Can I modify a cabinet for my Rega TT

jonnyr100

New member
Aug 11, 2010
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I have now completed renovations of my Edwardian pad and now want somewhere to put my turntable, amp and CD player. The living room has period features and furniture and I don't want my HiFi on full scale view: it's going to be bad enough with the speakers out.

I thought of modifying an old 1920s HMV gramophone cabinet like this one: http://www.gramophones.info/gramhmv163.html and wondered if I'm nuts or whether it can be done. It's a suspended timber floor. No carpet. There are vibrations around when someone walks heavily across the room.

I don't know or understand much about isolation but can appreciate that one thing I need is to try to eliminate vibrations getting back to the turntable. Whatever other nuances are involved in isolation support I haven't a clue. Clearly some form of isolation is required.

I was thinking of starting with some spikes at the bottom of the cabinet itself. But I'm not too sure about where to put the turntable. The old gramophone is long gone but what must have been the original wooden base (under a lift up lid) is still there suspended on battens. I was thinking of leaving the battens and replacing the base with a piece of glass or granite (high mass, less vibration?) perhaps putting a little rubber dampening between the batten and that base. Would this work. I saw something called a sandblaster ( a box filled with sand with a platform "floating" on the sand) and wondered whether this as an intermediate platform with the TT above would give a desired result.

Finally is there likely to be any degradation in sound from having the turntable effectively in wooden box with a lid, albeit, as best as possible, isolated from said box.

I've got an old Rega planar 3 which over the years has had an RB300 tonearm fitted which itself was then given the Origin Live treatment and recently I put in the 24v motor (when the old one started doing really weird things). Elys 2 cartdridge and it all sounds pretty good hooked up, currently, to my AV system in a different room. I've bought a pair of EB1s and am still working out what amp (probably Brio R) and will keep my old Arcam CD72 CD player to upgrade later. Unless anyone's got other ideas, but that's probably for a different thread ....

Thanks
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Hi jonny, turntable isolation is something of an art form as well as a science, and you seem to have identified the main factors.

It is the suspended tmber floor that will be the issue for you. Spiking your stand/cabinet will couple it securely alright - but to a flexible floor. The normal answer is to use a wall mounted TT shelf, but that defeats your aim entirely. So I wonder if you can create a solid floor area where the cabinet is intended to stand? Normally, I'd expect the unit to be near a wall, with enough room for air to flow and cables to exit easily. Nearer the wall, even on a suspended floor, the degree of flex is presumably much less than in the middle of the room.

Can you create a solid floor area (without resorting to pouring concrete into your living room) on which the cabinet can sit? Maybe even a paving slab, which you could disguise with something suitably 'period' - maybe curtain material, or more dark wood? Or a real extereme, simply use the cabinet as an open 'shell' (by removing the rear?) to disguise the TT mounted on the wall. Just trying to be creative, so may be wide of the mark.

Otherwise, considering the system side, you seem to be an obvious candidate for a modern streaming solution, with no moving parts to worry about. Having the TT in a cabinet isn't the end of the world, though if the speakers are nearby the cabinet might amplify or trap any vibration. But if the Rega is well isolated inside, you may do OK. As you know, the Rega approach is light/low-mass, so the isolation measures are all a bit counter-intuitive for that design.

It could be a lot of trial and error, which you can do thriftily at first with household items like bricks, slabs and screws, without wasting money.

I hope that helps a little.
 

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