How much difference does an anti-vibration audio rack make
I have just put together a Hi-Fi system. It's a two channel system consisting of B&W 800D3 speakers, McIntosh C1100 C+T Pre-Amp and two McIntosh MC1.25KW mono blocks. I considered buying a carbon fibre anti-vibration audio rack from Bassocontinuo (Aeon 2.0) but did not finally end up buying it due to the fact that there were two many racks in my living room which houses my Hi-Fi system. I am currently using a lovely solid wood TV cabinet to house the above equipment.
Question is whether the system gives me a sub-par performance due to the absence of a specialist audio rack or the difference is immaterial. I could not try it to determine as the carbon fibre racks are not stocked by the dealer due to the costs.
The rack you are considering looks fabulous. It appears to have some serious engineering behind it. I say go for it. Start with your preamp and source component. If I understand the modular design aspect, you can expand to include other parts of your system at a later point. I cannot answer whether the Aeon will sound truly better than your current wood furniture. It's the type of product that you have to try and see what it does. You should have an in-depth conversation with your dealer about how you can accomplish this. Please post what you do.
You want a solid, stable rack to capably support your gear. Each piece of kit should have a proper footer underneath it to manage/eliminate vibrations getting to your gear.
One of the most effective and reasonably priced footers can be obtained from Herbie's Audio Lab. I use their "Tenderfeet" under each piece of my system to great effect.
Another advantage to your system is decoupling your speakers/subwoofers from the floor. Allowing the vibrational energy of the speakers to dissipate across the floor rather than be vibrated into your rack will do wonders. BTW... Herbie's has decouplers too.
I have all my equipment resting on the "holes" that were cut from solid blocks of MIL SPEC rubber, about 1-1/2" thick that are used to support pipes in pipe hangers on SSN688 class submarines......the hanger shop would just throw the "holes" in a trash bin and I would now and then go and get a few......nothing illegal about it. I just happened to be a liaison between manufacturing and engineering at Newport News Shipbuilding back in the 80’s. Also, my floor is concrete, so I have pretty solid and damped support. Components sit in a solid wood frame with glass shelves. No complaints.
Ironically perhaps and certainly counterintuitively solid rigid racks are not really good for the sound, especially if one assumes that solid rigid racks provide any isolation against footfall and other seismic vibration. On the other hand real isolation devices can be mounted on shelves of solid and rigid racks. The Flexy Rack of yore was the opposite concept of the rigid rack inasmuch as it capitalized on the fact that the best isolation is when movement is easier in a particular direction when impelled by an external force, I.e., seismic vibration. Since rigid racks do not allow ease of motion in any direction they have little if any value for vibration isolation. In fact they tend to magnify the effects of vibration. Like tall buildings. They look good, though.
Thanks very much for the super suggestions all. I have just set-up my system on my solid wood furniture and will get it operational by Sun. The racks are not an option for me at the moment as wife is clear too many racks will make the living room look bad. I agree with her. It seems that a rack can be both aesthetic and add a lot to music in most experiences. I will keep adding to my audio accessories in time.
I have found racks do make a difference, but also believe you don't have to spend a fortune on a good one. The thing that made the biggest difference in vibration control, for me, wasn't a rack, but going from a house with suspended floor (basement) to a house with a 6" slab of concrete sitting on hard ground. Now THAT made a big difference. IMO.
Anti-vibration makes a big difference, and one of the best inexpensive finds I have come across lately are the E.V.A. Anti-Vibration Pad, 2" x 2" x 7/8" bricks by DiversiTech. These are attractive and come in a box of 48 for $26.40. And, they work!!!
Here's my idea for the best rack but I have no idea if it exists. The support columns would be non ferrous or even PVC in a cylindrical form. At the bottom of each of the 4 supports would be two very strong magnets constrained in an separate enclosure within the support and aligned in a like pole to like pole arrangement so that the magnetic repellent force would enable to rack to "float" without anything supported by the rack to be physically or mechanically connected to the floor. I may actually invent this once i finalize my solar powered windshield wipers.
