OK - now total confusion has set in

Thanks to the many (and varied) responses to my request for rack advice - (and reading the other numerous threads on the subject) - I have become a 'mush mellon' if you will - Totally Confused!

If I get this correct....certain components require hard,solid shelves ranging from butcher block to granite and marble - others require lighter materials such as birch plywood or Nueance shelves. Some shelves require spikes point up, some spikes point down, others various forms of rubber, plastic, foam, air filled, oil filled - whatever - feet.

Just when I thought I might have a grip on the situation - and decided to have a rack made of Cherry (a very open design with no side or back pannels just Cherry styles and rails - as they are called in the furniture/cabinet business) and marble shelves 'all' supported by AudioPrism
IsoBearings Isolation Globes - I think I am making a huge mistake that will make my new babys sound 'dead'.

At this point - cinder blocks and a 2X6 is looking promising! ;)

Any comments gentlemen and ladies?

Unless you own a good old analogue turntable, I firmly believe this notion that other components require coupling or decoupling to achieve their greatest potential is a bit of a stretch, to be kind. Obviously turntables are prone to acoustic feedback. The ones with a rather compliant suspension do better, in my humble opinion, on a very sturdy, read massive, base. Insofar as electronics benefitting from cones and the like, my opinion is that if these tweaks can be achieved without expending real money, why not. I think they are more often than not in the nature of chicken soup. Buy the rack or furniture that fits your room and budget and spend your money on recordings, is the best advice I can give you. I am certain many participants in this discussion will hold opposite views and tell you why everything affects the sound. Listener discretion is advised.
I agree to a certain extent with Pbb. However, i would not have believed that a rack could have such a large sonic effect on a system if i had not experienced it myself.

As i've mentioned before, i think that there are different situations for trying to set up systems on suspended floors or solid floors. If you don't take this into account, you may end up playing games for a LONG time. Sean
You have my sympathy Ndmaitre. It is indeed a shame that no conventional wisdom has emerged in this area - and the territory is littered with devices that merely change the sound, with claims of magical improvement. Looks like you will need to do your own experiments to prove which opinions are the more accurate.

I do not agree with either of the previous posts. The influences of vibration are some of the most profound as they create resonant peaks, or smear, and induce a persistent coloration that drives you crazy. This is one of the reasons many play endlessly with cones, footers etc because any change to the coloration is a blessed relief.

With fairly resonant shelves (eg. glass, acrylic, some timbers), Sean's observation is sound. For example, the metal rack should be sand-filled on a concrete floor, but not filled at all on a suspended floor.

But my preferred shelf, which is light, rigid and damped works best on an unfilled shelf, whether the floor is suspended or solid.
I understand mostly all of what has been said. I guess my fear here is making a rather large and expensive mistake. From what I described above - do any of you see any glaring bombs which I should change prior to construction - Cherry wood for rails/styles, marble for floating shelves, isolation by AudioPrism Globes ???

Just for reference - I don't know if my floor is solid or floating. The listening room is on the second floor of a large victorian built in 1850 so... yeah the floor is not on the ground but it sure feels solid! ;)

If you live on a solid concrete slab weighing several tons, how does vibration creep in and cause "resonant peaks, or smear, and induce a persistent coloration"??? How many people operate a jackhammer or front-end loader while listening to their system?

erik see if you can find a copy of bob harley's book the complete guide to high end audio.i beleive it will help you immensely.oh and i own a biily bags rack which i love.sometimes it ends up being more of a hindrance than a help when there are so many options.best of luck tim2x
Hey Doc, some people actually listen to music at "volume". Not everyone plays "genteel" music at "mouse level". As such, air-born energy is transmitted into everything within the room.

As to Ndmaitre's question, i would loose the marble and build an all wood rack. Take a gander at some of the other "rack" based threads in the archive. I know that Ken aka Caterham 1700 just posted some info about recommended woods for shelving. I would take those suggestions into serious consideration.

Either way, listen to what your head and heart tell you, as only that will make you happy. You might have to change things along the way, but there is a LOT to be said for first hand experience and learning the "hard way". Sean
Yes Doc - and wire is wire - and all amplifiers sound the same - and CDs are perfect - Yes Doc, we know.
Doc: Some of this vibration is generated by the components themselves (even those which do not seem to have any moving parts). Another major source of vibration is the music itself. Allowing the gear (cables included) to sing along with the music is not the best way to go, IMO.
Hi Ndmaitre, I have tried almost every material made. I was going crazy. Anything under 60lbs, the Neuance (am i spelling this right) is, well, right. It doesn't add, subtract, or change the sound in some wierd way. Please do yourself a favor and give it a try. Ken will help with a rack in your price range. I wish he would make one for heavy amps. Are You listening Mr.Neuance? You don't know what your gear is really capable of doing until you try this board. Many are probably tired of me talking up the Neuance. All I am trying to do is pass on this GREAT products performance at more than a fair price. I don't know Ken or do I have anything to do with Neuance. Wish I did.
My vote is with Neuance too, and I entirely agree with Brulee, nor have I met Ken either. But it seems at least two of us are saying we have found the answer (except for under the heavy stuff), and that nothing else comes close. Do yourself a favour and contact member Caterham1700.
I also struggled with isolation & coupling concepts for quite awhile until I read George Merrill's little turntable setup pamphlet, which explains this in beautiful simplicity.
Basically you want to have separate rigid shelves for each component, isolated over your equipment rack's shelves via Vibrapods, Sorbothane pucks etc. This provides a nice "quiet" sink to which vibrations coming from the component resting on that shelf can be coupled, via spiked footers (various cones etc.).
Thus the "sandwich":
Component on top - possibly mass loaded above if desired
Coupling cones
Isolation footers
Rack shelf
Uh oh...another Neuance devotee lurking. Simple in some ways, but seemingly universally effective. Although I can't tell you with certainty that the Neuances under my massively built CDP (44 lb EMC-1 MKII) and pre (35 lb Aleph P) are having much of an effect, it was REALLY CLEAR that a Neuance dramatically improved the coherence of a lightweight previous CDP (Rotel), with significantly reduced listening fatigue. Isolation without jiggling...and attractive to boot. Ken's long product evolution seems to have paid off. Ernie
Hi Ernie,

"Although I can't tell you with certainty that the Neuances under my massively built CDP (44 lb EMC-1 MKII) and pre (35 lb Aleph P) are having much of an effect..."

I have a REAL GOOD test for 'ya.
Just send 'em back and I'll shoot'ya a refund.

if I hear back from 'ya
in a few weeks