how to evaluate comp stand w/o inhome auditions?

i am considering high quality component stand s for my system.
it seems impossible to borrow component racks.
what are the best ways to figure out how they effect the overall presentation? i assume that their effect on the cdp/ t/t are the most obvious, then the preamp [mine is a tube hybrid].

re: woods - is maple preferred over walnut for shelving? why? what about acrylic, crackle acrylic, composites?
so many variables, how to figure it all out?

how to begin this investigation after searching on audiogon for various opinions?

some have commented that tweeks, such as cerapucs, can make a major contribution to a basic good quality shelf system equal or beyond the basic high end stand... opinions?

thanks kindly.
Ag insider logo xs@2xsoundisntmusic
go with wood, as dense as possible. look into structural engr. lumber, and then veneer it with what you SO wants.
Go with Finite Elemente range. I haven't heard anything like it before.The Harmonix tuning board is also quite good to cure very nasty digital gears.

There must be a reson why all those reviewers put their electronics on Finite Elemente racks...It is not cheap,but worth every single precious penny IMO
Don't stress out over this. Providing you are using one of the better-made and engineered racks, the rack has a minimal impact on the sound. Your time, and money, would be better spent ensuring that your room's acoustics are as good as they can be.

Get the room right and everything else is a doddle...

Hi Sound - maybe I can help you. You want a rack that has a frame that is rigid and drains down to the spikes. Shelves can be of many (debatable) materials as long as the material has a LOW resonance frequency, which is why glass, metal, and granite by themselves are not suitable. You can sandwich or bond those materials to lower the basic resonant frequency, but essentially the shelf material should not "ring" when knuckle tapped. The shelves should be cone/spike connected to the frame, which will then make them as close to individual platforms as possible. You can then tightly couple the components OR further isolate the component from the shelves. Component isolation can accomplished with things like Rollerblocks, Stillpoints, Ceraballs, even inexpensive devices like Herbies Audio Iso Cups and balls. I hope this helps you with your quest.
thanks very much for all your responses. each comment is informative and helpful.

more comments always appreciated.

do certain types of materials have specific tendencies in the way the affect the sound of the component? some have commented that one material softens [or dulls] highs, other materials tend to tighen bass, etc.