Yes, Elizabeth, you are correct. I failed to mention that the encased magnets should be in some sort of oil solution so that they have no chance of banging around inside the support column. I’m sure there’s other bugs to work out in something like this.....I just think it’s an intriguing idea. Pro Ject makes a turntable with this type of support; the Perspex.
I built a magnetic levitation stand twenty five years ago. It’s the same idea used in the Verdier turntable to “float” the heavy platter. And similar to the air bearing platters and air bearing tonearms. The general issue with mag lev is that the sideways forces of the opposing magnets are very strong, such that the top plate always ends up pushed against the part of the structure, e.g., the column, that stops the top plate from flying off the stand. This also prevents the top plate from moving freely in the horizontal plane, I.e., no isolation in the horizontal plane. Also, not good for isolation in the twist rotational direction.
So the top plate is not totally able to float and a transmission path is formed between the bottom part of the stand and the top plate allowing vibration to travel up to the top plate. The magnets themselves do not make contact if you do it right. A better solution to the problem overall is a combination of springs and roller bearing assemblies, as has been discussed many times, which can provide isolation in most or all of the six directions of interest, if you do it right.
to answer your question vibration isolation racks make a very noticable improvement in a good system and can take a good system into a great system.
We have never tested this rack but it does seem very well engineered.
Per the gentleman that said these racks improve only turntables completely false all components both solid state and tubes improve sometimes radically so with the use of the right kinds of products.
To site an example, at Innovative Audio in NYC I devised a demo of a $1,000 Rega CD player on top of a solid steel rack and compared that $1,000 player vs a $3,000 Classe CD player and of course the better CD player did sound better. The hot isolation product at the time was Black Diamond Racing who made isolation footers and a carbon fiber composite shelf.
The demo would begin with adding footers to the Rega and comparing to the Classe, which was sitting on top of the other Solid Steel rack, and with the set of footers the Rega sounded sharper and more dynamic, then put a carbon fiber shelf on top of the footers and boom improvement then anothe set of cones under the player, once the Rega was fully isolated it blew the doors off the much more expensive Classe player and at the end of the demo took the Rega player off of the vibration platform and put the Classe on top and again boom the now isolated Classe player sounded far better.
Draining away vibration induced distortions improves audio gear it is really that simple.
We have over the years tested many of these types of devices, from Stillpoints, Finite Elemente, Black Diamond Racing, Symposium, and now Critical Mass systems. They all work and in a good system the end results are very large improvements in dynamics, image focus, overall clarity and a sense of image floating with improved solidity of the image.
The Basso rack is approx US$4,500 for one 3 shelf rack. Its expensive and that is why I asked whether it would make a genuine difference. It looks beautiful and has a waiting time of 8 weeks for delivery. Anyways currently my flooring is wooden, the music system is on a solid wood (thick wood and very stable) TV cabinet between the two speakers. I have concluded that a good rack will make a difference for sure. Will try and incorporate it into my system in due course.
Uhhh, the magnets in my space rack would be of a circular configuration to fit within the cylindrical support legs, as well as being in their own small compartment surrounded with something like 30 weight motor oil. There would of course be weight limitations with regard to support. Auto makers use magnetic shocks or struts.....
Yes vibration control makes a big difference but like everything else you have to try before you buy because not everything works, some make things worse, and price is no indication of performance. The most consistently high value I know of are BDR Cones, Shelf, Pits and Those Things. These are all carbon fiber, which is an inherently stiff and vibration damping material, but not all carbon fiber is created equal. A big advantage of BRD Cones etc over a rack is the Cones can be used under everything forever while the rack may not fit or work in every situation. This becomes important as things change over time.
How big a difference does it make? I once brought a component home to audition and being a bit lazy and pressed for time decided to just hook it up and listen. Even after a good warmup I was sorely disappointed. Of course I was comparing it sitting on its lame little rubber feet to my component sitting on a BDR Shelf with Cones and Pucks. Once I swapped all the BDR over the new piece sounded quite good. Get the right stuff and it is worth way more in performance than you can get with the same money spent on a better component. Plus its forever. I've had my BDR well over 15 years now.
