I LIKE THE HONESTY OF THIS ARTICLE SO I HAVE POSTED IT WITH PERMISSION FROM LAVARDIN.
What is the best rack to put under an amplifier?
A platform for audio components should firstly support the component stably and secondly be itself as neutral as possible.
For this reason, placing components on resonating materials seems like a really bad idea. Some materials which at first may not be suspected of resonating do in fact do so much more than expected: glass, marble, even granite and all minerals and metals have very poor self damping properties and allow vibrations to be stored, amplified and sent back to the component.
The ultimate material is wood. Wood is made of random fibres that conduct energy and reduce it when energy has to pass from one fibre to another. Moreover, plywood behaves much better than solid wood because of its thin crossed layers that allow a maximum dispersal of energy. Chipboard and “medite” powdered wood do not spread energy because they lose the fibrous structure of real wood.
For these reasons, avoid any stand made completely or partially with:
– Minerals, glass, marble, granite, ceramic: dry sound, too much treble, loss of nuances.
– Carbon fibre, compounds, polyester, etc: as above.
– Metal, steel, aluminium, …. loss of nuances, aggressive sound.
– Pressed wood and medite: loss of detail and nuances.
– Solid wood: expensive and not as good as plywood : simplified music, loss of nuances.
– Springs, rubbers, magnets, air chambers: loss of treble, detail and nuances.
From our point of view, combining minerals with metal, rubber and everything else, is not a demonstration of know-how…
As soon as the life of the music is killed by poor sounding audio racks, tonal balance remains the only thing to discuss, sadly…
If you have a solid, well-built, heavy piece of wood furniture supporting your equipment, it has a good chance of sounding far better than most of the Super High Tech Space or Formula One technology ( ! ) options available on the market.
Furthermore, you can add a thick board of plywood under each component for even better results….