ARTESANIA Exoteryc Reference 4L triple decoupled rack w turntable topshelf/frame

AE 04 RK E4TP
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Artesania Racks

Touch the Perfection

On Behalf

“ Incredibly neutral, the overall solidity and control of my system, - Most Wanted Component award ”.....(STEREO TIMES, USA)

Artesania-audio with its unique Acoustic Engineering Board is committed to the effective treatment of resonance from vibrations since 1993. Jose Luis Lafarga and his team develop the Acoustic Anti-resonance treatment technology into the design and handmade furniture production for audio and audio/video components achieving outstanding linearity and neutrality in sound production.

There are only a handful of brands that make ultra high end audioracks. There's Harmonic Resolution Systems (HRS), Copulare, Finite Elemente, Grand Prix and Symposium. And then there's Artesania. The latter is something special. It is a rack with a classical appearance that hides its high-tech nature in plain sight. I had never seen one in person but the photos looked so very promising and the idea behind it so interesting that I became massively intrigued…. HiFi-Advice (this sentiment is also echoed by Terry of Audio Reference).

REVIEW SUMMARIES: 
“ rtesania Audio means exceptional quality and technology ”.....(ALTA FIDELIDAD, Spain)
“ Parasitic noise disappears completely and a beautifully clean sound is the result ”....(HAUTE FIDÉLITÉ, France)
 “Artesania racks extract every last drop of potential from the components it supports ”.....(HAUTE FIDÉLITÉ, France)
“The perfect rack? There are no shelves to flap about under your equipment, its arguably the best equipment support known ”....(HI-FI NEWS, UK)
“Artesania Audio wants components to sound like themselves (in mechanical isolation) - Blue Moon Award for Rack ....” (SIXMOONS, Switzerland)
"Incredibly neutral, the overall solidity and control of my system, - Most Wanted Component award ”.....(STEREO TIMES, USA)
“Music Sounded bigger, better recorded, you could hear more into the recording and the frequency extremes were as effortless and natural as the mid-band ”...M..(HI-FI +, UK)
“The Artesania Rack possesses the ability to improve the overall sonic performance of any separate component or system as a whole ”.....(ENJOY THE MUSIC, USA)

PLATFORM
A stainless steel, anti-magnetic structure supports a specially treated base to set up a turntable or other components. Different versions and materials are available.

STAINLESS STEEL TOP ATTACHMENTS ON RACK UPRIGHTS
Each top is made with conical recess to support the spikes of the turntable platform

EXTERNAL STRUCTURE
It´s made of metal filled with special particles and elastomers. The uprights have a diameter of 60 mm. These factors create a rack heavy, resistant and stable. The resonance coefficient of the structure is significantly lowered. The paint used is textured for diffusion purposes.

INTERNAL SUSPENDED STRUCTURE
Isolated from external structure. Eliminates vibrations that are transmitted from solid and acoustic sources through the creation of decouples; steel needles supported on isolating discs. These provide extra tiers of anti-resonant protection. This suspended audio rack has a triple decoupling

TEFLON CILINDERS
Support the internal structure and isolates from the external structure. (Diameter 38 mm)

EARTH TERMINAL
To connect electronics (essential for phono) Check manual to connect properly if is necessary.

BRIDGE BAR
Height variable rear rods strengthen the external structure to guarantee stability and ensure free easy access to install components

INTERNAL FRAME
These frames are adjustable in height to place any size of component properly. They are locked on the vertical stainless steel bars of the suspended structure.

LINEAR ARMS
Arms made from anti-magnetic stainless steel. The arms hold adjustable spikes (can be located in different positions) also support isolating discs and damping pads. Total flexibility in different positions and easy to change. This system allows to set up the best support position to place electronic components.

ISOLATION DISCS 
Support each of the electronic components (without any need for shelves). Easy installation facilitated by an elastic insert which provides stability to place electronic components on the adjustable spikes.

STABILISER BAR
Located in the internal structure they stop the tiniest pendular movement of the internal structure. Four in each rack,located at the lowest part of the internal structure. 

DECOUPLING BASE
Stainless steel discs support the spikes of the uprights. Two types of floor pads are included, with different sonic behaviour, depending on the room acoustics.

Features

Reviews

Videos

Features

Unique Exoteryc audio rack Features
SDS - Suspended Double Structure tech
3D - Triple Decoupling
AAT - Acoustic Anti-resonance Treatment
MNS - Maximum Neutrality System

Key features of the Exoteryc are:
 - being shelf less; 
 - highly adjustable; 
 - not using parts that wear out to require replacement; 
 - not requiring assembly; 
 - tuning features (two kinds of floor interfaces, two kinds of component interfaces); 
 - mass dampers/radiation shields for each component; 
 - a ground terminal; 
 -  free shelves when placing two half-width components side by side for example. 
Design and execution are top (no)shelf and the efficacy of the involved engineering is plain as day even in a casual before/after audition. There's no question about any of it

Plus;:

1.  Special turntable platform (Included). Stainless steel, antimagnetic structure, which supports a specially treated glass shelf with triple layers. 
2. Attachments for the unit legs, made from stainless steel with inverted, conical perforations, specifically created to support the special turntable platform pins.
3. External structure. Metallic and filled with special particles and elastomers. The legs measure 60mm in diameter. These factors create a unit that is heavy, resistant and stable. The structure’s coefficient of echoes is significantly lowered. 
4. Internal suspended structure. Can support up to 150 kg of additional weight. 
5. Cylinders support the internal suspended structure.
6. Earth terminal, for connection to electronics (essential for Phono).
7. Rear bars, height variable, which strengthen the external structure to guarantee stability and locking. 
8. Shelf supports. If required, shelves slide onto the stainless steel bars of the suspended structure, which then supports them. They are height adjustable. 
9. Lineal arms made from anti-magnetic steel. Slide in parallel and angular movements along the shelving panels. The arms house pins (which can be located in a variety of positions) which support the isolating discs and shock absorbing pads. The flexibility in positioning of arms and pins allows maximum choice when looking for the best support points according to different electrical components.
10. Isolating discs and shock absorbing pads. These support electronic components (without the need for shelves). Installation is achieved through an elastic binding that stabilizes their positioning on each of the four threaded, adjustable pins, located on each of the lineal arms of each shelf. 
11. Fixings to stabilize suspended structure. Remove the smallest of pendular movements from the internal structure. There are four in total, located in the lowest part of the unit.
12. Special stainless steel discs, maximum absorption, which support the pins of the legs. They can support weights of 90kg/unit. If required, these can be removed and changed for other discs that are sold as additional accessories in order to best adapt the unit to the acoustics of the premises.

Reviews

It's primarily about a reminder. This stuff matters. A lot! - a BLUEMOON Award
Srajan Ebaen

Fit 'n' finish of the Exoteryc really are of the very highest quality. This goes for surface treatment, joint welds, threads and overall tolerances. 

It's primarily about a reminder. This stuff matters. A lot! Once you've gotten your active components sorted (those obviously come first) and have put together a decent cable loom, give up the upgrade itch until you've properly addressed what those components sit on. Only then will you fully hear what you already own. Really. With this rack there's a good chance you'll feel home free on the component front already.Your gear has to sit somewhere. Why not make that count? When you're at that specific juncture of your audiophile journey—if it came sooner than later you could save yourself money, time and effort in the long run—think Spain*. Then think Artesania and Exoteryc. Once I added up features, flexibility, workmanship and undeniable performance, an award was the only proper response. Bravo to the Spanish team at Barbastro!

Eduardo de Lima prototyped his Audiopax Model 88 amplifier in steel, aluminum and brass. Though he couldn't explain underlying cause, he much preferred the sound of the brass enclosures. Another designer transplanted the entire guts of an Arcam integrated into a curvaceous composite chassis with very deliberate resonance control measures for the circuit boards, transformer etc. He pronounced the performance delta—identical circuit, no electrical part changed—profound. 
 
What audio circuits sit in and on has an effect. Unless they pursue one-up custom work, audiophiles have no choice over their gear's enclosures. But they can and should control what—as their components' mechanical extension—they use as a rack. This accounts for more or less effective resonance control depending on applied engineering. A rack can even add a measure of inter-component shielding. Sitting atop one another, components are exposed to radiated fields from below and above. Carbon-fiber shelves for one can act as shield barrier.
 
