Footers and racks

I had some ceramic cones and TerraStone Footers I was using on my previous equipment, that made a noticeable difference in sound quality, but when I tried them under the DMP, DSD and BHK 250, when I was still breaking them in, they seemed to exaggerate some of the negatives associated with the break-in process. Now that everything has broken in, I tried them again, and they definitely helped increase the musicality of the system. In the process of pausing songs, and adding footers under each piece of gear, I noticed a brief ringing immediately after hitting the pause button. I figured out it was the hollow rectangle tubing of my equipment rack. So I tried applying some Blu Tact on the metal frame in an inconspicuous place, and it helped deaden the ringing when tapping on the metal frame. By accident I noticed it deadened the ringing even further when the Blu Tact was applied on the framing, and also made contact with the high density fiberboard shelving. Now when I tap on the equipment rack it makes a dull thud. Upon listening again things sounded much more relaxed, with a noticable increase in clarify.

This was another lesson in the fact that everything matters, when it comes to the SQ of your Hifi rig.


Blu Tac is some magical stuff. Haha I’m a bit surprised no one has tried to come out with some “audiophile grade” Blu Tac :stuck_out_tongue:

What rack are you running?

Standdesign from the UK. It was the first audio rack I ever purchased, some years ago. Although it’s well made, the thing sings like a bird when it’s energized. The ringing I heard for a split sec after I paused a cd, could be heard loud and clear from my listening position. And although the ringing doesn’t reveal itself as ringing when a disc is playing, there’s no doubt it was mucking things up.

Many years ago I had some stuff called black tack which was just that. Its main claim to fame was it was more stickier - sufficiently so that when removing my speakers from the stands one day it removed some of the vinyl wrap and a chunk of the chipboard from the bottom of the speaker.

I moved it permanently to the trash …

I originally purchased the Blu Tac to mount a pair of Totem Mani 2’s on some stands. It worked great, and when it came time to box them up to sell, the Blu Tac came off without a hitch. Guess the black tac is for keeps, and shouldn’t be used for any audio applications.

I’m not familiar with the design of the Standesign rack, but some racks with hollow tubes can be filled with sand or lead shot (at least in the past, I think lead shot is now very hard find). I have a couple of SolidSteel racks and one of them I filled with sand. To do so I removed the threaded spikes on the bottom of each colum and very slowly poured sand in. It certainly deadend the rack, though wasn’t sure how much improvement in sound since it was hours (maybe a day or two) between listening sessions due to the work involved. Obviously you’ve already figured out the rack can be improved so it may be worth a shot (groan).

There are a number of just as heavy alternatives to lead shot available at sporting goods stores/gun stores.

There is no way to add any fill with this particular rack unless I drilled some holes. I have another rack that I used for Hifi, that I now use for video, that I did fill with sand, which turned out to be a real pain. The stand has rods that run through the corner posts, which allow for customizing how many shelves the rack has. When I first filled the hollow tubes with sand, I quickly discovered that they were not sealed very well at the joints, as sand started leaking out every where. So I had to disassemble everything, empty all the sand out, and then carefully reassemble everything using rubber washers and silicone. Problem solved, except the damn thing weighs a ton. I also tossed all the 3/4" MDF shelves out, and made new shelves using 1 1/4" high density fiberboard material instead, which I also used for the Standdesign rack as well. Using the denser shelf material did help to improve the sound, by helping to dampen floor born vibrations.


Has anyone used 1/2" or 3/4" quartzite or granite to replace the shelving in a rack?

Yes, but it has to be black granite to get the density. I used to use them on my old rack (black chipboard shelves) and it gives you real bass weight. With my current bamboo shelf rack it does not work so well (lose dynamics) so I don’t use them now.

Why would shelving give you better “bass weight”–as in sound, or are you saying the “base” as in “more solid base” for your equipment to sit on?

As in sound quality. Don’t know the technical reason, but that is their attribute. Not a boomy bass, but a ‘solid powerful’ bass.

P.s. They’re also good under av kit like sky boxes, to my eyes they make the picture appear crisper.

Happy with my adjustable heavy rocksolid cast iron rack with safety glass shelfs using granite slabs on some felt carrying all gear, like the DS on Goldmund cones;

Wow, I didn’t expect the DS to look so cool on cones, that’s awesome. Looks a bit sci-fi, like you have it suspended in an anti-gravity well.

Have you had the chance to do any comparisons of cones in vs out? I’d be curious to learn how they change things to your ears.

I’m not convinced cones make any difference at all. The device that sits on them is still mechanically coupled to what the cones sit on. I’d be interested if there is any data measured by accelerometers, chassis vibration with and without cones, and how they compare.

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No doubt these work very well, especially under the DS and PWT. In comparison it’s immediately identifiable. Sound is more independent of speakers, holographic and free in space with a bit better transients.

Goldmund cones are quite special:

The principle of vibration evacuation by metallic cones placed under audio components is now widely accepted as the most effective. But the very simple cones usually sold for this purpose all suffer of the same faults:

• These cones are, by themselves, a source of mechanical resonance due to their metallic construction. The resonance generates “filter” effect that prevents evacuation of some frequencies by the cones, including coloration.
• The also transfer energy from the support to the component.

Developed by the GOLDMUND REFERENCE turntable and the GOLDMUND MIMESIS 36 CD transport designer, Georges Bernard, the structure of the GOLDMUND CONES is much more sophisticated and has been elaborated to eliminate these drawbacks.

The GOLDMUND CONE is built of three different materials:
• A very hard steel body. This steel, already incorporated in some parts of the GOLDMUND REFERENCE, is used to collect vibrations from the audio component. The shape and surfaces have been optimized to allow full contact without resonance.
• A special high-speed metal point. Acting as a “Mechanical Diode”, the point has an evacuation speed higher than the steel main body. The sophisticated assembly makes the vibration transfer easier from top to bottom than in the opposite direction. More, the ultra-high strength of the point avoids the rounding with time, very detrimental for evacuation efficiency.
• A special elastomers compound is used inside the cone to fully damp its own resonance.

Glad they’re working well for you! I can’t say I’ve experimented much with cones, though I’d run those just for looks alone :stuck_out_tongue:

I have found Black Diamond Racing cones effective under some components. The carbon fiber and resin of which they are constructed is non-resonant.

Interesting read (Absolute Sound comparison):

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Those are my findings as well. The right cones help drain minut mechanical vibrations from the piece of gear they are supporting, which lowers the noise floor, revealing more low level details, including spatial cues. I also hear an improvement in PRAT.