Poll: Which rack s would you use and why?

I have reduced the number of components in my system and sold two 5-shelf racks and a turntable stand. In the interim, before I get my new DAC, transport, line stage and turntable, I have my amps and one box CDP on the floor and the soundstage obviously got better without all the clutter. OK, here is the poll question:

I have a 14' x 17.5 ' room. My speakers are 68" out from the wall (to the front of the speaker). My amps will remain on the floor on SRA dedicated bases. That leaves me six components (including the turntable) to put on shelves (racks). Which would you use to minimize the adverse effects on the soundstage -- two lower (e.g., 31" high) three shelf racks side by side or a single higher (say 45") six shelf rack and why? I am hoping to hear from people who have tried both in their rooms as well as sound engineering type responses.

I am trying to decide what I am going to do so this is not a hypothetical question. Thanks in advance for your ideas!!!

PS - you can also recommend anything else (e.g., brands of racks. other positions options to the extent possble, etc.)

Fmpnd, since your turntable has it's own suspension, you are limited to a non-suspended rack for best results. if you have a suspended rack it will work against the suspension of the SME and cause problems.

what you want is a combination of mass and absorbtion......or......if your wall will hold a 90 pound turntable......you could wall mount a turntable shelf and get a suspension rack for your other gear.

my preference for a suspended rack would be the Grand Prix.....although it's WAF is marginal (which is why i have the Zoethecus).

for a solid rack, the Rix Rax is a good choice if you have the room and the 'look' is right for you. the Zoethecus is pretty good and great looking. with a solid rack you will need to individually tune each shelf depending on it's occupant.

my gear is in a similar place relative to my speakers as yours and a 4-shelf Zoethecus rack 5 feet in front of my speakers doesn't seem to harm the soundstage in any way. i also have a 2 shelf Zoethecus rack (that i use when auditioning additional gear) that i put between my main rack and the speakers that doesn't seem to cause any problem.

here is a look
A dedicated stand for the turntable is required. In the case of the SME, a light weight rigid stand that is not very tall, is recommended. Put no other gear on the turntable stand.

As for the other gear, the Sistrum racks are said to actually improve the soundstage and imaging, when placed between the speakers. My preference is always low racks, as tall ones are less stable, and more intrusive. Sistrum has a trial period for auditioning, so you could try them at no risk, if you like.

I am not the highest authority on equipment racks, but I do know how a turntable should be sited, and my advice above will yield better sound from your TT. Light, low, and rigid.
I agree with Mr. Lavigne once again :) I do like his idea of wall mounting the tt and then getting what ever rack you want for your other gear- Sistrum, grand prix, rix rax or zoethecus. As you may or may not know my friend Don got his Rix Rax Hoodoo the other day and I put it together for him(he isn't very good at that sort of thing), it is nice in fact very nice- but not worth the money- IMO. Its construction is high quality(grinded and smoothed welds) but the standard finish leaves a little to be desired(on the metal frame the finish looks like the black crinkle that you would get on a pair of wall brackets from home depot for $3.99) the wood he decided to go with is very nice maple, I can find no complaint in it- though it is nothing super special. The real pain was filling the freaking thing with sand! what a pain in the a$$! All of my complaints and critisism aside it is a breath taking piece, its presence in a room is second to none. As soon as I get pictures I will post them. Prior he had a sistrum SP-5 with top shelf(for his tt, which also had a suspension- which is the reason he got rid of the rack), his system always sounded good on sistrum I am looking forward to listening to the Rix Rax, though I am not overly impressed with the technology employed with it, very basic shelves screwed to little tabs welded to a metal frame. A friend of mine does metal working and I was telling him about it and he thinks he can make the metal frame for under $500, I will probably take him up on that! The look alone is enough to make one wet himself- if you know Don you know this rack is not him ;) but its still cool. I have heard good things about the grand prix though I have no experience with them and don't care for the lack of rear support, it doesn't mean they don't work well. I am sure Mike can tell you more about the Zoethecus then I. This is a tough choice, for me I am going to have my friend make me a custom stand to my specs(similar to a Hoodoo), though I will probably use carbon fiber BDR shelves, higher quality paint, and brass cones instead of aluminum. I would rather have the look of that beast and sacrafice a little performance- what the hell am I saying compromise sound for aesthetix(not a typo:o) I do like the technology in the Sistrum racks but I just don't care for the way they look(and I have an audio aero capitole so you know I am not too particular with how ugly a unit is;) Though the sistrum will not work with your tt.

