I am a machina dynamica fan, there stands just make sense. There are no whistles, bells, snake oil or foolish claims; just facts. And they are affordable, which makes it even better!
I have heard the neaunce(sp?)/ mana combo and while it seemed good, it did not make the kind of improvements me and some of my friends have experienced with the machina dynamica.
I have a Richard gray.Tireguy- any thoughts on surge protection?
The GP Monaco and The Rack of Silence both made a difference in my systems for what that's worth...
NBS makes an exceptional power system that is not current limiting. Whether you should consider that or one of the others like balanced probably depends as much on the problem with your power as on your system IMO though (and I don't know either)...
Sistrum equipment racks and amp stands are fantastic. They truly eliminate airborne resonance, isolate perfectly and clean up the midrange and soundstage beautifully. Money back guarantee makes it risk free.
Hifimaniac- That's not true about the sistrum stands(as I understand there "theory") they do not isolate perfectly, in fact they do not isolate at all. They couple, or so they claim that's how they work. My intention is not to have this become yet another Sitrum vs. thw world thread, I have heard them used in friends systems, but didn't hear much for improvements. I have some SP-1's a friend is going to let me borrow locally for my system- then I will get to try first hand. But for some reason I really doubt "coupling" is going to beat a sub-heartz platform.
Tireguy, you are correct about the "coupling", or what we call "resonance energy transfer", not being "isolation" as most would use the word. However, many people use that term descriptively to try to describe the effects that they are hearing, regarding the improvements provided by reducing unwanted vibrational energy interfering with their systems. I think in this case, it was merely a semantic issue.
When you try out the Sistrum platforms, please allow some time for them to "settle" after you put the equipment on them. It takes a little time for them to "dig in" the points(from weight bearing) into the floor for best effect(or use coupling discs for floor protection). You can observe improvement over the first few days of use, beyond what you hear in the first few minutes. If you use them under a DVD player or TV, you can also observe the picture quality improving, which gives further credence to the benefits of Sistrum products in wide-ranging applications. We have numerous customers who use Sistrum for video equiment, and it was even recently noticed by a reviewer(in a forthcoming audio magazine review) in his combo CD/DVD player, and we didn't even tell him about that. He noticed it all by himself. It will also work well under a TV, or under a video projector. There is a list of folks who have actually watched their TV pictures get progressively better over the course of a weekend. The same is true with audio, and it takes about a weekend, at least. You'll hear improvements right away, but it gets better later.
Whether you actually prefer it over other brands is strictly up to your own preference. I think you will like it, but be aware that it does increase the resolution of your equipment, and any "warts" which might not have been heard before, will also be heard along with the improvements. This is the case with any improvement in system resolution, and I'm sure you're aware of that.
You can use the same SP-1 platforms under any of your equipment, including speakers(if they fit), and can hear/see which ones make the most difference. Most people try the amps first, but source equipment is a close second. Put 2 of the platform feet under the heavy end of the component, where the transformers are(usually the back), and this typically works best. If you have any isolation anywhere in the path between the bottom of the component and the floor(above or below the platform), you will defeat some/all of the performance of the platform, so use it exclusively when you try it under each component.
I highly reccomend Grand Prix Audio. There racks and amp stands really took my system to a higher level.
Anything that will support an oily 136 lb. woman should get the job done.
The owner of Mapleshade certainly makes some claims about the use of maple as a very effective coupling material. He has some gorgeous, VERY impressive equipment racks... http://www.mapleshaderecords.com/tweaks/samson.php ...that I'll soon be copying, as the 2 I want would cost me about $2K.
TWL makes a very good point regarding the cautionary break-in period. Something I don't believe is much of an issue with other racking systems that adhere to the isolation/dampening aka de-coupling methodology.
However, in my experience with 'resonance energy transfer' styled racking systems, the initial sonic improvements are typically marginal at best. It is only after the initial 7 to 10 day mechanical break-in period that the sonic improvements become quite substantial. And sonic improvements can continue well beyond the first 7 - 10 days.
