Disclaimer; I have no affiliation with Core Audio Designs, I just got lucky when I discovered their products.
If you budget will stretch this far, Core Audio Designs wooden racks are not only beautiful, incredibly well made, they are extremely functional. I use one with my Michell Engineering GyroDec turntable, absolutely rock solid. Furthermore, the owner of Core Audio Designs, Arnold Marr, is a thouorulghy nice guy to deal with. See my previous post on building a TT system after selling my last TT 33 years ago:
Disclaimer; I have no affiliation with Core Audio Designs, I just got lucky when I discovered their products.
Core Audio racks are excellent. I have Zoethecus wood racks for all of my electronics, they are very similar to Core racks. But for a turntable, isolation is important. Especially on a suspended wood floor. I use a metal VPI turntable stand filled with sand. My turntable sits on a maple slab with spikes on top of the VPI stand. Before I had the VPI I had my turntable on top of the Zoethecus. It was not a good solution which is why I got the VPI. The VPI is rock solid stable and I no longer have to tip toe so the record doesn't skip. If a wall shelf is not an option, a sand filled metal stand is the way to go.
@fabsound - those look like very nice stands
My only comments
- I’ve found that solid wood shelves can suffer from a resonance issue
- I prefer stands with three legs - much easier to level the shelf - no "wobbles"
To combat resonance, I create a "sandwich" by
- placing a piece of that rubber mat with holes in (see link)
- placing a piece of granite on the rubber mat
- I used to use MDF, but granite is much nicer looking
I also use my own DIY isolation feet - see
They work better than spikes because they roll with minute vibrations as opposed to "anchor" the component to the shelf
My existing rack is a similar design, but is made of metal - the spikes on every shelf is very effective at isolating floor noise.
Good Luck - Steve
Another recommendation for Core Audio Designs - PlyKraft component racks. The racks are quite stunning (I own two PlyKraft 4L’s in bubinga finish), rigid, high mass and shelves are pre loaded with damping materials.
Arnold is a great guy, he will go above and beyond to ensure your complete satisfaction.
I want to echo what has been said above because I totally agree: If you can afford the Core Audio Designs - PlyKraft component racks, I highly recommend them. With the addition of some audio equipment I had to add an additional rack, I'm very pleased with the Core Audio Designs, not only do they look goruous, but they are very functional in all respects as a great rack should be.
I built a DIY rack (maple/brass) that was fun, but not cheap. Since then, I've learned some things from experience about certain downsides. The rack is nice and high, so perfect for playing vinyl, as I don't have to bend over. Luckily, all the shelves can be adjusted and/or removed, so I'm going to remove my mono blocks from the bottom shelf and put them on the floor. The reason, is to remove a layer of shelves so that I can lower the height of my rack, and I will then have to bend over. Huh?
The rack is in the middle between my speakers, so it and the equipment are interacting with the sound through reflection. By lowering the rack considerably, the sound will be truer and it will add stabilization, as I too have wood suspended floors.
What I have actually found to work for mechanical feedback issues through floors, are springs. I have spring loaded feet under my turntable and under my subs. I will probably keep applying these springs to my amplification. There are some in this Forum who build their own DIY spring solutions, plus I use Townshend Isolation Bars under my subs (not cheap).
When deciding on a rack that has to be placed on wood floors, it needs to be rock solid and handle feedback for the best sound (IMO).
If you are using an Ikea Lack table review the following thread (link) paying special attention to the posts by Caterham1700.
If you follow Caterham1700’s (Ken’s) instructions to a “T” you will end up with a nice looking/fine sounding rack for very little money.
+ 1 DeKay
I read Ken's thread contribution and agree that flexi racks sonically, are just furniture. Mine included. However, from my own experience, spikes don't do much to eliminate mechanical feedback caused by wood suspended floors. Just saying.
Ken's posts were excellent and very detailed. My rack is 9 years old, and as I approach the assembling of my final components, I no longer need a flexi rack to make adjustments. I may look for a ridged fixed rack, but springs will be a definite part of that solution.
In my opinions equipment racks do play an important role in overall sound quality, especially where turntables are concerned. As I said earlier I use a Core Audio Design plyKraft 3L rack with my TT. Feedback isolation at obscene volume levels is perfect, even in my modest size listening room (14' x 20'). In fact I can jump up and down, on a suspended wooden floor, right next to the turntable, and nothing happens. I can even kick the rack whilst playing a record and nothing happens, definitely don't recommend you try this at home! Try any of the above on a lot of equipment racks and see what happens.
If your choice of table includes considerations of sound quality (your post doesn't say), Slaw's suggestion is a good one (no surprise there, ay?!). For less than a hundred bucks, you can get a set Ingress Engineering (Canadian) roller bearings to put under your table, or even the Ikea table itself. They will provide more isolation from floor-borne vibration than any non-isolation (microscope, etc.) table. Even if you get a nice looking wooden table (those UK Hi Fi Racks are beautiful!), you might want to consider adding an isolation product to use in conjunction with it. Turntables, if you haven't already discovered, are very sensitive to low-frequency vibration.
