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|"The instant upgrade was stunning!...My Mapleshade rack with 4 inch shelves is not only beautiful I now consider it an essential component of my system." - Scott T.|
The V.2 is our best-selling SAMSON size. A bit more spacious to accommodate larger gear, the proportions of V.2 shelves are especially attractive. Side-to-side width between the solid steel uprights is 21-1/2" inches.
If you wish to further upgrade the V.2, you can add Maple Platforms up to 21" x 19" on top of the lower shelves. For wider components, you can mount a 24" x 18" Maple Platform on Isoblocks on the top shelf.
The standard 3/4" shelf thickness of most racks is simply not rigid enough and therefore too resonant for first rate sound. Our 2" solid maple shelves are over 60 times as stiff as the 3/4" veneered MDF shelves of most audiophile racks. Because commercial kiln-drying significantly deadens the sound of maple, we air-dry the lumber for every SAMSON shelf for 3 to 6 years in our large, purpose-built drying shed.
Users with turntables may want to consider the 4" shelf option for the top shelf; the improvement over the 2" is easy to hear. Ditto with first rate CD players. On the other hand, adding a 4" maple platform with IsoBlocks onto a 2" shelf sounds even better than a 4" shelf alone—but it costs you an extra 4" in height.
Those seeking the absolute ultimate in sound quality will want 4" thick shelves from top to bottom with enough clearance to place a 4" maple platform on every shelf. This all-out, ultra-massive version of the SAMSON is simply the best-sounding equipment rack in the world, bar none.
The SAMSONs' footers are crucial to good sound. They provide a clean, unbroken vibration path to the floor. We offer 2" Heavyfoot and 3" Megafoot options, each offered with four point styles optimized to offer the best sound quality for different types of surfaces and floor coverings.
• For best sound on uncarpeted floors, use Heavyfeet or, even better, Megafeet.
• To avoid leaving pock marks on polished hardwood or plastic tile floors, use Radiused Heavyfeet or Radiused Megafeet (with only a very slight compromise of sound quality). These sound far better than pointed feet degraded by floor-protecting discs or cups.
• For high pile carpet with padding (more than 1/2" deep), you need Thick Carpet Heavyfeet or Megafeet to penetrate and rest solidly on the floor.
• For standard commercial wall-to-wall carpet (1/2" or less), the less pointed Thin Carpet Heavyfeet or Megafeet will sound slightly better than the Thick Carpet version.
In 1986 we started exploring ways of mounting audio equipment to improve the sound of Mapleshade Studio recordings. Success led to 30 years of of further vibration control listening tests in pursuit of ever-better sound. Those tests have proved that:
• Most crucial is to provide an absolutely rigid, straight, resonance-free path for vibrational energy to flow out of the equipment into the shelf and down through the supporting uprights into floor. Any plastic, rubber or other damping material introduced for "isolation" into the path from the shelf to the floor induces muddy bass plus smeared mids and highs.
• Any wood shelf sounds much better than metal, granite, slate or glass. Wood also sounds better than Corian, graphite/carbon fiber composite or highly damped composites. Solid wood is best with plywood a deader-sounding distant second. Butcher block, MDF and particle board sound even deader, due to excessive internal damping.
• The best-sounding wood species is red maple, significantly better than rock maple, walnut, cherry, myrtle, spruce, pine, oak, mahogany, jojoba or other exotic tropical hardwoods. Air-dried maple is audibly better than kiln-dried (all lumber yard and butcher block maple is kiln-dried). Old growth, naturally grown, close-grained maple sounds significantly better than force-fed, plantation grown, wide-grained commercial maple. No matter what the wood, the industry standard 3/4" shelf thickness is inadequately rigid for first rate sound.
• To provide a clean, unbroken vibration path to the floor, the shelves must be rigidly locked to one piece uprights. Segmented modules spiked one on top of the other are never rigid enough—and seriously interrupt the vibration path.
• Uprights must be solid, not hollow—and much more rigid than needed for load-bearing alone. Damping the very audible resonances of any hollow metal support with sand or lead fill introduces new problems: notably both dynamics and ambience are deadened and sustained notes are truncated. To transfer vibrational energy cleanly into the floor, uprights must be terminated with massive pointed footers, preferably brass.
• The overall rack structure must be unshakably stiff and rigid, so rigid that leaning against the top is like leaning against a brick wall. The slightest side-sway or fore-and-aft sway immediately degrades sound. This is a weak point for almost every audio rack on the market.
The SAMSON addresses these crucial design issues quite simply:
• The shelves are 2" and 4” air-dried maple cut only from old-growth logs that are 75 to 100 years old. 2" solid maple is over 60 times as stiff as the 3/4" veneered MDF shelves of most conventional audio racks.
• The uprights are 1-1/4" solid steel, 16 times as stiff as the typical rack's 5/8" steel rod or 99 times stiffer than the 1" square hollow aluminum tubing found on expensive high end racks.
• Each maple shelf is locked to the 1-1/4" steel uprights by being captured with crushing force between two massive threaded brass cylinders at each corner. This yields a totally rigid vibration path and zero perceptible or measurable side sway. The 1-1/4" uprights thread directly and rigidly into threaded brass Heavyfeet or Megafeet—the most massive footers offered on any available equipment rack.
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