This mechanincal break-in period should imply that performance comparisons between racking systems/platforms really needs to be a rather long and painstaking effort.
Even moving a fully broken-in coupling-styled racking system to a different location (even 2 inches) can take 4 days or more for break-in to occur again.
In other words, if one were to compare the performance of say a Sistrum rack to that of a Grand Prix Monaco rack and if each rack is in place for only a day or so, then the comparison testing is really rather meaningless and certainly inconclusive.
Thank you TWL for explaining what my limited vocabulary couldn't articulate about your stands. And, thank you for mentioning the most important point about the sistrum stand that it takes 3-5 days to settle in. I am still amazed how good the sound was after a few days. My comment of perfect isolation came about from blasting bass heavy rock and putting my hands on my monoblock amplifiers and feeling very little vibration. Lastly, I like the fact the stands keep the amps low in the soundstage so not to affect the imaging.
I am of the belief that putting a Sistrum rack between my speakers actually improved the imaging and the center stage.Tom, I am Starsound dealer.
Stehno...I think I may have asked this before...I'll try again since I must've missed the reply...What is this "mechanical break-in" you're talking about?
Are you seriously implying that an equipment rack changes molecular structure everytime you move it and then it takes 4 days to change again? Even more so, are you saying this change is so drastic that it can be heard via the audio system sitting on it?
C'mon now...even the cryoing argument has more scientific validity than this.
Labtec, you may be reading too much into the phrase 'mechanical break-in'.
To the best of my knowledge, it's really just a settling in process that occurs.
I suppose it's kinda' like a new automobile where the engine needs to be pampered for the first 500 miles or so during an initial break-in period. Once that occurs, the engine then runs more efficiently.
The settling in for the racks occurs when the Audio Points and perhaps the misc. connections of the racking system or platform are mass loaded with the components or speakers and over a short period of time.
I did not believe it either when I first heard about it. In fact, I thought it a bit funny and paid it no attention to it whatsoever. That is until I experienced it. It's there, and it's rather drastic.
As for a break-in period every time a coupling rack is relocated? Since you must first empty the rack, move it, then fill the rack, it would seem quite similar to a first install. This is assuming that one is using mechanical diodes such as Audio Points under each component, therefore, nothing is going to be in the exact same place twice and hence the settling process occurs all over again. The only reason I can think why the settling process for a relocated rack is a quicker process than an initial installation is perhaps the sharp ends of the Audio Points are already conformed to the material they rest on.
Perhaps another can provide a more detailed or scientific explanation on this mechanical break-in process.
The automobile "break-in" in the first 500 miles you refer to cannot be related to an audio equipment rack. Automobile "break-in" is actually a misnomer if called that. You're talking about a complicated device with fluids, many moving parts, constant maintenance, and countless other specific factors that can be directly correlated to change over time (more than 4 days I might add).
I don't know who told you about "mechanical break-in" of an audio equipment rack, but I'm all ears if this can be proven and shown translatable to an audible difference in the equipment sitting on it. The only problem is that this would be almost impossible to prove which makes me wonder how you are making such a categoric statement despite no conceivable logic behind it.
I would argue that the atmospheric pressure and humidity in you listening room 4 days apart has more to do with your system sounding different than any "mechanical break-in" of the audio rack. I could also come up with a few other more logical explanations for a perceived change in audio system performance over 4 days.
I hate to sound so obtuse but I agree with Labtec, in part. From my experience any time you move a component or unplug it, it will take a few days to settle in again(perhaps capicaters discharging, and need time to fully charge again?), but much past 2-3 days on a component that is already broke in is hard to buy.
If I leave a sistrum rack "loaded" for long enough will it become a precious stone/metal?
I am just kidding, trying to keep this light hearted.
Any experience with mana stands?I hear they are really good.
