Best building material for vibration free shelving

I am building some built into the wall shelves for my VPI Classic 2 SE turntable, amp, preamp, CD player, and old Burwen TNE 7000A transient noise eliminator (that’s one for you old-timers to remember), as well as my DISH Network receiver box. The shelves must match in appearance the typical looking built-in wood bookshelves already in the room. The shelves will be located directly under my 45" wide flat screen television. They will be wide enough to hold two components side by side, other than the VPI turntable which will have the top shelve to itself due to its extra width. I will be building the shelves high and deep to allow for plenty of air circulation around the components. They will be painted.

My question is, what materials might you suggest building the shelves with to minimize vibration? If they were for books I’d normally build the sides, and top out of 3/4" birch sided plywood, the back out of 1/4 inch luan plywood, and the shelves out of oak to deal with the weight of the books without bending. I will be adding vibration damping feet under each component and am not looking for suggestions along those lines, only material and perhaps design recommendations to reduce vibration.

I was researching this last night online and on site, and saw recommendations to use four thicknesses of 3/4 inch High Density (HD) MDF, also to use granite or marble under the turntable, among other recommendations. I was wondering how birch veneered plywood would work too, as it’s ply’s, I believe, have their grains running in opposite directions. Maybe there’s some way to isolate the uprights from the horizontal shelves to reduce vibration transmission.

What would you think would work best for these built-ins. I’d appreciate any recommendations you have or your experience on this subject. Thank you for any ideas.


lowrdier57 said:

" It's great that you're pleased with the sound of your system. i remember when you came to the forum asking for advise."

I'm very new to all this...which might be why I don't hear any differences in the various low buck tweaks I've made. However, I do hear differences in other things like speaker placement, listening position, differences between DACs, possibly some room changes.

And this brings up another subject that puzzles me somewhat and is relevant to this discussion: Component placement. We hear that your pre-amp/amp should not be between the speakers because of sonic vibration from them. Fine. I get the point. But I have some problems with this. First, for many of us, there just isn't any other option. Second, why is it better to have the components somewhere in front of the speakers than between and behind them? Some say you can find a sonic dead spot in the room and put them there....but that sounds impractical in the reality of most rooms. One audio-critic said the components should be in another room altogether! 

Anyway, when I build my shelves the components will be between and slightly behind the speakers. No other option. This also brings up a couple of issues. First, vibration transmitted through whatever the components are sitting on....which is the focus of this discussion...but what about sound vibrations that strike the unit? You can buy room baffles and reflectors....does anyone make some type of sound absorbing or reflecting material that can go in front of a pre-amp that will fit on a shelf or a stand?
I did not understand this to be a air vibration transmission back into the signal.  Think about where bass is strongest.  Usually at the back wall and corners.  Sure you could get some, especially through vinyl.  My understanding is you have a large reflection in between your speakers messing with imaging and maybe smearing the timing.  

My gear is between my equipment but I keep my rack sides open, not solid. 

Friends of mine keep the amps real low to the ground, then a slender open rack between and as far back as possible.  

I have other friend saying 30 foot single ended interconnects may shave a little top end, but the staging and clarity outweigh the loss.  As long as you don't get RF interference.  If the long interconnect picks up radio, well? ????  

@n80, I’ll address one point, your component placement should be fine. It’s furniture or audio racks between speakers that affect mostly imaging and other sonic attributes. Open racks are preferred. Speakers need space or air around them for best reproduction.
Most owners move their speakers forward of the rack/console.

N80, not taking a shot at you.  IME, when your system gets more dialed in you start to hear  small changes more readily.  Also, all the little stuff adds up over time.  Provided your actually keeping the good and removing the bad.  That can be the hard part.  We seem to gravitate to high frequency.  We can easily make our systems bright and fatiguing when we think we are getting extension and resolution.  That miss applied  high frequency will mask true midrange clarity.  
I bought a preamp from a local builder and he spent 2 afternoon teaching me how to tune.  It changed my stereo.  At first I thought it was going flat.  Then with a couple more changes it clicked.  It was an astounding gain.  

I like the rack Skyscraper is building.  I would just be careful of Sorbothane.  It can suck life.  An air gap can be better than coupling a hole with material.  Spock on audipshark uses a thin silicon between his plate materials.  He says he's getting good results.  I do like the ASC wall damp.  Never used it, but I am going to try it between my plates of corian and plywood.    
I guess me simply placing my componets using the feet they came with on my 20 year old rack with MDF shelves situated between my speakers is audio sacrilege? Oh well I'm getting old, hearing isn't what it once was and my stereo is junk so Apollo may over look my failings but damn if I could ever notice vibration being a problem.