Well, the last of the shelves for my AudiAV Zirconia rack showed up today. Now all my stuff is nicely separated and protected from the evil of vibration, subsonics, EMF, RFI and the scourge of gremlin activity. Okay, that last one is still a bit iffy.
I opted for the 3-layer Master Signature platforms for my turntable, phono and DAC. The other shelves are all 2-layer Signature platforms. All material is “Composite” as opposed to wood (warps) or granite (rings). All of the platforms are the same size (23″ x 22″), except the turntable platform, which is 24″ square — that ‘table is big.
With AudiAV, the name of the game is de-coupling, so I opted for the standard “slider” feet instead of some carpet spikes. The whole thing weighs a couple hundred pounds, but when I remove the platforms, I can slide the frame around, which was handy for initial positioning.
The shelves are all fully “infinitely adjustable” — which is good and bad. Good in that I can vary the shelving however I want but bad in that it’s a total PITA getting the shelves level. Gotta love your bubble level. Anyway, the mechanism for locking a shelf strut is very robust and I have absolutely no fear that a shelf will pop loose and dump gear all over.
Whether or not I “hear” a difference with or without the rack is absurdly hard to answer. I’d have to set up everything somewhere else, listen to it, and then reassemble it and listen again. Assuming I didn’t fuck something up that requires troubleshooting, there’s the hour it takes to re-construct the gear into the rack, which is sweaty, heavy and painstaking work, so by the time I cue up the record again, who the fuck knows what’s the same and what’s not. Whatever.
I will say that I think that there’s a lot that can be said and then done about “environmental pollution”, so I guess you could say that I’m a believer that a good quality, dedicated a/v rack is a very good idea.
If you look closely, you’ll see that there’s footers still on a lot of the gear. Are they necessary? Probably not. At this point, the only thing that’s really having an impact is chassis-damping and/or tuning, so my Stillpoints are probably not doing anything. My Edensound and Waipuna Sound Myrtlewood footers are likewise probably not effective. Who knows if the Synergistic MiGs ever did anything. But the Herbies that I have under the motor controller for the turntable not only isolate it from the Mac that shares it’s shelf, they’re also squishy enough to damp the chassis too. I suspect that Black Ravioli footers would be a significantly more effective in a situation like this (they tend to be bigger and touch more of the chassis at one time), but I don’t have any to try, so that’s that.
So, here’s what I have on my new 8-shelf rack:
- Top shelf, left: MacBook Pro and TW Acustic Raven AC motor controller
- 2nd shelf, left: External Firewire hard drive for music server and Berkeley Alpha USB
- 3rd shelf, left: Plinius Tautoro preamp
- Bottom shelf, left: Shunyata Hydra Triton
- Top right: TW Acustic Raven AC-3 turntable
- 2nd shelf, right: TW Acustic Raven phono preamp
- 3rd shelf, right: Berkeley Alpha DAC Series 2
- Bottom shelf, right: Accuphase DP-85 SACD player
I ordered and still need some side kits for EMF protection, but they’re hardly critical. Other than those, however, the rack is complete. I think it’s pretty snazzy, actually, and I like the way it matches my speakers! LOL. That’s sad, I know. Oh well.