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Support Furniture for your Hi-Fi - a critical consideration ??

Discussion in 'audio' started by beammeup, Nov 4, 2019.

  1. beammeup

    beammeup pfm Member

    I'm not talking turntables - that's obvious - I'm talking solid state electronics like DACs.

    Recently I had a complete surprise in the process of experimenting with different DACs; my little Starting Point Systems DAC 3 sounds far better when resting on top of an old Arcam Black Box 1 which in turn sits on sorbothane feet - than when resting on the wooden shelf of my Hi-Fi rack directly?

    The differences where repeatable and profound!

    This leads me to the conclusion that support furniture can be essential in getting the most out of your equipment, so I'm taking no chances and going to order a new Hi-Fi rack!

    I really didn't want to believe it - but it's true. It makes be wonder how good my other kit could sound with decent support underneath! I found all this out by accident!
    GruntPuppy and Sue Pertwee-Tyr like this.
  2. tuga

    tuga European

    Have you complained to the manufacturer? :p

    If you plan on taking it further you may find this write up interesting: http://www.barrydiamentaudio.com/vibration.htm
  3. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr pfm Member

    Yes, welcome to the club!

    Before you commit to anything, check out supports with different shelf materials. I’d suggest avoiding glass, but wood or acrylic are worth experimenting with.
    No idea where you’re based, but if anywhere near Manchester, The AudioWorks has some very interesting options.
  4. manicatel

    manicatel pfm Member

    A bit divisive, this one.
    As you say, turntables & valve amps, easy to imagine how decent support/isolation can help.
    But with solid state & digital gear, it’s more tricky to envisage how different supports would benefit.
    The wood sounds warmer, glass sounds more brittle is a bit too convenient for me.
    However, many people swear that good quality Hifi specific furniture will sound better than any old table from Ikea.
    I put this in a similar category to cables, mains cables etc, in that any differences are not going to be night & day, “another veil lifted” etc etc. but more subtle than that. The icing sugar on the cherry on the cake.
    So yes, worth spending some time & money on, but keep expectations realistic.
    YNWOAN likes this.
  5. realysm42

    realysm42 reMember

    I can relate to this. I had a Blok three tier glass and mdf unit and it was ‘fine’. I then moved to an all ‘tonewood’ (Australian Blackwood) unit, with matching platforms for everything and I was surprised to hear a difference in sound.

    I got it built for aesthetics and ease of use (plenty of space for each component etc). When I turned it back on, everything sounded more open and had a more organic quality - very strange.
    pjdowns likes this.
  6. booja30

    booja30 pfm Member

  7. Bob McC

    Bob McC Living the life of Riley

    A lot of very experienced members on here have been down the route of fancy stands and concluded it was bunkum.
    Just look at the HiFi pictures thread in the audio forum.
    Not much foo in there.
    narabdela and Wilson like this.
  8. robbyd

    robbyd pfm Member

    The effects of sprung isolation under my ss amps is pretty clear to hear
  9. booja30

    booja30 pfm Member

    More bouncy?
    narabdela likes this.
  10. kensalriser

    kensalriser Active Member

    I'm sceptical about all foo. The placebo effect however is well documented and can be very powerful.

    That said, glass shelving always struck me as a strange idea for hifi equipment.
    narabdela and Wilson like this.
  11. realysm42

    realysm42 reMember

    I have also found RDC very effective for my whole system, even under my book shelves.

    They bring clarity and a solid foundation to the sound, without making it hard / harsh. I’m sure other solutions are even better, but I just can’t justify the extra expenditure in that area.
    RichShortland likes this.
  12. uncl_nigel

    uncl_nigel pfm Member

    I have a very expensive power amp with a couple of 6SN7 valves in it on a glass shelf in an Atacama Equinox rack...

    It still sounds pretty marvelous.

    That said, I have various Mission Isoplats, bamboo platforms, Audiophile Base shelves under most of the other boxes. This is more a case of using what I have accumulated than one of being convinced after comparative listening I just cannot be bothered to undertake...
  13. Darren L

    Darren L pfm Member

    Well yes & no, I chose and specified a piece of furniture from https://www.hokusaifurniture.co that kind of looks like a piece of furniture, made out of solid walnut, capable of supporting heavy pieces of equipment, the correct height for cueing the tonearm and with adequate shelving space for the rest of the system, the shelves are made from birch ply, cork with a (non marking ) Richlite top surface, these are supported by sorbothane.
    It's a beautifully made piece of furniture and ticks all my boxes. I personally have always found different supports, footers and shelf materials to effect the sound.
  14. rough edges

    rough edges pfm Member

    In my experience, isolation/vibration control devices work well with turntables, cd players, valve phono stages, and (some/most) speakers. The rest is just for show.
    Like most things in life...
  15. lazycat

    lazycat pfm Member

    True about the glass but when I moved my system from a big lump of glass/steel to a light wooden table it sounded broken.

    Big lump restored.The SL1210 prefers some weight.
  16. GruntPuppy

    GruntPuppy Well-Known Member

    I stuck some sorbothane feet on the bottom of a beresford dac many moons ago - and was horrified to find that it made a difference. I'm scared to try different interconnects and speaker wires, because they obviously all do the same job and sound the same, right?
  17. monya

    monya pfm Member

    Cork mats are an easy try out. You may be surprised.
  18. Richard Lines

    Richard Lines pfm Member

    It has been suggested previously that changing your shelving involves unplugging and he re-plugging all your interconnects so how can you distinguish as to whether it is the shelving change or re-making the cables is what you're hearing.


    Last edited: Nov 5, 2019
  19. Caledon1297

    Caledon1297 pfm Member

    ^ By unplugging/re-plugging a few times to ensure plugs/sockets are clean, and have a listen, then make the rack switch, and listen again?
  20. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr pfm Member

    well, the traditional way would be to reverse the process and see if the improvement disappears. If so, then its not the remaking of connections, because you still have the benefit of having done that.

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