DIY audiophile rack

Mogami Cables

flypig

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Built the TNT Flexy. 6 shelves of 18 mm prelaminated MDF. The rods, washers and bolts are stainless steel.
Need to add some nylon washers so that it does not keep getting loose.
Anyone planning this should be careful not to cut their hands :eek: on the threaded rods (studs).
 

Shahrukh

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I'm building one myself. Is prelam a good idea? Wouldn't it reflect sound the way glass does? Also, I'd really appreciate some photograpghs of your project. Mine is going to be a four-shelver with 18mm mdf, 3/4 inch allthread rod which is 1 m in height.
 

mister_moonlight

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very cool. thanks.

i have a question though, that might seem a little silly, but i cant for the life of me figure out how a rack for audio equipment can make a difference to the sound quality.

if one is using a turntable or a source that is mechanical in nature, a rack might make a difference (and i can understand why), but what if the audio comes purely from a source that isnt affected by the relatively small vibrations caused by audio. for example, in my case i have my audio coming out of the optical port of my computer, into a DAC and then into a pre/power combo on towards speakers. how would a rack make the sound "better"? what is the theory behind this?

i can however see the need for a good rack, but wouldn't that be for the convenience of keeping the equipment clean, well ventilated and easy access to the rear? i guess even for turntables where vibration and resonance will directly affect the sound. I guess CD's and the like wont suffer from this problem nearly as much, as the rotational inertia would keep it pretty stable.

i dont mean to offend anyone. any info that would help clear my doubts would be much appreciated.

thanks
 

flanker.r

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Even solid state devices are sensitive to vibrations and rogue resonance. It is known that even amps and pre-amps perform better when they are acoustically insulated. Any material tends to go into a mode of undamped simple harmonic motion and experiences displacement about its mean position when excited to its natural frequency. This is resonance. Amplified cabinets can ring, vibration can get passed on to the power transformers, if it a air core transformer there will be a constant change in the magnetic lines of force, hence induction in secondary would not be linear. Hence a mechanical irregularity is converted to electrical which can now affect performance

Even CD transports need to be acoustically isolated atleast as much as turntables if not more. You do not feel the speed irregularities as there is an elaborate error correction built into all cd players. This would correct for errors that occur (but can never be the same as if the error had not occured). But how will you know if error correction is activated and your CD player is constantly involved in correcting it. Also the above problem of cabinet resonance is applicable here too. Look into a reputed brand CD player (no CD rom drives please!). See the elaborate isolation systems, free space design, shock absorbing rubber mounts in place

For a computer based audio system the above points would not matter much because the source would have all sorts of disturbances anyway- RF, EMI, Jitter, power supply irregularities, fans, hardisks etc spinning and inducing their disturbances. Resonance would just be one more element to the already polluted signal

Acoustic dampening and physical separation of components is a must for high grade audio equipment. They are designed to retrieve the most subtle details in music and need to be isolated to perform at their best
 

gobble

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gobble

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very cool. thanks.

i have a question though, that might seem a little silly, but i cant for the life of me figure out how a rack for audio equipment can make a difference to the sound quality.

if one is using a turntable or a source that is mechanical in nature, a rack might make a difference (and i can understand why), but what if the audio comes purely from a source that isnt affected by the relatively small vibrations caused by audio. for example, in my case i have my audio coming out of the optical port of my computer, into a DAC and then into a pre/power combo on towards speakers. how would a rack make the sound "better"? what is the theory behind this?

i can however see the need for a good rack, but wouldn't that be for the convenience of keeping the equipment clean, well ventilated and easy access to the rear? i guess even for turntables where vibration and resonance will directly affect the sound. I guess CD's and the like wont suffer from this problem nearly as much, as the rotational inertia would keep it pretty stable.

i dont mean to offend anyone. any info that would help clear my doubts would be much appreciated.

thanks

Hi Moonlight

It made a BIG difference to my setup. I listened with my amp/CDP on an mdf plank placed on the floor for FOUR full weeks while I spent weekends sourcing material for the rack, priming and painting. Yesterday I finally assembled it and what a difference it has made!! I thought my system sounded good before, but I realized yesterday - I was only kidding myself. Only now I can call it a Hi-Fi, coz it realy sounds like one now - the attack has improved - umm let me say it wasn't there before, the sound is now more more crisp and dynamic.

Additionally got speaker spikes a day before I setup the rack and that improved the sound too - the frequencies have leveled off and the sound has become more even. It is hard and a little foolish to quantify the improvement, but if I were compelled to, I would say the sound improvement was 15% with speaker spikes and another 25% with the rack ( as compared to placing on floor). Wait the net result is 40% improvement? Wrong!! It is simply Outstanding!! Put simply, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts!! Two of the the Steel rods in the rack have 3mm elevated points from the casting process and therefore on "tip-toed" spikes ( will add custom made spikes for all legs later). Its not mumbo-jumbo I can testify. Room acoustics are a much neglected area by amateur audiophiles like us, and I discovered many things in the last few weeks about it that amazed me.

cheers
 
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dichkaun

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Nice work.
Can you help me with a few answers:
* What is the blue material? Is it available in other colors? What is the thickness?
* The legs bolts, are they one single piece from top to bottom?

