp, and four discs under the platform."

------------------------------------------------
Duster: Yes, the set of three Carbon Fiber Discs with inverted BDR Cones form a tripod which is the optimum configuration for cones.
------------------------------------------------

"After the proverbial knuckle-test, which produced a quite musical tonality with a strong initial attack and subtle level of sustain, I knew it was a keeper ...

This seems to represent a very different approach than "the-deader-the-better" approach of seeking out really dense and inert shelf and platform materials. I've read a bit about "sonorous tonewoods," and I'm curious. I note your following comment: "When the Sheesham board is allowed to resonate without dampening its natural-sounding sonic characteristics, it helps present assertive dynamics and a full-bodied tonality without stepping on more subtle listening cues."

------------------------------------------------
Duster: After many experiments, I find an acoustically dead platform to sound very dull and lifeless. It's total overkill and pointless, to my ear.
------------------------------------------------

"BTW, a two-piece audio component can benefit from different vibration control footers and platform approaches under each piece for fine tuning that's considered better optimized to one's ear.

I think that this is an excellent observation -- and goes to an issue that's been on my mind as I consider how to deal with my phono pre-amp separates. While both the power supply and main amplification units are entirely tube-based, it strikes me that they may benefit from much different vibration-control approaches. It sounds like you may be in a similar boat with your pre-amp.

So the particular board is for placement under the preamplifier unit.

As opposed to the power supply ... because?"

------------------------------------------------
Duster: After experimenting with different configurations, I found a 3/4" laminated bamboo board to sound best when placed under the external power supply, but when a 3/4" laminated bamboo board was placed under the preamplifier unit, the presentation sounded very lean and lacked musical dynamics, while a more pleasant sounding 3/4" Acacia tonewood board was a substantially better option for the preamplifier unit. The 1" Sheesham tonewood board outperforms the Acacia board, with a fuller-bodied tonality and improved dynamics.
------------------------------------------------

"Notice the rubber gripper pads at each corner on the bottom of the board.

They look like a disaster from a vibration-control standpoint! Does that mean I'm finally starting to catch on? ;)"

------------------------------------------------
Duster: Perhaps you are. Some folks might assume ordinary rubber doesn't have a sonic signature and/or a detrimental effect vs. an audiophile design, but they should experiment before they pass judgement on matters such as this.
------------------------------------------------

 

RE: Sheesham / Indian Rosewood Platform, posted on February 3, 2017 at 12:28:37
Duster
Audiophile

Posts: 12355
Location: Pacific Northwest
Joined: August 25, 2002
Perhaps you would explain the sonic benefit of the thin brass square. I'm not familiar with that approach. Have you tried a thin layer of another material instead, and what was the effect?

 

I think you got a really nice looking piece, posted on February 3, 2017 at 12:30:45
Posts: 2889
Location: Atlanta
Joined: December 15, 2003
Contributor
  Since:
November 29, 2011
went to the website and what is pictured is nowhere near as good.

Will try to go to one of their stores and see what is there.

Thanks for the notice.

 

RE: I think you got a really nice looking piece, posted on February 3, 2017 at 12:45:52
Duster
Audiophile

Posts: 12355
Location: Pacific Northwest
Joined: August 25, 2002
I believe Bed Bath & Beyond also sells two sizes of the product.

 

RE: Sheesham / Indian Rosewood Platform, posted on February 3, 2017 at 14:35:53
KONA
Audiophile

Posts: 51
Joined: March 31, 2002
The effect in the particular application I described, beneath the front spikes of the Cremonas, was to open up the soundscape. In other words the space around the sounds took on a more three dimensional aspect. In the Anonymous Four cd Gloryland there was more delineation within the acoustic space that the four voices occupied. This was also apparent with the cymbals and drum kit in the Brad Mehldau Trio's cd of Blues and Ballads. This effect I've described occurred when the brass shim was added to the ebony/Herbie's combo, and disappeared when it was taken away. Incidentally using carbon fiber exclusively under the Cremonas produced an unpleasantly harder sound that seemed dramatically less natural to me. As you know, better than most, there are many materials and strategies to isolate, damp, drain or improve the sound of an audio component. I can't lay claim to having comprehensively tried them all I just have over the years accumulated an assortment of them which to my ear have a synergistically positive effect in my systems, as well as being relatively economical.

I haven't experimented with other metals except, many years ago to compare brass washers to steel, in that case preferring brass but as I said that was a long time ago and the application was different.