With José Luis Lafarga's Artesania Exoteryc rack from Spain's Andorra province, the latter function applies not. There are no shelves (unless you insist). Instead there is a metal exoskeleton, 3- or 4-tier, single or double wide for the 3. Suspended via Nylon bushings from within that—the white cylinders at left—is a second hanging skeleton with height-adjustable rails and width-adjustable decouplers for the component bottoms.
 
Fanciers of oversized turntables get the optional glass*1 shelf on top. That leaves 14cm of clearance for the tier below. Its very tall spikes park in receiver dimples of the exoskeleton. For equipment that somehow doesn't lend itself to Javier's preferred shelf-less scheme there are 12mm 52.5 x 42mm shelves that slip atop the decouplers.
 
*1 Glass suffers a poor audiophile reputation for ringing. Not all glass is the same though. High-tech companies Crystal Cable and Perfect8 Technologies very deliberately exploit the 'sound-proof' amorphous properties of specialty glass in their top speakers. Artesania laminates three sheets of a tempered glass type for their top choice where a shelf is required.
 
Height-adjustable cross braces in the back add rigidity to the exoskeleton whose 60mm hollow uprights "with special diffusing paint" are filled with a resonance-absorptive compound. Four adjustable bumpers prevent play between inner and outer frames. The fore/aft supports bars of the inner structure move parallel or slightly angled and sport a number of holes to change the positioning of the pins with their upfacing polyamide decouplers and absorptive neoprene pads. A ground terminal accommodates phono stages. More neoprene discs slip beneath the four main spindle pin receivers for an additional disruptor of mechanical energy transmission between floor and rack. 
 
Also included are 2.4kg anti-magnetic RF-shielding damper discs to be placed atop sensitive equipment. Max support weight for the suspended inner structure is 150kg. A turntable may add another 150kg to the outer structure. Unit depth is 52.5cm, outer width 67cm, total height is 73 or 98cm for the 3- and 4-tier versions.
 
In short, the Exoteryc rack from Artesania is yet another serious vibe-busting attempt in the vein of Grand Prix Audio, HRS, Silent Running, Stillpoints, SGR & Co. It's not hifi furniture. There focus is appearance and wood the most ubiquitous choice. The Exoteryc is a performance rack. Its first order of business is broadband vibration attenuation. It wants components to sound like themselves (in mechanical isolation) rather than be affected by other gear, foot falls and the speakers' jackhammer action migrating through the floor into the rack and its critical cargo.
 
In lieu of levitation, such mechanical isolation relies on multiple disruptive junctions inside the rack. Mechanical energies traveling through its structure are repeatedly blocked and converted into heat. This involves freedom of motion (the 4-point suspension), rubbery barriers and damping in the filled uprights.
 
Where Artesania goes more mobile than some is modularity. Their tiers are infinitely adjustable up and down, their decouplers for optimal contact patches on component bellies are only slightly less so (though they clearly favor 4-point over three-point support).
 
Unless it were housed in a different room or airtight closet, what no rack can address is component reaction to airborne attack. Music moves air. Play louder, generate more low bass. This very action increases acoustic pressurization around your gear. All a properly engineered hifi rack can effectively accomplish is to measurably minimize mechanical crosstalk. Such vibratory feedback occurs between support and component (shelf, stand, floor) and between the components themselves. How electronics talk to themselves (how for example vibrating transformers couple to PCB parts or how tubes go microphonic from air turbulence) remains unaltered.
 
To make true alterations in that realm requires hardware modifications. Artesania's included RF/mass dampers are a first very basic step in that modify-the-enclosure direction. If pictures are worth a 1000 words, moving pictures by way of video must be priceless. So take an intermission from reading. Watch this 9-minute very instructional YouTube presentation on how to set up this upscale rack that looks to be from the high-mass rigid and 'laboratory'*2 design school but is actually suspended. 
 
*2 Whilst the lack of shelves has technical advantages, it also leaves more of the cabling visible. Hence my 'laboratory' tag. The Exoteryc's concept is quite ruthless about performance. Décor friendliness is arguably second. This is a tech solution that looks it. Interior designers pursuing performance racks might prefer Harmonic Resolution Systems or Finite Elemente for their more conventional furniture styling disguising the incorporated technical solutions. In that sense the Artesania is bare-boned. With its skeletal guts for glory approach, you see exactly how everything goes together. With it the audiophile obsession has nowhere to hide.
 
With a ship weight of 146kg and the main box 80 x 120 x 100cm—the glass shelf and footer/disc hardware arrive in separate boxes—you're excused for forgetting all about suspension and only seeing red mass. Unpacking and moving this double-wide rack into its final location is definitely a two-person job particularly if (cough) a few steep flights of stairs without elevator are involved. Packing quality is superlative to insure everything arrives in pristine shape. The rack comes fully assembled, requiring only the removal of six lock bolts and three wooden spacer shims. The top and bottom tiers span the entire width. They only move up or down in tandem and arrive in the highest and lowest possible orientation to likely remain unchanged. Just the middle tier is split and independently adjustable left and right. It's the leveling of the outer structure (a quality bubble level is included as are all other tools required), the fixing of the height of the center tiers and all footer locations which make up the remaining work.
 
The footer brackets relative to the fixing bolts may be mounted facing inside for narrow or outside for wide. This accommodated both my half-width April Music Eximus DP-1 DAC (center right above), jumbo-sized Trafomatic Audio 101D-based single-stage DHT preamp (upper left) and everything between. To support two half-width units side by side on a single tier does require an optional but free glass shelf. By simply loosening a lock nut on a footer pin, its height is adjustable with a hex key from below so a component can already be loaded to dial in this final trim. 
 
For the large floor-coupling discs Artesania provides both black neoprene and white polyamide inserts. The latter have isolating but no damping or absorptive properties. They won't "increase the overall absorption coefficient of the rack. Auditions with them tend to be transparent, relaxed and above all dynamic." The neoprene bases absorb and damp and are for installations "with little acoustic treatments where the sound tends to be aggressive, dry, hard and thin." A further tuning option comes with the included complete second set of 24 component footers without neoprene pads but a simple felt layer. Artesania recommends to experiment with both from component to component. As these footers pull out easily from their pins, swaps are completely painless. And because they are stationary, moving equipment in and out avoids the dreaded roller block jitters.
 
Fit 'n' finish of the Exoteryc really are of the very highest quality. This goes for surface treatment, joint welds, threads and overall tolerances. The optional turntable shelf—or iMac desk in my case—proved unbelievably heavy. Neoprene inserts in its frame decouple it from the uprights and that spike interface again is adjustable. What you're left with after installation is a super-inert thoroughly 'thru-engineered' structure which except for whatever happens to sit atop the triple-laminated glass hangs all your components from those white Nylon cylinders.
 
What turned out to be an unexpected practical advantage of the shelf-less approach was the ability to crisscross signal cables inside the structure through space usually blocked by solid shelving. This has merely the power cords 'exit' the back for altogether cleaner wire routing. The exposed cross brackets also lend themselves to things like Ikea kitchen hooks from which I hung headphones.
 
The six included very substantial mass/RF dampers not only damp ringing top covers and provide radiation shielding but also anchor the type of lightweight component that's prone to capsizing from cable weight alone. This rack seemingly accounts for all reasonable practical requirements. That's proper design.
 
Playback time.
If you've never seriously experimented with resonance control, you'll be dumbfounded by what you've left beneath the table. By implication it tends to mean you'll regard sound commentary on racks—under description of goods, the Spanish commercial invoice said, ha, meuble (furniture)—with suspicion. My own rude awakening came from Grand Prix Audio's Monaco Modular rack many years ago when I still lived in Taos/New Mexico. That Alvin Lloyd design left the building when my previous space's long but narrow layout balked at the racks' depth. My two GPA towers thus ended up with a friend. In moved Franck Tchang's shallower wooden HeartSong. That's what the Exoteryc now replaced.
 
