Audio rack ( isolation )

I wanted to start a thread for people to chime in or post pics of their audio racks. I was looking into a couple and they vary from cheap to pass out expensive. One rack I was strong considering is the Solid Tech Rack of Silence Reference.

So what are you using or building?

I don’t do photographs but I’m using two Mapleshade Audio racks, a Samson Ver. 3 and a Samson Ver. 2. I really like them, they have a spartan beauty and are strong and rigid. I have them sitting on carpet and I use Herbie’s Audio Lab “Decoupling Gliders” . . . each spike on the rack fits into one.

They do help isolate my components, maximally if I use isolating platforms or feet. I have my components sitting on PS Audio PowerBases and on VooDoo Cable “Iso-Pods”. . . . Perhaps this is overkill, but I can hear changes using different isolation footers even when the components are on the PowerBases. With experimentation this rack/platform/footer combination has really brought great sound to my system. This is an expensive solution. . .I had the money and spent it. . . and I have no regrets.

I’ve come to believe in the school of thought for the best isolation of components, there is both coupling and isolation involved. I think the base rack needs solid coupling to the floor and from there good isolation of either the shelves from the rack, as in many high end (super-expensive) racks, or the components from the shelves. So in many racks you’ll see the bottom spikes which aids in coupling with a solid frame and then isolation shelves, etc. I agree with @lonson that the Mapleshades products are very nice with solid build and weight. Those would be an excellent start and aren’t too pricey. If cost were no object, I’d look into the HRS racks which have an amazing amount of technology built in and are solid with amazing isolation.

Since I’d rather spend my $$ on music and gear than furniture, I opted for a more economical solution in that a friend of mine made me a custom rack along the lines of the Archetype line of Salamander racks but larger and wider (and more sturdy). This has very high quality 3/4" maple veneered plywood with 3/4" threaded wrought iron rods with washers and screws. This thing is solid as a rock and pretty heavy. I can easily level the shelves and it looks great IMO.

From there I have been using the bronze and copper Nordost Sort Kones under my components and they do a nice job of isolation. For my turntable, I use a Symposium Segue ISO platform which is fantastic. I was using the Sort Kones under my TT, but this platform easily outperforms the Kones in terms of lowering sound floor, isolating from outside vibrations, and delivering tighter, more textured bass. The difference was immediately evident and irrefutable. So much so that I’m in the process of ordering a set of three Symposium Rollerblocks HDSE’s in lieu of the Kones for my Directstream. I like the concept of the rollerblocks more than the Kones for components and I’ve only found the Kones to be OK. I don’t want a Segue ISO platform under each component, though. Just too much.

I’ve found sorbothane to be hit and miss, honestly. For it to work properly, it needs to be adequately compressed, otherwise it is more springy than isolating. If too flattened, it does essentially nothing. So it’s hard to know exactly where that happy middle is. I’ve found that even with seemingly the right amount of sorbothane, bass is somewhat muddied with my TT and minimal (if any) effect with my other components. Plus sorbothane “sweats”, for lack of a better word, and can stain finished wood and discolor paint. Not a fan. I’d like to try the Stillpoints, but they are just so damn expensive I have avoided that path.

As far as the rack you are looking at, it’s hard to know how effective it would be. One thing I didn’t like about it (apart from looking it belongs in the bowels of the Death Star) is that the contact points are fixed limiting how you might orient your components. My components all vary in size and aren’t flat on the bottom, so that wouldn’t work for me. Plus I have other assorted items on my shelves like spirit level, flashlight, headphones, etc that wouldn’t be accommodated by that. That’s just me, though. It might be perfect for you.

So there’s my take. Racks and isolation are a tough business, honestly. I find there a ton of pseudo-science in isolation products, unfortunately, making informed decisions tough. Be wary and good luck!

"Sorbothane sweat’ - a perfect term. The sorbothane equivalent of frass.

amgradmd, nice rack. Turned out nice looking and functional. I had the same idea for a rack using a single width, SS 3/4" threaded rod with 1" granite shelves ( local granite dealers sells mistakes from messed up kitchen counter on the cheap ). So I may do that, or I was looking at maybe having a buddy build a rack to mimic the Solid Steel Rack Of Silence reference. Not sure. The first thought is a lot more simple to pull off, but my buddy is a welder by trade ( aereocraft spec certified ).

The granite idea would yield a very solid heavy rack and should cost under 500 for a 4 shelf rack at say 38" tall?

I gave up on sorbothane a long time ago as well. I also did not like the Ginko platforms. Those did NOT work at all for my old TT.

Thanks, Darren. I rather like it and it fits my space perfectly. Plus it’s a unique piece, which is cool. My friend would be happy to talk with you, or anyone, really, about doing a similar custom unit. I think I paid him around $1000 for mine, which is quite a deal. He’s a great guy to deal with and I like to help him out since he just had his second child and he needs to pay diapers! Feel free to hit me up about his contact info if anyone is interested.

Have him check out this web site. It may help him if people ask for custom racks.

Darren - on the Cheap Side: Old Lovan racks, which are kind of a PITA in that they are three-legged, so the back leg’s often in the way of one input or another. On the other hand, they are three-point vs. four. You decide if that matters ; ). The legs can be filled with shot, etc., but I’ve never gotten around to it.

On each tier, I’ve replaced the shelves that came with it with the Scott McGowan solution: IKEA bamboo cutting boards ($17 ea.) supported on little isolation dots.


(That’s Boulder in the BG)

Actually - now that I look at this (side) wall objectively - it’s become a bit of a Shrine to Boulder since I visited. Planning on moving there this year. Paul lives in the neighborhood down the road to the right in the top photo, and the bottom photo is the similarly-shaped peak on the left seen from the other side. Taken with an iPhone 6 and printed 2’x9’ and 2’x5’, respectively.


Does anybody actually have the Salamander Archetype stands? They look to be pretty decent for the price.

The Archetype stands are nice and not too expensive for the money. I have a 20" Archetype in black with three shelves that is good stuff. It’s available for sale actually, come to think of it! Let me know if you’re interested. I like the design of the Archetype, but I wanted taller and wider than they build them and my buddy said he could mimic the design easily with more attractive high end maple veneer plywood with waxed edges which really look the business. I think they only build the Archetypes in single stacks, if memory serves. If you only need a single stack of 3 shelves, they are fantastic.

I am thinking of a custom rack like amgradmd has. Single wide. 4 shelf. 1’ granite shelves. with 1’ threaded SS rod. I live near a local granite fab yard. I’ll have to swing in to see what they can offer.

Found a nice deal on a demo Solid Tech Rack Of Silence ( black ). Should have for the weekend all set up.

I hope this rack works as well as claimed!

Actually - now that I look at this (side) wall objectively - it’s become a bit of a Shrine to Boulder since I visited. Planning on moving there this year.

You'll like it here...... pricey but you knew that. Even an Ikea down the road so you can expand your system!

download.jpgHere is the rack I decided to go with.

Yike. This picture make it appear suitable for dungeon use.

Not my pic, not my room. LOL NJ dealer pic.

Elk said

Yike. This picture make it appear suitable for dungeon use.

Exactly my initial reaction. Does your dealer provide other types of non-audio related equipment?

Sheesh. you guys are bleak! My initial reaction was, “Looks nice”. And “Rack of Silence” reminded me of the “Cone of Silence” on Get Smart.

You can put a segment on your head and have a secret conversation. But you may not be able to hear one another.

“Rack of Silence” Love it…I think that describes the first few seconds after you see the price…