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The Ikea Lack-Rack thread - Page 2

post #16 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thaddy
That's the idea! But mine won't be quite the same. I just got done cutting the legs, and I'm assembling the tables now. I cut 5 inches off of all the legs (unfortunately mine are hollow ) and will just be stacking the 3 tables on top of each other. I'm sure some day I'll add another table-top for my power conditioner on the bottom.
Hollow legs! Awesome!
You can route cables through them. I might have to drop by ikea afterall.
post #17 of 49
Now you got me started....do you know if they are available in a walnut veneer?
post #18 of 49
Ikea has some great stuff. I try to visit the Ikea on Long Island whenever I'm in the area. As for an alternative to the Lack table rack, I found a great rack at Target that comes in either cherry/caramel or black. It has very nice glass shelves as well. I just bought a second one last night. Here is a picture:

and here is a link to find it on their website:http://www.target.com/gp/detail.html...sin=B000DT7DG2

I think for $110 it is very well made and requires no modifications. Each shelf has three positions so you should be able to fit any component you'd like. I thought I'd share this other option with everyone.
-Steve
post #19 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by sjt78
Ikea has some great stuff. I try to visit the Ikea on Long Island whenever I'm in the area. As for an alternative to the Lack table rack, I found a great rack at Target that comes in either cherry/caramel or black. It has very nice glass shelves as well. I just bought a second one last night. Here is a picture:

and here is a link to find it on their website:http://www.target.com/gp/detail.html...sin=B000DT7DG2

I think for $110 it is very well made and requires no modifications. Each shelf has three positions so you should be able to fit any component you'd like. I thought I'd share this other option with everyone.
-Steve
That's a great buy for headphone users. But if you use speakers, I would try to avoid glass shelves, especially thin ones like those. Both MDF and glass sound similarly sub-optimal in speaker-based systems. Compared to Lack shelves (or my Neuance shelves), glass tends to sound bright and thin. MDF tends to deaden the sound while hardening the upper-mids..

Quick and dirty way to predict what a certain shelf will sound like in speaker systems is to hit it with a mallet or even knuckle. The sound of 'thwack' you hear will surprisingly resemble the sound signature you will hear from your speakers...
post #20 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon L
Both MDF and glass sound similarly sub-optimal in speaker-based systems. Compared to Lack shelves (or my Neuance shelves), glass tends to sound bright and thin. MDF tends to deaden the sound while hardening the upper-mids..
I don't understand your comment about MDF. Didn't you praises the Lack rack for speakers just a couple posts ago? All the Lacks are made of is veneered particle board, which is even less dense than MDF.
post #21 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thaddy
unfortunately mine are hollow
Interesting...I started building one a few months ago and the legs are solid. I've heard Ikea uses different factories to build their stuff, and certain things vary. If you still have your Lack boxes, take a look and see where yours were made. Mine are from Poland, with the Birch finish.
post #22 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon L
That's a great buy for headphone users. But if you use speakers, I would try to avoid glass shelves, especially thin ones like those. Both MDF and glass sound similarly sub-optimal in speaker-based systems. Compared to Lack shelves (or my Neuance shelves), glass tends to sound bright and thin. MDF tends to deaden the sound while hardening the upper-mids..

Quick and dirty way to predict what a certain shelf will sound like in speaker systems is to hit it with a mallet or even knuckle. The sound of 'thwack' you hear will surprisingly resemble the sound signature you will hear from your speakers...
Jon,
How does the material of the shelf affect the sound? I can see if I were putting speakers on thin glass shelves how they would vibrate and not sound good, but for components? I'm not sure I believe that. How about 1" thick glass, would that sound different than 1" MDF or 1" hard wood? Not that I'm saying I wouldn't like thicker glass shelves to come with the Target audio rack, but I'm not convinced it is degrading the sound.
-Steve
post #23 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanY
I don't understand your comment about MDF. Didn't you praises the Lack rack for speakers just a couple posts ago? All the Lacks are made of is veneered particle board, which is even less dense than MDF.
actually the lack tables that earned them their reputation alittle while back were some sort of honeycomb core.

to briefly answer the question regarding material selection, a speaker creates noise (esp bass) by moving air, when that happens there is a small shockwave that the component rack must neutralize or the vibration will continue into the cd player/amp and affect the sound. different materials have different talents
post #24 of 49
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by clarke68
Interesting...I started building one a few months ago and the legs are solid. I've heard Ikea uses different factories to build their stuff, and certain things vary. If you still have your Lack boxes, take a look and see where yours were made. Mine are from Poland, with the Birch finish.
Mine actually can shrinkwrapped in clear plastic. No box!
post #25 of 49
Very nice Thaddy. I have one lack table also but I use it for what it's meant to be used.
post #26 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by sjt78
Jon,
How does the material of the shelf affect the sound? I can see if I were putting speakers on thin glass shelves how they would vibrate and not sound good, but for components? I'm not sure I believe that. How about 1" thick glass, would that sound different than 1" MDF or 1" hard wood? Not that I'm saying I wouldn't like thicker glass shelves to come with the Target audio rack, but I'm not convinced it is degrading the sound.
-Steve

believe it or not your equipment has a similar issue as your speakers do (not as extreme albeit)...especially tubed gear. look on any audio site...they all spend significant pages devoted to isolation...every material (glass, wood, mdf) has different resonant properties and will change sound somewhat...tighten loosen bass (slightly), round off a bright top end, add clarity, etc....