The difference was not subtle. It presented itself without any effort as a simple fact. Upper harmonic richness had increased, say on Vassili Tsabropoulos' nearly glassy piano on Melos for ECM which is beautifully counterpointed by Anja Lechner's woody cello. The visibility of decays mixing and lingering had shot up. With it came a wholesale improvement of ambient retrieval. Recorded space was more audible. Space itself makes no sound of course. It's the sounds occurring within it which light it up and map it out with their reflections and natural reverb. On sufficiently pure recordings which contain such data, this aspect became a lot more astute. Think of those qualities as the equivalent of floating gossamer during an Indian summer - spider webs on the wind which you can only see because the light refracts off them just so. Here it's the recorded reflections which unveil them.
 
A related benefit was improved intelligibility at lower levels. Personally that's perhaps the most prized quality. Only those without neighbors can't relate. It's the proverbial ability to hear the needle drop. That's shorthand for everything small and subtle. To make it out clearly without having to raise playback volumes is the difference between listening a few hours more each and every day. This effect also seems to inject more space between the musical weave. It's like a declumping agent or freshly washed hair which separates out into individual strands.
 
Pitch definition and general articulation in the wider bass registers also were better. Cleaner but also leaner bass meant more midband transparency. With still the exact same speakers as acoustic sources, these combined effects came from nothing more than a reduction of mechanical feedback between the gear and transducers. Another way of describing it is to simply say that the sound had grown more sophisticated. If it were about writing, there now was more meaning between the lines. If it were about painting, there'd now be less primary colors and more varied hues. Back in audio lingo those hues express themselves as bigger dynamic ripples. When things sound more dynamic without raising the volume, it means the difference between loudest and quietest has increased. Since loudest didn't get louder, only quiet could have become quieter. So we say the noise floor dropped. That reads quite abstract, particularly since we know very well that we didn't magically turn down any background din. Cars still drive by. 
 
But the experience is real and very tangible. Loud happens sooner. Loud here means personal satisfaction that we hear everything without straining and that installation of the Exoteryc rack has noticeably lowered this threshold. When quiet sounds loud, that's increased resolution in action. It's eminently practical. But there is a price to pay. This increase in resolution removes fuzziness whose unrecognized presence appears as warmth. Hence the resultant clarity which takes its place appears a bit cooler and more crystalline. This is similar to tube-induced colorations whose elimination with transistors both takes away and gives. How one reacts to what appears and what leaves should depend on focus and willingness to adapt. If your desire is to hear more, there's no question the Exoteryc delivers. If you prefer deliberate soft focus on a leading lady's closeup, you could find it too truthful.
 
Wrap.
Whilst far from cheap, most people will only need a single 3- or 4-tier rack. The pricing places it right in the heartland of this segment's serious competition. Key features of the Exoteryc are being shelf less; highly adjustable; not using parts that wear out to require replacement; not requiring assembly; tuning features (two kinds of floor interfaces, two kinds of component interfaces); mass dampers/radiation shields for each component; a ground terminal; and free shelves when placing two half-width components side by side for example. Design and execution are top (no)shelf and the efficacy of the involved engineering is plain as day even in a casual before/after audition. There's no question about any of it.
 
The real question is, will audiophiles consider allocating significant funds on something as unsexy as a rack—that descriptor alone suggests more torture than pleasure—when shiny new components beckon for equivalent coin? That remains a far larger variable than worrying about how much better one specific performance rack might be than another. It's why manufacturers like Artesania pursue reviews like today's. It's primarily about a reminder. This stuff matters. A lot! Once you've gotten your active components sorted (those obviously come first) and have put together a decent cable loom, give up the upgrade itch until you've properly addressed what those components sit on. Only then will you fully hear what you already own. Really. With this rack there's a good chance you'll feel home free on the component front already. Now you can spend further discretionary funds on music or another hobby altogether. Unlike room treatments (which most of us avoid though deep down we know better) there's no valid excuse why we shouldn't aspire to a performance rack. Your gear has to sit somewhere. Why not make that count? When you're at that specific juncture of your audiophile journey—if it came sooner than later you could save yourself money, time and effort in the long run—think Spain*. Then think Artesania and Exoteryc. Once I added up features, flexibility, workmanship and undeniable performance, an award was the only proper response. Bravo to the Spanish team at Barbastro!
I found its performance to be surprisingly effective at lowing the noise floor and allowing the music to come through in most neutral, clean and three-dimensional manner.
Leon Rivkin

The overall sense of freedom of constriction or constrain in the low frequencies has given bass greater definition.  

it has eclipsed my reference with well over US$10k - US$15k worth of tweaks added on top of its US$5k asking price!All in all

I love this rack even more. I'm just glad that when serendipity came and knocked on my front door, someone was home.

Do you believe in serendipity? Do you think when all of a sudden, just when the universe sends gifts your way that it's “meant to be?”  Or just some statistical fluke? I tend to dismiss them as a weird statistical noise of sort and move on with my life. Here is a "meant to be" situation which I almost dismissed as a statistical fluctuation.
 
I've always been very keen on vibration control for my components. Early demonstration of benefits of vibration control by audio guru Bill Brassington made me a true believer in the benefits of component isolation long ago. Almost immediately, I dished my stylish Bell'O glass equipment rack and ventured in to the deep and mysterious world of high-end isolation racks. Through my trails and tribulations I ended up settling on Solid Tech's Rack of Silence. The large 5-shelf model offered enough room for me to try a combination of different tweaks for each component. Of course, this means I tried everything: rollerballs, footers, pucks, magnets and cones. Many were sandwiched between, on top and under carbon fiber, marble, wood or acrylic shelves. Needless to say, countess hours were spent attempting to fine-tune  my rack. And to some degree I think I was successful at obtaining a sound that was highly resolving and enjoyable.  As time went by I ventured into purchasing a vinyl rig and that presented problems as space became an issue.
 
The arrival of the massive (four-chassis) Jadis JP200 preamp forced me realize rather quick and abruptly that I finally outgrew my Solid Tech iso-rack.  Looking for a solution, I called cable guru Serguei Timachev, owner of Stealth Audio Cables. Over the years Timachev has demonstrated a keen ear and eye for outstanding products.  "Artesania Audio..." were his first and only words of advice on the subject of my finding a new iso-rack. Timachev informed that me that – a few of his dealers in Europe and some of his customers were swearing by the Artsania Audio iso-rack. An hour later George Vatchnadze of Kyomi Audio Chicago  calls me to share his experience at the Munich Show (2012) and gave me and earful on these new wonderful looking spanish built racks. Obviously impressed by what he witnessed, George went on to express his interest in becoming a US dealer.
 
As soon as George hung up I got call from Clement Perry (CP). He also gave me plenty on the Munich Show and at the end of our conversation asked me if I would be interested in hearing a great isolation from Italy – Exoteric Rack made by, of course Artesania Audio. That’s when I put it all together: Serguei Timachev and George were talking about same shelf!  Three honorable mentions in one day! And on top of it an offer to a possible review (since I mentioned months earlier my desire and write again). Not to mention how desperately  I needed a new rack. So I selfishly told CP it would be my honor to hear this newest rack from Artesania Audio.
 
After going over configuration I told CP my ideal system requirements would  be two 4-tier racks. One with a glass top to support my Acoustic Solid Royal turntable and one without for my electronics. Upon their delivery some weeks later, I had a couple audiophile friends come down and assist me. As we opened both crates boxes down we all shook our heads in disbelief. I’ve seen many pictures of the Artesania Exoteryc and knowing the price, I expected to see another good looking rack.  It’s not just a beautifully built,  but the overall attention to detail and the quality of workmanship places them in an entirely different category. The Exoteryc screams high quality with zero glitter. The Esoteryc comes to do a job. And I love its ulitarian dress code. 
 
The Exoteryc's outer-frame is made of four high-density metal tubes that support four independent metal support beams. The metal tubes, I'm told, are filled with a damping material to ward off any hint of ring and resonance. Each of tier (4) of support are smartly designed on nylon bushings to serve as shock absorbers. By the way, each support beam is fully height adjustable thanks to the stainless steel metal rods which support them. My only job after getting the Exoteryc out of its crate was finding the correct width for each component to rest atop the nylon fitted feet. Lastly, the base spikes that support the entire Exoteryc were designed with huge chrome cups to guard against damaging wooden floors or carpet.    
 
