Is there missing detail in the music you’re hearing? There might be…
The ritual involved with vinyl collecting is addictive. And at some point, our attention moves to improving the sound quality of the rigs we have.
It’s straightforward really: fewer vibrations equals better sound quality.
A simple isolation platform can do wonders to improve sound quality and prevent your turntable from skipping while playing your favorite records. They can make the music more alive!
What to Consider When Buying a Turntable Isolation Platform
There are a few things you will want to keep in mind when purchasing your isolation platform besides how much it will cost.
- Size: You obviously want something that is going to fit your turntable nicely. If you don’t know the dimensions off the top of your head you may want to break out the tape measure to see what the W x D x H of your deck is.
Then you can find a platform that will properly fit underneath it. It won’t do any good to have an isolation platform to absorb vibration if it doesn’t sit correctly on the platform causing it to make more noise than it did, to begin with.
Also when you think about the size you want to think about the profile or height of what you are purchasing.
Where you will be placing the platform with the turntable on it could mean the difference in what platform you choose.
In other words, will the turntable and platform be on the top of your bookshelf out of the reach of jam hands? Or will you need to find a narrow place just room enough to open it up in the little corner of the house you call your own?
- Weight: Make sure it can hold your turntable. Ideally, with a soft isolation platform (foam or rubber), your deck is below 80% of the platform’s weight capacity to take advantage of the dampening and sound isolation properties.
If you are looking at something like a foam or rubber platform, you do not want your player to be too heavy as it will not be cushioned properly and could cause the platform to become deformed.
For example, an Audio Technica LP60-XBT is around 8lbs, so a sound isolation platform with a capacity over 10lbs is recommended.
- Footers: Examples of footer types are metal spikes, spring pucks, and rubber hemispheres. Some platforms come with footers and some require them to be purchased separately. You will want to decide if footers are necessary for your set up.
Some people feel adding footers is necessary because you want to be able to eke out every bit of perfect sound you possibly can.
If footers can give you additional protection from someone stomping around on the floor and you not missing a beat, you have to do it.
Whether or not you need or want footers can also go back to what I mentioned above about the height of your platform. It will change the size of your set up and therefore it may require you to find a new place to put it.
- Material: This seems to be a somewhat obvious one. The most popular options for sound isolation platform materials are rubber, wood, or foam.
Choosing wood opens it up to maybe choosing between maple or walnut. Both are considered to be durable hardwoods and are very dense.
Also when deciding on the material you will take into consideration how heavy it might be. Obviously, something made of solid wood is going to be heavier than something made of rubber with a cork center.
That shelf you made in woodshop in middle school may not hold up to something made of solid wood and your deck. But you might be able to get away with a rubber platform. So material can literally make or break your set up!
Once you have taken the above logistics into account, sometimes it is really just about aesthetics. Is your deck the star, is your platform, or do they make a complimentary duo?
Best Turntable Isolation Platform
Isolation platforms don’t have to break the bank, although some of them will! Even the most modest ones will do a great job of cleaning up the background so your music floats and stands out with detail.
So here at RPP I’ve brought together the best ones on the market for you to compare. You can start by checking out my comparison chart to see them side by side.
Best Turntable Isolation Platform: Comparison Chart
Flip your smart device for the best view of this chart.
|Product (click to see at Amazon)||Price Range||My Rating (out of 6)||My Full Review|
|Gingko Isolation Platform||$ $ $||• • • • •||Gingko Isolation Review|
|Pro-Ject Isolation Platform||$ $||• • • •||Pro-Ject Isolation Review|
|Auralex Isolation Platform||$||• • • •||Auralex Isolation Review|
|Butcher Block Isolation Platform||$ $||• • • •||Butcher Block Isolation Review|
Gingko Audio Cloud 11 Vibration Control Platform
The Audio Cloud 11 Platform by Gingko takes things to a whole new level.
The research and development that went into the design of this 22.25 x 17.25 x 2.5 inch platform is obvious.
Its looks are pretty simple: two platforms with a bunch of balls in between. But looks are deceiving because this is a masterpiece.
The bottom platform has deep dimples that can hold up to 9 balls. This Cloud 11 version comes with 5 balls.
Each ball can comfortably hold 10 lbs each so this isolation platform can handle even the heaviest decks. In fact, it’s specifically designed for the heavy VPI turntables. But of course, you can use it for any turntable.
The top platform rests on those powerful little balls. This design completely decouples a turntable from its surroundings.
According to big names like Michael Fremer from Stereophile, the results are exquisite. And I don’t doubt it for a minute.
Unless you have a state of the art turntable, or you’ve got plenty of spare cash to spend, this isolation platform is probably not worth it.
I’m not saying it’s not a great platform, because it is great. But I’m not sure you’ll enjoy the true value of what it can do. There are other isolation platforms out there with a much lighter price tag that will get the job done.
Of course, that’s just my opinion. There might be folks out there with a mid range to high end gear that love this baby, and that’s great.
But for my modest rig, and most regular rigs out there, it just wouldn’t be worth the money.
Pro-Ject Ground It Deluxe II Audio Base
Folks all over audio forums sing its praises. And for good reason.
This base is designed to be heavyweight at almost 19 lbs. This hefty weight gives it excellent isolation abilities. It’s also filled with thousands of tiny granules that improve dampening to isolate your deck.
Ultimately this means more isolation. Fewer vibrations on your turntable equals better overall sound.
The Deluxe 2 ships out with 4 adjustable spike or feet. These are placed under the base to decouple your TT even more from the shelf it’s on.
You can set it up with either 3 or 4 feet, based on the weight of your turntable.
The base measures in at 17.25″ x 13.5″ x 1.75″. If you add the feet, it increases the height to 2.5″. So you’ve got a lot of flexibility when it comes to space and placement.
