There is a highly audible sonic element when using wood in audio equipment racking. All species of wood have a different and highly distinct sound and tonal result when vibrating. That sound becomes part of a complex blending of electronics, loudspeaker systems, and the overall sonic quality of the room.
A block of wood when vibrating establishes a frequency range well within the hearing range of humans so we are presented with the ultimate or impossible challenge in determining what wood sounds best related to our music systems sonics and listening environment.
Which wood sounds the best?
This is a prime example of a Pandora’s Box scenario as there are too many additional variables controlling the outcome.
When a finish is applied to the wood it will change the tone and musical character of the sound. If the wood has a clear coat or hardened surface the ‘damping factors’ of the wood dramatically change and so will the audible result as well as functionality.
All materials known to man have damping factors that are provided by a mathematical formula. Google provides us: The damping ratio is a dimensionless measure describing how oscillations in a system decay after a disturbance. Every earthly material possesses natural energy absorbent properties of which resonance energy is naturally absorbed and dissipated.
The amount of damping affects all sound reproduction. Materials can over-damp where the live dynamic of the music is lost forever or under-damped where resonance caused by vibrations clogs all the electric, electromechanical, mechanical, and acoustic pathways hence limiting the performance of any and all products used in reproducing musical content.
More issues with woods:
Some say that wood isolates vibration and that is “Not True”. Repeat wood does not isolate sound as this is one of those decades-long audiophile myths.
If the rack is constructed by a furniture company or cabinet maker and they advertise it as an isolation rack or attach a few metal cones to the undercarriage the rack does not isolate resonance or vibrations.
A few questions before choosing an equipment rack:
What materials are the support rods made of and how do the rods come in contact with the shelving and/or flooring? The Timbre uses 100% copper rods and inserts. The undercarriage of each shelf lies a carbon steel framework increasing resonance conductivity and reducing wood noise. The shelf surface parts are copper Audio Points and Coupling Discs along with the large three floor Audio Points anchoring the platform.
Do the rods fit into the mathematical formula for vibration management purposes?
Does the electronic equipment rest solely on the wood shelves using the factory-installed footer systems that come with each component?
Does the design use rubber, sand fill, or lead as an absorbent material in order to reduce vibrations?
And the most critical question – How does the racking sound? Will it sound the same way in the store as in your home?
For twenty-plus years we designed and manufactured Industry-leading vibration management products using specific alloys of steel and brass in order to remove the sound of the rack and rack noise from your listening. The frequency range of these materials when vibrating in a musical environment is well above and below human hearing so the rack has no audible sonic character, therefore, does not affect the sound of the speakers and electronics packages.
For decades, listeners asked us to manufacture wood racking for many reasons. Wife factors and environmental décor are the majority of requests requiring a wood cosmetic.
With the advancements and applications of Live-Vibe Technology, particularly involving our successful adaptations to woodwind musical instruments and understanding more about how woods react to vibration and resonance; we now have a wood styled equipment rack that limits the noise of the shelves vibrating and have effectively established mechanical pathways for resonance flow to the earth’s ground.
Timbre Platforms audibly increase the performance of any component and/or loudspeaker system. We are extremely confident you will realize the difference between the racks you currently own regardless of price point when you audition the performance of a Soundstage Audio Platform. A 100% Total and Complete Satisfaction Guarantee backs every Soundstage Audio product.
Are they as good in comparison to the steel and brass designs?
No. However we listened and tried a lot of wood designs where nothing we have found comes close to the performance of the Timbre structure.
Again, we always have you covered by our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee so there is nothing to hide or storytelling or overindulgent marketing involved with our first wood racking design.