Turntable stand, steel, aluminum,shelves of ?

What do you use for your table, cost no object. The weight of your table; sprung or pointed. Which arms, cartridges and why you chose the stand you did. Filled with sand, lead and a vibration transfer medium such as oil etc. Your opinions are important , as I am about to build my own.

thanks , Ken
Ken -
I have my 350 lb Walker TT sitting on a Walker Prologue Shelf which is sitting on a DIY rack Made from 18 x 24 x 1 1/2 rock maple and threaded brass rods, washers, and nuts. The bottom of the rack is outfitted with custom machined Walker Valid Points on Walker Resonance Discs. The rack is bolted at two points to the wall studs, with two 9000 lb rated jack posts in the basement under the joists that the rack feet are over. Very satisfying, and rock solid.

It seems as though you've made preparations to listen to vinyl durring an earthquake. Ain't overkill great!

What do you feel that having the Walker on the massive maple platform atop the rack does for the sound as compared to having it on any other type of platform, and had you tried it on another substrate.

The platform is a 3 inch thick rock maple laminate designed and built by Lloyd Walker for the Proscenium Turntable. I failed to mention in my previous post that the Prologue Shelf sits atop 16 sorbothane pads (each one about 4" square). These too are supplied by Lloyd. Most of his turntable installations are set up this way, and I decided "if it ain't broke, don't fix it 'til it is"

As for other materials; with previous vinyl set ups I experimented with a variety of different materials including large slabs of granite and marble. I found them to ring like a bell, which can't be good for LP playback. I also experimented with different types of woods like, Beech, Baltic Birch and Maple. Each of these I tried with Tip-toes, cork/rubber footers, brass cones. The most satisfying combo I had prior to the Walker was a VPI Scoutmaster sitting on a 2 inch maple slab with brass cones under it. This was on the same rack I am using now without the wall anchors and jack posts.
I use a Sound Anchors turntable stand for my Galibier Gavia table. The stand is made of welded steel filled with sand and PVC damping tubes. It is firmly spiked into the flooring with steel spikes. The table does not have any suspension and it rests directly on a plinth that in turn rests directly on the Sound Anchors stand. I'm not sure of the total weight of the table and motor assembly, but it's roughly about 100 lbs.

The plinth is presently 2 maple butcherblock boards resting on top of each other, not glued or otherwise attached to each other. Each of the 2 boards is 3/4" thick.

I have tried a number of other plinths including granite (damped and undamped), 3" maple butcherblock, mdf, Baltic Birch/mdf composite, and maple/aluminum/maple composite. I'm sure I've left some out. Each material has a distinct sound quality. Most have positives and negatives. My favorite (or the least objectionable) is the present setup of just 2 maple boards resting on each other.

The whole assembly is very rigid and stable. The Sound Anchors stand has room for components to be placed on two levels below the table. Unfortunately, I have found that anything placed on these steel supports affects the sound of the turntable adversely. Hence, the stand is now a dedicated turntable stand.

I have a separate oak stand with a 3" granite surface plate on top, that is immediately next to the turntable stand. This turns out to be the ideal spot for the battery that powers the Galibier turntable motor. The sound of the vinyl setup changes rather markedly when the battery is moved to different surfaces. It sounds best on top of the granite. So my battery now has its own dedicated stand, strange as that may seem.



Months ago, I planned on building a table from scratch, utilizing the machining facilities of a good friend of mine . He had a top notch cnc machine shop here in Richmond. He did a fair amount of machining for me when I was building my speakers. Then all of a sudden, he sold his company; now he has only money and no problems associated with operating a business in this day and age. I asked him over to discuss the turntable project; vibration problems both from air and structural conduction. He took about a second to say, "get the table out of this room, you have other options that will be less expensive than what you want me to build."

The option of moving the table out of our music room is just not practical. First, Sue will tell me there will be no more additions, nothing is more fun than building SOMETHING, especially another addition but she is right. Besides, it would be much less expensive to locate a table where the sonic vibrations would have no effect , than to spend much more on a fantastic high tech creation that my buddies and I could drool over. Back to the point you made regarding the maple platform. There seems to be a concensus on Audiogon that wood, especially hard rock maple, is the interface of choice between a table and the stand.

I have about 2 months before my table will be done. I have all the facilities to laminate a hard rock maple platform to sandwich between my table and the Minus K vibration platform beneath it. If it doesn't sound right, I can always use it for a chopping block in the Kitchen. What about the Jatoba wood Walker offers as an option; any thoughts.

I appreciate your replies, and I will follow up on your suggestions.

Regards, Ken


The common thread seems to be the maple butcher block platforms that "gonners"seem to prefer.

The Sound Anchors stands with the pvc damping tubes are intriguing, I know nothing about them. I will check out their website to glean whatever a DIY guy like me can discover; after all, sometimes it is more rewarding to build something for $500 that you can buy for $250.

Thank you for your reply,

regards, Ken
Ken, The reactions to maple butcherblock are not all favorable. If you do a search of the archives on Agon or AudioAsylum, you will find a number of folks (including me) have found thick maple---3" in my case---to be too slow, thick and dead sounding.

There's just no substitute for trying it yourself so you can reach your own conclusions. However, judging from your system description, you're used to doing that anyway.

Good luck!

Hey Ken,

Lloyd is a big fan of the Jatoba. As a matter of fact his personal rack and his personal amp stands are all made from it . The biggest difference is that while retaining all the positive properties of the hard maple he also advocates, Jatoba is a much denser wood than maple, thereby being even better as a shelving/racking material for audio. It is also farmed and harvested, not stripped from non-renewable forests the way some of the dense South American hardwoods are.

