Neuance or Z Slab shelf for Zoethecus rack???

I am buying a Z4R rack from Zoethecus. Is it worth the effort to go extra mile to get the Neuance shelves instead of the factory Z slab shelves??? I have heard different stories about both shelves' sonic effects. I am very confused and can't make up my mind which way to go. Thanks much for your kind inputs.
Ifatchoi- The two shelves are designed with very different approaches to isolation/absorption. Having some experience with both, I preferred the Neuance approach in the context of my system. Of course, YMMV. For what it's worth, the Neuance shelf provided a better transparency, nimbleness, and a general "openness" to the sound. Just one man's opinion.
I hate it when I agree with Jcbtubes but we have listened to both. I hear a consistant sound from the Zoe or a coloration. Some may like what i call the Zoe coloration. The Neuance sound is hard to describe probably because i don't hear a sound. I guess this is the highest form of praise that can be said of the Neuance. IMO, for whatever that is worth, the Neuance was a very easy choice between the two. This was a very easy decision for me to make. My Neuance sits on a Mana shelf. I have heard others get excellent results with a much less expensive approach. I can only guess since you have bought the Zoe rack that the Neuance will perform much better than the Z slab. If you find this not to be true, i will buy your Neuance board. i would think contacting Ken Lyon of Neuance can be the best way to find out if his shelves will perform on the Zoe rack. You will find him to be very helpful and will not steer you wrong. I think you will find this to be a very easy decision to make.
I agree with the description that jcbtubes gives to the Neuance gives to the sound. I haven't tried the other one.

I have never understood the popularity of the Zoethecus. The Manas killed it. And with the Badboy on top of the Mana, wow!
Which manas?
Never mind, I see from Tbg's history that he has a Mana Phase 5.

In the Zoeth's defense, it is readily available in the U.S., furniture quality, cheaper than a Mana Phase 5, and quite decent at vibration control using the z-slab shelves, though not the best that can be done. The Zoeth frame design does not follow the Neuance light rigid idea, so Neuance will probably work best with a different support.

I have tried the older Neuance shelves with Zoethecus, with the Neuance sitting on upturned dh cones on top of Zoethecus shelves, and much preferred the Zoethecus z-slabs alone, though this may change with the newer versions of the Neuance that don't need cones. The z-slab/cone/neuance sandwich just isn't the best application of any of the sandwich parts.

As an off-topic point, I'd like to hear a comparison of the Mana performance, with or without supplemental shelves, against Grand Prix stands. It's rare to find anyone in a position to offer this comparison.
Thanks all. I have ordered the Zoethecus already. Now it is the matter of buying the Zslab shelves of other after market ones. Looks like the Neuance might not be the good match for Zoethecus. Any suggestions??? Thx.
cones is making a heavy krell cd player dance.

I no longer use the Z-slabs. It is a dilemma when you can't demo
different after market shelves. Z-slabs are *nice*. But, I much prefer
what Neuance brings to the table.

BTW, I never cared for Neuance with any cones underneath since I
ended up listening to the sound of various cones/footers which they
all sounded somewhat artificial in certain frequency and lost the
natural open feel.

Are you using the dh cones?
Are they being used under the Krell on top of the Neuance?

Sorry. I meant Neuance making Krell dance.
this is what happens when i post really late at nite.

No BDR, No Feet of Silence, No DH labs, No nothing.
I had Neuance custom fitted inside of Zoethecus frame and it sits
on four pads.

I use SR Composites' feet under krell, but, those are just for the show.
Can you be a little specific about the custom fitted inside the Zoethecus frame? Thx.
of Zoethecus.
Have ken make his shelf in exact same size as existing Z-slabs and
simply replace Z-slabs with those. I still use four corner *puck* thingy
underneath, tho.
I agree about avoiding using cones etc. If your Neuance shelf is sitting on a rigid welded steel rack, and you support the shelf on upturned spikes, then there is no real need for fancy footers and most will just impart their own sound as you say Misskuma. I still find the upturned spikes under the new Neuance shelves to be beneficial. I know Ken is trying to meet a customer need to have a less industrial look, and so is trying to avoid the rack and spikes being so important, but if you can, I urge you to try upturned spikes under the shelf. The last AB I did with (what I think is) his latest shelf, between using vinyl bumpers and using spikes was a no contest in favour of the spikes.
*but if you can, I urge you to try upturned spikes under the shelf*

And I did. And the benefit was not big enough for me to put up with
instability. Some of my components weigh under 10 lb with 20lb cables
attached to it. ( you get the idea )

At any rate, his new shelves are just as fine to be used as a stand-alone.

