Equipment supports - Wood, steel, glass or other?

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Acoustat

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Hi,

I'm looking to upgrade my crummy old equipment rack, but am unsure as to what type of material construction to go for.

I have read some articles in the Hi-Fi press regarding the avoidance of glass and steel which were claimed to introduce some hardness and glare to the sound, but so much of what is available is made of these two products, I'm not sure what to believe.

As it is difficult to arrange a home trial of supports, I'd be interested to hear any comments or recommendations from the ML Club based on their personal experiences.

Thank you in advance.
 
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Rouvin

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Acoustat,
That they make racks out of some matetrial may indicate nothing more than a designer liked it. Aesthetics and cost may be the only issues there.

Go to:
www.mapleshaderecords.com/index.php[/url] and look at their info on Samson racks and their single platform stands. Their 4" thick maple stand with ultimate triiplepoints and isoblocks made distinct and positive difference for my system with tube a amp on a slab floor.

They offer free information and advice (and are generous with it including DIY at):
info@mapleshaderecords.com

You might look at their Samson racks and get something similar fabricated in Australia (there must be maple in Melbourne) as shipping to Australia seems likely to be expensive, but if the Australian dollar is doing well compared to the US, it might be worth it.

Rouvin
 

Reverb

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How about a rack made out of Carbon Fiber? :D
Thats if you can foot the bill. :(

Grand Prix Audio doesn’t just make some plain Jane audio rack for holding your gear, but a High tech component isolation system using 8 steps for better component isolation. There stuff is very cool, but not cheap.


Http://www.GrandPrixAudio.com
 
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kach22i

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Go long and low over a tall tower like structure, you don't want is swaying like a skyscraper. My Member System is #42, the rosewood looking rack by Atlantis is a bit tall, they make shorter ones.

In general every piece of equipment wants it's own shelf. Each shelf should be isolated indepently by cones,spikes, cables whatever.

Do you want good looking wife approved furniture, or industrial like clamping/isolation?

Would you spend more on the rack than you did your CD player?

The theories I 've read suggest that massive wooden racks store up energy and release it causing muddy sound.

Most articles I've read advocate sturdy lead shot filled stands - which if coupled to a sprung wooden floor may simply bounce with the floor. Stiffening up the floor with jacks sometimes will let you get the most of of the new rigid rack.

My home experiments suggest that materials do exhibit an uncanny sonic signature which matches the materials look/feel. That is to say glass is clear but may cause glare. Steel is strong by may sound cold. Wood is warm but maybe grainy. Some of the plastic stuff like Corion can sound dull, similar to it's matte finish.

I am totaly serious about this - it's almost spooky.
 

risabet

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Advocatus Diabolicum

kach22i said:
. . . My home experiments suggest that materials do exhibit an uncanny sonic signature which matches the materials look/feel. That is to say glass is clear but may cause glare. Steel is strong by may sound cold. Wood is warm but maybe grainy. Some of the plastic stuff like Corion can sound dull, similar to it's matte finish.

I am totaly serious about this - it's almost spooky.

What if the glass is frosted? Differences between mild steel and high-strength steel? What about fine grained woods like maple, ebony, and cypress? What if the Corian is highly polished, it does take a high polish?
 

kach22i

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risabet said:
What if ..............Differences between ..........What about fine ..................What if
My experiments were not that extensive.

However from what architectural samples I could drag from the office and find in my basement, the polished or matt finish part of it was not the deciding or major factor.

I'm talking basic sonic personality here, kind of like tubes verses solid state, not specific capacitors.

I know at first blush it seems implausible, please keep an open mind. Do your own experiments. Read what reviewers have said about their stands/supports, is there a pattern? Look specificly at loudspeaker enclosure materials (turntable plinths) and resonate frequencies. This silly hobby just might have a little science behind it.

I mean; if the actual number of lacquer layers and the age of your violin (like a Stradivarius) have an affect on sound – then we must respect the art and mystery of good sound as well as the science which often follows it.
 

kach22i

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garmtz said:
Make a rack from plywood. Extemely good sonically and very cheap. Look for examples on the FAQ page of Lavardin:

http://www.lavardin.com
I still do not see where they sell racks, but found this:

http://www.lavardin.com/lavardin-faqE.html

What is the best rack to put the amplifier ?

The supporting board of audio components intends first to connect the component to a static and steady physical reference and second to be itself as neutral as possible.
Thus, puting component on resonating materials seems really a bad idea. Meanwhile, some materials at first non suspected for resonating do in fact much more than expected : glass, marble, even granitron and all minerals and metals have very poor self damping modulus and allow vibrations to stay in, be amplified and sent back to component.
The ultimate material is wood. Wood is made of oriented fibers that conduct energy and reduce it when energy has to pass from one fiber to an other. More, the plywood behave much better than solid wood because of its thin cross layers that allow a maximum spreading of the energy. Pressed wood and "medite" powder wood do not spread energy because they lost the fiber structure of real wood.

For these reasons, avoild any stand made completely or partially with :
- Minerals, glass, marble, granitron, ceramic : dry sound, much trebles, loss of nuances
- Carbon fiber, compounts, polyester, etc : like above
- Metal, steel, aluminium, .... : loss of nuances, agressive sound
- Pressed wood and medite : loss of detail and nuances
- Solid wood : not too bad in fact, but there is better for cheaper
- Springs, rubbers, magnets, air chamber : loss of trebles, detail and nuances

To our point of view, combinating minerals with metal with rubber and with every thing else passing by, is not a demonstration of know how...
Finally, if you have a solid, well build eavy and steady wood peace of furniture that could receive your equipment, it has much chances to sound far better than most of the Super High Tech Space or Formula One technology ( ! ) stands out there. And still, you can put a thick board of plywood under each component, for even better results.... CLICK to open a new window with full size picture (145kB)

These racks are based on our design recommendations. They are hand made. Because they weight much and because they are made of full solid materials and because they are difficult to finish, their industrial cost is higher than traditional hightech hifi stands using glass, metal tubes, carbon fiber, aluminimum ... They don't look impressive, there is no mad science behind, they just allow the best components to sound better.....
 

risabet

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kach22i said:
My experiments were not that extensive.

However from what architectural samples I could drag from the office and find in my basement, the polished or matt finish part of it was not the deciding or major factor.

I'm talking basic sonic personality here, kind of like tubes verses solid state, not specific capacitors.

I know at first blush it seems implausible, please keep an open mind. Do your own experiments. Read what reviewers have said about their stands/supports, is there a pattern? Look specificly at loudspeaker enclosure materials (turntable plinths) and resonate frequencies. This silly hobby just might have a little science behind it.

I mean; if the actual number of lacquer layers and the age of your violin (like a Stradivarius) have an affect on sound – then we must respect the art and mystery of good sound as well as the science which often follows it.
Did you notice my title? I was acting the devil's advocate. Personally, I find the idea that different substances make systems sound different to be perfectly acceptable.
 

DTB300

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risabet said:
Did you notice my title? I was acting the devil's advocate. Personally, I find the idea that different substances make systems sound different to be perfectly acceptable.
Absolutely...the little bit of experimenting I did with wood under my amps proved that. And it was only with Popular and Pine. Roberto did a bunch of research on this, but lost most of his data, but can attest to the difference wood under your components make.

Dan
 
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