Dumped the rack

So I have a steel spiked Sound Organization table about 2 feet tall. On it rests a 3" maple butcher block. On that rests my slate Garrard 401 with slate feet and aluminum cones.
I had a piece of granite made and installed it on the maple beneath the turntable. Man, that sounded bad. Silvery colored and dull. I reversed the layer order and put the granite below the maple. That sounded a lot better. But not as good as when there was no granite. So I took it back out. Okay back to how it was. But something was missing. The granite did bring a feeling of stability to the image. What to do? I took the whole rack thing out of the equation and put the 401 on the concrete floor along with the preamp. This sounded best notwithstanding the wooden tone lost by removal of the maple. But the best thing, and I’m aware of the effect from reading but never tried it, was that imaging has improved by quite a margin. Like removing a veil of something. Like when someone moves their head out of your face at a concert. Now, I have to bend down to play records. 
Maybe you should get a slab of concrete for your Sound Organization rack. Then you wont have to bend down so much, although 2 feet is still very short.
On my S.O. piece. I have 2 footers resting on the
front top cross member, and one on the back.
On top of those I have a 1/2" corian slab.  Then another
layer of footers between it and a component.
This setup has worked well for me, for years.
And avoided the considerable price tags of
high end racks.

Have you experimented with different material
between the S.O. spikes and the concrete?
Or even fo.Q damping material on the S.O. table,
strategically placed?  It looks like you have found the
right solution, which is all that counts, and can move on
to another quest. 

I am a buyer for the S.O. table!  It came to me with a
Linn Sondek LP 12 player that has been gone for 

(Depending on your height, don't forget to bend your knees,
on the way down!)
Thanks. I should emphasize that the removal of the rack has improved the imaging. For this reason, it's not good to have stuff between your speakers.@sgordon1 Funny, my SO came from MY long-abandoned LP12!

No longer using your oak table?
I have heard for years that a rack between speakers destroys imaging, but it hasn't for me. I used to have small monitors on either side of a sofa, and the imaging was great. Now I have a large 4 shelf Adona rack between my speakers and the imaging is still great. They are horns, and maybe it has something to do with the way they direct the sound.  
 @slaw, long gone as a rack. I use it now for drying US cleaned records.
@noromance ,

I’ve been using my Mapleshade rack for the same purpose for years.

If you remember, I posted and option for decoupling your (oak table) from the floor a while back. I still wouldn’t take that option of "off the table", ha ha. (Look at my virtual system page and check out my amp stand set-up.) It’s a pretty easy DIY project.

I’m hopefully going to finally get my new wall mount system up in a couple of weeks. Something like that could be an option as well.

Oranges and apples, maybe - I don't have a TT, digital only, I have a cheap media table I used as a rack, thought the tube amp was already well isolated, but my results were like yours, great improvement when I removed the table and put things on the floor, and I haven't even cleaned up the cable runs yet.  I think gobsmacked is the technical term for my reaction.  I was so surprised I went back and forth a few times to make sure, which was a bit of a pain, but hey we like to suffer for this hobby. 

Would a good A:B test be to move the rack to a sidewall, maybe that would determine if it's isolation or reflection that's the culprit?  Might provide direction for next steps.  
Having a tt set-up on or close to the floor is not an option for me or one I'd consider.

Besides the obvious...there's the cleaning of the record/stylus and other normal maintenance.
Concrete has much greater mass and a much lower shear speed than any component of your rack or device in contact with your turntable...Off the table on onto the floor has lowered the center of gravity and reduced the resistance of rotation by reducing inertia. The source of rotation is near the ground point and not on a wobble 2ft.  above the ground point. The turntable as it rotates has to over come the irregular forces from the ground point to the spindle. These forces can be amplified by distance as the propensity to wobble becomes greater.Tom
A proper wall isolating system will overcome the issues in the previous post.

