Our Amish-crafted, solid maple platforms are an integral part of the Mapleshade Vibration Control System that has transformed the sound of thousands of audiophile systems over the years. Here's a link to a detailed description of Mapleshade's Vibration Control Systems.
Mounting your audio gear on a really good platform transforms the sound. Our painstaking listening panel R&D tests proved that maple platforms sound warmer, clearer, punchier and more detailed than granite, slate or glass (all are edgy and bass-killing), hi-tech damped composites (very dead sounding), and myrtle or exotic hardwoods (more colored and less detailed). That is confirmed unequivocally by more than a decade of head-to-head shootoffs by skeptical audiophiles. Placing brass footers under your gear to more efficiently drain vibration down into the maple doubles the good effect.
Maple's sonic superiority over all other woods is old news to every violin and piano maker since Stradivarius and Steinway. Instrument makers taught us to NEVER use commercial, kiln-dried maple. The kiln's high heat weakens the wood's fibers, thereby deadening sound. Air-dried maple is less colored and closer to the sound of our master tapes than any other platform material—audibly better than harder or softer or denser woods, and notably better than kiln-dried maple or, worse yet, maple butcher blocks (excessively damped by their multitude of glue joints and their kiln-drying).
Because finding air-dried 2" to 4" thick, old-growth maple at ordinary lumber yards is impossible, Pierre turned to a local Amish sawmill in 2001. They find us logs of very special maple indeed: 75 to 100 year old Ambrosia maple that sounds distinctly warmer and clearer than Canadian rock maple. These old trees yield wood of gorgeous character: much tighter and more variegated grain, lovely nut-colored contrasts, subtly shimmering curl, birdseye and tiger stripes—and, strikingly, our tests show that variegated maple platforms sound better than featureless clear maple. After our rough-cut maple air-dries for 3 to 6 years, depending on thickness, our Amish craftsman Ben, with his sons Crist and Uri, meticulously plane, bevel, shape and sand our platforms. Ben takes particular pride in his satiny lacquer finishes. They handsomely show off the dramatic character and grain of our hand-selected, old-growth Ambrosia maple.
Our platforms are only made air-dried maple simply because our tests show any other materials would degrade sound. However, we offer four handsome finishes to suit a wide range of decors.
Our stock platforms are hand finished with a clear satin lacquer that beautifully enhances the striking natural grain character of our air-dried maple. We also offer three made-to-order toned lacquer finishes: Natural Cherry, Deep Rosewood, and Black Satin.
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