Ask an expert: Resonance in enclosed equipment racks

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Ask an expert

I am using Rega Planar 3 / Arcam Solo Mini / Clearaudio Nano Phonostage / B&W 686. This provides me with hours of pleasure and entertainment. However, it’s starting to attract some unwanted attention from my young children. My system resides on a two tier Apollo hi-fi stand but this is open and ideally I would like some form of lockable unit in which I could keep and use my hi-fi. Despite climbing sales of both turntables and vinyl hi-fi furniture manufacturers only seem to make units which have the turntable sitting proudly on top of rather than inside them. 

A carpenter friend has said that he could build a free standing unit in which I could house the stand and hi-fi. I spoke to a local dealer about this and they said that if I went down this path there could be resonance issues when using my turntable which could apparently have disastrous consequences. I am not too sure about the difficulties presented by resonance: would these only occur if the turntable was used whilst being completely enclosed? The free standing unit with a removable lid looks like the most workable option, when in use the turntable would have nothing around it. 

Are there any alternatives that I have missed, or are there any solutions that you can suggest? Looking forward to hearing your views and advice.

There are always "resonance issues" in any enclosure, as there are indeed deadly germs on public transport, but we take the bus in any case and I suggest you don't take "resonance issues" scaremongering too seriously and build a cabinet in any case! When a heavy acrylic dust cover is lowered it potentially becomes a resonant chamber, but it also reduces exposure to sound generally. Any enclosure will act in the same way.

I suspect a really heavy chamber may improve sound quality. So my suggestion is to go ahead with your planned enclosure. Mount the turntable as low as possible, to minimise rocking motion on a bouncy floor if you have one.

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