BTW, the tt mat I promised you, will be sent in a few weeks. This (may) address some of your issue in addition to just sounding good?
You mean a sounding board? How would that isolate anything...how many square feet is that sounding board? Tom
@theaudiotweak ,

Look at my virtual system, where I try to show the upcoming wall mounting system. If you call it a "sounding board" after digesting that, I’d be surprised. In fact, I know of no other system like it. It will isolate from the floor and the wall, with decent acoustical feedback isolation.
Good Luck with all of that. I see many more paths for resonance to travel and with many more variations in time and speed. Tom
There will always be a "fault" in any system. It may just be, if there are more points of resonance.... it's seems just as possible for just as many more ways of dealing with those resonances. Thanks for the good wishes.
BTW: these sorts of issues and possible positive outcomes = to what some may refer to as flexibility.

This is a positive. Since we all have different tts, should we not have a support/isolating system devised that is flexible in that it allows for additional products o be added?
Tom, I'm inclined to agree with what you say about the rotation grounding. I do need to get the thing off the floor if only to blow fluff off the stylus. I think I'll put four 8x8x16 cinder blocks on end under the maple and see how that sounds.
@slaw Looking forward to the mat. Currently running no mat on aluminum platter. 
@thosb Racks are certainly a challenge. I'm not sure I want the table downwind of the speakers.  
OK...my point of reference will be, having the tt at an appropriate height that a normal person can deal with all maintenance issues. IE: "rotational grounding"  I'm just a layman...…………..

Good Luck!
Granite is good for mass and stiffness but the problem with granite is it rings, which accounts for the problems you heard. What I found works pretty good is to set the granite on a sand bed. Only a small amount of sand, an inch deep is plenty. Mixed with a little mineral oil it packs stable, doesn't scatter, and stays dust free for years. This pretty effectively damps the ringing. Of course you still do not want to put your components directly granite! Its best use is as mass, but mass that retains dynamics not mass that simply damps the way sand does. In my rack its just one element among several that work together to achieve strength, mass, and stability.

My Basis table was on the floor for years. Tried different things but the floor, even an ordinary wood one, is very hard to beat. The rack I finally came up with uses a combination of concrete, ABS, sand, granite and carbon fiber. Its better even than the floor. But not by much. With the factors Tom already mentioned going for it the floor is just awfully hard to beat!
I have never got on with Granite under any equipment. The best Isolation i have ever used is Townshend Seismic Isolation for my Speakers and electronics. I placed my Speakers on Townshend Seismic Podiums and experienced the biggest improvement to sound quality ever in 40 years. I use Townshend Seismic platforms under all my electronics and Seismic Corners under my Copulare Rack. Max has been designing Isolation products for over 50 years and definitely knows a thing or two. From Airplanes, Submarines and now HIFI.
You did the right thing. Racks are bad Gnus. 🐂 🐂 🐂 By and large racks exaggerate (amplify) the effect of vibration, that’s why modern buildings are constructed to prevent minor earthquakes from being amplified by the building structure. The one-mile circumference HQ building of Apple in California is built on huge slip plates for earthquake protection. One inch granite might ring. Three inch granite doesn’t. It goes thunk! Besides, what you really want to do is isolate the TT, and use thick granite for the top plate. Then the granite will be isolated, too. The granite top plate provides excellent isolation against rotational (bending forces). And use a mass-on-spring iso stand. Guess what provides the mass.
My turntable is on a steel apollo turntable shelf with a wood shelf/base and bolted to a concrete basement wall. No vibrations and sounds good to me, and its easy to play and clean a record. Works for me. Being inconvenienced imo will eventually cause one to not want to play a record eventually. So its a compromise.
@millercarbon Thanks. That's useful info. Any pics? 
@audioguy85 I've contemplated wall mounting but the table is heavy at around 60 pounds so I may have to get something welded up.
@geoffkait Useful too. 

