18th December 2003 11:34 AM
Appropriate Fill For Tubular Matal Rack
I have a tubular metal rack which consists of four hollow cylindrical steel uprights, sixteen hollow rectangular cross supports and is coupled to a carpet over concrete floor on four threaded spikes. My components sit on MDF shelves and are coupled to these shelves with brass cones and spikes. Up until recently I have had the rack filled completely with sand. I was advised on another forum to remove the sand from the rack as sand acts as a damping device and therefore kills dynamics. With the equipment in use on the unfilled rack I have now introduced a metallic ring to the sound, loosened up the bass and diminished top end detail. It was suggested to me that I use a material such as Systrum's Micro-steel Bearing fill instead. I investigated this product on Systrum's website and I quote from their website...
"Steel is positioned as a primary conductor of resonance within our science and product designs. NO SAND, NO LEAD and NO RUBBER products, as these substances come from the "absorbent materials" group. It remains a fact that sand, lead and rubber materials are a solution to treat the negative effects of resonance and vibrations. However, these materials absorb dynamics and micro-dynamics when used with audio and acoustical equipment. They literally soak up and destroy the energies that make the musical presentation exhilarating.
Maintaining and increasing Dynamics within the presentation is a primary goal of all Audio and Videophiles. This raw energy creates the overall excitement and pleasure related to human emotion while listening to a recorded process or live-presentation. If you currently own a stand that can be mass loaded or are using sand and/or lead as the primary fill material, we highly recommend replacing the absorbent material with Micro-Bearing Conductive Steel."
The problem I have is a) the Systrum products are unavailable in New Zealand. b)Systrum sells this product for US$40 a quart and I require more than a few quarts to fill this rack. Given the exchange rate and cost of freight, importing this product would be extraordinarily expensive. I sure as hell ain't paying hundreds of bucks for a bucket of steel sand!
I am hoping that somebody may be able to suggest a more readily obtainable and cost effective alternative. Thanks in advance for your help.
18th December 2003 11:42 AM
Why don't you just replace the sand in your rack. From your description it appears that you found the sound better with the rack filled with sand.
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18th December 2003 12:01 PM
Yes I could do that. But with the sand fill, the whole system is lacking in dynamics. The system is nicely detailed, but it does not excite. Flat and uninvolving is how I would decribe it. I thought that maybe the sand filled rack was killing the dynamics, therefore I removed the sand.
18th December 2003 07:12 PM
What sort of sand were you using ?
Hope it wasn't the stuff you get from building suppliers or (gasp) the free stuff off your nearest beach...
The last sand filler I used was the pure stuff that sandblasters use.
Or maybe get in touch with your nearest shot peener. The stuff they use sounds very similar to your "micro-bearing" stuff and will definitely be cheaper.
Have you tried lead shot or a combination of lead shot and sand.
The last pair of speaker stands I had were filled with sand n shot.
Absolutely dead and heavy !
t o M
Last edited by Michael Wong; 18th December 2003 at 07:15 PM.
19th December 2003 07:37 AM
Apparently cat litter is worth trying - presumably fresh, not used, unless you *really* want to experiment with variable damping.
19th December 2003 04:25 PM
Re: Appropriate Fill For Tubular Matal Rack
Well that would have to be the biggest load of illogical, unscientific snake-oil crap since the age of Mr Edison's wax cylinder .
Originally posted by Bevan J
" However, these materials absorb dynamics and micro-dynamics when used with audio and acoustical equipment. They literally soak up and destroy the energies that make the musical presentation exhilarating.".
Fill you tubes with a mixture of (use rubber gloves) dry fine sand, medium coarse gravel & lead shot in equal portions.
Last edited by Ayn Marx; 2nd February 2004 at 08:48 PM.
8th January 2004 11:22 AM
try taking a magnet to piha?
9th January 2004 08:16 AM
Try adding a bit of sand at a time to try to "tune" the rack.If it is a bit dead when full, and rings when empty, then there is probably somewhere in between that is OK.Bit of a pain doing it but worth the effort.
Sound Creations used iron sand I think so maybe they can provide some
2nd February 2004 06:38 PM
i wonder, and i haven't tried it ...but am intrigued by it ... and the beauty is it's easily cleaned out ......is wax.
to kill resonance but not deaden the sound imparted by the metal.
even to put a dowel into the tube and pour the wax around it. easy enough to centre the dowel ...with drawing pins shoved in to whatever depth.
if it's no good heat your rack and let it flow out.....into those candle molds you've got ready.
hmmm, well i might just try it myself. i'm in the middle of constructing a rack and have been toying with what to do vis a vis the tubes.
silicon sealant could be another idea, but that seems expensive and difficult to experiment with.
i notice this thread has been up a while, what did you end up doing?