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.


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. 

@lowrider57 - I have not tried the wooden blocks.

The cones look very similar to those beech cones I purchased and cost less, but they are Oak and it might depend if it's white oak or red oak.

I like maple for audio purposes - quite hard with a very uniform and tight grain.

I also hear ebony and rosewood is vrey good

I'll keep you posted as to how the brass and Bronze feet turn out, but at this point in time the beech feet sound great

Cheers - Steve
I'll be honest, I think the idea that different woods will change anything in a measurable, repeatable fashion is a bit of a stretch. I'm not saying different woods don't have different characteristics that can be heard, I'm just saying that when you are talking about the characteristics that effect the transmission of vibration I'm not sure you can be specific species to species. Every tree within a given species is different. Different ages of tree have different ring and grain structure. The conditions under which a tree grows affects its structure as well. And this is not to mention how the wood was dried, cut and treated. All of these things can have significant affects even on macro things like furniture, axe handles, baseball bats etc. Such effects would even be greater on micro issues like vibration transmission.

So in my mind a young harvested, poorly dried and treated specimen of one species considered to be the best might be inferior to a specimen of a less well regarded species that has better grain structure due to age, growth rate as well as better preparation and finish. 

Think about basic pine. Young, high growth rate yellow pine is soft as putty (maybe that would be a good thing??) whereas the heart of very old pine that died while the tree was standing can literally be hard as rock...sometimes it won't even split down the grain.