What are its musical and sonic benefits? and what other supports have you compared it to?
Did it improve PRaT, staging,dynamics,articulation, tonality,harmonic structure,resolution,coherence,etc and to what degree? Did you notice any negative impacts on the music?What other support systems have you compared it to?
Playing "devil's advocate" here, huh Ken : )
That's okay though, as if it weren't for folks like you, many of us out here would not have tried some of the other racks / shelves / devices that are available. On top of that, we might not have ever thought of coming up with a "better mouse trap" ourselves. Sean
Devil's advocate? Nah, party pooper is more like it;0)
I regularly read at various fora,similar well meaning recommendations and instructions for the Flexy and its variants and sometimes I just can't contain myself.
These things aren't truely awful,it's just that most of the folks posting on their successess in building them have never heard what a really good support can do.
The better supports should easily up the performance of a system a full level in musical accomplishment,the best of them much more.
The Flexy's & Salamander's of the world(ie-threaded rod racks) are just tall spacers to keep components off the floor and each other.
They aren't actively bad.They just don't do anything worthwhile.
I responded in this example because of the remark that the poster (thoughtfully) mentions that this DIY project cost less than $100.
That amounts to a sizeable portion of money that could be better spent toward a dedicated support(new or used) that will actually improve the performance of one's system and bring the listener another step closer to the performance.
I do agree with your basic statements. I too have found most threaded rod racks to be "convenient" rather than a sonic benefit. I've also found that "heavy" shelves are typically not to my liking.
With that in mind and while i've got your attention, can i ask you some questions regarding a rack project i'm going to try ??? I'd be curious as to your take on the situation. Sean
The Flexy is good. I had to build one because i did not have enough money to get beyond the Salamander, Plateau, Quadraspire, etc. brands, which are no better. And you have to put your equipment on something. One hundred out of a $700 could be considred substantial, but I do not have $600.
Keep your head up, and your wallet close, Dave...Ken's after your $100. And maybe try three rods instead of four, sometime.
Fire away,Sean. Feel free to e mail me or post here.I'll help in any way I can.
Ohlala, Ken has demonstrated his willingness to both learn and share his knowledge and experience via this and other forums MANY times over. As such, not everyone that sells a product is looking through you into your wallet.
There are more than a few folks that can testify to the fact that his "ideas" or "products" DO work and make noticeable differences. As such, he might be seen by some as having an outside motivation but those that have dealt with him or have similiar levels of experience know differently. He is simply planting a seed and hoping that it will grow into a "bigger & better" audiophile system. : )
As to the questions that i have for Ken, i'll repost them under this thread. This way, we can all learn from common / basic questions and exchange various ideas / experiences. Unfortunately, i don't have time right now, so i'll have to do it later tonight. Sean
I have read and appreciate Mr. Lyon's informative posts on audioasylum. I know Neuance too, first and second hand. Those words I posted were more of a humorous needle than any sort of warning. I apologize, Mr. Lyon as that humor did not come across well at all and did seem like a warning. I have no doubt that you are a reputable, and that you do not comb for customers. My only point is that the Flexy is not meant as a substitute for a nice, relatively expensive rack, but a good alternative for those $400 or so racks that are basically the same thing as the Flexy. So why rain on the parade?
My original response was not meant to dismiss Dave43's commendable, informative and well-meaning posting.He properly referred to the plans as "equipment racks" rather than isolation stands and I had hoped that my original response, while pointed, was not derogatory nor mean- spirited.
My reply is a reaction to the cummulative damage that the TNT Flexy seems to have made on the internet hobbyist audio forums as a whole.
I read pretty regularly and have encountered many more than a few audiophiles who misstakenly assume that Flexy type threaded rod bolt-togethers(ESPECIALLY those reprehensible commercially marketed racks)offer a viable sonic benefit to their systems.Perhaps that might be so but only by comparison to the likes of Gusdorf and O'Sullivan "stereo cabinets".
In not one case that I have yet encountered has the individual ever actually made direct comparison against a properly engineered isolation support yet the Flexy design is perpetuated as a viable inexpensive DIY alternative for same(please note that the original poster made no such claims).
It was the intent of my original reply to advance the question of the posters performance experience with his Flexy variant.
I fully understand and wholly commend the intent of posting a solution for system display management at low expense.
