Maple is the basis of many racks, to my ears it rings like a bell. A friend has a Quadrispire which sounds good to me.
28 responses Add your response
I have owned a four shelf Adona for quite a few years. It's a big value at its asking price for the basic model. You can go up the price scale depending on which stand you choose.
The Mapleshade is very much like the Walker Proscenium Stand except less expensive. I am very familiar with the Walker. While it is a good stand, it may not be ideal for unsuspended TTs.
My suggestion is this. Buy the basic Adona and buy a Symposium Ultra shelf for your TT which you would rest on the TT shelf of the Adona. If your TT is unsuspended the results will be fabulous. Good luck!
Go4vinyl, couple of things to think about:
1. Good racks can be expensive
2. There are many expensive racks but very very few of them are actually good.
Most of the expensive racks change the sound drastically and that is the reason they charge a lot of money.
Anyway, among the many racks I have tried, regardless of money I found the Naim Fraimlite to be one of the best racks. They also have a higher model called Fraim but that is not within your budget. I prefer the Fraimlite to the likes of Finite Elemente Master and Solid Tech Rack of silence. Sonically, the Naim racks are fast, detailed, very transparent yet warm and fluid. You start hearing and understanding the musical flow in a very obvious way. While most other high end racks do the audiophile things well, the Naim racks additionally makes music.
If you put all (and I mean ALL) your gear on some sort of sorbothane-ish feet/pod things I think you can avoid the (perhaps silly) expense of often overpriced hifi specific racks. Really. Trust me. My groovy looking MDF and metal Walmart open rack thing with a bottom DRAWER for god's sake (and unused cables, manuals, tube meter, tubes, a map of Cuba). It's what I do (so you KNOW it's right)...except for my turntable which is on its own firm but light little table per some obscure Linn instructions I found someplace. Having said this, there may be some comfort in knowing you have invested a pile of "hobby bucks" on spiked/slung/isolated/heavy/rolling(!)/wood/particle/non wood/non particle shelves that make you happy, and that's priceless...sort of.
Zoethecus are great racks if you can find one used.
I have my non suspended Clearaudio Master Solution on a 4 shelf Zoethecus rack. You can rap on the wood posts and perimeter frames while playing records and nothing get's thru to the table. The shelves sit on isolation pods on metal corners brackets attached to the perimeter frames which are attached to the legs. I also have my Wadia CD player tube amp, preamp and phono stage on the other shelves. I paid $1250 for it years ago as a dealer demo.
These occasionally come up under $1000 depending on condition and number of shelves.
There is a three shelf for sale now for around $350 where the seller actually made granite selves for it. They look great but not sure they sound any better due to Granite ringing. I believe he also has the original mdf shelves so this is a good deal if someone only needs a three shelf stand.
I have Zoethecus stands for both my equipment and my amp. Core stands are similar to the old Zoethecus. Before that I a had Solidsteel 6.4 equipment stand. And before that I had a Target AER4.
My turntable is on a VPI turntable stand filled with sand and a thick maple top. I wanted a separate stand for my turntable away from any possible equipment vibration. The VPI filled with sand is VERY heavy and very solid. The maple top sits on cones.
I have noticed a huge improvement in the sound when I went from metal stands to a wood ones. All my gear is tube so that may make a difference. I think my system just sounds a little more natural on a good solid wood rack. If I were going to buy a new stand today it would probably be something like a Walker or Mapleshade stand. But I really like the old Zoethecus stands with their special Z shelves. I would not trade mine for anything.
I relish agreement, even with an unnecessarily plural moniker. I appreciate groovy design, but extremely expensive racks are things I really doubt would pass a blind test if the components on the racks were individually isolated with the aforementioned bits of vibration soaking goo pads. And hey...where else can I say "vibration soaking goo pads?"
I say go with the most solid rack you can with lots of mass. That way if you need to couple some components to the rack you can and if you need to isolate other components you can do that, too (using your goo pads). I decided to build a rack similar to a Walker but with enhancements. I have no scientific data to support my design, but I guarantee that many of the companies making audiophile racks have no scientific data to support their designs, either. I simply designed mine to fit two turntables on the top, have enough space for six other components, be extremely solid and massive, have good aesthetics, adjustable feet, and be relatively easy to build. The only thing I screwed up was the easy to build part!
What kind of floor is under the rack, and do you have any problems with footfalls and your non-suspended table?
MANY THANKS for taking the time to share your opinions - this is great...all seriously good, valid points. I am in no rush (need to save up the funds, and try to make as good decision I can when the time comes). I have been experimenting a lot with the 'budget tweaks' (its fun, relatively inexpensive and easy to do) through the years in this hobby of ours - I am aware of the necessity to do 'one thing at a time and let it be for a while'...amongst those I've tried Sorbothane feet etc...the sorbo feet didn't work for me under any component (and I have tried under all at the same time as well) - I know a lot of people likes and uses them. I do revisit ever so often and now my next step is to take 4 inch butcher blocks and have some adhesive sorbo sheet under (1/8 thick) and place between TT and maple shelf (2 inch - I do think the comment that maple resonates some...maybe the 4 inch thick is better and I have no doubt Mapleshade is a good rack) - this is within my current budget as I had it laying around ;-) I'll report when I've tested (may take a while)...
I've tested small Myrtle blocks under the components and they really work - I can't wrap my head around how (exactly like when I realized that changing power cords changes the sound - trying not to think about it...)...I like what they do under any and all components.
I do believe mass and coupling is important - the vibrations just have to dissipate quickly and not anywhere near the components...
Of course, finding a used rack that fits ones exact needs are a bit like winning the lottery, but definitely looking out for the likes of Zoethecus (so that's how you spell it)...
I've seen Quadraspire getting a lot of praise in UK Mags, Adona, Blinn (also made my Maple platform - a good experience/transaction), and all the others mentioned here will be on my short list...
No problems with footfalls exactly, just a desire to wring every drop out of my audio system (you know how it goes)...the rack's on a carpet...
KETCHUP - Your project looks interesting, please let me know how it comes along when you can.
Thanks again and please - more opinions!
I just sold my Zoethecus rack. It was OK, but a bit wobbly because it was tall
and had a very heavy turntable on it. I also tried Mapleshade brass footers
and the cork/rubber feet and one of their 4" maple slabs. Did very little for
vibration isolation and it changed the sound but this solution was not neutral
So I built my own rack with four 3", 17ply birch plywood shelves and
cherry legs. It is rock solid and cost about $550 in materials. It has spikes
which go into another birch plywood shelf sitting on the floor. This rack does
not move. Then I put a Vibraplane on the top shelf with a steel ballast plate
on top of that for under my turntable. The Vibraplane is not cheap at about
$2k, but it is a serious device to control vibration. The improvement in sound
My advice is to make a very heavy, solid platform for the equipment and
spend some money on a proper isolation device, especially for your turntable.
Details and photos can be seen on my system page.