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How do you build your own turntable isolation platform

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Raphael Maltais, May 28, 2021.

  1. Raphael Maltais

    Raphael Maltais Member Thread Starter

    Hi, I am willing to test if an isolation platform is worth it or not, but, testing a demo is quite impossible, and paying 500$ for a device that looks kind of basic and not knowing if it will actually be worth it seems a big risk.

    Does anyone here build their own isolation platform? And how do you do it?
  2. Glfrancis2

    Glfrancis2 Overworked and underpaid state employee

    Birmingham al
    I went super cheap, but effective...a square of carpet padding with a hockey puck under each foot
  3. aunitedlemon

    aunitedlemon Music is medicine, dose often.

    Butcher block style platforms are popular and fairly easily done DIY if you have a couple of woodworking tools available (table saw, planer, sander, clamps). The woodgrain can really help absorb vibrations and coupled w/ some half decent isolating feet can be surprisingly impactful to your sound quality. I used scraps of doug-fir and stained it w/ some Danish oil. If you want more detailed "how-to", PM me. The Vibra-pod/cones pictured made a noteworthy difference compared to some inexpensive rubber & cork sandwiches I had first. I decided to make a nook for the preamp as getting it that close to the tt lowered the interconnect cable capacitance by half, which is in favor of the cartridge I'm using.
  4. Swann36

    Swann36 A widower finding solace in music

    Lincoln, UK
    Interesting ideas have you used this idea on other kit than a TT ... i'm wondering about using the idea for a cd player ?

    my TT sits on a Quadraspire rack
    Alan2 likes this.
  5. vinylontubes

    vinylontubes Forum Resident

    Katy, TX
    I've taken the advice of Ken Lyon who created the Neuance isolation platform. Rega turntables work best on low mass rigid stands. I've had my mine on a cheap $10 Ikea Lack side table since. He gave this advice after he discontinued the manufacture of the Neuance. It was cheap hack 20 years ago and remains so.
    struttincool, izeek and Alan2 like this.
  6. motorstereo

    motorstereo Forum Resident

    If your room allows it placement of your tt directly over a floor support (load carrying wall or post) will yield excellent results. In my case I have no isolation; just a solid rack over a support post and track at 1.4 grams. I've yet to hear rumble or a skip and my room doubles as an exercise room with no tip toeing and an occasional weight being dropped.
  7. Wayne Nielson

    Wayne Nielson Forum Resident

    My House
    I have 3 different designs. The oldest is a hunk of black African granite, about 22" square sitting on 4 hockey pucks. Currently my Empire 598 sits on this. The second one is a maple butcher block I purchased from Boos. Its 15" x 20" x 1.5" thick. It sits on an oak frame that then sits on hockey puck. My Technics SL1210MK5 sits on this. The 3rd design is truly a DIY stand. Its top is made from aspen, a 1" x 16" (15.5) x 3 foot board was cut exactly in half, then the 2 pieces were glued togther to make a surface that is roughly 17 1/2" x 15 1/2" x 1.5" thick. It sits (and is fastened) to 2 walnut boards underneath and those boards sit on top of hockey pucks. My Technics SL1200MK2 sits on this platform.

    I think if I had to pick, the maple butcher block platform seems to bring out the best in the 1210. The granite one is real pretty with the Emp on it.
    luckybaer and aunitedlemon like this.
  8. Gi54

    Gi54 Forum Resident

    Pieces of solid 4cm oak board with 3 conical oak feet that a local woodturner made for me. The CD player is further elevated on oak feet which has improved SQ sharpness.
    izeek and aunitedlemon like this.
  9. Kevin j

    Kevin j The 5th 99

    Seattle Area
    i just bought the house next door and run cables from there.
  10. aunitedlemon

    aunitedlemon Music is medicine, dose often.

