Philosophy

 

Inspired by a life long passion for music and a 23 + year pursuit of higher fidelity sound at home, our work is simply a labor of love.  As a life long music lover, collector and high end audio enthusiast, my own quest for musical enjoyment lies at the very roots of our efforts.  Artisan Fidelity employs state of the art cad /cam design, precision high tolerance cnc machine engineering in conjunction with painstaking hand crafted woodworking techniques in each analog playback instrument.  Our design and manufacturing efforts represent combined talents of skilled master woodworkers, artists, professional painters, certified electronics technicians, degreed mechanical and tribology engineers. with one goal.....

 

To faithfully recreate analog music through model design integrity, passion and commitment.

 

Artisan Fidelity employs precision machine engineering in conjunction with traditional old world assembly and finishing techniques in each analog playback masterpiece. Solely bespoke designed natural hardwood, engineered wood composites and project specific metal based alloy plinths individually precision milled and hand crafted by local third generation artisan woodworkers. Internally, constrained layer damping techniques are utilized in select models for proper resonance contouring and internal mass loading, both which play a key role in these designs. Constrained layer damping mechanical engineering techniques are for suppression of vibration achieved through a viscoelastic or other damping material sandwiched between two sheets of stiff materials that lack sufficient damping by themselves.  All materials, including hardwoods and metals exhibit some viscoelastic response and in some applications, such as a precision analog playback device, even small viscoelastic behavior can be audibly significant.

 

Early, during preliminary testing, listening, design and development phases, we quickly realized that each individual LP/record based analog playback device reacts differently and in unique ways when coupled to various materials.  Furthermore, elements of the substratum recipe acts as another layer of tonal contouring achieved through mass loading and subsequent applied resonant damping techniques.  Therefore, each individual Artisan Fidelity model incorporates a unique design approach and methodology, as every platform requires a special base set of ingredients, if you will.  Unlike many designers, I felt a one size fits all approach to plinth material selection, architecture and layout represented an enormous compromise and simply does not fit into my personal musical playback standards and comprehensive design philosophy.  

 

Exotic and domestic hardwood veneers possessing thickness ranges from 1/24" - 1/7" are first hand selected and in certain models, plank wrap from 1/8" to 1" thick are skillfully applied to plinths exterior surfaces.  Seal coating internal cavities using high grade synthetic sealers provides the benefit of long lasting structural durability and internal strength.  We carefully design and hand build each heirloom plinth from scratch to suit your personal criteria and stated goals.  A wide variety of structural and aesthetic aspects are open to consideration.  Certain myths exist which suggest superiority of thin veneering over genuine hard wood panel, otherwise known as plank wrapping. This notion is false and in the eyes of a master woodworker has no merit. The simple truth of the matter is that natural wood will inevitably move and shift to a certain degree over time, which applies to both thin veneer or solid wood planks. Neither veneer consisting of various thicknesses, or hardwood plank wraps are devoid of this naturally occurring phenomenon. A myriad of variables come into play such as environmental conditions ie. heat, pressure and humidity, specific bonding/sealing techniques, construction methods and finish applications play a vital role in helping to maintain a stable surface.  The real key to a long lasting and stable natural wood finish lies in the master craftsman's skillful finishing and sealing methods.  Veneer is most often overlaid on hard wood, fiberboard, or plywood all of which have a different expansion and contraction rate than the veneer bonded on top. The result is that when the veneer naturally expands or contracts according to the climate, the material below it does not expand or contract at the same rate causing the veneer to crack over time. In certain situations, veneer is required to conform to irregular shapes, these circumstances are largely unavoidable when designing over multiple layered damped composite cores and various contours.

In our experience, the skillful and meticulous methods of wood plank application or in certain cases, wood veneer in conjunction with construction, bonding, sealing and lastly modern or old world finishing techniques are critical ingredients required when constructing an heirloom wood plinth built to last a lifetime.  Artisan Fidelity master woodworkers possessing some 63+ years of combined experience with generations of knowledge passed down are proficient in executing these skilled design and building based applications.  For clients with specific project finish requirements we provide the following options: matte, semi gloss, lacquer, varnish, polyurethane high gloss, genuine hand rubbed English oil and Danish oil, sprayed catalyzed lacquer, water based polyurethane, conversion varnish, factory automotive paint and micro suede coatings.

 

Christopher Thornton 

Designer

Artisan Fidelity

info@artisanfidelity.com