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MartinT
22-04-2012, 19:04
The problem: my system rack (a Solid Tech Duo) has sprung feet. Adjusting them with all the weight on the rack is impossible, and removing the equipment, turning the rack upside-down and adjusting the feet is painful and very time consuming as it can take several iterations to get it right. The combined weight of the equipment is considerable, so how to go about getting the rack perfectly level while still floating correctly?

The solution: buy one cheap car inner tube and use the bicycle pump in the garage.

Showing the left-hand column base too close to the carpet, restricting the 'float' of the rack.
http://www.mtc.me.uk/images/Levelling_1.jpg

Showing the left side of the rack pumped up reading for shimming. I used a 2 coin plus some large washers under the left column feet and a couple of washers under the centre column feet. Everything remains nice and stable as the tube spreads the lift over a large surface area.
http://www.mtc.me.uk/images/Levelling_2.jpg

The levelled system rack, spot-on on the spirit level bubble. All that remained was to re-level the turntable using its adjustable Isonoe feet.
http://www.mtc.me.uk/images/Levelling_3.jpg

Job done! I though this might be a useful tip for anyone else with either sprung feet or difficult to adjust cones or points under their racks.

Beechwoods
22-04-2012, 19:38
That's fantastic! Bonkers, but fantastic! I predict sales of car inner tubes are going to go skyward in the next day or so!

MartinT
22-04-2012, 20:01
I had quite a giggle watching it work :)

MartinT
03-05-2012, 10:46
Ok, a slight problem might entail hatching a plan B. The PS Audio P10 is just too heavy and the springs on the left have sagged so that the column is resting on the carpet again. I shall try shimming it up once more but I fear the springs are stretching beyond their design limit. I have a pile of 2 coins and will try tonight.

Plan B may involve some kind of coaster/sorbothane/coaster sandwich under each column. Either that or compression springs. Hmm, thinking cap on...

Rare Bird
03-05-2012, 11:06
Martin that Techy aint sat in line with the Whest below, that would drive me nuts :lol:

DSJR
03-05-2012, 11:19
You chaps have really got it bad.. Is the floor so springy and resonant that you need to decouple the stand thus?

I dunno, almost as bad as them flimsy clear plastic things :)

Marco
03-05-2012, 11:24
Ha - that's madness, Martin, but I admire your dedication to the cause! :respect:

System's looking great, btw.

Marco.

MartinT
03-05-2012, 12:00
that Techy aint sat in line with the Whest below, that would drive me nuts :lol:

It's about keeping my SUT close to the arm and well away from big magnetic fields like the P10. I've rearranged things several times and this is the best, but the new SR7 PSU is going to bugger things up as it's a lot bigger than the SR5 in between the preamp and phono amp.

MartinT
03-05-2012, 12:03
You chaps have really got it bad.. Is the floor so springy and resonant that you need to decouple the stand thus?

No - the floor is concrete! The Solid Tech Duo comes with sprung feet and works very well in isolating the equipment. It's the massively heavy P10 that has caused it to groan!

Marco
03-05-2012, 12:45
I've rearranged things several times and this is the best, but the new SR7 PSU is going to bugger things up as it's a lot bigger than the SR5 in between the preamp and phono amp.

Don't worry, it'll fit. If you move your Pass Labs and Whest slightly further out to the edges of the rack, you'll squeeze the SR7 into the space in between.

Anyway, when you hear what the SR7 does, in conjunction with the regulator mods, trust me, the last thing you'll be thinking of is how the kit on your rack looks! ;)

Marco.

Rare Bird
03-05-2012, 13:19
Don't worry, it'll fit. If you move your Pass Labs and Whest slightly further out to the edges of the rack, you'll squeeze the SR7 into the space in between.



:eek: That would be a symmetrical disaster, i'd be having kittens :lol:

Marco
03-05-2012, 13:31
Lol @ "symmetrical disaster". I hadn't thought of that - oh noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.... :eek:

At least, unlike Alex, he doesn't have to worry about a 'curtain disaster' :D

Marco.

