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dumbo
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Benefits of using a Heavy Equipment Rack for Audio Gear

I have recently been shopping around for an equipment rack for my gear and was curious to know what everyone's thoughts were on the importance of weight and density of the rack. I found a web site that offers some very nice wooden racks of various sizes and made of different wood types and thicknesses.

Here is a scenario to help explain the question. If I had an equipment rack with 4 shelves including the top and bottom platforms that was made of 2" thick Walnut and had 3" thick posts for legs would it be more acoustically dead then a similar rack with 3" thick Maple shelves?

Where does the importance of wood type fit in verses shelf thickness when it comes to the rack your equipment sits on?

Is there really that much vibration taking place throughout the equipment rack to cause enough disturbance of the electronic components to make a noticeable difference in sound or is the whole equipment rack concept another one of those high end audio world snake oil treatments?

Thanks for any info or opinions you can provide

Jan Vigne
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Re: Benefits of using a Heavy Equipment Rack for Audio Gear

You've already decided there is snake oil for sale?!

That's a shame. For someone to make up their mind about so many things when they still have so many questions to ask.


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Is there really that much vibration taking place throughout the equipment rack to cause enough disturbance of the electronic components to make a noticeable difference in sound ...

Kind of difficult to tell you what you cannot hear. It's probably better if you listen first and then tell us.


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Where does the importance of wood type fit in verses shelf thickness when it comes to the rack your equipment sits on?

Solid wood resonates, that's why they use it in high end musical instruments.

That should answer your question.


Quote:
If I had an equipment rack with 4 shelves including the top and bottom platforms that was made of 2" thick Walnut and had 3" thick posts for legs would it be more acoustically dead then a similar rack with 3" thick Maple shelves?

Solid wood resonates.

Why do you want to choose between this resonance and that resonance? If you believe the purpose of an effective rack is to isolate your components, why introduce resonance at all?


Quote:
Benefits of using a Heavy Equipment Rack for Audio Gear

Mass - by itself - is frequency selective when it comes to damping. What it cannot damp it releases. The problem being it takes a while for mass to work as a dampening device and when it finally releases its energy, it is out of synch with what entered the rack. This makes for a time smear between input signal and resonant input.

If you believe racks are snake oil, you have nothing to worry about. If you do your research, you'll find mass alone is generally undesireable if the materials still resonate.

geoffkait
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Re: Benefits of using a Heavy Equipment Rack for Audio Gear


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I have recently been shopping around for an equipment rack for my gear and was curious to know what everyone's thoughts were on the importance of weight and density of the rack. I found a web site that offers some very nice wooden racks of various sizes and made of different wood types and thicknesses.

Here is a scenario to help explain the question. If I had an equipment rack with 4 shelves including the top and bottom platforms that was made of 2" thick Walnut and had 3" thick posts for legs would it be more acoustically dead then a similar rack with 3" thick Maple shelves?

Where does the importance of wood type fit in verses shelf thickness when it comes to the rack your equipment sits on?

Is there really that much vibration taking place throughout the equipment rack to cause enough disturbance of the electronic components to make a noticeable difference in sound or is the whole equipment rack concept another one of those high end audio world snake oil treatments?

Thanks for any info or opinions you can provide

At the risk of being a contrarian, racks can be bad for the sound. The problem with racks in general is that they amplify structural vibration at certain frequencies, often making matters worse than if the components were simply placed on the floor. The longer and thinner the shelves the worse the racks will behave in the presence of structural vibration, esp. low frequency vibration between 0 Hz and 20 Hz. Suspended floors make things even worse. The inability of racks to fix the low frequency vibration problem can be easily demonstrated by placing a glass of water on top of the rack; the ripples visible on the surface of the water show that low frequency vibrations are making their way up through the rack.

You can see how bad the situation would be for CD player laser suspensions, tonearms and cartridges with resonant frequencies around 8 - 10 Hz. The Earth crust motion is actually forcing the entire building to move in a number of directions at low frequencies 0 to 20 Hz; therefore, making the racks and shelves heavy or dense does nothing to ameliorate the problem for low frequencies.

Lick-T
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Re: Benefits of using a Heavy Equipment Rack for Audio Gear


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You've already decided there is snake oil for sale?!

That's a shame. For someone to make up their mind about so many things when they still have so many questions to ask

That's not what Dumbo said, Jan. He asked a question, an honest one at that.

Jan Vigne
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Re: Benefits of using a Heavy Equipment Rack for Audio Gear


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is the whole equipment rack concept another one of those high end audio world snake oil treatments?

Damn! if he didn't say just that.

And I answered his basic questions. If you're so smart, why don't you try providing an answer instead of being a PITA to me? C'mon, Erick, you write for this magazine, you should have something to contribute, no?

Jan Vigne
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Re: Benefits of using a Heavy Equipment Rack for Audio Gear
Elk
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Re: Benefits of using a Heavy Equipment Rack for Audio Gear


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Where does the importance of wood type fit in verses shelf thickness when it comes to the rack your equipment sits on?

Good question. I wish I knew. Since we are trying to dampen vibrations the least resonant would be best.

The only direct experience I have is going from a very heavy MDF rack that I made to an all metal, but less heavy, Target stand many years ago. The Target stand made a substantial improvement in sound, making me a believer in giving some thought to what one puts under equipment.