Nreddy- I here they are really good, I've heard them in systems and enjoyed the sound- however they take a while to get and seem somewhat expensive for what you get. I know there are DIY versions available(probably from Jon Risch over at AA) that can by built for pennies on the dollar of what a mana actually costs.
Sorry I missed your question earlier, I don't have a lot of experience with power conditioners in enviroments that I would feel comfortable making suggestions.
Thanx for the feedback tireguy
Labtec, does it really matter who told me about this mechanical break-in? There's no snake oil to sell here.
Mechanical break-in for certain products following certain methodologies either exists or does not. You don't make it false and I don't make it true.
Besides, it was not me who brought up this subject (although I have in other threads). I was simply confirming what TWL said above with what I previously heard as well as describing my own experiences from several years ago and even more recently.
It would seem to me that mechanical break-in (or settling) is actually easier to comprehend than cable burn-in. Surely you don't believe in cable burn-in do you?
And since you obviously cannot attribute any experiences to mechanical break-in, I would hardly think that qualifies you as an expert on the subject.
Shoot, I can't even prove that you exist. But that doesn't mean that you don't.
The only reason I confirmed the mechanical break-in is because people like you might try a coupling-designed rack like the Sistrum and after one day of evaluation might come to the conclusion that the rack is sonically inferior to a box of sand, kitty litter, a bicycle inner-tube, or perhaps a tennis ball simply because they did not provide enough time for things to settle in.
Stehno...I don't really follow you, but you're absolutely right.."I cannot attribute any experiences to mechanical break-in improvement"...That's why I asked the question... I'm pretty darn certain no one can, since it doesn't exist or would be close to impossible to prove.
Nevertheless, if it definitely exists in your world, then so be it. I would argue though that your explanation clarifies the issue even less than most "snake oil" claims.
BTW, I'm still open to a better explanation, but this seems to be going nowhere, so we'll just leave this as a point of disagreemnt.
Labtec, you made the statement, "I'm pretty darn certain no one can, since it doesn't exist or would be close to impossible to prove."
Do you really think that is a credible statement? And of course, I'd love to know how you know that one.
As for proving that mechanical break-in or settling does or does not exist, simply purchase a Sistrum platform following all of their guidelines and wait 7 to 10 days.
Far from impossible to prove or dis-prove I'd say.
My personal experience is, there is an improvement of sound quality as mechanical breakin takes hold and coupling is improved. I base this on my experience and those of many customers who I have sold and installed Starsound products..I am a dealer..Also over the course of many months I have developed an End Pin for cello and acoustic bass that greatly extends the range, dynamic structure and output of these instruments. One of the striking observations I had in testing this new pin in a cello was that after about 30 mins of play time the instrument seemed to become more coherent and structured in harmonic balance. Its as if the pin and cello became more of one device instead of two in conflict. The front face of the cello became one large sounding board with much better focus..This focus of sound and image was also evident on a recording I made of the the cello with the standard pin vs. the new pin. The recording was of the same musicican and cello in the same room playing the same music on the same day. Those in audience also heard the settlling and improvement in coherence as the pins were exchanged and the cello was played for 30 mins. The most exciting and curious observation I made in these listening tests were..That after the cello was played for an hour or so with the new end pin and we stopped and changed to the old pin...the cello had for several minutes the tone of my new pin. Again those in audience heard this happen..The cello and old pin became what they were previous and reverted back gradually to their old tone together, after 20 mins or so. Its as if the inneraction of pin and cello settle into some type of mutual relationship in transmission of vibrational patterns that are sympathetic for a certain amount of time...So what I observed in my personal hi-fi system with a multitude of variables is now reinforced with only a single variable, same cello the same musician in the same acoustic space on the same day.Vast change in sound quality and coherence was observed as each respective pin was played over a period of time with the same cello..Speakers, electonics, cables and even platforms and racking all would have their period for breakin and settling, that is my conclusion..Tom
Good-day Labtech and all listeners,
Please feel free to telephone me at your convenience and I will answer all of your questions and explain the mechanical break-in period as related to our technologies. This process is audible as most Sistrum and Audio Point owners will verify.
