Height of rack affecting soundstage????

SlickenSmooth -- Sat, 04/24/2010 - 18:41

Can anyone shed some light on this subject? Is this a myth? Time and time again I see a rack of 1m height in a 100k set. Yet every now and then I hear someone saying that one should not go too high when one's placing the rack in between the speakers?

hikejohn -- Fri, 06/11/2010 - 13:39

I went through this issue, after having read Jim Smith's book, and moved...and sold my Salamander set up and put everything off to the side on a Grand Prix rack...aside from the GP rack being an upgrade...the most important difference was not having the big cabinet between the speakers....I have no idea why most folks demo stuff with racks in the middle...but they seem to....in part perhaps it goes to the issue of having to have matched cables...in length...with the IC being much long now...at least for me since I have monoblocks right next to the Rockports...

Steven Stone -- Fri, 06/11/2010 - 17:58

 Never heard that...
But to see if an object has an affect in your listening space, borrow a half dozen nice thick blankets and then cover or wrap, Cristo-like, the object in the room that you think is having an effect on your system. Also you can perform a pretty robust A/B/X test with blankets. Merely blindfold yourselves and have someone else take the blankets on and off, or maybe off, or maybe on...guaranteed hours of audiophile fun!
But seriously, you can tell a lot about a room by using a dozen thick blankets and moving them around.


Steven Stone
Contributor to The Absolute Sound, EnjoytheMusic.com, Vintage Guitar Magazine, and other fine publications

Peter D'Castro -- Fri, 10/22/2010 - 23:15

A dozen thick blankets? Do you feel that cold at night! I gave away all my blankets to charity. All I have left are a couple of feather quilts. Are the quilts any good for this exercise? Is one floor rug equal to 6 thick blankets? I have a floor rug suspended against the wall behind the speakers.

Steven Stone -- Sat, 10/23/2010 - 01:05

Quilts will work fine. Moving blankets are also good.

Using a rug or woven art on the wall can be a a very effective midrange and upper frequency reflection damper. I've used that in the past and seen/heard some good-sounding rooms that used woven fabrics and/or fine woven rugs as art and sound controllers.

Steven Stone
Contributor to The Absolute Sound, EnjoytheMusic.com, Vintage Guitar Magazine, and other fine publications

Peter D'Castro -- Fri, 10/22/2010 - 23:18

I have had equipment on a stand up to 1.2mts high, b/w speakers. I have had no issues with the sound.  Though I did have the rack set about a metre behind the speakers.  I did not like having a TV set b/w speakers, on the same plane as the speaker, it ruined sound.

djanggo -- Sun, 10/24/2010 - 18:35

 In my case, the difference is almost always clearly discernible when placing a rack (over 60cm-75cm high) anywhere in between speakers. Most notably, loosing mid bass definitions and focus of imaging. So it's either on the floor with individual stands, or if racked, off to the side for me.

Zach -- Tue, 03/08/2011 - 12:22

 I do believe rack height affects soundstage involvement. I experienced it in my own system. I believe that the brain is more capable of interpreting the soundstage if it doesn't see a physical rack placed in the center of the soundstage. I have my TT and preamp on seperate stands that are no higher than 3ft. high, this significantly improves the soundstaging and imaging of the system. 

trponhunter -- Sun, 04/03/2011 - 14:41


trponhunter -- Sun, 04/03/2011 - 14:44

You should not have a rack between the speakers - period. It is a source of reflections and will have a profound affect on your soundstage. Even if you think your sound is good, removing the rack from between your speakers will improve it.

Priaptor -- Sun, 04/03/2011 - 15:44


Some of us don't have that luxury. In the real world many of us have no choice and what I once considered blasphemy, I now have not only my rack between the speakers but a wall mounted plasma.

However, you are right. What I have done to ameliorate the problem is to place traps on top of and in front of my cabinet and have the best of both worlds. Moving the traps is simple when I watch TV.

I am going to ask ASC if they could design a custom absorption panel, with a 4 foot high 13" half round in the middle and two 9" half rounds on each side of the panel raised just enough to cover the plasma. I think this would be a desirable product for those of us with issues I describe.

In my previous house, the good ole days, I had a dedicated listening room.

trponhunter -- Sun, 04/03/2011 - 16:03

The real world sets in, sometimes. If you need the electronics between the spaeakers, best to keep the rack or racks low. Would tend to think two low racks may be better than 1 taller rack, but I haven't compared. Covering the rack when listening with a thick comforter will help considerably with image focus.

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