Rack Advice

Yes it's me again fellow audiophiles and enthusiasts.

Rather than buying and rack stand for my growing audio collection my brother (a professional cabinet maker) has offered to build me one of my own design as my birthday gift. Obviously I know that minimal sides, back, etc are desirable to prevent resonances but I still have some questions concerning materials....

1. What type of wood? Maple, poplar, mahogany, paduc(sp) or some other?
2. Should the rack have spikes for feet?
3. Should the rack be standing on something other than my hard wood floor?
4. Any other advice you may have to offer.


Erik, I've had a rack made for me (oak), if you're interested email me and I'll provide details including pics. Jeff
My main suggestion would be to figure out a way to "float" the actual shelves. That means that the shelves should not be a stressed member of the rack itself and not permanently attached. This way, you can isolate or couple the individual shelves as you see fit. I found this to make a very noticeable difference. Sean
1) Maple ,beech and pearwood esp. in marine grade plys are quite good.
2) The support should have adjustable spike provisions at the feet and for decoupled support of the shelving
3) You can achieve greater isolation from vibrations transmitted thru the flooring by placing the rack on a spike isolated subplatform.
4) The major goals should be to make the rack framework as rigid and light as possible rather than the more inuitive heavy,massive and deadened approach.The maple/birch/pear shelving itself will provide the damping means for dissipating internal and airbourne energies and the spikes will minimise transfer of energy passed via the floor and house structure.
correction- 1) should read as maple,BIRCH and pearwood

an edit function would sure be a welcome addition to this board
Ken, we don't need no stinkin' edit function. We just need to make less mistakes : )

Actually, if you go back into the thread and nobody has posted after you, you can go back in and edit the text on your post. You loose the editing function once somebody has responded after you though.

Honestly though, thanks for responding to this thread. I'm still working on my series of "custom modified" racks and the suggestion of woods to use for the shelves will come in handy. These will have to make due until i can scrounge up the cash to look in your direction : ) Sean
Sean the edit function only works for the dirtydozen. Everything else passes through the moderators & unfortunately those posts do not allow edits/reposting. Log yourself out, then post & you'll see what I mean...
ndmaitre: i quite agree with all the earlier posts re: decoupling, floating, etc. but suggest you scrap the idea of using wood veneered shelves. get some exotic wood for the posts and rails and use a resonance deadening shelf material, such as that available from neuance/greater range, instead. BTW, i do not own ANY neuance shelves but find them to be designed much like the zoethecus ones i do. (i don't recommend zoethecus slabs w/o zoetehecus stands.)
I have seen a good number of racks in my day :) There was a very good thread about this a long time ago, the name was something similar to "dampening or isolation" or "dampening vs. Isolation" and Redkiwi made MANY good pointers for building/buying a "nice rack flo".........ugh, uh never mind just plain "nice rack". If I could find it I would post a link but perhaps someone else can find it. Good luck
What a nice gift!

I've read that Maple was the best wood for audio isolation and selving however I do not know why.

Big help I am!!!

Well.. hopefully this will help you. Check out this site and get some ideas for your rack:


Have fun.
Hi Ndmaitre: Here is a more recent thread which might help.


By going with the DIY Ikea rack, based on Caterham's (Ken's) directions, your brother's skill's may be better put to task implementing "adjustable" spikes (for the bottom of this DIY rack as well as all of the shelves) into the design. If he does lacquer work then perhaps a custom finish to suit your taste (veneering the tables may alter the sonics)?

I have found Maple (which is otherwise highly praised) to be many bricks short of a load when compared to the Neuance shelving that Ken manufactures. If the Ikea platforms/tables perform @ even 70% of the Neuance's level, then this would be a sound (as well as economical way to go).

The tables themselves are not unattractive (we have been using one for a TV stand for a couple of years), but since you have a pro in the family I'm certain that they could look even better.

If you want to go whole hog then ask your brother to design a rack which will accomodate the Neuance shelving. This would add expense as far as the shelving goes, but the way I look at it is "once it's done it's done".

Either way would be a good way to go though, IMO.
Hello Ken!

I followed your advice and have setup my TT and my Melos SHA-1 hybrid on the Ikea rack tables. Totally awesome. Definitely an outstanding improvement.