How important is the rack you use for your components
I’ve been browsing thru people’s systems on audiogon and have seen all different kinds of racks, shelves, bookcases , stands etc. For people’s equipment. My question is how important is the rack to the sound of the system. Has anyone gone from a basic rack to a premium and/or home constructed rack and noticed a marked improvement? And when I say marked, I mean marked. Looking for input
IMHO an audio rack's contribution to audio is in improving control of the effect of vibrations on the components either in dissipating them (the vibrations) or isolating them (the components). Much of the effect is component dependent - turntables, tube equipment, might benefit the most, solid state stuff , not so much.
Probably for many the effect for using any particular rack is not 'marked', just more aesthetics, or those who are concerned with obtaining some apparent compliance with audio theory.
I should mention however, that the size of the rack or its configuration and placement can effect the sound your system generates. For example the size and configuration of a rack between the speakers places a far larger roll in the systems sound than when the rack is on the side walls or the back wall. But to make that a little complex, the lengths of cables or IC's (and the type of cables and IC's) can be a large factor in your systems sound.
Lastly, what is 'marked' for a deaf man is significantly different than what is 'marked' for an anal audiophile. What I personally concern myself with is keeping the critical components out of areas where there are typically bass nodes. The side walls work best for me, or when limited, placed between the speakers but out from the back wall several feet because there I can keep all my wiring short minimizing the their effect.
To your question - important yes, marked (as in big) not so much.
As @newbee points out the effect is system dependent. In a more resolving system the impact may be substantial. For example in my system each step in moving my VTL power amps from spiked Grand Prix Audio Monaco stands to Apex (ball) footers and then adding a Marigo sub shelf under the amps was very noticeable.
The general effect of reducing vibration on an amp is to make the amp sound less loud (ie for a given setting of the volume control you hear less harshness and hence can afford to dial it up a few notches) and give greater control over dynamic peaks and hard to resolve passages. Impact on source components can be similar but more diverse. Turntables are another story entirely and need their own isolation solutions.
Once you get a little bit along you’ll find a good rack, and or stands for amp or other components will indeed help focus the sonic elements. It will appear or at lest it appreared to me that the cues in the sound field gained more definition and more solid placement. Everything seemed to be viewed thru a far cleaner glass. If that makes sense.
Such is my EXP going from several DIY contraptions to a $1800 five level Sound Anchor rack. I bought it here for much, much less.
As has been said, my gear by then was all tube power. Tube line stage preamp, tube mono blocks, but with Sony XA 777 SACD & CDP, oppo disc player, Bel Canto DAC. I also used footers of a much cheaper variety than some would point to, although their presence was noticed improvements..
I’ve since disposed of the mono blocks and almost never use the tube line stage. Instead it’s a Pre proc, a multi ch hybrid amp, and a 2 ch SS amp with the Same DAC.
I feel all is improved again. However, I’m not gonna reconstruct those DIY stands and racks and shuffle things about to make sure. Sorry.
Once you go ‘rack’ you don’t go back.
It is about resonances. Vibrations. Sound anchor and everyone else has their own ways to try eliminating them. Using platforms as was said will aid things too. Usually. RWV.
Lastly, given the ‘point of diminishing returns’ I will doubt I’d ever buy a $10,000 rack probably not even a $5K rack. Maybe $3K depending on the gear and funding available at the time.
This is especially true given what platforms and footers can provide in conjunction with just a very good rack or stands.
Most racks these days are claimed by their makers to provide isolation to the components placed in them. But do they? The spiked feet often found on their legs, and the spikes or cones intended to isolate the shelves from the rack's structure, are actually couplers, not isolators. Vibration is free to travel up into the rack from the floor it sits upon, and into the shelves upon which components rest. Not good.
Townshend Audio has a true isolation product named the Seismic Pod, a spring-inside-a-"bellows" design. The Pod is available in sets of four, attached to outrigger bars for speakers, and also bolted onto dual-Pod 90 degree assemblies for placement under the four corners of a rack. If you use the Pods with any already owned rack, the nature of that rack is of insignificant consequence. Townshend also makes it's own rack with the Pods built in. For details look on the Townshend Audio website.
If the Seismic Pod products are out-of-budget (they're not cheap), there is always the modestly priced roller bearing, which isolates in all planes but the vertical. Add a vertical isolator (a spring, either mechanical or air), and you have excellent isolation at a fraction of the price charged for nice looking, but non-isolating, racks. By the way, the currently-in-vogue maple shelves may sound "pleasing", but they provide no more isolation than does any other wood, just a more pleasing coloration.
For me, very important simply because I use a TT (Michell Engineering GyroDec/SME IV/Clear Audio Maestro Ebony V2). See my previous post on this system. I purchased a Core Audio PlyCraft 3L rack to hold the TT and other system components and could not be happier with the equipment rack. Incredibly well built, beautiful to look at and and incredible acoustic isolation between the TT and loudspeakers. The sound is crystal clear and vibration isolation is so good you can actually jump up and down in front of the TT without any affect on the cartridge tracking. I am there!
