concrete (cinder) block tower with wood chopping block for turntable stand

Any suggestions from users who have done, or contemplate doing this. I looked at concrete blocks at Lowes last night. I made two stacks of 3 side by side, plus a solid block (without the center openings) as the top block. This gave me about 34" in height. Then the thought is either a Walnut or Bamboo chopping board for a top shelf. I would use four cork or cork/rubber sandwich (2"X 2") squares to couple the wood chopping block to the concrete tower. I am also considering an Isoacoustics platform as a more expensive alternative. Fire away....?


Necessity is the mother of invention! I'd do the same! Mass is your friend for turntable isolation.

Your blocks may need careful attention to sit flat wtihout rocking.  You can use shims or swap blocks around to eliminate motion.  If you want to go first class buy a $5 bag of morter and use a very thin layer of morter between each set.

You ca also set the butecher block in mortar.


If you ever want to move it maybe thin sheets of rubber in between the blocks would be a wiser choice than mortor.

Interesting... I couldn't see these rocking due to the sheer weight of each block. These are 16 " front to back (DEEP), 8" wide, and 8" tall. Each block must have weighed near 40 Lbs. Not so much out of necessity, but more about not being very impressed with sub $1000 3 shelf single wide racks. It's a second system with a budget, and I don't want to spend over $2K on a rack. But if I was to do that it would be a Box Furniture modular rack. 

I think the idea of cinder blocks is bad, mortar or not. They will never be flat or fit perfectly. A purpose- built stand for turntables is a better idea. Look at Adona racks. It will look and perform better than blocks and you'll be happier in the long run. Cinder blocks are for college kids.

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@jtcf I worked for years in the masonry industry carrying bricks and mortar (for my dad the brick layer) and mortar fills gaps but isn't a great bonding agent.  working from the top down it would be easy to take he blocks apart tapping with a rubber hammer.

@fjn04 the morter will take care if imperfections in the blocks.  they aren't perfect to they won't stack up as rigid as you imagine.  Rubber in between is a lot more expense and a lot more trouble and won't work as well.  

Your idea will work if you control the joints.  You may be able to do it without mortar and you may not.  Now I'm not saying to lay them like a block wall.  Use a small bit of mortar under the low spot if you have a block that rocks.  Don't use a lot or it will squeeze out onto your carpet. 

Try it without mortar first.  blocks vary from different manufacturing plants.  You might get some that are very consistent, but probably not.  You can also look at knocking any high spots off the bottom.  (they are made upside down in a form, the tops is ususally very smooth and the bottom, not so much).

  You cay "concrete" blocks but most blocks today are "haydite" which is about 2/3 the weight.  Either will work but concrete will probably be the best.  Just want you to be aware of the weight issue. 


@fjn04 I admire your adventurous endeavor in to creating a supporting Structure.

I do not intend on steering you away from this Support you are producing.

My thoughts on the materials used are that you have 3 x Stacked Concrete Blocks for the Lower Tiers with Voids (Unknown Dimensions but assuming 8.5" in Height). Plus 1 x Tier of 8.5" in Height Solid Concrete Blocks. 

What I suggest is, if I am understanding the materials used correctly:

1, Put in place a Base, that is mounted on a Damper Footer, (I avoid Spikes as a coupling to the Homes Structure).

2, My most successful Base to date has been a 1/2" Steel Plate, but at present do suspect better is to had (more later on this).

3, The Hollow Concrete Blocks can be Built up from the Steel Base.

4, Use Ceramic Tilers Cruciform Spacers to create the Spacing between the Base and individual Blocks.

5, There are very good quality Silicone Adhesives that are compatible with Stone.  A super bond can be achieved if a Primer Coating is used, prior to applying the Silicone Adhesive. ( For this Structure I see the super bond as overkill). 

6, Running a 1/2" wide line at the centre of the Blocks Side Wall's and Bedding the Cruciform Spacer into the Adhesive, will allow for a Nice Bedding and should avoid a ooze out, as the Spacer will prevent further compression of the joint. (If ooze out is occurring, it is best to learn the Adhesive Manufacturers Clean Up advisories, and have the Cleaning Kit on Standby. Usually a Soapy Water in a Spray Bottle, a Scraper and Wipes to Clean the Scraper is sufficient.

