Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Further Discoveries On The Ikea Aptitlig Audio Platform: The Birth Of The "Anti-Rack"

My previous post spoke about combining the Ikea Aptitlig butcher blocks with the Agora Acoustics MagicHexas to create an effective platform for audio components. This was spin on the Audio Beat article that originated the idea.

After some thought and corresponding research, I have discovered a way to make this combination even more effective with mass loading.

None of the gear I use in my own system is very heavy. The Bybee Stealth power conditioner only weighs 15 pounds, the Auralic DAC and preamp are lightweights too. That wasn't the inspiration for the idea, the inspiration was lack of space in my home to have each piece of gear on it's own platform, taking up space in my listening room. So I stacked them... I stacked them in a manner that decoupled the components from one another, while using the mass of the above component (s) to help couple the components to the butcher block. Here is how I did it.

The bottom component (in my case the power conditioner) was coupled to the butcher block via the small bamboo blocks. The butcher block was set above the floor on 5 MagicHexas (125 pound capacity). On top of the power conditioner I placed 3 MagicHexas, then the butcher block, then 3 bamboo block, then the Auralic preamp. On top of the preamp I set 3 MagicHexas and repeated the process until I finished with the last component. look at the photo below.

My "Anti-Rack" Note the clear MagicHexas. They work very well with the silver components.

The sound? Quieter, without any tonal shifts. Bass seemed to be less muddy as well. Plus I had the added benefit of my system taking up less floor space. Not bad.

What is happening (IMO)

The mass of the above components adds weight and pressure, helping the bamboo blocks transfer vibrational energy more efficiently into the butcher block below which acts as a "drain" for those vibrations. In addition, the MagicHexas keep vibrations from being transmitted between components. Floor vibrations are not transmitted into the components either since the bottom layer of this stack are the MagicHexas.

Things to note

Start with the physically largest component on the bottom, working your way up to the component with the smallest physical dimensions last. You will need to know the weight of each component to know how many MagicHexas to use underneath each butcher block. The Butcher blocks weigh approximately 7 pounds, and the MagicHexas are rated at 25 pounds per MagicHexa.

If you are looking for a customizeable, affordable and very effective solution for placing gear, the Anti-Rack is worth experimenting with.