I agree that a good rack is important and will influence the sound of your music. I'll also add that physical appearance is also important to me. I'm not going to buy a rack that has an excellent sonic ability with what is placed upon it unless it is physically appealing to me. There are many very good racks available that look and sound good, luckily I own three that are made by different manufacturers. I agree with mgattmch and his comment regarding the Core Audio PlyCraft 3L rack. I received mine about 10 days ago and as already mentioned it is incredibly well built, beautiful to look at and incredible acoustic isolation between my amp, transport, and Dac.
I’ve always used simple steel racks to good effect. My turntable is on a Sound Organisation 3 tier rack; I’ve owned that rack since the early 90’s and have been happy with it. My other gear sits on SolidSteel racks. I’m satisfied with those too. My point is buy something solid and well made, which need not cost as much as an amplifier. Are my racks beautiful? Not really, but highly functional.
I haven’t played with different racks, as aesthetics dictate a console between my speakers. With the console, though, I’ve noticed putting spikes under the feet helped improve imaging and bass response. As did isolating all my components using springs. I put my turntable and tube pre on wooden platforms, which are then placed on springs. My oppo is isolated with springs directly under the chassis and my amps sit on top of the oppo. With more space, I’d suspend the amps on their own shelf. But alas..
That was a very long way of saying I’ve noticed changes/improvements when messing with my rack. I can only imagine a dedicated rack would bring even more sonic differences to the table
I went from a cheap glass and tubing rack to one of steel and air dried maple; as currently configured, the m/t rack weighs 250 lbs. At the time of change, everything was SS, and was not much above entry level. After moving the equipment to the new rack, I had instruments appearing seemingly out of nowhere in music I had listened to for 30+ years. racks make a great deal of difference.
Coming to an audiophile forum and asking if changing something will affect the sound is like visiting a New Age Therapy Fair and asking people “do you think this crystal bracelet will help my arthritis?” The answer you’ll get is “Of course it will!”
Given the methods most audiophiles use to decide these things, I’m just cautioning that some skepticism may be in order here.
(And I’m going through some of the same questions in getting my own rack ready for my new turntable. It can be very hard to weed through the veridical claims vs the nonsense claims about what will actually result in audible differences).
If you were doing science you would be controlling the variables, including the variable of bias, when testing for the audible effects of a rack on a piece of gear.
Have you been doing that?
(The mantra “Trust your ears” is really no different than the New Age Guru saying “trust your feelings”)
I’m not declaring that an audio rack can’t have a beneficial audible effect on certain types of components (turntables being more plausible). But I’m saying the methods often used in the audiophile community are so loose and rife with bias that we get to a place where it’s thought “everything makes an audible difference.”
I'm using a Salamander Synergy Triple Unit SL20 A/V cabinet. It's essential in terms of housing my audio and video gear, but in no way do I believe it contributes positively or negatively to the sound or picture quality.
Sure, that’s what I presumed. That’s not of course “science.” Which was simply my point.
I get that we all report our subjective experiences - I’ve been doing it like everyone else. But sometimes it’s good to keep some perspective on the reliability of those experiences for determining actual sonic differences.
Anyway, that’s all I want to say about the issue. I’ve been looking at audio racks myself with the idea of ensuring good isolation, though this is because I have bought a nice turntable. For any other component I can think of I wouldn’t be sweating the isolation factor: As long as it holds up the gear safely and looks good.
Prof sorry but wrong, We have been playing with isolation devices for both electronics, and digital components for years and the difference is very audible.
All electronics are sensitive to vibration and that includes solid state as well as tubes. Of course Turntables are a greatly improved by isolation.
I used to do a demo of a $900 Rega Planet on a solid steel shelf, then with Black diamond footers, and then a black diamond shelf.
The black diamond shelf is a thick slab of carbon fiber with other high density plastics. and a set of carbon fiber footers.
I would demonstrate this cd player vs a $3000 Cd player booth on top of the same racks, then put the isolation components under the Rega once the CD player was fully isolated it crushed the performance of the more expensive cd player and once you took the cheaper player off of the base and then put the better player on top viola the more expensive player then wildly outperformed the cheaper one.
Think of mechanical jitter, this way in the days before electronic image statbilzation and you were trying to take a long aperture exposure with a telephoto lens the small shakes and vibrations would cause your exposure to be blurry.
A $20k professional camera hand held vs a $1k camera with the same lens setup but sitting on a tripod would take a much sharper picture, then the much more expensive camera.
All devices including transistors are microphonic, tube are more so, but transistors still have crystaline structures which can vibrate.
When you remove vibration the system focuses much better, the images are much more defined, bass is tighter. Huge improvements.
If you told me 10 years ago I would have a $14k Stillpoints rack I would say your are crazy. The difference putting high end electronics just amps on this rack were huge.
We recommend Isoacoustics cheap and very effective.