7, I would raise the Hollow Blocks to 4 x Tiers if the aesthetic is acceptable. (The extra height does work for the better when dealing with a Vinyl Source). 

8, Use Kiln Dried Sand to infill the voids in the Concrete Blocks, fill to a height, that is a 1/4" lower in level than the Top of the Top Tier.

9, Cap of the Void in the Concrete Block with a Material of choice. (Trialing Different Material is also part of the learning experiences to be had). 

10, The Cap Material will have a 1/4" Clearance all around the Void. The Thickness of the Cap Material can be of choice and is best if a Minimum of 1/2". Any Thickness up to 3" will be good to try out.

11, Think of the Cap Material as your first Sub Sub Plinth, and is to be built of.

12, The Footers to be seated on the Cap/ Sub Sub Plinth can be any type, this is where the learning starts, as this is where the first real impact on a sonic is going to be discovered. Is is also where the deselection process commences and the setting the structure to suit ones own preferences takes place.

14, The Sub Plinth will be best if immediately starting with a Phenolic Resin Densified Wood Board (The same Material I belief will supersede the use of my earlier mentioned steel sheets)

15, Footers used to separate the Source to the Sub Plinth, are again worth while trialling out of the variety of options.

My experiences to date are showing a 2 x Tier of Densified Wood, adds a very valuable impact on the sonic.

My suggestion is to live with each change to a Sub Sub Plinth / Cap or footer arrangement for at least 20 Hours of listening to really get the feel for the impact it has. It is not long before the desire to swap a material comes quickly when it muddies the Sonic and details and dynamics are noticeable for being masked.              

If you do use the cinder blocks, my suggestion would be to sandwich a layer of a thin (1/4"- 1/2"), rubbery material between the layers. This should eliminate any transfer of vibration between blocks.

That being said, unless you live alone, a stack of concrete blocks will be extremely hideous and won't last long if your partner has an opinion on it.

Either way, good luck with it.

It'll cost you next to nothing to try it, quit asking opinions and do it!

I'd initially adhere nothing, that way you can see how butt ugly it is and easily dismantle it.

Then take the blocks outside and plant herbs in the holes for you and the Mrs.


One can certainly bond them together with a structural adhesive like SikaFlex.
(That would also likely provide some container layer dampening.)

A grinding wheel to knock down high points and then another layer if adhesive to hold the top on can make them flat in a similar way to how a shoe orthotic provides a platform for the foot.
One could probably use a layer of sorbethane type of stuff.

At some point if the floor is vibrating, then keeping that from telegraphing up through the structure can be helpful.

Regarding appearance, you could paint the blocks to give a finished look.  I think it could look good.  But of course fit the blocks beforehand to see if you like them.  Good luck.  

som random thoughts ....

- lousy WAF - I think others have said this

- try it, its cheap

- fill the holes with sand - messy, but it will deaden it for sure

- a company in Toronto sells rubber/cork/rubber blocks pretty cheap - I can look them up if you want

- go to your local kitchen counter store and get them to cut a piece of leftover granite to your spec - then sit your TT on it - could also make a sandwich or granite/rubber/leftover wood - I used oak

- I ended up with Lowes shelf brackets - 100lb rating/bracket - used 3 lag bolts into the stud for each bracket - 2x leftover 3/4" plywood - TT sits on granite on the plywood - works for me - YMMV - my TT is a VPI Prime

- I was not expecting the sound to be as good as it now is - instruments are now clearer and more 'air' around them - I just wanted to eliminate footfall stuff - my basement floor is concrete + some plywood/resin thing I found at Home Depot + 3/4" solid oak strips - so its pretty dead anyway

- you didn't say what your floor is?

Anyway, good luck with your experiment. I would try and shelves first and blocks second, FWIW.

There are other suggestions being proposed for different mounting methods.

The Shelf is very useful, learning the options to securely fasten it to the mounting position is a Top Priority (mine is anchored using fastenings with a 250Kg Loading Capacity). Adding weight to a Shelf is a concern, but if all is prepared for properly the support structure will show a improved sonic with immediate effect.

I have used a Shelf for the TT, the Shelve has had Tiers added and had an alternative configuration where a Sub Plinth was Suspended from the shelf.

The shelve is no longer used for Vinyl as a Source, and is now used for another Source.

A Shelve has not enabled my TT, in my listening environment to perform as well as it does on a structure produced from multiple tiers and a variety of materials. 

