Audio/TV rack recommendations?

After making recent system upgrades, I am now considering buying a real audiophile rack for my gear.

Currently, my system sits in a rather flimsy AV rack that has glass shelves and poor cross bracing. I have read extensively about the benefits of vibration control, and would like suggestions on which rack will hold my gear nicely while providing much improved sonics.

The gear that would sit in the rack would consist of:

1) 43 inch plasma on the top shelf
2) Sony SACD player & Manley Shrimp Preamp on second shelf
3) PS Audio Power Plant Premier on the bottom shelf

My amps are Manley 300b monoblocks, which sit on 3" thick Timbernation maple amp stands (10x25) with cheap brass pointed footers below the maple stands.

So I am looking for a 3 shelf rack, say 48" wide by 30" tall, that looks good and has great sonics. My budget for the rack would be up to $2000 retail. I was looking at the Billy Bags racks but maybe there are other racks to consider....

Also, on the amp stands has anyone tried the Mapleshade brass points under maple? Im looking for better vibration control for my monoblocks as well.

From people's experience here, are improvements from vibration control obvious or do you need a "golden ear" to hear the difference?


I bought an Audio Elegance. I love it. The quality is awesome and he will custom make it to your specs.. Jim is great to deal with.
Since you have tubes (these are microphonic) you should try to enclose them to reduce airborne vibrations - so the glass you had was probably a good thing - although placing them inside wooden cabinets might be even better. The best place would be in an adjacent room if you are serious about vibration control. However, if you listen at modest levels then it probably isn't worth worrying about.
The other room is a good idea as it cuts out the airborne vibrations. If you are are thinking of getting a TT, it would be a must. Also, The RF noise from the TV is a killer unless you turn it completely off, that is do not keeping it in stand by mode. Most people are surprised how the sound 'cleans up' by the latter action.
Did you ever think about a custom cabinet? I had a cabinet made from birch ply by a local cabinet maker. I have a 42 inch plasma screen on top and my Cary SLI50 sits on the end. It has smoked glass doors with adjustable shelves on either end and a place in the center for a powered woofer. It is very solid and sounds better than the previous mdf cabinet. The stain and style are exactly what I wanted. The total cost was less than 1000.00 in my metro Phx market.

If I was just going with a rack type system, I would buy a Mapleshade rack.
Well the other room idea isnt an option because I live in an apartment. The Mapleshade racks seem to be very well built but they dont really mesh with my modern living room furniture. I could always have a maple rack custom built in say black laquer finish. How does maple compare on sonic performance versus other rack materials?

Maple is an excellent material sonically for a rack. Mapleshade does offer a black laquer finish for the shelves and nickel uprights.
Has anyone heard the Steve Blinn racks? I like how they look and they seem well made. Maple shelves with a heavy aluminum frame on points.
I would look into the Sanus products - I have their six-shelf audio rack, and their 3 shelf TV stand (in the Natural Foundation line). Looks great, easy to assemble, is absolutely level, and no vibration problems. Also, it is quite a bit less expensive than some of the above suggestions, and would have a much better WAF, if that is an issue.