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Caintuck low boy stealth room (Read 1299 times)
Randy in Caintuck
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Caintuck low boy stealth room
06/01/17 at 02:32:10
 

A few days ago, I visited my buddy Rob in Columbus, Ohio and we spent several hours enjoying music in his listening room. Rob had made some changes since the last time I was there and his equipment was now sitting on an audio rack that was very low to the ground.

The more I listened, the better everything sounded and I concluded that the system sounded quite a bit better than it did on my previous visits. The only thing different was the new equipment rack.

At first, I thought that it was just a visual thing, but even with my eyes closed the sound was very impressive and different than I remembered experiencing in this room.

So ..... a couple of days after I returned home, I decided to build a minimalist "low boy" equipment rack 21" tall that would just accommodate my audio gear.

For the past few weeks, I have been listening to a pair of ebony Betsy baffles and a pair of ebony Alpha 12" bass baffles firing 90 degrees in relation to the main speakers ..... so I decided to make the equipment rack ebony as well to follow through on the "stealth" theme.



Larger photo here.

The sound is superb and the equipment just totally gets out of the way of the musical performance. I'm just guessing, but I think that for the same reason that the low profile of the Betsy baffles allows the music to "float" above them with nothing "solid" in the way ..... the low profile of the equipment rack does pretty much the same thing.

A space for the Crown amp was provided on the lower left so I can either run the bass baffles "passive" or drive them with the Crown.

I think that Darth Vader would approve of the setup .....

Happy listening,
Randy
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« Last Edit: 06/01/17 at 02:32:24 by Randy in Caintuck »  

CEC TL5N belt drive CD transport
Camelot Uther / Anagram DAC
U-Turn Audio Orbit Plus turntable
AudioQuest DragonFly Red USB DAC / tablet
Decware Model SE84UFO amplifier
Caintuck Audio Betsy Open Baffles and Alpha bass baffles
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maddog07
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Re: Caintuck low boy stealth room
Reply #1 - 06/01/17 at 19:58:11
 
Hi Randy,

I agree, if nothing else... at a minimum it's psychoacoustic to have as little as possible between the speakers - or it is for me.  

I like/use some "modular" racks from Sanus that have steel pipe between shelves with threaded steel rod running through the centers of the pipe and thru the shelves with caps on the top, short feet on the bottom, so the whole thing "compresses" together when you tighten up the pipe sections - they are very rigid.  I use 9 inch pipe on the bottom between the bottom and middle shelf and 7 inch between the middle and top shelves, feet are about 3 inches, so the whole rack is about 20 inches tall.  I have the 48" wide version - it uses six uprights, one each corner, plus one in the middle front and back.  
To the rack shelves, I then cover with 3/8" think cork from Bangor Cork which you can buy in bulk in a roll for reasonable $$$.  And then on top of the cork shelf mats, for some components I place additional types of foam/sorbothane/Navcom homebrew dampening pads, which the components then sit on.

Sanus no longer offers the particular style rack I have, but I think the older model I have is better than the newer model they offer now called the "Euro rack" though they are very similar:
http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=SAKEUROA

My racks are this "style" -->
https://www.amazon.com/Sanus-Systems-AFA-Accurate-Furniture/dp/B00004U8A0/ref=sr...
only the model I have is 48" wide and only 3 shelves high.  My posts are also a medium gray color, kind of metallic, as opposed to the chrome shown in the link.  Sanus also offered the posts in black at one time I believe.  I think they're pretty hard to beat for the $$.  Nothing scientific, but using the "light touch" method I can not sense any vibes and they will support a lot of weight... I've even stood on mine before with no adverse effect - and you've met me - I'm not a small guy!!!