We listened to my system for a good half-hour for reminder's sake.  The three-man setup turned out to be a breeze (thanks in part to the very informative video on YouTube). It took, maybe 45 minutes total. And that included breaking down and removing the old rack. Keep in mind, I've two Exoteryc racks side by side. One with its  beautiful three-layered glass laminate top to support my vinyl rig. The other is without.  Of course, I am proud to announce that I was able to get all of my components on the Exoteryc and that includes the 4-chassis Jadis preamp as well.
 
Less is More
 
Our first impression was that the sound had not changed much. Maybe, a hair more presence and air and bloom. But these differences were oh so small I wondered whether it was my imagination. I was frazzled. My cohorts John and Alex agreed the differences were not night and day. John admitted to hearing a slight improvement while Alex claimed the system sounded no different.  I started to become disappointed  until John pointed at the HUGE pile of tweaks resting in the middle of the floor. He rolled his eyes and exclaimed – “Dude – the Exoteryc is doing same thing ALL THAT attempted to do!” Then, it hit me – it took me years to optimize these tweaks under my components. Years,  I remind you. The Artesania Exoteryc rack was performing at the same or slightly higher right out of the box! In my case, the addition of Artesania - and the subtraction of about $10k in tweaks - maintained the panoramic soundstage I've come admire in my Perfect 8 line-source loudspeakers (model The Force). Midbass, for example sounded slightly more neutral.  But to my taste, lighter and with less weight. Voices however, remained engaging and holographic while high frequencies retained their life and luster. 
 
So, as expected, we tried to tweak it. 
 
 
Different shelves, cones, spikes, rollersballs etc. Almost all of the combinations made the sound worse. Some combinations were able to maintain a high level of performance. but nothing really improved the overall performance.  One set of nylon feet sounded better under DAC than the Polyurethane feet.  In the end, the same story kept coming back – the Exoteryc rack sounds best as is. My Acoustic Solid turntable sitting atop the three-tier glass shelf only reinforced my position as to this being an easy candidate for the best rack I have encountered due to the sense of substance it added to the bottom end of my beloved vinyl rig . Further, it's among the only rack that I have ever heard that proved tweak-proof.  I discovered just turning up the bass, ever so slightly, on my woofer's crossover gave me the added weight I desired in the midbass. Now, for some reason, the sound of the midbass, after a small adjustment, had improved the speed and timbre. Go figure. Maybe this is due to the midbass coming more from the source rather than the rack (and the plethora of tweaks)? Perhaps. But one thing is certain, I can hear the difference. More importantly, I like the differences.   
 
After about two months of comparing a VAC reference pre against the Jadis, it was relinquished  into a second system in another part of the house. My significant other then posed a very honest question "Since you no longer need racks capable of holding nine components how do you justify buying such an expensive rack?" "Very simple, I responded. - I sold my entire arsenal of tweaks from my other rack and purchased the Exoteryc!" The Exoteryc also gives me the extra space required to move components in and out. I also find the Exoteryc very convenient for future reviewing duties due to it being infinitely more flexible. To me the Exoteryc is a clear winner even without its gorgeous looks, wonderful ergonomics and easy accessibility. It’s a keeper based purely on the safety and sonic merits. In addition to that everybody compliment me on the looks and my girlfriend loves the look.
 
CP came over for a regular Saturday afternoon visit some weeks after the Exoteryic's installation. I make no apologies that I do get a little nervous when CP comes. And for good reason. First, he's got perhaps the finest system I have heard  anywhere bar none (and I'm not saying that because he's my editor or friend, I say that because it is actually true). His system has become legendary in these parts so you can ask anyone that has visited his place if you don't believe me. What's more frustrating is you don't get the level of sound he's obtained by simply buying wildly expensive gear. Trust me, I know because I have spent way too much already trying to surpass his sound. I think I might have equaled it with the addition of these racks. Needless to say I was nervous as to what he might hear. Surprisingly, all he had to say after putting on one of his music samplers was "Wow Leon, the speed, body and overall articulation has taken a huge leap forward. This is easily the best your system has sounded. Congratulations!"
 
Update.
 
After living with Artesania Exoteryc racks since the fall of 2012, and doing some additional experimentation, I discovered, believe it or not, that grounding the racks using the provided ground straps improved their performance considerably. In my case, I grounded them to an independent ground – preferably a true earth ground - located in my backyard. This removed an additional layer of low-level grunge and gave my system a better insights to its inner details and dynamics. I also found the Artesania accessory called the Disk Weights, do in fact improve the performance of lighter made products such as an inexpensive PC DAC, DVD player or Music Server.
 
I've since become settled in with my new Artesania racks and admit that I'm enjoying my system's overall performance like never before. The overall sense of freedom of constriction or constrain in the low frequencies has given bass greater definition.  
 
In the end, I put in a lot of the time putting my former rack together. I've not had the Artesania Audio Exoteryc for a fraction of that time and it has eclipsed my reference with well over $10k - $15k worth of tweaks added on top of its $5k asking price!  I now can conclude that not only does the Artesania Exoteryc isolation platform work but I found its performance to be surprisingly effective at lowing the noise floor and allowing the music to come through in most neutral, clean and three-dimensional manner. 
 
All in all I love this rack even more. I'm just glad that when serendipity came and knocked on my front door, someone was home.
for someone with a good reference system for example, the Artesania represents an excellent and obvious upgrade. It works!
Alan Sircom

The F-E stand has been highly praised time and again for its musical structure and harmonic richness, but the Artesania takes those musical aspects and runs with them. Music sounded bigger, better recorded, you could hear more into the recording and the frequency extremes were as effortless and natural as the mid-band. It's worth remembering this wasn't playing through a mediocre system that was already running at half-mast. This was a state of the art system ending in full range loudspeakers that was already sounding pretty damn good on the F-E stand and sounded a good deal better when component after component moved over to the Artesania.

Over the course of 2013, we shall be looking at the aspects surrounding audio, as well as audio itself. We will be investigating a variety of different kinds of acoustic coupling, decoupling and uncoupling systems to bring your equipment to life. We will also be investigating the importance of room treatments of all kinds, because improving the performance of the room can significantly enhance the performance of the system in that room. We will also see how these important elements can be tied together to make a good sound great.
 
As ever with audiophilia, we will start back-to-front; although room acoustic treatment will produce the largest changes to the sound of a system, generally the treatment itself is best approached on a case-by-case basis; although there are some broad topics that can be described, the topic itself needs some understanding of the mathematics and physics involved, and this will be better sidled up to than ran into headlong. So, we start instead with what keeps the equipment in place
 
There are almost as many concepts behind equipment supports as there are pieces of equipment to support. The days of everything defaulting to the 'light, but rigid' shelf are behind us; we now have mass-loading, decoupling, tables as low and high-pass filters, cones, cups, air bladders, squidgy hockey pucks, blocks of wood, rollers and more. There are resonance controllers, resonance absorbers, resonance channels, non-magnetic supports and even magnetic field introduction agencies. These devices can be made out of grass, tree, glass, plastic, rubber or unobtanium. Each one has its ardentsupporters; each one has its febrile detractors. And there are those who reject all of this and go to Ikea.
 
Put another way, there are three kinds of equipment supports; those that just provide support, those that do something for the sound, and those that do the wrong kind of something. Our task as reviewers is to discover whether the last is actually worse than the first and whether it is a universal 'bad' or simply doing the right things to the wrong products.
 
We'll start this survey with what seems like the new kid in town, but one that's been causing a stir in more traditional high-end circles on the QT for some time; Artesania Audio Esoteric, from Spain.
Artesania's goal is to rid any component on one of its products from the risk of vibration, either from the surroundings or from other components in the signal path. And in some respects, the stand is also designed to prevent products from themselves. When used correctly, each 'shelf' (actually articulated steel arms) can be individually adjusted for the optimum height and a device rests on four neoprene and nylon feet, resting on upturned spikes in an adjustable frame that itself hangs from nylon bushes and is prevented from moving by neoprene coated screw heads at the bottom of the stand. In essence, each component on the Artesania is a decoupled device sitting on a decoupled platform inside a decoupled frame. Optional glass shelves fit on the neoprene/nylon isolation feet, and there is a large triple-dampened glass shelf, sitting on spikes and isolated by neoprene and nylon pads.
 
Finally, each component on the stand gets its own damper (which looks like a large-spool Super-8 film can) that sits as close to the centre of that device's top plate, and the whole stand sits on large neoprene and polyamide feet.
 
