Wilson Benesch R1 High End Rack

Posted on 9th June, 2015

Wilson Benesch R1 High End Rack

U.K manufacturer Wilson Benesch started in 1999 with just £10,000 in the bank and a £15,000 overdraft. They've since gone on to produce some of the world's finest products utilising space-age materials and technology. The latest release, the R1 HiFi rack is no exception. Modular in design, Wilson Benesch make no claim this is a cheap rack. It's sole design and purpose is for ultra high-end, state of the art digital and analogue audio equipment.

The R1 was designed and engineered to achieve core principles:

  • to provide stable and robust positioning
  • to transmit energy away frmo highly sensitive components, including CD lasers, analogue cartridges and internal electronic circuitry, and subsequently absorb energy within the racking system
  • to isolate components from energy generated by loudspeakers in the listening space, transferred through the structure of the racking from the ground
  • to isolate each component from energy generated by other audio equipment installed on the racking system

Wilson Benesch R1 HiFi Rack

Craig Milnes, owner and director of Wilson Benesch told StereoNET:

In these respects, we believe that the performance of the new Wilson Benesch R1 system is superior to any other product currently available today.

Using laser scanning vibrometry with Sheffield Hallam University and extensively live tested using some of the world's finest digital and analogue products, the R1 is a statement. It attests to quality and British engineering excellence. Put simply, the R1 forms the perfect partner to the world's finest high-end audio equipment.

Precision machined in-house, each upright of the R1 rack is assembled from multiple sections of polyoxymethylene (POM), a dense high-performance engineering polymer. With a crystalline structure that results in a material hardness equivalent to aluminium, however unlike aluminimum POM has an inherently high damping co-officient.

Each tier of the R1 rack uses two multiaxial carbon fibre tubes acting as cross members between the uprights to form a key structural element of the racking system. The cross members role is critical in dictating the flow of energy both from each audio component into the surrounding and vice versa.

Wilson Benesch R1 Rack

The calculations speak for themselves, each carbon fibre tube weighing just 200 grams, is capable of withstanding a theoretical axis load of 5 tons, or 25,000 times it's own mass!

Wilson Benesch use multiple material with different damping characteristics for good reason. Each material works in harmony to absorb and damp the natural resonant frequency. The addition of a 14mm steel bar at the centre of each cross member clamps the carbon fibre tube. This further damps the resonant frequencies.

The result is a phenomenally stiff structure constructed from several materials that mutually self-damp one another. The ensures that any structural borne resonance within the R1 structure is not transferred to the high-end components residing within the audio system.

And it doesn't stop there. The R1 is referenced to the ground with four threaded steel spikes which each hold a captive ball bearing. Each tier is seperated by four 500 gram chrome steel spheres that couple and locate kinetically with four sockets on the adjoining level to restrict all six degrees of mechanical freedom.

Multi-layered Birch ply is known for it's naturally innate and broad bandwidth damping ability. That's why the shelving itself was an easy choice for Wilson Benesch with the R1 rack and sits atop the carbon fibre cross members.

Two components make up the R1 rack system. A base level, and the desired number of standard levels.

  • Base Level - (120H x 700W x 480D mm). Weight 22kgs.
  • Standard Level - (260H x 700W x 480D mm). Weight 33kgs.

The Wilson Benesch R1 rack was premiered at the recent High End Show in Munich, and full production has now commenced.

Available now from selected dealers, with pricing stated at $10,500 RRP per level.

Wilson Benesch is distributed in Australia by Absolute Hi End.

Marc Rushton's avatar

Marc Rushton

StereoNET’s Founder & Publisher and still buried deep in the review room auditioning everything from docks to soundbars, amplifiers and headphones. Marc is also the founder of the annual International HiFi Show.

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Posted in: Hi-Fi
Tags: wilson benesch  absolute hiend  hifi rack 

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