Wood v. Metal for stands. Is there a clear winner?

I'm pretty sure there is no clear cut answer. however I thought to inquire as to what most sound junkies dig best. Metal stands and racks, OR wooden products? Or a combination of the two?

My own needs revolve about a floor which is not on a solid foundation, a thin wallet, and the desire to not compromise things entirely by being cheap. so spending some in the right areas seems the right thing for me.

But items like the Isis, Pagote, Particular, and those of that 4 digit ilk are likely past me.

I'm torn between a couple wooden amp stands, in addition to the Solidsteel 5.2 or 6.2 (in pairs) to hold rotating junk on one, and preamp and DAC on the other... or is that idea overkill?

All experiences and thoughts are most welcome... and needed.

There simply must be a solidly senseible solution which doesn't bust the bank but sure holds it's own against heftier competition.

Thanks in advance.
One person's opinion....wood is forgiving of vibration and is affordable. Steel is solid but you have to be careful of ambient vibrations causing ringing of the metal. For the money, go with solid wood. Good luck!
Either a wood or metal rack will require additional vibration treatment to realize clear benefits. Cones, rollerblocks, sorbothane...name it.
Thanks folks.
I agree about wood, looks good to. If you are looking for cheap additional vibration treatment, which i agree you should, look no further than Herbies audiolab. Very good, cheap, no nonsense kit and excellent advise. the one thing to avoid is glass in my opinion. Glass for racks sound good on first audition, but it is all colouration.
Solidsteel racks are alright,good value.Im using the h6 3 shelfer.Blackdiamond iso.Wood tends to absorb alot of vibration,imho.
I use a Bell'O tv/av rack. It is well made with heavy glass shelves. The weight of my tv + components really anchors it down. Hope this helps.
Found some cheap ($120) steel stands and filled them with sand. IMO worth the same as $1,000 stands when sand filled. Got three. one for the Plasma etc. one for the stereo stuff and one for the TT's (added patio bricks to add mass to the TT stand) fine for me at a cheap price, and good enough on a sonic level.
If you're handy and have the time and inclination you could build something like these (sand filled "seismic sink" isolation shelves). I don't have any schematics or details, but you should be able to figure it out from the pictures - I did.



Elizabeth - David12 - Ptmconsulting

Check and many thanks. Not a lot of $$$ does it take to address resonances appropriately. it does however take a lot of investigation as to which gizmo serves which scenario. Some want us to believe it to be otherwise however.

Certainly, were I better off ducketwise, I'd lay some long green out for esthetics and technology. It's the American way to aid the economy. Though I feel another principle is more germaine here, "ingenuity". Simple usually serves best.

I'm getting the notion "mass" often is a good thing in a rack/stand. Damping as well is important. Isolation is I guess, dependant upon the components integration onto the rack/stand.

That seems the part of the puzzle that is far more vague.

One other thought here is this: "What sound does Maple have?"
For closure' sake... I decided upon doing both. metal rack... wood platforms... and compositie iso footers.
"Glass for racks sound good on first audition, but it is all colouration."


I have a rack where the amp sits on heavy composite wood, but the preamp, cdp, etc sit on frosted safety glass. I guess the glass adds second order distortion, and the frosting adds maybe a touch more creaminess to the sound... go figure.

I guess the glass on the tubes explains why they sound so good, at first, second, and extended listening sessions...
Dpac996, here's an easy experiment. Take everything off one of the glass shelves, then take a key or small screwdriver and strike it, not hard of course. Does it ring? Of course it does. Ringing indicates vibrational energy that will find its way up into your equipment and cause capacitors and other components to vibrate and cause unwanted distortion and noise. Vibration of racks and shelves are caused to some degree by airborne acoustic energy, more by mechanical energy coming through the building structure. The latter is caused by many things: footfalls which in turn cause floor vibrations, vehicle traffic which shakes the entire structure, and natural forces such as wind and movement of water in large bodies of water and rivers.
I'm familiar with noise induced by vibration as far as caps go it's a phenomenon pretty much only seen in ceramic caps (from piezo electric effects). Ceramics are rarely used in high end audio gear. I have actually seen the voltage disturbance first hand but we are talking on a time base WAY outside audio and this was only from a direct whack with a pencil... anyway...
All my components have iso type feet so i'm not too worried about any vibes from the rack. Seems very sturdy; besides the rack sits on hard wood floor directly on top of solid concrete. Even when the music is pumping i don't feel any vibes on any shelves. I like my frosting.
I am working on a plan to clone the Mapleshade Samson rack.
The hardest part is to make it for less $.
I've build an all aluminum double width rack a while ago and for shelves I went with 1/2 tempered glass.I am in the glass and aluminum trade.