Or, perhaps, I can't hear that well. :-)
Ken claims the newer Neuances are 3dB quieter in addition to not needing upturned spikes. We'll see....
Does Ken Lyon of Neuance typically take awhile to respond? Realizing that he's presently heavily backordered that might explain the non-response to my weeks-old email inquiry, but several days ago I tried inquiring again via his website order-page & have still not received any acknowledgenment. Meanwhile the folks at Mapleshade have already processed & delivered my shelf order within the same timeframe. Perhaps some form of motivation (Neuance bribery) might help? I'd phone or write to Neuance but there's no contact information on their website.
Would some kind soul here please email me with the Neuance phone# & mailing address contact information? I'd really appreciate any helpful hints.
Hi Bob,
I just just saw this post and have resent my reply to your enquiry of 4-08-03,8:31 PM to which I replied the following morning ,in less than 12 hours of it's receipt.
I have not received any other communications.
OK Mr. Lyon thanks I'll try again - perhaps I entered my email address incorrectly as nothing was rcv'd here; thanks for your repeat efforts that's appreciated. I'll try to use the Audiogon remailer this time. I left my order detail info. @home - my email is @work. best rgds, bb

This is his e-mail address. He not only has a faboulous product, but is one of the best at answering e-mails.

thanks Richard I'll try via that approach.
Ken Lyon I've sent additional inquiries through your website & through the Audiogon remailer on Friday evening, but still I have no response. Frustrating. So far the Mapleshade shelf hasn't solved all of my problems, but it is an improvement. I'm still experimenting with it.
Hi Bob,
I received your e mails via the AG server and also thru the website's cgi contact form.I replied to both of your listed e mail addresses, responded via the AG server and also resent and re-replied via the contact form.I also tried to call one evening but you were not available at the time. I am not having any difficulties that I am awares with my email nor the website as I have been in ongoing communication with a number of other folks in the interim.Whatever the cause,I don't believe that it is a technical problem on this end.
Here's the text of my last resent reply, minus your submission info. Included are my mailing address, phone and office hours.I hope you don't mind my posting it's contents publicly but I think it will help get things rolling and give us a starting point.

Hope one of these gets thru.


-----Original Message-----
From: Ken Lyon []
Sent: Thursday, April 10, 2003 8:52 PM
Subject: Neuance enquiry, Bob Bundus

Hi Bob,

Nice to hear from you.
I can do a Neuance platform that would suit your:

1) Accuphase pre, EAD 2000 CDP & Magnum Dynalab tuner
2)Accuphase preamp, Accuphase amplifier and VPI HW19 IV

Unfortunately, I don't have a Neuance construction that would span the entire weight range that you propose and still perform optimally for every component. FWIW,you'll find that the greatest benefits of Neuance will be to your TT, CDP and preamplifier.
Cost for either version in a 19" x 15" size is US$175 each plus US$13.5o shipping to your address.
I can accept payments by checque(personal is fine), money order or PayPal.Turnaround is currently about 5-6 weeks due to the high demand since the introduction of the revised Neuance line.
Let me know your thoughts and if you have any questions, please feel free.I'll do my best to be of help, Neuance or not.

Ken Lyon

15304 63rd St Ct East
Sumner,WA. USA 98390
253.863.3449 tel/fax
Mon-Thur 11-6 pacific

