Improving a stone rack

Hi all, I have a large stone rack for my system, in beautiful granite, which works great for stability, but maybe not so good for other aspects of the sound. I wonder if it contributes to some treble ringing and harshness. I want to improve the sound, thinking of felt damping on the wall behind the rack, some form of cloth to cover the reflective surfaces of the shelves, and adhesive rubber type mats on the bottom of the stone shelves. Is this the way to go? Experience based advice is very welcome. My rack weighs a ton. It is not easy to compare to a wood or composite rack. I need advice on how to counter the sound problems of stone or similar polished surface shelf racks. I want to try this, before I consider a new rack or shelf arrangement.

Ag insider logo xs@2xo_holter

Small test result. Walker Validpoints under my preamp, compared to the stock feet, resting on the stone shelf. NB I am not able to do quick A/B comparisons. The preamp is too heavy and my back too poor.

First impression: this is larger. More distinct. But less treble, or softer treble? No. And softer more mushy bass? No not at first, at least. So the first test, plus one for Valid points, but with some unexpected results.

The Valid points are three large and heavy brass spikes that go into damping discs on the shelf. They rise the component and are undoubtedly good for ventilation at the bottom. Sonic results? Not sure yet. But I am sure these footers do something, they do have an affect. Walker have thought about this.

My Einstein The tube mk2 preamp is a one-box design with two massive power supplies in the front, and tubes at the back. A hybrid tube/s state design. The s-state power supplies get very hot, and I guess, these are the main cause of vibration (even with top German design). So I used two validpoints, one under each transformer, in the front, and one in the middle at the back. We'll see, if this works out. Like I said, my first impression was a bit mixed.

Second opinions are important too. Testing Oops, by Fujiya & Miyagi, from their LP Slight variations. A career height I think. With the stock feet it sounds good but bass heavy and somewhat restricted. With the Validpoints, it sounds larger, the timbre is mor convincing, the sound comes to life. Great, but there are some minuses also, some treble stands out too much, and not fully sure about the bass. The validpoints came with some extra tuning discs, placed on top of the components, to cure such ills. Have not tried yet.

I have a very dead/dense/heavy pair of hand crafted steel framed stands (filled with sand/shot 50/50). The top has 1" thick non-Gabbro granite shelves/plates (polished and beveled) mounted on silicone footers. I have no problems with various rubber soled equipment (EAR pre-amps, Zesto SUTs, a pre-amp that had thin aluminum base using Stillpoint SS footers, etc). I do have a problem with an EAR 324 phono pre which sounds best with a buckwheat pillow under it. My VPI VI turntable always sat on a 1.25" thick HDF board on top of a Townshend Seismic Sink (terrible footers on the table).

Below, I replaced the thick tempered glass shelves with silicone bumpers with 1.25" HDF mounted on Blu-Tac which appears to completely deaden the already dense wood. Maple/butcherblock would have been an alternative.

I have a tempered glass rack that does emphasize the highs and makes everything sound a bit "sterile" and cold.

I solved the problem by having my electronics on some bamboo cutting boards (Ikea Aptitlig) which themselves rest on 4 Moongel pads (the stuff used by drummers to dampen their drums). Works a treat and I don't hear the mushiness normally associated with soft stuff such as sorbothane.

After reading a lot of posts on Nobsound springs, I have decided to give them a try, and have ordered three sets of four. @noromance and @millercarbon helped me make up my mind. Basically I warmed up to the idea that you need a vibration-free stand AND vibration devices. So, we'll see. It will take some time before they arrive.