Over the last few years I have upgraded the components, cables, and power of my two channel system, but I have been using a TV/component rack that I bought at Macy’s in the late 80s. It had shelves on the left, a space for 27inch TV on the right, with drawers and a storage space on the bottom.
While it served its purpose, I did have to remove the back to allow better airflow, and to allow the power conditioner to use a shelf on the right. Another problem is that it is made of that fake wood stuff. While heavy, it really did not do a good job of absorbing vibration. Instead, it seemed to transmit vibrations into the gear. One reason I suspect is because it is closed on the sides. This serves no useful purpose, and is just more surface area exposed to sound waves, which results in more vibration. I think the vibration aspect of this rack is one reason why the brass footers under all my gear make such a big difference.
Anyway, I finally broke down and bought a Mapleshade Samson v3 four shelf rack with a rosewood finish. One shelf is four inches thick, and the other 3 are two inches thick. While I expected it to be heavy, this thing weighs almost 400 pounds! Believe me, it was a beast to assemble by myself. I was exhausted yesterday evening after finishing it.
I built it like a skyscraper, one floor at a time. I’m glad I planned on the 4 inch shelf being on the bottom because I could not lift it. I walked it inside from the garage, laid it on its side, inserted the 48 inch solid steel rods, and tilted it up. I had to get it into its final position before tilting it since once it is upright, it will not move due to the brass carpet piercing footers on the bottom. Adding the other shelves was easier, but really is a two person job. There is little tolerance in the holes for the rods so the shelf has to be level and come down equally on all 6 rods. I held the shelf on my extended arms on either side of the center holes, and lowered them onto the rack. Due to the little tolerance if it got just the slightest bit off from being level it would jam, and I would start cursing. I can’t print what I said since that would close this thread.
Finally, everything was together, and I have to say it looks great compared to the old rack. It is solid as a rock, and it is hard to detect any vibrations on the shelves. All I had to do on the previous rack was place my hand on it and I could feel vibrations. If there are vibrations now they are hard to detect. Also, now that the sides are open the sound appears more open and engaging with a much clearer focus of instruments in the sound stage. I really hoped this would occur, and it appears to be so. I don’t think I am doing a placebo effect here. It really is more open and precise.
While the overall height is lower than the previous rack, there is more room between shelves for the gear. This really helps the amps which get hotter than Hades. The drawback is it is harder to do cable management behind it since there is no moving the rack to get back there, but I did do a reasonable job of at least getting signal and speaker cables to cross the power cables at 90 degrees.
I only have two minor complaints, and both will soon be resolved. First is that four of the brass support/locking rings would not thread onto the rods. Replacements are on the way, and next week I need to remove the top shelf, and add the missing pieces. Second issue is there is a lingering odor from the rosewood stain. This is already diminishing and should soon be gone.
After one day I am really happy with this rack. It looks much better, and more important, it sounds great. I think I will order a 3 shelf version for the HT, but with only two inch shelves and 36 inch rods. I feel my entry level system just moved up a notch. Now it is time to do a pre-amp and amp upgrade to compliment the rack. It never ends.
Amps (2) - Cambridge Audio 840W, 800w/ch at 4 ohm
Preamp - Cambridge Audio 840E
SACD - Sony XA-5400ES
Digital source - Bryston BDP1 digital file player
DAC - Bryston BDA1
Power conditioner - Shunyata Triton
Aerial Acoustic 7T - 4 ohm
MIT S1.3 Shotgun XLR interconnects
Shunyata Anaconda Ztron speaker cables
Shunyata Python Ztron digital cable
Shunyata Python Ztron 20 amp power cable for AC input to the Triton
Shunyata Python CX 20 amp power cables (2) for amps
Shunyata Cobra Ztron power cables for pre, SACD, digital source, and DAC.
20 amp dedicated line
Shunyata SR71 AC duplex.
Acoustic Revive RR77
Mapleshade speaker stands - 4", rosewood, brass carpet piercing footers.
Mapleshade Micropoint brass footers
Audio Advisor brass Sonic Saucers for footers