MartinT
03-05-2012, 13:41
:eek: That would be a symmetrical disaster, i'd be having kittens :lol:

You don't have to worry as I listen to music with my eyes closed :eyebrows:

JazzBones
03-05-2012, 14:51
You don't have to worry as I listen to music with my eyes closed :eyebrows:

Martin, no need to shut your eyes, just pull your baseball cap over your eyes :)
By the way I like your lateral thinking, could put the GREAT back into BRITAIN.
Why don't you contact the stand manufacturer and see what they come up with?

Ron

MartinT
03-05-2012, 16:39
baseball cap

Wash your mouth out! I wouldn't be seen dead wearing a baseball cap :eek:

Marco
03-05-2012, 16:43
Indeed. It'd spoil your hairstyle.

Marco.

Alex_UK
03-05-2012, 19:00
:eek: That would be a symmetrical disaster, i'd be having kittens :lol:

I too am obsessed about symmetry - I hate speakers where the drivers are offset, but the same for both left and right... :eek: I'm also funny about Volvo cars for the same reason - I couldn't live with the unsymmetrical badge!

The Grand Wazoo
03-05-2012, 19:11
So are all words that aren't palindromes 'wrong' to you too?!

JazzBones
03-05-2012, 19:13
Wash your mouth out! I wouldn't be seen dead wearing a baseball cap :eek:

Okay then, wear da dark shades instead. :eyebrows:

Rare Bird
03-05-2012, 19:50
I too am obsessed about symmetry - I hate speakers where the drivers are offset, but the same for both left and right... :eek: I'm also funny about Volvo cars for the same reason - I couldn't live with the unsymmetrical badge!

Is that the same as asymmetrical? :eyebrows: however as long as the speakers are mirror image arrangement i aint too bothered, i must say the * proper way to site a pair of speakers* (firing at angle) hack me off so i don't bother :lol:

Alex_UK
04-05-2012, 06:11
So are all words that aren't palindromes 'wrong' to you too?!

No, it never propagates if I set a gap or prevention

;) :lol:

Alex_UK
04-05-2012, 06:24
as long as the speakers are mirror image arrangement i aint too bothered

Yes, perhaps mrror image is a better description: this is ok:

http://images.craigslist.org/5L85Ie5Gd3Ga3K73H3c2ncbcf4df75bd21cbf.jpg

This I could never live with!

http://i113.photobucket.com/albums/n219/rocktron1948/WharfedaleE70.jpg

synsei
04-05-2012, 07:03
Wow Martin, that is the first time I have clapped eyes on your system and it is bloody gorgeous... :drool:

MartinT
04-05-2012, 07:59
Thanks, Dave :)

Rare Bird
04-05-2012, 10:12
Thats it Alex.

Martin: Couldnt you get some of that old Mana racking it's suppose to be real good :eyebrows:

MartinT
04-05-2012, 10:52
Martin: Couldnt you get some of that old Mana racking it's suppose to be real good :eyebrows:

What, replace my gorgeous and sturdy Solid Tech with some glorified scaffolding? :lol:

Rare Bird
04-05-2012, 12:13
:lol: O dear the future don't look good for you Martin especially when the AOS supreme council's finished with yer for that little comment :rfl: Best offer up that Torlyte as a peace offering to Marco before it's curtains bruvver :eyebrows:

Marco
04-05-2012, 13:43
Hahaha... It's Tabatha - she has a penchant for using the pointy spikes in her 'experiments', down in the dungeon... :eek: :whippin:

Marco.

nat8808
04-05-2012, 16:08
I realise it would ruin asthetics but does it make a sonic difference to keep the massive P10 on the rack?

It is surely ruining the isolation of the other components if the suspension is now not working properly..

Out of interest, what is the stand made of? Is it torlyte and is that basically a paper/wood honeycomb type thing like some desks and doors are made of?

I was thinking of making a stand for myself out of a honeycomb type material.