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Re: Benefits of using a Heavy Equipment Rack for Audio Gear


Quote:
Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

is the whole equipment rack concept another one of those high end audio world snake oil treatments?

This is a question, not a statement.


Quote:
C'mon, Erick, you write for this magazine, you should have something to contribute?

This is a statement, not a question, even though you use a question mark.

My beef here is that Dumbo is a relatively new contributor to the forum and his honest question was met first with misreading and then condescension. This is the sort of thing that turns people away from this forum.

Jan, you have a great deal to offer to this forum but please try to help us widen the sweet spot and welcome people instead of blasting them upon entering. I could not care less if the regulars around here take pot shots at one another, but at least let newbies get their feet wet instead of giving them a baptism by fire. I'm not trying to be a pain in the ass, I just don't want you to be one to others.

As far as racks go, I have heard high mass systems that have made great improvements and low mass designs that have sounded great. I think the success of either design stems from proper tuning and implementation instead of one philosophy, methodology or material being vastly superior to the others. I do know that what you rest your equipment on can make a big difference in the sound quality and that careful experimentation will most likely be the only thing that will get your rack working with your stereo in simpatico.

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Re: Benefits of using a Heavy Equipment Rack for Audio Gear


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I do know that what you rest your equipment on can make a big difference in the sound quality. . .

This is my experience as well.

While I think that the stand that allows the equipment to remain as inert as possible sounds the best, I am not sure.

My big heavy home-made MDF stand did not sound near as good as the much lighter metal Target stand I borrowed from a friend.

My current stand, made by Polycrystal, is exceedingly heavy and sounds much better than the Target stand.

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Re: Benefits of using a Heavy Equipment Rack for Audio Gear


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This is a statement, not a question, even though you use a question mark.

Which I later editted due to missing a word in the post. Sorry you missed the edit.


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... his honest question was met first with misreading and then condescension.

I'm having problems understanding how I misread something when it clearly exists on the page as I have indicated. Dumbo has decided there are more than a few snake oil items for sale in audio. How else can anyone read his statement?

From my perspective, "That's a shame. For someone to make up their mind about so many things when they still have so many questions to ask", is not condescension but rather exasperation.

Indeed Dumbo is fairly new to this forum and I find it discouraging to find he has already made the decision so many things in audio are "snake oil'. This seems to be a common thread in this forum and one that I find ... well, exasperating.

I am in absolute disagreement that so much snake oil exists in audio and I find it particularly bothersome that someone searching for answers to the basics of audio should have become so ingrained against the possibilities of other people's thinking.

So what am I do to, Erick?

Just allow this mindset to fester in Dumbo and others reading this thread? Personally, I don't find that to be very acceptable. I would strongly encourage everyone to keep an open mind to the possibilites of something totally incomprehensible affecting their listening experience. Most do not and this forum does not encourage much thought in such matters.

That is the reason for my exasperation.

My post has obviously not stopped anyone with an opposing opinion from voicing it. Why then do you want me to be the one to acquiesce to the snake oil shouters? Why does this forum not want divergent views to be heard? I didn't call Dumbo a dumbo, I said it is a shame he has already closed his mind to so many possibilities.

As far as your response to Dumbo's question, I'm sure you've made his decision perfectly clear.

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Re: Benefits of using a Heavy Equipment Rack for Audio Gear

"So what am I do to, Erick?

Just allow this mindset to fester in Dumbo and others reading this thread? Personally, I don't find that to be very acceptable. I would strongly encourage everyone to keep an open mind to the possibilites of something totally incomprehensible affecting their listening experience. Most do not and this forum does not encourage much thought in such matters. "

YOU don't have to DO anything really. But if you must, give someone the benefit of the doubt and the courtesy to see the tone of his post was looking for help, not attack.

Jan Vigne
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Re: Benefits of using a Heavy Equipment Rack for Audio Gear

What part of "exasperation" are you not understanding? What part of "one of those high end audio world snake oil treatments" do you find unconvincing as Dumbo's belief?

Now provide me the courtesy to see that I did - on several occasions - provide assistance to Dumbo. Something this issue is not doing. Erick has apologized for me whether I want him to or not. You've condemend me without seeing my assistance to Dumbo. That would seem to be enough of this. How about answering Dumbo's questions? Or is that not why you're here, Doug?

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Re: Benefits of using a Heavy Equipment Rack for Audio Gear


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"So what am I do to, Erick?

Just allow this mindset to fester in Dumbo and others reading this thread? Personally, I don't find that to be very acceptable. I would strongly encourage everyone to keep an open mind to the possibilites of something totally incomprehensible affecting their listening experience. Most do not and this forum does not encourage much thought in such matters. "

YOU don't have to DO anything really. But if you must, give someone the benefit of the doubt and the courtesy to see the tone of his post was looking for help, not attack.

Amen, Brother.

Jan Vigne
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Re: Benefits of using a Heavy Equipment Rack for Audio Gear

I repeat ...

Quote:
Now provide me the courtesy to see that I did - on several occasions - provide assistance to Dumbo. Something this issue is not doing.

Time to move on, children. I suspect Dumbo would still like some assistance with his op. Or, have we decided it's better to not encourage an open mind?

