Lovan: Stereophile recommended disappointment.

I just got a brand new Lovan amp stand and could not believe the feeble board that came with it. That thin board flexes under the weight of my 50 lb T4 isolation transformer bay!

The spikes were loose because the thread tapping is not within tolerances. I solved the problem by adding a washer. How can they call that an amplifier stand?

I got it for $67 on closeout (vs $149.95 list), but still leaves much to be desired.

So much for the "recommended component"--anyone wants to spend $400 on their rack?

Long live DIY.
?? I've never tried the amp stand but the double equipment rack boards (lined with Dynamat that does not contribute to rigidity) handle that weight without flexing. May have to do with weight distribution.
Lovan has always struck me as masquerading mass-market stuff. But closeout or not, I should think the retailer could do something for you about such a disappointment, if you made enough noise about it (and I know you can!). As for the worth of the 'Stereophile Recommended' appellation (not that I know what they may have said about that particular product), it seems to be even more meaningless when it comes to accessories in general (especially concerning the lack of updating) than it does regarding components. I once might have ventured to say that this had something do with the fact that accessories don't receive a 'grade' in the recommendations, but seeing as they've long since made a joke out the grades they do give components via rampant grade-inflation, what's the diff? The only realization one needs to make these days about 'Recommended Components' is that Stereophile "recommends" everything which passes under their radar, period. And that makes the distinction meaningless by definition.
I have the Lovan rack for my equipment and can't stand it! I am with you, it is cheapo stuff and wish I had seen it before I bought. It always looks better in the catalogue. Good warning to others considering Lovan. Forget it.
kr4@nyu.edu, I posted before I saw you were on this thread...(but I know you can take it ;^)
Sure, I can as long as the comments are as honest and to-the-point as yours.

The recommendation I made for the Lovan was based on a single sample of the 4-tiered double-width rack. I cleaned the threads with a tap and a die and damped the shelves with Dynamat. The frame, especially when filled with sand or lead-shot is fine. The shelves are where they cut corners and they offer better ones for more $$$.
Is this the Lovan Classic or Sovereign amp stand? Their Sovereign series is significantly better than the Classic. I have the Sovereign filled with lead shot and it supports my 50 pound amp easily. I replaced the stock steel cones with Walker Valid Point cones and I am very happy.
Lovan Classic II, that is. I don't mind their stock shelf--it is a good *template* for my future real shelf. I want to use a steel shelf bolted together to a piece of non resonant, Caribbean Moca wood. I have a Moca board that I'm experimenting with. Below it are four Sound Quest Isol-Pads.

My Clear Image T4 is supported by three Goldmund cones which effectively pierce the wood and drain vibration away. Anything I do to the transformer based T4 affects the music signal downstream. Simply stunning. I was talking to Albert Porter about this, since he also owns one of them T4's--it is true! That's why I bought the Lovan and the Goldmund cones. I want the T4 by itself, totally isolated from the rest of my gear (looks really cool and impressive on the Lovan, BTW). What really pisses me off if the excessive play on the threads. It's going to take a lot of threadlocking compound to patch that. Real sloppy work...

Never worry, the Psychic is an accomplished tweaker!
How about a Heli-coil thread repair kit? Can be found at most auto and hardware stores. I don't TWEAK, I POOGE
POOGE = Progressive/Optimization/Of/Generic/Equipment.
Its a under ground movement which take much more heat than tweakers do. We would love to have a guy like you in are organization I'll even give you the secret hand shake. Can you tell me where I can get info on T4?
I have to agree with the Lovan assessment...

I believe I purchased the same rack Kal is speaking of(Pyramid). I use it for my fiance's system. It was bought at an unbelievable sale, way less than 50% of retail. It seemed that Lovan was doing that a lot last year.

I was astonished to see the poor construction, ala the AWFUL alignment of the legs. Plumb they are not. Nor even close. The rack IS usable, but I do expect a rack that retails for $650 - $700 to fit together. The spikes do not come close to lining up with the impressions they are supposed to fit into.

As mentioned, the flimsy board was also something to laugh at. To think, it's actually something they advertize. "(6 or 7?) mm New Zealand pine MDF" Huh??? There are 25.4 mm/inch, and most audiophiles consider 3/4 inch the minimum for a shelf.

I concur with Kal's assertion that a sheet of Dynamat would be worthwhile, which the Stereophile Recommended Components caption points out. Good advice there.

I could have gotten rid of it easily for at least what I paid for it(and bought a superior rack), but I would have a hard time selling such a piece of junk to another human being. And, besides, my fiance is not an audio neurotic, she thinks it's the highest of high end, and feels it greatly complements the family room. On the plus side, it holds her TV, Jadis, SACD player, DVD player, VCR, and satellite receiver. Then again, that's what a double wide rack is supposed to do.

My experience with VantagePoint racks is on the other extreme. GREAT product. Excellent design, quality, and rigidity. Also overpriced(though much cheaper than Lovan), but isn't every rack?
had similar experience with furniture works...bought a nice rack on closeout...looked great and worked fine...until one of the legs shatterred and the wheel flew off!. thank goodness i was there when it happenned or i would have lost everything. the store, harvey electronics not only wouldnt help me but said they didnt have the number for the company because they were no longer a vendor! they would however gine me a discount on another piece. if anyone has a number for furniture works i would appreciate it.
About a year ago I bought a set of Lovan Sovereign racks because they look good. Only after I took delivery I discovered that they were poorly made, the legs were out of alignment in one or two of the shelves that I could not stack them up at all. My dealer ordered another set for me - and guess - similar alignment issue existed. Eventually he allowed me to mix-and-match the shelves until I was able to assemble a properly stacked racks. I have no problem with the wooden boards though.
Wow - a lot of vitriol with respect to Lovan racks. I admit, they are not the greatest, but at least the Sovereign model can be improved if you take certain steps.

First, replace the shelves with something custom made - the MDF shelves are garbage, and the glass shelf sounds steely (and is expensive to boot). I recommend either acrylic or corian. Alternatively, maple or other hard wood of at least one inch thickness could be used as shelf material. Next, use some constrained layer damping material between the shelf and the frame (as opposed to those circular felt/sticky pads). The frame should be filled with a combination of lead shot and sand. Finally, if you are adventurous, put a set of pro MIBs under the four feet.

Admittedly, the above changes raise the price of the racks to almost double the list price, but it works pretty well, and is still much cheaper than any of the "real" high end racks.

Here is a $200 rack that has adjustable upturned brass spikes for all of the shelves. It looks to be pretty much the same as my older Studio Tech.


Other than upgrading the shelves my easy tweak was to mig weld the frame into a one piece unit. I did it for free @ my auto mechanic's shop and the welds (16 total) took but a few minutes. One piece racks with adjustable spikes for the top shelf (only) cost hundreds of more dollars and from what I have seen in local showrooms are not as square as mine (I set it up on a sheet of glass, sans floor spikes, before having it welded).

Studio Tech stopped production of the models with adjustable shelf spikes shortly after I purchased mine (a few years ago), but it looks like they are back.