Best rack for non-suspension turntable?

I have a Well-Tempered Classic turntable. For those unfamiliar, it does not have any internal suspension.

Does anyone have an opinion about the best type of equipment rack for this kind of table? My options are the Naim Fraim (I have Naim electronics, but the Fraim is obscenely expensive) which is rigid with glass shelves or the Isoblue which is composed of layers of different woods (so I'm told).

The Fraim supposedly is unbeatable with a suspension table like an LP12, but I'm not sure how it would work with a non-suspended table.

Any opinions?
A wall shelf is much better than any rack IMO. And frankly, I prefer unsuspended tables. Alternately, a firm shock isolater like Sorbothane is inexpensive and works just as well IMO as all the fancy air/oil cans that are appearing on megabuck TTs.
12-02-06: Nsgarch
...a firm shock isolater like Sorbothane is inexpensive and works just as well IMO as all the fancy air/oil cans that are appearing on megabuck TTs.
What durometer and thickness of Sorbothane do you suggest?
Tvad, that's a really good question! And the answer is a little complicated because every TT is different. So first I'll say what I did with my Goldmund Studietto. It comes with (would you believe) four different strength springs which are to be installed (in three locations) according to whether you are using their linear arm or a pivoting type. So it was easy for me to replace them with Pandathumb Audio's "Pandafeet" in two different durometers (they make three, and they're all the same physical size)) which approximate the spring resistances in terms of relative load-carrying ability.

I don't think this is terribly critical. I guess if I were to do it with a different TT, I'd first put the lowest durometer (squishiest) pucks everywhere, and replace the one (or two) that compressed more, with harder one(s).

FYI, I tried the AQ hemispheres first. They were OK, but the Pandafeet were much better, due to the fact (according to Gary at Pandathumb) that they are uniform in diameter from top to bottom. Go to:

PS They're good under preamps and CDT/CDPs too.
Turboglo, if you want the best possible isolation for a non-suspended tt get any stiff, high mass rack and put a Halcyonic isolation shelf on it.


this what a laboratory would get to isolate an electron microscope. it makes any audio isolation product look and act like a toy in comparison. i have the Grand Prix Monaco with Formula shelves; which is certainly right up there at the top of rack system isolation performance. the Halcyonic easily outperformed it.

it ain't cheap ($8k list price)....but when you consider what a dedicated audio rack/shelf costs; or even what upgrading a tt to the next level or two actually has good value for the performance.
Pardon the self-serving post, but this is a pretty unique solution: I have a laboratory vibrations isolation table that weighs about 250-300 lbs and can accomodate a large turntable. I used to use it for my front end system components. It is made from lead and steel - I can't imagine anything more rigid or high-mass / high-density than this. You can get a glimpse of it in one of my old system pics here on A'gon. It works fantastic for isolation, and is suspended on four shock-absorbing springs, one on each of the corners. I've tried to find information online, and found similar tables for around $2,000. These are passive tables (except for the springs), not active as the Halcyonics solution seems to be. Well, mine is currently in storage because when I moved out of my studio (work space) my wife would not allow it in our small house. It is seriously heavy...not a one-man moving job. I noticed you are in Portland, otherwise I would not suggest this...I'm in Seattle: If you are interested I've been considering selling it. Ping me off the thread. It is not something you'd want to ship. Regardless, it is another possible solution if you can find one. They are used in physics labs. Their WAF rating is well below zero...we're talking divorce-level approval ratings here. Also, you'll need some good, strong friends to move it around. One friend would normally do, but once they help you move it they A. won't be coming back a second time, and B. may not consider you a friend anymore. Hence the need for more than one. It is certainly a conversation piece as well. Don't even think of mounting this on the wall.

A more cost-effective solution than the Halcyonics, with comparable performance, is a
Minus-k BM-8 isolation system ($2500). My recollection is that the WTC is not a high-mass design (< 100 lbs) and therefore well within the payload range of the BM-8. I've had one for about 6 months and have been enormously impressed with this isolation system and the improvements it has wrought from my VPI TNT.
i agree with your wife
What is your floor like? Seems like most folks with non-suspended tables get excellent results with anything that is rigid. Avoid direct placement on MDF. I've built a stand with integrated sandboxes and 2 1/2 hard maple shelves. Works almost too well, but I think any thick hardwood shelf would work. It is possible to over-damp and adversely affect dynamics, which is what happens with my setup when I allow the 'table spikes to embed into the maple shelf. Whether this is due to the sand or maple or the combination of both I don't know. A few sheets of aluminum and steel under the spikes brought the leading edge transients right back.
Have you considered, tried, and or compared the Minus K with the Halcyonic shelves?
I have been reading/thinking about getting the Minus K for my 150 lb Teres table.

