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Started building an isolation base from scrap

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Started building an isolation base from scrap

Postby zacster » 29 Dec 2016 06:14

I've mentioned in the SRM/Tech thread that I thought their base + shipping was just too much, so I decided to build my own. First thing I thought was that I have 1" mdf sheets laying in my basement, but when I went down I saw an almost square piece of 3/4" mdf that measured 18"x17". Hmmm, sounds almost perfect. I dusted it off, measured the Rega and it turns out to be 17.5"x14, so that mdf is close enough. The piece was square and cleanly cut too. I'm wondering where it came from, but it was in my throwaway pile so it was almost tossed.

Next thing is I had a vague recollection of having some spikes left over from a speaker project from 10 years ago. And sure enough, they were where I remember them. I drilled some holes, screwed in the spike base, then put the spikes in. I also have the little cups for the spikes so they don't ruin the furniture. Half an hour into the build, and I hadn't even left my house nor spent a nickel.

Next thought was I needed some sorbothane, so I checked my shoes, and wouldn't you know it... Nah, that didn't happen. I ordered some domes off of Amazon and they'll be here tomorrow. So now I'm about $10 into this.

I still need to find something heavy to drop the motor on, or maybe cut a ring of sorbothane to hold the motor on the base. Let me check my shoes again. ;)

Anyway I didn't spend nearly as much money as the SRM model, although it certainly won't be as pretty with some dull mdf instead of a polished acrylic job. If this works out OK I can always have a piece of acrylic cut if I want it to look better.

I'll post some pics and my listening impressions when I get a chance.
Rega Planar 3, Grace 707, Ortofon Quintet Blue (Grace F9E in the bullpen), Tangospinner Subplatter/dual 45 pulley, Famous Ice Cube mod, Music Hall Cruise Control II, Schiit Mani phono MM/MC pre, Aikido line, 6B4G PP amp
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Re: Started building an isolation base from scrap

Postby sunderwood » 29 Dec 2016 06:36

I did something similar, but added one more thing. I went to Lowes and bought a rectangle concrete stepping stone. The cost is about $4.00. I spray painted it black to match my shelf and placed the mdf piece I cut on top of it. One thing else I did different was use vibrapods instead of sorbothane although I think they may be about the same thing. I have no problems with footfalls at all.
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Re: Started building an isolation base from scrap

Postby zacster » 29 Dec 2016 14:43

So here is something that is just too funny. I was looking for something heavy for the motor, and just this morning my wife is showing me the holiday gifts from her office. One that caught my attention, which my wife was dismissively describing, was a set of stainless steel ice cubes, which won't water down your drink. DING DING DING DING DING. Heavy polished stainless steel!! perfect for the motor!

It does turn out they have liquid inside, but that might even be better! I guess if they were solid stainless, they'd break the glass when you dropped them in.
Rega Planar 3, Grace 707, Ortofon Quintet Blue (Grace F9E in the bullpen), Tangospinner Subplatter/dual 45 pulley, Famous Ice Cube mod, Music Hall Cruise Control II, Schiit Mani phono MM/MC pre, Aikido line, 6B4G PP amp
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Re: Started building an isolation base from scrap

Postby zacster » 30 Dec 2016 19:58

It is all put together now and I've played a few records. First off, I don't think the bass is as together as it was before. Motor noise is gone, totally black between the grooves, and that comes through on the music too.

I built the motor base from 4 of the 1" ice cubes, separated by 1" squares of 1/4" cork that is leftover from the cork mat, placed on a 2" square of cork, all held together with rubber bands courtesy of the USPS. The motor is just held with 2 rubber bands and isn't tight. If I had to do something more it would be to build a better base. My guess this is the source of the looser bass.

The cost of this whole thing is $20 out of pocket if you include the 4 extra sorbothane domes that I bought for my amp. It didn't take much time either, about a 1/2 hour to put the base together with the spiked feet, and another hour or so to get the motor base together.

So far I've listened to Melodie Gardot's "My One and Only Thrill" first side, Rickey Lee Jones (my usual first after a tweak) and the first side of DSOTM. All have some pretty deep bass on them, DSOTM sounded the best, the bass on Melodie Gardot sounded weak. Moondance is playing right now. This is a recently bought reissue and is silent between tracks, but DSOTM and RLJ are both old copies and the surface noise is even more noticeable because of the lack of motor noise.
Rega Planar 3, Grace 707, Ortofon Quintet Blue (Grace F9E in the bullpen), Tangospinner Subplatter/dual 45 pulley, Famous Ice Cube mod, Music Hall Cruise Control II, Schiit Mani phono MM/MC pre, Aikido line, 6B4G PP amp
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Re: Started building an isolation base from scrap

Postby zacster » 30 Dec 2016 20:12

Here are some pics...
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Rega Planar 3, Grace 707, Ortofon Quintet Blue (Grace F9E in the bullpen), Tangospinner Subplatter/dual 45 pulley, Famous Ice Cube mod, Music Hall Cruise Control II, Schiit Mani phono MM/MC pre, Aikido line, 6B4G PP amp
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Re: Started building an isolation base from scrap

Postby Drewan77 » 31 Dec 2016 08:19

I like your ingenuity zacster - Best not to refrigerate those cubes before play as they obviously cool down the bass !
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Re: Started building an isolation base from scrap

Postby zacster » 31 Dec 2016 15:18

The two remaining cubes plus a little bourbon would work wonders on the bass.