Had these designs been touted only as a furniture piece/ equipment storage solution rather than as an isolation product,I would have no reason to enter my foil.
I regularly see available at AG and other classified boards pre-owned isolation products in the neighborhood of $175 to $250.
In fact,one can easily assemble a very good performing alternative with a few simple mods and stacking of IKEA Lack endtables for about the same amount as was spent on the Flexy variant(~$20/shelf).
I personally see the $100 spent on the DIY/Flexy project as money essentially squandered.I have no problem with DIY and really no problem with the Flexy as long as the individual knows what they should expect from it.
Well, Mr. Ken...
Would you contribute to the audio world by designing a better yet practical DIY audio rack and submitting it to the good Italian audiophiles at www.tnt-audio.com ? I'm pretty sure they wouldn't have an ego problem about that. They even have the courtesy to translate most of their website's content into English.
Go for it.
IKEA*lyte Modular Component Isolation Support-
IKEA's Lack endtables and coffeetables are constructed of an attractively finished natural wood laminates over an expanded foam and chipboard core.
This composition is of high strength, extremely low energy storing mass and has superb internal damping characteristics.Altho not designed as such,the construction details of IKEA Lack is that of a laminated constrained layer device.Conceptually,when the material is used as an isolation device,it is not far removed from Russ Andrews RATA Torlyte and my own Neuance performance shelving.
Due to the huge volume and modern manufacturing methods IKEA can sell completed endtable units in a variety of colours or natural wood veneers for $15 each ($20 for beech).No finishing is required for the construction of the IKEA*lyte modular isolation stand.
Changes in racking needs can be accomplished by the addition of other IKEA Lack "modules".
IKEA is available worldwide thru retail outlets and by mail order and the internet.
The sonic and musical performance of the IKEA*lyte will better many commercially available supports costing upwards of $500-600 or more, particularly in the areas of PRaT, note shaping and harmonic textures.Depending on the quality of the spiking used and care in installation, the IKEA*lyte will easily better Sanus,Salamander,Atlantis,Lovan,Billy Bags and many other respected and often costly support systems.
Typical cost for a completed 4 shelf IKEA*lyte rack should run approx. US $95-110 ,excluding tools and dependant on finish.
You will need -
(1) IKEA Lack endtable or coffeetable to be used as a Reference Base Platform.(The coffeetable is recommended for unstable flooring and the unused areas make a good location for outboard crossovers and power conditioning devices,powerstrips,etc.)
(1ea.) IKEA Lack endtable for EACH component shelf required.
(ie: a 4 component rack will require a total of 5 IKEA Lack tables, including the base unit)
also needed will be
-a length of 1/4" threaded rod for making spikes
plus matching drill and thread tap
a hacksaw for cutting the threaded rod
and a grinder for sharpening the spikes and to make flats
on each side of the threaded rod/spike for adjusting with
-a saw for cutting down the legs for heigth(tablesaw preferred for accuracy)
I.Install 4 spikes to "Base Platform" where the legs would normally be attached and install on the floor,making sure of level and evenness.Do not press the spikes hard into the flooring,just let it settle.If you have heavy carpeting, pre-pierce the carpet with a sharp awl first.
II.Measure and carefully cut down the legs of each shelf module to allow clearance for each component & your favorite footer device.
III.Drill a 1/4"hole, centered, at the bottom of each leg, tap the hole and install the spikes into each leg.
IV.Install the top end of the finished legs to each IKEA shelf module using Carpenters glue.
V.Stack and level each module using the spikes as the adjusting mechanism.Make sure that each module is even,level and does not rock or rattle.
VI.Install your components and let the stand settle-in for a day.Recheck for level and eveness.
If you have further questions or need clarifications ,I can be contacted by e mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or thru the Neuance website at www.neuanceaudio.com/
addendum to IKEA8lyte-
I should note that you will have 4 unused legs left over from the base unit that will be handy for a component change or to replace the leg that was accidentally miscut;0)
The spikes should be ground to a relatively shallow
45 degree angle as the IKEA shelving surface is relatively soft.If the spikes penetrate too deeply into the veneer,some isolation will be lost.
Spike protector pads can be fabricated from sample swatches of formica countertop laminate to match the finish and are available for free at most large home hardware outlets.These should be glued down beneath the spikes with carpenters glue or adhered with 3M brand general purpose carpet tape #714NA.