~dich
 

gobble

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Nice work.
Can you help me with a few answers:
* What is the blue material? Is it available in other colors? What is the thickness?
* The legs bolts, are they one single piece from top to bottom?

~dich
Thats 16mm MDF sheets , I primed and painted in clover blue shade (asian paints).

The S.S threaded screw rod, nuts, bolts washers need to purchased seperately, and the planks/M.S and rubber washers needs to be shoved in all the way while the nuts need to be screwed in patiently over 200mm of threading on average.

Cheers
 
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dichkaun

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The S.S threaded screw rod, nuts, bolts washers need to purchased seperately, and the planks/M.S and rubber washers needs to be shoved in all the way while the nuts need to be screwed in patiently over a few 50mm of threading on average.
Cheers
The screw rods, are they one rod per leg (3 rods in all) or did you use multiple rods for each leg joined by nuts.

~dich
 

hemanth.hg

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Congrats, great effort, it looks cool.

How many days effort it took? From where did you procure the materials and how much did it cost?


Regards,
Hemanth
 
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gobble

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Congrats, great effort, it looks cool.

How many days effort it took? From where did you procure the materials and how much did it cost?


Regards,
Hemanth

Thanks. Rs 550 per threaded S.S Rod one meter length, 19mm dia ( 3 nos). Rs. 27 per S.S Nut (20mm I.D), Rs. 8 - 11 (don't remember) per M.S Washer (20mm I.D), Rs 4 per Rubber washer ( 6 nuts/washers per panel, again 20mm I.D), Rs. 80 for 500 ml paint, Rs. 70 for primer, Rs 170 for roller handle with 4 velvet (do not get foam) rollers (Rs 40 per roller), Rs. 20 - 35 for brush ( don't buy - I found the velvet roller better), Rs 10 per sand paper (buy a few sheets of 3M brand 320 and 800 nos), 6x4 feet MDF, Rs 32/Sq.ft, Rs 40 per panel for cutting, drilling and shaping the MDF ( total 5 panels), Rs. 45 for half round file ( the 20mm bore in the MDF panels needs to be carefully filed from inside so it will slide through the rod without having to screw rotate it, Rs 10 for wooden handle for file.... half liter of blue ration Kerosene for thinning primer, paint ... did I miss anything? Will post later if I remember.

Upto 120 mins priming 5 panels, 120 mins sanding it, 4 - 5 hours drying in sun after each coat. Depending on how many coatings you apply you can add the time. You need to sand lightly before next coat. Prime-sand-prime-sand-paint-sand-paint-sand. You should prime in the morning, sand in the late afternon, begin with prime/paint next morning. If you do everyday - 6 to 7 days including purchase and cutting. I did it over 3 weekends including some sanding on weekdays.

Tip: You can skip the last sanding for the glossy mirror look. I found that because I had not drained the paint from the roller before application, sanding exposed cool fancy wavy patterns all over like ocean water on the beach - gravity had caused the paint to form wave patterns micro-millimeters below the surface. I went for the worn looking and faded wavy pattern. :)

And oh yes, wipe clean with damp cloth after each sanding ...

Cheers
 
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keith_correa

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Thank you for the info. I finished building the flexi rack yesterday and here are the results. :D

Pics are 640x480 res.

Appreciate your posting the info - I had few reasonable choices in the market and really enjoyed making the rack.

Cheers

Hey, what speakers are those?
 

prashant_dv

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gobble.. nice work.. congrats.!!

what is the Length x Breadth of the MDF board ?

btw, i was planning to make the same type but was planning for 10mm or 12mm Glass sheet. What do you suggest ?

Rgds.
 

gobble

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gobble.. nice work.. congrats.!!

what is the Length x Breadth of the MDF board ?

btw, i was planning to make the same type but was planning for 10mm or 12mm Glass sheet. What do you suggest ?

Rgds.

24" x 15" (14.8 will make Golden ratio). Thats the minimum size you should consider as the holes come an inch inside leaving just enough space for a 19" long amp/cdp/dvd player. 12mm glass is strong and I've seen floor standers mounted on them. Will save 4 days of hard work priming sanding and painting. But you miss out on the fun factor :D

Cheers
 

Shahrukh

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12mm Glass is strong enough, but glass has a fear of cracking. I'd proceed with caution! Plus, glass resonates at high frequencies - but I wouldn't worry about that too much unless you have a very very resolving high end system.
 
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