Alex_UK
04-05-2012, 16:26
...before it's curtains bruvver :eyebrows:

Oooh - someone mentioned curtains! :) Let me at 'em, lilac I hope?! ;)

MartinT
04-05-2012, 18:58
I realise it would ruin asthetics but does it make a sonic difference to keep the massive P10 on the rack?

Good question. Firstly, it has been my experience that every component in hi-fi benefits from mechanical isolation. The P10 does, too (I ran it on the floor for a week). After all, it's just the power supply for the power supplies.

Secondly, my power cables are mostly 1m in length and there is nowhere else I can put it where they will all reach.


It is surely ruining the isolation of the other components if the suspension is now not working properly.

Yes agreed, thus my dilemma. I am look at various possibilities, the most promising of which is to find some stronger springs that will fit. I will need 6 x 6 = 36 of them. Anyone know a good online vendor of springs?


Out of interest, what is the stand made of?

Extruded aluminium towers, birch veneered wooden shelves.

Solid Tech's spec is 2 x 60kg loading per shelf, which is massive. However, their website shows all the Duos with spikes and I guess the sprung feet (Discs of Silence) have a much lower maximum loading. I could always go with spikes instead, but they are a coupling rather than isolation method.

MartinT
06-05-2012, 15:43
I've ordered six stainless steel coasters, 9.5cm in diameter, from eBay. Perfect! Now investigating tougher springs.

http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/NzAwWDE2MDA=/$(KGrHqF,!nUE63Tf4qzkBOz7GNpchQ~~60_3.JPG

Reid Malenfant
06-05-2012, 15:52
Those crystals will match your tiara Martin ;)


Give it some bling :lol:

MartinT
06-05-2012, 15:57
I'll be ignoring those ;)

MartinT
12-05-2012, 08:16
The coasters were no good, so I ordered six 100mm mild steel discs....

http://www.mtc.me.uk/images/P1000621.jpg

...and two sets of assorted extension springs.

http://www.mtc.me.uk/images/P1000620.jpg

Got all the equipment off and turned the system rack over to acccess the business end.

http://www.mtc.me.uk/images/P1000618.jpg

One of the feet (Discs of Silence) close up.

http://www.mtc.me.uk/images/P1000619.jpg

Replaced two of each spring for stronger ones (hah - that simple statement took me three hours as it was such a struggle). The result, once everything had been put back in place and adjusted, was a decent amount of float at each of the six feet.

http://www.mtc.me.uk/images/P1000622.jpg

Marco
12-05-2012, 10:20
I have to admire your dedication here, mate - quite incredible! :respect:

Have you noticed a sonic improvement, since you've sorted the rack?

Marco.

Rare Bird
12-05-2012, 10:47
When you get my PM Martin, i'm sure that lot will be back out :D

MartinT
12-05-2012, 11:29
I have noticed an improvement whenever the rack fully floats, as opposed to when it is grounded at any point.

The rack has settled overnight and the left-hand side has lowered perilously close to where it will be grounded again. Not to worry - now that I have the correct technique, I will order more of the new springs and replace every one of the remaining originals for the new ones.

So Andr'e - you're right, the rack will be upside-down again sometime midweek :eek:

Marco
12-05-2012, 11:37
Lol... I avoid disturbing mine, like the plague. The last time I rebuilt it was 4 years ago!

With 30-odd individual levels of Mana, with spikes and boards, not including racks with glass shelves, all to level and tune, 'just so', it's not a task for the faint-hearted!

I've no idea what sort of total weight is on the bottom level of each of my two 'Phase 15' stacks, but it must be enormous!! :eek:

Good job our wooden floors are solid! ;)

Marco.

MartinT
12-05-2012, 11:40
Mine is concrete, so at least I have a firm base. The system is completely foot-fall immune.

JazzBones
12-05-2012, 11:59
Martin, I'm looking for four extension/expansion springs similar to that you have on the underneath base of your rack pillars... please advise where I can get some rather than having to buy a whole box that I will never use?

