Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Sound Science › Audiophile component rack
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Audiophile component rack

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

I have seen arguments on the audibility of lots of different things. From cables, power cords, DACs, amps, etc. I wanna know if anyone here believes in the type of rack you use making things sound better. I mentioned this in a locked thread, but it never really went too far. I want to get some more info on what people here think(believe/know)

 

Here is an excerpt from a review of a component rack:

 

 

Sound

The 3-Shelf Extra-Wide Equipment Rack brought clarity and definition to the upper registers. The decays of cymbal and piano notes sounded more realistic. I could hear this, for example, with Count Basie’s "One O’Clock Jump," an instrumental that appears on Sinatra at the Sands [DVD-A, Reprise R9 73777]. These instruments had never sounded so "right" and natural.

 

Similarly, bass was tighter and more defined with the Blinn. It seemed as if my system was delivering more low-level information. The bass notes became spongy. This was aptly demonstrated by Yes’sFragile [DVD-A, Elektra/Rhino R9 78249]. One track, "The Fish (Schindleria praematurus)," is a showcase for the very substantial talents of bassist Chris Squire. Previously, his prodigious bass notes had sounded somewhat blurred through my system. With the Blinn rack, however, those same notes had sonically visible contours, nooks, and crannies that reminded me of a sponge.

 

But even as detail improved, I also heard more low-level slam. The DTS soundtrack of Toy Story 2 is fantastic. Particularly noteworthy is chapter 2, the film’s first scene, which takes place inside an animated video game being played by the movies’ animated characters. When the game’s Buzz Lightyear battles the alien robots, there are plenty of low-frequency explosions. With the Blinn, these explosions were bigger, had more impact, and were definitely crisper than before.

Soundstages were now more three-dimensional, and the music sounded more relaxed and effortless. Because the notes themselves now had more integrity, the silences between them were also more defined. I heard some improvements in the midrange, though not nearly as dramatic as the improvements in the bass and highs.

 

I’d experienced similar sorts of isolation-based improvements in the past, when I added to my system Black Diamond Racing’s pucks and cones, as well as various isolation bases and mass-loading Rocks from Bright Star Audio. With the Blinn rack, however, I was noticing them again, and further improving my system’s already heightened performance. It occurred to me that getting a good rack should have been the first step I took toward the promised land of resonance-free sound, not the last.

But while I’ve experienced substantial sonic gains by using isolation devices in my system, at least one audiophile friend has not shared this experience. His system is in the basement of his suburban house; I live on a high floor of a tall city building. He believes that buildings such as mine vibrate like giant tuning forks, and thus are far more compromised by resonances; in short, an isolating rack such as the Blinn has a lot of material to work with. This may be something to bear in mind, though I suspect that virtually everyone can benefit, to at least some degree, from reducing resonances in their audio/video systems.

 

The Blinn rack bettered my DIY rack by a wide margin, which didn’t surprise me. While at one point IKEA’s tables may have been made of solid wood, they are now hollow and made of particleboard. I suppose that, with a little effort and rudimentary carpentry skills, they could be filled with sand and/or lead shot to improve their resonance-absorbing qualities. But while I feel that a DIY rack remains a good choice for someone on a limited budget, mine never stood a fighting chance against a rack of such superior materials, craftsmanship, and design as the Blinn.

 

http://www.hometheatersound.com/equipment/steve_blinn_designs_3_shelf.htm

post #2 of 17

I want some of whatever that dude is smoking.

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by billybob_jcv View Post

I want some of whatever that dude is smoking.

 

 

Me too. I am actually in an e-mail discussion with him about that review. I am trying to figure out how he came about the findings he did. I don't understand them at all. I told him the only way I see a rack making a significant difference in sound, it would be for the worst, and not the better as it may mess with the acoustics of the room. 

post #4 of 17

Whatever it is make mine a double.

 

What happened to just saying that this is really a nice piece of furniture worth X amount of dollars.  

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by billybob_jcv View Post

I want some of whatever that dude is smoking.

post #5 of 17

Sure, the review is silly. But it does look like a nice equipment rack. Solid maple, adjustable shelves, good build quality. $1.5k is pricy, but nothing too outrageous. Furniture is not something I like to cheap out on personally.

 

I certainly wouldn't buy it for the "tighter bass" or "three-dimensional soundstage" though.

post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by OJNeg View Post

Sure, the review is silly. But it does look like a nice equipment rack. Solid maple, adjustable shelves, good build quality. $1.5k is pricy, but nothing too outrageous. Furniture is not something I like to cheap out on personally.

 

I certainly wouldn't buy it for the "tighter bass" or "three-dimensional soundstage" though.

