I have a Quadraspire SVT Bamboo four shelf rack for my system. Due to the location of the rack (which cannot be changed) it is impossible for me to access the back in order to make any wiring changes etc. Therefore I ordered the rack fitted with castors so that I can easily pull it forwards over the carpet. This works well.
Having now got my system set up how I want it to stay - no more hi-fi related purchases planned at all (he says, trying to convince himself!), there is one last niggle.
I’m sure that the Quadraspire rack isn’t performing optimally with castors. I’m thinking I should replace these with spikes resting on spike shoes on top of the carpet. The floor is a fairly old suspended wooden floor with underlay and medium thickness carpet. However I’m not sure if these will be easily moveable over the carpet. Also spike shoes are mainly intended for placing directly on a hard floor, so not sure how they will perform on carpet.
Having had hernia repair surgery in the past I need to keep the rack easily moveable - hence the castors.
Am I worrying needlessly? Perhaps the castors are not significantly degrading the performance? To put things into some kind of context the system is worth around £15K so hardly high-end but still pretty respectable.
I appreciate fully that nobody can provide me with a definitive answer but many minds are better than one. Observations, comments, constructive criticism all gratefully received. Thanks.
The standard way to fit spikes is straight through the carpet into the floor below. If you prefer, you can put floor protectors such as Naim Chips under the carpet but it’s not essential. I wouldn’t put them on top of the carpet.
Chris, I wasn’t sure about this but you’ve confirmed what I suspected. If I put spikes through the carpet then it’s obviously impossible move the rack by sliding it so I guess that rules out spikes!
Also I’m not entirely sure, even if I could spike through the carpet, whether this would be a good thing. The floorboards are old and rather creaky so would hardly provide the most stable base. The castors at least provide a degree of decoupling as they are in effect solid rubber balls.
Yes, if you need to move it you have to dismantle each shelf to access the back.
Isoblue shelves can be a good choice here as you can slide each one forwards to make access to lower shelves easier.
Why not keep spikes, for better sound quality, and use something like in that pic if you want to move the rack?
Possible I suppose but I honestly wouldn’t fancy trying it with all that valuable kit and rack.
What could possibly go wrong?
Given you have finished the upgrade, why do you need to go the back for wiring changes, if you upgraded a cable or wanted to make other alterations dismantling the rack (not sure how Quadraspires work) and cleaning the dust away reconneting and rebuilding the set up seems like a good idea ?
I use HiFi Racks and took my set up apart for a service of a few amps, a great time to dust and un-plug, re-plug
Yes dismantling the system/rack would be an option for sure. As you say, given that I don’t intend to make further changes then this would seem viable. But having said that one never knows, and if for some reason I needed to access the back then this really would be a real challenge and a pain.
I guess I want my cake and to eat it. I’m looking for an easy way out - but at the risk of mixing too many metaphors there’s no such thing as a free lunch!
Looks like I’m stuck with the castors if I want to keep things as easy as possible.
Only other possibility would be something like heavy duty machine feet fitted with carpet gliders. Whether these would sound better than the castors is really anyone’s guess though and it will be much work and nuisance to find out. And if they don’t…!
Perhaps a set of good locking castors but I bet it needs a dust before you move it !
Could you set up something with retractable spikes, that lower the castors to the floor when needing moving?
I guess this is too obvious but… is it possible to position the rack a few inches further from the rear wall so you can access the cables without moving the rack? You really don’t need that much space to hook up the cables.
I’m pretty sure the difference between castors on the carpet vs. spikes on the wooden floor under the carpet is more than obvious.
Or you have that. It’s completely safe.
I’m not sure about the quality or construction of the Quadraspire but I presume it’s a quality rack designed for audio systems. Using castors below the rack may degrade sound quality but you wouldn’t know the extent of degradation unless you replace the castors with spikes and listen. A lot of work though.
If the current configuration sounds decent, perhaps just live with it? Just to share. I bought a cheap rack not too long ago. Even though it came with thick solid spikes which look pretty impressive, the sound quality was quite bad. The first thing you would notice (if the rack is poor) is the reduced bass quality. That’s the most obvious difference between a good and bad rack. If the bass or other aspects of the sound appear to be acceptable to you, then perhaps just leave it as is. Based on my limited experience, spikes are not the best option for rack. Good isolation footers will improve on the spikes.
Hmm, I woinder if iso acoustics speaker isolators would work? Might be a bit unstable though
I’m not sure as I haven’t used Isoacoustics Gaia on a rack. I have Finite Elemente Cerapuc footers on the rack in my main system. The Cerapuc does not allow any movement. I agree the Gaias appear to be unstable but I believe Townshend products also work on the same principles where the load that’s supported can sway freely in all directions with a slight push.
I only have Gaias on the speakers.
Thanks for all your considered replies everyone.
Agreed. The bass is in no way bad, but from experience (and having owned Fraim etc.) I have the feeling that it could be better. Sometimes it can seem a little amorphous, but I’m being very critical here.
Agreed again. Townshend seismic isolators may have been an option, but again I need to be able to easily move the rack as there is simply no other way to access the rear.
Overall I’m happy with the performance I’m getting. It’s just the perfectionist in me. The castors are a bit wobbly, ie. if one pushes on the rack then it wobbles slightly. Not sure if this is a good or bad thing. It depends on which school of thought you align yourself with - the ‘complete rigidity is best’ or ‘some movement to allow decoupling is best’. To be fair even my Naim Fraim rack wobbled slightly if pushed on the top.
I suppose what I’m asking, unreasonably I know because no-one can possibly tell me, is ‘are the castors really messing things up and is there a whole new level of performance and musical insight waiting for me if only I replaced them with something better?!’
One solution might be to try Clearlight Audio RDC 1.2 Isolation Cones. I have them on my racks as a sonic preference over spikes but as a happy bi-product of them not being a spike that penetrates the carpet, I can pull my rack out if required. Clearly it doesn’t move as easily as it would on castors but it might be a good halfway house?
I bought the untapped ones and then drilled tapped them myself, but you may be able to get someone else to do it for you or the threaded ones may well fit the threads on the Quadraspire (although from memory they’re fair chunky threads?)
Yes the threads are M12. I think to be honest the rack just wouldn’t move easily enough. It needs to be something that has some kind of carpet gliders attached or that can be attached.
I really think I’m stuck with the castors, at least for now.
Thanks to everyone for your suggestions and for bringing some perspective to things.
From recollection I’m not sure I’d want to move even a Quadraspire rack with castors on. That’s a lot of weight and the uprights are only alloy. When I had a Quadraspire a I tried sliding it forwards on a wooden floor with the spikes sitting in Naim chips. There was a lot of “whip” on the top shelves, so ended up just removing stuff until I felt it was safe. I suspect that you will lose some performance as the system will be less rigid with castors but that’s the compromise. From a performance perspective I always liked my Quadraspire. Ultimately it can be beaten by a Fraim but the Quadraspire always had a lovely ‘organic’ sound, which I sometimes miss. How about running a section of oak/timber flooring just under the racks and butting the carpet up to this?