I hope you fare better than did I in accomplishing that task.

I drew up plans for and gave the materials list to, two local yet different parties, both of which professed skills in woodworking, to provide me their costs for making my 3 simplistic amp stands.

I've yet to hear from one, and the other would not provide me the details of how it would be assembled or the type of grain facing they would have once completed... only a bill for $530, and the legs for each stand, and the finishing would be left undone.

I even contacted a wood worker who advertises here on agone to ask questions about the finish of his/her offerings... with no reply since. I've asked several times, and since, given up on getting responses from that Ohio based woodworker.

Hence my decision to buy a boat anchor instead, and add perhaps hi tech platforms made of something other than 'Maple'.

Though not cheap, Sistrum stands are a remarkable addition to many components, especially speakers. On mine, the speakers stands just brought out such amazing qualities in my monitors, including bass I never realized was there.
Anyone have opinions on granite slabs or carbon fibre shelves? I just purchased two dressed granite slabs. I put both of them under my CD player with a set of Ceraballs in between. Quite an improvement over having the CDP sitting first on glass, and then on a wooden chopping block!
Sorry to hear your failed attempts to get your rack done.But I am trying to put it together myself.I am in the process of getting a machinist and a local source for maple.I will let you know hoe well I do or not for that matter.
Simple concrete patio slabs in a custom made wooden rack.
Talk about mass!! Better have a concrete slab floor!!
(Just an idea.. I still have my sand filled jobs... but a slab is under my subwoofer...)

what about this... "FILLING HOLLOW RACKS"..... should we, OR should we not... it naturally follows then if so, WITH WHAT?

my thinnking is to deplete or emilinate resonances. rings, plinks, and such.

True or false?
I've had good results filling hollow rack legs with a variety of materials: lead shot, fine sand, kitty litter, and even combinations of kitty litter and lead. This is somewhat of an experimental process that you can play around with and fine tune. My next project will involve using Star Sound Technology micro bearing material. I have a Sistrum amp stand and the legs are filled with this. I've also wanted to try filling hollow rack legs with epoxy. In any case I'd recommend filling hollow rack legs, if anything it adds additional mass and from my experiences does help eliminate resonances.
pulling off the end caps from the sides of the uprights on my rack, there is no vacuous opening to be filled.

Sound Anchor fixed that issue.... only area open is to I suppose add a locking/adjust nut to the top of ??? spike is used... just a couple cubic inches in there.

sorry... I mentioned that in another thread on to spike or not to...

thanks Cleo09 though anyways.
No problem. I have Sound Anchor speaker stands for my Spendors and I believe they are filled with epoxy or some other material. Great stands.


Thanks. I'm hoping the SA rack will do as well.
Now that all the gear (mostly) is onto the SA rack... I have to admit there is indeed a positive change in system performance, bass impact & resolution, and inaging were the more noteable improvements.

Wood does have it's merits too, as the addition of wood shelves has added a touch of warmth and naturalness simply by placing one here and there, onto the existing SA shelving. having some cut to fit and replace the nylon supplied shelves will I bet, add still more to the overall performance.
I went DIY. Built my table for pre and cdp out of three pieces of 3/4" MD fiberboard glued, attached to 4x4 pine legs. Legs rest on rubber/cork anti-vibration blocks. Amp rests on a similar but separate MD platform resting on MD feet cut from the same platform. Seems to work fine but ain't light. Pre and cdp use cones that rest on cut pieces of the anti vibe blocks. dave

Good for you.

I think sometimes, the stands are not unlike wires. It's all about the fit with respect to the rest of the gear and environment. In my case, mucho mass works well..