We are looking at several next generation racks as Stillpoints have gotten crazy expensive but you have to hear the differences in doing proper vibration isolation it takes a good system into the next generation.
I generally enjoy your contributions, especially regarding speakers.
However, your post seems to comprise just the type of anecdotes I’m talking about when I speak of the unreliable methods used in high end audio circles. The “if I thought I heard a difference there was a difference” approach.
I presume in evaluating the audible effect of equipment racks and shelves you used the same method that told you the tiny room tuning objects you sell made of “precious metals” have a “profound” audible effect.
The methodology is playing the same music for two to three mins adding or subtracting what you are testing and listening for differences.
The thought I heard a difference is repeatable with other listeners then you have consenus. We have always found that many others have varrified our findings.
If you get yourself away for the conspiracy effect, there are tons of reviewer who have heard the differences that power cords, high end cabling, vibration and isolation products and of course room tuning.
Check out all the articles on Acoustic System Resonators way too many people have heard them work effectively.
We setup a system with them in the 2013 New York Audio Show, Waterfall Audio's designer was there, he heard the products effect and was amazed at the difference.
For a lark pay $60 bucks and purchase three boxes of Isoacoustics footers and try them under a component and see what you hear.
I went from a simple cheap corner hifi unit thing that in all honesty was pretty wobbly and had glass shelves to a home made unit that consists of 4 pieces 24x18x2 maple block drilled through at each corner and suspended with all thread. This had a truly large impact on sq, I almost seemed to gain 6db and noticed I am running with a fair bit less volume control for same listening volume. Cant say as soundstage and bass appeared to change any although female vocals do seem a little more defined. Now it could be such a big impact because my starting point was so crappy! But for cost of about $300 all in materials I am very happy, it is solid and heavy and very well damped now imho. I would not hesitate to build another in the same fashion if I needed more rack space.
Great question ricred, I'd like to know the answer to that also. I'm using Symposium Rollerblocks and platforms under all of my components that are sitting on a solid wood rack I built. I have spikes coupling the rack to the concrete floor. Since my components are already isolated from the rack would it behoove me to get an expensive audio rack?
My question is if you have Isoacoustics , Stillpoints, or any other "effective" footer under all of your components, do you need a very expensive rack? If so, why?
In my experience the answer is yes. Think of it in terms of layers of defense. The footer is the last layer to isolate the component from external influences, but it stands to reason that if you reduce the vibration reaching the footer the less it will have to do, and the more effective it can be. In my case my source components sit on the following (from the floor up): GPA Apex footers (a roller ball system) -> GPA Monaco shelving system -> GPA Shelf -> Marigo custom sub-shelf -> Marigo Mystery Feet. So 5 different layers the removal of any one of which is audible
Arguably a solid wooden racking system will be the most in need of replacement as it may store energy and give the footers more to work with
There are of course exceptions -- if you are using an active isolation system such as a Herzan you want to firmly couple it to the floor and not have intervening layers of potentially competing isolation
In most cases, not terribly, unless the components on it are VERY poorly designed. For a turntable, on the other hand, pretty darned important.
If you are going to worry about the effect of small vibrations on electronics, and i wouldn't, you should be even more worried about where you place whatever rack you use. Is it directly impacted by speakers' bass? Your dishwasher? The dog wrestling with your son? By the way, who bit who?
Many people have a "wall-o-audio" with speakers on the sides and a stack of stuff between them. I don't. I do have my amp(s) between them, on solid stone slabs (bunch of reasons, few having to do with sound). On the other hand, my TT, CD transport, DAC, preamp and tuner - all of which one could argue are affected by vibrations, are way on the other end of the room, with long interconnect cables. if i'm not testing stuff (which is rare) they are balanced. This has a very large effect on vibrations - regardless of whether you decide that effect is audible. You might also place them on a solid (brick, stone) floor rather than a suspended wooden one. I don;t have that option.
In the end I'd put money into a better pair of speakers, DAC, or TT/tonearm/cart/amp/ preamp before I'd put it into cabinetry - unless you are doing it for aesthetic or convenience reasons. The results will simply be more compelling, unless you have that elusive "perfect" system. In that case, please invite me over.
I know you will point to plenty of satisfied customers, and that the efficacy of these tweaks can be experienced by anyone, and that many will testify to the effects.
Unfortunately, exactly the same level of anecdotal “evidence” is promulgated by every perveyer of dubious phenomena, from people selling crystals, magnets and homeopathy medical treatments to miracle producing swamis in India, to bufonted faith healers chanting in tongues and waving their jackets to have supernatural effect on an audience. They all share a common trait: far out claims unsubstantiated by any reliable science, and a reliance on subjective affirmation (and all....ALL...of them will point to converted skeptics “I was a skeptic and never would have believed it, until I experienced it myself!”).
