Lovan audio racks....and other racks.....

Hi group,
I'm shopping around for a quality audio rack; Steve Blinn caught my eye and I'm leaning toward one of his cheaper racks....but before I plunk down a few thousand, are there good, less-expensive options? I saw Lovan and would like your thoughts on their products.....; if anyone has thoughts on quality racks that don't cost a fortune, I'm all ears......
Symposium Isis is the best it may be more but its worth it in sound quality improvement.I did see one on Audiogon it went quick.
Check out pARTicular.com they make excellent racks. semi and fully suspended.
Timbernation has some great racks that might interest you.
I'm never parting with mine. :-)

All the best,
Lovan racks are not too bad, considering that they are modular and flexible. They are just "out of fad" now. I had used them in my system before, but they are now around the house doing other duties, because I got an unbelievable deal on these Solid Tech racks.

Good: Modular, stackable, cones under each module, cheap on the used market.
Bad: flimsy MDF shelf

If you are to use Lovan racks, here are a few things you should do:
1/ use glue gun and fill the gaps around each of the legs;
2/ fill each leg with sand about 1/2 full to start with;
3/ shop around your local granite kitchen countertop stores for cutout pieces. It pays to shop around, as you will be quoted anywhere from $20 to $200/piece.
4/ go to parts-express.com and purchase sheets of vibration dampening sheets, sandwich it between the granite (top) and the MDF shelf (bottom).
5/ use blutak or any other cheap ones from Walmart between MDF shelf and the metal frame.

And now you have a fairly decent rack.

The HRS SXR isolation rack is far and above better than any rack I've seen. This isn't a cheap rack but its milled better than anything out there. The company is Harmonic Resolution Systems. I don't own one but know someone who does and it's one serious piece of gear.
My three racks are all standard big box store fluff.
I found them, and paid like $150 each for them.
Filled the square section tubes with dried sand. use butyl rubber bottle stoppers under the feet to dampen the glass shelving. I also 'wedge' which is make the equipment tight between the shelves, having dampening to the underside of the shelf above from the equipment below.
I am happy, and they will last me the rest of my life.
Primarily the good news is I have my racks away from the speakers along the side wall.
So the vibration problem is seriously reduced.

I KNOW this is not answering the op questions, but for others it may be interesting.
The best racks I ever owned were the old Zoethecus units. I regret ever selling these...

For small (3-4 shelf) units I have had pretty good luck with the Salamander Archetype racks, the ones with the screw thread leg posts. They are a PITA to setup, but they are pretty good if you don't overdo it. They definitely require the optional spike feet on carpet.

Timbernation makes great stuff - very pretty and well-made. I have used his racks for audio shows in the past. The problem is that his solid construction makes the shelves highly resonant. You will need some sort of damping or isolation treatment for most analog gear.

Lovan racks are pretty good for the price, but you can do better. I have used the three-legged racks before (I don't remember the model and ended up throwing out the thin shelves. I cut some oversize cutting boards (from Bed Bath & Beyond) to fit and sat them on small sorbothane domes. It worked out pretty well as I recall.
Everyone....thanks for all your insight. Anybody else...feel free to chime in.
I have Lovan racks and think they are great, especially the availability of different heights. However, be warned, delivery time can be very long on some items. So, if you want to go that route, check the delivery times.
After 3.5 years of upgrading I think I'm done. So its time to get a nice rack. The Timbernation racks suit my tastes and the possibilities are endless. I talked to Chris the builder and he is building one from scratch with custom paint and stain that will ship out by mid week. The cost is extremely reasonable and he uses real wood. No doubt in my mind this will be the best choice.
I bought a Salamander Synergy 40 audio rack with the metal perforated side panels and pull out shelf for my laptop. I am very satisfied. Total cost was under 800.00
Again...thanks for your responses; I think I am leaning toward either Timbernation or Steve Blinn.
Does anyone have any thoughts on which would be better?
To compare the two brands IMO both will be very sturdy and last a lifetime. As far as isolation both have solid wood shelves. The Timbernation has a wooden framework vs S. Blinn's aluminum, no advantage to either??? or at least very comparable. The T nations can be painted or stained, framework and all, where as the S. Blinn's shelves can be any paint or stain, but the framework is either natural aluminum or adonized black. Looks wise both are appealing depending on tastes. My wife and sister like the T.nation looks because it meshes well with the other furniture, me too. Costs the T. nation racks are cheaper for a similar design. When all is considered the Timbernation better meet my needs and tastes.
my memory could be failing me but weren't there several fraud cases with Timbernation in the not too distant past? People were trying to contact him & failed; people had paid money for racks & not received them, etc? There was a time back when Timbernation was the rage on Audiogon & then he suddenly disappeared. Now, Timbernation has tuned a new leaf & is back again? I do not intend to malign Timbernation's name - merely checking whether the fraud cases did happen or not in the past. Some other long-time Audigoners must remember this????
Solid Tech Radius or Solid Steel are IMO the best budget racks available and are NOT made in China.
There was a time years ago when the owner of Timbernation went through a personal crisis with the death of his daughter (I believe it was at the hands of a drunk driver) and he had a tough time dealing with it. Orders fell behind but that is now no longer a problem.

All the best,
I'm a big believer in credit where credit is due, Chris at Timbernation is a TRUE craftsman. I talked to him slightly over a week ago about a custom rack built from scratch and now ten days later its in my room and its just gorgeous. I have never seen a better fit and finish, simply top notch work! Talk about sturdy this thing could easily support 500lbs. I even think my rig sounds better.
Thanks for your answer; I'm impressed by Timbernation's stuff...while I also like the look of the Steve Blinn racks, too. Timbernation is more affordable.

Do racks really matter that much? Before you seasoned audiophiles throw me out of the room....do you really hear the difference?

I'm about to spend a chunk of change here, which on my modest budget, is considerable. I'm diving with both feet back into a hobby I loved as a kid, and while most of my system would be mid-fi, it also has some high-end flourishes, too. Just trying to make it sound the best....

I appreciate everyone's insight.

That's a tough call as components can be well isolated with proper footings on many kinds of racks but from what I've read and feel, myself, wood is a very good foundation to use, especially maple.

I remember TTs skipping when walking by so it stands to reason that CDPs can be affected as well. Vibrations are just another kind of physical jitter that can be introduced and are not welcome.

The more solid the rack is, the less likely it's going to transmit vibrations to a component and when properly footed, can quickly and efficiently drain and decouple a component. That, and I feel that Timbernation stands are great to look at as well.

I guess it all boils down to what you want and what you're willing to part with.
I know they're not cheap but I've seen racks going for lots more and am not quite convinced they're doing a better job. I've also seen IKEA tables that Srajan uses over at 6moons and they seem to work as well. It all boils down to what you're willing to settle for.

Good luck in your choice.

All the best,
Nonoise....and others,
Thanks for the input; I plan to get something from Timbernation; I think it will be great.