Tips for acoustically improving your Hi-Fi furniture
There are various pieces of Hi-Fi furniture on the market for the positioning of your (sensitive) HiFi equipment. The purpose of such a piece of furniture is to position the different Hi-Fi components in a way that they are accesible, organised, and spread across the room. The two most important characteristics of a qualitative piece of Hi-Fi furniture is the high weight and the rigidity of its construction. The piece of furniture is absolutely not allowed to transmit resonance (vibration) to the various Hi-Fi components.
Unfortunately, not all pieces of Hi-Fi furniture are as practicle in use. For example, often you cannot put a TV or other device on top of them due to their dimensions. On top of that, pieces of Hi-Fi furniture are relatively expensive. Yet, the real Hi-Fi enthousiast will opt for a real piece of Hi-Fi furniture, because the specific characteristics of the furniture improve the performance of the various Hi-Fi components. If you don't own Hi-Fi furniture, you can make use of the following tips to acoustically improve your piece of furniture.
Acoustic adjustments for furniture
'Normal' pieces of furniture, for example a TV cabinet, a sideboard or a rack, don't have the desired properties for positioning high-quality Hi-Fi components. Resonance from the components, such as a power supply and the sound pressure from close-by loudspeakers will cause the piece of furniture to vibrate. This strongly influences the Hi-Fi components resulting in a reduced quality of the music rendering. There are even cases, where the Hi-Fi components perform so badly because of the resonance that it seems like they are breaking down.
One of our customers suffered from the latter and asked if the Acousticshop knew a solution. We simply advised to equip as many surfaces from his dresser with mass, making it as heavy as possible. The product Isomat TS14 is an insulation plate that is ideal for situations like this, because of its high density, more than 2300 Kg//m³. The customer in question thought that his DAC was malfunctioning. Since the dresser that he used as a piece of Hi-Fi furniture resonated along with the Hi-Fi components, the device didn't function properly. Our customer explains:
I directly installed two strips at the inside of the dresser. The vibration certainly became less. Additionally, I also added a strip (50*70) to the shelf on which the CD-player is placed. This shelf also (tangibly) vibrated a little bit. Afterwards, I critically listened.
Bass is better defined and sounds even slightly lower. Micro dynamics improved (most clearly noticeable with vocals and acoustic instruments). The music is louder. The CD-player didn't produce any hiccup in the music after the intervention. So probably my DAC isn't malfunctioning, but the vibration may have caused a hiccup from time to time. I will keep an eye on this during the next few weeks. It is the best I heard so far, and I still need to connect my powersupply to the CD-player (I will get it back on Monday). I can recommend everyone making use of this material. Maybe you won't notice the difference in combination with every device, but in combination with mine you clearly do.
Accuphase E470 + DAC40
Naim CDX2 PS555DR (back on monday after service and upgrade).
ProAc D48R speakers.
All cables are from Atlas range Mavros (coax, optics, analogue interlink with CD-player, loudspeakercables; expensive but really good). In my setup, the loudspeakers are positioned close to the source that is not placed on an acoustically stable platform, which is not ideal, if I would improve this the impact of the mat would be even bigger."
Carrying out the solution
So, it is possible to transform a normal piece of furniture into a full-fledged piece of Hi-Fi furniture. It is important to make the furniture panels as heavy as possible. This works best by applying Isomat TS14 using Zettex contact adhesive. In this way, you prevent resonance from travelling through the piece of furniture's sheet material and causing interference. There is no point in placing the piece of furniture on vibration insulation material by the way, because the panels that the piece of furniture consists of can still resonate. Placing the source that causes the resonance on vibration insulation material does make sense, like on Audio Dampers or a piece of Regufoam. In this way, you decouple the vibration source from the Hi-Fi components.
Do you want to make a piece of Hi-Fi furniture by yourself?
Are you handy and do you prefer to make a piece of Hi-Fi furniture according to your own design and layout? In that case, Merfoplex is the product to use. Merfoplex consists of two layers of high-quality Okoumé multiplex with Isomat pressed inbetween. This combination results in a rigid and mostly heavy construction plate which is ideal for making pieces of Hi-Fi furniture, but also for loudspeakers.
Do you still have questions concerning this topic? Please feel free to contact us.