Should my explanation and description not provide you the answers you seek, we will be happy to refer you to one of our engineers who will provide any additional information required in order to satisfy your knowledge and understanding.
This time of the year somewhat prohibits us to produce a written document on this forum as our focus is on the Holiday rush as well as the The Show in Las Vegas coming up the first week of January.
Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding as I look forward to hearing from you.
As always Good Listening!
1-877-668-4332 (Toll Free)
Robert from Star Sound Tech.
So...if I follow correctly...an audio stand experiences mechanical break-in which signficantly improves the sound of the equipment sitting on it after 4 days because:
1. Automobiles experience break-in
2. Cables burn-in
3. The End Pin for a Cello caused a perceived change in performance after 30 minutes.
Gotcha...all clear now...thank you!
BTW, I did some testing myself and found that my rack is not broken in yet because I haven't heard a significant difference attributable to its micronic movement. It's been almost 6 months, so it must really suck...On a lighter note, I found that my butt mechanically breaks-in to my listening chair after only 3.2 minutes. More "scientific" testing similar to you guys to follow...
Seriously, not to pick a fight, but I just think you guys are both jumping to conclusions and ignoring much more plausible and obvious factors - not the least of which is mostly subjective human factors.
For example, is it possible to play an instrument EXACTLY the same indefinitely? Perhaps the instrument sounded the same for a few minutes after changing the pin because it was being played the same. However, as more time passes, many subjective human factors could easily cause the sound to change simply by the way it was being played.
In Stehno's case, was the material being played the same, was the volume the same, was his head in exactly the same spot, was the noise floor in the house the same (i.e. A/C running, fans, appliances, cars passing in the street, dogs barking in the neighborhood, etc)? I could go on, but I think you get the point. There are many factors to consider before jumping to a conclusion - especially one that has no basis in logic, science or common sense. Does this statement/conclusion REALLY make sense -- "inneraction of pin and cello settle into some type of mutual relationship in transmission of vibrational patterns that are sympathetic for a certain amount of time"?
Since you guys like analogies...think about those people who believe in that clown who claims to speak to the dead. Just because he knows one letter in the dead relative's name, do you jump to the imediate conclusion that he is a psychic??? Or....do you ask...."If the he can give you the letter "J" in the name of your dead father, why can't he give you the "O" and the "E"?
You can purchase my Mapleshade Samson rack and I won't charge you $2,000.00. What is said below is not directed towards you.
Oh, by the way I am selling it because I purchased the Sistrum Sp-101 for my amp and after my 30-day trial period was up I was calling Star Sound Technologies for (2) Sp-1 for my speakers and a Sistrum rack for my components all of which if I do not like them,I simply send them back. No risk. I do not feel I need to understand the science behind it. What I feel is important to me is "How does it sound in my system". I will say when I first put the Sistrum under my Pass amp I was amazed with the results. I was excited that a amp stand could do this. Well to my surprise that did not last long. My soundstage disappeared as did the bass. However, after 5-6 days WHAM there it was like never before.
I had/have a good rack previous to the Sistrum that has a white paper stating the science behind it. It made sense (or so I thought)and I had one custom made. Pierre at Mapleshade informed me this would beat $3,000-4,000 racks after all he was one of the designers of the F-16. He is a brilliant man and knows something about music and how it should sound. However, this meant nothing after I spent $1,700.00 on a rack he designed and compared it to the Sistrum.
What is my point. I do not care about the name on a product nor their claims or "supported science behind the product". What matters is does it sound good to you and since you are paying for it who cares what others think. Try the Sistrum product in your system and if you do not like it then send it back. You cannot expect others to hear your viewpoint if you yourself are not willing to at least put it in your system and experience what they have.
As a wise Marine Chaplin told me " Roger you need to chew the meat and spit out the bones".
Thanks for steering me in the direction of the Sistrums. They improved my system like you said they would.