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Why Pine though? The most important reasons are the species' special properties; the multilayer structuring of the final assembly; and easy availability to start out with high volume for the sorting process. To build one platform requires sifting through about 100 cubic meters of sawn timber dried to 8-10% humidity which relies on high-production capabilities, a keen eye and additionally a lot of work. Few manufacturers can afford such finicky selection criteria to reject such large quantities. In this case the reject wood is sold to companies which manufacture window frames, doors and such. The wood ending up in these platforms comes from the company's own suppliers to be properly aged/cured. All this ensures consistent high quality during production.

The company's final asset are 35 years of experience in the lumber business. Mr Kamiennik told me that they also experimented with Beech which proved less dimensionally stable under environmentally changing conditions. Its harder more homogenous consistency also propagates rather than suppresses vibrations. This further eliminated Oak for being too hard and brittle. Composites weren't considered because they don't fall into the company's core competency. Rejects and leftovers couldn't be sold to their usual contacts. That said, customers can specify custom wood species for their supports and in any size but this can't guarantee the same mechanical properties.

A selection of recordings used during this review: A Day at Jazz Spot 'Basie'. Selected by Shoji Swifty"Sugawara, Stereo Sound Reference Record SSRR6-7, SACD/CD (2011); Daft Punk, Random Access Memories, Columbia Records/Sony Music Japan SICP-3817, CD (2013); Danielsson, Dell, Landgren, Salzau Music On The Water, ACT Music ACT 9445-2, CD (2006); Dominic Miller, Fourth Wall, Q-rious Music QRM 108-2, CD (2006); Frank Sinatra, Sinatra Sings Gershwin, Columbia/Legacy/Sony Music Entertainment 507878 2, CD (2003); Johann Sebastian Bach, St. John Passion, BWV 245, Smithsonian Chamber Players and Chorus, Kenneth Slowik, Smithsonian Collection Of Recordings ND 0381, 2 x CD (1990); Portishead, Dummy, Go! Disc Limited/Universal Music LLC (Japan) UICY-20164, “My Generation My Music”, SHM-CD (1994/2011); Portishead, Third, Go! Disc/Universal Music K.K. (Japan) UICI-1069, CD (2008); The Modern Jazz Quartet, Pyramid, Atlantic Records/Warner Music Japan WPCR-25125, Atlantic 60th, CD (1960/2006).

To get started, here's a quote from F. Alton Everest's "Master Handbook of Acoustics" [Katowice 2010, pages 65 and 95]: "The structure of the human ear is subject to scientific studies called physiology whilst how a man perceives sound is a subject for psychology studies. The branch of science which studies the physical structure of the human ear, how sound travels within it and the interactions between the two is called psychoacoustics. It is a relatively new branch of science of particular interest for us as it covers both the anatomical structure and how it works. A sound wave entering the ear starts a process which results in nerve cell signal passed to the brain where it creates an auditory sensation. At this point the question arises how sounds are recognized and interpreted by our brain? Despite many years of research considering all aspects of human hearing, our knowledge here is still limited. […] We can't actually 'read' results from eyes or ears but our ears are still a perfect instrument for making comparisons."

I couldn't think of a better introduction to this review. As you'll l see in the methodology section, I performed A/B/A comparisons with both A and B known. 'A' was an amplifier directly on my rack, 'B' an amplifier on this platform instead. I used 1-minute long samples for this. It's the simplest experiment a man can perform to generate relatively scientific reliable results. To perform it one obviously, needs experience and some sort of listening training that comes with years of doing it. As the author of Master… wrote, "a skilled man after proper training, when listening to the sound of violin, is able to tell apart different overtones from the basic tone." When comparing platforms to a shelf of a regular rack even a person of lesser skill should be able to hear some difference.