The spike protector pads are handy to protect fine flooring from damage.These should be adhered with the double backed tape for easy removal at a later date.
Additional bracing of the legs for increased rigidity,while not absolutely necessary, will ensure maximum,long lasting performance of the IKEA*lyte structure.
O.K., guys, take a deep breath! I was just posting these
plans because several 'Gon members e-mailed me asking for
them. I'm not looking for sonic perfection here, I'm just
a guy with a table saw and not $500+ to spend on an
equipment rack. If it makes anybody feel better, I do
use several types of isolation devices under my components.
Thanks for all the responses, pro and con.
Whoa, cool. Thank you, Mr. Lyon. Very nice of you to take the time to post such detailed messages. I'll think twice before tangling with you again :)
Would you incorporate Neuance platforms into the IKEA *lyte structure, and if so, how would you recommend doing so?
Thank you very much, Ken!
We can only really keep what we have by sharing it...
(I don't know if the above statement makes sense in English: "Sólo podemos conservar lo que tenemos en la medida que lo compartimos con otros.")
Wham !!!! Thanks for taking the time to "step up to the plate" Ken. Your post was quite detailed and TRULY offered insight as to how to get "something for nothing" (almost). The fact that you had the courage to mention that the Ikea design had similarities to your more expensive Neuance shelves shows that you aren't afraid to tell the truth. Even if it may come at some personal expense. Kudos and hats off...
As to Dave who started this thread, PLEASE don't take offense to my comments or some of the others. I too have done EXACTLY as you have done. Only by playing with various racks and materials was i able to learn the difference between them. One might not believe the difference that a rack can make until you experience it first hand. Your willingness to help others and provide a basic design for those less initiated is to be applauded. As you mentioned, the results that you achieve with this "homebrew" design compares to others for dimes on the dollar.
As to the "project" that i'm working on, let me give you some background. Here are some of the criteria that i was looking for when i came up with this "plan".
1) I wanted a rack that was versatile in terms of adjustable shelf height. I've never found any "pre-built" rack that offered appropriate spacing for the components that i end up running.
2) I wanted a rack that was rigid in construction. I do not like ANYTHING that is not stable.
3) I wanted a design that did not make use of the shelves as being directly anchored to any part of the frame i.e. the shelf should not be a "stressed member".
4) I wanted shelves that were strong yet low in mass. Heavy shelves tend to "deaden" the sound and rob the dynamics, harmonic structure of the music being reproduced i.e. they lack "prat".
5) I wanted a rack that ALL shelves were isolated via "spikes". Most "high end" racks only isolated the top one or two shelves.
Given the above info, i found NOTHING that was mass produced and met ALL of those requirements. Target and other similar designs did not have variable shelf spacing, most of the shelves were not "isolated" via spikes, etc... Threaded rod racks typically made use of heavy, high mass shelving materials, the shelves were directly anchored and part of the frame structure, etc... I was stuck between a rock and a hard place with nowhere to go but build my own.
I stumbled across a Premier design that looked like it had potential with some "tweaking". Premier was closing them out and a local dealer just happened to have a few on hand. As such, i bought all of them that they had at their two locations ( 3 four shelf units and one 6 shelf ). When all is said and done, i have 18 shelves to play with.
The basic design looks VERY similar to a Target rack but built in a "modular" form. Dimensions of the square tubing "shelf frame", the wooden shelves, etc... are identical to a Target from what i can tell. The major difference between the Premier and Target is that instead of having fixed height with welded risers ( Target ), Premier chose to use various length risers to accomodate different component heights. To achieve this, Premier welded flanges to the four outer corners of each "shelf frame". Each flange has a 1/4" diameter hole drilled in it. They then use hollow metal tubes of various lenghts with a thin threaded rod running down the center. The hollow tubes are primarily for cosmetics as it covers the threaded rod. When the overall rack is fully assembled, you tighten down locking caps on top and bottom. This squeezes the hollow tubes up against the top and bottom of the flanges of each shelf frame to "compress" the rack together. In stock form, the frame is NOT as solid as a welded design. On the other hand, it did offer more versatility and still allowed one to pick and choose shelves while keeping them "free floating" or "isolated".
This is not to mention it is WAY cheaper from a manufacturers standpoint in that they can now ship the rack "broken down" in several small packages. The Target type rack is "welded" & "fully assembled", which makes it WAY more expensive to ship.