The acoustic system resonators come off as the audio equivalent of selling ground rino horns for impotence: wild claims, add copy clearly playing on audiophile gullibility, with no scientifically established basis for the claims. (And I followed the controversy on those things). (Also if we want to exchange anecdotal experience, a local dealer became enamoured of the ASR products, demoed them a couple times for me and I never heard a bit of difference with them in or out of the systems. Though I don’t necessarily grant my experience any more credence in disproving their effects than I grant your experience in ratifying the claims of that company).
The thing is when someone thinks up a hypothesis that sounds even vaguely plausible (at least to themselves and to some others), and then this phenomenon is tests for via subjective methods that have no good controls for weeding out error and human bias, then virtually any wild idea can pass this form of test. So long as people believe it happens. This is why the world is utterly suffused by a head spinning array of alternate reality claims for any number of contradictory phenomena. (It’s why things like Mesmerism managed to sweep through Europe, among countless other examples).
I understand why we want to rely upon our personal experience. It’s our main way of navigating the world. Unfortunately the long, hard-won lessons of science has told us how good we are at fooling ourselves and just how rigorous we will want to be in vetting claims if we want to escape the flourishing of monsters arising from our powers of imagination.
I love, love, love high end audio and have for much of my 54 years. But I share some of J. Gordon Holt’s dispair about the hobby from this interview:
As far as the real world is concerned, high-end audio lost its credibility during the 1980s, when it flatly refused to submit to the kind of basic honesty controls (double-blind testing, for example) that had legitimized every other serious scientific endeavor since Pascal. [This refusal] is a source of endless derisive amusement among rational people and of perpetual embarrassment for me,
I personally use blind testing here and there to determine audible differences especially if what I’m hearing is inconsistent with any robust technical explanation. For instance, I could have sworn to anyone the sound of my system changed when I simply switched my streaming server from iTunes to a raspberry pi server. But as this made little technical sense (yes, I have read much of the tweakery on computer audiophile sites), I did a blind shoot out and it turned out I could tell no reliable difference once I didn’t know which was playing. That allowed my mind to settle on the issue and whaddya know? I no longer perceive any such change in my system. Same thing happened when I blind tested very highly lauded AC cables (even though in sighted tests I thought I heard a difference), same with things like Black Diamond racing cones (they appeared to alter the sound of my CD player sighted, but when a pal helped me blind test I could identify no difference when the cones were used or not). These are the things I learned when I really actually relied on what I could hear.
If an audio rack in fact produced audibly different effects from, say, a CD player or pre-amp, server etc, especially of the nature so often described by my fellow audiophiles “deeper tighter bass, greater dynamics, smoother highs” etc, those should be measurable differences at the output end of the system.
But we virtually never get any such repeatable measurements in support of these claims - only anecdote piled upon anecdote derived from just the listening conditions, like you described, guaranteed to allow for bias effects.
And when there aren’t measurments to back up the claims, instead we’ll get more claims about the imcompleteness of science and “these things we are hearing can’t be measured yet...”
And it should be a red flag that these replies are exactly the same reply every other crackpot at the local Psychic Fair, Alternative Medicine, New Age guru etc gives when their claims don’t go beyond anecdotes.
So, I hope some of my fellow audiophile here will forgive me if I bring with me some well earned skepticism and a desire for our hobby to raise its standards of verification and research.
Prof there have been many companies who had done accelerometer testing of the components on and off of their racks over the years which have demonstrated that these devices do work.
In the case of the resonators, there was a Germany company I think FAST was the distributor who paid for an indepth study of the resonators and their testing showed beyond a shadow of a doubt that the resonators affected a change in the energy spectra of the room.
Science is a wonderful thing, please explain the differences to a gas chromatograph of a bottle of 1954 Chateau Lefeat Roscheld. at $10,000.00 a bottle and a bottle of your favorites whinos $1.99 bottle of ripple.
You and I can easily taste the difference the machines would report water, organic materials, but the difference in the two traces would be probably 99.9 percent identical.
How do you measure a difference in tightness and dynamics, when the apparent differences might not show up in a frequency response curve or an spl meter.
It is the feeling you get when a the product hits you in the right way.
Sceptisim is a good thing, but there are times that you need to let your ears by your guide.
By the scientific explanation a 3 foot power cord that is connected to a house full of Romex shouldn't make a difference but it does.
By way of returning the favour, consider shelving made of Panzerholz ('tankwood' in German; a composite of beech veneer and elastomer), or some acetal copolymers, which are notably lossy transmitters of energy. Although I haven't tried it yet, I plan to test plates made of these two materials, bonded to induce constrained layer damping. They are said to have a very different speed of sound (although I keep meaning to test Panzerholz, I haven't done so yet).
I suggest that you DIY the thing and spend the bucks on something with a mechanism known to physics. A mechanism, as a few here will notice.
Speaking of mechanisms, it all depends on the stability of your listening room floor. Mine is on concrete, over rock, many miles from the nearest railway or freeway or heavy industry. So the issue becomes one of stability, which depends on the moment arm; and walls have really big moment arms.
