What's under your turntable...?
This page is a photo gallery of different racking methods being used to support turntables. Various components are used including the frame structure of the mount, a shelf surface and various footer devices including cones, pucks or heavy rubber feet.
This page is a work in progress and, as such, is incomplete. The world of audio racks and platforms is so vast that it would seem unlikely to fairly cover the depth and breadth of it within these pages. The intent here is to add examples of racking and platform methods as they come to me and as I find them, over time. The page will grow. Incidentally, I am looking for as many different examples of racking methods as I can find. From air suspended, to magnetic levitation, to solid and high mass to solid and damped to frequency tuned racks to energy dissipating light and rigid racks, etc.
Mounting methods are categorized as follows:
Additionally, various isolation methods may be employed in an effort to separate the turntable from its environment as follows:
Isolation Feet and devices
Stillpoints: Cone Feet with internal array of ceramic bearing balls designed to dissipate vibrations coming from above and below.
Symposium Rollerblocks (ball bearing in a cup)
These allow horizontal motion while being constrained by the curvature of the cup and gravity.
Cone Feet in Ceramic: DH Labs (Golden Sound)
Rubber Feet in various sizes and shapes that isolate/filter vibrations from above and below.
Townshend Seismic Load Cell: Compression spring surrounded by a flexible synthetic rubber jacket with two end plates. This is the building block of their current line of isolation shelves and equipment rack systems.
Clearaudio Magix: Magnetic isolation pods. Uses magnetic levitation
Isolation Shelves and Platforms
To isolate from seismic surface borne vibrations coming up from below the component
Seismic Base for the EMT 930: passive. This type of base has also been constructed for the EMT 927. EMT owners tend to state that the base is generally useful on light springy floors and does isolate from footfall. However they will quickly say that there is no other audible benefit. I think they look really cool.
Ginko Designs: Soft springy squash balls between upper and lower plates. Applications: Hi-Fi
Townshend Seismic Sink (discontinued) passive neumatic (air bladder) platform Applications: Hi-Fi. Comes with bicycle pump to inflate the inner-tubes within.
Townshend Seismic Platform (a single thin plate supported by 4 Townshend seismic load cells) Applications: Hi-Fi
Halcyonics: Active isolation by piezo-electric acceleration detectors. 8 coaxial integrated sensor/actuator axes. electro-dynamic actuators Applications: Industrial
Herzan TS series : web: http://www.herzan.com
(no air) sub herz vibration isolation across 6 degrees of freedom
Minus-K: Minus K Technology BM-8 platform shown supporting a Simon York S7 turntable. This platform boasts passive 1/2 hz vertical and 1/2 hz horizontal vibration isolation. More information at: http://www.minusk.com/
It is worth noting that the Minus-K platforms seem to offer the best performance/price ratio. Sub-herz performance at a fraction of the cost of its competition.
We get to try out a Minus-K isolation platform here at The Analog Dept. Notes and observations: Link to notes page.
Vibraplanes: Sized from massive to light-benchtop air suspended platforms designed to stabilize electron microscopes and other precision lab gear are recommended highly by certain members of the audio press. Kinetic systems produces these for several industrial purposes.
Vibraplanes are available as floor-standing work stations and as benchtop isolation shelves. The shelves are offered in "passive" or "active" models. The passive models must have their air pressure manually set and periodically maintained. (with a hand operated bicycle pump) The active models level themselves and are self maintained but require an air compressor as part of that system.
Industrial models considered:
For use in audio systems see http://www.soundsofsilence.com/vibraplane-platform/ Their versions look less industrial and more appropriate within the context of the home audio system.
Silent Running isoBASE web: http://www.silentrunningaudio.com
The isoBase is a suspension base. Photos are not available to show the internals of it. These isoBases are generally well regarded around the audio community. And they tend to carry a high price tag.
To dissipate/drain vibration coming from the component above the platform
Neuance Platform shelves by Greater Ranges. No longer available. But an underground favorite isolation shelf that did not break the bank
Black Diamond Racing Shelves: Carbon Fiber shelves
Above photo: Chuck Miller's Teres. The custom TT base is cut from a BDR "The Shelf" and it stands over a Black Diamond Racing "The Shelf". Also employed in this setup are BDR cones and pads. The exact layer-by-layer build up for a "The Shelf" is considered by BDR to be proprietary and is not revealed. Btw, BDR themselves did built a Teres using their carbon fiber materials and methodology. It appeard at one show. I haven't heard of it since.
Symposium shelves: different densities of structural foam adhered between upper and lower aluminum plates.
The denser foam is at the outer layers. The softer less dense foam is sandwiched in the middle.
Bright Star Audio shelves: Various models using Sand, air, constrained layer methods and Sorbothane.
Floor Standing Racks with seismic isolation capabilities
(click on thumbnail image to view full size image or link to a page that does)
The stand beneath the Rockport Technologies System III Sirius Turntable. Floor standing, air suspension actively leveled. Integrated into the turntable support stand. (ed. my personal favorite) discontinued.
Arcici SR1 Reference Suspense Rack. The component shelves hang from an air-bladder suspension located at the top of the structure. The system is passive. Air pressure is maintained using a bicycle pump to keep the bladder inflated.
Solid Floor Standing Racks
Silent Running Craz Reference isoRack plus web:http://www.silentrunningaudio.com
There is more to these racks than what can be seen from the outside.
Teres Audio Gibraltar stand: Rigid, damped, high mass and beautiful. Atop the Gibraltar stand is the perfect compliment; the Teres Certus 460 http://www.teresaudio.com
High Mass and Rigid. A Billy Baggs Pro stand (commercial) supports a massive 3 inch thick granite plate which in turn supports a massive non-suspended turntable, a Redpoint Testa Rossa XS. Note how the Redpoint doesn't use footers of any kind, rather its base and motor pod sit flatly over the granite. Thanks to Wes Bender for sending in this photo. The rest of Wes's system pics can be viewed here.
Chuck Millers' ultra massive DIY floor-standing rack supports a carbon fiber base Teres/Graham 2.2 rig. Rigid, high mass, Sand damped.
Thorston Loesche's massive Acoustic Solid stand supports a non-suspended Acoustic Solid "Solid One" turntable.. Rigid, high mass.
an attic listening room A stout little hardwood cabinet serves as a rigid floor standing support for a non-suspended Garrard 301.
The top is decoupled with racket balls. (click on thumbnail to view full size image)
A DIY Mana type rack (light-rigid) supporting a non-suspended Garrard 401
Wall Mounted Racks
The most common benefit received when using a wall-mounted platform to support a turntable is relative isolation from floor vibrations..... such as foot fall. However, if the building construction is light and flexible, there still can be some disturbances that reach the turntable by traveling through the building structure itself. Caution must be taken to avoid placing your TT support in room corners. Lower frequency acoustic waves tend to collect in room corners and then bombard the tonearm cartridge working there.
Phonosophie (commercial) light rigid
under an EMT a frame for duty in the broadcast studio. Rack mounted with spring suspension.
Diy wall shelf in hardwoods. by Bushman
Audible Effects of Mechanical Resonances in Turntables (pdf) (click to open into your Adobe Acrobat Reader)