Dammit. It sounds so good on the basement floor. Soundstage is further back and more 3D. Wider too. A greater sense of ease and weight. Bass bloom is tidier. The only thing I'm missing is a finer precision of focus I had on the maple on the stand... but I can't  be certain...
Good deal! Now you’ve got a baseline. Next step, mass on spring isolation. For better soundstage, bass and resolution.
Isn't that what I've been advocating????
Thanks Geoff and slaw. I admit I've been avoiding the whole spring aspect of support as I do not have suspended floors etc. as the rig in on at least 3" concrete. So kindly tell me how to assemble a support using springs given I have a 60pound slate table. Thanks.
My Super Stiff Springs will isolate 60 lb. nicely. Just place one spring under each corner of the slate turntable directly on the concrete slab, no carpet. Easy as pie. 🥧 And they’re only twelve bucks each. As it turns out the 3” concrete slab moves too, just not as much as wooden floors, and at frequencies that interfere with the tonearm, platter and cartridge resonant frequencies.
The small problem is that the slate plinth is 2" thick and the Garrard is about 6" high so I have to raise the slate up on 1.5" x 3" slate feet. The plinth rests on three 3/4" aluminum cones which in turn sit on the slate feet. Would the Super Stiff Springs work under the 3" maple?
Yes. The Super Stiff Springs are very stable under load even when the center of gravity is on the high side. 
The issue some seem to have (without even trying them) is the fear of the springs leaning. This is a non-issue. If one wants to look closer at my system, I recessed the springs 1/8" into the receiving base platform and upper platform, negating any worry of spring leaning, or spring sliding.
On the subject of leaning and level-ness, the rear right side of my plinth is a lot heavier than the front left side...
No problem. One or two springs can be moved a bit manually to distribute the load uniformly and obtain absolute level of the platter. This is also an issue for many amps that have one or two large transformers on one side.
Or...you can have a base platform that receives the springs, have it's own leveling feet.
But in that case the system would behave non-uniformly due to unequal loads on the springs. Ideally, when you push the top plate up and down you want to see smooth vertical up and down motion. With unequal loading on the springs the motion up and down cannot be smooth, it will be wobbly, diminishing isolation effectiveness.
Update. I couldn’t handle the floor. So I stood four concrete 16×8×4" blocks on their short end. Drilled 4 holes on the 3" maple butcher block. Screwed in 4 brass domehead bolts. Rested maple on blocks -boltheads down. Adjusted bolts so it was level. Installed slate 401 on top of this. Solid and stable.

I have removed my rack. All sits on the floor on platforms.

Bare spring is not the best idea. You need to kill spring swings like Townshend does with applied rubber. The spring itself is a piece of metal and while it will isolate from seismic vibrations it will transmit micro vibrations through.
Actually, damping or constraining springs in any manner is a bad idea. People have suggested everything from silk fabric to an oil bath to rubber. The best sound is without any damping. If you’re worried that springs ring when you strike them with a small hammer don’t strike them with a hammer when music is playing. 😬 Plus the springs under load are constrained from ringing, like using your fingers to stop a tuning fork from ringing.