The recent question appears to be; why scientific proof of function is rare or non-existent in the vibration management and equipment racking divisions of the Audio Industry?
The opinions below are based on the studies of vibration management and manufacturing products for the past twenty-plus years involving the High End Audio marketplace. We apologize for the lengthy read as there are many variables involved with no simple answer to this question.
1 High End Audio is a smaller niche industry where the majority of successes and results are based on sonic subjectivity as duly noted on this thread by previous posters.
2 Developing scientific third party testing protocols require substantial amounts of time and financial investments.
3 Strategic business strategies for the majority of parts manufacturers, equipment racking or vibration management companies involved in audio are more focused on marketing and sales in comparison to providing scientific proof of product and/or technology function. Profits generated from sales are generally invested into marketing, advertising expansions or developing additional supportive products.
4 Without unbiased “Third Party Testing”, anyone or any company can create “in house” methods of testing that achieve positive results in favor of their products. This approach is in full representation and used by a host of companies throughout industry.
Example: Devices, testing, storyboarding and results are always controlled by the company who owns or represents the product. Anyone can design a fancy chart, position it on the web, write about it and set up visual experiments that (again) always provide extremely beneficial results for their own innovations and why not?... People appear to substantially believe them. However the reality is these support measures are only elaborate opinions created to sell merchandise, reinforce a methodology and/or increase believability in product function.
5 In audio there are a multitude of companies competing for your business. There are furniture builders, loudspeaker and electronic manufacturers and now even a few cable companies are making footers, imitation parts and/or racks in hopes of attaining a percentage of the pie along with a handful of companies dedicated solely to vibration management.
There are literally hundreds upon hundreds of products to choose from all claiming to be the absolute best in vibration control. Add to that, there are just as many vibration management methodologies as there are parts and products, all of which appear to provide little if any scientific proof of performance and function.
6 Any material of mass or shape placed on top, beneath or inside audio components and loudspeakers will alter the sound of the product so it is very easy to manufacturer a few basic parts and get into the vibration business. This could be one of the many reasons there are so many subjective claims supporting products.
The majority of equipment rack designs attempt to match the frequency, sound and/or function of the shelf in combination with the component to produce a desired sonic via isolation, absorption, constrained layer damping or a resonance transfer mechanism. Some attempt to use two or three different methodologies in combination where one technical theorem begins to counteract the other and so on. When applications work against each other, a host of even greater variables will result. In essence function becomes more difficult to prove where believability begins to depend more on marketing strengths.
Another problem arises when components make shelf contact. All components have different footers made of various materials and shapes including aftermarket designs that perform in many different ways (noting differences in sonic characteristics such as attack, sustain and decay). Mixing and matching footers throughout the system can also disrupt the function (mechanism) of the rack design. In our opinion shelf and component matching relative to varying footers is like trying to “hit an impossible moving target”.
It appears the overall consensus has produced an audio cliché. Combining all those technical approaches, variations of footers, different methodologies including various types of structural flooring has created a term heavily used in today’s market titled “system-dependent” performance. With no scientific proof of product function available, it is our guess that this concept is the best and easiest way for companies to bypass the expense of defining and proving function via science.
Example: If we stated there is a known Platform available that is Not system, room nor floor born dependent for function and vibrates by design, what would be the majority of responses? My guess is - “impossible” or “prove it”!
Without a physical audition in your home, what other proof is available? Add to that, this type of statement on a forum will lead to further disputes and arguments that will eventually end up at “subjectivity” hence wasting everyone's precious listening time.
7 The public is provided information based on manufacturer’s opinions, theorems and marketing as to how vibration affects sonic performance. Everyone takes their best shot at explaining how their products relate to function. Sooner than later subjectivity steps in and plays the largest role in order to generate interest and sales.
Some listeners rely on researching other sciences that do not relate to audio applications or seek more knowledge from audio forums (Pandora's Box) where most end up forming their own understandings, opinions, analogies and beliefs. Misinformation spreads across forums, picks up momentum and so goes the chain of self education.
Multiple Examples: Reviewers are not interested in the topic or do not wish to take the time to learn more about how resonance relates to audio limiting their abilities for what they do best and that is help educate the public.
We see boundless and detailed information on things like digital jitter, total harmonic distortion, AC fluctuations, styli alignment, signal strength along with the obvious components and loudspeakers yet everything involved in the signal pathway is affected by resonance caused from vibration.
How many people attempt to kill every vibration? That feat is impossible due to the fact that electrical current forms vibration. Vibration forms resonance and migrates across all electronic parts, surfaces and conduits (cables) affecting signal path throughout the system entirety.
How many people attempt to stop their component chassis from vibrating thinking that will make for better sound quality?
How many people use the knock or stomp test (wrapping a knuckle on equipment surfaces or stomping on the floor)? Those types of self induced noise and vibrations never occur during normal listening and audio reproduction so why use this method of testing?