In order to achieve what i want, I intend to use the individual "shelf frames" of the Premier anchored directly to the threaded rod. Each "shelf frame" will be locked in place with a nut above and below each flange. As such, the frame should not twist or flex in the least once leveled and tightened down. While this is no different than how most threaded rod racks anchor the shelves, i am NOT anchoring the shelves themselves. I am only anchoring the square tubing frame that the shelf rests upon. I can then use whatever shelves that i want and simply drop them into the rack frame. All of the shelves are "free floating" courtesy of upturned spikes. Speaking of "spikes", i'll have the bottom of the threaded rods screwing into downward facing "points".
As such, i will have achieved all of the design goals that i was looking for. Flexibility of shelf height, ridigity of structure and isolation for each shelf. My questions to Ken ( and others ) are as follows:
1) How do you think this will work ? Am i wasting my time & money ? High / low points of a design like this ??? Please be BRUTALLY honest. I can take it (at least you guys won't hear me whimpering....)
2) What diameter threaded rod would you recommend for the risers ? Thin and lower mass or larger and heavier ??? I can go anywhere from about 1/4" to 3/4" diameter by drilling out the flanges.
3) Should i use the same threaded rod for the three racks that i'll need for this system ? One rack will house my low level components ( Tuner, CD system, TT, Cassette, Preamp, Electronic Crossover ) while the other two racks will be holding three amplifiers each ( tweeters, mids, woofers for the left and vice-versa for the right ).
Any / all comments welcome and appreciated. Sean
IKEA*lyte addendum #2-
if one chooses to use the Lack coffeetable as a base module, you'll need to relocate the rear legs of each shelf module to accomodate the narrower profile of the coffeetable(end table measures about 21.5" in depth whereas the coffeetable is about 18" deep). The excess can be cut off with that face placed to the rear for cosmetics(veneered if you're anal).
In leiu of spikes for the shelf modules, one can get 80-90% of the performance with even less hassle, tooling and crafting by using round-headed screws(allen,phillips or torx) threaded into the leg bottoms.The screw itself then becomes the adjusting mechanism.The primary requirement is that a very small contact area is maintained which provides a bottleneck for floorbourne energy entry. A rounded shape is nearly as effective as a spike *in this application*.You will still need to use "proper" adjustable spikes or cones for the interface between the floor and reference base module.
Dave43- My apologies for making you my unwitting victim in my soapbox crusade.I appreciate and admire your helpful and generous contributions to this forum.
THAT was "tangling"?"Better get those teeth sharpened.
btw- about the 3 point thingus- be a bit careful here. 3pt is superior with 3 point components but if the component uses 4 feet, you'll be subjecting the shelf/platform to the possibility of "waffling" at the unsupported corners.
The "IKEA*lyte" construct is largely intended to do much of the same type of damping and isolating that Neuance was designed to achieve.
Neuance ideally should be used in the context of a spike decoupled metal stand or support such as Target,Standesign,Apollo, original Sound Organisation, Apollo,Premier,Cornflake Shop,Mana,Solidsteel,etc.
Still,the addition of Neuance isolation platforms will take the isolation benefits further and with greater refinement.
Neuance shelves can be easily adapted to supports such as the "IKEA*lyte", Quadraspire and even the dreaded Sanus,Salamander and your mama's AV cabinet by drilling 4 holes thru the shelving and tapping a thread to accept a set of cone-point setscrews which I make available to my customers at no charge for just such applications.
The Neuance platform would then rest upon the points of the upward pointing setscrew tips and can be adjusted with an allen/hex key wrench from below to level the platform.
Thank you,Francisco.I understood perfectly.
Now, about that TNT thing,- maybe you could persuade them to do a review of aftermarket shelving before I submit the IKEA*lyte project.
>>>The fact that you had the courage to mention that the Ikea design had similarities to your more expensive Neuance shelves shows that you aren't afraid to tell the truth. Even if it may come at some personal expense.<<<
You'll note that I stated that the "IKEA*lyte" is conceptually similar .You should also note that I didn't blurt out the Neuance "recipe".
Generally speaking, DIY'ers wouldn't be primary customers for a product such as mine since brainstorming,discovery and the act of crafting itself are as important to the audio tinkerer as the end result.Actually,allowing folks to hear for themselves the benefits of low mass/rapid dissipation support is my best and most effective means of promotion.
