Salamander Designs might be a place to look. In particular, the Synergy Model 402 for the components you have. Many audio shops carry Salamander so finding a used/demo cabinet is a realistic possibility to save additional $$.
I understand your skepticism, but vibration control is the real deal. You have laid out a lot of cash on your components and would be well rewarded by a scientifically designed stand. I did extensive research and came to SRA Scuttle rack. It is very expensive, but the difference it made was worth it. The backgrounds got way quieter and imagining was greatly enhanced, not subtle by any means, a rock solid improvement, with no audible compromises to my ear. HRS is also very good if not better, but was prohibitively expensive 20K+. another option is to get a solidly built rack and SRA or HRS bases under your key components, Power amp first, then TT.
I am not clear as to whether your budget is 1k because you doubt the worth of a good rack, or if that is what finances will allow. If it is the former, I would say consider investing more, and look at the lower level Adona racks. They provide a noticeable improvement is sound, and can be added to in the future if needed.
Tried to post this a few minutes ago, but . . ..
Here's a second vote for the Salamander racks. I have a 5-shelf model for the primary system and a 4-shelf for the secondary. Both racks are on casters - - a huge convenience.
I must give credit where credit is due...Chris at Timbernation built me a beautiful custom rack from scratch to my measurements. He also stained the shelves to match my speakers. Not only does is look great but is incredibly sturdy. As for sound and isolation there is no longer any need for footers or fancy feet just the stock feet. All this for under $1k built to extreme tolerances and easy to assemble.
These racks have come along way from the days of the old Target stands. I am using a variety of the fancy stuff about which you express sketpticism- (Grand Prix Monaco with carbon fiber shelves and all the bells and whistles and HRS, as well as a big shelving platform that was custom made by Finite Elemente back in the day for my turntable)- and not so long ago had Adona, mentioned above, build me a small platform for my phono power supply. They use constrained layer damping for the shelving and platform material; it was relatively inexpensive and for decoupling, I use Stillpoints SS. Very effective. (Even Mike Lavigne, who has one of the uber systems here, is using an Adona stand for his turntable and preamp, unless he has recently changed it out). They make all sorts of stands and platforms to order and aren't terribly expensive- a bit more than you indicated you want to spend but not silly money. You may need to consider additional component isolation beyond what the stands themselves provide but I'd second the vote on that company as a possibly- even with a custom job, they were pretty fast and easy to deal with.
Typo correction: "Skepticism" but you knew what i meant. Damn, the post editing function rarely functions.
Go with wood, no glass or metal. Better sound. Take a look at the wood racks at cayinusa.com Well built, great value.
Thank you all for the feedback.
My $1,000 budget is due to both budget and skepticism. I don't want to overspend, I simply am looking for something that gets the job done at a reasonable cost.
I suppose if there is a significant improvement to be had I would consider spending the additional money. I do like the Adona racks I see here on audiogon.
I would look for something as solid as possible that can be coupled to the floor with heavy coned footers such as the brass Bear Paws by edenSound or Mapleshade brass. I personally appreciate the structural integrity, flexibility of equipment placement (by using their sliding bar supports), and weight of the Sound Anchor stands/racks, and use them under almost all of my equipment and speakers. Your budget would be low for a 5 shelf rack but you can occasionally find them used near that price range. Unfortunately, if you are not near the seller, shipping can be expensive because of the size and weight.
You really wouldn't be sorry with the Adona. I had the old 4 shelf Target for 20 years probably, because that was all that there was at that time. I almost got clobbered for spending $350.00 for it. It was better than nothing for sure, but the Adona has the granite/MDF shelves,some models like my own have adjustable shelves, and they all have a lot more room to move. As far as the way they affect the sound, it is definately easy to hear, but a little harder to describe. Music sounds at once more settled, but more free from the constraints of the speaker boxes. Isolation and vibration draining of components are not a waste of money. Buy the best one that you can reasonably afford, and I think you will wonder why you didn't do it sooner. They look good too.
You can make the stand as rock solid as you want, and couple it as tightly to the floor as you want and use very high quality feet to support the entire affair. This stand will be excellent for allowing the energy in the system, the vibration produced by motors, transformers and such out of the system. But the problem is that this same system allows energy to flow up through the system from the floor, the seismic energy produced by Earth's crust motion, traffic, subways, wind, footfalls, air conditioners, etc. That is why BOTH types of systems are required for the best results - a system to allow vibration to rapidly leave the system without being stored and a system to disallow or attenuate structural vibration from getting up into the components. That's the whole point of the Big Bang when the Vibraplane was introduced in 1996. Hel-loo!
I second Chris at Timbernation.
There's nothing like thick maple shelving with stout posts to isolate your gear.
I'm never parting with mine: it's too heavy to move. :-)
All the best,
One way to optimize the isolation is to place one Machina Dynamica VibraBlock Damper on each horizontal shelf. This is a fine constrained layer damper which does not overdamp as it magnifies or refines the benefits of isolation to a shelf which is part of an already well constructed or weighty structure, also to speaker stands.
A second way is the placement of a number of inexpensive cryogenically treated mini isolator springs (Cryo Baby Promethean isolators from the same vendor) between the base of any component and the shelf it rests upon.
