Simple & Cheap Way to Cut Turntable Vibrations

This OP is dedicated to Elizabeth, A'gon's paragon of audio economics and sensibility.

I accidentally discovered a way to substantially reduce bass and vibration feedback into my VPI Classic turntable. Oh, I have to thank my wife too. Last week my wife asked me to place padded furniture stickies under the feet of our bed to protect the hardwood floor.

I looked as these cheap gizmos and said to myself, I have a better idea. I place a padded sticky under each foot of my TT. I was amazed by how much it really reduced feedback. I even knocked on the el cheapo IKEA table on which I placed the TT -- no feedback. Trust me, the IKEA table is the worst place to put any audio equipment, especially a TT.

Try it folks and let the rest of us know what you think.
Its amazing to me how many here seem to have issues with feedback to their turntables. Perhaps it is because so many use ridgid tables rather than suspended tables. I havent had any such issues with my Sota Cosmos or Oracle Delphi. For furniture stickies to make such a large difference in quality for the OP suggests that there wasnt much there to start with.
IKEA table is the worst place to put any audio equipment, especially a TT.

I can't disagree more with your statement concerning the Ikea Lack table..they the tables are excellent and because of they're light ridged design. Are more than adequate to support and isolate most tables at a very reasonable price.
Good one. But you are creeping me out Bro. :-) I have a number of these that I purchased at Homedepot and I've also used them to help with the various acoustic problems that I've had with my audio devices. I mostly used them under my pre/power amps and components, all to good effect.


The Aries-3 will be here soon.
Furniture stickies cannot provide the benefits you describe unless they're in premium packaging and relabeled, for example, Audio Genesis Tetra Helix IV Attenuator Pads. They must also cost a minimum of $400 a set.
Can you post picts of the pads and packaging plus ones of your nice system?
@Sbrownnw - will try to comply. Problem is if wife finds out what I did, I'll catch heck. LOL :-)
Buy 3 Bibles and place them below your turntable...
A few years ago, I was visiting a waterjet cutter who was cutting slate for me. He does a lot of work (most of his work) for industry. Around his shop were sheets of very stiff and very light black styrofoam, much higher in quality and structural stability that what we find in soft drink containers, for example. The sheets are 3 to 4 inches thick, and are used to ship very heavy yet fragile materials. He gave me lots of it, and I find it is very effective in isolating my Technics SP10; I put a rectangle of it under each of the three footers, between the footers and the shelf. I believe the stuff is quite analogous to a Neuance shelf, now sadly no longer available. I am always looking for stuff like this; there is no need to spend big bucks for good foundations, IMO. (See elsewhere my tt feet made from cans of Mandarin orange slices in water.)
I actually put some of those Home-Des-Po felt pads under the stock feet on my Technics SL1210 and think they do a pretty good job as well. Isolated the shelf quite a bit.

I bet you'd get better isolation by using Mandarin orange slices *without* the cans.
Here's the thing, Doug. If the cans didn't work, I could always eat the contents. For $3 per footer, you can't go wrong. But I confess I in a sense spent a little more than $3; I had some truly "audiophile" Black Diamond Racing carbon fiber tiptoes lying around, so using double-sided tape, I fixed a tiptoe to the bottom of each can. Thus the weight is borne by the tiptoe and it transmits force to the bottom of the can but not the rigid edges of the can. The thin slightly flexible tin that comprises the top and bottom of a can provides a touch of springiness with a resonant frequency probably close to 2-3Hz, certainly less than 5Hz. And energy imparted to the bottom of the can is dissipated in the contents of the can, which being heterogenous and "chaotic" will easily dissipate it. I should probably market this, only instead of calling it "Mandarin orange slices in water with a tiptoe glued to the bottom", I would call it.... well, for that I need a PR guy.
IKEA tables are like Harbeth speakers, thin so they don't store energy.
Why would a felt pad do anything? How thick?
Not that someone who uses Mandarin orange slices in water is in any position to criticize. But I do have a little fantasy that goes along with my idea.


"Buy 3 Bibles and place them below your turntable..." Is that the "hope and a prayer" method? :D
My pastor says two is ample unless you are playing Bach, then four are required.
Bifwynne.....Your post is not what I have found. Very light (Ikea) tables do wonders for turntables like the Linn....VPI's sound the best with a very solid platform... no play at all.
Stringreen, I think we agree. I heard a lot of feedback and vibration through the IKEA table. I used to have a heavy table, but my wife took it. The furniture pads help a bit.
Put 3 or 4 squash balls under the turntable. Have the table still rest on its own legs.
The balls compress some and convert the vibrations into heat.
Squash balls are cheap and are designed to NOT bounce.
I use them under most of my equipment to good effect.
@Mike -- are you serious? If you are, I'll give it a whirl.
I have a Technics 1200 MK5 with an Audio Technica 150 MLX set up on a glass shelf in an equipment rack.

