Looking for turntable isolation advice

Greetings from Oregon,

Was hoping to get some suggestions on turntable isolation for my particular situation.  My setup starts off with two strikes against it - suspended wood floors in my apartment and the turntable between in the speakers.  Neither is ideal, but that's the room I have.  As it's an apartment, structural changes are out of the question.  I have a VPI Prime on the stock feet, which are a nice step up from the feet on the Traveler that I had before, but I'm not sure about their ultimate performance.  

For my stand, I am using two heavy duty (about 70lbs. each) Sound Anchor speaker stands facing each other with a 4" maple platform on top of them (with blue tack between the stand and platform).  The stands are spiked into Herbie's gliders.  I find that all of my stands sound better on the gliders or generally decoupled from the floor.  The speaker stands are only about 10 inches wide but the platform is 24"x19", so it's probably not the most stable set up.  I'm getting good sound, but I know that the table is still subject to some vibrations.  I'd like to get advice on anything that I might do to better the performance of the table.  

I've considered some the following:

1). Aftermarket footers for the table, possibly Stillpoint Ultra SS.   

2). Better spikes on the stand - Gaia, Stillpoints, Track Audio, etc.

3).  Paving stone under the stand

4). All of the above

5). A wall shelf.  This would be a big task as the table weighs close to 60 pounds.  The only commercial turntable wall shelves I've seen hold 40-80 lbs. max weight, and I'd like something that is rated much higher to be safe.  I guess I could try a DIY project.  Would love to get the maple platform on brackets on the wall, but that would bring the weight over 100 lbs.  

So, any thoughts would be welcome.  It's turntable only rig, so I'm trying to wring every last ounce of performance out of it.  

Thanks so much for any insight that you might have.

Shelf is the way to go as long as you are prepared to drill into the studs (easy enough to patch when you leave)

heres a suitable solution which will bear the weight you need (including the maple platform as well if you want) and you can find a demo on sale at Music Direct

Check my system for a much more heroic (and expensive) solution to isolating a turntable on the wall

anyway good luck

@folkfreak Thanks for the recommendation.  Your TT shelf is amazing - nice work!  You should market it.

Best, Scott
wall shelf won’t help if you need acoustic isolation (air); will help some if you need floor isolation, and the latter sounds very likely in your case

best type of wall to use would be one that "floats" separately from the floor... (for your future built to spec. home)

You can make one that works better than the Brooklands by using Heim joints, but it will be a lot uglier

I don’t suppose I can convince you to put it in a separate room (like a closet)?
Before you waste your time and money you should get a stethoscope to find out if there is any type of a problem!  
@smrex13 - over the years I’ve tried a few things including butcher block and Maple and found they were not as good as MDF.

Here are a couple of things you could try with MDF

1. Get 4-5 sheets of MDF cut to size and insert the rubberized drawer liner between each "layer" of MDF (see link below).
- This approach is very similar to earthquake footings used in building construction in the far east.
- Each layer of MDF/Drawer Liner absorbed vertical and lateral vibrations and transfers less vibration to the next level up as it approaches the top layer
- for aesthetics, the top layer can be granite on a layer of drawer liner
- the TT can sit on spikes, directly on the granite

I do not have a serious vibration issue so I use a single layer MDF directly onto the stand, with pieces of sorbothane between the stand and the MDF - then a layer of drawer liner then a granite shelf on top - see

I did experiment with a top layer of MDF, but the granite is nicer to look at and can take the spiked feet

The drawer liner between the MDF and the granite prevents the whole assembly from vibrating like a drum - a common issue with granite slabs

You would have to "tune" the assembly to your TT
- too many layers can deaden the soumd
- too few will transfer vibrations to the TT
- you should not need more that 5

2. Glue 4 or 5 pieces of MDF together into a single slab
- use three spiked feet to support it
- use a layer of drawer liner and a granite tile for the TT to sit on

The transfer of vibrations through a picve of MDF this thick will be minimal the layer of drawer liner + granite will on top prevent the rest from getting to the TT

When my rack was sitting on hardwood floor I used hockey pucks with felt feet under each leg lf the rack. The rubber used in pucks is about as inert as MDF, so they transfer very little vibration

I’m a DIYer, so in place of spike I make Ball Bearing feet...