Thanks

Ron

MartinT
12-05-2012, 12:39
Ron - try these people Lee Spring (http://www.leespring.com/uk_index.asp)

Marco
12-05-2012, 15:19
Mine is concrete, so at least I have a firm base. The system is completely foot-fall immune.

Never had a problem with that, dude. Mind you, in that respect, I wouldn't want to use an LP12 - bouncy, bouncy, jumpy, jumpy... :eyebrows:

Marco.

MartinT
15-05-2012, 20:26
Well, I've never become so intimate with all the specifications of an expansion spring as I am now. Having tried a few variants under load, I'm confident that I've identified exactly the right type and have ordered 36 of them. Hopefully I'll have them by Friday and will spend a no doubt frustrating evening getting them all in. It'll be worth it, though.

REXTON
15-05-2012, 21:32
It's about keeping my SUT close to the arm and well away from big magnetic fields like the P10. I've rearranged things several times and this is the best, but the new SR7 PSU is going to bugger things up as it's a lot bigger than the SR5 in between the preamp and phono amp.

The SR7 is big, it makes the Timestep PSU look like a match box.

Reid Malenfant
15-05-2012, 21:38
The SR7 is big, it makes the Timestep PSU look like a match box.
Strangely a box of cooks matches probably cost as much as the LM317HVT regulator fitted inside the Timestep PSU :lol:

You can buy them for about 1 in bulk from Farnell ;)

REXTON
16-05-2012, 17:53
Strangely a box of cooks matches probably cost as much as the LM317HVT regulator fitted inside the Timestep PSU :lol:

You can buy them for about 1 in bulk from Farnell ;)

If only I'd spoken to you before I bought the bloody thing. :eek:

Marco
16-05-2012, 18:05
Strangely a box of cooks matches probably cost as much as the LM317HVT regulator fitted inside the Timestep PSU...


:rfl: :rfl: :rofl: :rofl:

Well, that's Cawley's 'profit first' design policy showcased in all its glory!!

Marco.

Reid Malenfant
16-05-2012, 18:13
If only I'd spoken to you before I bought the bloody thing. :eek:
You only need to look at his advert for it on ebay ;)

I only caught it as I happened to be looking up the old Yamaha NS1000M in search & he happened to be selling a pair. So I had a look at his other stuff including the Timestep & nearly fell off of my chair when I saw that mentioned :eyebrows:

I have loads of them here, also a box of about 3000 x 12V 1A TO220 regulators, LM337 (the negative rail equivalent of the 317) & loads more besides.

It's not something I'd use to power anything that needs a decent supply.

On something drawing a constant current it wouldn't be too bad, but the Techie doesn't so it'd be out of the picture straight away ;)

Marco
16-05-2012, 19:13
Sorry, but the bloke's a primo A-hole... :wanker:

I just can't 'go' people who's priority is making money out of folk, FIRST, BEFORE ensuring that he considers a product which he sells is the best (at its respective price point)! :nono:

He once gave away what he was all about, when in a discussion with me, he referred to his customers as "punters" (there simply to top up his pension plan), and also when he wanted to buy Mark Grant's G1000HD cables and sell them on, re-packaging them in a fancy presentation box, at a grossly inflated price... For me, that said it all.

Marco.

REXTON
16-05-2012, 19:24
Sorry, but the bloke's a primo A-hole... :wanker:

I just can't 'go' people who's priority is making money out of folk, FIRST, BEFORE ensuring that he considers a product which he sells is the best (at its respective price point)! :nono:

He once gave away what he was all about, when in a discussion with me, he referred to his customers as "punters" (there simply to top up his pension plan), and also when he wanted to buy Mark Grant's G1000HD cables and sell them on, re-packaging them in a fancy presentation box, at a grossly inflated price... For me, that said it all.

Marco.

Slightly off-topic (sorry Martin) but Dave's forum has attrached approx zilcho (thats zero) posts in about 10 days since I last logged in. I think this speaks volumes.