check out what Lloyd Walker has done with his table. There should be a link from his site to an in depth review where it is described how he has it on a thick wood slab with a bunch of sorbathane pieces between that and the shelf. Loading the TT with good cones such as the Mapleshade Ultimate Triplepoints or Walker Valid Points into a massive hardwood slab suspended by sorbothane might be a simple, affordable and effective choice.
I hope that I'm not ''jumping on this thread'' here but I too am looking foe something under my 35 lbs. transport and put up a thread I think just this week but nobody really answered the question. If as Audiogoners we begin to use labratorty ''type'' equipment to control vibrations as has been discussed question is ; "what does it do to the music''? If it controls vibrations and cleans up the sonic spectrum so to speak.....are we or would we taking away the warmth of a Hammond B3 or the timbre of an acoustic guitar ??? I realize Mr Turboglo is looking for a stable rack but all of these affect the music in one way or another. I have looking into the Minus K stuff....and would like to know is the music better with this stuff ? Hey, Harmonic Resolution is a hot product right now that everyone is taking about and seems in the Audio World to be okay to charge $2,000 for that.....but this is laboratory stuff here ???? Sorry for jumping in with my .02
I'm using an 18" concrete patio slab on four tennis balls on top of an exterior wall mounted maple shelf. It's dead quiet now. The total cost was about $20.00.
Go for SolidSteel Table.
They are decoupled with cones and you can adjust the top Plate.
For a complete description of the 300lb plus Turn Table Stand for the new Goldmund Reference II TT System hit this link !!

Thanks to Neil for digging into the archives (Nsgarch)
You were right about my thoughts maybe too much vino that night 4 me Yes?

Goldmund blog

Listening to
Ian Gomm - Albion Records Ariole 202 230-320 German Pressing
Garebear, if the resonances are truly being effectively channeled out and external influences isolated, the sonic result should be more harmonically rich as the crud is removed to reveal the real sound. Any true upgrade, as opposed to a juggling of colorations, should have this effect, ie. less hash and grunge/more natural detail. In my experience this does not usually translate as brighter unless natural brightness is being masked. Even then it is not aggressively brighter, just more revealing.
The big problem for the super-rigid or super-massive schools of TT isolation is that the continuous motion of the Earth's crust (and other sources of low freq. vibration such as traffic) forces the building's foundation and structure to shake, shake, shake. Unless the TT is decoupled from the structure/foundation, the TT is susceptible to low freq. vibration, even when placed on super-massive or super-rigid platforms.

Geoff Kait, Machina Dynamica

You guys have me convinced in everything but spending the money. I am going to buy a big peice of granite or slate (as has been highly recommended by TW Acustic) stone and then sandwich it between 3 bike tubes and my current granite/composite shelf. I am then going to use the right amount of sorbothane to couple the shelves to my rack. This should do the trick. I have a bike pump for maintenance & leveling every 2 weeks. Should save me $3500 as the new Minus K for the big heavy tables costs about $4000. Thanks Nsgarch for the Panda link. This all makes sense & now I have money for camp tuition for this summer.
Also, I can't do a wall shelf due to location.
Go to your local pharmacy/orthopedic supply outlet and look for air cushions for people with piles. They look more like a wheel barrel tube, than a bike tube and seem to be really well constructed (think of the law suits and the size of those butts). Best of all, the nipples are on the outside, so you wouldn't need to disassemble your shelf (or get off your butt)to give them a top up. It should make levelling a lot easier too.
Hands down, Audiav turntable rack with Signature Platforms.

They even design it for free and are 1/3 of the price of Naim's.

The Fraim really is limited on size and is hard to work with other gear... plus they don't really do much for vibration, and do not control magnetics, ESP or interference.

The Naim Fraim looks great with Naim components though... but it better at $6k
In the $ 6,000.00 range I would pair a Minus K work station with a Silent Running Audio custom platform sitting on top and under the TT. The combination of the two yields phenomenal sound that a rack can not attain.
Minus K work station good... falling into the Silent Running Audio's marketing- bad :)

Don't believe too much of the hype. The SRA is a solid-to-solid and only helps with anti-resonance through mass loading... that's it. No magic there... all of their layers are solids, so there is not high-low-high decoupling and relies on thickness for resonance control.