Seismic vibrations from the earth coming up through the flooring then up through the rack moving across the shelf and up into the components limiting your electronics and loudspeakers from good sound appears to be an overwhelming concern for many on this forum yet seismic activity and motion generated from the earth is around us every minute of every day and is inaudible. Unless you have the local train passing by or rush hour traffic during your listening schedule we believe there are more important issues that one might consider investing time, experimentation and money on.
There is little written, understood and what appears to be a lack of concern for airborne resonance generated from loudspeakers that affects everything from the sound and function of the room down to the circuit board itself. Turn up the volume and increase resonance along with interfering energy.
8 Vibration management in audio is extremely young in age. We represent the oldest vibration related product of twenty-seven years that still remains very popular in the marketplace today. Amplifiers and speakers have a fifty years+ jump on vibration control. Evolution is moving forward but everyone could definitely use greater input based on science from all manufacturers.
The greatest unknown and detriment to achieving a higher level of sound reproduction goes unchecked by science and that is resonance formed from vibration.
In our case we developed a single vibration management technology that is scalable. It is proven successful inside electronic and loudspeaker chassis, builds into structural listening environments and recording studios, uses Industry award winning equipment footers and multiple racking designs and successfully adapts to musical instruments.
From the smallest of electronic parts (transistors - resistors, etc.) to structural walls floors and ceilings, this technology can be adapted to other industries outside of audio. Because of these capabilities, we elected to invest in third party testing and chose a respected UL Best Test Center® laboratory. The methods and tests are also corroborated by highly experienced people holding doctoral degrees and various Patents in engineering. The data and results from said tests are based on science (eliminating all subjectivity).
Example: One series of tests will display a significant reduction in operating temperature when our technology is applied to electric motors, transformers and audio amplifiers (both valve and solid state designs) demonstrating how Live-Vibe Technology™ reduces heat via high-speed Resonance Energy Transfer processes. Heat is energy (resonance caused from vibration) that builds up on “all surfaces” establishing inefficiencies in performance and function (per the laws of Coulomb). Applying Live-Vibe Technology results in increasing component operational efficiency extending life expectancy for parts and more importantly, positions our goals which are focused on proving via science this technology conserves energy.
The cool thing about heat reduction is you can personally test ours and other products in your own listening environment using a digital thermometer (not so subjective).
There are a lot more requirements involving third party testing such as; first define all the test scenarios in writing, establish the definition of Control, establish and define the Mechanism, define all the Variables such as room temperature and humidity levels, list all the equipment used in test, document the last date test equipment was calibrated, environmental structure (type of flooring, type of shelving, etc) and the list goes on.
The results from tests such as these are nearly bullet proof and difficult to argue or prove otherwise. On the lighter side, third party testing limits the needs to dispute successes when participating in audio forums ⌣ hopefully earning greater public acceptance and avoiding the dreaded x-factor known as subjectivity.
In closing: Our goals from investing in third party testing are for the purpose of technology development and expansion...
But we are compelled to ask listeners...
If we provide third party scientific documentation that Live-Vibe Technology is a newfound science in vibration management, would that fact motivate you to pursue an audition of our products (knowing full well we have financial return guarantees on everything we sell in place since 1999)?
Would you rely more on published reviews and consumer testaments?
Would slick advertisements become more the trigger?
Are you less focused on sonic performance and lean more towards cosmetic appearances matching your home environment?
Are you going to take your best shot at guessing what to purchase because public comparisons between equipment racks are extremely rare. They take a lot of time and labor unless you are comparing single shelf amplifier or speaker Platforms? Add to that do any carry financial return guarantees?
It is far easier to compare an IC or Power Cable but the chain of command regarding audio system performance demonstrates that equipment support foundations are the second source in line “totally governing” your overall system’s performance and musical sound quality with the structural room environment being the primary. Like it or not, agree or disagree, vibration management via equipment racking is as critical as choosing a new amplifier or speaker system.
Possibly your rack despite manufacturer claims is not capable of providing an over the top sonic improvement despite your emotional feelings, listening experience or dedication to your purchase. If you have ever experienced what a superior platform performance delivers... would you know what an over the top sonic produced from a platform sounds like? (Wow, subjective statements are definitely hard to avoid:)
As you can see, despite the costly expense of Third Party Testing there are a few more reasons to consider why vibration management in audio lacks science and proof of function.
We thank you for your time and hopefully this information assists your understanding.
Manage vibration by allowing vibration… a new approach to science and the art of sound reproduction. After all music and sound is vibration!
For one thing, no manufacturer I know claims his vibration isolation device is the absolute best, to use your words. That is a Strawman argument. It’s not nice to make stuff up. To suggest that any significant reduction in seismic vibration by ANY means available is not up to date or even accurate. Nobody ever said, myself included, that vibration isolation is a 100% deal. In fact, anyone who knows anything knows it’s not. Earth to Tom! Hel-loo!
