For the past year I've had my turntable on a Standesign 5T
, which looks like the pic in the link, except that there's 12" of space on the bottom shelf, making it even taller. Its cantilever construction and tall dimensions, combined with the 30 lb. turntable I placed on the top made the turntable shelf sway and shimmy. The entire rack is one-piece welded square tubular steel, which collects in-room vibrations, adds tubular steel resonances, and conducts them all the way up through the frame to the stylus and back out the speakers.
This past weekend I swapped equipment racks with the one I had in my bedroom. It's one of those like a Vantage or Sanus that has thick, heavy mdf shelves connected by threaded hollow cylinders.
Before re-assembling the modular rack, I pumped insulation foam into the cylinder uprights. The rack's three threaded spikes and columns made it a breeze to level.
I put my Technics turntable with its brass cones and $25 Ikea butcher block platform on the top shelf, loaded the other shelves with components, and fired up the rig.
Hooo-lee Moly! My wife came running into the room from downstairs, so different and compelling was the music. All those tweaks I'd been making through the year suddenly paid off in spades. The sound was suddenly enormous, big as outdoors. Dimensional.
Actually, maybe a little too dimensional. I experimented with the turntable mat and came away with another improvement: I inserted the stock Technics DJ felt mat immediately on top of the aluminum platter, and then topped that with the heavy sorbothane Oracle Groove Isolator mat. This felt sandwich kills platter ring better than the Oracle alone. Results were better image specificity, clarity, and inner detail.
While there are plenty of rack-savvy A'goners, others place their turntables on cabinets and bad racks. To them I say, if you're sourcing from a turntable, you don't really know what your system is doing until you get it onto a reasonably rigid and inert rack. Even if it's on an isolation platform, it still needs a good foundation. It also makes me question the efficacy of welded tubular steel racks, at least as far as turntables are concerned. Never again for me unless I can at least fill the tubes with sand or insulation foam.