|Equarack “Shelfless” System Model
A Top Shelf "Shelfless"
more components make their way in and out of
my listening room, one thing that has remained
constant is my need for rack space. And rack
real-estate has become even scarcer since the
addition to my system of an Apogee Big Ben
external word clock, a Boz Audio 216 digital
amplifier (with external power supply), and an
Audience Adept Response AC line conditioner.
(The latter takes the grunge away from old
friends such as my Tact Audio 2.2X
preamplifier, and from newcomers: a Combak
Reimyo CD player and a Bluenote Belvedere
turntable with its oddly soda-can shaped phono-stage.
All told, that’s seven components in need of
rack space. What’s an audiophile to do?
Fortunately, I have the answer.
Equarack Inc. is owned by Joe Ciulla, an
audiophile and music lover (we’ve had some
very enjoyable listening sessions together)
with a passion for design and engineering.
Ciulla’s EquaRack “Shelfless” system, which he
started manufacturing in 2001, reflects his
engineering background and intense musical and
audiophile ambitions into one ambitious
The Equarack system features
"damping/isolation" mounts that support
components without the use of conventional
shelves. This system accomplishes what Ciulla
calls the “three essential provisions” for
ultimate component performance: efficient
means by which to drain and damp harmful
air-to-component vibrations, and air-to-rack/
The component mounts offered at the time I
received my rack were VectorMounts and
BearingMounts. The more expensive mount is the
BearingMount which employs a sophisticated
ball-bearings as its centerpiece. My rack has
the less expensive VectorMounts which share
the same advanced viscoelastic polymer in a
constrained-layer design, but lack the bearing
of the more expensive mount.
In addition, I chose optional Vector Rack
Mounts (in place of floor-spikes) to de-couple
the rack from my wooden floor.
Ciulla informed me that both versions of these
component and rack mounts have now been
replaced by user-adjustable, weight-optimized
right) for which I hope to provide a follow-up
on upon their arrival.
Ciulla goes further and makes the claim that,
“These provisions are prerequisites for
ultimate component performance - Isolation
alone, is simply not sufficient!”
Enter the Rack…
The physical columns that support the Equarack
constructed of cold-rolled, 12-gauge steel
channel with 1/4" welded end-fittings,
assembled to create a strong, rigid unit. The
“rack”, in the Equarack system, is configured
by choosing column height, number of levels,
and type(s) of component mounts. Three mounts
are fine for most components, but some
components may require, and/or benefit from,
Connections of the modular elements are made
by threading a single 1/2"-13 alloy steel
button-head hex cap screw through each
end-fitting into a hardened "channel-nut"
placed anywhere in the "slot" of an
intersecting channel element. When the
cap-screw is tightened, the end-fitting and
channel are pulled together and the
"in-turned" edges of the channel engage the
channel-nut's serrated grooves. These grooves
"bite" into the in-turned edges, creating a
strong vise-like joint. This connection ties
the open channel sides together in a 4-sided
box configuration for added joint strength and
enhanced structural rigidity. The Model-DW has
horizontal Tie-Backs that can be positioned
anywhere on the columns.
Columns are available in heights of 28-3/4",
34-3/4", 45-3/4", and 56-3/4", inclusive of
(retracted) floor-spikes which are standard
and provide an additional 1-inch of
adjustment. Stainless-steel floor-protectors
are also included.
The rack will accept up to ten components on
five levels when the tallest columns are used!
The Model-DW will accommodate all but the very
largest components, and each level has a
weight capacity of 400lbs!
Ciulla took time out from his busy schedule to
assemble the EquaRack in my listening room. He
is a bear. (He’s
currently working on
a formula to make
Cosmetically, the EquaRack is, in my opinion,
built for performance rather than looks. Once
assembled and loaded with components it is
very easy to forget this rack since it is
It is very hard to hear the differences in
racks. Reviewers have the task of introducing
new components on a regular basis which makes
gauging the sonic qualities of a rack that
much more difficult. My downstairs system
remains in a state of flux due to the constant
comings and goings of components. My upstairs
reference system is an all digital one. Few
components I’ve heard have given me a reason
to change and as a result this system has
remained stable and intact for more than five
years (give or take a product). That said,
swapping out equipment racks proved undeniably
effective in this setup and that’s where the
I am not sure if it’s the shelfless approach
or isolating the AC conditioners on dedicated
EquaMounts, but one thing is certain: if there
is any legitimacy to the argument that
isolating ALL components in an audio system
improves the sound, the EquaRack is the system
on which to verify it.
The EquaRack provided an eerily quiet
presentation no matter what the listening
level, music or mood.
A level of silence I
had not experienced using the fabulous
Acoustic Dreams isolation rack (this
impressive rack simply ran out of physical
space). This impacted my experience of the
music in a way I had not anticipated.
noticed this on Sarah Vaughan’s “How Long Has
This Thing Been Going On” [Pablo
PACD-2310-812-2]. Your Blasť is my
favorite on this hypnotic
disc, which features Oscar Peterson, Joe Pass,
Louie Belson and Ray Brown. Sarah,
in my opinion at the peak of her vocal
capabilities, seemed more there
and yet a tad laid-back
and controlled. Her thickly
textured vocals throughout sounded more
life-like and sensuous, while guitarist Joe
Pass appeared noticeably
clearer and distinct to the left and
behind Sarah. Previously, I was left with the
impression of an accompanying guitar, this
time it wasn't just
a guitar accompanying a
singer. It's now a guitar
sounds like Joe
Barron’s rendition of the Thelonius Monk
immortal tune ‘Round Midnight on her
“Retrospective” CD proved an ear-opening
experience. I am quite familiar with this song
as I’ve heard it over and over again on
numerous systems over the years. Hard to
explain, but Christy sounded refreshingly new
and improved. There was an undeniable,
see-through quality the EquaRack system
brought out in Christy’s voice that gave her
presentation something that I hadn’t heard
Once again I am discovering how resonances and
vibrations masks, smears and ultimately
destroys a system’s overall performance. I
cannot say the EquaRack provides better bass
and top-end performance than other racks
appear to do. I can say however, that across
the entire musical
spectrum, everything got better,
quieter, more relaxed, and more musical.
The Sistrum Isolation rack was my reference
before the Acoustic Dreams arrived. And to be
honest, the only reason I switched was due to
the absolute drop-dead gorgeous look of the
Acoustic Dreams rack compared to the
industrial looking Sistrum. I’ll be the first
to admit that beauty won out over performance.
But where the Acoustic Dreams is a beautiful
piece of furniture to look at, the EquaRack’s
performance is what gives it its beauty.
needed an EquaRack
DW system. It's quite durable, can support
literally any component's weight, and provides
sonic improvement. Lets not
forget, it too is upgradeable.
It may not be the most attractive rack in the
world but thus far it has outperformed all
that have come before it.
So much in fact I've purchased the review
The EquaRack is a serious contender
for anyone seeking to take their system to the
next level. It has upped the ante on what to
expect from an isolation rack. A Publisher’s
Choice! Most Wanted Component indeed!
Dear Clement Perry:
I am quite delighted with your evaluation and
enthusiastic endorsement of my Model-DW rack.
You have paid me the very highest compliment
by buying the review sample for use in your
formidable reference system.
Your most notable comments validate my design
goal of providing an
“open window” facilitated by vibration
control, through which the music is delivered
without coloration or exaggeration.
With Warmest Regards,
Model-DW Component Rack
2-Level (base model) supports 4-components:
Clement Perry’s rack (review sample) 4-levels
+ Options: $5,360.00
109 East 36th. St.
New York, N.Y. 10016 USA