Are you tired of hearing skips and distortion when playing your favorite vinyl records?
Do you want to improve the sound quality of your turntable setup?
One of the most important factors in achieving high-quality sound is isolating your turntable from vibrations.
In this article, we’ll explore different methods for isolating your turntable and reducing unwanted vibrations.
From using isolation pads to wall-mounted shelves, we’ll cover everything you need to know to get the most out of your turntable setup.
So sit back, relax, and let’s dive into the world of turntable isolation.
How To Isolate A Turntable From Vibration
The first step in isolating your turntable from vibration is to place it on a heavy, stable piece of furniture. This will help absorb any vibrations that may be present in your room. Avoid surfaces that are light and rigid, as these can resonate at high volumes or shake when people walk by. Your playing surface should also be level to prevent excess horizontal force from acting on the turntable, which can lead to tracking issues like distortion and skipping.
Another effective method for isolating your turntable is to use isolation pads. These pads are designed to prevent feedback and movement from your turntable, even when the volume is at its highest. They also help keep your turntable stable if the speakers are causing the needle to jump or vibrate. Isolation pads are typically made with rubber or foam and are placed directly under your turntable to absorb shock and reduce vibration.
If you want to take your isolation game to the next level, consider installing synthetic rubber feet like Pro-Ject’s Absorb it high-end damping feet. These can be added to most audio components, including speakers and turntables, to minimize mechanical vibration. The feet work by decoupling the component from the surface it’s sitting on, preventing the transfer of vibration-based energy.
For those with suspended wooden flooring, mounting your turntable to a wall is the most effective solution for controlling vibration. This is because walls are much better at negating vibration than floors, as they typically hold more weight and no one is walking on them. Wall-mounted shelves provide a sturdy and stable surface for your turntable, reducing the amount of vibration that makes its way to the needle.
Why Is Isolating Your Turntable Important?
Isolating your turntable from vibration is crucial for ensuring the best possible sound quality. When there is too much vibration, the stylus of your player can become misaligned, leading to poor sound quality and even damage to your records. Additionally, excessive vibration can cause low-frequency acoustic feedback and skipping, which can be frustrating and ruin your listening experience.
By isolating your turntable from vibration, you can prevent these issues and enjoy high-quality sound. Isolation pads, synthetic rubber feet, and wall-mounted shelves are all effective methods for reducing vibration and ensuring that your turntable stays stable. Whether you’re a vinyl enthusiast or simply want to get the best possible sound from your turntable setup, isolating your turntable from vibration is an essential step that should not be overlooked.
Understanding Different Types Of Vibrations
To effectively isolate your turntable from vibration, it’s important to understand the different types of vibrations that can affect your setup. In general, every object on a flexible support has a fundamental natural frequency. When vibration is applied, energy is transferred most efficiently at the natural frequency, somewhat efficiently below the natural frequency, and with increasing inefficiency (decreasing efficiency) above the natural frequency. This can be seen in the transmissibility curve, which is a plot of transmissibility vs. frequency.
Passive vibration isolation systems, such as shock mounts or isolation pads, contain mass, spring, and damping elements and move as a harmonic oscillator. The mass and spring stiffness dictate a natural frequency of the system, while damping causes energy dissipation and has a secondary effect on natural frequency. Passive isolators can be seen as mechanical low-pass filters for vibrations.
In general, for any given frequency above the natural frequency, an isolator with a lower natural frequency will show greater isolation than one with a higher natural frequency. The best isolation system for a given situation depends on the frequency, direction, and magnitude of vibrations present and the desired level of attenuation of those frequencies.
Damping is used in passive isolators to reduce the amount of amplification at the natural frequency. However, increasing damping tends to reduce isolation at higher frequencies. As damping is increased, transmissibility roll-off decreases. Passive isolation operates in both directions, isolating the payload from vibrations originating in the support and also isolating the support from vibrations originating in the payload.
In cases where there are multiple sources of vibration present, it may be most efficient to isolate each sensitive instrument from the floor. For larger machines like washers or generators that produce vibrations in the building or room, it may be necessary to isolate them from the floor as well. In Superyachts, for example, engines and alternators produce noise and vibrations that can be solved by using a double elastic suspension where the engine and alternator are mounted with vibration dampers on a common frame. This set is then mounted elastically between the common frame and the hull.
Understanding different types of vibrations can help you choose the most effective isolation method for your turntable setup. By identifying and addressing sources of vibration, you can ensure that your turntable produces high-quality sound without interference from external factors.
