Sean LeFebvre purchased a pair of the MK II isolation platforms and appreciated them so much he then acquired a pair of our MK III platforms (now GP3A). Sean kindly agreed to put his feelings into words for us and this is what he had to say:

“Derrick Francis of Tough Nut Audio is an artisan, talented engineer, serious audiophile and beyond passionate craftsman. All the ingredients one would need to produce some of the best isolation platforms I’ve ever used. For reference, my setup is considered “high end” with professional grade components from EMM Labs and Antipodes, wiring from MIT and Nordost and critically acclaimed Audio Vector and Gershman Acoustic speakers. I was searching for new platforms for my recently upgraded Rogue Audio M180 (Dark Ed.) Monoblock’s and I by chance stumbled on a platform from Tough Nut Audio. In talking with Derrick, he agreed he would build bespoke platforms for the M180’s. During the entire process, Derrick would share design plans with me – some of it over my head to be honest but I knew what he was trying to accomplish. The level of detail and thought put behind these platforms is astonishing. The end product is absolutely high-end audiophile, that would be at home in the most expensive setups. At a very high level, the way the platforms are designed and engineered; they dissipate the energy from the monstrous M180’s outwards and away from the amps which in my opinion has dramatically brought down the noise floor. The vibrations from the speakers are also channeled away from the actual amps which help reduce tube resonance and microphonics, improving the imaging and increasing the soundstage in both depth and width. The level of detail that has gone into the design, from the original rendering to the final product is simply awe-inspiring. One should never under-estimate how important tweaks like these platforms can have on the performance of one’s rig. Adding these platforms to my system has redefined for me the cost to performance ratio. Without hesitation, I would highly recommend anyone who’s striving for that final 10%, give Derrick and Tough Nut Audio serious consideration. This is a world-class product produced by an absolutely talented and perhaps overly passionate individual. Nothing wrong with that 😊
Thank you Derrick!”

Sean LeFebvre. Montreal, Quebec
November 2022

Sean’s MK II isolation platforms (now called GP3A)

Sean’s MK II isolation platforms

Sam Chan, a long-time fellow enthusiast has participated in some of our testing sessions and here are some of his observations:

“Derrick and I have known one another for quite some time, both as a colleagues and friends. Since we love listening to music in both vinyl and CD, there has not been a dull moment in any of our conversations on the topics of audio and how to get the best out of our systems.

A couple of years ago, Derrick told me that he has started his own wood working company called “Tough Nut”. Recently, his love & passion for audio have motived him to take his wood working skills to the next level and began researching audio isolation platforms and acoustic panels, two audio categories that would augment his audio stands quite well.

A few months later he sent me pictures of a prototype which he built in his woodshop and I was intrigued. I was one of the fortunate people whom he invited to have a listen to the final product he built after months of research and experiments.

Upon arriving at his home, he proudly lead me to the pair of the latest and greatest platforms that he has custom built for another audiophile. He passionately explained to me every single detail that went into the research and how it has evolved to the final product, from materials choice to how each components are tight fitted together, and the sourcing of the best rubber isolation feet from Germany. I was totally impressed!

Talking is always cheap, so it came to the time for the real test, let our ears be the judge!

For a fair comparison, we decided to test on his Bryston CD player with and without his proprietary designed platform. The sound was totally different when tested on this isolation platform, it was both open and had a very detailed and deep sound stage, the vocal just came out without fatigue and hesitation, a lot more detail than without the platform, It was a totally enjoyable listening experience!

Then we moved on to test his Revox turntable, the resulting tests were very much the same as the test performed on the CD player except this platform was different.

The main body of the CD platform was laminated maple whereas the platform for the turntable incorporated a sand filled cartridge, but the dampening and hardware were otherwise very similar.

When we tested the turntable with the platform it had more bass, the vocals came out more natural and upfront, another truly ‘ear-opening’ experience! After listening to these two isolation platforms on his audio equipment I was simply made a believer.

I am now waiting to have my own isolation platform to be tested on my system at home.

Once I have the platform, I will write up another testimonial as a follow up to this one.

Stay tuned!”
Sam Chan. Markham, Ontario.
December 2022

Tough Nut Setup @ Testing

Sean’s MK II isolation platforms

Sam Chan’s follow-up!

“Please note that my previous submission were my observations from the tests performed at Derrick’s studio. We tested several of the Tough Nut isolation platforms which he designed, engineered, and built and all tests were performed on his equipment.

Full of excitement, I placed an order for a MK III Audio Isolation Platform before I left his home. During the building of my MK III, Derrick sent me pictures keeping me in the loop on the progress and process of this specific unit. I was totally made aware of every single step and was very impressed with his enthusiasm and pride in his products!

The day had come to take ownership and test the MK III platform in my dedicated media room and I invited Derrick to join me. I decided to use the MK III platform to replace a 2-1/2” butcherblock platform that was currently under my vacuum tube CD player, a Shangling CD3000. Power is from a Bryston 3Bsst2, coupled to an Anthem AVM30 processor with pure out 2 channel selected. Interconnect cables are Cardas and the speakers are Paradigm Studio Reference 60 v4.
First we put the test to one of my favorite CDs – ‘The Katie Melua Collection’.

Once again, her voice just came out strong and transparent without any signs of fatigue, the sound stage was just amazing! Without a doubt, it surely sounded much better with the MK III! Then we moved on to test another CD – The Butterfly Lovers (Violin Concerto by Takako Nishizak with the Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra). The music was simply amazing!

This is also the first time that I heard some subtle background music in a few of the orchestra’s sessions. The MK III has indeed brought a new dimension and life to this amazing recording! In conclusion, I found the MK III isolation platform has increased the listening pleasure of my CD collection. I will definitely re-listen to all my favorite CDs again!

I would highly recommended Tough Nut’s MK III Isolation Platform to any audio enthusiast who has been looking to improve on their listening pleasure, without spending a lot of money on other gadgets.

Highly recommended!”
Sam Chan. Markham, Ontario.
December 2022

Sam’s MK III isolation platform (now called GP3)

Sam’s MK III isolation platform
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