 Any issues your component might have with high frequency vibration will be affected by mechanical acoustic waves as well as transformers, CD transport mechanism noise, etc. That’s why I oft say a complete plan of isolation and resonance control is required. But the primary problem is the very low frequencies, not the high frequencies, the ones lower than the lowest frequencies the speakers can produce. Any residual vibration on the top plate of the isolating device can be dealt with easily by careful application of damping. Finally, the spring itself does not isolate vibration, it’s the combination of mass and spring that forms the mechanical low pass filter of the isolator.
I'm going to pass on springs for the moment. Replaced metal rack with 4 concrete blocks. I've never been happy with the metal stand. I had it lying around and it was better than the old oak table. The concrete is a qualitative improvement in sound quality. Huge soundstage, increase in inner detail. improved stability of images, tighter and more tuneful bass.
Added photo to Virtual Systems profile. BTW, it’s an order of magnitude better than having the turntable on the floor. I believe the maple must be bringing something good to the, um, table.
Solid ground is best I guess. Bedrock. I remember my Thorens TT sounding very  good indeed in a basement on the concrete floor. Like my Bose 901s sounding much better by a brick wall compared to wood wall. Now i live in a wood house and have to make the best of it. I was able to install two struts in the basement right below the  system on the ground floor. HUGE difference. I can jump in front of the TT with no mistracking. System is in a Larvikite shelf - comparable to granite. Very large and heavy. Never heard any ringing but damp the shelves underneath with butylen anyway. TT is now a Hanss t30 with maglev feet and i am happy with the sound as it rests direct on the top shelf. But with my Vpi hw 19 I preferred more tweaking - - a Bright star sandbox, ceramic cones under the player, even some air using bike tyres....quite a pain to setup but it did benefit the player spring  suspension.
I see this is mainly a thread about reducing bad vibes in TT setups, but does same thing apply to all components? I have a pretty heavy amp, that has rubber feet bolted to the amp chassis; The amp is about 105 pounds and is currently on an amp stand that has 4 corner spikes to the concrete floor in my basement. I was thinking about using a great piece of maple butcher block and screwing 4 NHL hockey pucks to bottom to lift the block off the carpet a bit, then use that as my base for the amp. Is the sandwich of concrete/padding/carpet/hockeypuck/wood/rubber feet/amp chassis making a constrained layer damping? Is this a stupid idea (that is, are spikes better)?

Post removed 

IMO, yes springs can benefit most any component. It certainly has enough potential benefit and low cost to try it. I always like trying for myself. If it doesn’t work out, at the very least, I’ve learned some things along this journey.

This is why Townshend audio applies rubber. Actually it’s the air inside the rubber with a vent that damps the spring.


geoff, I didn’t know you are using a hammer on your super springs when music is playing :).
I like this one also:
Plus the springs under load are constrained from ringing, like using your fingers to stop a tuning fork from ringing.
It's a good one. 

This is why Townshend audio applies rubber. Actually it’s the air inside the rubber with a vent that damps the spring.


geoff, I didn’t know you are using a hammer on your super springs when music is playing :).
I like this one also:
Plus the springs under load are constrained from ringing, like using your fingers to stop a tuning fork from ringing.
It’s a good one.

>>>>>The rubber “bellows” in Townshend’s design overdamps the system. The rubber restricts the vertical and rotational motion, which doesn’t help isolation, it hurts it. The motion was much better (less resistance) in the beginning of his demonstration with springs only. Isolation is defined as ease of motion in a particular direction. The motion is obviously easier and less constrained with springs only. One advantage to the rubber bellows is it provides some additional lateral support for the iso system so that speakers with a high center of gravity won’t flop over. Having the framework to spread the springs out in a wide pattern is also to increase lateral support. I can do the same thing only better with four springs and a maple board. 🤗
I can do the same thing only better with four springs and a maple board.
I haven’t tried your springs (and never will for practical reason and esthetics) so I can’t argue with you. I have tested Townshend pods, I’ve seen the demonstration. It works. It’s not to my liking at the end of the day. All depends what the doctor prescribed and depends on user preferences.
I would rather trust Townshend audio explanation then yours. It’s physics. Spring will swing, even compressed ... the range will be smaller, much smaller but still. And vibrations travel through metals, no matter compressed spring or not compressed. The way through the spring will be longer (if you stretch a spring it’s a pretty long wire) but vibrations travel though wire.

Hey, whatever. I forgot more physics than you know. No big deal.
geoff, you are everywhere on forums, pretending a big guru, you don't eat , you don't sleep. Go out man, find a girlfriend.... and leave us in peace sometimes. ;) 

He’s everywhere! He’s everywhere! It’s Chickenman!! 🐔 Bringing the heat! 🔥