When I first started doing these things back in the mid- 80's, I don't believe that the term PRaT had even yet been coined and with the exception of Linn and Naim dealerships,any talk of "tunefullness" or pace was universally met by blank stares and polite gestures to the door.For a time, the british press championed the cause but somewhere along the way, the arrogance of Linn marketing tactics turned as many off as they had educated.
Back to your project-
I'm in complete agreement with your points/requirements no.s 1-5.
I have been searching for some time, such a product to recommend to my own customers and last year discovered a support system that meets all of your issues-
Apollo Aria modular supports which are available thru May Audio, the former North American Target distributor.
These are modular units of tubular steel construction with stacking "add-on" modules bolted firmly and rigidly to the level below. Each "add-on" module is available in various heights to accomodate a wide variety of componentry.I have made special arrangements with May Audio so that my customers can purchase these units directly from May Audio pre-threaded and including a spike decoupling hardware kit supplied for each module and sold at a slight discount without the stock shelving.The units are extremely well constructed,highly effective, reasonably priced and quite attractive.The 455mm width model is the best performer.
>>> How do you think this will work ?<<<
>>>High / low points of a design like this ??? <<<
The only major disadvantage that i forsee is the continuous nature of the threaded rod.It will have a tendancy to transfer fairly effectively floorbourne energy from the base to the top.
If some means could be done to secure the sections with 2 or more shorter rods or individual bolts to make it discontinous you'd have a near ideal support framework.
Barring that, I'd suggest several pea-sized blobs of blu-tac to each of the full length threaded rods.I'd not attempt to damp them heavily,tho.
>>>What diameter threaded rod would you recommend for the risers ? <<<
I'd say that it isn't all that critical but my preference would be to use the smaller diameter rod stock to keep the resonant frequencies high.The greater the mechanical impedance mismatch between the framework and the shelving, the more effective your support will be at blocking floorbourne vibrations from reaching the components.
>>>Should i use the same threaded rod for the three racks that i'll need for this system ?<<<
Now you're getting a bit anal.
One-size fits-all rods should be just fine.
-never do multiple re-edits at 3:oo am :0)
Re:in my reply to Sean, the next to last comment should instead read -
>>>What diameter threaded rod would you recommend for the risers ? <<<
I'd say that it isn't all that critical but my preference would be to use the smaller diameter rod stock to increase the likelyhood for energies to be kept at higher frequency modes which the shelving can more readily absorb/convert to heat.
Thank you for all the detailed information you've provided, Ken. This has been an extremely helpful discussion.
Ken, Thanks for getting back to *ALL* of us : )
I'll take a look at the website that you provided. If their prices are good, i'll be upset that i didn't find them PREVIOUS to buying all of those other racks that i thought were a "rare commodity" : )
How would you feel about using foam "pipe wrap" or "plumbing insulation" tightly wrapped around the threaded rod ? This should:
1) minimize any ringing / vibration transfer along the rod
2) damp room reflections from the rod
3) keep mass to a minimum.
Any thoughts / comments ??? Sean
PS... Psychic, what does "IDEM" mean ???
I think your pipe wrap idea is a fine one.I hasten to add that you really needn't to cover the entire length tho.
A little damping goes a long ways and quite frankly,I'll bet if you were to audition your Premiers both with and without damped rods in a side by side,you'd find that the differences would be extremely subtle and probably unnoticable in a more casual listening session.
Your biggest enemies are primarily the powerful and distruptive low frequency energies transmitted from the flooring and from the internally generated energies of power supplies and transformers.
I find that while it is beneficial to minimise and control airbourne intrusion,that these types of disturbances are *relatively* benign.The reason for that is that they are typically generated by the music itself and consequently "play in time" and "in tune".
I tend to avoid using extreme measures in controlling those for fear of throwing the baby out with the bathwater by "overdamping".
By this I mean that most conventional damping methods(particularly elastomers) tend to do the bulk of their work over fairly narrow frequency ranges and thus tend to create "hi-fi effects" by fragmenting the musical content.
The *art* involved in resonance control appears to center around creating measures which are extremely broadband and even in their nature so as to most faithfully preserve expression, emotions and meaning.