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Re: Benefits of using a Heavy Equipment Rack for Audio Gear

I appreciate everyone's input to my questions and will take the advise with me during my equipment rack purchase in the near future.

In regards to my controversial "Snake Oil" comment I see that most folks understood where the question was coming from and why it was being asked. For the ones that didn

Jan Vigne
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Re: Benefits of using a Heavy Equipment Rack for Audio Gear

Yep! Dumbo hasn't already made up his mind about snake oil, has he?

Dumbo, have you ever tried any of those items you cited?

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Re: Benefits of using a Heavy Equipment Rack for Audio Gear

I agree with Dumbo: The higher the price for the far-out tweak, the lower my tolerance for snake oil. That's not to say that these things don't work, or that some high priced tweaks aren't worth it.

Personally, I'll easily go for a tweak that on the face of it seems ridiculous but doesn't cost me much, as long as I really do hear a consistent improvement. Green marker on CD might totally do it for some audiophiles (not me). Even if the green marker is actually snake oil, I don

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Re: Benefits of using a Heavy Equipment Rack for Audio Gear

Thank you Jan for your participation in this thread. I have enjoyed reading your seemingly defensive replies to my use of the word "Snake Oil". Do you have some steak in that market which would fuel your need to continue your focus on a topic that was not initially the purpose of this thread?

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Re: Benefits of using a Heavy Equipment Rack for Audio Gear

With this post, addressing a direct question to JanV you may have opened Pandora's Box. Maybe you should have put your equipment on it, and left the top closed. Best of Luck.

I've used a high mass rack of low resonance material for years with good results, but there are many ways to skin a cat. Welcome to the club. If you wind up tweaking for years, you'll be no different from most of the rest of us. You could do worse things with your money. Spend it now, before the regime in power decides to redistribute it.

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Re: Benefits of using a Heavy Equipment Rack for Audio Gear


Quote:
I appreciate everyone's input to my questions and will take the advise with me during my equipment rack purchase in the near future.

In regards to my controversial "Snake Oil" comment I see that most folks understood where the question was coming from and why it was being asked. For the ones that didn

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Re: Benefits of using a Heavy Equipment Rack for Audio Gear


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I agree with Dumbo: The higher the price for the far-out tweak, the lower my tolerance for snake oil. That's not to say that these things don't work, or that some high priced tweaks aren't worth it.

Then what exactly is it to say, Erick? "Tweaks" are worth it or tweaks are not worth it? Snake oil is snake oil and there would seem to be little equivocation about which is which. Yet you manage to do so.

You want to know the source of my exasperation? BS like your post. You look at the price and decide whether or not it is snake oil. By that equation a Maseratti is snake oil that simply cannot perform as advertised. A Piaget is snake oil as is a Harvard education. A Gibson guitar is snake oil when a $129 Yamaha is just as good and is not, employing your logic, snake oil. Why, I'm even surprised the Gibson makes sound since it is undoubtedly snake oil!


Quote:
Expensive tweaks that have no rational scientific basis make me very leery. I stay away.

Offhand, I'd say that's good since you certainly don't want to find out you cannot hear what others do. However, that you cannot understand how a device or treatment operates is a poor bit of reasoning since you probably can't explain how cables operate without using terms many would describe as snake oil in and of themself.


Quote:
On the other hand, some expensive tweaks are worth it to me. I know how important good cables are and will spend a good chunk of change to make sure I'm getting the best performance from my system as I can. I guess I justify spending more on cables because I've done more experimenting with cables in my system than I have with, say, audio racks. I
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Re: Benefits of using a Heavy Equipment Rack for Audio Gear


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The reason the question came up in the first place was because I am in the market for an audio equipment rack but was unsure if it was worth spending an additional $500 dollars for a certain rack made of different material and thickness.

This is a tough call. My conclusion is that non-resonance and isolation are the most important characteristics of a rack, not mass per se. Comparing woods on this basis is difficult.

What did you decide?

While I find that a good rack makes a positive improvement, I am with Erick in finding that room treatment, for example, is a better investment.

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Re: Benefits of using a Heavy Equipment Rack for Audio Gear

Endlessly fascinating subject.

I am trying to find an old interview Ivor Tiefenbrun did about this subject.

As I recall, he was in the "light but rigid with good floor coupling" family for audio racks.

Part of the discussion went along the lines of heavy being harder to get started vibrating but also much harder to stop.

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Re: Benefits of using a Heavy Equipment Rack for Audio Gear

Based on what I have read in this thread and looked into thru various other sources on the web since my original post it seems that a quality audio equipment rack is well worth the investment.

I must first mention that I have no affiliation with the company I will post a link to but they will be getting a sale from me very soon: LINK

I am personally looking at the 4 shelf unit made of 3" thick Maple that uses posts (ie..legs) of a similar thickness

I feel this unit should do a good job for my purposes and looks good to boot.

One other thing I was curious to know was if it would be more important for the legs of the rack to be as thick or thicker than the shelves it supports. I would think that the legs are one of the first lines of defense from shielding the components from floor related vibrations. Maybe there would be a greater benefit to have them built thicker if this is the case? I plan on having brass cone style isolation feet installed on the bottom of the rack either way.

Thanks

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Re: Benefits of using a Heavy Equipment Rack for Audio Gear

Very pretty!

Given that these racks will work because of the difficulty of energizing tremendous mass I doubt it matters specifically how thick the legs are.

