For what turntable?
Stand needs vary depending on the design of the TT.
Stand needs vary depending on the design of the TT.
In my opinion, turntables like the Sota and the AR, as well as other suspended subchassis turntables like Linn, Ariston and the like, will work best on a rigid, lightweight stand that is relatively low to the floor. Like about 24".
There used to be a company called The Sound Organisation that was out of the UK, which made a very good stand for this purpose that was low priced, and sounded excellent. It was commonly sold with Linn LP12 turntables. It is not the new stands that they are selling today. It is the simple black one from the 1980s.
If you can find one of these stands, they should be under $50 used, that would be my first choice. I'm sure they are still around and may pop up on the Audiogon classifieds.
For the heavy unsuspended mass-loaded turntables, then a heavy rigid stand would be best. The heavier the better for a mass-loaded TT.
I have a Sound Org for my AR (cherry base) that I passed on to my daughter, going along with twl. Perfect!
For my Linn, My shelves are much higher and less rigid. I use Black Diamond shelf with their cones on the marble shelf. So the Linn sits in the shelf, cones beneath and then marble below. It passes the jump test on wooden flooring.
I have a Sota Saphire III and have had great results using a new Sound Organisation Z-545 rack. It is 28" high and has 3 adjustable shelves below the top shelf. These can be removed if necessary. I agree with TWL, that a suspended turntable works best with a lightweight, rigid stand. The Sound Organization stands are availible through The Audio Advisor for $290.00.
Your best bet is a simple DIY rack/stand (assuming that you do not intend spending more for the rack/stand than you have for the source gear).
Copy and link to the following A'Gon thread in regard to the "Lack Rack".
If you like what a slightly modified Lack table does for the sound of your system/source then a logical upgrade down the line would be to then check out the the Neuance shelves manufactured by Greater Ranges/Neuance (Ken Lyons, the owner, is the one who "gave" us the DIY Lack Rack design).
Though I use Neuance shelves myself I have also experimented with a single Lack table as a TT stand and highly recommend doing so to those on a tight budget, based on my experience. We are talking less than $30 (including spikes) for a TT shelf or perhaps even under $20 if you use common/inexpensive items for the spikes.
The Lack side tables can be ordered online if you do not have a store in your area (think online prices are $9.99-$14.99/per table depending on the finish).
Please tell me why a heavy, solid stand is not recommended for a suspended TT?
Without understanding the reason, it sounds to me like someone said so and now others agree with it.
My ideal for a TT stand is rock solid not allowing anything to get to the TT suspension in the first place. This allows the leveled TT with suspension to focus on airborne vibrations and anything else trying to move into the sound path.
TIA for your replies...
probably because the light metal (but still rigid) stand doesn't resonate at frequencies near the suspension resonance frequency. Also the higher frequencies are filtered out by the TT's suspension. BTW, airborne induced vibrations can act directly on the arm and cartridge (albeit slightly) and no amount of isolation, coupling nor massive loading of the TT can eliminate them, except distance, of course.
My turntable (Oracle Alex IV) is suspended from the ceiling on MDF board by four wires. Can't get a lighter "stand" than that!
Salut, Bob P.
Sayas, I think you are on the right track with the "rock solid" comment. However, we are really talking about rigidity there, and a nicely welded-up frame stand can be very rigid.
The reasoning comes from the way the stand interacts with the suspension of the turntable. The sprung turntables just sound better on a lightweight stand, but it has to be very rigid. Flexible-flyers need not apply. Since the mass-loaded unsprung TTs have no suspension, they sound better on a very heavy stand(or even solid rock) because they require the mass to compensate for no suspension.
You're not going to totally ruin the sound one way or the other. It is just a certain amount of improvement. When I used to sell Linn TTs, and a customer would call back complaining that it didn't sound as good as when he heard it at the store, the first thing I'd ask is "What kind of stand is it on?". Invariably the answer was on top of some kind of credenza or other heavy furniture. When we would take a SO stand out to the house and moved the TT onto that, the whole performance just improved noticeably. The same was true for the other suspended TTs that we sold. Eventually we just convinced people during the demo, what stand needed to be used for certain TTs, by showing them the differences in sound of stands during the demos.
This is the kind of thing that you just absorb over the years of experience. I learned this in about 1982.
Take a look at the stand I built in Virtual Systems. Easy to modify, quite heavy and rigid: "DIY Audio Rack ala Jeffloistarca" The trick (if you have an unsuspended table), as TWL says is to make sure you not only have a rigid structure, but one that is heavy as well. The rack I built is 24" tall, with 23x15x2" maple butcher block.
CPdunn makes a good point (wall mount shelf) if floor vibrations/footfalls are a problem.
I have always had better luck/sound with my sprung TT's when either locating them near a support wall (sometimes in a "centrally" located closet in older Spanish/Victorian buildings in which @ least 2 of the closet walls are support structures) or when placing them on lite/rigid stands.
Heavy massive stands can sound quite good when placed on solid slab floors, but otherwise I really do not care for the sound of them.
You won't know for sure until you try both and judge the sound yourself.
Airborne vibrations are a pet peeve of mine which is why I have rarely ever installed a TT in my listening room (prefer to have them located in either a closed closet or if this is not possible then in an adjoining room). Been doing this since the early 70's long before people were generally concerned with racks/shelves, etc., and I usually placed the TT's directly on a wood floor.
I was w/o a TT for approx. 15 years and this time around I am using racks/shelves. I did try placing my TT on a very heavy cabinet in the living room @ one point, but the sound kind of sucked. I have wood/plaster floors which do have some spring to them as the plaster is cracked in many, many places (more cracked than solid:-).
I have my Teres 245/OL Silver/Shelter 501mk2 rig directly on concrete blocks, about two feet off the floor. The TT has three black diamond racing cones affixed to the bottom of the table. I think the concrete works well, but am open to other suggestions (maybe applying some additional wood or marble on top of the concrete??) I haven't experimented much with stands, so would be open to suggestions. My table is a heavy, unsuspended design (weighs something like 50lb, I think). I did however experiment with adding an AudioPoints Sistrum stand which is an expensive isolation using points on either side - I added this on top of the concrete, with the turntable suspended on the sistrum:
The results were not good. Suspending the table directly on the concrete with the stock black diamond racing cones gave a more rock solid performance.