The advantage of these feet is that they absorb both vertical and lateral vibrations with ease and do not transfer them to the component

I now epoxy the ball bearing to the washer to prevent them from rolling away

You might think MDFis not that attractive, but with a little time and effort it can be made to look quite professional. e.g. see my TT

Hope that helps
@ Randy-11.  I wish I could put it in another room, but there's no way to pull it off without drilling through walls and running cables across walkways or doors.  

@yogiboy Good idea to figure out how much vibration is actually getting through.  It might be good as is.

@williewonka Thanks for the great ideas.  I might try the MDF as it would be a relatively cheap experiment and I could compare it to the maple to see which I prefer.  And the ball bearing feet look like they might be fun to experiment with.  Will keep you posted if I try either.

Best, Scott
You can ignore acoustic (airborne) vibration as seismic type is much more important. It has to do with the resonant frequencies of the platter, the cartridge and the tonearm. Speaker generated acoustic waves don’t go low enough to excite those resonant frequencies. Not even subwoofers.
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I also was in a similar situation as a few months ago. and I believe Willywonka has a good approach. I tried isolation pods, feet of various types and ended up with steel spikes and huge granite slab ( 165lbs) on top of my 3 legged rack. I found any soft isolation tended to deaden the sound quite a bit the hard points made everything much more focused.

Wall mount would also be very good if the walls are not too springy, corner loaded is the best that I've tried with a shelf in a corner supported from both walls but hard to do in most rooms but this gives the best mount for strength and isolation from movement, I supported about 200lbs of table and granite on a corner shelf so no worries about how much it can hold. I built my own corner shelf using 1.5" x 1" wood glued and screwed and braced.

A corner would be the absolute worst place to wall mount a turntable almost certainly guaranteeing a problem with acoustic feedback. If you have a 200lb turntable it should be free of footfall feedback on a stable, spiked floor stand and if you want further seismic isolation look into a vibraplane or an active isolation platform as well. This is well outside the OPs budget however

btw randy agree with you on isolating the studs you mount on. My shelf attached to dedicated studs that float free of the floor and ceiling and each stud has a stud damper as well (available from ASC) 
What about a sandbox? I've never tried one but intuitively it seems like it would deaden just about any vibration. And a little woodworking skill plus good design might lead to a great budget solution.

I have a loose floorboard that caused havoc if anyone moved in my room. Problem solved  with a rack that has a suspension element to it - I was surprised at the total elimination of the problem in spite of the floor board being quite  a significant issue. You did write that your issue was turntable only, but if you are spending that sort of money it is not much more to get a full rack to go the whole hog - and the market place is probably bigger choice anyway and better value as a result.
I swear it made a difference to the sound though so I changed the cables to compensate.
On the subject of suspension type racks,  I bought one which used rubber rings pulled round small spikes on the rack  to hold the platform, again round the small spikes in the platform. What a design issue that gives! The rubber rings break frequently (I wondered why the seller gave me so many!) and you need a number of spare hands to hold the platform, put the ring round the rack spikes and simultaneously put the ring round the platform spikes. And if the rack is populated already (as it is being used of course) to hold the weight of the platform is yet another bugbear. The air is so blue I must wait until anyone is clearly out of earshot when I am doing this!
It must be the MOST irritating design anyone could ever come up with.

As an interesting thread, there must be a number of hi fi products that have serious swear factors  - design over bleedin' common sense!!

What has caused the most swearing out there in Audiogon land?

+ 1 yogiboy - "Before you waste your time and money you should get a stethoscope to find out if there is any type of a problem!"

Scott, It's going to be a system specific solution if there are problems you can actually identify. Besides our ears, we also have our sense of touch. I solved my mechanical feedback problem causing oscillation by the interaction of my subs and turntable. I isolated my subs with seismic Isolation Bars. This solution did come from these fellow Goners, but I provided them with details. Anyway, a lot of energy from my main speakers being rear ported for bass and two of my sub drivers also firing backwards at my front wall, creates a lot of vibration that I can feel from the wall. I would not hang my turntable on it. However, hanging your turntable on your wall, may be an excellent solution.

Another problem, is my rack sits out from my front wall on my wood suspended floor and if I push on it, I can make it wobble a little bit. My first concern is about having people over and it gets bumped while playing the TT. I got a thumbs up from my dealer liking my idea about attaching the rack to the front wall just to make it rigid. He suggested using dampening between the connection, while others have suggested a direct connection. My daughter, who's an architect says, "I don't know dad there's a lot going on in that wall." I'm going to try it with and without the dampening material and see. So, the point of my rambling, is that it depends and no one shoe fits all.

