This SAMSON V.4 configuration includes:
(5) 27-1/2" wide x 21" deep solid air-dried maple shelves finished with clear satin lacquer. All shelves are 2" thick.
(4) 60" H. black solid-steel uprights
(4) brasss top caps, (32) brass shelf nuts, and (4) brass footers. Choose footers from the pull-down menu based on floor type.
• For best performance on uncarpeted floors, choose our standard footer option. Upgrade to Megafeet for ultimate performance.
• To avoid leaving dings on expensive hardwood floors, use our radiused footer options.
• On carpet, it is essential for the points of the SAMSON's footers to penetrate the rug and contact the solid floor underneath.
• For high pile carpet with padding (more than 1/2" deep), you need thick carpet footers to penetrate to the floor.
• For thin commercial wall-to-wall carpet (less than 1/2"), thin carpet footers will sound slightly better than the thick carpet version.
• To hear the full potential of the SAMSON, we strongly encourage mounting each component to its shelf with our brass footers. Using Micropoint Heavyfeet or Triplepoints to couple your components to the maple will nearly double the sonic improvement you get with the SAMSON.
• Audiophiles seeking the ultimate in performance may want to consider adding a 2" or 4" thick Finished Maple Platform on Isoblocks under key components. Add-on platforms with Isoblocks help isolate each component from vibrations generated by gear on the other shelves. The sonic improvement is especially remarkable under turntables and tubed equipment.
• Users with turntables may want to consider ordering the 4" option for the top shelf; the improvement over the 2" shelf is highly audible (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 to order the SAMSON with all 4" shelves plus a 4" maple platform on every shelf. This is simply the best-sounding equipment rack in the world, bar none. We have a sizable number of customers who have ordered this no-hold-barred configuration--and who report that installing the second layer of maple platforms onto the 4" shelves turned an already superb sounding rack into a breathtaking one.
• Every SAMSON shelf is hand-planed from rough-cut 2-1/2" and 4-1/2" maple to remove saw marks and surface imperfections. We aim for a true 2" or 4" thickness--as opposed to the commercial lumber practice of undersizing. But, because of variations in the rough-cut timber, the exact thickness may vary by up to 3/16".
Design & Performance
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 with 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. Plywood is a distant second with butcher block, MDF and particle board increasingly poor-sounding.
• 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). No matter what the wood, the industry standard ¾" 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 unshakeably rigid and stiff. Most importantly, there must be absolutely no side-sway and no fore-and-aft sway. This is a weak point for almost every audio rack on the market.
The SAMSON addresses these crucial design issues quite simply:
• Shelves are 2" and 4” air-dried maple. Two inch solid maple is over 40 times as stiff as the ¾" veneered MDF standard on most audiophile racks.
• Uprights are 1 ¼" solid steel, 8 times as stiff as the typical rack's 5/8" steel rod or 1" square hollow aluminum tubing.
• Shelves are 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 measurable side sway.
• Solid 2" thick air-dried maple shelves finished in clear lacquer.
• 2" shelves will support 300+ pounds; 4" will support over 900 pounds.
• Shelf dimensions are 27-1/2" wide x 21" deep; 23" width between uprights.
• Fully assembled height is 60"-61" from the floor to the upper surface of the top shelf, depending upon flooring and footer type.
• 1-1/4" diameter, solid steel vertical supports, fully threaded for infinite adjustability; with matte black plating.
• When evenly spaced, vertical clearance between shelves is +/- 12".