For less than a hundred bucks, you can get a set Ingress Engineering (Canadian) roller bearings to put under your table, or even the Ikea table itself. They will provide more isolation from floor-borne vibration than any non-isolation (microscope, etc.) table.That's quite a claim! Can you please tell us how you arrived at this conclusion?
I, and others, bought some, installed them, and appreciate the difference they make. Have you? ;-). Not as effective as the Townshend Audio Seismic Pods (which I also have), or the rather-expensive microscope tables (which I don’t---they are all over $2000), but a lot cheaper. If your table does not contain a spring suspension, add a set of springs to the roller bearings for great isolation from very-low frequency vibrations for a pittance. Or don’t, your choice.
My daughter, is close to getting her first TT. She rents a small house with wood suspended floors and has an old TV stand cabinet with a broken back leg, that's no good for a TT. What a perfect opportunity to build and try the Ikea Lack solution. Her first TT and first DIY project. Oh, oh...I'm growing another Audiophile!
I’ve come to similar conclusions about the efficacy of springs for isolation.
As I’ve detailed in my thread about re-vamping my Lovan rack to accommodate my new high mass turntable, I’ve tried a great many types of isolation materials and devices, using a variety of (home-spun) vibration tests and nothing has come close to the isolation effects of the spring-based Townshend iso-pods I am now using. (Measurably, when using seismometer apps).
I’ve been trying to reduce vibration/ringing both getting to the turntable and it’s base externally, and also reducing the chance of vibration from the turntable/motor etc. It was easy to reduce vibration getting to the turntable: just put it on a base being held up by the Townshend springs. Viola. Stomp the floor, knock on the rack below it, vibration effects almost gone.
But reducing vibration effects ABOVE the springs was another thing.
Knocking or rapping on the turntable platter or base, or using other vibration sources (e.g. I would try a powered toothbrush buzzing on the turntable/base at various settings) didn’t show a big reduction in vibration on the equipment held up by the springs (and in fact could show a bit more ringing energy).
Eventually what I’ve found out is that I want as much mass as possible ABOVE the springs (within their load limit of course, which is pretty high for the ones I’m using). So the turntable is sitting on a thick maple block, with other layers of heavy MDF below it. This seems to gain the dual benefits of being isolated from vibrations "below" via the springs (e.g. floor-born), but also having the turntable anchored on a very heavy, dense surface and getting the benefits of less vibration/ringing that way. Now I can tap both the rack below the springs, and the turntable itself, and I see a big reduction in vibration/ringing in both cases.
Having gone back and researched other people’s experience I happened upon a forum thread where another guy had come to exactly the same conclusions about how to best employ springs. Rather than right under the piece of equipment, they work best at the "bottom" of the chain, so he tends to use them to hold up his rack (or somewhere down the rack).
(I’m a skeptic about the need for heroic isolation for things like digital sources/amps etc, but for turntables it makes more sense to me).
A number of us have reached the same conclusions, and I too have experienced the benefits of springs if properly implemented. I started with an SRA platform under my TT, but that did not eliminate the feedback from my subs. I then replaced the feet of my TT with upgraded feet with a built-in spring system. This did reduce the feedback to a degree, but did not eliminate it. I finally, added the Townshend product under my subs and voila, no more feedback.
My thoughts, are to add the Townshend Pods under my tube amplification to experience the results. I have some concern of how mechanical feedback may interact with tubes. This is speculation.
While, it was a labor of love building my flexi-rack, I would like to try to improve the sound characteristics by going with a more ridged framework and use smarter materials for resonance, like the Ikea idea. Racks can get very expensive and so can the Townshend products. It's then very exciting when you discover less expensive solutions that may work, like the IKEA rack and with some audiophiles who are making their own spring products. You have to try to know.
There is a way to mix the properties of high mass (with which prof has had success) with that of the low-mass Ikea Lack table. What the Lack does, by way of it’s low mass, is not absorb, store, and later release very low frequency energy, which is what a high-mass object does. The lower the mass of an object, the lower it’s energy storage, and the converse for high mass. In the 1970’s, Linn and other UK turntable makers started recommending low-mass platforms for them, feeling the low-frequency energy storage of high-mass structures presented the biggest challenge to quality turntable sound (it is low frequencies which are able to pass through the springs of a turntable’s suspension). Somebody designed a product he named Torlyte---a very stiff yet low-mass honeycomb structure, and shelves made of it became popular in the UK during the 80’s. I believe Russ Andrews still makes and sells them. I’m guessing the Lack table exhibits similar low-resonance characteristics.
To create a combination high-mass/low-mass platform for a turntable, you place a Torlyte shelf (mine have a little nylon screw at each corner for feet) on top of a high-mass structure (slab, shelf, rack, whatever), with a set of springs under that mass. Since springs provide isolation mostly in the vertical plane, a set of roller bearings between the Torlyte shelf and the high mass platform will provide isolation in the other (all lateral) planes. Another option is to use one of the Symposium shelves in place of the Torlyte, or the top of a Lack table. Short of a Newport or Minus-K microscope table, about as good as you can do, and a lot cheaper.