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Old 27th June 2013, 01:55 PM   #1
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Default Who's built or heard a DIY or cloneable hi-fi cabinet?

Hi there

When building a hif cabinet
for pre and power amps; turntables (one Linn (likely to be sold) and one Lenco); and other sources eg tuner, media computer, DACs

What materials are best? eg mass: go for higher mass (density) shelves, eg stone, or heavier woods, or is it not relevant?
Techniques, eg decouple the shelves? I hope not, because I'd only have time to do it for one shelf, holding two components

If materials dont matter, I'd build it out of say 15 mm (0.6 inch) wood, either ply or MDF. with an open back to the wall for air flow and access, doors in front for WAF, and holes drilled in the shelves to improve air flow. (in summer it gets hot here)

And the top, the most visible part, where the turntables and hot (class A) amps will sit, could be
- marble, kitchen-top stone, or granite; or
- a wood like red gum (dense) or bamboo (lighter weight, some interesting grains) or plywood (low mass)
- or a mix of materials (within reason)

I intend to put it on casters, so I can easily move it out from the wall and get to the cables behind/ when I want to change gear.
The floor is timber over a concrete slab

TIA
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Old 27th June 2013, 02:13 PM   #2
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A good Hi-Fi platform is one that is not easily moved. If it easily moved then that movement can be transferred to any mechanical components in the set-up.
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Old 27th June 2013, 02:47 PM   #3
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I think i see the potential issue you raise:

While the plan is to have it on castors, the weight of all the amps etc, maybe a total of 50-70 kg (haven't worked it out), and the wide castor wheels should keep it in place firmly.

If there's a hint of movement, I could put some pads under the castors to dampen it
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Old 28th June 2013, 04:22 AM   #4
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Have you thought about using one of those trolley things that you can buy for moving heavy domestic items, the Hi-Fi cabinet could then be made static.
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Old 28th June 2013, 04:40 AM   #5
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Click the image to open in full size.No way !
The best is only achieved by making every part fully suspended i.e. able to move but out of working band. This can be done with rubber bands ( suspended) or with air springs ( posing on the ground).
The very best would be then to make every single component fully suspended -able to oscillate at subsonic frequency - but that would imply to have half of the room occupied by resistors, caps, transformers, tubes etc. and a net of wires connecting them. So sub-groups can be made with pcb, trafo etc.
and keep the most sensible parts out of working-band anomalies derivated by vibrations and electro-magnetic forces. I've done it with speakers and crossovers and the next step is to extend the application to all the system.
The turntable itself suggests how to move in the right direction.
I've done it on two cd players -mechanic and pcbs- and the betterment is noticeable.

Last edited by picowallspeaker; 28th June 2013 at 04:48 AM. Reason: added image
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Old 28th June 2013, 06:26 AM   #6
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K & D,
I hadn’t thought of that. But it would be hard to get the unit, heavy with gear, onto a trolley. And movement as I said, should not occur.

The main issue I was hoping someone could comment on is the best shelves’ mass, which translates into what sort of material to use

More later
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Old 28th June 2013, 10:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by otto88 View Post
I think i see the potential issue you raise:

While the plan is to have it on castors, the weight of all the amps etc, maybe a total of 50-70 kg (haven't worked it out), and the wide castor wheels should keep it in place firmly.

If there's a hint of movement, I could put some pads under the castors to dampen it
You can get castors for medical/laboratory equipment which have built-in shock absorbers designed to dampen out all floor-borne vibrations.

The downside is that they are not very pretty (unless you are really into the industrial look) and quite expensive.
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Old 28th June 2013, 02:52 PM   #8
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I was going to put a timber skirt in front of the castors, so they can look industrial

What sort of place sells castors for lab gear?
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Old 28th June 2013, 03:36 PM   #9
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It's been years since I looked for them but when I did I just put 'castor' into google and found them.
I only looked for specialist UK retailers/manufacturers so since I don't know where you are I'm not sure if finding them again would be any use to you.

Oh and they did cost well over 100 each (depending on load carrying ability and type of suspension) as compared to a few pounds for regular castors.
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Old 2nd July 2013, 12:51 PM   #10
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As the floor is (timber over) a concrete slab, floor borne vibrations should be minimal.

Has anyone knowledge of shelf materials?

I found out that Linn TTs sound worse with high mass shelves, best with low mass. A budget shelf that is ideal is the Ikea Lack. I believe this applies to most TTs

But what works best for amplifiers and other sources?
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