I'm one of those cheap flexi guys though i'd probably have used Ken's ideas as they look better and they would be definitely easier to work than a 4'x8' sheet of 3/4" mdf. To help isolate the rods from the tables i used washers made from Dyno-Mat to go between the matal washers. I also placed sheets of Dynomat on the bottom of the MDF shelves. The rack versitility has been highly benificial as i have set it up 2 shelves wide, and three wide with varied height as home conditions dictate. Is it as good as the high dollar stuff? Don't know but it gives me a good excuse to try making DIY air suspension/mass loading isolation ala bright star. For isolation spikes try threaded field points for arrows (the cone shaped target ones not the razors hunting points.
I went to IKEA!
First and foremost, it is an incredible place to meet women!
You just look so innocent buying shelves and tables...
Back to the racks, the Lack end tables are $9.95 each and come in several colors. I chose the dark blue and found some loose shelves (white laminated mdf and some real wood, too!) in the 'As is' section. Also bought a very thick cutting board. Without installing any spikes the sound already improved on my Cambridge D300SE CDP (it's being fed to a Soundstream DAC-1). It's resting on one of the new wood boards with (3) Mappleshade Triple Point Cones under it and with the thick cutting board beneath supported by (4) Sound Quest Isol-Pads. Got a thick book on top of the player damped by a mouse pad. Awesome, indeed. Thanks, Ken.
One thing I'm not clear on about the Ikea lyte design. What's to keep each shelf from accidentally slipping off the shelf below?
Unless I misunderstood the design, the legs of each shelf merely rest on the top of the shelf below. And while sharpened points in those legs might slightly embed themselves in that lower shelf, what's to prevent the errant elbow from knocking this rack apart?
Please understand that I'm not trying to be critical - the design sounds nice with a high WAF - but I don't want to take the chance of my equipment ending up on the floor. So, please tell me where I've misunderstood so I can go make one of these racks.
I understand the concern but the device is actually much more stable and secure than you'd imagine.The spike will be inset from the edges a good 1-3/8" or so and the topsheet of the tables is quite soft.When you place even a moderate load,the spikes dig in pretty firmly and you have to push pretty hard to get any movement and would be dragging the spike tip across the veneer.In a typical Mana phased array, the clearances are closer to 1/2" and the spikes rest on a hard and fairly smooth formica.Unless you do a lot of "entertaining", practice for WWF tag team wrestling matches or train Labrador retrievers in your listening room,I say that the stacked IKEA is pretty secure.Certainly moreso than using rollerblocks or tall unsecured footers,etc under your components.
If you're still worried about slippage/accidents, you can stick self adhesive felt pads(the kind used beneath knick-knacks and furniture) to the tabletops beneath the spikes for a little added security.I suppose you could even glue washers to the table corners with the spikes sitting in the resulting recesses.
Ken - Thanks for the further thoughts and suggestions!
And have you been peeking in my windows? (smile) I have a black and a yellow labrador retriever!
I bought Phillips head wood screws (#14 x 1 1/2") for my Ikearack. They should work fine with that flared 'bottom'.
Although I am, among other things, a professional grindersman, I just don't see myself grinding equal sized points freehand in my little apartment. I'll get some Michell cones with wood screws for the bottom table...
Thanks again Ken for sharing your knowledge.
No wonder you're running 4 weeks out! Get off the thread and get back to work--my check's enroute!
Since these directions were posted, the LACK table now has HOLLOW legs! Sawing them down to size will require you to find a suitable wood plug to stuff the hole so you can put spikes into them. (The pressed wood plug in the unused end is almost impossible to get out.) I settled on a 2" X 2" X 4' (which is really something like 1.5 X 1.5) with 1/4" shims glued to two sides, and then sawed into 2" blocks. This fit snugly when smeared with carpenter's glue. Do the drilling before you glue them in. But in retrospect this simple DIY project spiraled into a much bigger hassle in "I Love Lucy" fashion.
BTW, not having the facilities for grinding my own, I bought spikes from PartsExpress. They worked fine.
What a GREAT thread to stumble upon when you're thinking of different alternatives in setting up a new turntable rig, as I am. I had been thinking about buying another Atlantis, as my Reference 5-shelf is already full. I love the IKEA plan, which would leave me enough cash to get one of those spiffy VPI album-cleaning machines.
Can you order their products online somehow? I am nowhere near one of their stores. I visited their website, but it doesn't appear they're very well set up for e-commerce yet, at least not in the USA. How do I get my hands on some of these lack tables?
