While waiting for the arrival of the Finite Elemente Signature rack, I was thinking about how to re-arrange my hifi equipment, such that the new rack can easily be incorporated.

After sacrificing half a day of my holiday today, I finally arrived at an
arrangement that looks rather different from the old one. When the new rack arrives, it will simply take over from my current acrylic+wood rack.

old look - before rearrangement

new look

This 'new look' photo was taken when the work was half way done, note the
power cords on the floor and interconnects on the Astro decoder - the system was not hooked up yet.

The LCD TV is still there, just that now it is perched on a spare pair of 24-inch speaker stands and hidden behind the curtain - giving an impression of a pure hifi system when the curtains are drawn. :-)

The black metal hifi racks are now out of the picture. The Pass Labs monoblocks are placed on the floor. The FE cerapucs are also added to the acrylic+wood hifi rack

cerapuc under the rack's feet

I should be able to fire up the system after another couple more hours of work. Hope I'll hear some positive results from this new arrangement. :-)

I really want to see this work done asap and get the system to settle down quickly, because there are the Isotek Titan PLC and the Cardas Golden Reference speaker cables waiting at the wings to be tried out (which Panzer passed to me a couple of days earlier)

The Isotek Titan is positively yummy looking compared to the relatively 'mundane' look of the Shunyata Hydra 8 (at the backgroud). The Titan is bigger but not that much bigger than the Hydra 8 (it is the perspective of the photo), but it is a few times heavier.

The thick and heavy Cardas Golden Reference speaker cables shown below.


Ken said...


To be fair to the Cardas cables and Isotek, I think you need to run in your setup as much as possible with your own hardware first. Then bring in the Isotek and cables one by one to gauge the difference in sound.

Judging by what I heard at Panzer's place, I don't think the Isotek is as transparent as the RGPC. Maybe it is the Pass Aleph O amps but I find the Isotek could also sound mellow. This in itself is not a bad thing.

kkyaw said...

i like your new arrangement better than the old one...this arrangement alone would be enought to give depth to your soudstage imo

radze said...

yes it looks better and iam sure sonically,it would be better too

maggielurva 愛美姬 said...

certainly much better but the acrylic rack has to go. i have never been a fan of anything acrylic.

GCK said...

Hifikaki, the Cerapucs definitely will improve your system. The new arrangement is definitely much better. I believe anything done in excess will impart a sonic signature of itself. So it is not necessary a particular material is bad sounding. It is a matter of mix and match.

hifikaki said...


Agree with your point that my system need to 're-run in' again, after so much 'movement'. In fact the cdp and pre-amp has been running since last night. I just hope that whatever sound quality changes will settle down quickly, so that I can move on to insert the Isotek and Cardas (one by one of course).

Tonight will be the moment of truth. I'll taste the fruit of my labour, and hopefully it will be sweet :-)

Panzer said...


No pain, no gain! Enjoy the fruits of your labour!

hifikaki said...

My system has been fired up for more than 3 hours continouous tonight.

I am glad to note that the new setup did give a number of improvements - like kkyaw predicted, the soundstage depth is more clearly perceived. There was also improvement in soundstage definition. Transient speed and dynamic contrast seem to improve quite a bit. There are more details emerging.

There are still some rough edges which I believe will diminish with more play.

I really can't say which factor contributed most - the re-arrangement, the addition of the cera feet, or the cleaning of all cable contacts. But it does not matter, I got some pretty fine returns for my labour. :-)

Other than the monoblocks, the entire system will be kept on repeat for further burn-in over the night.

Time for me to go to bed. :-)

Ken said...


I am not sure of the dimensions of your room but I feel that you need to pull the speakers out further into the room. I just feel that it is too close to the front wall. If you do that, you will find that the soundstage will open up. Layering becomes better.
But you have to ensure that the bass do not suffer because your Pass amps is 60w Class A.

hifikaki said...


Thanks for your suggestions. Will try it out.

My room is 10'X13' The speakers are 6' apart (measured from mid line of one to the other). I would like to have them further apart but unfortunately need to allow space for traffic on the right side of speaker.

The speakers are 4.5' from front wall, 8' to my ears (both measured from front baffle).

I have not had the opportunity to invite you to my place after my visit to yours many moons ago. Will send you an email on this. :-)

Ken said...


You do not need to invite me, I will invite myself;-) Only that I haven't much time recently.

The sound I have now is better than what you had heard last time.

Will call you when I am free.

hifikaki said...


Then, I'd love to visit you again. Let's see how it goes when you have some spare time. :-)