With careful measurement of each component needed to find the right places to seat the isolation feet, precise adjustment of each component's position in a three-dimensional space and just an all-round level of care and attention required to install and set-up the system, swapping over from an existing table to the Artesania is no 20 second swap-over. It's more like a careful two-man operation. The more free space around the stand the better. Nevertheless, it is possible to move from one stand to another in reasonably short order, and we compared the Artesania to the Finite Elemente Pagode Master Reference stand, a very popular choice round these parts. We concentrated mostly on devices that would naturally benefit from a change in stand — such as CD transports and valve DACs, where stray vibration could create potentially audible differences in performance — but also went to the other extreme, swapping a solid-state power supply from table to table. This last should elicit no change whatsoever in theory, being both notionally impervious to microphony (no valves) and lacking any active circuitry directly in the signal chain.
 
Moving from stand to stand did significantly change the sound quality of the system. There was more going on. A lot more. The F-E stand has been highly praised time and again for its musical structure and harmonic richness, but the Artesania takes those musical aspects and runs with them. Music sounded bigger, better recorded, you could hear more into the recording and the frequency extremes were as effortless and natural as the mid-band. It's worth remembering this wasn't playing through a mediocre system that was already running at half-mast. This was a state of the art system ending in full range loudspeakers that was already sounding pretty damn good on the F-E stand and sounded a good deal better when component after component moved over to the Artesania.
 
I suppose the easiest way of considering this is the F-E stand has a distinct sound it imparts upon the products that sit upon it. It's a slightly dark, very musical presentation. The Artesania doesn't do this at all. It strives to limit the sound of the table, instead relying on the sound of the components in the system to deliver the sonic goods. And that can make good things sound truly remarkable. When the best of the best sits on the Artesania, they raise their game. Even — and I have no idea why this should be — when moving the power supply of a two-box CD-transport from one stand to the other. Spinning discs, tubes... I get; getting the rest of the world out of the equation can give these items the chance to give their best, and when dealing with thoroughbreds, they need thoroughbred care and feeding. But a power supply??
 
Two interesting observations drop out of this. First, unlike many of the 'top table' contenders, this is a revolution, but not a coup. The Artesania 'sound' (more accurately 'absence of sound') is an addictive one, but it doesn't enforce other components to change to Artesania at a stroke. Yes, if all your ducks are in a row, so things get ever better (the improvements wrought by a power supply demonstrate that), but if in the transition to an all-Artesania system, you mix and match, the sound does not get worse, before it gets better.
 
Next, the Artesania might be a double-edged sword. By relying on the performance of the equipment and the equipment alone — something many equipment manufacturers talk about, but in reality few actually achieve — some components might not be as wonderful as their marketing claims.
 
Aside from the weight involved, building a 19" rack within a larger, rigid frame means — platform for platform — the Artesania support system is physically bigger than most. And although its dark grey or green uprights, its chrome, optional glass and white nylon bushes are not a problem for those fortunate enough to listen in their own dedicated man-caves, but might be a harder sell for those who share their listening space with family members.
 
It's also a demanding installation, requiring two people to extract, place and  position the stand, and not just because it weighs close to 150kg all up for the biggest option. A nine-minute YouTube instructional video shows how to install the stand and it's not PR guff and filler. Have a space allocated in advance, a lot of room to unpack and build and a good day getting everything in place. If you have the system that can benefit from such an exercise though, it's more than worth it.
 
While it might transform the sound of an entry level electronics, this is functionally untenable for most people. On the other hand, for someone with a good reference system for example, the Artesania represents an excellent and obvious upgrade. It works!
the added emotionality that this rack is able to squeeze out of my system is quite simply staggering.
Christiaan Punter - Hi-Fi Advice

The Artesania Exoteryc is quite simply the best audio rack that I have used. Not only is it flawless in design and adjustability; soundwise it is also perfect and a massive improvement over any rack that I have used. It takes the best qualities of Finite Elemente's Spider Rack and adds tonal richness, better low level resolution, deeper black, a more solid soundstage with better focus, deeper, more powerful bass and a superbly natural sound. And it does all this while retaining treble fluidity and airyness, overall articulation and dynamic expression.

There are only a handful of brands that make ultra high end audioracks. There's Harmonic Resolution Systems (HRS), Copulare, Finite Elemente, Grand Prix and Symposium. And then there's Artesania. The latter is something special. It is a rack with a classical appearance that hides its high-tech nature in plain sight. I had never seen one in person but the photos looked so very promising and the idea behind it so interesting that I became massively intrigued.
 
Intro
Over the coarse of the last 10 years I have heard and compared various audioracks and have always found the Finite Element Spider to be the clear winner in terms of neutrality, unrestricted dynamics, low level resolution and lack of colouration. And of course the modular system is ideal for persons who often change their system configuration. Sonically there wasn't much that the Spider detracted: a slightly thinner sound was its only vice. Still, as my system evolved I have been entertaining the idea of moving to a more upscale audiorack for quite some time.
 
Now that my system was almost exclusively silver-coloured, my aim was to get a more classical, dark-coloured rack. The Spider was just getting a bit too Fischer-Price and too aluminium-esque for me after all these years. Also: the modular nature of the rack, although fabulous in idea, also meant that elements bought over time were never 100% fitting. I would always struggle to get all pillars exactly level. I'm a perfectionist that way.
 
But the new rack would have to be at least as good sonically and as versatile as the Spider. After all: my setup changes a lot and a rack with fixed shelves wouldn't work. Quite soon I stumbled on the world's most esoteric racks but was baffled at their prices. PARTicular, Harmonic Resolution Systems, Rethm and finally Artesania. The latter really took my fancy! Viewed from a distance it seems as simple as a regular rack but from the sides and upon close inspection its high-tech nature is revealed. The Artesania Esoteric rack is basically a frame suspended from the top within another frame. Theoretically this would mean that the bottom level should sound as good as the top level, or maybe, even better. What's even better is that there are no shelves but only frames with integrated feet to rest the component's belly's on, much like with Spider. But this time the levels are infinitely adjustable in height.
 
Even though a Spider isn't exactly cheap, I think that its quality more than justifies its price. And after having compared it to various other racks I just accepted that quality has its price. Recently, the idea of spending a lot more than Spider's entry price on a rack was starting to sound ever more reasonable. Non-audiophiles may struggle to understand that spending many thousands on a piece of audio furniture can seem like a good investment to anyone but it is quite simply just a gradual process. While getting better and better equipment at ever steeper prices, one get accustomed to the principle. So it became to be that I was ready for a super-high end rack. Surely it wouldn't be out of place as long as it costs less than any one component that it housed? I took the plunge and ordered an Artesania Exoteryc audiorack.
 
About the name
While searching the internet, I found two different spellings for the name of the rack: Esoteric and Exoteryc. It made me wonder which was correct. I asked mr Cayetano Castellano who handles international press matters for mr Jose Luis Lafarga, the designer of the rack. The reason is simple: originally the rack was called Esoteric but because a Japanese company had registered this as a brand name, Artesania changed the name to Exoteryc.
 
Functionality
The Artesania Exoteryc has a very special trick up its sleeve that upon first inspection might not be immediately obvious: it is essentially a rack suspended within another rack, the inner rack being thin and elegant and the outer being solid and heavy. On the detailed photos it is clear to see how this works: four polyamide dampers are screwed to extensions of the four big pillars with a neoprene ring sandwiched tightly in between. The inner rack in turn rests its spikes on top of the polyamide dampers. The whole is surprisingly sturdy: there's no wiggle, even without optimally aligning the anti-pendular movement screws in the bottom. By the way: the rack is not only super-solid but also acoustically dead: there's absolutely no ringing anywhere, which goes a long way explaining its weight of more than 60KG (132 Pounds)!
 
Within the suspended rack, there are normally 3 levels (60cm version) or 4 levels (90cm version) equipment levels, all infinitely adjustable. For my rack I have ordered on extra level so that all my sources can be housed within the rack, with the top position left vacant for reviewing purposes. The total weight that the suspended cage can carry is 150KG which is more than enough even for me and my heavy Jeff Rowland equipment. If you have a turntable you can also order an optional thick sandwiched glass top level. Besides the 60cm and 90 cm single racks there's also a Tandem version.
 