Even LIGO - the project to detect Gravity Waves, with its extremely powerful isolation systems - showed in calculations that even their heroic isolation systems were not 100%. Hel-loo! This is all nothing more than a rehash of the ridiculous argument started by Michael Green and propagated by some others in some sort of ill conceived argument to try and bolster coupling as the only game in town, that there’s no such thing as isolation. Give me a break!
For one thing, no manufacturer I know claims his vibration isolation device is the absolute best, to use your words.
Geoffrey C Kait, when was the last time you shopped or purchased from a dealer or heard a salesman pitching you on “the best”? Are you really that naive?
It’s not nice to make stuff up.
Everyone has their own opinion.
Obviously you have NOT been involved in the equipment racking industry for what… eighteen years or so? A lot has changed in the marketplace since you built and sold one or maybe a handful of racks back in the day.
To suggest that any significant reduction in seismic vibration by ANY means available is not up to date or even accurate.
I never suggested anything - period. You have a poor habit of putting words into the mouths of others in order to help make your point; which is what again?
Just stated there is no scientific proof via third party testing where seismic vibration from the earth affects audio equipment performance.
And in our opinion, when loudspeakers and volume are present - airborne resonance becomes the 'Control' factor and primary source of resonance caused from vibration in the sound room. At least we can HEAR, feel and easily locate where the majority of resonant energy is originating from helping us to understand more about room acoustics.
Nobody ever said, myself included, that vibration isolation is a 100% deal.
The fact there is limited or no proof of performance via science backed out through third party testing (including our own designs) is the point being made by members ‘prof’, ‘terry9’ and a few others.
They stated that racking and footer technologies are all subjective and have no proof of function from science and has no type of standard test scenario. At this point in time they are absolutely correct. Do you agree?
This is all nothing more than a rehash of the ridiculous argument started by Michael Green and propagated by some others in some sort of ill conceived argument to try and bolster coupling as the only game in town, that there’s no such thing as isolation. Give me a break! .
Again Geoffrey, you are posting absolutely "false statements and accusations".
From the very first day we participated on this forum, Geoffrey C. Kait has disparaged our company, products, technical approach, technology and successes but more importantly insulted our people time after time including childish name calling. This has been an ongoing problem not only with us as history and the internet shows him being tossed off other audio related forums for this type of behavior.
Geoffrey never once took us up on our multiple offers to send him a product for audition (free of charge) or visit one of our sound rooms (all expenses paid) to learn something new about sound. To date, every time we participate on a topic, he is the very next reply on posting up more whimsical nonsense in attempts to shut down any conversation that does not match his understanding, hinders the sale of his own products or takes away from his argumentative agenda.
We are going to take Geoffrey's own words - “ill conceived argument” and provide proof via science that a new technology exists. Whether he believes the Lab data and test results is no concern to us.
In closing: Our efforts will offer something more for audiophiles other than subjectivity in hopes it will kick start other companies to do the same.
I apologize to everyone for having to reply to this individual again. It is apparent now more than ever he believes a lot in himself and unfortunately realizes all his posts on isolation and product performance are just personal opinions lacking scientific proof. Geoffrey is clearly upset knowing he has suddenly become one of us...
Robert, I am well versed in the There’s no such thing as isolation school of thought you belong to. I dealt with your brother in arms and Grand Poobah of The School of Coupling, Michael Green, over on Stereophile forum at length on many subjects. I see through you like you were made of glass. One question, though. What makes you guys so angry? 😡 You need to chill, it’s only a hobby, Bobby.
Sorry the AEP trip offer was extended to Kait a ways back. We offered this to him in order so he could meet and shake the hands of the people he was insulting and calling names. You know be a real man and not a chicken hiding behind a keyboard all the time.
Some things never change.
If you are in the market for a room design, please give me a call and I am sure we can work something out in order for you to audition the studio.
Uh, Bobby, you’re the name caller. You’re just like your mentor, he got mad, too, when it was revealed how utterly backward the whole coupling argument actually is. “Let the vibrations be free to travel wherever they want to.” 😀 😀
There you go again Geoffrey C Kait, changing the thread topic attempting to make this a personal issue between us, so let’s waste some time and post up my meager defense.
To the readership, I ask your patience as the next flow of information coming down the pipe may or may not be of any value or interest to you. Thank you in advance for your patience.
I see through you like you were made of glass. One question, though. What makes you guys so angry? 😡
I obviously do not appreciate people that play both sides of the fence (get the hint)!
When challenged by anyone like yourself who does not have the ability to show respect for others, I automatically become a bit angry - just one of my many weaknesses.
Tell me Geoff Kait, what do you actually see through your looking glass?
You need to chill, it’s only a hobby, Bobby
Since I was sixteen years of age, I worked in the Music and Entertainment Industry with people of the highest integrity. I love music, desire invention and have a passion for success in the arts. This is not my hobby; it is my life’s work so I take personal pride in everything our company accomplishes.
You’re just like your mentor, he got mad, too,
Which mentor are you referring to?
I have been extremely and absolutely blessed with an overwhelming number of mentors. I consider myself the luckiest person on earth and am humbled every day of my life by people who continue to teach and help us.
