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.


n80, you speak the truth. Years ago old pine, especially heartwood could be used for flooring due to its hardness, for example. Couldn't imagine any pine you find nowadays at the big box stores being used for that purpose. 

If you want to try something cheap, try one ceramic ball in each of the walnut feet. You'll only want to use three (not four) feet with the ball high enough above the walnut so it's the only thing making contact with the bottom of your component. Put a very small dot of blue tack at the bottom of the dimple in each of the walnut feet to keep the ball from rolling. Grainger sells ceramic balls. 
@williewonka, thanks, the cones are a similar style. I guess there's no way to predict the audible difference between beech and oak as footers.

 With regard to a wood platform or plinth, is it possible to make an educated guess as to the sonic effect between different hardwoods? The difference between a hardwood and softwood is obvious IME.
 @n80 perhaps you might have an answer?

@gawdbless , I'm using that exact bamboo board turned upside down. It was recommended on a thread a while back.
I have seen better quality bamboo cutting boards, but this one is strong. It's under my 60 lb. tube amp. I'm in search of the right kind of footers, haven't found them yet.

“With regard to a wood platform or plinth, is it possible to make an educated guess as to the sonic effect between different hardwoods?”

>>>>All things being equal a thicker platform should perform better than a thinner one because it’s stiffer. Stiffness is required to bending forces, one of the isolation directions. Of a platform is used in conjunction with Springs the type of wood is not very important because the wood platform, as well as the component, is isolated from vibrations coming up from the floor. Also, any vibration that occurs on the wood platform, including acoustic vibration, can be easily dealt with by applying damping. Another variable is type of cones under the platform and under the component that is on top of the platform. How the wood is cut, with the grain or cross grain, should be audible. There is also the beauty of the wood to consider, e.g., Walnut, Maple, Cherry.