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System Equipment Rack?


blakey72
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Not sure where this goes but what is the preferred material for a system rack to be made of? Mine both are metal legs and tempered glass shelves, I was thinking glass may be bad? I'm wanting to get a decent rack but have a limited budget so thought second hand or possibly make one. Only looking to spend about $300 as it's kinda a birthday present. I think 3-4 shelves will be fine, what do you think? Nothing new for that sort of price? Second hand could be a pain too because I'm out in the sticks in Horsham ? 

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As a general rule glass is not good.

Shelves commonly tend to be in forms of timber or bamboo and can be stacked or layered to provide complex pathways to drain and impede transmission or internal retention of otherwise detrimental vibrations...

 

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A couple of modifications will allow you to use what you have (if you otherwise like what you have):

- If the metal legs are hollow, fill them with dry sand or lead shot.

- You can replace the glass shelves with bamboo or hardwood ply (not mdf).

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Just went through this myself.  I had a lovely unit but wanted a change and also wall mounted the TV.

 

.... I found this old thread, got some inspiration during lock down and subsequently built my own...see last page of this thread.  There is also a few threads bouncing about with the Ikea lack table turned into nice hifi racks..

 

 

 

 

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51 minutes ago, audiofeline said:

- You can replace the glass shelves with bamboo or hardwood ply (not mdf).

 Hey AF.

 

Just wondering why MDF isn't preferred for racks?

 

I'm 2 coats into finishing my MDF shelves for a recycled frame.  I can put a hold on those for another material if required.

 

Sorry Blakey for de-railing slightly, I hope that's O.K.

 

Ant.

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From what I understand (and some will disagree), mdf is a popular product with manufacturers (eg. for shelves, turntable plinths and speaker boxes) because it is cheap and easy to work with.  However, it's not good at dissipating unwanted energy, which is what is required for audio use.  Your mdf shelves might be good for solid state electronics, but equipment that can be affected by vibrations (turntables, valve equipment and CD players) may benefit more from bamboo or hardwood ply. 

 

The effectiveness of a shelf can also depend on how sensitive your equipment is to this energy and what energy the rack picks up (eg. from the flooring, or how close speakers are to it).  Your mdf shelves could be fine. 

 

My audio racks were manufactured with laminated mdf, and I glued/screwed ply underneath to give more mass and dampening.  Some people with glass shelves have found they can be improved by fixing Dynamat-type dampening to it. 

 

 

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Hi Blakey ,

I am inthe process of making one myself. Will be able to complete it in a week. Using Acacia wood panel from bunnings $99 and cut in 430mm X 600 mm pieces. Using only 4 layers. M16 threaded rod , Nuts and Bolts. Also got 2 X 3 meter Chrome Curtain Rods to cover the Threaded rod. I am using Castors at the bottom. My neighbour is a welder so He is helping me out to weld the Nuts to the Castors. That way I can just screw it to the bottom. Cut boards are ready , I just need to paint the cut edges.Will post photos once finished. Total cost is about $ 230 ish. So not too hard to make one. I have basic DIY Skills So if I can do it anyone can.

20200821_122609.jpg

20200818_150751.jpg

Edited by gillmaverick
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4 hours ago, audiofeline said:

and I glued/screwed ply underneath to give more mass and dampening. 

Thanks AF.

 

Yeah mate, I run solid state gear so my amps should be OK.

You've prompted me to do the same with a sheet of ply for the top, TT shelf.

My CD player will remain on the TV stand as I don't use it very often.  I've heard that it can be upgraded, so that may change down the track a little when that happens.

 

Thanks very much for the advice.

 

Ant.

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17 hours ago, gillmaverick said:

Hi Blakey ,

I am inthe process of making one myself. Will be able to complete it in a week. Using Acacia wood panel from bunnings $99 and cut in 430mm X 600 mm pieces. Using only 4 layers. M16 threaded rod , Nuts and Bolts. Also got 2 X 3 meter Chrome Curtain Rods to cover the Threaded rod. I am using Castors at the bottom. My neighbour is a welder so He is helping me out to weld the Nuts to the Castors. That way I can just screw it to the bottom. Cut boards are ready , I just need to paint the cut edges.Will post photos once finished. Total cost is about $ 230 ish. So not too hard to make one. I have basic DIY Skills So if I can do it anyone can.

If you don’t feel like making your own racks, @Grizzly can build something similar like he did for me at very good pricing.  In my case birch ply, but it could have been bamboo or other.  It can dissembled and flat packed for shipping.

 

forgive me the cable mess, I need to do some tidying up there because I  have 4 speaker wire pairs per side due to DEQX managing crossovers per channel.

 

 

33BFFEFF-EDD4-4507-BD93-675C431C9212.jpeg

4E5356BE-A7B1-4A7D-93A8-206269D93D7D.jpeg

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$150 of timber, paint and oil plus some old bricks works well. 

 

If you were worried about vibration for any particular item. Don't place it mid span. And have it supported underneath. This is all on concrete slab. Bluray/CD player is sitting on bottom sheet directly on the floor. I can guarantee that nothing will move less than the slab floor on ground. 

 

The bricks give lots of flexibility for future component size etc. Nothing is rigidly connected either, all resting in place so any vibration transmission is minimised. 

 

IMG_20191212_134607.thumb.jpg.cc4774690b7d653b1e64fd388dc57789.jpg

Edited by DrSK
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22 hours ago, DrSK said:

$150 of timber, paint and oil plus some old bricks works well. 

