Having seen some of the DIY systems many Wigwam members put together, I wonder how relevant this review will be to our readership. Thankfully not everyone lives among solder burns and crocodile clips. There’s many a beautiful system and every beautiful system needs a good rack. Fans of Audio Suspension’s fantastic wall shelves will already be excited already about this new modular racking system from Brighton’s ultra-modern Hi-Fi Furniture designer and I include myself among them.
Adam has been making Hi-Fi furniture for a few years now and is getting rave reviews wherever his creations turn up, and for good reason, his racks are painfully stylish, wonderfully engineered and although not cheap, they are accessibly priced.
This new “Reference Modular Rack” is a made to measure affair. Customers can specify the heights for each shelf spacer/support to ensure sufficient airflow around valve and class A kit in particular. My review sample was a pre-production model; production models will be 80mm wider to give sufficient space for bigger amps. The spacer was not quite as big as I needed for the Advantage power amp, however, having had 100Watts of Class A amp on that bottom shelf has not presented any audible issues thus far, nor with the valve pre-amp above it. In fact there are zero nasties to report in the sound department. The system is solid, nothing there to sing along and nothing able to vibrate in an audible way. It’s exactly what one wants from an equipment support.
The shelving system requires no tools to configure, and can be configured as a racking system or simply used as supports for power amps etc.
Installation of each shelf is aided by an integrated spirit level, once the base is set, additional layers simply stack on.
The legs of each shelf have spikes which are seated in recesses set in the top of the previous shelf.
Foo free.. apart from the MCRU mains cable ;-) The platform offers a very sturdy coupling with my concrete floor using the spikes, some rather nice felt bottomed feet are provided for wooden floors.
A single layer can be used as a rather sexy platform for a power amp (you can see the extra width promised will be welcome). Adding extra layers makes for the simplest installation of a new rack I have ever come across. I plugged my interconnects into the back, connected the amp to the power strip then added the next layer. No sliding kit in and out and the inevitable damage that causes.
The back of each shelf has a notch cut out for cable tidying. However, cables still dangle about and look a touch busy when installation is complete. I think some kind of trunking solution would be wonderful here.
The end result is compact, neat and very very smart looking. But more than that, it couples my system to the floor at it’s base, while the minimal contact areas between shelves help keep any tiny vibrations isolated.
Much like the wall shelf I reviewed previously (and now own), it seems to have no effect on the sound of my system at all. Which is about the highest praise anyone can give to passive components. It’s transparent in every way. A very solid, beautifully made piece of high end furniture, gorgeous looks with great function.
Priced at £600.00 per tier, the 4 shelf rack you see here comes in at £2400.00. As i say, it isn’t cheap, but for such a high quality piece of bespoke designer furniture it seems fairly priced to me.
Contact the very affable Adam here for more details http://www.audiosuspension.com/