Racks, equipment and footers

I would like to get a new rack and isolation footers for the rack and/or equipment. The high-end stuff like HRS, might be best, but it's out of my budget. There are so many choices, especially of footers. I'm thinking of going with a nice enough wood rack for aesthetic reasons and footers under each of the components to maximize performance. The system is upstairs with a wooden floor.  No turntable. Questions:

  • should I put footers under the rack and/or just the components?
  •  What about spikes - to drain rather than springs, so I avoid springs interacting with springs
  • if I'm going to put footers under each component, does the material,  construction, weight, etc. of the rack still matter much?
  •  It would be cheaper to just put footers under the rack and leave the components with the rubber feet -  is this less effective?
  • Should I put the same footers under all the components, or is it mix-and-match?

Any thoughts welcome along with specific recommendations on footers.


@paullb Wrote:

What about spikes - to drain

Ten misconceptions about loudspeaker spikes see here! 😎



interesting article. I thought perhaps spikes under the rack and then springtime footers under each component, but it sounds like no spikes at all.

I love my beautiful Timbernation rack and amp stands.

Components all have springs or Isoacoustics under them

Springs under the components is the way to go and don't worry about the rack.

Check out Butcher Block Acoustics.  


Give them a call for isolation advice.

Herbie's Audio Lab is another excellent source for de-coupling devices (e.g. their Tenderfeet).


a salamander synergy rack is excellent reasonable price adjustable shelves and plenty of options


then use critical mas centerstage footers simply the best 

you want to contact the chasis

iso acoustics are not as good but less expensive


Dave and Trou

audio intellect NJ

synergy critical mass and iso acoustics dealer

For many years a homemade butcher block and 5/8" brass threaded rods on Herbies did the trick for me. No footers. Now Symposium with Rollerballs or the like,(there are others with similar function), serves me a bit better. Come to think about it the TT has zero footfall problems and it alone sits on AV Room Service largepads with one of the Symposium racks. Pretty big upgrade. Very stable.

Essentially spiked with footers, absolutely no complaints. Peter at Symposium is a straight shooter and when assembling one feels the quality and stability. 

There is a thread on Whats Best Forum that is very informative as to racks, theories and the like. 

Good luck, how you support your equipment is another important factor in SQ.

I don’t disagree with the posted article but keep in mind Norm Varney has a company that sells decoupling type footers (AV RoomService Ltd.). Their footers are made from Owens Corning type acoustical boards (703/705 Acousticmac or sandwiched between metal plates and then felt or Selectsound Black Acoustic Board). These are moderately priced compared to some of the other footer products sold to audio enthusiasts but still offer good opportunities for DIY since the Owens Corning products are sold to consumers.

You don’t mention what type of floor your rack will be supported on - concrete, or suspended wood, or something else. That could make a difference. In general, I like decoupling after years of using spikes. Herbies makes a wide range of products that would work well for both the rack and components. I also like damped springs (i.e. Townshend), and especially under speakers. At a lower price point, there are platinum silicone footers available on Amazon (Hudson HiFi) that can be sized by the weight of what they support. I like Sound Anchors stands/racks based on stability but there are many other well-made racks available. Good luck.

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I agree with some of the others, get the rack you like, and isolate each component. That's what I did.  Springs seem to work best, but play around with it, some component isolation seems to make little difference in sound, while others are clearly perform better with isolation. With no TT I would think it should be easier.

Ha, I see the stuff in parentheses in my post is messed up - hurrying to help my wife walk the dogs.

I have not kept up on the EVP price increase since I haven’t been in the market for footers lately. I believe these were originally (and maybe still are) made from 703/705, which sort of corresponds to the medium and high densities given for different weight ranges. The Selectsound Board in black may be a newer product for Owens Corning since I don’t remember seeing it previously.  I do like the new round option for the EVPs and also the new rubber surfacing that doesn’t look so industrial.

How do you like the EVPs compared to other products you have tried?

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I suggest that you start with the easiest and cheapest which may be hockey pucks in stacks of two in contact with the chassis. My discovery that the second HP is where the magic happens, i.e. heat dissipation. They blend well aesthetically for most situations, at least in my man cave. I HAVE OVER A HUNDRED IN MY PRIMARY SYSTEM. ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL AND I FOUND A FOLDED STIFF RUG, CUT TO SIZE, WORKS WITH THOSE EXCEPTIONS. After that spend away to get the flavor you crave.

If you want a rack made of wood and info on footers for the rack I would check out Massif. If you’re more concerned with a rack with an isolation system designed into the rack I would check out Core Audio Design. Both owners are very knowledgeable and very helpful. You can also get a lot of info from the websites.


Regarding the ringing, I suspect it may have related to using Nobsound springs under gear with tubes in it, as you mention.  The Nobsound springs do not appear to be as well damped as other spring solutions such as Townshend's.  I damped my individual springs (from Century Spring) using loosely applied, very thin wall heat shrink (poked a couple of holes in the heat shrink to prevent an air lock within the spring). Another thing might be what the springs are sitting on.  Mine sit on carpet, which helps.

Both the EVPs and the platinum silicone hemispheres that I currently use are well damped, as would be Herbie's products.  I cannot hear a sonic difference between Herbie's footers (Giant Fat Gliders) and the platinum silicone hemispheres, which I tried after using springs because they behave more like a damped spring than do the Herbie's products, which behave more like the hockey pucks used by @singingg (vulcanized rubber).   IMO, the Herbie's Giant Fat Gliders would work well under the legs of an equipment rack, regardless of whether other footers are used under the individual components.