Each level has two beautifully polished stainless steel bars with pre-drilled thread in them which allow a great deal of flexibility of feet placement in the lateral plane. The two bars are in turn freely positionable in the horizontal plane and can be fixed with two big screws when the perfect position is found.
 
The white component feet are placed on top of 4 sharp steel spikes and sit snugly thanks to a soft plastic insert. They work comparable to Finite Elemente Ceraballs that way. The feet themselves come in two flavours: with velvet top layer and with neoprene top layer. The manual states that the velvet ones can be used in circumstances where the listening room is well-treated and some over-damping can take place if the neoprene pads are used. I found the opposite to be true with the velvet ones sounding more "filtered", softer and lacking some bass articulation compared to the neoprene ones.
 
Additionally there are also two sets of pads for under the rack's feet: black neoprene ones and white polyamide ones. I understand from the manual that the white ones are default while the black neoprene ones are to be used in situations where the listening room is under-damped (very lively). For this one I didn't experiment and chose the harder wite ones for their suspected better articulation. After all, my system had been tuned using a Spider rack: racks do not get any more direct-coupled than that.
 
Also included are heavy dampers (15cm diagonally)  for placement on top of the components. They are covered with soft neoprene on the bottom so that they will never damage the equipment that they sit on.
 
All feet are individually adjustable. In fact: the entire rack is so easily adjustable in so many ways that it is simply a joy to use.
 
Finally, the kit also includes earth wire, spirit level, spanners and various hexagonal wrenches. This is a very, very complete product.
 
Listening Tests
First thing I wanted to know was how the rack performs from level to level. Some may not be aware of this phenomenon, but all rack I have used, tilt the character of the component from tight to fluid, depending on which level it is placed. The Spider rack for example sounds best when using the top level, no matter whether that is the top level of a 30cm, 60cm or 90cm rack. It is always the toplevel that sounds most free and agile. The Spider's bottom level by the way makes my equipment sound much too controlled and dry. So big is this effect that I never use the bottom level. Naturally I was curious to find out how the Artesania would perform from level to level.
 
Levinson 390S CD player
First guinea pig was the Levinson 390S CD player, which I moved from top position to bottom position and then back down level by level. Sure enough: there were clear differences in sound and funnily enough they were contrary to the effect that the Spider rack has. Of course this is only logical because the Spider is most tight at the bottom and most free at the top while for the Artesania Exoteryc this is the reverse because of its suspended "pendular" inner cage. But, with the Exoteryc, the sound never becomes overly tight as it does with the Spider.
 
The first thing I noticed after placing the Levinson placed on the Exoteryc top level after listening to it on the Spider's top level, was this immense authority. The sound was much fuller and more harmonic and seemingly a lot of stress had been shedded. The midrange, that was slightly forward with the Spider, was now simply majestic. In fact, the whole sound has this luxurious feel to it, as if I just switched from a Sony CD player to a Jeff Rowland (if they made a CD player...). For all its gloriousness, the sound is absolutely not dull. In fact it is very rhythmic and highly detailed. Low level resolution increases without introducing thinness or shoutyness. Very impressive. Going back made both mine and my listening pal's mouths fall open. We hadn't anticipated such a large difference. I was even scared for a typical case of win some - lose some. Definitely not the case here.
 
The top level, as would later turn out, makes the 390S sound most rhythmic and dynamic, with the best bass but also the most accurate/dry treble of all levels. The bottom level sounds more relaxed and a lot smoother, with very fluid treble. This level is slightly laidback and if I were to use the Levinson on this level then I'd have to do some cable rolling in order to retain the balance. Nothing serious though.
 
So, if the top level is slightly too dry for the Levinson and the bottom one is slightly too relaxed, certainly the perfect level should be somewhere inbetween, right? Yes indeed. It turned out that the second level from the top offers the best balance for the Levinson. Mind you - mileage will vary depending on chosen component and system synergy. Luckily the rack offers lots of tweaking possibilities. For example, if the Levinson was placed on the mid level (third level from the top), it would also be slightly relaxed but this was easily compensated for by sliding out the feet-supporting bars more toward the sides. Voila: more bass articulation while retaining smoothness!
 
More components
Thus far the rack was occupied only by the Levinson CD player. Now it was time to see how placing a heavy component on top (without connecting it) would influence the sound of the Levinson. The latter btw has its final position on the middle level. Again a big surprise: instead of the expected slight thickening, the sound opened up more. Treble is more airy and the whole sounds even more luxurious. To substantiate: removing the Meridian 818 made the sound flatter again. This promised something for when all components were positioned in the rack.
 
Jeff Rowland Aeris DAC
Reconnecting the Jeff Rowland Aeris DAC to the Levinson's digital output, as I normally do, made the expected improvement. As can be read in the Aeris review, this DAC is one of the very few to actually improve on the 390S's sound. The Aeris is made of one solid block of aluminium. It is very heavy and one wouldn't expect that it would be influenced in any way by the way that it is supported. But guess what? Switching the Aeris from the Spider rack to the Artesania again made for a big improvement. On the Artesania rack, the Rowland sounded even more like a Rowland: smooth and glorious and majestic yet highly neutral. I knew enough. I was done with the Spider and all components were to be moved to the Artesania.
 
Complete implementation
Setting up really isn't as complex as you'd think it might be. In fact I find it no more complex than setting up a Spider rack. But if you do need help, there's a video on youtube that very clearly explains it all. So, the time has come to listen to all components, setup in the Artesania Exoteryc rack. I started with the Aeris in top position and built from there. As long as you make sure that the outer structure is 100 level, then make sure the inner structure is also 100% level, you cannot go wrong. Start out with an imperfectly aligned element and you might end up having to do a whole lot of adjustments lateron, so I'd advise to take your time doing the initial setup. It'll save time in the end. The entire setup including some listening tests inbetween took me half a day. I guess it could have been a lot quicker if I didn't evaluate all possibilities on a component per component basis but the same has always been true for the times when I "reformatted" te Spider rack.
 
One last word on the build quality of the Artesania rack: it is 100% perfect! All elements are manufactured to the highest standards. There is no ringing anywhere, no rough edges and everything is geometrically perfect. The Exoteryc rack is a beautiful object and almost a piece of art and it instills a huge Pride of Ownership. The latter may not come cheap, but you certainly get a massive amount of quality for the outlay.
 
Listening to the entire setup
Oftentimes I conclude that a certain component has been like a teacher to me. The Wadia 861 was such a machine. It tought me about rhythm and about acoustical, natural sound. Once I had grown to love the Wadia-portrayal of piano and percussion, and voices too, many other CD players sounded synthetic to me. I never before knew that the Sony XA50ES sounded a bit "plasticky". In the same way, the Artesania has been like a teacher to me.
 
I have heard and used many different audio racks. Heavy ones, light ones, solid ones and floppy ones. One conclusion that I made early on was that wood was not my friend. At least, wooden platters weren't. MDF was worst. No matter the brand, wooden equipment supports would always sound coloured and oftentimes congested. Heavy racks with lots of damping or sandwiched layers would not colour as much but in turn rob the music of its free-flowing quality or reduce dynamics. Cabinets invariably sounded boxy and glass/steel racks would sound too pinched. At one time I actually liked the top levels of a simple steel Target stand, but its other levels very much degraded the sound quality. Which brings me to the other problem that I encountered early on: no matter the brand, every level sounds different depending on the level used. All this brought me to try the Finite Elemente Spider rack. I was immediately smitten for its configurability and uncoloured sound. As an added bonus, it increased low level detail, without adding pinch. Or so I thought all of the last 10 years. But I'm getting ahead of myself. To me, the Spider was the only rack that didn't add a boxyness to the sound. Sure it sounded a little leaner than most racks but you get a lot in return. The Spider was no different in variance across its levels, but there were various ways to tweak the sound: using ceraballs or rubber feet made a lot of difference, as did the positioning of the feet. Without exception the sound became looser with the feet positioned more toward the center, and tighter toward the outer sides. For the longest time, the Spider would be my rack of choice. I even compared it to the Pagode at some stage, and found that rack to sound coloured and restrained dynamically. Go figure.
 