    While I have not used the isolation platform on any other kit than a tt I think you can use them for anything you like. @Gi54 mentioned improved sharpness from their cd player and I've read in other threads that putting preamps and amps on isolators also has benefits.
    Gi54 likes this.
  11. MattHooper

    MattHooper Forum Resident

    I went to town creating an isolation base for my turntable, especially as I have sprung wood floors so vibration was getting through to the table. I started with a 2 1/2" thick butcher block. I tested tons of different materials for their isolation properties, using a seismometer app. By FAR the most effective for isolation were spring-based footers. In my case I sprung for Townshend isolation pods (spring based) but you can do it for much cheaper. I also found that adding additional layers, in a constrained-layer formation, really aided the solidity of the platform. So underneath the butcher block I actually added another couple layers of MDF with a layer of steel and wall damping. It's crazy solid and inert, and held on the spring footers, no vibration gets through to the table.
    Encore, Oelewapper, DPC and 1 other person like this.
  12. The Pinhead

    The Pinhead SUDACA ROÑOSO

    I bought a microwave oven shelf and 3 heavy duty iron brackets that I bolted to the wall, then bolted the shelf, set the TT on it and fuggedaboutit. The best isolotion for the least money. Disclaimer : my house is all brick and solid concrete, so YMMV if you have drywall.

    Not my TT, not my pic, but similar enough :

  13. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    I use a big Minus K- not DIY, but as @MattHooper said, springs (combined with damping) can almost work miracles. I am isolating a very heavy table and plinth that is close to 240 lbs or so. Not a lot of options that will work with that kind of load and effectively eliminate footfalls on a second story of an old Victorian house.
  14. izeek

    izeek Drums, pulleeez!

    iono. I feel it makes a difference. It's subtle as they say but definitely noticeable. A sort of quietness?
    All my kit is on isolation of some sort.
    My amps and pre are on bamboo cutting boards(ikea, lol, which I read some here used) with 2x2 antivibration feet (supplyhouse, all manner of antivibration items)under the corners. Even board thickness matters.
    I put them in the av pads first, then just the boards, then the boards and pads.
    I think if you did similar you'd find some similar benefits to mine.
    There's a palpable difference between rubber-cork pads and rubber-eva pads. For what they cost, it was worth the try.
    I've seen quite a few pics here with kit on isolation so I'd imagine there's something to it. Makes sense to reduce vibration at every juncture.
  15. izeek

    izeek Drums, pulleeez!

    Can we see? Sounds like a nice idea.
  16. izeek

    izeek Drums, pulleeez!

    Those last three words. Yes, a sharpness or detail.
  17. Lord Hawthorne

    Lord Hawthorne Currently Untitled

    Portland, Oregon
    The best isolation I've ever used is a sheet of foam rubber two inches thick, and it doesn't cost much either. Thicker pieces are available, but probably overkill.
  18. ggergm

    ggergm Flibbertijibbet

    There is a quarry near me that cut a piece of limestone the size of my turntable and an inch thick. They beveled the top edge and used resin to fill the holes in the rock. All of this was very standard for them. They only charged me $100 for a flat piece of stone that weighs 25-30 pounds.

    Under it I have a bunch of springy feet. I spent good money for half of them a while ago. Later I got an additional four feet for next to nothing. Metal cones would also be an interesting option and would cost a lot less. I've seen people use everything from rubber handballs cut in half to mattress pads for platform support. My only word of caution would be to make it the opposite of the suspension on your turntable. If the turntable has a springy suspension, your platform should sit on something solid. If the turntable is built like a tank, then something springy under the platform might work the best.
    2channelforever and luckybaer like this.
  19. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    Here's the trick for isolating a turntable -- you need to isolate from air and structure borne vibrations, in both the horizontal and vertical planes, and, if you're trying to isolate from footfalls, you'll have to isolate down to very low frequencies, like circa 4 Hz, which is where the footfall vibrations are. There aren't many ways to actually deliver that kind of isolation to that kind of low frequencies. If you're just trying to isolate from music generated vibrations, it's easier.

    You'll read a lot of things like butcher block, granite slabs, oak blocks, etc. NONE of these things isolate or decouple. They might add rigidity, the might mass load. They don't isolate or decouple. To isolate or decouple you need something that is going to absorb the energy of the vertical and horizontal movement, maybe getting rid of it by converting to heat -- there are viscoelastic substances like Sorbothane footers (if properly loaded, over load them and they just couple) that can do this; or you can use like a pneumatic system or a spring loaded system (spring loaded will work well down through audio frequencies, but if footfalls are the problem then can be worse because they can have a resonance around the frequency of the floor flexing).

