Silent Running Audio is perhaps for deaf:-).
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Saint- I think Myles Astor used the SRA; you might write to him- on the HRS, there must be some folks who use their big rack in their systems, based on a search you could write to them. You are thinking about this stuff for your Lamm gear and digital front end? I have a large HRS platform under my turntable, but it is less about isolation and more about having a large, stable platform to hold a heavy, high mass table and arm set-up that has no plinth of its own.
When I had the L2 line stage, I used Grand Prix Monaco as a rack, and used various things to damp the resonance of the chassis, including the small HRS 'plates.' You might also look at what a number of people are doing to bypass fancy 'isolation' racks and use simpler heavy duty shelving or platforms (not even 'audiophile approved'), along with free standing (not tied to a rack) decouplers like Stillpoints. But, you have to experiment. The Stillpoints and other decouplers, while effective, are not a panacea- any of these things that are effective also change the tone and character of the sound. Good luck.
Having heard various racks and shelves under components, I would say that any choice is somewhat of a crapshoot. Greater degrees of isolation and absorption of vibration is the goal of these products. But, from a sonic preference perspective, "more" is not necessarily better. I heard a Symposium demonstration with an Aero Capitole CD player many years ago, where the player was put on progressively "better" platforms in the Symposium line. The sound from the player on the best platform was WAY too lean and analytical.
I have heard a bit of the same with different platforms under linestages and amps as well, though the results were less dramatic than what I heard with the CD player.
I know someone with a custom designed top end HRS rack and amp stands. I have never seen a rack that is more massive, solid and impecably constructed (VERY tight machining tolerances). There is absolutely no movement at all in the rack no matter how hard one could try to move it. As for the sound, I can only say that the system sounded great, but, I have no idea what contribution the stand makes and whether it could have sounded better with something else (I cannot think of another stand which would have looked better). The BIG downside of this HRS system is that it cost more than most people would spend on an entire system.
Thanks for the insight. Yes, I am thinking about a rack for my gear and digital front end, but not the Lamm monos. The Lamm Preamp, the Sooloos Ensemble, the Meitner MA-1, and a cable box. How do you like your HRS platform under ur turntable? I owned a four shelf Grand Prix Monaco rack too. I sold it to finance dome upgrades. Two of reasons I sold it were, 1. I learned that the sorbothane pads lost their effectiveness to mitigate vibration over time (which, in turn, meant I had to unload the rack to change out the pads periodically) and, 2. that post in the rear was making life difficult for cable management. I'd really like a rack that I could use from this point forward without having to maintenance it. And when you're spending all this money, why should you have to?
Saint- The HRS platform is fine, but as I indicated, it really has less to do with isolation than just providing a platform for my big Kuzma table, which has no plinth and needs something to mount it on.
The Grand Prix stuff was great in its day, and I still use it, but do replace the sorbothane pucks every six months or so, not a big deal, but I get where you are coming from.
I think if I were starting from scratch I'd look at some some basic constrained layer platforms and well built shelving, furniture consoles or other well-built furniture that is not necessarily 'audiophile approved,' and do the isolation or decoupling separately. That seems to be the route several people have taken- folks who could conceivably buy anything they wanted to enhance system performance. The advantage is, you are not stuck with a spendy 'rack system' that may be last weeks' flavor after a couple years. (Though admittedly, things like Stillpoints as separate decouplers get pricey pretty quickly when you are doing a bunch of components). There is also a pretty well made wooden rack by the Box Company that a few people on the Hoffman forum were discussing. I think this is made by the same guy that builds the cabinets for DeVore speakers, so he may be local to NY. Worth checking, anyway. (It is not 'high tech' but looks pretty nice and you could probably add some additional platforms or decouplers as necessary).
I saw that you pinged Myles on his system page- I'm not sure he visits A-gon that much. See if you can't find an email for him via Positive Feedback Online. He's usually pretty responsive.
When I had my GPA rack, I couldn't imagine having to unload it to change the pads. The pads in the rear of the rack would've been impossible to change without unloading the rack, because of how it was situated in the corner. The more I read about SRA, the more I'm inclined to buy their rack. It'd become a fixture in my system just like the Lamm Gear. I'd still add some Ohio Class IsoBases to further reduce vibrations.
Glad you're experiencing sonic nirvana. After reviewing the Symposium
website, I found no empirical data that would lead me to believe that their
rack performs better than HRS or SRA. Cost aside, there seems to be no
greater performance benefit. I'm confident that SRA will provide me with
one of the world's best performing racks. Nevertheless, TEHO (to each his
It really depends on your budget and needs. SRA make a budget-minded Scuttle rack & VR series bases, and so are possibly more accessible than HRS whose entry level gear is a bit pricier. I personally use Taoc ASR series racks with upgraded FE Cerabase Classic feet, and upgraded Taoc SCB-RS50g top shelf & use Stillpoints under my components. To me that is a superior option to using a rack alone, even a top-flight offering from the two companies you mentioned. My two cents.
I must say, I've done quite a bit of research. Aside from all the research,
they were a plethora of emails exchanged. Just based purely on the
designer's experience in the related feels alongside his willingness to
answer a Marriott of questions, SRA stands head and shoulders above
everything else I've investigated. I like the one rack fix, because even with
the rack, you can always add additional IsoBases at one's own discretion.
With the Craz 2 rack and the IsoBases all being future proof, i'll never have
to worry about them becoming obsolete or old technology. Sounds like a
sound investment (pun intended). But TEHO (To Each His Own), right?
I have seen various SRA products, including racks and bases, and they are all well-built and finished products. The rack I saw reminded me of the old Zoethecus racks.
I am also familiar with the products of a number of other companies, such as Symposium, Stillpoint, and HRS. All of these companies make good products that work very well at isolating or absorbing vibrational energy. All of them make very nice racks that fit their particular shelves, bases or footers very well. I have no idea how they differ in performance and I am quite certain that differing needs, differing taste in sound, and differing interaction with specific components makes it impossible to pick a particular "best."
Based on what I've seen of use by manufacturers of other gear and choices of exhibitors at shows, I think Symposium and Stillpoint are favorites. But, SRA and HRS are probably "hindered" in this respect by their much higher price.
If I were in the market for cost-is-no-object racks and shelves, it would be HRS. The friend that went with the HRS system got something that was custom built to his exact requirements (size, shelf spacing, configuration, etc.). Attention to detail was incredible--not only are the shelves designed with interior dampening dependent on the type and weight of the component, one measured the weight distribution of the component for purposes of such customization. HRS also provided extremely detailed instructions and support on the assembly of these very complicated racks.
The only thing I'd add to all of this (and I think Larry alluded to it earlier), is that, in my estimation, there is no one 'all purpose' solution for all components in a system. The more effective a device is at isolating or decoupling, the more it may change a given component's sound. You can fine tune a system that way, or, after listening to the effect of various devices, decide that 'different' isn't better. Thus, I'd be reluctant to paint an entire system with a broad brush that says "here's an ideal solution for an entire system.' Obviously, if it is possible to try these things at no risk before you invest, you can make that decision for yourself. In that respect, I'm product agnostic- different solutions will have different effects on different components in different systems. And while I appreciate that you are doing your due diligence and research, Saint, there ain't no substitute for listening to it in your system, over a variety of source material, for more than an afternoon.