Naturally, system synergy is a major factor in any comparison, but that's another story. The little intro above brings me back to the Artesania rack. For it, too, turns out to be like a teacher to me. It showed in an instant that the Spider rack was pinched and forward in the midrange and that it apparently shifts energy from the lower octaves into the higher octaves. What's more: compared to the Artesania, much like a Sony to a Wadia, the Spider rack sounds synthetic! The Spider doesn't begin to touch on the Artesania's pure, natural, full-colour sound. Even if the Spider rack is on balance a little more airy and agile, it just doesn't move me anymore after having listened to the Artesania. Such is the life of an audiophile. It is so easy to get used to better sound!
 
Work Of Art
Just look at the pictures below: isn't the Artesania Exoteryc audio rack a beatiful work of audio-art?
 
Final comments
The most important thing in audio is system synergy. Balance between components. No matter which component you buy, you will always have to take some effort bedding it in. It will rarely happen that you take out one component, plunge in another and everything is 100% better. The Artesania Exoteryc is no different. Even though it is better than the Spider rack in 90% of the areas, my system had been balanced with the Spider in place. This means that I have been compensating for its leannes and perhaps unknowingly also compensated for its forward midrange. It comes as no surprise then to find that the sound becomes a little out of balance after a huge change such as an equipment rack.
 
During the initial listening tests where the CD player was moved to the Artesania rack and the rest of the system was unchanged, there were only benefits. Adding the DAC also only added to that. But when the preamp was added, the sound tilted a little too much toward the smooth. Apparently, even though the Coherence II weighs 50KG, still it was influenced by the maximum swing effect offered by the Exoteryc's lowest level. For most music this was beneficial but for more rhythmic-driven music, it was a little too relaxed.
 
But this was nothing a little cable-rolling couldn't fix. After a lot of experimenting, what ultimately did the trick was a combination of mechanical and electrical tweaks. First I moved the feet under the CD player to the most outer position that the player would allow. Second I moved the powercable of the preamp from the Lapp extensionblock to the installationwire extensionblock, where the power amps already were. Lastly, I connected the supplied grounding wire to the top level at the one end and to the ground of the extensionblock at the other end.
 
Grounding
That last thing really surprised me. I knew from a friend's ungrounded system, that when we grounded it, we didn't like the sound. Although it became technically better, we felt that the conveyal of emotion was lessened. Naturally this is also all about system synergy. His system had been tweaked from the non-grounded starting point. In my case the situation was different in that the sound was a little off balance at the starting point and grounding the rack made the sound shift right in position. Still I was surprised by the amount of difference that grounding a rack can make. Perhaps a nice free tip for folks owning metal racks: try grounding it. You may or may not like the results, but I promise you that there will be a difference. How very cool that Artesania included it, too, or I might not even have tried it!.
 
Update june 2013
 
Using the Dampers
The package also includes a special damper for every level. I didn't try them until later because my components are so solid and heavy already, especially the Rowlands, that I figured it unneccesary. However, as it turned out, the AAZ Ultra Flow music server could do with a little extra weight. Adding the damper on top made for more colour and fulness in the midrange where it was previously slightly thin. Its overall sound became less computer-esque and more like the Levinson CD player. In the process, rhythm is also slightly reduced but the server has plenty of that so as not to tilt the balance too much either side.
 
Optional Turntable Platform
Initially I bought the rack without the optional Turntable Platform. I don't have a turntable and figured that I wouldn't need the space for anything else. But after some time and after looking at pictures of the complete rack, it started luring me and the thought occurred that it would be very convenient to have a large top shelf to arrange current CD's on, or to put review components on. What's more, visually I think the platform is stunning and really adds to the rack's appeal. While maintaining its beautiful architectural qualities, I think the rack becomes even more majestic when the platform is included.
 
Like the rack, the platform isn't cheap. But also like the rack, you get superb quality. The glass platter consists of three thick layers of glass, bonded by a rubbery substance. The glass platter alone weighs more than 40 kilograms! The steel construction fits perfectly and is fully adjustable: not only in height but also for each of the four cross bars, which are inserted into the standing pillars and fixed by two allen screws which themselves are hidden from view under the black neoprene pads onto which the glass platter rests.
 
Forget mantras about glass being "ringy", as the glass platter itself is so dense that it will definitely not ring. Slapping it with your knuckles produces only a low-key thud, much like it would if the platter were made from solid aluminium.
 
When assembled, the whole is super-sturdy and definitely won't move from its position. It absolutely cannot accidentally be nudged off the rack
 
Listening with the Turntable Platter in place
Seeing as the rack itself has such an elaborate and well-thought out system to eliminate vibrations and the turntable platform is coupled to the main pillars directly, it had to sound entirely different. And it does. I carried out a range of tests using various pieces of equipment. For this review I will focus on the use of the Meridian 506.24 CD player.
 
CD player on top of the Platform
As expected, the platform lends a different character to the sound than the suspended levels below it. On top of the glass platter, the Meridian's bass is more pronounced and has more power, the midrange is more forward and more "live" and treble is more accentuated and drier. Although this presentation is not unpleasant, and actually welcome with hard-pounding basslines, the sense of richness through the midrange and the colourful, relaxed nature that the other levels of the rack lend to the music are reduced.
 
CD player on the smaller optional glass platter
This smaller glass platter is also optionally available and can be useful when you need to place very narrow components on a shelf, or placing two narrow units next to each other. Like the big platform, this platter consists of three layers sandwiched layers of glass albeit much thinner ones. Although lighter in weight, still this platter doesn't ring when you knock on it. But in use, it does sound a little like what you'd expect a glass platter to sound like: extra articulate in the midbass and extra pronounced in the midrange, while treble is a little harder. But this phenomenom would later turn out to be triggered by standing waves caught between the two glass layer more than by the mechanical coupling of the component sitting on it, but more on that later.
 
CD player on the rack's own feet
With the platform still in place and the CD player placed on the rack's own feet, the Meridian sounds best. Quite obviously a lot of thought has gone into the design of the rack and its suspension system and it just shows. Compared to sitting on the top level, the player now sounds a little less dynamic and pace is a little slower but the overall balance is much better. From the lowest bass to the highest treble the sound is just more complete and more harmonically rich. With some CD's such as those from Groove Armada, the extra propulsion in the bass and lower midrange that the Turntable Platform added were very welcome but with most of my music I preferred the rack's normal levels and its own feet. The smaller glass platform had a sound signature somewhere inbetween. It had extra articulation through the bass and lower midrange but also still portrayed some of the rack's inherent stability and calmness. Still, with the platter removed I found the balance to be better.
 
Glass platters in place but without using them
As turned out eventually, adding the smaller glass platter to the rack with the Turntable Platter in place altered the sound, even when no component was placed on it. Most of the effects I noted above turned out to be attributable to the mere addition of the small glass platter. Removing it calmed down the forward midrange and hard treble and restored the more musically pleasant flow. Having the small platter in place but placing a component on top of it would dampen the midrange forwardness slightly but maintained the restriction of flow as the soundstage seemed to be compressed or tunnelled between the two layers of glass. Out of curiosity I removed the small glass platform and substituted it with a wood panel. Surprisingly, this had almost the same effect as the glass platter, but the added colouration focussed on a lower frequency. It wasn't better or worse, just different.
 
Removing the Turntable Platform
Now that I knew what the removal of the small glass platform did, I had no choice but to try the same with the big one. indeed again this made a difference and I am sorry to say that I preferred the sound without it. I hadn't noticed when installing it but upon removing it I noticed how the sound relaxed and the stage breathed more freely. Interestingly missing went a sense of focus in the midrange, with snares now having less attack and bite. But overall I prefer the more natural sound that the rack provides without platters in place.
 
After all, it isn't surprising that these large layers of glass influence the sound because they completely bypass the rack's inherent design, which is to eliminate platform levels for obvious reasons. I liked the Spider racks for their absense of colouration and the same is true for the Artesania rack. Adding platforms to the design seems to undermine their design. I do think however that the effect I heard was greatly increased by the height of the rack and the fact that it is situated between the speakers. Even if the speakers are setup almost two meters from the rear wall, the fact that they are dipoles probably also has something to do with this.
 