    Not sure what your turntable is sitting on now, but I'd recommend starting by getting it on to a as rigid a surface as possible and a stand coupled to a load bearing wall or a solid floor (not something flexy), and as far away from direct airborne vibration from speakers as possible, then start by just trying some elastomer footers of the appropriate hardness and rated for the proper weight of the deck.

    You could try to make some kind of sandwich -- put decoupling elastomer footers under a rigid damped shelf material of some sort and then couple the turntable with cones (hard Tip Toe style cones don't isolate, they do the opposite, they couple) to the rigid shelf.

    There are DIY pneumatic systems that work -- like partially deflated small tire inner tubes, etc. But the DIY versions can be a pain to maintain, keep level, insure they're working at the frequencies you need them to work at.
    Last edited: May 30, 2021
  20. Wayne Nielson

    Wayne Nielson Forum Resident

    My House
    Technics SL-Q2?
    The Pinhead likes this.
  21. tryitfirst

    tryitfirst Forum Resident

    doctor fuse and Stone Turntable like this.
  22. CPR267

    CPR267 Active Member

    Collingswood, NJ
    I have a light weight component rack. Based on the recommendation from VPI, did the following; I set my VPI Scout Jr (with the stock adjustable cone feet) on a 2.5" thick Boos block end-grain butcher block. The block sits on three IsoAcoutics Orea pucks. Puck model is selected based on total weight of the setup divided by number of pucks. 3 is ideal. I used the Indigos. The end-grain wood block serves to minimize resonance that would otherwise develop in a conventional "long" grain block made from planks. It's also relatively heavy and stiff. The pucks *seem to do a good job of keeping mechanical vibration out of the TT. I think I spent about $420 on the block and pucks. You can experiment with puck placement. But once it's dialed in you don't have to mess around with it, which is an advantage over the inner tube system some people like. For the money I found this to be a great setup that produced noticable improvement in playback quality.

    *Not only is the sound quality better, but it passes the "feel test." Using my hand, I can feel vibration from the speakers in the top shelf of the rack, where the block sits, but not in the block itself.

    Cutting Boards - Chopping Block Collection Reversible 2-1/4'' Thick with Grips by John Boos | KitchenSource.com

    Orea Series | IsoAcoustics
    aunitedlemon likes this.
  23. bever70

    bever70 It's all about the soundstage

    How about an ordinary bike pump to get some air in them....I believe that's what they were designed to do ;).
    doctor fuse likes this.
  24. DPC

    DPC Forum Resident

    Until recently, I had my turntable situated on a (top down): solid maple "base", "isolate it" 50 durometer pads, 1.75" homemade maple butcher block, and vibrapod #4's, resting on my audio rack.
    Worked fairly well for the most part, but I was getting uncacceptable feedback with some records, especially those with lower output and strong base (think MoFi Dire Straits...).
    I believe my butcher block was just too large (acting like a sail) and amplifying too much vibration. Just on a whim, I replaced it with a smaller piece of 3/4" birch plywood, and I reduced to feedback to practically nil with problem records at higher than normal volumes. Quite pleasantly surprised.
    So I gussied it up a bit (1/8" curly maple top surface and a cherry "shroud") and it's been my very effective solution, all else being equal. That birch plywood really served me well in this situation.


  25. MattHooper

    MattHooper Forum Resident

    As I understand it, much of the problems arise from simply having the turntable in the same room as the speakers, where the vibration from the music gets picked up by the turntable.
    I guess this is one benefit of my set up. I like as clean a look as possible in the listening room, and all my amps/source equipment is actually in a separate room just down the hallway, including my turntable. At first I wondered if using a turntable would even work, ergonomically, in this set up. But it's been no issue at all. I simply put on a record, lower the needle and generally by the time I'm at my seat the music begins. Basically I'm doing what I'd have to do even if the turntable was in the room: get up to change records, drop the needle, get back to my seat etc. So it's proven to be no real set-back, and most of my listening is on vinyl. Looks like the added bonus is not having to worry so much about isolating from the music-born vibrations.

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