 

RE: Sheesham / Indian Rosewood Platform, posted on February 3, 2017 at 15:10:04
Duster
Audiophile

Posts: 12355
Location: Pacific Northwest
Joined: August 25, 2002
The brass shim may be acting as a resonator, and it's likely changing the coupling/decoupling dynamic of the ebony coupling discs and Herbie's decoupling sheet, which is perfectly fine since this is the nature of a customized system tuning effort. Changing the resonant nature of various audio components with designs/materials implemented as a vibration control device is what it's all about. The vital thing is identifying various audiophile listening cues, and seeking your own aesthetic presentation as the goal. IME, the ideal goal is a coherent presentation of both listening cues based on aural information (such as resolution), and physical sensation (such as PRAT).

 

RE: Sheesham / Indian Rosewood Platform, posted on February 5, 2017 at 11:59:50
pc123v
Audiophile

Posts: 212
Joined: February 6, 2014
@Duster. Nice looking wood. Indian rosewood is twice the hardness of maple. Looking forward to your review on how you find them as platforms. I am looking at black walnut at the moment which is approx between 50 to 60 percent softer then indian rosewood. Putting the effects of footers on the platforms aside...from what I read from the internet...softer solid tone wood ... warmer tone. Thanks.

 

RE: Sheesham / Indian Rosewood Platform, posted on February 5, 2017 at 12:25:22
Duster
Audiophile

Posts: 12355
Location: Pacific Northwest
Joined: August 25, 2002
IME, a softer wood tends to be lighter in tonality rather than warmer, meaning warmth from an image-density POV. A rich tonal bloom that enhances harmonic information is my interpretation of warmth. On the downside, warmth can also mask inner-detail, ambient information, and other spatial cues including soundstage focus.

 

RE: Sheesham / Indian Rosewood Platform, posted on February 5, 2017 at 13:17:47
pc123v
Audiophile

Posts: 212
Joined: February 6, 2014
@Duster. Yes...yes...I am after greater tonal density/richer tonal bloom. I am using IKEA aptitlig bamboo now...too dry. I have not tried maple platforms which seem to be the wood of choice for most manufacturers. Per Janka scale...Indian rosewood is a lot harder. I am using maple as a benchmark. Seeking a wood that would yield greater tonal density and hopefully that would steer my system towards a more organic/analogue presentation. Thanks.

 

RE: Sheesham / Indian Rosewood Platform, posted on February 5, 2017 at 14:03:27
Duster
Audiophile

Posts: 12355
Location: Pacific Northwest
Joined: August 25, 2002
I agree; laminated bamboo can sound dry and threadbare, which is why I only use it for power supply, and power line distributor/conditioner applications. Anything else benefits more via a tonewood platform that is allowed to "sing freely" from the influence of an MDF rack shelf it is placed upon, and from the bottom of the metal enclosure of a component. The wooden board acts as a musical-sounding resonator that affects the presentation of an audio component/system. Vibration control can make a big impact on the sound of a system.

 

RE: Sheesham / Indian Rosewood Platform, posted on February 15, 2017 at 12:04:18
pc123v
Audiophile

Posts: 212
Joined: February 6, 2014
Hi Duster. Any initial impressions of the indian rosewood as platforms...:) Btw...I am thinking of something of similar hardness as speaker platforms. Your thoughts? Thanks.

 

RE: Sheesham / Indian Rosewood Platform, posted on February 15, 2017 at 13:48:03
Duster
Audiophile

Posts: 12355
Location: Pacific Northwest
Joined: August 25, 2002
I like the Sheesham / Indian Rosewood platform after adhering a set of 40mm x 10mm Carbon Fiber Discs with anti-skid pads under it. Prior to that, the stock rubber gripper pads made the effect sound dull, not lively. The sonic signature of the wood is on the warm side of neutral, which is a good thing for use with a solid state preamplifier, IME.

 

RE: Sheesham / Indian Rosewood Platform, posted on February 22, 2017 at 10:20:26
pc123v
Audiophile

Posts: 212
Joined: February 6, 2014
Hi Duster. Appreciate your update. I recall that you recently tried walnut tonewood as platforms too. If I may, how do they compare to the Sheesham? From the mids on down to bass, which has more density and heft? Thanks again.

 

RE: Sheesham / Indian Rosewood Platform, posted on February 22, 2017 at 12:03:41
Duster
Audiophile

Posts: 12355
Location: Pacific Northwest
Joined: August 25, 2002
If you are seeking a loudspeaker plinth, that's a different animal than a component platform. If you seek more density and heft from the use of a loudspeaker plinth, granite would likely be a better option than a wooden plinth.

 

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