With a lower version of the Exoteryc rack or when the rack is setup next to one of the side walls in the listening room, the addition of either glass platforms probably wouldn't have the same effects as in my setup
 
CONCLUSION
The Artesania Exoteryc is quite simply the best audio rack that I have used. Not only is it flawless in design and adjustability; soundwise it is also perfect and a massive improvement over any rack that I have used. It takes the best qualities of Finite Elemente's Spider Rack and adds tonal richness, better low level resolution, deeper black, a more solid soundstage with better focus, deeper, more powerful bass and a superbly natural sound. And it does all this while retaining treble fluidity and airyness, overall articulation and dynamic expression.
 
The rack doesn't hide its highly technical nature, but I perceive it as a classic case of "Form Follows Function". This rack is just really well thought out and I personally think it looks spectacular. But more importantly, the added emotionality that this rack is able to squeeze out of my system is quite simply staggering.
the Exoteryc is an ideal complement to any significant level team....this furniture will be the straw that will fill and complete the set,...
Enrique Montesinos - (Google translation into English)

Here we see an overwhelming amount of detail the great harmonic richness as complete an instrument such as the piano, asserting the timbre of the instrument and musical color present in the dissonance so characteristic of this impressionistic work. The air that surrounds each of the notes from the lowest bass to the treble sharper transports us to the room it was recorded this piece. There is a greater extent both in the top where the highs are smoother and the bottom where the bass have better control and definition.

Much has happened since 1997, the year in which I acquired my first piece of furniture dedicated to audio equipment. And how could it be otherwise, given the attention they then professed by the Audio Video, the model in question was a table suspended shelves Double six Reference Series (the top end), belonging to, at the time , Spanish pop Crafts Audio manufacturer. However, a few years later and the result of restless and maverick spirit inherent in every company that continues to investigate towards a constant evolution to be always among the first firms dedicated to create the best sound mechanical insulation systems for audio possible domestic firm introduced us Aragonese Prestige Craft table, which involved the removal of shelves rested sandwich structure where the different pieces of equipment. With this upgrade which in turn of course not be released, the sound made in a clear increase in the presentation of the harmonic richness that is not lost due to the absorbent qualities characteristic of the materials used in the construction of these ( DM and neoprene lease the shelves of the previous model).
 
But not in accordance with these advances D. José Luis Lafarga, (with whom I exchanged long and tendidamente impressions during one of the missing SONIMAG), head of the firm has continued engaged in their constant search for perfection, which eventually led him to achieve that today is, undoubtedly one of the best options available in terms of furniture for audio without compromise: The table Crafts Audio Exoteryc special turntable platform before us.
 
Touchdown
 
I must admit that the mere physical presentation of it dwarfs previous models. In fact the diameter of the legs (pillars) support is 60mm (15mm more than the Reference and Prestige), representing an increase of 33%. There is a greater distance between the legs resulting in an increase in the space available inside intended for placement of devices. This weight gain and gives greater stability neutrality negligible due to structural resonance thereof. In turn, we have also modified the articulated arms that move in parallel and angular movements, which greatly simplifies the work of his predecessors adjustment to the Prestige series. Another significant improvement is the increase in size of the charge of support bowlers interior structure, and the fixing system (elastic and acoustically enhanced) by insulating discs which rest on parts of the system. In fact remain in its inverted position even without any part of them, which physically impossible in the Prestige model. Another improvement is striking, especially for those who have known / used previous versions, is the complete elimination of annoying pendulum suspended internal structure due to successful use of a four settings located in the bottom of the same and allow almost perfect fit.
 
This furniture can also optionally incorporating a special platform turntable. This platform is built on glass treated with triple sandwich structure (1 cm each sheet) resting on a stainless steel frame topped with conical legs with the same material and the shape of glass on top has a neoprene discs medium density expanded micro (as occurs with exchangeable bases for discs floor) on which rests the heavy glass. At the bottom of the legs are disposed tips we provide perfect leveling of the platform while remaining disengaged from the cabinet. If the weight of the base and is spectacular, about 50 kg, not less so is the incredible stiffness of it.
 
The set of furniture weighing around 100 kg rests on four discs (much larger than its predecessors) that allow us to play with two types of exchangeable bases either Neoprene (absorbent) or polyamide (to dissipate energy excess) as required by the very us our room acoustics.
 
Also the cabinet is supplied with dampers (2.4 kg each) that act both to remove the chassis micro vibrations produced by the transformers themselves, as for shielding digital device. In my case the result with electronic amplification of the serious charge of Genesis 350SE is really good. The serious subject and get a much higher definition. The piano has a greater aplomb and clarity especially in the lower octaves.
 
In combat
 
I started assembling the furniture manufacturer's instructions and making sure quedase perfectly level from the first stand up special top excellent platform for analog systems. Once satisfied that everything was in perfect order proceeded to install the equipment, which, to my pleasant surprise not involve much effort as with lower versions, because of the great work done in securing responsible for supporting disks parts system.
 
For evaluation used some of my most favorite albums. I decided to start with rock music, specifically the "Private Investigations" by Dire Straits that makes clear the neutrality excellent recordings transmitted regardless of the level of volume that takes place listening.
 
Then I went to try and behaved in a style so different as is the Jazz. In this case the chosen disc was "The Nutcracker Suite" by Duke Ellington (Columbia) version of Pure Pleasure 180 grams where we can clearly distinguish the perfect exquisite location of each of the musicians in this great Big Band. Specifically there are three issues that are a real treat for the ear: The Sugar Rum Cherry presents a sax with a lovely meaty juxtaposed with metals and all these perfectly clothed by the accompanying percussion dim and the fantastic textures the other two subjects Arabesque Cookie and Chinoiserie.
 
Switching to classical music in the album "Romeo and Juliet" by Prokofiev in version directed by Maazel (Decca) in front of the Cleveland Orchestra in the Dance of the Knights issue where the bass have a strong presence, with the use Esoteric furniture cleaning is achieved in a more than notable of these attacks, revealing a more defined scene and with a greater level of detail by the rest of the orchestra (eg percussion) who remained, until currently hidden while promoting increased sound image both in width and in depth.
 
The subject of the other dynamic is strong, with a level of silence between notes truly astonishing, resulting in a consequent increase in micro dynamics. This level of silence is particularly evident in recordings as a prelude n º 10 "The Submerged Cathedral" by Claude Debussy on the fantastic version of Claudio Arrau (Philips). Here we see an overwhelming amount of detail the great harmonic richness as complete an instrument such as the piano, asserting the timbre of the instrument and musical color present in the dissonance so characteristic of this impressionistic work. The air that surrounds each of the notes from the lowest bass to the treble sharper transports us to the room it was recorded this piece. There is a greater extent both in the top where the highs are smoother and the bottom where the bass have better control and definition.
 
Perhaps with my previous table, the Finite Elemente Pagode Master Reference,.... would give a more warm (not neutral), but at the cost of penalizing its dynamics and a more severe loose and uncontrolled.
 
Conclusion
 
Summarizing the Exoteryc is an ideal complement to any significant level team. Of course it will solve all the problems of our systems, but the truth is that if the other pieces of equipment are up and well resolved, this furniture will be the straw that will fill and complete the set, especially for holders of a good analog system. Using Crafts Audio Exoteryc table may be the detail that makes the difference between good and excellent.
ARTESANIA EXOTERIC RACK REVIEW SUMMARIES

REVIEW SUMMARIES: 
“ Artesania Audio means exceptional quality and technology ”.....(ALTA FIDELIDAD, Spain)

“ Parasitic noise disappears completely and a beautifully clean sound is the result ”....(HAUTE FIDÉLITÉ, France)

 “ Artesania racks extract every last drop of potential from the components it supports ”.....(HAUTE FIDÉLITÉ, France)

“ The perfect rack? There are no shelves to flap about under your equipment, its arguably the best equipment support known ”....(HI-FI NEWS, UK)

“ Artesania Audio wants components to sound like themselves (in mechanical isolation) - Blue Moon Award for Rack ....” (SIXMOONS, Switzerland)

“ Incredibly neutral, the overall solidity and control of my system, - Most Wanted Component award ”.....(STEREO TIMES, USA)

“ Music Sounded bigger, better recorded, you could hear more into the recording and the frequency extremes were as effortless and natural as the mid-band ”.....(HI-FI +, UK)

“ The Artesania Rack possesses the ability to improve the overall sonic performance of any separate component or system as a whole ”.....(ENJOY THE MUSIC, USA)

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