Cones are funny. Some sellers claim they couple the component to the stand; some say, decouple. Some claim they pass on vibrations from the component to the stand.

I can't see how they can do anything other than to physically connect the component with the object they are resting on, or the stand with the floor. If the floor is concrete or otherwise inflexible/non-resonant it makes good sense to couple the stand to the floor. Otherwise I see no benefit other than it may make the stand feel more stable than if it is resting just on carpeting.

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Re: Benefits of using a Heavy Equipment Rack for Audio Gear


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If the floor is concrete or otherwise inflexible/non-resonant it makes good sense to couple the stand to the floor.

Pop Quiz: Since vibration isolation works even for a concrete floor, a thick and dense material, vibration must be getting up through the concrete to the rack or component (in the absence of vibration isolation). How is that possible?

Part 2 - If vibration is making its way up through the concrete slab, what good is a rack with some crappy wood boards on it going to do?

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Re: Benefits of using a Heavy Equipment Rack for Audio Gear


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Cones are funny.

I've sat on the floor and laughed my ass off at them.

Have you ever heard the one, "Two spikes walk into a bar ... "

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Re: Benefits of using a Heavy Equipment Rack for Audio Gear


Quote:


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Dumbo, have you ever tried any of those items you cited?


Thank you Jan for your participation in this thread. I have enjoyed reading your seemingly defensive replies to my use of the word "Snake Oil". Do you have some steak in that market which would fuel your need to continue your focus on a topic that was not initially the purpose of this thread?

My, oh, my! Where to begin?

First, I'll take that response as a "no". You've not tried a single one of those devices but you've made up your mind they are "snake oil", and snake oil determined primarily on price at that!

Typical!

Second, I wasn't being "seemingly defensive" about your word, Dumbo. Possibly "this" sort of confusion about what is being discussed is what is holding back your comprehension of "those" devices.

Next, I find it utterly fascinating that I get jumped for expressing exasperation while not a soul here even mentions Dumbo's quite blatant condescension in his remarks.

Aaaaaah, but that's how this forum works, isn't it? We draw the lines, stay within our own camps and don't tend to eat our own. Some things never change.

No, Dumbo, I have no "steak" in this matter. I am dining vegan today.

My "stake" (as in "grubstake" you know?) is in the overwhelming degree of closeminded attitudes found on this - a subjective audiophile review magazine's - forum. Knowledge and experience are not required to reach decisions about what is true and what is false. It reminds me of a conversation I had with a highly politically partisan member of this forum before I left. When I asked for facts to back up his claims he replied his "facts" come from what "sounds good".

It's called biggotry on other forums, Dumbo, and it carries a lot of baggage with it. That's my stake in this affair. As I said, I encourage everyone to be as openminded as possible. So far, you've failed "Openmindedness 101".

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Re: Benefits of using a Heavy Equipment Rack for Audio Gear

Jan, I just want to understand you:

Do you mean to say that there is no snake oil in the audio world, that every product or treatment on the market is valid and that if we dismiss anything as snake oil we are being close minded?

Again, I'm seriously trying to understand where you are coming from.

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Re: Benefits of using a Heavy Equipment Rack for Audio Gear


Quote:
Pop Quiz: Since vibration isolation works even for a concrete floor, a thick and dense material, vibration must be getting up through the concrete to the rack or component (in the absence of vibration isolation). How is that possible?

I have some theories, but what do you think is the case?

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Re: Benefits of using a Heavy Equipment Rack for Audio Gear

I expect to be sorry to have done it, Jan, but I can't resist the desire to put some questions to you after having read your contributions to this thread. Please excuse my presenting them in random sequence.

1- Given that in the context of his specific questions it would have been easy to ignore, why did you react immediately to dumbo's belief that there are, "... high end audio world snake oil treatments" ? He brought his questions to a well known audio forum. Snake oil discussions/arguments are pretty prevalent on such sites. Wouldn't he be likely to have the impression that there may be some snake oil peddlers out there?

2- Why would the good advice you obviously have to offer be enhanced by a reprimand - and a rather condescending one at that?

3- Why should dumbo and others reading your submissions care that you find references to audio related snake oil exasperating? Perhaps you might be concerned with the extent to which your emotions are controlled, but why would anyone else be interested?

4- Given that going beyond 90% great sound frequently confronts the law of diminishing returns, that everyone faces some financial limits, and that the urge to tweak is inherent in our hobby, why is it unreasonable that cheap tweaks are more readily accepted than more expensive ones?

5- Do you think that those who scorn ultra high end products, rather than admit that they just can't afford them, will change their behavior as a result of your ridicule even though their behavior might seem to deserve it?

6- What benefit do you get from jumping on a phrase like, "... understand how certain cables can consistently improve or deteriorate the sound... "? Certainly, "understand THAT" rather than "HOW" would have been more accurate for most of us, but why make an issue of it? Is it just the thrill of combat with Lick-T?

7- As for "steak" vs. "stake" with dumbo, aren't you ever embarrassed at your willingness to pick nits? You knew what he meant.

8- You made reference to having left this forum. Why did you leave? Why have you returned?

Your second sentence in what became a long series of exchanges was, "That's a shame." Here is what I think is a shame - that a person with much valuable knowledge and many years of experience related to audio would forfeit an opportunity to offer real help to a relative newcomer by engaging, instead, in pointless sniping.

