I've used a Berlebach Planet regularly since 2007 but this view about the primacy of wood is over simplified. The Losmandy hd is aluminum and as solid or more so. The Tpod 110 is aluminum and as solid or more so. (The HAL vixens are well reputed but I haven't owned one.) The ATS pier is aluminum and also as solid as the Berlebach. I own that too. 10micron also has a superb aluminum tripod which I saw at NEAF but I don't own.
The reason to go with wood is that in freezing weather you don't have brutal skin contact problems. Even so I chose the Tpod for the dm6 because it is lighter and faster set up.
I agree with requiring zero damping time for performance. I use my tripods with g11, Dm6, and ap900. The ap900 is excellent on losmandy HD and ATS.
A bouncing scope makes focusing difficult. The whole reason we're out there is to get the object in focus. And it interferes with observing too.
Anyhow berlebach is a competitive and attractive top tier tripod but aluminum alternatives are too. Stability lies in design and execution.
I use my scopes two at a time and solo. I don't always go for the 45 minute setup of c14+refractor+ap900+ATS. If the moon is rising or clouds coming in and the observing window is two or three hours I might go for c8 on Berlebach and G11. If it's neighborhood viewing for short periods a 3.6 or 5 inch apo on dm6 and tpod. I'm fortunate to have a lot of toys and can tailor the configurations to the circumstances.
Greg, I believe you are on the right track saying that wood as a material doesn’t have any magical properties that couldn’t be achieved with other materials. However,
it does not
1) wood as a material would not
have very good vibration dampening characteristics, and
2) those cheap, round steel tube tripods would not ring like a bell
once excited with a suitable resonant frequency.
Case in point: Berlebach Report is a really
light-weight tripod, and is downright flimsy in design. Yet, it is vastly more vibration-resistant than a much heavier 1.75” Synta steel tripod, once either one is loaded with a bit longer refractor. I know, because I’ve done the experiment many times myself. Design or the material? I do not know but vote for the latter
But now we digress and wander off-topic...
EDIT: come to think of it, the legs of Vixen HALs (on which I don’t have any experience either) are very similar in design to Berlebachs, despite having been made of aluminum. The truth might lie somewhere in between...
Edited by Axunator, 13 April 2019 - 09:14 AM.