It is on my "to do" list to someday put my equipment rack along the wall between the listening position and the speakers... and have nothing between the speakers at all - lest some diffusors/absorbers on the wall behind and between.  Thus running either long interconnects to amp/amps or long speaker cables.  I have seen many an audio salon demo room setup this way - just never tried it at home.
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Decware Torii MK3, Wyred4Sound DAC2, Theta Digital Miles, Emotiva XMC-1, Emotiva XPA-5, Aesthetix Calypso, Wyred STP-SE, Martin Logan Vista, Audio Nirvana 12" Alnico's, PS Audio PW P5, Goertz, Kimber, Nordost and DIY wires, PSA pwr cords, Cary SLI-80, DM945's.....
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Randy in Caintuck
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Re: Caintuck low boy stealth room
Reply #2 - 06/02/17 at 18:13:51
 

Quote:
It is on my "to do" list to someday put my equipment rack along the wall between the listening position and the speakers... and have nothing between the speakers at all - lest some diffusors/absorbers on the wall behind and between.  Thus running either long interconnects to amp/amps or long speaker cables.  I have seen many an audio salon demo room setup this way - just never tried it at home.


Hi Mike,

Yep ..... having nothing but the speakers on the front wall has to be the best.

In the past, the thing that kept me from doing that was that all of my expensive speaker cables were only 8 feet long .....

Now that I am using my own home brew 18 gauge solid core copper wire that I twist in my cordless drill, that is no longer an issue.
My only concern now is whether longer lengths of speaker cables will have a detrimental effect on the sound.

Of course, it will be easy enough to check it out by just making some longer cables and trying them while the equipment is sitting in its current location .....

Best wishes,
Randy
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CEC TL5N belt drive CD transport
Camelot Uther / Anagram DAC
U-Turn Audio Orbit Plus turntable
AudioQuest DragonFly Red USB DAC / tablet
Decware Model SE84UFO amplifier
Caintuck Audio Betsy Open Baffles and Alpha bass baffles
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maddog07
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Re: Caintuck low boy stealth room
Reply #3 - 06/02/17 at 21:47:14
 
Yep... I've got a few home brews too... made with some solid core Teflon wire that Audio Concepts Inc. (ACI) used to sell - only 8ft though.  And I have some of the M22759/SPC 8 awg silver coated copper Teflon wire that Zen Styx are made out of also - but only 10 ft. pair.
And I don't believe any of my ready-made cables (Goertz, Nordost, Kimber) are longer than 3 meters either - might be - can't remember.

I'm going to make some copper foil DIY's from unrolled 12 awg. copper foil inductors.  I think I will try the side-by-side foil like these guys:
http://mgaudiodesign.com/speakercables.htm just to be "different" than my long-term reference Goertz cables.
I have several sets of Goertz foil cables (both copper and solid silver versions)... they stack the foil conductors for low inductance(but causes higher capacitance) instead of side-by-side.  These have been my reference for going on 15 years.  I have tried many others, and still own several others, but so far, I always come back to the Goertz.  Speed and detail without fatigue is what I hear from them with a very natural tonality overall, especially in the upper frequencies like cymbals, chimes, bells, triangles, etc.  Female voice and piano are also rendered exceptionally well to my ears.

Research seems to reveal that "thinner" is better and flat-foil is the way to get thin, while maximizing surface area and allowing sufficient awg size to keep DCR down.  I think as long as we are dealing with output transformer coupled power amps, i.e. tube amps or a McIntosh SS amp... that speaker cable length might not be as big a factor as it would be if we did not have output transformers in the signal bath.  But I could be wrong as sin about this.  Unless long cables pick up some noise, as long as the cables awg is sufficiently large to carry the current/load and has a low DCR... I wouldn't expect degradation (to a point of course).

On the contrary I have read arguments to say go with long interconnects, short speaker cables... i.e. amps close to speakers.. the rest of the equipment beside your listening chair.
I think it "all depends".  In the world of crossover-less, high-efficiency, wide-banders, where there is NO xover to literally eat the amps damping factor, current delivery and "rez"... I think we may find that long speaker cables work just fine.... Time will tell.....