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Re: Benefits of using a Heavy Equipment Rack for Audio Gear


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Given that going beyond 90% great sound frequently confronts the law of diminishing returns, that everyone faces some financial limits, and that the urge to tweak is inherent in our hobby . . .

This list of observations nicely sets out the competing interests of our hobby.

It almost explains our sickness.

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Re: Benefits of using a Heavy Equipment Rack for Audio Gear

My theory on what could cause vibrations to effect a rack that was coupled to a concrete floor via spikes or similar would be airborne related resonance.

I wish I had concrete floors as mine are all made of old school wood. The house is 110yrs old so the wood beams that support my floor are fairly significant but still have their fair share of vibration when a low bass note comes along.

I've thought about placing some sort of thick wood stands under the speakers as another possibility to try in the future to maybe give me an extra layer of dampening at the source.

Satch
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Re: Benefits of using a Heavy Equipment Rack for Audio Gear

And, if you're like some of the rest of us, dumbo, you'll be trying one approach and then another for a long time. Once, I even tried filling shallow boxes with playground sand, topping that with pressed-board sheets (that didn't contact the box itself) and placing the speakers on the pressed-board. I didn't think it helped much, but the same approach did work pretty well for isolating a turntable.

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Re: Benefits of using a Heavy Equipment Rack for Audio Gear


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And, if you're like some of the rest of us, dumbo, you'll be trying one approach and then another for a long time. Once, I even tried filling shallow boxes with playground sand, topping that with pressed-board sheets (that didn't contact the box itself) and placing the speakers on the pressed-board. I didn't think it helped much, but the same approach did work pretty well for isolating a turntable.

Ah, the old sand box, first generation vibration isolation stand.... well, along with inner tubes. Seems like only yesterday.

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Re: Benefits of using a Heavy Equipment Rack for Audio Gear


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Jan, I just want to understand you:

Do you mean to say that there is no snake oil in the audio world, that every product or treatment on the market is valid and that if we dismiss anything as snake oil we are being close minded?

First, why limit this to the world of audio? As I stated, your seeming justification for "why" certain treatments, devices or whatever should be viewed as snake oil has a large dependence upon the price of the item. Not the value of the item, mind you, just the price. Therefore, my inclusion of an item many consider to be of heirloom quality would be snake oil by your logic. And, while I can think of one particular president who didn't seem to justify the value of his education, four years spent at Harvard would certainly not seem to many people to be wasted on snake oil. Why would those items be any differnt in your mind if price is a key justification for "snake oiliness"?

Isn't value the real issue here? The issue should be what is of value to the individual, because surely a $10k+ investment in audio gear of any sort is absurd when you think of the crying need for assistance by so many in this world.

Setting aside for the moment the hedonism of this hobby, if $1k spent on a device garners more improvement to the listening experience than would $2.5k in gear, which is the better value? If the result is available from no other device, is the $1k snake oil?

Or, put another way, if your system is not operating at its fullest potential, then why bother upgrading equipment without a clear ability to discern what is lacking - when what is lacking will still remain even after the equipment change - or without the ability for the new component to reach its fullest potential?

If you've not even experimented with a device or treatment, how do you place a value on its potential contributions? Going back to equipment once again, if you own a modest system and you invest in a $1k set of speaker cables, how much of the cable's potential is being wasted when fed from a $400 source player? No way to tell in such a hypothetical situation but, isn't that what you're faced with when viewing alternative devices? Until your system reaches a certain level of transparency certain components and certain "tweaks" will remain wasted in their potential. Does that lead you to label all such devices as snake oil? Wouldn't the $1k cables then qualify as such? However, you claim to see the value of such an inclusion in your own system, Erick.

If we agree that a given component will be hamstrung until another component removes a few veils and opens a few windows, it might be that you will never reach the level of transparency required to appreciate "that Low Frequency Generator for $600" (which doesn't sell for $600 and does operate as advertised) until you also employ "the $1200 Holographic room optimizer that looks like a music sheet holder that sits behind your speakers to help produce the most lifelike performance you have ever encountered in your listening room." Does that make both snake oil? Or just the first?

I completely agree with advice suggesting the more expensive anything should be kept in balance with the rest of the system but that should not extend to "I consider any 'tweak' over 'X' price to be skating on snake oil." The issue here, in this specific thread, and the comment which is drawing so much ire, is whether someone with zero experience in so many components, devices, treatments, etc., should be so convinced there is so much snake oil out there.

It seems Dumbo is coming to the conclusion stands have some value in an audio system. Fine, he has found some sort of justification that suits his reasoning. I don't know what that might be but an open mind is all I am advocating. You have found "logic" in cables where others logically find none. Some of your satisfaction I assume has come through experimentation. Your experience informs your reasoning, no? Your proof is what you preceive, right? Despite the fact many would claim you to be deluded and engaging in snake oil.

