A journey in the world of accessories...


Well-Known Member
Oct 5, 2008
This is in response to a few queries I have been getting about my experience in the world of accessories and don't mind sharing my experiences...
I turned to this part of the system after initially assembling what I feel have been a good source, amplifiers, speakers, subwoofers and cables. After lacklustre experience with locally made racks and stands using MDF and several DYI masterpieces, I decided to go after accessories that would be excellent but within my means.
First, a Solid Tech Rack of Silence, one of the best there is but costing a bit. It is a 3-shelf rack with the top and bottom ones fixed and the middle one suspended. With my CD player on the fixed shelf and tube preamp on the suspended shelf, the change was unbelievable. Next I added a set of Solid Tech Feet of Silence and another of Finite Elemente spider ceraballs under the equipment and they were even better. The feet of silence work very well under the preamp whereas the ceraballs do great under the CDP, and opposite results are observed when put the other way.
The power amp initially in the Rack of Silence sounded a bit lean with the solidity of notes diminishing though space among instruments increases. Not good enough for my tastes. My search for the Holy Grail continued and ended when I got a single AS-1 stand from Taoc of Japan after several communications about its greatness with some of the staff of Positive Feedback. With Taoc's TITE feet under the power amp sitting on the AS-1 stand, my power amp regained its solidity and supremacy and I realise that heavy equipment like power amplifiers need more solid bases compared to the Rack of Silence. The latter is exemplary for vibration-prone equipment like CDP, tube preamp etc.
Since the Taoc stands are only moderately expensive, I got a 4-shelf AS-4 rack from them on which rest my HT equipment like DVD player, surround sound processor, multichannel amp etc. Meanwhile, I also got a set of myrtle wood blocks from Ayre which I use to support my cables.
The only other addition has been a Furutech demagnetiser which I use for every CD either before or after playing, and a Ayre/Cardas CD called Irrational but Efficacious, one which I run at least every week for system warm-up.
I am quite happy with what I have and feel they are money well spent. But as I mentioned in the beginning, all these came after my basic system was in place, not before.
If someone is interested to know about Solid Tech, Finite Elemente, Taoc etc, a visit to their websites is recommended. I also believe now there are distributors in India for some of these, I am not sure. The reason is that when I look in Vandersteen speakers website, I find an Indian distributor mentioned there, some Innovative Technology or something in Mumbai, but I never got any response from the telephone numbers listed. So you never know what is what!!!
Thank you for your patient reading.

> murali
Solid Tech has a Indian dealer - J&B Sound in Mumbai. Prices are competitive with international pricing.

I second Muralis recommendation of the Solid Tech Rack of Silence and their footers. On the tube amps i had better results with their Disc of Silence as compared to the Feet of Silence. For the price they are very good.
I am surprised. I was not impressed with the Disc of Silence though it is cheaper than the Feet.
My big surprise was with Finite Elemente's ceraballs, I mean the spider version which only will fit on the beams of the ROS. They cost much lower than both the Feet and Disc of Solid Tech. Unfortunately, the spider ceraballs are no longer available and I was lucky to get a set while on a visit to Singapore.
However, unless one has an expensive high-end system, I won't recommend investing in a Solid Tech Rack despite its merits because of the cost. One can always explore cheaper options and Taoc racks are something I will always recommend though it has to be bought directly from Japan or Hong Kong. Their cast iron footers are also excellent.
By the way, I used to have Black Diamond Racing cones (carbon fiber) under my CDP and preamp earlier, and I have now moved these footers under my DVD player and surround processor. The Rotel multichannel power amp sits on Vibrapod footers, cheap but effective. Another excellent (very very cheap) accessory I use is PTFE vibration dampener rings of Herbie's Audio on all my tubes in the preamp and believe me, they are great.

> murali
The ceraballs are really good. I had picked up some 10 sets of 4 and given it to friends way back when it was launched. Cost some $70 per set of 4 way back them. I was shocked at the Indian pricing. Cadence was distributing it to them. However i was not very impressed with the Finite Elemente rack for what it cost. The Cerapucs under the speakers is also a winner.
Yes. These are the creaballs but the design has changed, not to mention the price. The earlier ones did not have any threaded inset. I do not know if its worth $269
Footers and such accessories are a minefield, so tread carefully. Generally budget and mid-fi components sound noticeably improved when you use footers, even low cost ones like wood blocks or those sold by Herbie's Audio Lab (they are good and value for money). Once your components themselves are high class, the chassis will be sturdy enough and not too many footers will have any effect under them. That is where you start looking at costlier ones which could justify the investment. So be careful.
You won't lose much if you start with cheaper footers like myrtle wood blocks or Herbie's products or even Black Diamond Racing cones (I bought mine used) and limit your spending to < $50. Try audiogon.com. You will find plenty.
Just from experiences.
Good luck.
> murali
Thanks a lot guys. I think I'll take your advice and start low with some good value for money products. I am sure there are some such gems out there:)
Let me start with herbies.
Thanks a lot guys. I think I'll take your advice and start low with some good value for money products. I am sure there are some such gems out there:)
Let me start with herbies.

If you go for Herbie's Audio Labs footers, try the Tenderfoot under your CD player. They are very good and cost around $15 per piece and I believe 3 Nos. should be good enough. You can isolate further by putting a simple bamboo shelf below the Tenderfoot and supporting the shelf on your rack using some good quality brass cones. Should not cost you a fortune.
I also find a few sets of Black Diamond Racing cones for sale at $45 per set of 4 in audiogon.com under Tweaks. They are also very good for isolation at reasonable costs.
Good luck.
> murali
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