Turntable - On the Wall or to the Floor?

I'm in the process of buying a new analog front end. It was recently recommended to me that I make every effort to put my turntable on a stand that's tied into my "real" wood suspended floor rather than put it on a wall.

I have a 1920 farm house and the floors are loose, wavy, and I can't find a level spot. I once tried my Billy Baggs stand with my old turntable setup and this was scary.

My walls are 2x6 and plaster. I was going to use a Target shelf that's secured to the studs. Doesn't this method also tie the TT to the floor since the studs and floor joists are tied? Any suggestions?
unless your stand is on a solid concrete slab floor, I would mount it on the wall. I have suspended hardwood floors on the main level of my home that are pretty spring due to the engineered truss system the builder used. I can't walk across the floor without affecting the record playing. Depending on volume level I also get feedback (depending on which table I'm using).

By the way, my knowledge of table technology is limited to what I've read here (most discussion recommends securing your table on a rigid foundation, or on the wall, or in another room), and my own personal experience (I'm an engineer and casual geek), but I don't understand the logic of the recommendation you receive, and fail to see any benefit it provides. As to your last question, it may indeed tie the table into your floors (assuming this is a valid goal); however, if your wall is a bearing wall, or located on a bearing surface this would take the floor out of play, which IMHO is your goal.
Wall! (unless you make a habit of walking on them).
Put it wherever it is less likely to move. In your case, the wall. For other people with solid, concrete floors, it would be the floor. A load bearing wall is better than a non-load bearing wall since such walls will be over foundation walls or supporting posts. Yes, putting it on the wall will result in it being connected to the floor, but you are minimizing the effect of the bouncy floor because of the extra mass that you are attaching the table to.
Thanks Bdgregory. Yes, this has always been my understanding as well, but there is a large community of audiophiles and manufacturers who support the use of wood, such as maple, for its natural dampening properties. This then translates to a better sound signature. If you use thick layers of wood then you also take care of vibration.

One analogy is about how a tall maple tree can stay erect during a severe wind storm? It is because the tree absorbs a lot of the energy and dampens it.

Another popular material being used is slate. In my mind the best solution would be to put the TT on the wall for vibration, and then use a slab of something under the table for dampening.

I'm not an engineer and I only care about the sound...and, I don't want my tonearm bouncing off the surface.
Thanks everyone! Sounds like the wall.
There is another solution that I have used when faced with a flimsy floor which transmits footfalls to the turntable - hang the turntable from the ceiling with 4 guy wires attached through turnbuckles attached to a large shelf. The turnbuckles are used to level the table.
I placed the shelf-turntable assembly close to a wall where horizontal sway could be controlled through two small springs located horizontally between the edge of the shelf and the wall. Works great. My turntable is an Oracle Alex III. The effect is quite stunning, also, since one cannot see the guy wires, so the turntable appears to be 'suspended' (excuse the pun) in air.

Salut, Bob P.
You know that's funny that you mention this method. Years back, I remember reading an article...I think it was Stereophile...he talked about such a method, saying that the best possible isolation would be suspending the table in space. Did you read that back then?

Anyway, this won't work for me because the look here is old farm house. I'd probably get divorced and have to move out...wait...then I'd have a new space and...hah...hah!
But, in another room. The wall is best but if you keep it in the same room as the speakers, you still get airborne vibrations unless you acoustically shield the tt. Footfalls are a small problem compared to the airborne vibrations.
Another approach which may work for you is to strengthen the floor from beneath. If there is a basement or crawl space, it is not difficult to place a beam across the middle of the floor, one under the speakers, and one under the TT.

The beams should go perpendicular to the joists, and can be held in place with jacks which allow more or less tension to level and dampen the floor. This serves to reduce the natural reasonant frequency of the floor thus reducing vibrational displacement. It is a relatively inexpensive approach and if you are not satisfied you can retreat and try something else.

I did this on a second floor living room over a garage, and it worked extremely well. You could dance on the floor without any affect to the TT. I would also recommend putting the TT as close to a wall over a foundation or load bearing wall as possible, as this is where the displacement is the least.
Good suggestions and thanks. The wall is the easiest solution for me.

This thread was originally started because I was told by a manufacturer of wood platforms not to put it on concrete or a bearing wall because the sound is inferior compared to wood..so try to make the floor work!
You can try shelf materials that will allow you to tailor your sound a bit.

My TT is on a Target shelf, but I replaced the stock shelf with thick glass, and the TT is on a Ginkgo Cloud 11 platform. Before the Ginkgo, I'd used the original MDF shelf, and thought it sucked a lot of the life out of the sound (my TT has no suspension). Then I tried some Corian left over from kitchen remodeling. That was very "soft" sounding to me, but pleasing. Glass gave me a lot of energy (too much), and probably some ringing in the treble. Also, I was getting some resonance with the 4-subwoofer system I use. The Ginkgo worked wonders, and I'm very happy these days.