 

If you were worried about vibration for any particular item. Don't place it mid span. And have it supported underneath. This is all on concrete slab. Bluray/CD player is sitting on bottom sheet directly on the floor. I can guarantee that nothing will move less than the slab floor on ground. 

 

The bricks give lots of flexibility for future component size etc. Nothing is rigidly connected either, all resting in place so any vibration transmission is minimised. 

 

IMG_20191212_134607.thumb.jpg.cc4774690b7d653b1e64fd388dc57789.jpg

That actually looks quite good, and fits in very well with room decor.

 

if you had a turntable you could always add a separate isolation platform on top.

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1 hour ago, Demondes said:

That actually looks quite good, and fits in very well with room decor.

 

if you had a turntable you could always add a separate isolation platform on top.

Thank you! I might get some vibration measurements for interest. Just bought a 4 channel system for work that can also correlate with acoustic readings. 

Edited by DrSK
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For what it’s worth, when I worked in a hifi shop we had lots of different racks come through. Glass shelves were far and away the most popular but even the most expensive ones didn’t sound great. We never had anything particularly high end but the ones I consistently preferred were the quadraspire ones. They were mostly veneered MDF and their top level stuff was (and still is, i think) all bamboo and legs were solid aluminium

Edited by RankStranger
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On 21/08/2020 at 8:48 PM, blakey72 said:

Not sure where this goes but what is the preferred material for a system rack to be made of? Mine both are metal legs and tempered glass shelves, I was thinking glass may be bad? I'm wanting to get a decent rack but have a limited budget so thought second hand or possibly make one. Only looking to spend about $300 as it's kinda a birthday present. I think 3-4 shelves will be fine, what do you think? Nothing new for that sort of price? Second hand could be a pain too because I'm out in the sticks in Horsham ? 

If possible, perhaps your most cost effective option is to remove the glass shelves and replicate with a more suitable material?

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On 27/08/2020 at 1:21 PM, Grizzly said:

If possible, perhaps your most cost effective option is to remove the glass shelves and replicate with a more suitable material?

Yeah still thinking that. Bamboo seems to be the preferred material, just not sure where to get it from. Shelves are 700mm x 400mm.

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All of my equipment is placed on thick glass shelves.  Have tried substitute it with timber with no audible difference.  Turntable is on Granite slab though.. much more heavy and less resonant.

Having said this, I do use vibration absorbers under critical components, (like the CD transport and valve amplifier for example). 

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@blakey72 your easiest and most cost-effective solution would be to put a dampening material on the underside of your shelves. While you're at it, tap on all the metallic parts and make sure that they don't ring. If there is ringing present, tubing can be filled with sand or similar. Most of the more exotic methods explained here will make precious little difference and you would probably get more out of fine tuning room treatments.

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18 hours ago, blakey72 said:

Yeah still thinking that. Bamboo seems to be the preferred material, just not sure where to get it from. Shelves are 700mm x 400mm.

Bunnings sell a Bamboo counter top around 50mm thick I think.

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Looks like a choice between 45mm and 35mm think.

 

https://www.bunnings.com.au/kaboodle-2400-x-600-x-35mm-bamboo-benchtop_p2662191

https://www.bunnings.com.au/kaboodle-2400-x-900-x-35mm-bamboo-benchtop_p2662192

 

In either 2400 x 600 or 2400 x 900

 

Maybe somewhere else can do it cheaper than Bunnings *shrug*

Edited by muon*
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24 minutes ago, Arthur K said:

All of my equipment is placed on thick glass shelves.  Have tried substitute it with timber with no audible difference.  Turntable is on Granite slab though.. much more heavy and less resonant.

Having said this, I do use vibration absorbers under critical components, (like the CD transport and valve amplifier for example). 

What type and thickness of timber did you substitute your thick glass shelves with no audible difference?

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If the glass is heavy enough, it will be fine.

 

Lovan used to make a system called "Legacy" which consisted of three-legged glass shelves that were incredibly heavy and beautiful at the same time. From memory, they were about 19mm thick with beveled edges.

 

Our demo system in the front of the shop, and the one in the rear were both placed on them and they were remarkable both in looks and in quality, but...   ...$$$

 

I'd hazard to guess that you'd have to throw a fair bit of cash at some tempered glass to get it cut to size, and then engineer a way of supporting it.

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I’m not keen on glass but i don’t think it’s a big deal with electronics, but what sits under the TT is usually significant. 

Sorbothane hemispheres under the tt feet will isolate from the glass and make a big difference for not much money.  Of course you might not like the difference it makes. Suck it and see - as always.
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Sorbothane-19mm-Isolation-Hemispheres/192916455648?hash=item2ceab780e0:g:WmgAAOSwHgNc2pj

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11 minutes ago, buddyev said:

 

Sorbothane hemispheres under the tt feet will isolate from the glass and make a big difference

Personally, I'm against sorbothane under anything regarding a mechanical source like a turntable; It just doesn't make sense to me.

 

My reasoning is that if the TT is of decent quality and designed with its own suspension, then that should be all it needs. It will have been designed to have as little to no effect on the sonic characteristics of the unit, and be of a resonant frequency either way above, or below what we are trying to capture.

 

If there is no suspension, then it's all about mass-loading and making sure the only parts that move are the ones that are supposed to - i.e. the diamond in the groove and the cantilever (and coils) in the cartridge. If you give it something else to boogie around on, then you're potentially losing some energy generated by the stylus, that is supposed to travel up the cantilever, and is instead, absorbed (albeit, minutely) by the squishy-ness of your plinth.

 

Hopefully that's not too confusing for a Saturday night.. ?

Edited by Hilltop Rob
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