Artesania Organic Line Modular Floor Platform
Review sample supplied by Artesania Audio
Retail price in the Netherlands: 2600 euro
I first laid eyes on it at the HifiDeluxe show in the Marriott Hotel during the Munich High-End audio show in 2019. While the gold-colored pillars used at the show took some getting used to, the racks’ style was refreshing. More notably, it was at this occasion that I saw floor platforms of the same “Organic Line” series and these platforms immediately struck me as being particularly beautiful. If the gold color does not agree with the personal preference then that is nothing to worry about because Artesania has many other paint options to choose from as well as a range of real leather versions.
Artesania room showing the Modular Racks at the HifiDeluxe show in 2019
Although it is referred to by Artesania as “Floor Rack”, in my view, a “rack” normally indicates two or more levels, so I’ll disobediently refer to it simply as a floor platform.
The platform comes in a custom-made solid wood box
It’s not meant to be stacked but like the Modular Rack, the Modular platform could be extended by adding 3 pillars and another level, creating an exceptionally deep Modular rack. I’m not sure if anyone would actually do this but it is possible.
The end caps with the Artesania logo hide the screw heads that fix the pillars in place. The caps can very cleverly be removed by using the supplied suction tool.
With the same system and materials, and a similar width, the Modular floor platform looks almost identical to the Modular rack. There’s one major difference: the depth! With a royal 78cm depth this platform can easily accommodate even the tallest and deepest amplifiers.
While floor platforms are usually more expensive than single levels of a rack, the Artesania Modular platform is actually priced exactly the same as a single level for the Modular rack. Yes, 2600 euro is not pocket change but if you are reading this article chances are that you own very serious equipment. And serious equipment deserves serious support.
Bryston 4B Cubed
One might assume that heavy and solidly-built amplifiers such as the Bryston 4B Cubed do not care what surface they are placed upon but then one would be wrong! When moving the 4B from the floor to the Modular Floor platform while using the Kroma Audio Carmens with the Jay’s Audio CDT-2Mk2 and DAC 2 Signature combo and the Lejonklou Sagatun double mono preamp, the power amp sounds immediately and very noticeably different. So different, in fact, that Jan Legel of Penhold (distributor of Martin Logan and Anthem, among others) who was in the adjacent room and not aware of what I was doing in the main room, immediately commented: “that sounds completely different”!
The track that I played at that time was “Pytanie O” by Anna Maria Jopek and the difference was that the sound bubble became larger while the percussive instruments within it became more clearly separated and distinct, and much more immediate. And this was noticeable from the kitchen which is located sideways from the main system, go figure! Meanwhile, Anna Maria Jopek’s voice remained tightly focused midway between the speakers and, in spite of the enhanced presence, the sound had become timbrally richer, even more natural and acoustically more convincing. Just as I had heard before when reviewing the Modular Rack, this is the remarkable synergy that apparently exists between Krion and Panzerholz.
The Modular floor platform is strong enough to hold two big Bryston amplifiers
With the amplifier placed back on the floor, it was hard to imagine that this was how the amp is usually listened to, even by me, not knowing at that time how much better it could be. On the floor, the sound lost a lot of its organic richness, the bass became thinner, the treble pinchier, and the soundstage considerably flatter. I repeated this test with the Bryston 14B Cubed beast of an amplifier and, unsurprisingly, it benefitted in precisely the same manner.
Switching to the CH Precision A1.5 amplifier set up as normal on the 3.395-euro Artesania Aire platform with Carbon Linear Arms (at an extra 1384 euro), the sound is precisely as I want it. It works very well with the Kromas but also with all other speakers that I have had on visit. When moving the A1.5 from the Aire to the Modular floor platform, the midrange becomes very noticeably richer and more organic and the soundstage gains depth, aiding the 3D effect. The sound also becomes slightly darker which is probably particularly audible because the A1.5 is so airy itself. The effect of the Modular floor platform is especially likable with vocals in generic and soul music in particular where the delivery takes on less of an analytical quality and becomes more “human”. On the other hand, I quite like how the Aire makes the A1.5 sound airier and more refined as well as more transparent.
It’s not as much a matter of better or worse as much as it is a balancing act. The Aire platform seems to be playing more to the strengths of the CH Precision amp and the effect is cumulative and in line with what I want to achieve with this system. With Bryston amplifiers, the starting sound is very different and these amps have strengths in different areas of the delivery than the CH Precision. Here, the Modular platform is playing much more to the amps’ inherent strengths.
For some people, the sound is all that matters but for me, aesthetics are also very important. Fortunately, the Artesania Modular racks and floor platform are utter eye-candy. But don’t underestimate them due to their pretty looks – they also offer a very serious upgrade over any standard rack.
The Modular platform may not sound as transparent and airy as the Aire platform, or the Exoteryc range for that matter, but it creates a category all of its own. The “Organic Line” name is particularly well-chosen because the platform injects a beautiful organic quality and timbral richness into every audio component that is placed on it.
Additionally, it is not only perfect for (power-) amplifiers. I’ve also used it very successfully with a range of DACs and it seems to work especially synergistically with CD transports. So far, I have used the Jay’s Audio CDT-2Mk2, the Spectral SDR-3000 and a range of classic Philips swing-arm CD players and they all take on a more organic delivery and, consequently, provide an emotionally more engaging performance on this platform than on the other racks.
The platform has been made permanently part of my review system and as such I will have the opportunity to try many more products with it. I can’t wait!