I am a big fan of Core Audio Design racks, they look beautiful IMHO and acoustic isolation is amazing. I had a plyKraft 3L rack with a TT on the top shelf, jumping up and down in front of it did not make the cartridge skip, no effect whatsoever. Not recommended, tried kicking the rack once, no effect!

A method that has proven extremely well for myself, but always on Concrete Floors, that is ubiquitous in how all Audio Devices seemingly benefit, has been to build a substantial Plinth to build the Rack Upon.

The next substantial improvement where Vinyl as a Source is concerned is to Brace the Racks to become extremely rigid.

I can't vouch for the Braced Rack for a Digital Source, as many years past, I transferred these devices to a Industrial Type Gallows Bracket, which is Wall Mounted, to create a Shelf System.

The Brackets have a absorbent decoupling material between them and the Wall. The Shelves are Isolated from the Bracket Support and Audio Devices are Isolated from the Shelves.

This method works exceptionally well for the Digital Source and saved me having to expand on the footprint taken up of the Plinth and Rack below.

I have become an advocate of Solid Tech Feet of Silence Type Footers.

I an not familiar with the New Type where the suspension is Horizontally Orientated, but the good news is version of this type are available from other suppliers at a much more affordable cost.

Solid Tech also supply Rack Systems that utilise their suspension methods to separate the Tiers. 

Solid Steel racks work well in my system.  Reasonably priced, very sturdy (each shelf will easily hold 200 pounds.)

@tvad @mitch2 

Wrap one or two turns of PTFE tape around the outside of the springs on the Nobsound unit. Also, ensure the springs are loaded to around 50% compression. 

I finally discovered the ringing was being caused by Nobsound springs.

Holy crap, you are right about the EVP pricing.  I just priced out the 16 large HD EVPs needed to support my main speakers and two subs - $3,824!

The Images in the Links will help Identify the Solid Tech Designs I have referred to as worthwhile looking into. As stated the Footer Design is seemingly a Copy by ST and is available through other sources for much less.

The ST Vertical Suspended Footer, is seemingly their design only and not typically found from other sources.

As for footers there are numerous designs that have a extortionate pricing to be found as copies, possibly identical in performance, but just outside Patent Dimensions or another point pertinent to the Patent, to make the Mimics on offer a different product? Certainly not challengeable as a direct copy under Patent Laws.




Thanks for the suggestions! I’m going to check out Core and Massif. Lots of good recommendations and they look really well built. Not inexpensive, but good considering the quality and materials. Then I can use whatever footers are most effective. There’s a long thread on what’s best about Massif. Apparently, Mike Lavigne bought a few and really liked them. If it’s good enough for his system …

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Don’t discount the Adona racks Mike Lavigne used for years before the change to Massif.  Bought mine a few years ago also acknowledging Mike’s choice in my mind.  No regrets.  www.adonacorporation.com

Depending on where you live, I custom build racks to user's needs (# shelves, height, width, etc.) and will deliver and set up with a reasonable radius of where I live. The shelves are all individually isolated and fully adjustable. An example can be viewed on my system page.

For a relatively inexpensive (compared to HRS/CMS and other top isolation racks) but some decent damping properties, wood is a great choice.

Box Furniture Company here

Timbernation here

ButcherBlock Acoustics here

Core Audio Designs here - a bit more money, but more isolation tech


Yes, that is essentially it.  Each shelf is isolated with small "pucks" that float the shelves individually.  The shelves are adjustable in 1 inch increments. The two drawers at the bottom were what I was after in a rack, but nobody built such a rack that I liked. It is heavy and extremely solid!

Fortunately, or unfortunately, I no longer need something like that but if I did I would definitely talk with you. It reminds me of the fern and roby rack and a little of the much more expensive Fleetwood Rack by Fleetwood Sound Company/Oswalds Mill Audio.

It seems there could be some customization where buyers could choose the type of lumber (even live edge) and type of elastomeric isolation pucks, as well as the choice for drawers as on your personal rack. Too bad I simply cannot justify another rack. Again, nice work!

then use critical mas centerstage footers simply the best 

I agree - Critical Mass Systems Center Stage footers here have garnered so many very positive testimonies, although one has to go through a lengthy  break-in period of sonic ups and downs before it settles and performs. 

Critical Mass Systems racks compete directly with HRS.  Their somewhat budget friendly Sotto Voce rack here has also garnered many positive reviews

Choose the type of wood carefully. Bamboo is a trend but I personally have very mixed feelings about it. 

Maple seems like a popular safe choice, but panzerholtz seems like one of the best but is very expensive 

I used cherry on mine (see profile), but maple, oak, walnut, amongst others will work fine.  None of these will "sag" over time, even over a 42 plus inch span for those that want a double wide rack.

I use Timbernation racks with Herbie’s Audio Lab isolation products under each component.  Have found the combination provides good results at modest cost compared to some alternatives.  Visually very attractive as well - check my system photos.

Good luck!

I just set up a pre-owned core audio three tier rac. I’m quite impressed. It’s beautiful, obviously well-built, and sounds great. Clear improvement over my previous end table. A low bar, perhaps, but significantly better nonetheless. Playing a few of my favorite test tracks, the sound is more relaxed, details are more clear, spatial information is better, transient are crisper and bass a little bit more impactful. I love the combination of more revealing while also more relaxed.

i’m also very impressed with the proprietor, Arnold. After emailing him a few times he told me that a repeat customer just had a custom rack built and had exactly what I was looking for. I contacted the owner and the piece I purchased looks fantastic, I don’t see a scratch anywhere, and I got a great deal. How many folks would help a a customer and somebody they’ve only emailed a few times. Highly recommended.