The Aeon rack you are considering looks nice, but seems absurdly expensive. For the same budget you could buy Black Diamond Racing Cones, Shelf, Those Things and Pucks for every component, plus a Source Shelf for your turntable (or CD) and have guaranteed (not iffy) results with money left over. Not to mention BDR looks better. And is way more versatile. And, with Mk3 and Mk4 Cones you can even fine tune a little.
BDR has been around for like 20 years. They have sold a ton of product. Which you almost never see for sale used. Because the people who get it realize its the best, and you don't sell the best. When they do, they get pretty darn near full value. Let that sink in. Choose wisely.
This is a very important subject and definitely makes a huge difference if done properly. We’ve been developing our own brand of furniture using solid maple. Initially this was suspended on each corner by a silk thread and worked very well. Then we replaced the silk thread suspension with hard steel balls in cups and this produced even better results. We also use the same ball and cups under each piece of equipment and that results a great increase in performance. They are made by Ingress Engineering and are now available in the U.K. through us. Damping by applying slate plates on top of your equipment can also help. Next I’ll be trying slate plates plus ball and cup isolation plus changing the balls to tungsten highest grade. The current balls are grade 10 hardened steel.
I went from a pretty solid mdf/ metal tube rack with spikes to a sexy and cool looking all metal Boltz rack with no spikes. It freaking rings like a bell and if it’s thumped hard while a record is playing(TT is on a spiked butcher block), you’ll hear the thump through the speakers. Having said this, I hear no difference between the two racks. I don’t think it makes much of a difference. I’m a firm believer in spiked speakers and subs though. Tighter, more coherent tunes.
El control de vibracion es tan importante como el acondicionamiento de la sala en mi caso pase de varios Finite Elemente Master reference muy buenos a un triple rack Artesania Audio Exoteric la mejora fue muy importante. Lo considero una mejora tan grande como cambiar un componente, al estar las electrónicas suspendidas el desacoplo es total con también el punto a favor de que conectas el Rack a la toma tierra con lo que sobre todo mi plato Kronos Sparta que ya tenía un silencio abrumador mejoro a un más. Lo recomiendo a un sabiendo que no son baratos, pero un buen equipo bien lo merece
Just to illustrate how much folks can strongly disagree on things I find carbon fiber to hurt the sound quite noticeably. Especially those BDR cones, both types. When BDR cones are compared to harder cones like steel or ceramic there is no contest, sonically. From my experience in isolation and coupling, more than the average bear, I think I can draw the following conclusions, no offense to anyone or any company.
The harder the material the better the sound. Hardness can be established from the Moh hardness scale where 10 is diamond which, by the way, makes great coupling device. That is why Shun Mook uses a Diamond tip on their Diamond Resonators. The Golden Sound DH (Diamond Hardness) Cones are NASA grade ceramic, next hardest material to Diamond. I’m not a big fan of brass cones, either, which by no coincidence fall rather low on the Moh scale of hardness, along with Carbon Fiber. I’m not saying the BDR cones don’t look good and have a nice sleek space age profile. 😀 By contrast, tempered steel is high on the Moh scale, so would make an excellent cone. The DH Cones are the best, by a considerable margin. Which reminds me, shape of the cone is important, too. For example the Jumbo DH Cone is an excellent sounding cone. The Super DH Cone, which is essentially the same weight and size, has a more ballistic shape, and sounds better than the Jumbo.
I recommend using very hard Cones with isolation stands, coupling the component to the top plate and coupling the iso device to the floor or rack. Do not (rpt not) place iso devices directly on carpets or use cones with rounded tips as the carpets act like springs and interfere with operation of the device. Some cones can penetrate the carpet. Use those.
Good luck finding the hole you poked in the floor with the punch and then fitting the spike into the hole you just made......four times. Makes more sense to place four spikes where you want them, put a board or something that will cover all of them at once and give the board a whack. But I don't really know anything; I used to know one thing but I forgot it.