On the Styx wire I put these "Furez Tensioned Split Tube Banana Plugs".  Solid copper hollow banana with a "squishy" stuff in the middle of the split tube that keeps the tube expanded and maintains high contact pressure when inserted into the binding posts.  I really like them.  They come in several different sizes to accommodate different wire size and in bare tellurium copper or silver plated form, crimp or screw connection.  
http://www.douglasconnection.com/Banana-Connectors_c11.htm
give'em a look-see... you might like!  :)

hugh... just ran across this today - haven't seen this before:
http://www.solidcoreaudio.com/doityourself.html - it's Germany... but hey it's a global economy right!
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Decware Torii MK3, Wyred4Sound DAC2, Theta Digital Miles, Emotiva XMC-1, Emotiva XPA-5, Aesthetix Calypso, Wyred STP-SE, Martin Logan Vista, Audio Nirvana 12" Alnico's, PS Audio PW P5, Goertz, Kimber, Nordost and DIY wires, PSA pwr cords, Cary SLI-80, DM945's.....
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DBC
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Re: Caintuck low boy stealth room
Reply #4 - 10/01/17 at 20:55:23
 
Interesting link regarding audio racks and potential negatives:

https://youtu.be/Or6N_E-RhXU
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Main System: Oppo BDP-105D, SE84UFO amp, Omega Super Alnico Monitors, Twin Custom SLAB 15's (Low Frequency Open Baffle).
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Randy in Caintuck
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Tube be ... or not
tube be ... it's a
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Posts: 580
Re: Caintuck low boy stealth room
Reply #5 - 10/02/17 at 14:17:57
 


Thanks for the link ..... very interesting .....  

If the conclusions reached in that video are correct, it seems like having everything sitting between the speakers as low as possible (or not existing at all) has a positive impact on the sound.

So, my ears are telling me the truth and I'm not just being deceived by my "lying eyes" and preconceived notions and opinions .....  

Happy listening,
Randy
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CEC TL5N belt drive CD transport
Camelot Uther / Anagram DAC
U-Turn Audio Orbit Plus turntable
AudioQuest DragonFly Red USB DAC / tablet
Decware Model SE84UFO amplifier
Caintuck Audio Betsy Open Baffles and Alpha bass baffles
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DBC
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Posts: 413
Re: Caintuck low boy stealth room
Reply #6 - 10/02/17 at 18:02:28
 
Randy,

I've had a minimalist system and rack as shown for a couple years now. I purchased the Mapleshade Platforms a few years back when I was having equipment rack vibration problems. Turns out the source of my problem was a pair of down-firing Subs I was using at that time. Subs were introducing vibration into the floor and this was traveling up into the rack (not to mention the surrounding walls as well). Solved the problem by placing the Subs on Isolation platforms which I now use under my Omega Monitors shown here.




Anyway yesterday I was listening and decided to dismantle the system, dust and clean all the connectors. For Grins when going back together I placed my Oppo 105 on an Identical Isolation pad as shown under the Omegas and the UFO directly on top of the Oppo to achieve the lowest profile possible. The result was not what I was expecting. Listened to the system this way for a couple of hours thinking I had done something wrong? The system had gone from Very Balanced to a bit Dry on the Low End and a somewhat Brittle on the Top End?

My 15 inch low frequency open baffles had lost some of the Low Frequency Detail / Transparency that I like so much. Bass notes that were distinct before now seemed to run together, had to strain to hear individual notes? And the Top End seemed a bit Brittle? WHAT HAD I DONE ??? This is not what I expected.

After a couple of hours I couldn't take in any more. So I put the Mapleshade Platforms back in and what a difference. Vocals, Bass Notes, Drum Attacks were once again separate and distinct with more perceived weight on the low end.

I have to admit, until yesterday I was skeptical about the lengths some go to isolate their equipment (in particular amps pre-amps and transports). Were my ears lying to me ???  Just seemed like the differences I was hearing were too obvious.

So I went back to this thread to look more closely at your new equipment rack. Did not notice this when you first posted but realize now that you have some serious isolation under your Transport and Decware Amp. So perhaps I'm not Crazy?

DBC
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Main System: Oppo BDP-105D, SE84UFO amp, Omega Super Alnico Monitors, Twin Custom SLAB 15's (Low Frequency Open Baffle).
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Lon
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Re: Caintuck low boy stealth room
Reply #7 - 10/02/17 at 18:11:20
 
You're not crazy! I have been playing with isolation for years and find it an important factor in the overall sound. I used to use 4" maple platforms. . .I started using PS Audio PowerBases and preferred them. Isolation pieces between the component and the PowerBase also.

If you're crazy, I'm crazy! (I won't speak for Randy) Wink
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« Last Edit: 10/02/17 at 18:11:39 by Lon »  

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