A Zoethecus stand and it is rock solid and sounds fab.There are some used on the Gon wait and find one. Good luck!
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Second the Zoethecus, have a five and a four shelf zoethecus rack plus their amp stands. An outstanding choice. My son, who did not believe racks etc. made any difference changed his mind when he put his system on my 4 shelf rack. No other changes and he is now a believer. Their isolation abilities are phenomenal. Highly recommended BUT being an owner strongly biased as well.
My SME10 is on the top shelf of a four shelf Zoethecus on a suspended floor. I put columns in my basement directly under the two front legs of my rack. The two back legs are up against the wall very close to a major 8X10 beam. I have no problem with footfalls. My kids dance right in the middle of my room with no skipping etc.
However, I would like some better isolation so am considering moving up the SME line or getting some kind of anti-vibration platform like Vibraplane or Halcyonics for under my table.
I do find that the Zoethecus is not as rigid as some other racks but this is becoming an expensive area in the hobby.
I have my 20/12A on the steel balls (I removed the rubber surrounds) sitting on number 4 Black Diamond Racing Cones sitting on a 25mm thick clear acrylic slab.
I stress the number 4 cones because the number 3's introduce a strange unclear sound whereas the number 4's don't.
This solution is quite cheap to try before embarking on an adventure with the more specialised and pricey alternatives.
Hi, I used to own a SME 20/2, SME IV.Vi. I took off the rubber grommets so the steel balls contact directly the following combos:
1)Arcici Suspense Rack
2)Arcici with Symposium Fat Padz
3)Aricici Symposium Ultra shelf
4)Arcici, Symposium Ultra + Fat Padz
5) Finite Elemente Master Pagode rack
6) Finite + Cerapucs
I'd have to say the most cost effective is the Symposium Ultra Shelf. It makes a major difference and doesn't seem to care what it's sitting on. Much lowering of the noise floor allowing all sort so details to emerge better.
The Finite + Cerapucs is slightly better but at a much higher cost. Seems to be slightly more lively.
Also, power cords on the motor controller are highly recommended.
Guys - many thanks for the all the very helpful info.
So the Symposium is getting some good votes here.
Anyone using the Critical Mass, SRA or HRS shelves?
Anyone using a FE Master Ref wall shelf?
Jfrech....Which power cord sounded good to you on your SME?
I'm going to be purchasing a Shunyata V-Ray II so will probably be using their cords too.
The first step you should do, is to look for a rack with an adjustable Top Plate to level the Turntable (This is really important). Solid Steel - from Italy - has made such racks, maybe they still do it, when not, they probably have a cost controller now.
Next is a useful isolation System, go for a serious one, not for a polished piece of wood for 2k or similar plastic toys, go for a stand which is used for electron microscopes (serious development, not high end standard). Vibraplane or Minus-K are the right ones. They also isolate the table from outside influences. I use 3 of them and never looked back.
So you prefer active vibration control eh!
I must admit that I am constantly puzzled by the price of some of these exotic shelves. And also by the fact that I feel they might be altering the sound in an additive rather than subtractive way.
There is so much debate on the wood, glass, plexi, granite methods of construction that it is bewildering.
The minus K shelves actually represent a value I can see over the super expensive wood etc constructions out there.
I know 2 people with a HRS shelfs and they both said the same thing over expensive does ok for little stuff but the bigger vibration gets through. One actually went back to a sand box.
I know maple shades makes an adjustable leveling rack nothing to extreme a maple shelf on some threaded rod so you can level to a fine adjustment people here seem to like them and said they where solid I have never seen one.
For the last 18 months I have been running an SME 30-12, on a solid wooden rack.Frankly, it is all you need, the isolation is better than ever, partly because of the wider chassis, also extra mass and some changes to the hydraulic fluid system. Get a local joiner to make you up something nice and solid, using proper old fashioned joints.Ensure it can cope with the full weight of an average man, to give you plenty of margin. And, if possible, make it big enough to allow stuff to be placed alongside the deck.
I had pretty much decided to go the big heavy diy route and hearing your story now convinces me.
I'm going to build something large enough to take all my gear.
I'm going to design something rather different to the usual rack or stand so I'll keep you posted.
Down the road I can then mess with some footers or shelves if need be.
How are you enjoying your SME?
Have you removed the rubber feet as others have here?
Any tweaks or set up info I should know?
I have an SME 10. It is unsuspended with very little isolation from the rubber feet. About two weeks ago I bought a used Townshend Seismic Sink on Audiogon. Boy, what a difference it made! Everything sounds much more clear and focused. Bass, especially, is more articulate, has more weight and subjectively, seems to have greater extension and impact. I can't believe the bass quality and quantity that I am now getting from my mini monitors and it has a lot to do with the added isolation for the turntable. I think this tweak gets the SME 10 a bit closer to the 20 or 30. I just did not know that isolation made such a big difference. I'm sure that a Vibraplane or Minus K/Halcyonics would be even better, but the Sink was a very cost-effective improvement.
Well I ended up purchasing Finite Elemente Pagode Master Reference shelf and boy, what a great piece of gear it is.
It sure isn't cheap but the engineering, fit and finish are absolutely top notch. Basically the whole outer shelf is hung on the wall using a single rod with just 2 ceramic balls and a small bearing race as the contact points.
It was also a piece of cake to install. The hardware and fixtures are of aircraft quality.
This thing weighs over 40 pounds and with the table runs over 100 pounds total. 2 balls and a ball race hold the whole thing up! Brilliant.
Then the inner shelf is again isolated by rods, balls and rubber bushings.
Mounted on my old rack with my somewhat springy floor the SME could be made to thump with a medium footfall.
But not any more. This thing isolates like you would not believe.
Obviously the sound has tightened up in all areas but not to the detriment of the music. No soul robbing here.
It looks way cool too.
Now I'm going to construct a heavy rack for the electronics and allow the FE Cerabases to do the work of isolating and dissipating the various vibrations.
One happy camper!
Many mahalos for all the input guys.
I have replaced the Townshend Seismic Sink that was under my unsuspended SME Model 10 with a Vibraplane. The Vibraplane is more effective at isolating the turntable. It works in both the horizontal and vertical planes. The TSS was good but the Vibraplane is better. I later added a piece of plate steel for ballast weighing 136 lbs to preload the Vibraplane closer to its design limit. This further improved the isolation.
I have since bought more Seismic Sinks for under the electronics on my rack. The most critical component for isolation IMO is the turntable, so the Vibraplane is under it.
The result is much better detail retrieval, better bass and a much better sense of the recording space. I just hear more of what is on the LP. The Vibraplane has made a tremendous difference. Photos can be viewed on my system page.