Could hear vibration when I tapped the tt deck or side.

Tried Sorbothane 1.5 inch half spheres. The vibration went away.

Got a 1.5 inch thick piece of butcher block to replace the glass panel. Also added Dayton Audio gold speaker feet.

Could not detect a difference between the two approaches but did free up the sorbothane feet to better isolate the CD player - they helped there too.

I run W4S pre and amp with maggie 3.6's.
Other DIY options...Cork ring pucks...large metal cones similiar to what Totem uses for their speakers...good luck
As mentioned....industrial grade styrofoam works tooo
Bifwynne, Mike has a good idea. Essentially Herbie's Audio "Isocups"
with "Supersonic Hardballs" are naught but small "dead"
squash-like balls. And they should work well. The Herbie's part is cheap
enough to consider, and the cup he supplies will keep your balls from rolling off
the shelf, if you will pardon the image.

Phasecorrect, Thanks for your support. Have you tried it? I use Stillpoints feet
with their supplied cups, but I mount each of the 3 feet on a stiff sheet of
plexiglass which sits on a 3-inch thick piece of industrial styrofoam packing
material (3 separate rectangles of the styrofoam, one for each footer). The
plexiglass is a practical necessity; this particular turntable is so heavy (~90 lbs)
that each footer was slowly deforming the "styrofoam", after long
term settling in. This rendered the turntable out of level. The plexiglass just
distributes the mass of the tt over a wider area of the styrofoam and keeps the
level adjustment stable. The whole thing sits on a composite granite Adona
shelf in an Adona rack. (So I guess this system is disqualified from "cheap".
However, the styrofoam packing material was free.)
Yes I am serious.
The squash balls work great!
They are designed to do just what we want them to do in our application. Absorb
vibration and convert it to heat.
One thing I would add. You want the balls to compress under the weight of the supported equipment enough that the feet of the equipment do touch the supporting shelf or table, what-have-you.
Give it a try. I think that you will be pleased with the effect.
Yup squash balls under my VPI too. However I did it a little differently. Put the TT on a maple butcher block cutting board, then put about 9 squash balls between that board and the table top, making a cheap man's Ginko Cloud. You can rearrange the balls to put more under the heavier table spots, like the motor, to balance it out. Over time these compress much more than initially, so you should check your level from time to time and adjust.

This setup passes the knuckle wrap test (stylus in a groove, record not spinning, rap on the supporting table top/leg - no sound through the speaker).

My balls squashed completely.

I had a dozen or so under each of two concrete paving slabs, one for the TT and one for the CD player, and the weight was too much for them. (Insert joke of choice here.) The squash balls now look a bit like big red blood cells. In any case, I wasn't sure they were doing anything for isolation anymore, so I now use an inner tube under each paving slab.

Since I first read this thread I've added the felt pads--they work!

And if anyone else uses innertubes, try a tube with a presta valve (you can get them at any bike shop or from Amazon)--they hold air better than standard Schrader (automotive) valves. You might need a presta adapter ($.99) if you have only a standard pump...
A lot of graduate school engineering labs employ bungee cords for isolation, you know, rather than try to justify the high cost of a real isolation device to the powers that be. Bungees provide a nice smooth mass-on-spring iso system. The trick for audio application of bungee cords is to figure out (1) the springiness of the bungee cords required and (2) how to suspend the damn bungee cords, you know, other than from the ceiling.
My balls squashed completely.
No pain, no gain ;-)
I put my balls under a heavy mono block. They squashed, too!
So now I take care to only suspend lighter things from them.
Herbie rates his balls according to the load they will tolerate. I think he sells at least two types that differ in differ in size and possibly elasticity, to account for variation in mass. Since his balls are relatively inexpensive and since he has made the determination of appropriate mass for each product for us, I would tend to choose his stuff, rather than some random balls from a sporting goods store or hardware store. Plus, you get the cups that keep the balls and your precious turntable from rolling around. Don't get me wrong; I am as much of a DIY anarchist as anyone, but sometimes buying the commercial product does make sense.
Geoff, Bunjee cord? Wouldn't that be too hopelessly bouncy, unless one also applied some dampening?
Lewm, yer right. Too much motion in the rotational direction.
Lewm, all apologies, but I just choked on my drink reading that posting on Herbie's balls! Oh, what a little innuendo can do...
You see, place the TT on its own feet but have 3 balls under and adjacent to the feet.
The feet of the TT have to touch the table or stand.
The balls squashed there between the base of the TT and the stand absorb vibration.
The TT does not roll around because its feet are still touching the table.
Mike, Whatever floats your boat is fine. However, it would seem to me that having the feet touch the shelf defeats the purpose of the balls, to a degree at least. The TT feet afford an energy path that bypasses the balls, in both directions, altho a well designed TT foot could ameliorate the problem (in which case maybe you don' need no stinkin' balls).

