Regards to the Rack

I've been a builder for a long time. I mostly work with stone, so call me a mason if you want to assign a name. As with any type of building, the foundation dertermines the performance and layout of each consecutive layer.

So I come to my point. Recently I have entertained purchasing an equipment rack that costs more than my CDP. The justification-the foundation plays a larger role in performance than I previously thought. Before I was content with an uneven antique credenza but now I have begun to believe that foundation is the answer to allowing components to perform to their potential even if the cost is significant.

The question is here, are there others who share similar opinions of the fundamentals of foundation or am I just off my rocker to think I'll get that much more noticable preformance from a rack? Well no need to answer the latter part really, I am an audio-nut so we already know the answer there.


Several months ago I sold my Zoethecus and bought a Harmonic Resolution Systems rack. It is VERY pricey. However it was one of the best purchases that I have ever made. It improved almost all aspects of my system including base, detail, and imaging. There is a used one for sale now at a very reasonable price.

Without a doubt. You should put the same effort in choosing the right stand for your system as you would any other component. Very nice system!
Another piece of audio insanity: what physical property is addressed by a rack? There is no known effect on transistor equipment of the vibrations in the room, either from footfalls or from the speakers. In room acoustics is a very important factor and, when it comes to racks, I feel that the size and location are the two things to look out for. If it wasn't for the religious aspect of high-end audio, and the fact the equipment rack has to be reminiscent of an altar, these crazily expensive racks wouldnÂ’t exist. I think the equipment should be in another room, away from the speakers, on anything that will hold it up securely. Lack tables from Ikea are less than twenty bucks a piece. Buy records with the money you save.
I've gone a similar route, investing several $Ks in a Grand Prix Audio Monaco rack. Very well worth it and the improvement was evident in back to back comparisons with Finite Elemente Pagoda, let alone what I previsouly had my components mounted on.
Same here. Didn't think too much of it at first. I had the Solidsteel and bunch of Lovan Sovereign shelves which I thought should be good enough isolating the vibration. Last year, a friend bought some Grand Prix Audio rack and amp stands. We moved his BAT tube amp from a piece of 300 lbs slab (that used to sit underneath a laser in his company's lab) to this light-weight stand. Lo and behold, the four of us could not believe we actually heard a difference. It really buffled me because the Grand Prix was made of steel and carbon fiber. I can easily lift the amp stand with three fingers. But the differences were there.

I've since invested in some nice rack and stands from SolidTech (from Sweden) with some good results. Come to think about it, it makes good sense. A company I used to work with in the high tech industry invested a lot of money on vibration control tables for all their sensitve equipments like lasers. SolidTech's website has published white papers on how their products minimizes vibration.

I think the rack can make a difference depending on your needs. Any rack with a good damping factor and ability to "drain" the energy may be of benefit to you. At one time I wanted a rixrax or symposium rack (5k), It would still be nice It's like buying jewelery both are stunningly beautiful. Do I need to spend that much, No of course not. Do others need to spend that much? well maybe. Remember synergy and balance is what makes a system really great. It's not how much money you can throw at it. I figured that out when I hit the 50k mark. Now I have my system on a great rack (don't laugh) from Staples I got on clearance for 49.00, (you can't get them there anymore) It has the best damping factor of any inexpensive rack I could find. The shelfs are thick but not solid, If you tap on a shelf It has a nice quick ring and then does dead. They are some kind of practical board covered with real wood, they are also reversible if I decide to change to a dark cherry. But sense I seem to like change I have plans of replacing it what a nice vintage danish piece. (At least I won't be out much money)

All that said, you have a wonderful system, it looks great on the rack you have. You could play around with different racks but keep what you have in case you want to go back.
I have two different racks, a Polycrystal, and a Deluxe Room Tunes and I prefer the Room Tunes rack. I can't justify the price of the Finite Element rack but it was judged best by Hi Fi+. I'm considering a Mapleshade rack but will probably order an amp stand first to check the sonics with a couple different components and see what their cherry stain finish looks like in person. The Mapleshade looks like an extremely well built rack and the price is reasonable.
If you are familiar with stone, have you considered building your own equipment rack? I've been considering building a rack with granite for some time. Just need to find the time. The stone will cost approximately $125 per slab with holes drilled. A tad cheaper with no holes.
I built one with slate, check my system.
The ninety day home trial period with some "footers" ideas from
should allow you to use your existing furniture, at the same time experiencing a significant audible upgrade. It will give you a baseline of vibration control, against which to compare any future special rack purchase. Or, you can retain Herbie's ideas even with a rack.
His products seem to work well in every application where I have tried them. There are a few variations in his line to allow for tweaking the tweak.
And, the cost of his products is very reasonable.
Thank you all. I have been away for quite some time and just got to looking at this thread. Great suggestions all around. That was definately on question I had, how does grantite line up as an audio rack product. I mean I can get loads of granite for almost nothing and I have used it for my equipment, even went so far as to make a custom granite stand for my TT. But then I read granite only exaggerates the vibrations. Anybodt know about this?

Tim, nice rack!!

Again, thanks for the suggestions all. I will consider them closely.

Agree with the previous posters who praise the Grand Prix Audio Monaco Modular rack & amp stands - NOT a subtle improvement over my old Target racks, and worth every penny once one has invested significantly in their system. Be sure to fill the uprights w/lead shot for best results.

Plus, to my eyes...they look waaaay cool.
Ric Cummins at Argent Audio provided me with this recipe for resonance control platforms.

2"X2" sandwich footers of 1/4" plexiglas/posterboard/plexiglas


1" or 2" granite or marble

mismatched Timken bearing/cups between component and stone

The Timken bearing part numbers are

LM11910 raceway cup
09067 bearing

I've never tried this recipe due to rack space limitations. I have played with the Timken bearings themselves for footers and my results were mixed. I suspect using the full recipe would yield outstanding results. E.B. Atmus was the cheapest source for the Timken bearing parts that I found. If I had such a favorable arrangement regarding granite availability and pricing, I'd give Ric's plan a whirl personally. If it doesn't quite turn out to be your cup of tea I believe you could tweak further with Herbies Audio Lab products. I'd recommend this in either event actually.
Interesting question whether or not granite or any other stone is suitable for audio equipment installations. When I rap my knuckles against our 1.25 inch thick granite counter tops it sure seems inert to me. I don't have any evidenct to back it up but I don't see how that heavy platform in you system pics could transmit much vibration.
My rack is made of Pennsylvania slate which is a softer stone than granite and I expect a tad more inert than granite. Easier to drill than granite also but nowhere near as attractive.
The precision rack guys are around, but the public gets bombarded with marketing that varies from one end to the other. It is easier to show and explain benefits at a hifi dealer... but they are all drying up due to direct Internet manufacturers. The closing and struggles of local dealers will be a big loss in many markets.

We run audio demos for people who don't think racking, shielding or anything else matters... they ALWAYS buy after the demo.

Many manufacturers offer one good thing or another, it is just important to address the most vital component and what it benefits from.

It also would not hurt to go buy a Trifield meter and "see" the environmental issues that you normally cannot.