When assessing a impact on the sonic, there are perceptions that are noticeable and subtle.

Usually when working with a Vinyl Source, the Bass is the most immediate to show a difference.

A Bass can have a looseness and presence to the point, the Mid's and Highs are being suppressed.

Working with a Structure can increase the perception of a Loose Bass, or Tighten the Bass, producing a cleaner edge and speedier decay.

Tidying up the Bass to have a Cleaner Edge and easier to define the speed of the decay, will also start to produce a coherence across the frequencies, where the Mid's and Highs are noticeably projected.

It is the toying with the improved coherence of the frequencies and projection, that allows for a tuning of the Soundstage, Width, Height and Depth are able to seemingly increased in dimension.

When the above is discovered footer changes can have a substantial or subtle impact on how this coherence is being perceived.

The next stage is more difficult as a compromise is usually required, a Trade Off is the only option, once the most attractive sonic to the users unique preferences is being discovered.

When the Structure is capable of resolving the perceptions that are being referred to above, analysis of the sound being produced, will also show Detail and Dynamics are present, and if the structure is produced to a type, that has a very effective interface into the listening environment, the Envelope of the Notes/Vocal will also be perceived.

Deciding on what is to be lost for the gain of another, is each to their own, 'What's your Poison'.    

When done to a particular standard, there is no returning to 'what was'.

When done to a particular standard, there is usually bewilderment wondering what would it take to better this, how much monies will be needed to have a assembly of devices that will improve on this.

My experience is that when a Structure has been able to show the above sonic is present, it is at this stage with Vinyl as the Source, that substantially benefits the  Tonearm that is in use. It might also be discovered through trials of other TA options, that the in use TA, is proving to be the weakest link in the Trilogy of Devices dependent on the supporting structure.

I ended up Swapping out a SME IV and AudioMods Series Five for being noticeably the Weaker, in comparison to the New Option discovered as a Performer. simple and cheap suggestion, if you opt to infill the hollows in the blocks with sand....

Get a box of those heavy-duty trash bags and put one in each void to hold the sand.

One brilliant day pending, you may want (or have to) dismantle your 'stack'....and +/- 2.5 cu.ft. of loose sand will really totally trash not only your 'tude, but likely the floor....

It ought to make for one stable platform, though...'bout 500 lbs. worth, on just under 2 sq. ft. ....

Hope the floor's up to it...🤞

Most of us started out with cinder blocks for shelving and/or supports, but hopefully you'll be able to advance beyond that sooner rather than later.

Check my Virtual System for my basement set up. Sounds better than every stand I tried. 

If you tap on the cinder or concrete blocks with a hammer, and this is also true with granite, you will hear it ring.  Not really good materials for a turntable base.  I know because I also tried it once myself years ago.  Better materials to use will "thunk" when you tap on them.  Sand filled or small ball bearing filled wood boxes are a good way to add mass to a base.

Lastly, spring isolation of the base, provided the turntable is unsprung is very effective.

I agree with the efficacy of high mass for turntable stands. My DIY stand uses a section of sixteen inch diameter white oak log as a central pedestal. Three large lag screws in the bottom of the section of log serve as feet and allow leveling of the stand. A piece of maple butcher block serves as the table. Log and butcher block were sanded very smooth, stained with Minwax special walnut stain and given many coats of varnish. I had to get a friend who is a competitive weight lifter to help me get the stand from my workshop to the listening room. The stand works quite well with my unsuspended Clearaudio Performance DC turntable and looks quite nice.

I am not condoning this proposed method as a ideal Structure.

I do not see where there is a ubiquitous method to produce a structure that offers a support that stands out for the impact it has on a System and especially the Source. It is good to see one contributor has produced similar and has reported on the value of it in use. I again suggest a Phenolic Resin Impregnated Densified Wood Board to be tried out as a Sub Plinth/Sub Sub Plinth.

I see the proposed method as affordable and a good place to commence with an investigation into producing a Structure, any changes that may be discovered to be worth making, will mean, if the Blocks are to be selected for exchanging there will be little concern for the initial cost of the items.

Some decisions to make changes are costly, especially when certain Footer Types are be exchanged out for others, there is concerns, when swapping out items with high prices to perform a identical role.  