Geoff, I used to know Dave Hadaway, the proprietor of DB Systems, 30 years ago when he lived near me. He is a very smart and creative guy. It seems to me he suspended his entire turntable from the ceiling using very long springs of some kind. It was quite a sight to see. I have no idea how he could level the turntable or whether he dampened the spring action. But the concept of isolating the turntable was way ahead of its time.
I disagree. Nothing is perfect but the balls btwn the table and the stand, with the TT feet touching, absorbs vibration.
Case in point.
I have a vacuum record cleaner that vibrates. I can feel it in the floor near the stand. I hear it. It is vibrating.
Now, I placed the balls captured there between the cleaner and the table and magically the machine is quieter and the floor doesn't shake.
The cleaner is partially suspended - by the balls!
It works, try it!
Thanks guys for the advise. Looks like it's time to get some balls.
If you want something that won't end up with squished balls and won't roll off the table/stand, here's a little DIY project that costs about $10

For Diagram See DIY Isolation Feet and scroll to bottom.

Initially I just used two-sided tape to hold my balls in place on the washer, but I've since used epoxy to attach them - no rolling away any more :-)

In place of sorbothane you can use silicone sheet - i.e. a silicone oven glove from any $Dollar store. If you can't get Ball Bearings, while you are in the dollar store pickup some glass marbles.

I currently 1.25" marbles as my turntable feet - stole them from my nephew :-)

I use this in conjuntion with my
DIY Isolation Shelf Tweak

Hope it helps
Did you really just say that, Bifwynne?
Swampi . . . It had to be done, so yes . . . I did say it. I'm a believer now, I will follow up on what I said.
See if you have the balls to try it without the feet also touching the shelf. You'll need cups. I used to be a lacrosse goalie, so I know.
What size cups Lew, DD? Oh, I meant, in ounces.
Willie, I don't think you want your turntable to "rock sideways slightly". That's a problem with noncompliant balls, like marbles. I mean this in a conversational way, not as a mandate.
Lewm - you are absolutely right - I don't want the turntable to move sideways - I want it to stay motionless while the stand is vibrating.

So, the hi-fi stand has a sideways component to its vibration (i.e. music induced vibrations) the ball bearing/sorbothane will absorb it by moving ever so slightly under the turntable dissipating the energy, leaving the plinth staionary.

The sorbothane also takes care of virtical vibrations

It works very well for heavier Turntables like mine.

I do get a faint thud if I stamp my foot on the floor, but even kids moving normally in the room has no effect.

I tried the squash balls for a number of years, but they never come close to this method for isolation.

Of course there are serveral commercial variants available if you want to spend more cash - like
- Iso-Pod Isolation System
- Vibration Isolation (ball Bearing) Damper
- Vibropod
- etc...

You do have to "tune" the system to the component
e.g. when I first heard how well one layer of sorbothane worked I figured two layers would work better - WRONG. It sounded aweful, so I settled on one layer of 1/10" sorbothane for my turntable feet.

Heavier items like amps might do better with silicone sheet, but the gear I have works well with sorbothane.

I found ball bearings worked better than cones, because the cone anchored the foot, whereas the ball has no point so it does not act as an anchor.

Anyhow - Back to the music !
Folks, this is my OP. I must insist that we substitute the word "spheres" or the term "rubber spheres" if you wish for the word "balls." And substitute the word "glasses" for the word "cups." I'm concerned that the A'gon "PC" police will shut this informative and kinda funny OP down. ;>) LOL!
I had a Gingko under my VPI, and there was nothing worse. I love the guys at Gingko, and they make great products, but the VPI support destroyed the sound of my VPI. As I mentioned above....a SOLID support is best...the more solid, the better.
Dear lew, What about 'Miraculous Mandarin' composed by Bartok in advance for your invention?
Nandric, I went out to buy canned sauer kraut in water and decided, right there in the supermarket, that the Mandarin orange slices would be better, because there was more water in the cans and they are heavier. Turns out, the canned sauer kraut is just barely moist. That would not have been as efficacious. However, on a hot dog, I prefer sauer kraut over Mandarin orange slices. Had I chosen sauer kraut as a footer, what would you have recommended as a musical complement? Would have to be Wagner, I think, a sour kraut if ever there was one.
If we are talking condiments, I like pickled carrots!
Try the squash balls. It is cheap.
You have nothing to loose.
Here's some commercial products...

FIM Platinum Isolation Bearings
Symposium Rollerblocks
Rollerblock Jnr.

Designed not to roll away :-)