What I am not advocating is that anyone should rush out to spend large sums on devices which have not been reasoned through in the context of their own system and - hopefully - their own "priorities". I strongly prefer to have someone know what they are trying to achieve and then put together a "system" which fulfills those desires and realizes the trade offs necessary within their budget. Not that long ago, and to many still, cables are a complete snake oil addition. Indisputable facts can be brought to the fore which do more to prove cables are "fake" than can be utilized to prove the opposite. So too with stands, LP clamps, and footers, etc. However, someone thought for awhile, tried them, thought them to be beneficial and they caught on even though my personal experience tells me most are now sold without a smidgen of reasoning. Too many buy these devices without understanding just what they are buying or why. They just buy. That borders on snake oil and insanity.

Consider for a moment that with each addition of a well placed and well reasoned footer, cable, clamp, etc. the system does become more transparent to the source. Now we are more capable of perceiving the next level which might benefit from yet another veil being lifted. What if that veil comes down by the addition of what some might consider snake oil?

Why then do those same individuals turn around and demand "proof" of such things as a Schumman Resonator? Worst yet IMO they fail to do due diligence to find that such proof does exist. They are oblivious to the fact NASA employs the device for the very reasons the audiophile might want to investigate the device.

The question to you, Erick, is, why? Why do you suppose these otherwise intelligent and apparently logical consumers dismiss an item when often the fault in their reasoning is their own? We've seen on repeated occasions here in this forum that many times the naysayers are quite willing to intentionally ignore facts which would provide the proof they demand. Why is that do you suppose? Why are people so quick to label something snake oil when, if they did a bit of research, they might find the answer they demand from others?

If they can do nothing more than read reports from those whom we would assume they might trust, audio journalists and reviewers in whom they have faith, why be so quick to label something snake oil when those same reviewers have suggested it is not? What proof is required if no proof available is acceptable? Explain the logic of that to me, Erick.

And, please, don't forget to explain cables to me also.

Elk
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Re: Benefits of using a Heavy Equipment Rack for Audio Gear


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My theory on what could cause vibrations to effect a rack that was coupled to a concrete floor via spikes or similar would be airborne related resonance.


My thought as well, along with vibrations set up by the equipment itself such as transports and transformers.

As my question was directed specifically to Geoff I hope he responds as well.

My suspicion is that treating these smaller vibrations are perhaps more important. I find that stands work exceedingly well, for both solid state and tube equipment, even when music is played back softly.

BTW, I find that Aurios isolation bearings work wonderfully well. I bought a handful of them very cheaply on closeout (wish I had bought more). I am sure that there are DIY versions that work great as well - worth investigating as these things are silly expensive.

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Re: Benefits of using a Heavy Equipment Rack for Audio Gear


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As my question was directed specifically to Geoff I hope he responds as well.

Uh, what was the question? I might have missed it...

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Re: Benefits of using a Heavy Equipment Rack for Audio Gear


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Once, I even tried filling shallow boxes with playground sand, topping that with pressed-board sheets (that didn't contact the box itself) and placing the speakers on the pressed-board. I didn't think it helped much, but the same approach did work pretty well for isolating a turntable.

One might logically conclude your results where consistent with the desire to couple speakers to larger surfaces while decoupling turntables from larger, highly resonant surfaces.

Ya' think?

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Re: Benefits of using a Heavy Equipment Rack for Audio Gear


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I expect to be sorry to have done it, Jan, but I can't resist the desire to put some questions to you after having read your contributions to this thread.

I understand, I do present a compelling argument.


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Given that in the context of his specific questions it would have been easy to ignore, why did you react immediately to dumbo's belief that there are, "... high end audio world snake oil treatments" ?

Why not? Someone had to and I was first on the scene and first to "react". I know a little CPR also.


Quote:
He brought his questions to a well known audio forum. Snake oil discussions/arguments are pretty prevalent on such sites.

And quite contentious to boot. Several members have been banned for doing such, one I believe was treated unfairly and as the result of another's persistent idiocy.


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Wouldn't he be likely to have the impression that there may be some snake oil peddlers out there?

I don't think he should be under any impression without first doing some investigative work of his own. You do?


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Why would the good advice you obviously have to offer be enhanced by a reprimand - and a rather condescending one at that?

Why do you assume to read my mind and know my intentions? Do you have some sort of extra sensory perception many would deem "snake oil"? Are you a warlock, Dixie? Dumbo has not claimed my statement to be "condescending", isn't he the one that counts?

While we're on the subject though, why haven't you called out Dumbo on his obviously condescending comment to me? I find it condescending in the extreme. I therefore expect you to immediately declare Dumbo out of line whether he has anything "good" to offer or not. Go ahead, we'll wait.


Quote:
Why should dumbo and others reading your submissions care that you find references to audio related snake oil exasperating?

No one is expected to automatically find my posts to be anything other than what they are. I'm not so conceited I expect anyone to enshrine my words until they have fully absorbed their weight. You are the one though who claimed I was irresistable.


Quote:
Perhaps you might be concerned with the extent to which your emotions are controlled, but why would anyone else be interested?

The latter I just coverd. The former? My emotions are completely in control. It is the few of you who seem to have a bug up your backside. The question then becomes, why should I care? I didn't come here to discuss asses or to engage them in conversation.


Quote:
4- Given that going beyond 90% great sound frequently confronts the law of diminishing returns, that everyone faces some financial limits, and that the urge to tweak is inherent in our hobby, why is it unreasonable that cheap tweaks are more readily accepted than more expensive ones?

That wouldn't appear to be the issue here. The issue is whether something is snake oil or not and how it comes to be determined as such.