 

I am not questioning if it is nice or not. I think it is nice too, and know furniture can be pricey. I'm honestly baffled that someone can say it improves the music as much as he claimed. I don't think he is being dishonest on purpose, but I don't think his claims are true. It is stuff like that, that makes people look at audiophiles sideways. 

post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmars78 View Post

 

 

Me too. I am actually in an e-mail discussion with him about that review. I am trying to figure out how he came about the findings he did. I don't understand them at all. I told him the only way I see a rack making a significant difference in sound, it would be for the worst, and not the better as it may mess with the acoustics of the room. 

 

I am sorry to say you are wasting your time.

 

You will get "I know what I heard" - "I know it sounds better"  "I remember what it sounded like before" and variations such as "I trust my ears" "I don't need to measure it" . You might also get some stuff about vibration - which might be reasonable for tutntables which suffer if they are shaken - but for solid state kit is highly dubious.

 

What you will not get is any sensible controlled unbiased comparison or measurements of any effects

post #8 of 17

If you do a google on Mr. Howard Kneller (the reviewer) you find that he is all over the audiophile sites extolling the wonderful qualities of a wide array of exotic gear, and his reviews are posted on the web sites of all the mfrs of that same gear.  I have to give the guy credit - he has managed to create a niche for himself that allows him to use very high dollar gear for free, and in return, all he has to do is wax poetically at maximum verbosity.  Seems like good work if you can get it...

post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_charles View Post

 

I am sorry to say you are wasting your time.

 

You will get "I know what I heard" - "I know it sounds better"  "I remember what it sounded like before" and variations such as "I trust my ears" "I don't need to measure it" . You might also get some stuff about vibration - which might be reasonable for tutntables which suffer if they are shaken - but for solid state kit is highly dubious.

 

What you will not get is any sensible controlled unbiased comparison or measurements of any effects

 

 

Which is pretty much all I have gotten from him. I tried to speak logically and sensibly to him, but it seems that does absolutely nothing. 

post #10 of 17

"Soundstages were now more three-dimensional, and the music sounded more relaxed and effortless. Because the notes themselves now had more integrity, the silences between them were also more defined."

__________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

bsflag.gif

post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfoclt View Post

"Soundstages were now more three-dimensional, and the music sounded more relaxed and effortless. Because the notes themselves now had more integrity, the silences between them were also more defined."

__________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

bsflag.gif

Bachelor of Science to back it up.

post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmars78 View Post

 

I am not questioning if it is nice or not. I think it is nice too, and know furniture can be pricey. I'm honestly baffled that someone can say it improves the music as much as he claimed. I don't think he is being dishonest on purpose, but I don't think his claims are true. It is stuff like that, that makes people look at audiophiles sideways. 

 

I agree completely. It's these kind of reviews that discredit the audio hobby. I feel as if there's a stigma attached to being an "audiophile". As if all audiophiles are shut-ins who spend their time listening for minute differences between cables and then dropping a few grand on a magic stone that "improves" the soundstage. I don't consider myself an "audiophile" because of the baggage of being associated with the snake-oil out there.

post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by billybob_jcv View Post

If you do a google on Mr. Howard Kneller (the reviewer) you find that he is all over the audiophile sites extolling the wonderful qualities of a wide array of exotic gear, and his reviews are posted on the web sites of all the mfrs of that same gear.  I have to give the guy credit - he has managed to create a niche for himself that allows him to use very high dollar gear for free, and in return, all he has to do is wax poetically at maximum verbosity.  Seems like good work if you can get it...

 

I've just started to read some of his other reviews, and all I can say is.....WOW! I am reading one on some interconnect and speaker cells(whatever they are), and he claims that they turn a poor recording into a great recording. So apparently these things actually remaster albums on the fly while you are listening to them. I thought his rack review was a piece of work, but this review takes the cake.

 

The Cells made even slipshod recordings sound good. Not long ago, I bought a copy of Alicia Keys’ The Element of Freedom (CD, J-Records 46571-2) because I liked the song "Empire State of Mind." As I’d feared, the album’s sound quality left much to be desired. But with the Cells in place, acoustic piano notes lost their hard edge and displayed, for the first time, significant attack, sustain, and decay, and I could hear in Keys’ voice a deep, raspy texture that had previously been masked.

 

http://www.ultraaudio.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=73:synergistic-research-galileo-universal-interconnect-cells-galileo-universal-speaker-cells-galileo-mini-power-couplers&catid=37:full-length-reviews&Itemid=2

post #14 of 17

I was going to say something about the company that makes those boxes and cables, but I think I'll just keep it to myself.  The more I read, the more I realized I just shouldn't go there.

post #15 of 17

What are these Cells things?

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Sound Science
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Sound Science › Audiophile component rack