HiFi Racks

HenryHonda

Active Member
Firstly, I do not want to get into heated discussions re 'snake oil' when it comes to different designs of HiFi racks :rolleyes:

I'm about to augment my existing system with a high quality streaming transport which incorporates dual 'Femto Clocks' - which are said to be rather sensitive to vibration. It got me thinking about improving my current rack - an old steel and glass Soundstyle rack of some vintage:

Rack2.jpg


I've read enough recently to know that glass and steel are perhaps not the best materials of construction - due to the frequency bands in which they can resonate, and their ability to transmit energy.

My current rack sits on the concrete floor via carpet-piercing spikes.

I've been looking at two ranges of products - the HiFi Racks 'Podium Reference' range, and the Atacama 'Evoque Eco SE2' range. The former uses bonded staves of Oak for the shelves, solid oak legs, and spikes which connect to the shelf below. The latter uses bonded staves of bamboo for the shelves, supported by a somewhat complex leg arrangement - tubular aluminium legs, 'tuneable' interior torsion bars, isolating grommets and spikes.

Reading the Atacama technical blurb had me thinking that the complex leg structure was trying to overcome the problems caused by tubular metal legs in the first place! They also rout a pattern of channels on the underside of each shelf to dissipate unwanted resonances. They also claim that the open cell structure of bamboo causes less resonances in the critical frequency bands...

HiFi Racks appear to be more aesthetics oriented (they do look good) and also claim that the natural resonances of hardwood (I would go for oak) also offer good control/dissipation.

In both cases. the spiked legs of each shelf are intended to dissipate energy down to the floor.

Now, although I'm a retired scientist, I am not a physicist - and all these claims made by the manufacturers could be just marketing hype... Also, racks are not the type of thing typically available for home audition :rolleyes:

You can read any number of glowing reports from owners of both types of rack on how they have positively improved imaging and sound quality in general but, then... I also read a really damning report on the Naim owners' forum on how a HiFi Racks Podium Slimline had resulted in an awful deterioration in sound quality :eek:

What are your experiences of these products? They are a significant investment, and I certainly don't want to downgrade the SQ of my system...:confused:
 
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gibbsy

Moderator
I'll not comment on how they improve sound or any other claim made by HiFi Racks but just mentioned the quality of the build and wood used. I had them to make me a bespoke bridge to go over my centre speaker that holds my 65'' TV. It's a first class product and the wood is beautiful. As much a piece of furniture as a functional bit of equipment.

You would have no doubt about the actual product. Acoustic claims then if you buy one you can let us know.
 

HenryHonda

Active Member
It's a first class product and the wood is beautiful. As much a piece of furniture as a functional bit of equipment.
Thanks Gibbsy, yes - I have a HiFi Racks product already, albeit a small one, an oak headphone stand. Even that is finished impeccably... I have no doubts about the quality of construction.

However, I'm more concerned about how various designs can affect sound quality...

In the circumstances, you can't beat owners personal experiences...
 

simonldt

Active Member
I would just go with something that you like the look of and the correct size for your gear.

Definitely stick to wood though and avoid glass or steel. I use Sorbothane domes under all my equipment, that will absorb any vibration.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
I'm always a bit sceptical about stands being able to improve audio. I have all my kit on shelves in a cabinet. Keeping wires out of sight and stopping dust has always been my priority. I think keeping electrical equipment apart and free of interference is just as important as is adequate ventilation.

One day I'm going to look behind my cabinet just to see how bit the spiders have grown.
 

HenryHonda

Active Member
One day I'm going to look behind my cabinet just to see how bit the spiders have grown.
Yes, this is my A/V cabinet that a local furniture craftsman made to my design in oak from a local forest. The back is fully open for access to cables, and for cooling - but I disassemble the whole lot two or three times a year for a thorough vacuum and clean (got to get the beasties out ;)).

20200707_173938.jpg
 

HenryHonda

Active Member
Well, after a few days researching wood and structural resonances and exchanging emails with HiFi Racks and Atacama, I went to my friendly local dealer this afternoon, checked out the HiFi Racks Podium Reference, and ordered a 6 shelf unit in oak. Current delivery times are 3-4 weeks, as they are all made to order - even standard sizes. The HFR units certainly have more of the WAF factor than the Atacama Evoques.

Certainly, if HFR manufactured in bamboo, it would have been an easier decision.

Will report back in due course :cool:
 

IWC Dopplel

Well-known Member
I think they are quite expensive but the flexibility is great. I’ve rearranged my racking yet again ordered a set of legs at the right length and I have a ‘new’ made to measure racking set up. These were bought in 2009, I like the fact that they can be altered and rebuilt easily

272C4D33-93D1-408D-88E3-41DC7A00B33E.jpeg
 

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