I had mine shipped to me, from Houston to Dallas. I am pretty sure I ordered it online, but can not remember for sure. I know I got all the info off their website, though.
I figured it out. Thanks, Ohlala.
At the risk of sounding incredibly naive (which I probably am), how does the expensive rack systems help the sound quality of one's setup? Please note that am excluding all front end (i.e. TT and CD units) from this question since the needs in this area seem obvious. How does it, rather, effect the performance of the amp, pre, phono stage, etc.? I would think that if the unit were rock solid and allows for adequate heat dissipation, that would be sufficient for most applications. I am not saying others are wrong (my intuitive sense has been wrong on many an occasion), I would just like to get some insights as to the benefits of the high priced rack systems over something more moderately priced, or even hand-built. At least when TT's are excluded from the equation and are assumed to be "mounted" separately. Thanks
I have an IKEA rack made with the coffee tables for my tube preamp and DD turntable. Awesome PRT...
I am not privy to the details of the physics, but vibrations are generated by amplifiers, and they have an effect on the electric signal. There are also other sources like sound waves and other components that introduce vibration to the amplifier. Higher quality electronics are typically more affected by vibrations and their sound can change considerably with the whatever is placed beneath them. A good rack, imo, will try to dissapate all the vibrations (just different forms of energy). Its just like spiking speakers and isolating sources, but on a bit of a different and usually less important level. There are lots of discussions about it on the various audiosites.
4yanx, i can understand your not understanding : )
I too was in the same boat. I thought that vibrations could SURELY alter the stability of a phono system and probably even play ( smaller ) games with digital front ends, but amps ????
I went from a sturdy yet somewhat lightweight all wood rack that i had constructed to a very heavy duty threaded rod design. Everything was ROCK solid, level, etc... on both designs, so there was no reason that i should have had such a drastic difference between the two. The threaded rod rack COMPLETELY altered tonal balance and gave me so much added "boom" , "bloat" bass ringing that i could no longer enjoy the system at all.
After playing around with every component and various types of isolation, damping, etc... i had to resort to substituting components until i could find the source of the problem. Luckily, i have multiple spares of everything, so this was not a problem. When all was said and done, substituting an amp of similar sonics but with notably less bottom end cleared the majority of problems up.
My one and only conclusion from all of this ???
Everything affects the sound of your system, even things that you would never think of. If i would not have heard it and experienced it, i would not have believed it. As such, i've since moved onto other racks and learned quite a bit in the process. Sean
Went to IKEA yesterday to check out the LACK end table and coffee table. The end table does have (now) hollow legs as indicated above. The coffee table, however, still has solid legs.
Just a suggestion, you can convert this rack to a Synergy rack for about a $100 more. Go to MSC from google and search for Parker parframe aluminum extrusions. These profiles are identical to the Salamander Synergy racks. They also have them in a two by four size as well as the standard two by two.
With these you can slide 3/8" carriage bolts in the grooves to fasten the shelf brackets to it. The brackets can be made from square, rectangular or angle iron.
If you want shelf isolation, grind some 1 1/2" 1/4" hex or black allen screws to a point. Drill a 1/4" hole in the brackets near the posts. Then insert the bolts in the holes, points facing up, with a nut on each side of the bracket to hold this bolt securly. Then place the shelf on top of the points.
With these posts inbetween the top and bottom shelf, this should make the rack more stable than just the threaded rods.
Just thought I would add my two cents, er $100 worth.
I've built a similiar rack, but I glued two pieces of 3/4 MDF together to make each shelf 1-1/2" thick and then covered them with cherry veneer (pain in the rear for a novice). I also used 3/4" brass rods (v. steel), brass nuts & brass washers. I got some internally threaded AudioPoints into which the 3/4" brass rods are screwed.
It really made a huge difference in the sound, but it cost me about $500 or so to build the flipping thing and I ended up buying a table saw and a drill press to build it for another $400! I should have just bought a Sistrum Rack.
Cpeay, you can make a lot more things for your audio system with your table saw and drill prees. If you like to experiment, you have the tools to do so. Make yourself a matching TV stand, diy sub, anti-vibration plates to put on your speakers and components. Try different woods and make yourself a big rock or any type of platform to put under your components. If you do some research here on A'gon, they will tell you what wood to use and not to use. The lists goes on. Have some fun. A lathe would be nice, put that is pushing it a bit.