While I can certainly afford buying and of the pre-made devices, they just seemed too expensive, and I was trying to prove to myself that they shouldn't be.

Even my wife was impressed by the totally black background between tracks.
Rega Planar 3, Grace 707, Ortofon Quintet Blue (Grace F9E in the bullpen), Tangospinner Subplatter/dual 45 pulley, Famous Ice Cube mod, Music Hall Cruise Control II, Schiit Mani phono MM/MC pre, Aikido line, 6B4G PP amp
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Re: Started building an isolation base from scrap

Postby Legrace » 01 Jan 2017 14:43

Henceforth and forever to be known as the famous ice cube mod :lol: Nicely done.

Given any consideration to painting your sub plinth black?
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Re: Started building an isolation base from scrap

Postby zacster » 01 Jan 2017 15:26

I'm either going to paint it black, or have a piece of acrylic cut for it to replace it. MDF is a pain to paint as it keeps absorbing it. But keeping with the original goal of low cost even a can of spray paint is too much to spend. :D
Rega Planar 3, Grace 707, Ortofon Quintet Blue (Grace F9E in the bullpen), Tangospinner Subplatter/dual 45 pulley, Famous Ice Cube mod, Music Hall Cruise Control II, Schiit Mani phono MM/MC pre, Aikido line, 6B4G PP amp
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Re: Started building an isolation base from scrap

Postby ehtoo » 01 Jan 2017 16:01

Try sandwiching a bicycle inner tube. The Townsend Seismic Sink utilized this method, instead using a shallow steel box. I have one (now under my wife's Dual 1214 and it works extremely well. Given the TT is an idler, it is quiet without losing it's punch.

My main table is on a Symposium Ultra which is a series of layers; 2 aluminum, 2 MDF for sure and something in between those.

Myself, I intend to experiment with two platforms separated by earth magnets as my next "let's see how this all works out" project. I'm going to try a steel and MDF sandwich for my first go. By using opposing magnets, I hope to design a platform that will float without going askew.
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Re: Started building an isolation base from scrap

Postby zacster » 04 Jan 2017 17:47

I tried the bicycle inner tube, but after about 20 miles I got a flat. :lol: :roll:

And reality is that they will slowly leak and need to be pumped every now and then. Not a problem if you're a cyclist and have a pump handy, as I am.
Rega Planar 3, Grace 707, Ortofon Quintet Blue (Grace F9E in the bullpen), Tangospinner Subplatter/dual 45 pulley, Famous Ice Cube mod, Music Hall Cruise Control II, Schiit Mani phono MM/MC pre, Aikido line, 6B4G PP amp
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Re: Started building an isolation base from scrap

Postby poetry » 08 Jan 2017 16:24

Hello folks,

A similar project became my short obsession as well. At the local appliance store I got the following items:
11-ply hard wood (8€), screwable bases I found for separate table feet (3€), some nuts and paint, an isolation rubber base that go under wash machines (8€), door stoppers out of the same material (3€). I cut circles out of a cork platter I had, and used cotton dampers. I had some glass boards which were actually part of an old hifi stand. Sound is great. One thing I noticed: When knocking on the platters, there is no sound in the speakers. Before there was a deep sound.
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Re: Started building an isolation base from scrap

Postby zacster » 08 Jan 2017 17:15

Did you drop the motor from the plinth? Of all of the mods, this is the simplest and cheapest way to reduce the noise. From your pic it doesn't look like you did. A heavy base resting on the thinner sheet at the top, with the motor on that so that the pulley level is even with the subplatter. Use something to attach the motor to the base, I used rubber bands, but bluetack would work better and I might do that later today.
Rega Planar 3, Grace 707, Ortofon Quintet Blue (Grace F9E in the bullpen), Tangospinner Subplatter/dual 45 pulley, Famous Ice Cube mod, Music Hall Cruise Control II, Schiit Mani phono MM/MC pre, Aikido line, 6B4G PP amp
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Re: Started building an isolation base from scrap

Postby poetry » 08 Jan 2017 18:33

There are cloth stickers between the rega feet and the cork circles, then comes glass platter, then cork circle, cloth sticker, rubber stoppers, cloth stickers, 11-ply, screw feet with plastic on end, cloth sticker, rubber base (for wash machines), glass...
I did nothing to the turntable or with its motor.
Running a Rega Planar P3 with Ortofon 2M Bronze, Project Phono Box USB V, Yamaha r-s 500, Nubert NuLine264...
Sounds great...
Edvard Grieg, Dire Straits, Pink Floyd, Isaac Hayes, DeLaSoul, Miles Davis...not sure if any other mod would make it sound even better.
Rega Planar 3, Ortofon 2M Bronze, Project Phono USB V, Yamaha A-S1100, Yamaha CD-S300, Nubert NuLine 264
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Re: Started building an isolation base from scrap

Postby poetry » 08 Jan 2017 18:37

Would something between blass and motor, so that no space in between do any good? I guess I would have cork left over and maybe one of those rubber bases...
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