Even the best laid plans are subject to fate's quirks. This review was originally scheduled for 2015 but the fire in the Korea factory which thankfully caused no physical injuries left Codia with the daunting task of rebuilding. By early 2016, our Phoenix had risen from the ashes and this assignment was a go. The company's extensive expertise in vibration management acquired during the construction of acoustic wave traps is applied to their audio rack designs. The resultant stands are powerhouse combinations of attractive exteriors backed by stealthily effective isolation techniques. The new Stage 3000 BAB black aluminium bar sits at the top of their rack mountain and is a redesign of the former 3000 model. I first caught a glimpse of it at the TAVES 2015 show in the Charisma Audio/Update Audio room where beautiful music indicated that Codia had hit high marks with slick new product. It was a cosmetic step up from my own Codia Stage 1000 rack which itself had demonstrated an artful balance between resonance isolation and aesthetics. It proved superior to my in-house racks in isolation ability and combined with high spousal acceptance prompted me to retire my veteran stand and make the Codia the new fixture. It was a painless decision and the 1000 has served with distinction since. The new 3000 BAB flagship promised even higher performance with several tricks up its sleeve both visual and technical to supersede my personal unit and their own former range topper.

Codia's North American dealer, Mr. Li of Charisma Audio, hand-delivered two shipping containers. We took a quick peek to make sure all pieces were there. Packaging was extremely good. The two boxes were double-thick cardboard with internal tiers of substantial Styrofoam shells. One of the boxes was dedicated to shelving, the other contained a single shelf and a top layer of hardware and tools. Each shelf came individually bagged protected with Styrofoam inserts. Each component was bubble wrapped then zip-lock bagged, each pillar came in individual plastic sleeves. A precision wrench, quality Allan keys and cleaning cloth were included. Everything was taped in place and further wrapped in polystyrene sheet to prevent movement. Codia build quality product and go to great lengths to ensure that you receive it intact.

Basic specs are as follows: 3cm shelf thickness, 60x53cm shelf size WxD, 64x53cm internal dimensions of the final assembly, 71.5 x 53cm for its outer dimensions. Column diameters are 3.5cm. Available lengths are 9, 12, 15, 18, 24 and 30cm. The spikes add 6cm each to add up to overall heights of 15, 18, 21, 24, 30 and 36cm. Load capacity per tier is 100kg. Assembly was quick and intuitive. Threaded rods screw into the top-mounted aluminium receptacles through a shaft in the outrigger via carbon washers on either side of the shelf. Add the spike on the bottom and repeat for the remaining columns. You just completed a tier. Although Codia do not include a manual, the level of complexity makes Ikea components look difficult by comparison. Additionally, Charisma Audio's website hosts a video. It was all quite simple and the process, from unboxing to completion, took less than an hour. The finished rack looked stunningly refined. My wife's first reaction was to ask wherther we could keep it. That was a rare occurrence and strong vote. With two of the company's efforts on hand and some prior listening with the former flagship, it was an excellent opportunity to examine where these racks evolved and diverged in concept and execution.

Both the Stage 1000 and former 3000 used shelves adapted from Codia's experience with acoustic wave traps by employing thick Baltic birch ply routed with a series of diagonally opposed slots to break up resonance. It was a clever and attractive signature feature. The original 3000 opted for straight vertical edges enhanced with thick solid wood front rails for additional rigidity over the chamfered edges of the 1000 series. The solid aluminium pillars were upgraded to a more elaborate outrigger clamping mechanism for increased isolation. The outrigger structure had the added benefit of creating greater useable space for components. The bottom spike/cup hardware got the full stainless steel treatment plus the washer and floor protection glides went from Teflon to carbon for superior energy transfer and decoupling. Cosmetically the 3000 posts went from satin aluminium to black and shelves came in a wider range of finishes. The sum of these changes amounted to progressive and logical upgrades to take an already very good product to higher levels both aesthetically and technically. How did the 3000 BAB continue that progression?

The new Codia Acoustic Design rack retains some features of its predecessor, then breaks away into new territory. On a cosmetic level we now have a choice of black or chrome columns whilst shelf finishes are Birch, black and a rich new Wenge as per my review sample. These are strictly aesthetic improvements. The black aluminium bar on the front replaces the solid wood facing of the former 3000 to increase structural rigidity as well as optimize resonant energy transfer. This is a subtle but evolutionary refinement. The more drastic change is the abandonment of the continuous interlocking column structure in favour of a series of independent nested tiers, terminated on the bottom with adjustable spikes and mounted into generously deep recesses atop each column. The intent is improved isolation between shelves plus superior energy transfer. This surefooted mechanism is quite rigid and stackable up to 10 tiers. It makes adding or subtracting tiers faster and easier. These changes were intelligent and progressive. Were there any revolutionary items in this new mix?