Marco
16-05-2012, 19:26
With him at the helm, the 'forum' was always destined to be a graveyard... I'm afraid that I have zero respect for people who are in the hi-fi business for the wrong reasons.

Marco.

MartinT
17-05-2012, 11:01
So anyway, back to the problem at hand...

Take 36 beautiful custom springs from Lee Spring with the following specs:
- Free length 25.4mm
- Initial tension 4.812N
- Rate 3.27N/mm
- Max load 38.159N
- Diameter 7.95mm
- Wire diameter 1.092mm

So, as you can see, these little babies are strong! The max load of 38N per spring should mean that the rack can take approx 38 * 36 / 2 N or approximately 680kg (but I think the rack would break before that). The proof will be in the fitting, of course.

Quick photo taken at work:
http://www.mtc.me.uk/images/Springs.jpg

Guess what I'm doing tonight?

MartinT
18-05-2012, 05:41
Job done - for the moment, but I'm still not happy at how close the L/H side is to bottoming. I have a new plan, but it's going to be a while. I shall disassemble the rack and take the feet to work where I can make use of a pillar drill to drill some more holes for more springs.

I certainly have a few spare lying around ;)

Alex_UK
18-05-2012, 06:36
Well I have to admire your dedication to the cause Martin! Good luck with the final tweaks. :)

Marco
18-05-2012, 06:53
Hehehehe... He's something else, isn't he? :eyebrows:

Good luck, dude. I hope all your faffing about pays off!!

Marco.

northwest
18-05-2012, 15:08
. I have a pile of 2 coins and will try tonight.


I have given this some thought Martin and the real challenge here is to somehow market this 2coin solution. If we could get some packaging and a "proper name" for them we could sell them for what? A fiver? More?
This has lots f potential here.

MartinT
18-05-2012, 15:27
I have given this some thought Martin and the real challenge here is to somehow market this 2coin solution. If we could get some packaging and a "proper name" for them we could sell them for what? A fiver? More?

Hmm yes, I see the light. Cover them in heatshrink wrap and call them something exotic, then charge 25 each for my new 'stabilising discs'.

REXTON
18-05-2012, 16:22
Job done - for the moment, but I'm still not happy at how close the L/H side is to bottoming. I have a new plan, but it's going to be a while. I shall disassemble the rack and take the feet to work where I can make use of a pillar drill to drill some more holes for more springs.

I certainly have a few spare lying around ;)

This is a real $hit especially when you think you have your kit exactly as you want it. :steam:

Spectral Morn
18-05-2012, 17:31
Martin I would email the company that make the rack and have a chat with them re your problems.

I feel, and its only a feeling, that you might be circumventing the way this particular table design is designed to deal with vibration. I have read that some companies making such items and even turntable companies (thinking Oracle here) specify particular springs to deal with particular frequencies of vibration and by overloading the table and replacing the springs with different tensioned springs you may well be destroying how the table works. I could be wrong here but I would talk with the makers of the table.

I also feel that loading isolation tables with heavy items can also hold back the performance of other equipment on the table, particularly if a turntable is being used.

I know why you are doing what you are doing I too like stuff set up nicely and fitting kit on racks to be aesthetically pleasing is only to be done if that positioning does not damage the way equipment works on it. I would also question having lots of mains transformers stacked above each other as this can cause interference.

If the system was mine I would place the mains conditioner and other PSUs on the floor on their own isolation systems.

MartinT
18-05-2012, 18:22
Thanks, Neil, and good points some of which I have already considered. I know the 'rocking' frequency of the rack on its original springs was about 2Hz so I am always looking for the new frequency to be thereabouts. It's important to stress that I am not overloading it, according to the specs issued by Solid Tech. However, the Power Plant P10 and Ayre SACD player, both on one side, are a very heavy combination.

The real obstacle to changing things radically are a lack of floor space and limited length of power cables. As arranged, everything reaches nicely without being tight. There is a cop-out available to me: the sprung feet can be removed and replaced with spikes (the threaded inserts are inside the columns). However, I believe it is the sprung isolation that contributes significantly to the clean sound I obtain even at high volume levels.