Getting a Minus K that is off the ground with a SRA will run more in the $8k to $9k... it's $6k to $7k individually. For this amount you can get Solid Granite Signature Shelves from Audiav in a Crystal or Diamond frame that has built in loading adjustment setups and offers about twenty advantages... but what do I know :)

I'm biased

Cello - would you please say more about your SRA platform. I'm v. interested in their Craz rack. Thanks.

Just an idea. I am currently using Solid Tech racks. They have two lines, Radius and Rack of Silence. With Radius, you can add springs under each and every shelf. With the Rack of Silence, you can also isolate even more with springs except the top and bottom shelf. See the following page for more information:

I have the reference level Rack of Silence in my main system. It works well with everything in my system except the turntable. I have the Michell Orbe SE, a suspension table. So I placed a butcher block atop the top shelve and set the table on it. Seem to work well.

I have a totally tweaked-out Radius in my study room holding my headphone-based system. It has springs under each shelf and isolation feet under the rack.

Prior to the recent change, I was using Solidsteel racks.

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Solid-Tech. Just a happy customer.

You do not have your facts straight. You can buy a combination of a Minus K Work Station and an SRA stand for approx $ 7,000.00 (more if you have a heavy table and want to move up to the Ohio Class SRA platform).
Have you ever heard the combination of a Minus K and an SRA stand in your system ?
Are you a dealer ?
For your info, I am not listening to SRA's hype, I am listening to my system with my ears (which work quite well).
PS the SRA products do work.....
Email me off line and I will be happy to share my experiences with you.
Mass, mass, and more mass. Don't try to decouple using soft materials. Max Townsend would tell you the opposite, but he is talking about his Rock tt.
I was on the same camp as Tbg until we swapped out the 400 lb slab that my friend had under his BAT tube amp and replaced it with a Grand Prix amp stand. He had tried many stands and ended up settling on a piece of slab that he was using under a vibration sensitive microscope at work.

When I first saw the Grand Prix and learned how much he had paid for it, I thought he was nuts. After I got to hold the Grand Prix which weighs like 10 lbs, I thought he was even nuttier. But when we placed the amp on the Grand Prix, our mouths dropped down to the floor. There were 4 of us in the room. We went back and forth several times just to confirm that we were not imagining things. That prompted me to look into racks. If you look at Sold Tech's white papers, you will see some test results of before and after vibration measurements. So, now I don't believe that "mass" is the ONLY solution.

As I understand the Grand Prix, they are using the mass coupled to the floor in points to maximize the mass. I don't believe they are uncoupling at all. Mana stands has long used the same philosophy.
Be aware that using multiple layers of isolation materials can have a negative effect on vibration isolation. For example, if you have two platforms and two layers of isolation material, this is equivalent to a two-mass/two-spring system of coupled oscillators. This system has two resonant frequencies instead of one (so-called normal modes or eigenmodes). One of these normal modes will have a natural frequency higher than that of the equivalent one-mass/one-spring system and the other will be of lower frequency. Because the natural frequencies follow a sort of fractional power-law dependence on the masses and spring constants, the eigenfrequencies are not far (within an order of magnitude) of the value for the one-mass/one-spring combination. All other things being equal, this is not what you want because the goal of effective vibration control is to keep the natural frequency of the isolator well below that of the system that you are trying to isolate.

