What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Wed, 4 May 2011, 10:41am

Hi Fi Racks Podium Reference tier

Tested at £230
80100
4

A good upgrade on an impressive product. Its high price means we can’t give it a five-star recommendation, though

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For

  • Attractive
  • modular design is infinitely expandable
  • brings real sonic benefits

Against

  • High price

We’re already big fans of Hi-fi RacksPodium – it’s won our equipment support Award in 2009 and 2010 – so we were keen to see how it could be improved.

The company’s answer is to add a thinner wooden platform for each shelf. These cost £100 each, and need to be specified with a matching shelf (£130). The standard shelf won’t work as it doesn’t have the additional metal inserts to locate the platform.

The upgraded combination can either replace a layer on a standard Podium
rack, or if multiplied become a pricier alternative to the basic, shelf-only system.

The new arrangement makes a notable improvement. Our reference Audiolab 8200 CD player gained better low-end precision and punch, and more composure and authority without sacrificing any of the impressive bounce of the original.

Is it worth the extra over the standard version? We’d have to say yes, though the hefty increase in price means the upgrade isn’t as great value.

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