MANA clone

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My MANA clone stand just arrived and as i am about to make some decisions regarding shelving material a few questions crop up. First, let me admit to never having seen or heard a real MANA. Seems to be well regarded, which is a bit strange with all the steel and glass. Still, i decided to take the plunge as most of my components tend to be on the heavy side and the light, rigid and shelfless aluminium stand i have, although great sounding (dynamically if not tonally) is not very practical and very flimsy.
Past experience with glass has left unpleasant memories of lifeless and slightly timberless sound, so i am not really inclined to go the glass route. And i don't really know how is the MANA glass damped. Of all the stones i only seem to like slate, but in excessive quantities, as they will be, taking into account the size of the shelves, it imparts a very recognisable signature. I briefly experimented with 10mm perspex which sounded quite encouraging and tomorrow i'll try 10mm PVC. PVC seems to be liked for turntable platters, so it should sound good as a shelf. If anyone has any other interesting (pls not MDF) suggestions, or comments about the comparative sound signatures of various materials i'll be very keen to know.
MANA uses some black boards between the rack and the stacked on top tables (no idea what they're called in MANA terminology). Any idea of what those are?
It will be great if someone could share an opinion about the sound of laminates and especially a good laminate recipe.


This is something I have never heard of before, that of shelving material affecting the sound of an amplifier. I would have thought that the first line of approach would be to reduce the amplifiers susceptibility to this sort of thing. But then, if sitting your amplifier upon nice or even exotic materials enhances the whole experience then I think that's valid. If listening to music makes you feel good, that' s great. If putting go-faster stripes on your speaker cones makes you feel even better, then you're even further ahead. Why do we feel compelled to justify the means we employ to enjoy ourselves via our audio stuff? Now how did I get to here?

I wonder how it would go to make a small sensory deprivation tank for your amplifier? To have it completely isolated audibly, vibrationally, thermally, kineticly, electric noisly, etc from it's environment must be the way to go. Maybe hang it on rubber bands in a vacuum in a dark room. This is stuff I really don't know anything about. Not hard to tell, is it? :)

Circlotron said:
This is something I have never heard of before, that of shelving material affecting the sound of an amplifier.


But I did.;)

I didn't like granite and MDF is nothing special. I found some composite material surplus and it sounds the best for me. I never tried, but heard really good things about maple. You could make your own shelfs from 3/4" plank boards used for hardwood flooring. Made my speakers that way.

I also wish i lived in a simpler world. This whole business with the support affecting the sound dramatically is not something i like or enjoy messing with. The annoying part is that even components which look immune are very susceptible. For quick auditions i am too lazy to move bulky valve devices so i use a gaincard type amp - still the differences are startling. The gaincard doesn't appear to be particularly microphonic as it doesn't even use a proper heatsink - just a solid alu bar.


Thanks for the maple suggestion - it was already on my shortlist.

Didn't have much luck with maple today but got a 10mm PVC board exactly the same size as the perspex shelf (590x475x10mm). It sounds very similar to the way it rings when knocked - resonance is clearly lower than the perspex and if you like paper in oil cap sound you'll like the PVC. I, however prefer faster sound and like the perspex more. Don't know about using PVC as platter in order to improve on acrylic...

As always this forum has been great inspiration, so after readign that post I decided to built my rack as well. It's not Mana (I don't even know how Mana looks) but I hope it wouldl be all I expect from it. I'm using 3x3 square steel tubing, 1/4" thick. It's mounted on a slab and supported from top as well, so it should be pretty sturdy.
Now, what am I gonna use for shelves?;) I've got some granite slabs, but not sure if it would sound good.
The compressor you seein a bakcground is also used as air supply for my air bearing turntable.;)


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Impressive size. If you don't like like the sound you can always find some use for it in the gym:)
For the time being i seem to be happy with 10mm perspex for shelves on which the amps sit, but the TT seems to be a lot fussier. Currently it's sitting on top of a monstrous piece of slate-bycicle tube-slate sandwich. The bycicle tube seems to dampen a lot of the slate ringing and the sound is very dynamic , fast and deep. Only problem is it's annoyingly low on the floor. It took me a while and a lot of burnt calories to figure that the table doesn't want to sit on the rack. I sort of tried all the permutations: with and without the MANA stage table (in MANA terms that's a little double spiked steel table which decouples the turntable from the rack), with a perspex shelf alone, with a slate shelf, with the full slate/inner tube sandwich (40kg). The amazing part was that even with the inner tube under the top slate it's still easy to hear what is under the tube - whether it's slate, mdf, top of the rack or carpet. Now i'm tired and annoyed - and the turntable is back near ground level.

I'm using sand box with floating top under my CD transport (and before under TT). You might note that wooden side panel is taken off, because it sounds better without it. Also black piece of damping material on top is prefered on the left side. Maybe the box would solve your problem. If I place TT in my new rack it would be on the bottom, on concrete slab and not the rack itself.


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