In the Beginning, there was Absolute Fidelity
Gary Koh of Genesis was delighted to show me his Absolute Fidelity Foundation. These brand new, extremely attractive rack and amplifier stands are available in various sizes and support configurations.
Gary developed the AFF after finding himself frustrated by the negative effects of the racks he had used during his seven years of exhibiting at shows. Experimenting with various woods and metals, he was determined to find which rang the least. Gary ended up working with extremely high molecular weight cell-cast acrylic whose long chain polymers do not ring. On top of these he sometimes places hard rock maple, whose extremely dense fibers are far less resonant than regular maple.
Because Gary discovered that equipment supports can also ring and negatively affect sound, his shelves include metal pucks and bearings, similar to those used by Symposium, that transmit vertical vibrations while damping horizontal vibrations. Since each piece of equipment reacts differently the bearings, the choice of bearings is individualized.
Gary's amplifier stands without pucks cost $1200. The Supreme version, which includes pucks and a hard rock maple isolation platform, costs $2500. Each additional tier of the rack is another $1500. The racks are grounded by surgical steel spikes that do not deform under heavy weight. Both spikes and bearings are manufactured by Winston Ma.
Gary also showed me his solution to routing a signal from a computer's USB output to a DAC that lacks a USB input: a Turtle Beach Audio Micro Advantage ($29.95) and an optical cable with a mini plug at one end. Gary contends that optical cable technology has advanced considerably since the 1980s. Not only have optical cables gotten a bad rap, but people tend not to realize that they are actually capable of passing hi-rez information. Definitely an area to investigate.