The base is finished off with a dark grey piano finish which looks gorgeous.
This platform by Pro-Ject offers high-end isolation. Although I think it’s pricy, to say the least.
Unless you’ve got a ton of money to throw at an isolation platform, I think you can get the same performance from something a lot more affordable.
Auralex Acoustics ISO-Tone Isolation Platform
The Auralex Acoustics ISO-Tone isolation platform is by far my favorite choice for turntables. And it’s well-priced at under $100.
The platform is made up of cloth-wrapped MDF that is well-known for its acoustic abilities. But it doesn’t stop there.
The MDF is covered with a material called Ozite. Ozite is used in flooring products for its isolation properties.
Which makes it a great material for an isolation platform too.
The Ozite covered MDF is supported by a 1-inch thick ‘Platform’.
This design is made to separate your turntable from the shelf or stand you have it sitting on.
And if you’re strapped for space and have your TT sitting on your speakers this isolation platform is an absolute must.
According to Auralex, the weight capacity of their isolation platform is 300 lbs. So there’s no way it’ll collapse under the weight of your TT.
And if your deck stands on spiked feet they won’t make a dent in the isolation board.
The Auralex has decent dimensions of 14.25″ x 17.75″ x 1.75″. So it’ll hold just about any sized turntable comfortably.
There aren’t many affordable isolation platforms that are also high quality. But the Auralex fits the bill in both categories.
It’s not the most attractive looking platform, but it’s by far my favorite pick as the best turntable isolation platform.
Butcher Block Acoustics Isolation Platform
Hardwood is durable and known to act as a natural absorber of the energy that causes vibration. That means it doesn’t disappoint as an isolation platform for your record player. Making it a great option for audiophiles.
This solid block isolation platform is made of solid wood with dimensions of 18″x15″x3″. Other sizes are available depending on the size of your record player.
The maple and walnut options each weigh in around 23lbs, making this platform a sturdy piece of sound isolation equipment.
This acoustic platform is produced in the USA (Pennsylvania to be exact) by Butcher Block Acoustics under Wood Welded Companies. They have acres of space to allow the wood to air dry and season properly prior to additional slow kiln drying.
Wood Welded puts the same care and craftsmanship into their acoustics that you would find in their kitchen products.
You can choose an isolation platform made of maple or of walnut. Either wood choice has a Durakryl 102 satin finish. This is a standard finish for Wood Welded wood products. This finish allows it to resist marring and moisture while cleaning easily with warm soapy water.
Its looks are contemporary, sleek, and simple. Its aesthetic will fit very well with most rooms.
Both the maple and walnut blocks have an edge grain lamination. The laminated edges come together in unique patterns. The walnut is obviously darker than the maple so the decision is yours based on which goes better with your turntable.
Even though it is a solid piece of wood that naturally dissipates energy, it also comes with threaded brass inserts and rubber isolation feet.
Good Vibrations Turntable Isolation Pad
The Good Vibrations Turntable Isolation Pad is the lowest profile product on this list and least expensive.
At only ¼” thick, it doesn’t stick up too much from your shelf which allows you to put your turntable in a narrower spot than the other isolation pads on this list.
Don’t let the low profile deter you, we all know it is really about the right material!
Both the upper and lower surface of this pad is made of natural textured rubber. Not only does the rubber help with the sound but it also prevents slipping. Then there is a dense fiber center to keep it sturdy.
Having the rubber and fiber combined helps prevent turntable movement, feedback, and vibrations. This lets you turn up the volume without losing the music to distortion or other audio annoyances.
Also since this isolation pad is made of rubber you don’t have to worry about it sticking to surfaces, discoloring them, or even damaging them like some isolation pads.
Good Vibrations is a Veteran owned USA company so you can support those who have served and helped the USA. Win-Win!
Personally, I think the best design element is the low profile. The pad will just slide under your turntable and doesn’t draw attention to itself.
Unlike the Butcher block above, which is a masterpiece of its own, this rubber pad will let your turntable be the star it is meant to be.
This product is also audiophile approved so you know that they are taking the sound of your music as seriously as you do!
My Favorite Picks
Besides a decent deck, a cartridge that performs well, and half-decent speakers, improving the sound quality of your rig is pretty darn easy.
An isolation platform doesn’t have to cost the earth and even the most affordable ones do a fine job.
My First choice is the isolation platform from Gingko. I rated well because I love the fact that it’s made from such high quality material so it’s acoustic abilities outdoes the Auralex. And it looks beautiful. Of course, this comes at a slightly higher price. But if you have the extra greenbacks this is a great choice.
My second choice is the Auralex Isolation Platform. I think it’s the perfect balance between price and performance. Although I rated it VERY good but not perfect— I don’t think it’s particularly nice looking. But your TT will cover up it’s basic look.
The Pro-Ject platforms are excellent. Although I think they are pretty pricey for a regular rig setup.
Now that you know what’s out there and how each one performs, you can pick the best turntable isolation platform to suit your specific needs and won’t make your wallet sweat.
Are you in the market for a new TT? Check out my review of the best ones under 400 bucks.
Or, if you’re looking for an affordable high performing cartridge check out the best ones for the money.
If you’ve got the extra cash to spend and looks are important to you then this isolation platform should be on your radar.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does a turntable isolation platform do?
Isolation platforms work to isolate the turntable. They control vibrations that negatively impact sound quality and performance. They works by decoupling the turntable from the floor and the speakers.
Do I need an isolation platform?
Yes! If you don’t isolate the turntable from the floor when you walk or get up and groove to your music you could cause the turntable to skip. Many feel using an isolation platform is crucial no matter the circumstances, because even marginal resonance can impact your sound.