Wobbly bits or a nice tight fit

I found the Forum archive and made the mistake of searching for products in my setup.

It would make sense to run A/B comparisons for easy changes such as CDP/cables/room etc but I have a 5 level Quadraspire Q4 Evo and there are some mad suggestions about loosening all the columns to improve SQ

I don’t want to spend a hours adjusting the rack and redressing the cables so I thought I would ask what other members do with their Quadraspire or non Fraim racks?

Fraim doesn’t wobble but it does decouple horizontally. the cones between levels sit on flat circles in the cups and if a cone touches the edge of that area you can hear the sound degrade a bit. There used to be a wobbly IKEA unit that people recommended as a cheap but effective stand if you were on a budget and isoblue doesn’t work as well if you glue the pegs, they’re meant to be a bit loose. You may be on to something but it may be possible to take it too far.

Suggestion was Quadrapsires sound better if the columns are very loose.

“Too far” is my normal result with this kind of thing, I can see my CDS3 crashing from level 5 into the fireplace.

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If it ain’t broke…

Having used Quadraspire for nearly 20 years and having 3 of their racks currently, I can say loosy goosy is not where you want to be.

Because the columns screw onto each other and support the next shelf directly, if they are not all tight then they are probably all slightly uneven. You’d have to make every column loose by the exact same amount.

If you do want it loose though, the simple solution is build the rack and build it tight. In 3 months, it will be slightly loose and the columns will easily turn in place. I always found that they sound better ridged though. If you tighten them at 3 months and then 6, after that they will stay tight and the rack ridged,


Thanks, that is all really useful.

Do you have a preference for the best SQ?

For me, ridged and decoupling are two different things. All a loose Quadraspire rack does in my experience is make for a wobbly rack. So yes I prefer how they sound done up tight. And for maximum stability no more than 6 levels high at 10cm spacers or 4 levels at 14cm spacers.

If you want more decoupling, then Naim Fraim or Quadraspire X-Reference.

My view isn’t gospel. I’m sure there are those who think it’s rubbish and they should be loosened up. The great thing here is, trying it both ways costs you nothing.

Check out the live shelf isolation thread…

Hey who’s talking about my wobbly bits!

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Thanks for the link. I have been following the story and its a great read in the lock down. The thread was one of the reasons I started looking for easy tweaks and I then sent off to Cymbiosis for a set of Naim cups and balls and then ordered an aluminium panel from a metal workers.


How’s that going?

Do you have any pics?

Do any other Q4 Evo owners have deliberately loose or tight fitted columns?

If not RacKits summary “If it ain’t broke…” is good and I’ll get back to listening to some music.

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I can just see the insurance claim: I loosened off all the screws as far as I could, leaving them just holding for best sound quality (the manufacturer clearly having wrong saying keep everything tight). The music sounded so good I turned the wick right up, and I could really feel my clothes flapping with the pulsing beat, the bass vibrating my seat like it was an earth tremor, and the at the final climax I really felt the blast of air - then blow me, the darned rack collapsed, wrecking the CD player, its dying pulse taking out the speakers and leaving the power amp smoking. I really don’t get it - its supposed to be a good rack.

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I’d suggest that with your excellent system you really should look at a better rack. No amount of cups and balls and sundry other stuff will turn it into something else. If you don’t want Fraim, take a look at SVT. The shelves are decoupled from the legs with brass inserts and it’s in a different league to the Q4.

Nothing clever in the pic, balls and cups arrived first and I tried a rigid wood panel off a turntable table. This gave better detail but sounded coloured. Al was more neutral and the better of the two but I haven’t compared it with glass yet.

Recently, I turned my Quadraspire Q4 EVO rack with oak shelves around, and releveled it.

In the process, I noticed that the columns were quite loose. So I tightened them by hand.

I didn’t notice whether doing that had made the SQ better or worse as I’d done other changes at the same time.

Logically, I agree with FZ above that a solidly planted rack should move less and be more level - so it should sound better in theory.

I’d like to see any reports and rationales where people say their racks got better when they were looser.

I once saw on the old forum someone say that they had moved on from the old 80s idea of screwing racks up very tight - but only that - not a direct report of a test where anyone compared tighter and looser racks and said they preferred the looser one.

Regarding Hungyhalibuts comment on a Fraim.

I can’t get over the cost. Next upgrade will probably be a 300 DR and I’ve convinced myself this will make more difference than a Fraim.

Maybe I should start a new thread getting some advice on a proper choice of upgrades. Many 300 owners must have some experience.

Regarding JimDog’s experience.

Based on the useful replies so far I would now say the urge for a loose rack is fading fast.

For years I was happy with a CB system, decided I better upgrade and made the mistake of looking at the forum too much and trying to find cheap upgrades.

Of course there are no cheap upgrades and the answer is to be happy with what you have. Like the rest of life really.

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