I would definately NOT recommend this. Not for damage necessarily, but your sound will suffer terribly from all the vibrations.
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If it's such a bad idea because of vibration, then why do 99% of the loudspeakers in the market have crossover circuits inside the speaker cabinet? Placing an amp on top of a sub is really no different in concept than a self powered loudspeaker. A CD player is more problematic, but they all contain extensive error correction circuitry anyway. Also, depending on the construction of the subwoofer, the top panel may not have significant levels of vibration.
Is it a great idea, no, but is it workable, yes. And it won't damage the equipment.
"A CD player is more problematic, but they all contain extensive error correction circuitry anyway."
IMHO, a CD player on a sub is ENORMOUSLY problematic. Error correction or not, the sound of a CD player is degraded terribly by vibrations (though I seriously doubt the equipment would be damaged, at least over the short haul). You really shouldn't be investing in high end equipment if you are going to use this sort of set up. Severe vibration can degrade the greatest of digital sources to near Best Buy level of performance.
But, Eighthcircuit, don't feel bad for the question. It is perfectly appropriate to ask if you don't know. I myself was skeptical about all the fuss about vibrations until I demonstrated it in my own system. In my case I moved my system from the side of the room (where it was to the side of my speakers, supported by a beam running underneath the floor, and by a custom fitted cabinet wedged into an alcove in the drywall) to the center of the wall and in between my speakers. It was all motivated by a desire to buy high grade speaker cables in reasonable length runs. In making the move I even added a high quality rack, but it simply couldn't begin to make up for the change in support in the flooring and cabinet, and my system sounded broken in comparison. This was in a house that is actually quite well constructed. The change lasted less than a day, and I am now a firm believer in the perils of vibration in audio, and happily use cheaper cables in long runs.
Chad...okay, your guilt trip worked...you are right that my response was not "helpful" and that I should just stick to answering the question. I apologize to Eighthcircuit...But my initial impression was that this question sounded like a tongue-in-cheek question...(like whether I should rub vaseline on the outer jacket of interconnects to keep moisture from penetrating), but now that I re-read it, I realize that Eighthcircuit was asking a sincere question, and deserves a meaningful response.
So, my opinion is in line with all others...that putting your amp and especially your source on top of a sub is not a good idea, because the vibrations, while not harming your equipment, will make your system sound like a common car stereo.
If you really want to set the receiver on top of the sub, then do it. I suggest that you try some simple (and cheap) isolation tricks to keep the vibrations from the sub from rattling your receiver.
First, try filling 4 zip-lock sandwich bags half full with sandbox sand. Set them on the sub and then set the receiver's feet right in the middle of the bags.
Next, get a larger zip-lock bag and fill it half full of sand and set it on top of the receiver. Tap on the top cover with your finger to see if makes anything but a dull thunk when struck. You might need more than one bag.
If you want better and are handy with a power tools, then buy some 3/4" MDF and make a 3 inch deep box about 1 inch larger on all sides than footprint of the receiver (if the receiver is 18" x 15" then make it 20" x 17"). Seal the four sides and corners with caulk so that the sand doesn't leak out. Fill the box with sand 2-1/4" deep. Make the top so that it has about an 1/8" gap on all sides and it "floats" on the sand. Use 4 large sorbothane feet on the bottom of the box.
Again, use the large zip-lock sand bag on the top of the receiver.
If you want better yet (but it isn't cheap), then invest in the Brightstar Air Mass that is the right size for your receiver.
Sorry to be a Nay-sayer, but if you are going to put your gear on top your sub, then I would say putting zip-lock bags filled with sand is dangerous at best. This is in your bedroom, right? Well, what happens if you accidentally spill one of the bags on the top, or knock it over. I'm sure we'll all agree that vibrations won't kill your cd player, they'll just interfere with the sound. Sand, on the otherhand...get that in your gear and you'll be pretty unhappy.
No. Not recommended.
Ideally speaking, some serious referrence speakers have their crossovers mounted outside, on a separate box. Why would you want to shake the mounts and other components of a CDplayer and other gear on top of a subwoofer.
If space is a must, then, try an isolation trick as many suggested above. If there is a choice, avoid this set up.
I dont have any, I simply add my input, as do others when opinions are asked for, and I try to help when I think I have something to offer, thats what this place is all about right?
Only thing I can add is my father always had hi-fi gear, I have been into audio since I knew how to use volume and channel control, I ran the high school radio station, was a long time DJ with the YMCA and did alot of dances wich helped the Special Olympics, spent a few years as a DJ at a lesbian night club (easy guys these chicks roll their own tampons)... have been into HT since my first pro-logic system in the early 90's have helped purchase dozens of systems, hooked up probably about 100 all told for friends, family, and referrals.
I have owned, NAD, SNELL, Proton, Rotel, Yamaha, Onkyo, Pioneer, RCA, Sony, JBL, Parasound, HSU, DCM, Accoustic Research, Theta, and other companies products I cant remember, and now I am into Electro-static speakers, I have made my own room treatments, tried to calibrate my room with my SPL and am still learning more.
I have no degree nor do 99% of folks here in Audio, I do however try to help, love music and audio equipment have flown to several HI-FI shows in the past, read countless information in print and internet form, have heard countless more products at shows and stores, somedays I spend up to 2-3 hours on phone with other members and people trying to get into higher end audio and HT, and I dont answer or input on forums I know nothing or close to nothing about. I do have more time on my hands then most because I am disabled so that is a big reason audio equipment and music are so important to me, and yea I am also at times a smartass but life is too short to not laugh at yourself and others in good fun.
I guess to sum it all up, if you dont like what I say, dont read anything when you see my name by it, you wont hurt my feelings or damage my ego, and I have been through too much to let any petty opinions or comments dig too deep into my skin, I am just a guy who loves Music and the equipment that produces it, and folks that are passionate about it aswell.
Plus I did stay at that Holiday Inn last night so what more do you want from me?, have I confessed my sins enough?, explained myself enough? If I havent then sorry, although I do have alot of time on my hands I cant fit the time to care about what Judy and Stan think of me into my daily routine.
Ok, I get it now, electronics on top of subwoofer = bad. How about this, can i put my receiver and cd player on top of a mini-fridge? Yes, I am being serious. The motor for the fridge is at the very bottom, so i'm thinking this might be ok. I should probably put this in another form section since now there are no speakers involved, but hell, i might as well keep this thread going
Hey to be honest, you can do whatever you want and or need to do with your gear, if you do need to put it on a fridge because of space, you may want to try your best to put some vibration cones underneath, maybe you wont even hear any problems (I cant ever tell how well you hear)
Best of luck.....Chad
You can try isolating the equipment from vibration, using thick felt or isolation feet, but I would think your CD player would be more prone to skip at high levels. Also, depending on the quality of the subwoofer cabinet, some panel resonances might find sympathetic parters within your amplifier or CD player.
(buzzing from the sheet metal boxes, screws becoming loose etc...)
Generally speaking, I seriously doubt that your electronics were designed or tested for this type of placement. Crossover networks seem like a good comparison, but they are in fact designed to withstand vibration.
Let's see... a wall shelf above the sub?! Wished I'd thought to mention that before we had to endure all this unrelated crap. What's the big deal? Eighthcircuit, you need to conserve on floor space, I got that part of it. Could the sub vibration be an issue? Hmmmm... Possibly. Why not just keep from having any/most possible problems by decoupling the electronics from the sub by way of an auxiliary mounting? Good luck. Enjoy!