do an experiment...put wood under a component (make sure it is one piece and not spererate wood for each leg...and the thicker the better)...first listen to a familiar disc as is...then add the other material and listen again...you may notice immediate change or possibly less fatigue over time...or nothing at all...everything is component/system dependent.
post #27 of 49
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jumping jupiters
believe it or not your equipment has a similar issue as your speakers do (not as extreme albeit)...especially tubed gear. look on any audio site...they all spend significant pages devoted to isolation...every material (glass, wood, mdf) has different resonant properties and will change sound somewhat...tighten loosen bass (slightly), round off a bright top end, add clarity, etc....

do an experiment...put wood under a component (make sure it is one piece and not spererate wood for each leg...and the thicker the better)...first listen to a familiar disc as is...then add the other material and listen again...you may notice immediate change or possibly less fatigue over time...or nothing at all...everything is component/system dependent.
Just because many audio sites have sections dedicated to isolation does not mean it's a legit way to tweak and change the sound of your system.

Do not turn this thread into a debate about which material sounds better. Personally, I think it's a bunch of bull****. If you don't like the way your system sounds, then get different speakers/CDP/amps etc... Either way, this thread is for budget audio racks, especially the Lack tables.
post #28 of 49
Just in case anyone missed it, the original plan/design for the Ikea Lack Rack is here, as posted by Ken Lyon. Ken runs a company called Neuance, which makes highly-regarded (and expensive) audio racks, and he found that the Ikea tables are similar in construction to his, and so they "work" on the same principle.

I haven't personally experienced the dramatic improvements some people talk about with different shelf/platform materials, but (as Thaddy mentioned just above) the Lack tables do the job, and look great considering the price and ease of construction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon L
That's a great buy for headphone users. But if you use speakers, I would try to avoid glass shelves, especially thin ones like those. Both MDF and glass sound similarly sub-optimal in speaker-based systems. Compared to Lack shelves (or my Neuance shelves), glass tends to sound bright and thin.
Like I said, I haven't experienced any consistent "sound" of different shelf materials, but there are more practical & obvious things to consider with speaker systems. We have a china cabinet with thin glass shelves in my 2-channel listening room (read: our living room), and when the bass gets going, the shelves rattle & buzz horrifically.
post #29 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thaddy
Just because many audio sites have sections dedicated to isolation does not mean it's a legit way to tweak and change the sound of your system.
Many people make a lot of money with isolation

The issue is: It may or may not make a difference, and if it does results may vary a lot. You have to try things with your personal setup in order to get valid resulty, everything else is pretty pointless.

Tose LACK setups look really sweet. I have a more self-made setup created from other, non-LACK IKEA boards


that made everything sound terrible until I tweaked it with Pandafeet.
post #30 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by sjt78
Jon,
How does the material of the shelf affect the sound? I can see if I were putting speakers on thin glass shelves how they would vibrate and not sound good, but for components? I'm not sure I believe that. How about 1" thick glass, would that sound different than 1" MDF or 1" hard wood? Not that I'm saying I wouldn't like thicker glass shelves to come with the Target audio rack, but I'm not convinced it is degrading the sound.
-Steve
This is really a huge topic, admittedly controversial. My approach is this. Once again, the effects will be much more important in speaker systems due to speaker-induced vibrations and room vibrations.

Various gear will have varying susceptibility to vibrations and resonance. Gear with less moving parts, more robust enclosure/construction will be affected less. CDP in general will be most affected, especially if using the typical cheap, flimsy sheet-metal most cheap gear uses. Clocks and digital chips widely in use today are very susceptible to vibrations. A room that is constructed from wood/plaster will be more affected than concrete rooms.

A given gear, let's say a CDP, is under attack from 4 sources of vibration/resonance:

1) Floor-born vibration--speaker/room vibration will be transmitted to the gear straight through the audio rack. This is probably the main reason better racks like Lack make the most difference. Some believe the very low frequency resonance from the earth itself affect sensitive gear. Denser material such as steel is not necessarily better b/c they tend to better transmit the floor vibration to the gear (bad). Something like Lack, by virtue of its multi-layer low-energy-storing design, dissipates more of the floor vibration before it hits the gear.

2) Air-born vibration--the more air speaker can move, the worse this affect. When air-born vibrations hits the CDP, that vibrational/resonance energy will both stay in the CDP and dissipate through its feet to the shelf/rack. The more energy that stays in the CDP and affects the delicate chips, transport mechanism, etc, the worse the affect. Designs such as Lack increases the portion of energy that's dissipated through the shelf/rack (good). A MDF shelf or glass tends to receive the energy, but they are not as good as dissipating that energy away. Instead, MDF/glass can even spit back the vibration energy into the gear it's sitting on.

3) Cable-born vibration--those stiff audiophile interconnects, speaker cables, power cords can transmit vibration from speakers/air/room right back into the gear. It is my belief this is part of the reason why the external jacket of cable alone can make some difference in sound by their damping properties, both for electrical signal going towards speakers and mechanical vibration coming back to the gear.

4) Internal vibration--in the case of CDP, the rapid motor mechanism, vibration of the CD/transport generate self-vibration that has to stay inside the CDP or be dissipated outside. Even gear without "moving parts" actually do have a lot of low-level and/or microscopic vibrations. All those transformers all have varying amounts of vibrations as well as low-level 60Hz hum that permeates everything. Various strategies to drain away these self-vibrations, including Lack, will be important especially in headphone systems, where the bigger speaker-affects are absent, unmasking the problems that are usually masked by speaker/room vibrations.

That is how I digest the various theories I've read about or experienced by trying various strategies. And I'm sticking by it
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