Using Isolation Pads To Reduce Vibrations
Isolation pads are an affordable and effective way to reduce turntable vibration. These pads come in various materials, including rubber and foam, and are designed to absorb shock and reduce vibrations. They work by placing them directly under your turntable, preventing feedback and movement even at high volumes.
Pro-Ject’s Absorb it high-end damping feet are a great option for those who want to take their isolation game to the next level. These feet can be added to most audio components, including speakers and turntables, to minimize mechanical vibration. By decoupling the component from the surface it’s sitting on, they prevent the transfer of vibration-based energy.
When using isolation pads, it’s important to ensure that your turntable is level and placed on a heavy, stable piece of furniture. This will help absorb any vibrations that may be present in your room. Avoid surfaces that are light and rigid, as these can resonate at high volumes or shake when people walk by.
Building A DIY Turntable Isolation Platform
Building your own DIY turntable isolation platform is a cost-effective way to achieve high-quality sound without breaking the bank. To start, you will need a few materials, including MDF board, Sorbothane feet, and adhesive. MDF board is a dense material that is perfect for reducing vibrations, and Sorbothane feet are an excellent choice for absorbing shock.
First, measure the dimensions of your turntable and purchase a piece of MDF board that is slightly larger than your turntable. Cut the board to size using a saw or have it cut at a hardware store. Next, attach the Sorbothane feet to the bottom of the MDF board using adhesive. Make sure to space them evenly around the perimeter of the board to ensure even weight distribution.
Once the adhesive has dried, place your turntable on top of the MDF board and enjoy the improved sound quality. The Sorbothane feet will absorb any vibrations that would otherwise make their way to your turntable’s tonearm and needle, resulting in a cleaner and more detailed sound.
If you want to take your DIY isolation platform to the next level, consider adding additional layers of material like cork or foam between the turntable and the MDF board. These materials will further reduce vibrations and improve sound quality.
Wall-Mounted Shelves For Turntable Isolation
Wall-mounted shelves are an excellent solution for those who want to isolate their turntable from vibration. The idea behind this method is to use the wall as a buffer against any external vibrations that may be present in your room. Walls are much better at negating vibration than floors, as no one is walking on them and they typically hold more weight. Placing your turntable directly on wall-mounted shelves will almost always improve sound isolation and reduce the amount of vibration that makes its way to the needle.
However, it is important to note that wall-mounted shelves alone may not be enough to completely isolate your turntable from all vibrations. If you have large speakers or subwoofers, you may still feel vibrations on the walls on the other side of the room. In this case, it is recommended to address acoustic feedback by isolating the turntable from its shelf. One method is to plant the turntable on a solid platform like concrete, which itself can be isolated from the shelf on inflated tubes or a solid platform.
It is also important to consider the type of turntable you have when using wall-mounted shelves for isolation. If your turntable is suspended, it may require additional measures such as perching its cone feet on a maple butcher block and separating it from the shelf by a layer of Vibrapods. However, if your turntable has a solid plinth, wall-mounted shelves alone may suffice.
Tips For Setting Up Your Turntable In A Vibration-Free Environment
When setting up your turntable, there are a few key tips to keep in mind to ensure a vibration-free environment. First, it’s important to isolate your turntable from any external vibrations, especially those caused by speakers. Avoid placing your turntable and speakers on the same surface, and consider using isolation pads or an isolation platform to further reduce vibrations.
It’s also crucial to place your turntable on a heavy, stable piece of furniture that is level. This will help absorb any vibrations that may be present in your room and prevent excess horizontal force from acting on the turntable. Avoid surfaces that are light and rigid, as these can resonate at high volumes or shake when people walk by.
If you have suspended wooden flooring, mounting your turntable to a wall is the most effective solution for controlling vibration. This is because walls are much better at negating vibration than floors, as they typically hold more weight and no one is walking on them. Wall-mounted shelves provide a sturdy and stable surface for your turntable, reducing the amount of vibration that makes its way to the needle.
Finally, consider upgrading to synthetic rubber feet like Pro-Ject’s Absorb it high-end damping feet. These can be added to most audio components, including speakers and turntables, to minimize mechanical vibration. The feet work by decoupling the component from the surface it’s sitting on, preventing the transfer of vibration-based energy. By following these tips, you can create a vibration-free environment for your turntable and enjoy high-quality sound without any distortion or skipping.