Wilson Benesch’s new R1 hi-fi rack is a modular rack solution that provides “optimal conditions for the operation of State-of-the-Art digital and analogue audio equipment”.
The eye catching precision machined finished black vertical stands of the R1 have been machined and finished in-house from polyoxymethylene to a tolerance of 0.02mm. Polyoxymethylene (POM) is a dense, high-performance engineering polymer with a material hardness equivalent to aluminium. However, unlike aluminium which creates an audible ring when subject to certain frequencies, POM has an inherently high damping coefficient that affords the structural integrity of a metal structure, but without ringing.
Having pioneered the use of carbon fibre in audio product design, Wilson Benesch introduce the Carbon Fibre Isobar in the R1. The horizontal Isobars appear purely as a carbon fibre tube. However, Wilson Benesch have added a 14mm steel bar through the centre of the tube which is tied at the ends using precision machined caps that compress the Isobar under 14-tons of force forming a high tensile structure. This makes the Isobar “an anisotropic structure, which has identical damping and energy flow characteristics across the structure”.
“From the last HIFI component, down to the ground, energy flow has been optimised across the R1. Four kinematic location points between each R1 Rack have been designed to create high pressure nodes. This junction consists of a 500g chrome finished steel sphere, which meets with a socket on the adjoining R1 level to restrict all six degrees of mechanical freedom. Any energy arriving at the ball is evenly diffused into a visco-elastic circumferential line contact interface. The principle of Kinematic location extends into the foot where four adjustable spikes with ball-bearing tips meet with kinematic cups taken directly from the design of Wilson Benesch’s reference loudspeaker, the Cardinal.”
Understanding and managing the energy flow across a hi-fi rack structure is paramount to the success of the design. In this respect Wilson Benesch has used cutting edge laser scanning vibrometry to inform the design of the R1. Notably the R1’s structure can be seen as a highly optimised solution for dealing with energy transfer. Providing as it does a “near ideal” collection of advanced materials to precisely govern the ideal energy paths for the energy generated by audio equipment.
Shipped as fully assembled as single, base and standard levels, the R1 is a modular design allowing additional levels to be added to accomodate up to 4 separate hi-fi components. Thanks to the kinematic coupling at each interface, the R1 is simple to assemble and ensures optimal performance and ultimate precision. Single R1 Base units can also be used in isolation to support monoblock amplifiers. Price TBA. www.wilson-benesch.com