You never met my Father or his friends, the original Bell Telephone engineers from Bethlehem PA who were some of the very first audiophiles I ever met. They were always modifying Fisher, Scott and McIntosh amps, Dynaco, AR and home brewed loudspeaker systems always seeking to increase a higher fidelity. I did not know they were audiophiles and did not know if the term audiophile even existed being twelve years old at that time. I knew they loved music, had large record collections and were always talking about how to get better sound. They even took the time and taught me how to solder.
On the personal side, my late uncle, Earl “Duke” DeEsch, a Naval Aviator who flew the Sageburner Project and his good friend and Project Manager Jim Lovell (NASA) taught me what it means to earn and grow character throughout my lifetime.
There was Big City Sound Company and Clair Brothers who inspired and mentored me in sound reinforcement and mixing music. The late Peter Helfrich of Helfrich Recording Labs who taught me how to cut a ½-speed master at 45 rpm on a record lathe. Steve Martin and his tour manager Mable who showed me how to keep laughing and find humor through the best and more importantly the worst of times. Jon Bon Jovi who insists on attaining the highest level of musical sound quality in the studio and on stage reminding to never give up advancing the technology.
Peter Israelson who is responsible for teaching me how to attain good sound in high end audio. The four engineers from Lehigh University who make up our research and development team. Thomas DeVuono, innovator of the cello endpin who pulled me through some of the toughest times in my life. Dr. Andrew Gear, one of the most intelligent and practical persons I ever met who funded and built the first Energy Room™, Dr. Bill Highleyman technical advisor and engineer extraordinaire, Rick Schultz, inventor, Industry affiliate and long time friend plus the hundreds of audiophiles and listeners I was extremely privileged to work with solving audio related problems during my seventeen year tenure at Star Sound. There are so many more who inspired and mentored me over the years… too many to mention.
Mr. Kait, are you seeing any of this through your looking glass?
Now, instead of providing the same old blah, blah, blah in attempts to crap on my story, tell us a bit about your mentors and background in music and science. I am sure the public would also like to know more about you too.
it was revealed how utterly backward the whole coupling argument actually is. “Let the vibrations be free to travel wherever they want to.” 😀 😀
There is no “coupling argument” concerning us. ‘Direct Coupling’ is but one of many methodologies involving vibration management and audio reproduction. Coupling techniques (mechanical grounding) are also used by Linn and Goldmund to name a few. If you are claiming that Live-Vibe Technology™ is “utterly backward” then we will be happy to prove function and demonstrate successes on our end.
Mr. Kait, all you provided or write on the topic of vibration in audio are differences of opinion. When it comes down to one approach or belief outperforming the other; every product, every geometry, every company and every methodology is different so the reality of a good, better, best boils down to individual products performance based on reviewer and public auditions, fair comparisons and Industry acceptance - not applications or methodologies.
Your last statement about vibration being free to travel is also incorrect in comparison to the statements posted on our website.
Regards to that other guy you insist on always bringing into the conversation, our association with that individual involved an extreme marketing blunder made by me involving the Original Audio Points™ and who was the actual inventor. It was not him! Finally, we do Not share or associate the same technical approach to vibration management with that other guy - none whatsoever - with one small exception... Both companies use brass footers for mechanical grounding purposes as do a host of other manufacturers.
In closing, every product we build is based on “mechanical grounding” and vibration management.
How many of your product offerings are dedicated to isolation and/or vibration management?
I have all home made bases or tables for my components. All are made of MDF. I do have four conical shaped metal devices I found made a huge improvement on my CD player. Sometimes I play cd's, which are very bass heavy and I was getting enough vibration to upset the playing of the cd. I tried the cones and they made playback possible, with no skipping. I had tried rubber feet, as well as Vibrapods to no avail. My TT platform kinda floats. I have it on a second story floor with springs and cables pulling it out from the wall. I tried a wall platform, but still had acoustic vibration. The platform doesn't touch the wall and is suspended, in a manner of speaking, from the wall and floor. I've enjoyed great success with this design. I know there are very expensive platforms made for extremely high tech equipment, but at $5K a piece, I elected to build my own.
As with cables, the more refined your gear, the more difference a quality audio rack makes. That is just my personal experience and therefor it is just one anecdotal data point that is infinitesimally significant. I went from an el-cheapo threaded rebar and mdf shelf to a Symposium Osiris Ultimate and there were huge benefits. The most obvious-a hum problem I had due to my Manley Steelhead picking up MFI/RFI vanished. Peter of Symposium touts the Osiris as having a Faraday Cage design implemented into the design principal. I was skeptical and bought it for the resonance control. Now, well hearing-or not hearing-is believing.
Thanks for the mentions on this thread. I invite you guys and gals to come by the website or TuneLand forum anytime. For those doing rooms I'm happy to help you out as always. Also anyone needing advice on our speakers, audio platforms or really any system need or want, it's our pleasure to get you Tuned up.