Quote:
Do you think that those who scorn ultra high end products, rather than admit that they just can't afford them, will change their behavior as a result of your ridicule even though their behavior might seem to deserve it?

Ridicule? Who has claimed my words to be "ridicule"? Not Dumbo to whom they were directed. You once again are presumptuous enough to assume you can interpret my intent without asistance from either Dumbo or myself. Now we again find ourself asking the question, are you so full of yourself that you think your ridicule in this post will provoke a change in my behavior? Most especially when you have excluded Dumbo from your scorn for his most egregious comments toward me? Particularly when you are flying by the seat of your snake oiled ESP pants?


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What benefit do you get from jumping on a phrase like, "... understand how certain cables can consistently improve or deteriorate the sound... "? Certainly, "understand THAT" rather than "HOW" would have been more accurate for most of us, but why make an issue of it? Is it just the thrill of combat with Lick-T?

Is that a bit of projection on your part? You're in this for the thrill of combat?

I am asking for an explanation from Erick. Is that not what occurs on a forum? I keep an open mind and am willing to entertain many different opinions and experiences simultaneously. You appear not to have that capacity.


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As for "steak" vs. "stake" with dumbo, aren't you ever embarrassed at your willingness to pick nits? You knew what he meant.

Once again a pattern emerges which is extremely unflattering to you, Dixie. You see something in my response which you deem unacceptable whether it was meant that way or not. To make matters worse, you ignore Erick's post where he failed to observe my edit yet called me on a missing question mark.

Why is that?

My response to Dumbo is in your imagination yet Erick's response to me is in hard copy on the first page of this thread. Do you find yourself embarrassed by your presumptuous impetuosity? Do you not find yourself embarrassed by your lack of ability to capitalize the first letter in Dumbo's name?

Allow me another question, should I attempt a minor spelling correction for your benefit with no malice intended, would that piss the hell out of you too?


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You made reference to having left this forum. Why did you leave? Why have you returned?

Why I left is my business and no others'. As to why I returned? Possibly, I just missed the totally non-judgemental nature of so many on this forum.


Quote:
Your second sentence in what became a long series of exchanges was, "That's a shame." Here is what I think is a shame - that a person with much valuable knowledge and many years of experience related to audio would forfeit an opportunity to offer real help to a relative newcomer by engaging, instead, in pointless sniping.

You're certainly welcome to your opinion.

Here's what I consider a shame; that 85% of this thread has been taken up with "sniping" at me rather than discussing audio. It has been so due to the preference of a few to "forfeit an opportunity to offer real help to a relative newcomer by engaging, instead, in pointless sniping."

Dixie, you are a presumptuous, impetuous, hypocritical, pompous ass IMO. You've wasted a lot of time on this thread making assertions without foundation and ignoring the failings of all except myself. I find myself asking, why is Dixie here in the first place?

To your good fortune I do keep an open mind. Should you come to your senses and decide why you are here is to discuss audio, I approach each thread with a fresh slate and I hold no grudges until it has been proven conclusively you cannot be trusted with facts. Should you turn yourself around you and I might become "forum friends" of a sort. Afterall, I have more than a wee bit to offer.

Your decision now, Dixie.

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Re: Benefits of using a Heavy Equipment Rack for Audio Gear

"My emotions are completely in control.", says Jan Vigne. Right, Jan! And, should anyone doubt that, you've only to scan the foregoing post and a few others in this thread.

"Some things never change." You are living proof of that, Jan.

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Re: Benefits of using a Heavy Equipment Rack for Audio Gear


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My theory on what could cause vibrations to effect a rack that was coupled to a concrete floor via spikes or similar would be airborne related resonance.

I wish I had concrete floors as mine are all made of old school wood. The house is 110yrs old so the wood beams that support my floor are fairly significant but still have their fair share of vibration when a low bass note comes along.

I've thought about placing some sort of thick wood stands under the speakers as another possibility to try in the future to maybe give me an extra layer of dampening at the source.

What's below your floor?

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Re: Benefits of using a Heavy Equipment Rack for Audio Gear


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Quote:
Pop Quiz: Since vibration isolation works even for a concrete floor, a thick and dense material, vibration must be getting up through the concrete to the rack or component (in the absence of vibration isolation). How is that possible?

I have some theories, but what do you think is the case?

As I mentioned previously, the continuous motion of the Earth's crust (and in some cases local traffic, subways, etc.) is causing the entire building to move, including the cement slab. Thus, mounting components directly on the cement slab or placing a rack on the cement slab cannot emeliorate the low frequency problem, since every object in contact with the slab will have the same motion as the slab. The solution is to decouple the motion of the slab from the component, as it were, using some sort of vibration isolation technique(s) -- mass-on-spring systems, roller bearing assemblies, magnetic levitation, air bearings, etc.

The Earth's crust motion produces waves that travel along the surface of the ground with force components in 6 directions, including the 3 rotational ones. Thus, a comprehensive isolation system should address all 6 directions. As I also mentioned previously, it's the low frequency vibration that's the real culprit, not the higher frequencies, since the critical items in the system - tonearm, cartridge, turntable platter, laser assembly, etc. - have relatively low resonant frequencies and are excited by structureborne energy having the same frequencies.

