The other day, a friend dropped by with a Finite Elemente Pagode Master Reference (MR) Platform which presented the perfect opportunity to try together with the Taiko Audio Extreme Switch.
My conclusion in the previous Switch, Platform, and Footers coverage was that best sound of the Taiko Audio Extreme Switch was obtained by using the Artesania Aire rack with Carbon linear Arms and KSH2 Krion shelf, and with Ansuz T2S Darkz footers under the Switch, as shown below.
The above configuration achieved the cleanest, tightest, most articulate, and most transparent sonic rendition so far. When visually comparing the Artesania rack with the Finite Elemente, one can’t help but feel the latter must surely sound relatively colored with all the wood compared to the Artesania’s Metal and Carbon. I know I sure had my expectations.
As the Ansuz Darkz T2S footers had already been selected as the “winners”, I refrained from further experiments and applied the same footers with the Pagode again.
The platform is fitted with four Finite Elemente Cerabases which according to Finite (and many users) are the optional ideal footers.
As it turned out, the Pagode platform is actually very well-balanced. When you rap it with your knuckles it certainly sounds resonant and wooden but the Finite team has taken counter-measures using advanced measuring techniques and implementing 4 anti-resonance rods. As a result, any resonances are dampened very quickly, making for a much cleaner and more linear sound than I expected.
When placed on the Pagode, the platform provides the Switch with a slightly more robust upper bass and a midrange that at first seems just the tiniest bit forward and wooden (or maybe the Artesania combo is slightly restrained in that area) but within minutes, the new presentation grows on you and makes you forget about the technicalities while enjoying the music. Timbrally, I would say the Pagode platform can at times seem more realistic or convincing but I can’t really make up my mind as to whether the platform adds some coloration or the Artesania combo is missing something. In any event, going back and forth between the two, I feel emotionally more drawn to the presentation with the Pagode while my conscious mind feels the Artesania is just a little bit cleaner, high-res, and transparent, but comparatively also a tad cooler and arguably slightly more technical. Finally, I should add that these latter aspects are to be attributed to the KSH2 Krion shelf as the Aire platform itself is actually very organic. It’s just that the Aire’s footers are not ideal for use with small components such as the Switch and are impossible to use with multiple smaller components (such as the upcoming Router and DC Distributor.
How about that? I did not expect it but must admit that the Pagode poses a solution that I would place at the same high sonic level as the Artesania solution. They provide different renditions but they both work very well.