IMO - I would identify a problem(s), analyze it, get our opinions, solve it, and then tweak if you've got that tweaking bug.

building wall shelf that can hold 300lb isn't sophisticated as well. to make a REAL heavy duty structure you should replace cut out dry wall so two studs are exposed and mount 3/4" thick plywood panel and than attach shelf to that and here ya go. if you wanna go super fancy, you can attach maple board of appropriate size instead of plywood. that's the way I built my pull-up bar and other wall gym structures in my bedroom

Thanks for the great suggestions - this has been a very informative discussion.  A couple of responses:

a.  I probably can't remove drywall, both due to my lack of skill and the fact that I'm in a rental.  Don't want to mess around with that.  But the thought of a wall shelf is still is intriguing.  

b.  If I use a stethoscope, what should I be listening  for and where should I be placing the scope?  

c.  I like the sandbox idea.  A while back I noticed that Adona's top TT stand has a sandbox top.  I'd forgotten all about that option.  

Best, Scott
Sandbox didn't work for my non-suspended tt, it softened the sound. 

like with cables, trial and error is the only way.
One problem with the stethoscope suggestion is that the frequencies of interest, the most harmful ones, are below the threshold of hearing, I.e., the seismic type vibrations that excite the turntable platter, cartridge and tonearm are well below 20 Hz, they're down around 9-12 Hz.

May I propose a simple solution.  Symposium Acoustics make "prime inserts" for the prime feet that are simple and quick to install.  Combine that with their Seque Iso platform and you have got cost effective solution that works and is simple to install.  Go to the Symposium Acoustics website for more info. 
@franks thanks!  I didn't know Symposium had footers for the prime.  Will definitely check them out.

Oh yeah, I forgot about the Symposium inserts! Users have reported good results. Owners of the Seque platform have also reported excellent results with unsuspended tables, and a set of Roller Blocks (or similar roller bearings) between the table and the Seque may provide even more isolation.

Another option is the Townshend Seismic Platform, or the Seismic Pods under a shelf of your own choosing. Either way, very effective isolation at relatively reasonable prices. To do better, you have to go to the microscope isolation platforms, at around $2500 and up. Ouch!

I had a problem with rumble and acoustic feedback,when playing vinyl, for years, after moving to a new house.  I tried many tweaks, but most were unsuccessful.  Vibrapods, sorbothane, rubber compressor mounts, inner tubes-you name it.  I even built a wall mounted shelf, but still had problems (I'm on a suspended floor upstairs)  The wall shelf was a good idea and it did "help", but didn't eliminate the problem.  I bought some HEAVY DUTY springs, separated my shelf from actually attaching to the wall, by hanging the shelf with cables connected to eye bolts, in the front and back (forming a 90 angle in the back and a 45 degree angle in the front), then attached the springs to the underside of the shelf in the back. Connected the springs to some adjustable heavy duty nylon tie-downs and connected that end to the floor out from the shelf at a 45 degree angle. This way, I was able to pull the tie downs tight enough to where the shelf is essentially "floating" and isn't hard connected to the wall.  I covered the cables with "armaflex" to help aesthetically. It was a project and a half, but it works great!  If I had $3-5K for an isolation table, that would have been great, but with two turntables, my idea worked and cost considerably less.
Maybe, with walls on suspended floors, stabilization with isolation is the trick. Springs worked for me as well.
This was my biggest improvement for turntable isolation hands down: Symposium ISO Segue isolation platform
@767400 Do you have a heavy turntable?  Did you have any difficulty leveling the table?  Mine has fairly uneven weight distribution, and I'm worried about the springs compressing too much under the heavier side.

I own a VPI Prime with a periphery ring. So I would consider it average to slightly above average in weight. I was able to level the VPI very accurately using the feet adjustments. I have not noticed any real negative effect from the ISO springs. Symposium sells the ISO in different variations for a variety of product weights  Here is the Prime on top of the Symposium ISO
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Hi, new audiophile here, and was reading through your thread. I have a new Scout that I want to isolate from seismic vibes coming from my subfloor as well. I was thinking about sandwiching a sorbathane sheet between 2 maple/bamboo cutting boards and put isopod feet on the bottom where the board sits on my a/v stand. So far it would be about $30 for the isopods, $50 for the sorbathane, and $100 for 2 nice cutting borads. Going with Mdf  can cut costs for sure, just have to find a good way to dress it up. Does this even sound worth doing? Like I said, noob is my title.