I have gotten excellent performance from Minus-k products both in my laboratory and in my home audio system.
I agree with Sdlevene... to a certain point. His comment is 100% true with regards to a spring system... if you use a spring or isolation material that bounces, particularly in few attachment points. If you use layers that are NOT springs and do not inherently contain bounce, then the opposite is true. A sheet of "insert your favorite material here" will have a lower resonance if adhesion covers most of the surface of which the isolating material and second sheet is affixed. This can be seen in thousands of examples of lowering resonance frequencies by attaching more mass. If two thin rigid substrates are held by springs... then both the upper and lower substrate will resonate at different frequencies AND be subject to bounce. However; if you glue the flat sides together covering enough surface area to couple to a different rubberized mass, the combination yields a MUCH lower resonance. A telephone pole has a lower resonance buried in the ground... a cheap plastic emblem glued to a brick wall has a lowered resonance, solidly glue a glass ball to your knee and the resulting resonance is lower :) Any material if affixed to more mass will lower it's resonant frequency. This is why the Symposium reference platforms are so amusing in interesting claims... they "de"couple using foam board which defeats the purpose entirely. They "de"couple the stainless steel layered masses with foam board, which is light and rigid... BUT light and rigid makes it into a great transducer. This gives a lowered resonance at very low frequencies, but actually amplifies high frequencies centered in sonic hearing. As an example NXT has made a mint attaching their products to this same foamboard/ gatorfoam material. Vibrations sent to a lightweight & rigid substrate WILL reproduce all the frequencies that it can given it's overall size and thickness. All transducers work this way. If your speaker cone had heavy mass, then it could not "vibrate" to reproduce the lower sound frequencies. The answer is properly decoupled mass like Audiav or advanced response servos like the Minus K... and the latter causes near field EMI... You don't have to believe me for this one, go buy an EMI/EMF meter to "see" for yourself how an active servo based solution actually induces undesired interference :)
The real answer: Neither is good for your application. Either way, they are both solid-to-solids and will carry vibration from the flooring and from/to other components. You should consider looking at different manufacturers, or possibly an on-shelf solution to actually make a difference.
Audiavreseller, I don't think the Minus K is a active isolator as it doesn't use electricity. I think it too is just springs done in an innovative manner. The Audiav clearly is just a rack. The only active isolator is the Halcyonics which I will attest to as exceptional.
Every material has a set of resonant frequencies (mode spectrum). I believe you may be referring to the boundary conditions that apply to the problem and this is why I qualified my comment with the phrase "All other things being equal, . . . ." The example of a partially buried telephone pole shows how boundary conditions affect resonance - one end of the pole is clamped, which shortens the effective length of the pole and raises the resonant frequency.

Layers of adhesive or semi-adhesive polymers like Sorbothane also have resonant behavior; the natural frequency depends on the size and shape of the layer. The product web site has data and a nice downloadable calculator to compute resonant frequencies for various applications. On looking into this, I was interested to learn that it's pretty difficult to get the material's resonant frequency much below 5 Hz in any real-world application, especially for thin layers covering large areas.

I'd also like to point out that the Minus-k products contain no servos; they are completely passive. The principle behind these products is to use a coupled spring-flexure system in which some of the springs are near their buckling points. This can create a negative-stiffness situation, hence "minus-k."
My misunderstanding with the Minus K... there are so many different racks out there; I may have been confused. I think someone had mentioned them being active as many of the active platforms that we have tested and even on my data sheet has been errantly marked active. I could have sworn the Minus K plugged in, leveled and even displayed when vibration was present. I think I like the Minus K much more since they are not an active servo system... what a nice intro they have with the wine glasses from a passive device! It is very hard to control very low resonant frequencies and will be the FIRST to say that ANY rack cannot dampen 100% of the spectrum especially at higher than miniscule velocities.
Audiavreseller, it is the Halcyonics that is active and far superior to the Minus K. I own two and wish I could afford more.
Have you heard a Minus K in your system and done a direct comparison between the Minus K and the Halcyonics ?
If not in your system, have you heard both devices compared in the same system at the same time under the same piece of equipment ?
Yes, it was some time ago under my Esoteric X-01LE. I did not try either at that time under my turntable or amp.

Over a year and 1/2 ago I looked into both the Halcyonics and Minus-K isolators. One designed with bells and whistles, { translation; what will it cost if something goes awry?}, and a somewhat low weight capacity, the other designed on sound physical principles, passive and a weight capacity I needed- 750 lbs.

The people at Minus spent more than enough time to educate me in the operation and application of their unit. It took a special unit to isolate the 750 lb load I required. The cost upgrade was much lower than I expected, and after taking delivery of the isolator I was impressed beyond my expectations!

Ivor Tiffenbrum of Linn said, " If you haven't heard it, you have no opinion." I never heard the Halcyonics or my Minus K. The Minus K should be performing by Christmas, so I'll have an opinion on it then; but I guess that on this thread it won't really matter, it's just another expensive opinion to a real world question.

*****If you look at the Mapleshade web site you will see racks built on sound vibration isolation principles that don't cost a fortune, gee they look like--- but are much cheaper! Money back gaurantee. The only Mapleshade products I own are a load of their Jazz cds.


I would stay away from any glass or granite related shelfes. It adds an unpleasant hardness/glare to your sound.

I am personally using Symposium (ISIS rack), but they also have individual shelves that you can use on top of current shelves. Works brilliant - to add icing on top try using their rollerblocks between turntable and shelf.