I like the Salamander racks for storage/display but they do not have any vibration control or damping features.
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I own an archetype 5 shelf unit and they do look good they are not too big but they are not the most solid units. I have tightened the nuts on these things and you still get some sway. It needs some cross bracing to be really solid. That said I have tuner, phono stage, cdp, and turntable on it and it works well. the turntable is isolated with 3 silicon balls and 1 1/4 inch slab of granite, the cdp with 4 vibrapods and another slab of granite. I dont think im getting too much noise via the TT.
i got mine used here for $80 so not a big problem for me.
I agree with Swampwalker. The Salamander racks are utilitarian, and they look fairly good, but from a audiophile vibration control perspective, they offer very little benefit.
I own a Salamander Synergy cabinet, and I tweaked it with a couple of custom sized Neuance shelves, and I put 1/8" sorbothane between all the shelves and shelf supports.
These two tweaks go a long way to minimizing vibration. However, the Neuance shelves are no longer made.
Perhaps replacing the stock shelves with maple shelves would help, but it'd break your budget.
Another really inexpensive tweak I use under my preamp and power supply are Sanford ArtGum erasers. About $2.50 for three.
I recvd an AudioAdvisor catalog today. They are offering a three shelf Sanus stand for $179. I have no experience with the Sanus stands but they are in your price range.
Not sure what kind of vibration dampening $200 will buy. I built my own Archetype style rack with Slate shelves. It's very heavy, solid, doesn't wobble and cost less than $200.
Well from your feedback it seems that on a college budget I cant realy afford a rack with built in dampening. So I decided to call my dealer and order the archetype 2.0 in cherry and he gave me 15 percent of because I am a "valuable customer". I figure for much less than it would cost to buy a rack with dampening features I can isolate my equipment with things as simple as the erasers mentioned above by TVAD. I am sure this approach will yield a better cost/performance ratio. Thanks to all for your help.
I got a 5 and a 4 shelf shelf unit for $200 and it holds my entire system. No matter how much you tighten there is a good sway. Two racks for $200, cant beat that. I got the mega spikes for $30 used, I guess it helps, I have two pieces of plywood isolated by ceramic discs and it definitly defeats the Vibrations. I replaced all the rubber washers with leather and I cant tell the difference. They do nothing for Dampening and not worth modifying the wood because the rack itself is crappy. If your in a rush to set your components buy it, buying it used would be wise at MSRP I'd keep my system on bricks. Michael Green Just-a-rack is nice and Mapleshade is nice, but they are very expensive.