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The strings are made from nylon chosen from a few dozen of tested materials. This interface had to be strong, have good damping characteristics but could not elongate over time. These strings are not affixed to the supports directly but by means of a pulley return to the plinth’s tensioning mechanism. The latter is borrowed from how instruments apply tension to their strings. The entire assembly needs to be leveled and then set up such that the upper shelf floats as close over the plinth as possible without touching it. Tension should be applied without any load or the string would overstretch to lose its proper compliance. This involves some trial and error but in fact does not require much time to get right. The mechanical properties of such a setup—its resonance frequency and how it damps incoming vibration from the outside world or the device placed upon it—are defined by the parameters quoted earlier by Mr. Skrzypczak. I would simply add the thickness of the shelves themselves and the length of the strings as well as the weight of the machine to be supported and its mechanical makeup. So we need to take many elements into consideration but that’s simply how it is.

Because this time I wanted to test the influence of these shelves on the sound of my own system, I considered my personal equipment and ordered a platform with dimensions suitable for my Ancient Audio Air player. To complicate the issue and create a reference point, I asked Mr. Skrzypczak to send me another platform with exactly the same dimensions but with Birch Ply shelves at twice the thickness. This second platform had golden feet and its tensioning mechanism could be placed inside the plinth, with only pins sticking out to be operated by a small crank. On the classic platform the max load may be 48kg whereas the double thick one accepts up to 60kg.

Sound: Discs used during this review: Stereo Sound Reference Record. Jazz&Vocal, Stereo Sound, SSRR4, SACD/CD; Ann Richards, Ann, Man!, ATCO/Atlantic Records/Warner Music Japan, WPCR-25181; Artur Lesicki Acoustic Harmony, Stone And Ashes, Fonografika, 559040, CD + master CD-R; Gerry Mulligan Quartet, Dragonfly, Telarc, CD-83377, CD; Jim Hall, Live!, Horizon/A&M Records/Universal Music Japan, UCCM-9225, CD; Mikołaj Bugajak, Strange Sounds and Inconceivable Deeds, Nowe Nagrania 001, LP+CD+WAV 24/44,1; Miles Davis, Seven Steps To Heaven, Columbia/Analogue Productions, CAPJ 8851 SA, SACD/CD; Nat “King” Cole, Love is the Thing, Capitol/Analogue Productions, CAPP 824 SA, SACD/CD; Savage, Tonight, Extravaganza Publishing Srl/Klub80, CD001, 25th Anniversary Limited Edition, CD; Suzanne Vega, Close-Up. Vol 1, Love Songs, Amanuensis Productions/Cooking Vinyl, COOKCD521, CD. Youn Sun Nah, Same Girl, HUB Music/ACT Music + Vision, ACT 9024-2, CD.

The most important element in the sound of each system is the midrange. This is a mantra repeated over and over by the British partially to cover up for the limitations imposed by their living rooms where large speakers don’t figure and partly supported by the BBC experience. In short, the midrange rules. This reflects no technical or psychoacoustic truths but merely a certain quibble that legitimised the sales of small loudspeakers without bass which usually also had poor treble (now this has changed). The midrange around 1kHz is where human hearing is especially sensitive. This means that we perceive even small distortions, phase changes, amplitude deviations and such in a much stronger and direct way than similar problems higher or lower in the audible spectrum.