Frank I am not envious of you for having to make such a decision! Good luck
a question for Twl; do you think a 90 pound tt will work on a light, rigid rack?.....this is not a rehtorical question. in my mind, a light to medium weight tt would be ideal on a light-weight rigid rack but a very heavy tt.....especially one that is fairly wide.....needs some mass for stability. i know that a heavy rack will tend to pass resonance more than a light rack but what about stability regarding foot-falls and such.....i agree regarding the height issue.....the lower the better for the tt.

the other important issue here is the floor. any rack performance is really a combination of rack design and floor construction. Frank, what is the design of your floor? does it move around now? can it be braced?
Mike, Tim and TWL, thanks again as always for your fine input. I actually had told Jtinn that I had narrowed my search to exactly the 4 you guys mention - Grand Prix, Sistrum, Zoethecus and Rix Rax (I think Polycrystal my be out of business?). Although JTinn recommended Arcici. I cannot, as you guys noted, use it with the suspended SME.

My floor is a concrete slab so footfalls are not a problem. I am limited in where in the room I can place the racks. My front wall (where the speakers are closest to) is windowed so I cannot mount a turntnable stand there so a wall mount would have to be on the right side wall.

Hopefully, I will have many more options when I build my dedicated room (which I am hoping to do this summer). I was also thinking of just buying a few stackable Lovan shelves until then.
Hmmm, I'm using a arcici with my SME 20/2 on the 2nd floor of my house. Sounds like I need to move it. I'm wondering how much of a sonic improvement by moving the TT to a separate rigid rack versus the Arcici top shelf. Is this really that big of a deal? (I know...most of this hobby usually is)
Mike, yes I think a lightweight rigid stand for the TT would be the best bet. Of course, it needs to be strong enough for this TT. When I said light and rigid, I didn't mean to imply "flimsy". This has to do with the vibrational modes in the stand, and the way they interact with the TT suspension. He could try both heavy and light if he wants, but my past experience with suspended TTs is that they always sound better with a light rigid stand. A well made, low stand with good rigidity and light weight would be the ticket, in my opinion.
Well Guys, here is what I decided to start. I am having an Arcici Suspense Rack delivered on Wednesday to audition. It is only the 4 shelf unit (can add a fifth) not counting the bottom acrylic non-suspended shelf (which I will probably place the Manley Steelhead PS on). I will try the SME 30 on it and on a rigid rack and see what happens. If I like the other components on it but not the SME, I will then tackle the turntable issue separately. I will keep you posted and thanks for the help.
I have the sistrum and their great. Lots of threads on sistrum. Do the search. As far as weight no problem. On one rack I have two 2 Proceed HPA2s, a revel LE-1 sub amp, and 3 HP110 monos. This is a lots of weight. Not even a remote problem. The folks at Star Sound would be able to give detailed reccomendations on what to put where.
I don't know the answers to the questions of platforms and resonances but itis an intriguing topic.Seems as though for wood Maple is considered to be the best (see Mapleshade web site and they compare woods).But I have foten wondered if the price of things like BDR "The Shelf" is worth it.I have for convenience used Salamanders racks as they shelves are infinitely variable but I know that they are much less rigid than other designs.Wonder if materials can be added after to help.But interms of just rigidity and mass I like the Sound Anchor racks.Heavy Iron just like the speaker stands.But what about putting maple,granite,BDR etc under the component.But it does make a difference.I read somewhere that Linn designed there turntables to be placed on furniture lke dressers and end tables that it resonace would sound better than a harder metal rack or something with greater mass and rigidity.
I use two shorter racks between my speakers - it sounds better - less scattering and reflection. Also I find it is MUCH easier to manage cables and components this way.
Sistrum rack between your loudspeakers actually improves soundstage focus and image height. I do not know how, or why this could be. I hear this in my system to be true. If anyone out there has experience with Argent Room Lens then they know by moving the lens they can move and shape the sound by moving the lens. The same seems to true of the Sistrum Rack. Move it left or right and the sound seems to follow. Move it to the center and so does the focus and dynamic stage. Tom
Hi, I just received today my Mapleshade Samson version 2 rack (4 shelf unit & bought 2 extra shelves) with the just released carpet spikes instead of the heavyfoot cones. The 2' thick maple shelves are very nice with the solid brass threaded shelf positioning hardware and 1 1/4" solid steel threaded upright rods it looks like it will be very solid. I'm sure it will be a large improvement over my cwd cabinet which uses solid oak sides and laminate oak shelves which are attached to sides with a bent small gauge rod that fits in the grooved shelves. I use a Black Diamond Racing source shelf with vibrapods under it for cd transport and Bright Star Audio isolation platforms with vibrapods under platforms for tube preamp and dac. I plan on purchase of a Zoethecus 5 shelf unit to compare them. The one I like the best will stay and will probably sell other or use in my second system. Don