Finally, Disks of Silence are suspension pods designed for use with components whose bottom surfaces might be scuffed by the hardened-ball-bearing contact points used in other Solid Tech systems, and especially for use in applications where precision leveling capabilities are needed. Accordingly, Disks of Silence feature substantial, flat-faced, cork-padded, height-adjustable support hubs that are suspended from cylindrical frames by trampoline-like sets of springs. Depending on the number of springs installed a set of four Disks of Silence can support components weighing up to 200 pounds. For obvious reasons, Disks of Silence are ideal for use with turntables that have large flat plinths.
But how do all these components work in practice? The simple answer is that they work like a charm. From the moment I installed the Rack of Silence system and its associated modules I was not only treated to an across-the-board reduction in my system’s noise floor—replete with noticeably deeper and “blacker” backgrounds—but also to newfound layers of low-level transient and textural details. I frankly wasn’t prepared for the magnitude of improvement I heard, both on analog and digital playback.
On Sonny Rollins’ classic Way Out West [Analogue Productions LP], for example, I could much more clearly hear the delicacy, rhythmic precision, and ultra-fine dynamic control of drummer Shelly Manne’s cymbal work, even in instances where Manne chose to play at extremely low volume levels. Similarly, on “Walter Pigeon” from John Abercrombie and Eddie Gomez’s Structures [Chesky SACD], my ear was caught by Gomez’s taut yet completely unstrained arco bass work as the song opens, and by the sweet and ever-so-subtly modulated tone Abercrombie achieved with his guitar. Instead of a general impression of “liquidity,” I could now clearly discern Abercrombie varying finger pressure to give individual notes more or less emphasis. As a general rule I found that the more musical materials had to offer in terms of rich layers of inner detail, the greater the benefit of the improvements. Sometimes the Rack of Silence made me feel like a sonic treasure hunter, allowing me to unearth precious bits of musical information that previously had been buried just beneath the surface of my system’s noise floor.
Good though the Rack of Silence is, I would suggest several possible enhancements. First, I’d love to see Solid Tech simplify assembly procedures by providing three things: a photo-illustrated assembly manual; perhaps a set-up DVD to explain finer points of suspension adjustment; and especially a plastic alignment-jig to aid in proper assembly of those tricky X-shaped shelf frames. Second, and on a more performance-minded note, I would like to see Solid Tech offer (as standard) a set of height-adjustable feet for the Rack of Silence (after all, many listening room floors are far from level). While you could use shims to true up the rack, you really shouldn’t have to with a product at this price point.
Minor quibbles notwithstanding, I came away thoroughly impressed with Solid Tech’s Rack of Silence system. It’s strong, beautiful, well made, and well thought out. But most importantly, the Rack of Silence has the proven ability to help already very good systems reach significantly higher levels of performance—levels that, once experienced, quickly become addictive.
Rack of Silence Reference 3
Type: Three-shelf audio rack with suspended center “Super Shelf”
Dimensions: 23.625" x 27.5" x 19.75"
Width between pillars: 20.75"