Just suggesting you might want to play around with different materials as well as shelving to optimize your playback.


Thanks Frank, I was going to replace the stock shelf for the Target with a maple shelf. That's what started this thread, after I called the manufacturer who told me to try to use the floor.

Your point is taken, and it's probably best to pick a material that is neutral to your particular system.

The manufacturer of the TT that I'm considering, likes a platform called the Sandbox. I'm not sure if the weight of that plus the TT wouldn't be over-the-top for the Target. I'll check out the Ginkgo.
Just one more thought on wall mounting: if your floors are extremely bouncy, try to mount the shelf near a room corner.
The walls are very solid (1920), and the wall studs have really aged over the years...like drilling into hardwood. Then there's the plaster. I have a curio cabinet with light glass shelves on the other side of the wall. There are some tiny glass figurines on the shelf. When I open the cabinet door you can hear them rattle. However, not until I jump to about 6" off the floor can I hear anything...and I'm no lightweight.

My new concern is that the TT plus dampening slab will be heavier than the Target shelf can handle which is 88 lbs.
Timbernation is a good source for maple shelves/platforms.
I have been to Timbernation's site, they're the ones who sell the Sandbox TT platform that I mentioned earlier.

I was thinking about using that platform but it's too much for the Target shelf. A maple shelf substituting for the target stock shelf may work if the combined weight is under the max. Or, I could use the Sanbox but would have to come up with my own wall mount design.

SHIMS! We carpenters ALWAYS use wood SHIMS,
to say level out a floor for a wall for
studs, or to even out a space in between
the stud frame and the door frame to
make them level.
You can get these at Menards, H.Depot,
lowells, etc.
in many cases an average to good equipment rack or cabinet(which sits on the floor) is just fine.
Brick wall monted shelf.
Spikes on shelf.
MDF on spikes.
Disc of Silence on MDF.
Suspended TT on Disc of Silence.

Hi Kenny:

Your situation sounds remarkably like what I went through a couple of years ago. I live in a Victorian attached house (brownstone) built in 1899 with bouncy parquet floors, and very thick plaster walls over incredibly hard wood studs. for years I dealt with turntable skipping (VPI TNT). I tried a couple of different locations on the floor of my listening room with the same resulst: fine sound, with no sign of induced feedback, but I could not walk anywhere near the table while a record was playing. I decided to mount the table on the wall to cure the problem. There really was only one wall that would be appropriate. It was, unfortunately, a non-supporting wall with a built cabinet with shelves and a door with glass panels. I mounted a Target shelf (the older style version, with the extra support bars) into the studs. It was like trying to drill into concrete; the studs were so hard. I was not worried about the studs being able to support the weight, although I did have concerns about the Target shelf itself. The installation went fine, and after two years the Target has supported the 80+ lbs with no problems. Here's the rub: the skipping problem was completely cured, but now I have to be careful about induced feedback. It turns out that the shelfs, and door of the built in cabinet vibrate like mad, and some of these vibrations are transferred to the Target via the wall studs. I would say that in this case the cure was better than the disease, but not by much. Moral of the story: be careful, and don't assume that it will be a magic bullet.

Good luck.
Wow...that is interesting...remove anything attached to the wall accept the TT. Well there goes my favorite painting and my wife's surface mounted curio cabinet on the other side...bye...bye. Seriously, if stuff is just attached to the plaster, like a painting, do you think that's a transfer issue?

In essence the wall becomes the stand. This suggests that audio stands with doors are probably susceptible to the same problem.

Have you done anything to stop the shelves/doors from vibrating and did this help?

Don't worry about paintings or other items attached to the wall Kenny.
It's important to use strong metal brackets into the studs (or masonry) and then an MDF, plywood or wooden shelf on the metal brackets.
You then simply need spikes between the shelf and turntable as Dolph suggests above.
All these steps should effectively 'decouple' any Structure-Bourne sound transmission from affecting your turntable.
I would not worry about a picture on the wall, but I would be careful with any built in cabibets or closets. I disagree about spikes/cones serving to decouple the turntable from the shelf. I can induce feedback with the table on spikes much sooner (lower volume), than when placed on a compliant material such as sorbothane pucks. You are correct, the wall becomes the stand. experimentation for best isolation is the key.

Good luck.
I talked to my dealer, and he recommended that I get a slab of slate for my particular turntable. He said that it has excellent dampening qualities and is a good match (synergy) for it. He's experimented with a lot of different materials, so it sounds like it's a good place for me to start and perhaps be done.

He also mentioned that it need not be very thick, and I plan to use it as a substitute for the stock Target shelf. The stock feet that come with my table are Stillpoints.