I have used these two ideas with an audiophile solid equipment rack as well as on shelves of conventional wood furniture. In both applications the beneficial results were clearly audible and very economical to implement.
Check out wafair.com. Plenty to choose from!
Symposium Isis is the best get a used one!!
As others have mentioned, Adona is recommended; I'm very happy with mine!
Used Isis rack on audiogon at $1500 Jump on it NOW!!!!!
I recently saw a very negative review of a Solidsteel stand. I'll see if I can track it down. I was considering purchasing one, and I decided not to based on the strong criticism from the article.
I would be interested in reading the writer's reasoning for the dis of the Solid Steel rack.
I have found the sand-filled Sound Anchor stands to be extremely solid, stable and inert wrt resonances.
They come with hardened steel spikes and I like heavy brass footers, but you could use any number of coupling or decoupling feet.
I prefer to decouple and/or dampen by using certain types of footers directly under the gear.
The Sound Anchor and Solidsteel are two different racks to begin with, and I haven't used either of them, but the review that Smrex13 is speaking of may be the one I am attaching. From what I have seen, there are many good choices in different price ranges, and depending on what type of visual appearance and sonic result you are looking for, but in the end, no manuacturer is selling top flight performance for a give-away price.
Thanks for finding that review. Yes, that was the one I had read.
You are correct Roxy, unlike the Sound Anchor racks, the Solid Steel rack is not solid and it is not steel. The design reminds me of the TNT Flexy, or the Maple Shade Sampson with less competent posts and shelves. Unfortunately, I learned nothing from the review that I could apply to a solid steel rack.
Its ok just get whats cheap and not what sounds good!!
I can only repeat what I have said before. There are a number of good brands, Core, Adona, Timbernation, Starsound and of course those that are more exotically designed, and priced. I don't think that you need to spend a fortune, but $1,200-2,000 would be money well spent.
Pass x250.5 is pretty large. If you want to get that on the stand, it might be difficult to get the other stuff on the stand without stacking. You might want to go with a separate amp stand. Much better for cooling as well.
Other than that, all I can add is that I have a Salamander Archetype and I love it. I just adjusted the shelves for the umpteenth time for a new component. The Scout will fit on top as well.
I have heard of Salamander racks before, but just now went to the website to see what they are about. They seem to be a less expensive version of Mapleshade Samson racks. If your rack is one of the Salamanders with solid wood shelves, it is probably a good value, but after living for many years (not any more) with a Target rack with MDF shelves,I would say that the black MDF version of the Salamander is probably not very good from a sonic standpoint.
I have the cherry shelves.
Some people like MDF, some don't. I have my speakers (Totem Arro's) on MDF stands I made myself and they are okay.
Jump on the cheap stuff!!
Thats why Herbies tenderfeet and vibrapods were invented.
Footers of different sorts are certainly useful in conjunction with any rack, but they are still not a 100%substitute for a good rack.
2% improvement for 3 grand strikes me as stupid .
If a 2% improvement was a quantifiable subjective improvement over a rack that cost let's say $250.00, then I can see someone thinking that it it doesn't represent good value. The question is of course, where are you getting the 2% figure from, and what racks have you had personal experience with, or is this just an assumption?
In that case, since my own personal experience with racks is that spending $1,500 - $2,000 makes a very audible and worthwhile difference, I will have to respectfully disagree with you on this one.
And I'll bet you $1500 dollars my simple Salamander Archtype
Black MDF racks system with 2" maple slabs
under pre and TT, with isoblocks ,Herbie tenderfeet, Vibrabods and Mapleshade footers under each and every component, the one that works best on any given component determined by MANY trials and errors, sounds better.
A symphony on my system sounds as good as a live performance.
Keep your $1,500 and donate it to one of your charities. Your statement that your Salmander with all of those footers etc. beats a higher grade stand may be less than the educated guess that you said it was in a previous post.
Besides, with all of the money that you spent on those accessories, you could have purchased a rack that was a better foundation to begin with.
I do agree though that (in my own experience) even a better rack benefits from the addition of additional energy draining devices like Goldmund cones, and especially Starsound Apprentice platforms.
As heavy racks do nothing but store energy the use of energy draining devices is crucial.
Salamander Archetype is very good for the price. Fully adjustable to customize vertical clearances for your equipment and additional shelves and accessories are easily obtainable. I've had no stability issues with the 5 shelf racks. Build quality is very nice - my only complaint is the QC on staining the walnut shelves could have been better. I didn't care for the castors but the stock rubber feet are nice. I'm curious if anyone has had luck using their mega spikes.
If you're furniture aesthetic runs leans more modern/minimal, they don't feel out of place either.
Second the Salamander. I use the mega spikes on carpet and they are very stable. Good looking stands, reasonable priced, well-made, easy assembly.
If you would think of rack(s) as a component in your system and not something that simply holds the components it will be easier to justify the amount of time and money you will spend tuning your rack with the rest of the equipment. Included with the racks are dampening, shelving and isolation choices to tune the system to your liking. My racks aren't the "best" but with carbon fiber shelving, carbon fiber cones, Sims Pucks and filling the vertical tubing with dampening material, sand and very fine gravel I've found a "sound" I like. The reduction of vibration does clean up the background,"darker background", letting you hear deeper into the music with better separation of instruments.
Well stated Samhar, Thanks.