I will contact Solid Tech as it will do no harm asking for their advice.

Reid Malenfant
18-05-2012, 22:07
Good luck sorting it Martin :)

I'm sure you know that all springs will stretch given time (or compress depending on how they are loaded), so I'd suggest you go a little OTT & be prepared. Make even more mounting points that you'd consider would be needed :eyebrows:

Daft question as I think you must have considered this, are you adding to the springs on the centre columbs of the stand to? I'm assuming yes...

MartinT
18-05-2012, 22:23
Yes, I think I'll drill three more holes on inner and outer rims for each of the six feet, adding a total of 18 more springs. By using slightly different springs I can achieve some form of damping rather like the dual concentric springs used for valves against the camshaft in an engine.

MartinT
25-05-2012, 12:02
The next step, I've ordered one of these to get serious with the feet.

http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/NDAwWDQwMA==/$(KGrHqRHJEoE88d-jo-mBPVQv2IDsQ~~60_12.JPG

Reid Malenfant
25-05-2012, 17:37
The next step, I've ordered one of these to get serious with the feet.

http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/NDAwWDQwMA==/$(KGrHqRHJEoE88d-jo-mBPVQv2IDsQ~~60_12.JPG
Good little bits of kit those are, I'll be purchasing one myself very shortly :)

I have loads of precision drilling to do :doh:

& loads of balls to drill :lol: Strangely I'm not kidding :cool:


Have fun Martin!

MartinT
25-05-2012, 17:45
I like making my own PCBs for projects and I've always wanted a bench drill for the tiny component holes. Also great for general mods.

MartinT
04-06-2012, 21:24
I'm stripping the rack down tomorrow. I'm going to start with adding three springs to each foot, making nine in total for each. Then I'll try to get it roughty level with just the P10 and Chord on it before loading it down so much that I can no longer adjust it in situ.

MartinT
05-06-2012, 11:01
Showing the addition of three extra springs. Two feet done, four to go.

http://www.mtc.me.uk/images/P1000638.jpg

Rare Bird
05-06-2012, 12:15
Any particular reason the centre spring is hooked in differently to the outters?

MartinT
05-06-2012, 12:43
The three additional springs are different and hook 'down' both ends. The original six hook 'up' at the inner hub.

realysm42
05-06-2012, 14:02
How come they're not spaced equi-distantly from eachother?

I assume this is deliberate as you've lined up in an order...

MartinT
05-06-2012, 14:10
Because if you read back to the beginning of the thread you will see that there were six original springs. So I had the option of adding another two, three or six to keep things symmetrical. I decided on adding another three to each foot, with the option of adding another three again should I need them.

MartinT
05-06-2012, 15:02
She floats! With everything reinstalled, there is a decided sense of free movement that wasn't there before. I also notice that footfalls no longer have any impact on record playback whatsoever, a situation I used to have before the heavyweight P10 was installed. The natural oscillation is about 2Hz, perfectly fine.

If it ever sags onto the bottom stops again I have another possible three springs on each foot that I can go to.

MartinT
12-06-2012, 21:40
It's late and I've finally rebuilt my system - again! I am very happy with the outcome of my asymmetrical system rack, it now floats level with the weight distribution biased to the left-hand side because of the heavy P10.

There are 12 springs in the left feet, 10 in the central feet and 9 in the right feet.

Showing the left foot. Getting all the springs in was quite hard work.

http://www.mtc.me.uk/images/P1000641.jpg

Job done. My back is relieved that I won't be lifting that P10 again for quite a while.

The Grand Wazoo
12-06-2012, 23:56
With it saprung like that are you sure the whole thing won't do a double sideways flip if you take the P10 off the rack Martin?!

MartinT
13-06-2012, 05:58
Kind of like a big tiddlywink?

The Grand Wazoo
13-06-2012, 07:40
Yes, that's it. Only with an expensive and delicate cargo!