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.


Italian, thanks for sharing your experience.

Slaw, I've asked a few questions here. Bear with me. I'm uncertain which one are you referring to as misguided. 

Bdp24. I looked at the Townsend pods you recommended and will track down the Youtube video.

Right now, what I need to find is basic. I will have metal clips holding up the shelves. The clips will be on standard vertical tracks, commonly used for adjustable height book or cabinet shelves. I'm sure you've seen them. The flat portion of each clip the shelves will sit on is approximately 3/4" x 1/2".  I want to find some vibration absorbent material to sit on the clips between them and the shelves. I was thinking maybe 3/4" by 1/2" pieces of sorbothane. But, since you mentioned sorbothane doesn't isolate to low enough frequencies there must be something else to use, maybe silicone as suggested above.  

In the interest of full disclosure, the top shelf to hold the turntable is already in place. It was built years ago to hold one of those old fashioned enormous wide screen televisions we were stuck with before flat screens came out. I am building the rest of the shelves for the amp, preamp etc underneath that pre-existing shelf. I will be placing my marble slab on that pre-existing shelf with a shelf liner under it, as suggested by Williwonka above to help defeat vibration and resonances. I wonder if bdp's suggested constrained liner damping might work for this as well under the marble. 

I will later find feet for each component that hopefully defeat any remaining resonances or vibration. Any suggestions on what material might be advantageous to sit between the metal clips and the shelves would be helpful

Kingrex, I wish I could afford something like an electron microscope stand. But I'm hopefully purchasing some exorbitant for me, $10,000 speakers next week, so I have to not bankrupt myself otherwise. If my late wife was still in the land of the living, I guarantee you I would be doing none of this. I can hear her in my head saying "What do you mean you need an electron microscope table, what do they cost?" 

Tweak, sorry the train is so close to your home. I'll look up the Machina Dynamica Springs.  They sound interesting. 

Thanks again all.


Wish I could afford $10k speakers.  I just connected my Pure Audio Project trio 10 last night.  Breaking in and tuning now.

My TT sits on my shelving stand.  Nothing fancy.  I built the base and plinth so I took the time there to isolate.  Have fun. 
You know, I know a dealer who sat his amps on little tables from IKEA because they were made like cardboard.  Corrugated paper between a couple thin plywood pieces.  He said it was like an air gap.  Poor man stand, but pretty effective he thought. 
Kingrex,  I've been happily listening to my $790.00 pair of Dahlquist DQ-10's since 1976. So you're way ahead of me with with your Pure Audio Project Trio 10's. Since you mentioned the Trio 10's, I went and looked up a review on them, which coincidentally referenced my DQ10s a couple times. The  Trio 10's got an excellent review  and are striking in apppearance, so congrats on that purchase.  

Gawdbless, thanks on the link.