Jan Vigne
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Re: Benefits of using a Heavy Equipment Rack for Audio Gear

As you said in another thread when you felt Elk was not worthy of your esteemed self, your "rather simplistic view has no place here."


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... people are crazy

dumbo
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Re: Benefits of using a Heavy Equipment Rack for Audio Gear

I have a basement. The foundation of the house is made up of several feet worth of big stone and mortor which the subfloor rests on. The floor of the basement is poured concrete which I don't believe the foundation rests on as other similar homes in the area have dirt floors only.

Mr. Dixie, I believe your earlier comment on opening pandoras box was on point and a bit of an understatment it seems...

Jan, please take two prozac and post back tomorrow. Someone elses view of what is considered snake oil shouldn't be so disturbing to you. And as far as my post that mentioned the cost of certain equipment, I didn't pull those numbers out of my arse. They are the going price as listed by some online sources. If you can find snake oil for a cheaper price elsewhere then by all means, drink it and be merry.

Jan Vigne
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Re: Benefits of using a Heavy Equipment Rack for Audio Gear

ROTFLMAO!!!

(Psssssssssst! Stands are snake oil.)

geoffkait
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Re: Benefits of using a Heavy Equipment Rack for Audio Gear


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ROTFLMAO!!!

(Psssssssssst! Stands are snake oil.)

No, silly. Stands are based on sound engineering principles. They are NOT like those other things, those snake oil things - the ones that aren't based on scientific principles and cannot be explained... the ones that never come with any data.

Has anyone considered the possibility he's simply a shill for Timber Nation.

dbowker
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Re: Benefits of using a Heavy Equipment Rack for Audio Gear

Whatever vibrations caused by the Earth's crust would be negligible to something as small as a stereo or anything room sized for that matter, barring an earth quake. We all give off gravity, but you don't go around sticking to things do you? SCALE man! It's everything.

I'd also like to propose as far as stands/racks go there is no reason why you shouldn't also buy something simply because it looks great with your gear, given that it functions as furniture. If it helps out some or all of your components sonically, that's great too.

geoffkait
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Re: Benefits of using a Heavy Equipment Rack for Audio Gear


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Whatever vibrations caused by the Earth's crust would be negligible to something as small as a stereo or anything room sized for that matter, barring an earth quake. We all give off gravity, but you don't go around sticking to things do you? SCALE man! It's everything.

Huh? Appears someone's confusing the force of gravity with some other force. If the Earth crust's motion can move an entire house, including the cement slab I'd say that's some pretty powerful Ju Ju. BTW, I stick to the surface of the Earth quite well. I just tried it this morning.


Quote:
I'd also like to propose as far as stands/racks go there is no reason why you shouldn't also buy something simply because it looks great with your gear, given that it functions as furniture. If it helps out some or all of your components sonically, that's great too.

Ah, one of them form before function guys, eh? Interior decorator, no doubt.

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Re: Benefits of using a Heavy Equipment Rack for Audio Gear

In my humble opinion, the weight/density of the material sitting underneath the equipment isn't nearly as important as isolating the equipment from the underlying material. An exception might be the speakers, who will (again IMHO) benefit of having eg a stone slab under them. But I'd prefer heavy material to light any day.

I am into vibration damping, as in trying different absorbers under the equipment. To me, there's an audible difference with different absorbers, and I always end up with attempting to make my equipment "float".

With a few exceptions, a rack is mostly for looks, but I acknowledge that some people report of worse or better sound with this or that brand of rack. I don't have room for a rack, which is why I have my stereo on bookshelf modules, that have a tendency to sing along with loud volumes. Sandwich absorbers solved my problems.

geoffkait
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Re: Benefits of using a Heavy Equipment Rack for Audio Gear


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In my humble opinion, the weight/density of the material sitting underneath the equipment isn't nearly as important as isolating the equipment from the underlying material. An exception might be the speakers, who will (again IMHO) benefit of having eg a stone slab under them. But I'd prefer heavy material to light any day.

I am into vibration damping, as in trying different absorbers under the equipment. To me, there's an audible difference with different absorbers, and I always end up with attempting to make my equipment "float".

With a few exceptions, a rack is mostly for looks, but I acknowledge that some people report of worse or better sound with this or that brand of rack. I don't have room for a rack, which is why I have my stereo on bookshelf modules, that have a tendency to sing along with loud volumes. Sandwich absorbers solved my problems.

One of the more elegant approaches to "floating" as you refer to it was the just developed Nakamichi Dragon CD system that Pierre at Mapleshade obtained for the CES 1997. The Nakamichi system, which comprised a Transport, CD Player and Control Module, was isolated from structural vibration (which incidentally is quite severe in Vegas) on my 6 degree of freedom Sub-Hertz (that's 0.5 Hz resonant frequency to you civilians out there) isolation platform.

The CD spindle and laser assembly in the Nakamichi Transport was contained in a sealed chamber with valve. Thus, after the CD was inserted into the transport, the air in the chamber could be evacuated, forming a very good vacuum around the disc and laser assembly. Amp and Omega Mikro cabling by Ron Bauman, speakers were Gallo Reference. Ron's amp was some new-fangled gizmo sans tone controls or volume control. The Omega Mikro ICs center conductors were 56 gauge, which is about the diameter of a human hair. All cabling and power cords suspended from the ceiling.

Could not beat the sound of that system with a stick.

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