I would think that the Acrylic would be a great choice. I've seen acrylic used in turntable, amp, preamp, DAC and computer designs. Cannot be too bad if major designers and manufacturers are using it!
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I've personally never used a carbon shelf so I can't address that part of your question but I have heard and read that carbon shelves work well. I had two custom black acrylic top shelves made for two of my Billy Bags racks that I'm happy with and work well.
As you stated both carbon and acrylic are pricey! Depending on the dementions of the shelves and how thick they can be you might also want to consider custom maple shelving made independently or see if a company like Mapleshade can have some built.
Thx for help. I did get a quote for a 18x18 3/8 inch and 1/2 inch Cast acrylic in black with polished edges and it is pretty reasonable. I just can't decide if I want clear acrylic and frost edges and put led lighting on back or try the black with frost and run the led light through that. Does anyone know if the gloss black top woth frosted or clear edges works with led light?
@Buconero117, I've dealt with hifipyon sound and they make really good platforms and equipment. I've bought a custom sub platform and cable elevators from them and the engineering is top notch. Pricing is very comparable too. He uses Parka wood and Bubinga wood with several options in quality footers. Maybe I'll get some quotes from him. After shipping and exchange it will probably be the same as the acrylic in pricing. Thx.