These new Neuance units are an adaptation/evolution of the previous Beta model. The original intent was to have a separate unit specifically designed for freestanding tabletop use rather than support on upturned spikes, etc to reach those that don't have the option of a Target-type stand.
In order to accomodate the increased energy storage of its likely placement on heavy furniture, I threw out my self-imposed,somewhat arbitrary thickness limit of ~ 1-1/4" which was set to accomodate tightly spaced racks.
I increased the absorbtion capacity of the core module and adjusted the laminate structure to suit.
What I didn't expect was that I'd not only match the performance of the then-current Alpha on a spike decoupled support, I actually bettered the regular line by what I'm measuring by as much as a 6dB attenuation at specific frequencies near the extremes of the aubible bands and overall averaging an approx 3dB decrease in the noise floor without any trade-offs that I have been able to ascertain.
Obviously, I had no choice but to make the new platform a replacement for the previous Neuance line-up and dropped the upturned spike support requirement entirely.
The "badboy" designation that you've read about isn't an official moniker for the new Neuance platforms.
I've been working on and off on the freestanding platform project for nearly 3 years and I had to call it something to diferentiate the platform prototypes from the regular line-up.A friend had been bugging me for some time asking the pointed question:" Hey Lyon, when you gonna get that badboy finished?". I've been jokingly referring to the project as the "badboy" ever since. The whole Badboy designation unfortunately seems to have stuck with some of my clients that had asked for a freestanding version before it's introduction.Because of the shift in usage from a separate single-purpose product added to the line to being the " new, improved " latest generation of Neuance, I'm trying to squash the badboy thing as it has just added confusion to the product lineup.

I didn’t realize that this is not a “one size fits all” situation so I’ll have to think this through, but I may just order one shelf of each weight range, then additional shelves as required.
Your lengthy explanation of the model evolution is also much appreciated; that considerably clears up my confusion.
If I tried a high weight range shelf under a lighter weight component, can you guess in what way the compromise would be?
Re:"If I tried a high weight range shelf under a lighter weight component, can you guess in what way the compromise would be?"

The presentation would typically have a slightly hard/edgey quality and the platform's overall effectiveness somewhat reduced as the weight loading provided by the component is used to assist the outer collection laminates of the Neuance shell to more efficiently transfer vibrational energies deep into the absorbant core where they are converted into heat.The "hardness" comes as a result of those energies not transferred and absorbed will tend to reflect at the boundary layers of the laminate structure and return to the system.
This back-reflected energy is the primary property which gives all shelves,racks and footers their own uniquely characteristic "voice".Neuance attempts to minimise that "voice" by reducing the amount of material thickness and mass to the barest minimum and therefore has an unusually low self-generated sonic signature.
The downside is that it must be produced specifically tailored to the load.It is for this reason that the device is not a stock inventoried product.
The latest generation of Neuance platforms have the broadest load range capacity to date with the most commonly used construction having a usable range of from <10 to 40+ pounds.In all, there are presently 4 Neuance constructions with overlapping load ratings. If all goes as planned, sometime late this summer a heavy duty version is expected to be ready with a projected working capacity of up to 80+ pounds(possibly more).
Hi Ken. And I'll add that you had told me years ago that ADDING weight to the top of a lighter component to effectively match the larger-spec Neuance can result in a voicing change that may or may not be desirable, correct?
Reasoning being that the vibe signature of the component (esp a lightweight CDP) is changed by putting a brick on top of it? Hope this helps. I'll get back to you for a new one for my EMC-1 UP after I sell the next Subie. Cheers.
Thanks very much for the explanations; Mr. Lyon this is getting more interesting all the time. So there are actually four different model weight ranges: can you tell us what those four ranges are? That would affect my decisions regarding weight spec. vs. which shelf to use on which component, although the 10 to 40 pound "most common" range would certainly cover the better part of most of them. I might as well pick the optimum shelf for each source, as closely as possible.
Hi Bob,
First of all,"Mr Lyon" seems a tad formal.Ken will do just fine.I wear jeans and tee-shirts most of the time and can scratch my crotch with the best of 'em.
As for the various constructions, there are indeed 4 versions at present.
When an order is placed on the cgi form,I ask all sorts of intrusive and obtuse questions regarding how the component will be used in your particular application such as what type of footer, their number,stand,etc.
I try to provide the client with their best option to combine performance with reliabilty, leaning towards the lower mass design whenever possible.
Obviously,a very heavy component on 3 sharp cone footers placed in the center of a broad shelf on spikes will require a more substantial construction than the same component having 4 rubber feet placed directly on a flat surface.
It's my job to ensure that you get the appropriate model for your particular situation and as my primary means of advertisment is word-of-mouth, behooves me to optimise your application.