Keep us up to date as the project progresses!


I spoke with the people at Minus K - WWW.minusk.com. you should check out their web site; they make vibration abatement platforms for atomic scanning microscopes and all the techno gear that the geeks use. They said, use only the platform that we supply, anything else may add a vibrational sigiature that will denegrate the ability of our device to reduce vibrational signals to whatever you place on top of it. If you need to add an additional platform it would be advisable to isolate it witha a material such as Sorbothane. However, interfacing your device directly to the platform of our device will yield the best performance

There would be romance to having a platform constructed of wood that was sourced from Noah's Ark, but since I'm still alive and kicking, I think I'll try their suggestion and mount the table directly on their platform. I can always fabricate a huge platform from whatever, and if it doesn't sound any better I can give it to one of my kids, as a chopping block, for Christmas.

When I decided to post this forum, I wondered what I might get out of the threads, after all, my mind was made up. I knew what I was going to build and how it would be designed. After the posted threads the design has been changed , thanks to your input.

I will keep those of you that have" CHANGED MY MIND" on what I was going to build and thank you for your thoughts.

Thanks, Ken
I took a different approach: Get phono front end isolated from listening area and use mass on the air suspension stand.

I use an Arcici stand loaded with mass: Basis 2500 signature with extra platform, MSB 1" laminated steel/alum./lead beneath it on the airhead. I've tried various woods, acrylic, marble etc combinations always hearing a bit of coloration. The MSB added no sound or coloration to the music. The Arcici design allows you to mass load the top of the Airhead by suspending 4 acrylic shelves via threaded rods. I have my VPI SDS, Aesthetix Io 2 PS Signature and PS Audio PS600 on the shelves. This approach produced wonderfu music. I thought this was great until I took the next step.

This whole setup is between two interior studded walls (29" deep with front and back access via doors) separating the living room (listening area) and dinning room from the family room. This perfectly isolated all my phono equipment allowed me to bring separate dedicated ac lines. 21' pair interconnects go to the mono amps behind each speaker. Now it really sounds fantastic.

have fun,

You have taken the best course in eliminating all the problems associated with having your turntable in the same room as your speakers, unless you're running Quads and low powered amps and love folk, chamber or any other venue that has no timber shaking qualities. Did I mention living in a condominium for 60 and overs or a nursing home. When I started my music room 15 years ago , vinyl wasn't in the picture, after all cd was perfect sound forever.

Things have changed, Vinyl will be the preferred 2 channel source. While I can extend my music room out back and have a bunker like space for vinyl, it won't happen. Therefore the path I've chosen is the only one that is reasonable.

It is obvious that your situation solves many probolems for you, congratulations.

Do I understand that you have a 2 channel Asthetics phono preamp with dual volume controls? If so , I feel that it is just what I may need for my phono situation. I would appreciate a dialogue on it's merits before I spend the big bucks to buy it.

Regards and I await your reply, Ken
Salectric, do you use the buttons under the Gavia spikes?

I have built a stand utilizing sandboxes with hard maple shelves. I first tried my Gavia (just arrived Wednesday!) directly on the maple the sound seemed to muffled so I put the buttons under the spikes and did make an improvement. It is possible that I made this swap too soon as the table only had 2 or 3 hours on it at the time. I may also try a sheet of aluminum on top of the maple shelf to see if that makes a difference.

Point here is that it is possible to tune what ever you end up building as long as you haven't backed into a corner. I.e., with the sandboxes dampening things, I could experiment with either stone or metal shelves. I'm not saying that this is the only way to go, just offering food for thought. Keep your options open if you're building your own rack.
Dan, I don't use the buttons under my Gavia because I don't use the spikes. I have the turntable base sitting directly on whatever plinth I am using at the time. Same thing for the motor pod.

At various times I've tried the spikes Thom supplied, and I have also tried AudioPoint spikes. But each time I have preferred the sound without any spikes.

I am sure you will enjoy getting to know your new table. For such a simple looking device, there are lots of things you can do to tweak the sound to get it the way you like.

I had the privilege of visiting another new Gavia owner a couple days ago, and I heard the same Gavia/Triplanar combo. It sounded great! And the black anodizing looks terrific.

Interesting idea about no spikes, Dave. And thanks for the tip on the battery!

This afternoon I picked up a sheet of 16 guage steel and .032 aluminum and placed these on top of the maple with the spikes into the metal. Really improved the attack on piano notes, bells and cymbols.

It occured to me that this is alot like tube rolling. Different configurations can change the sound, then you have to decide if you like the change or not.

I do have the Io Signature with volume controls at latest production revs. I love it. My system is posted at http://cgi.audioasylum.com/systems/1616.html. My music tastes are Classical, Jazz, Blues, female vocals, not much rock. The Aesthetix's musical voice (IHO) suits this perfectly perfectly. It's always difficult to communicate one's own enjoyment to another because there so many factors influencing it. Here's what I like about the Aesthetix - it has a very natural sound in all respects: Focus without edginess; Macro and micro dynamics; Warmth without bloom; Natural performance height and width on all types of music; Works very well with my Koetsu Oynix Platinum Signature's low output with being noisey. Bottom line its the I have ever heard in my system.

Negatives are, costs, sapce, and number of tubes (if you're a NOS type).

enjoy the music,