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Amplifier feet and racks

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Sidman View Drop Down
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    Posted: 13 Jan 2015 at 11:46pm
I found this statement on the web site of the 'renowned Cambridge based company', referring to their power-amps.

'Anti-vibration, resonance-controlling feet serve to protect the sensitive internal components from resonance and microphonic vibration.'

How important are is it to base amplification equipment on special feet and isolated shelves etc?
I can appreciate the need for 'mechanical' front ends such as TTs, CD players and the like but have always suspected that it was hype when it came to most other components. 



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Ash View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ash Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2015 at 12:44am
As long as they don't say that it "improves sound quality" because that would be quite awkward...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Graham Slee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2015 at 4:29am
Some amplifier components can be microphonic - valves for example if tapped will produce an output that can be heard through the speakers.

Also, some high impedance inputs can do the same, but sometimes this can be because of high frequency instability. Some form of shock to the casework can generate a sufficient stimulus from components such as ceramic capacitors and some audiovile electrolytic type capacitors, and set off what's called ringing.

If you have the experience and sensitivity, and sadly most of the public don't, you can actually sense a system set-up featuring an amp that suffers from high frequency instability...

Howl-round is the obnoxious noise you get when a stage pa feeds back via its microphones. When a group sound checks, the mic channels are often set just before the brink, and there is the sense of a "presence" to the auditorium (or club concert room). This is almost exactly the same as walking into a room containing a system with an unstable amp - volume turned up and ready for use.

I've been in dealer's demo rooms, hi-fi show demo rooms, and in one manufacturer's demo room, where that sensation was all too obvious.

There's no harm in making a chassis with some suspension, but if it's there to stop the amp "taking off", then be aware!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sidman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2015 at 9:31am
Thank you Graham for such a comprehensive answer.
I don,t know why I described the manufacturer as being Cambridged based when they are in Salisbury. It would have been simpler to have just Naimed them!

When so many things in audio have a reputation for being overstated to the level of eccentricity it is comforting to learn that the 'venerable' British names are not feeding us b...s...

I think I have sensed the 'presence' you describe but it is difficult to separate what you actually hear from what you expect to hear or want to hear. The buyer has to be aware and it is refreshing to find your forum where the name on the label goes on line before daylight personally answer customers' questions.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sidman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2015 at 12:18pm
So to sum up, which amplifiers (power, pre, phono stage, headphone) in a system should be placed on specialist racks and which ones can be sited on any convenient surface?
Assuming that the amplifiers in question are well designed and built.
Thanks for your honest expertise.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Graham Slee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2015 at 2:28pm
All on convenient surfaces IMO.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ash Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2015 at 2:40pm
I reckon that I could sit a Bitzie, Majestic, Solo ULDE or pair of Proprius on top of a spinning washing machine and not hear any difference in the audio output they produce, if I were to trail a headphone cable to another room and listen.

Not that I would do this... but most solid state components are not susceptible to mechanical vibration as far as I'm aware.

Vinyl electromechanical equipment such as pick-up or solenoid would be susceptible to vibration though.


Edited by Ash - 14 Jan 2015 at 2:44pm
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