I have a history of using Concrete Blocks and Sand Filled Boxes, I have good recollections of these in use, but have found methods which have produced a sonic that has superseded these, which has resulted in certain methods being no longer in use.

Additionally, I have tried out and remain using other Stone materials. I have also  been through numerous types of Board Materials and Sheet Material with a wide variance in their Densities, of which I have a few types that I will always have at hand ready for use.

Again for Vinyl as a Source, In conjunction with the above, I have a selection of Platter Mats, of which Four different materials are always at hand and being considered for how they can fine tune the sonic.

I have never used a Bespoke State of the Art Design Supporting structure for a Source. I know of some models and up to £5K can be spent.

I don't know whether my efforts fall far short, are parity or surpass such a device.

I do know for approx' a 1/4 of this cost across many years of learning, I have a supporting structure that works very well for me in my listening environment.

Tomorrow, I will be visiting a Home of a infrequent attendee of my local HiFi Group, and will be demo'd a 'New to Me' System. 

I will be taking along a few electronic devices, as well as  Two Tier Densified Wood Sub Plinth, with a AT-616 Footers as separators. I am really looking forward to day out, as well as witnessing the system owner hear their Source mounted on this assembly.    



DIY with these dirt cheap sturdy material is always doable and practical IF you are ALONE.  Seriously.  I wanted to try that twenty five years ago but I got married thirty years ago.

Anything that is Skeletal in appearance, will be a harder sell to others if not wearing a pleasing aesthetic Jacket.

There is a honesty to such a structure as under discussion, and if wanted to be a keeper, the very basic appearance, can very easily be concealed. It is really down to how much cost os wanted, and whether meeting such a cost, will then create a situation where the cost, will enter into the area where other options are also able to be considered, and certainly be a sellable item when no longer used.   


@kingharold , if it's mass & weight in wood, I can recommend locust (rubinia), any variety...and given the thought I just might give it a go..*G*

I end up with short but large diameter chunks and some slab (3"+) 'drops' that have to be moved with a hand truck...

Laughs @ carbide....even dried, it's worse than the monoblock from hell...

Pre-drill or strip the head of fasteners....Snaps lag screws where the threads end if you don't.   Only recourse is to grind it flush.

@tonywinga Not something I do when listening. It sounds so much better than previous wood and metal stands. 

If you tap on the cinder or concrete blocks with a hammer

I have used a tubular steel Sound Organisation stand with my Linn Sondek for 40 years. No complaints about bounciness or ringing. 
The ton of bricks solutions seems like overkill to me. 

Wasn't expecting so many responses. It's a dedicated room, which I have free reign to do as I wish. There are ways to spruce up the look...I think after a trip to the fabric store and a little creativity, it can be made to look acceptable. I moved the table over from  an Ikea Square (LACK?) table to my Lignolab rack. I wanted to keep the Ligno for my main setup, and use the blocks so I could situate my systems on different walls. But I'm going to see how the Luxman table performs on the Ligno rack. I think $2500 will buy a nice audio rack, but I just want to keep this system at a certain budget. I allowed myself a second system but promised myself to keep it sane. Another words, no $3K audio racks. 

One can spend the money, expend the energy, or do a bit of both....
It can be many things, functional, practical, pricey, cheap....

As long as it does what you think and/or feel you/'It' needs....:)

should be fine.  add some iso-acoustics isolators if you need to, or continue in the diy mode and place a simple cush-pad under the turntable like is used for floors... you can buy a couple feet off a roll at home depot, it's grey rubbery material and actually works pretty well as vibration isolation... cut a 16'x16' square and place TT on it, or four 4'x4' squares just under the feet of the TT.  If you need to... try without, first; most TTs these days (and even decent ones from 30-40 years ago) have pretty good vibration isolation already  

" cut a 16'x16' square and place TT on it, or four 4'x4' squares just under the feet of the TT. "

Just exactly how big is this turntable??!!

The table is a Luxman PD 151. It's doing nicely on my Lignolab suspended rack, but my preference is for this (2nd) system to be in another part of the room. Each system will occupy a different wall.

Did something similar to this temporarily and just ended up leaving it. It suits the space and nothing more is needed. It doesn’t have to look bad I just painted the blocks. I get that this an entertainment center not a turntable stand, but just for visual reference. Cord management however....

Some say this individual, is the Godfather of Isolation Ideas, even the earliest Townshend designs are claimed to be versions of this guy's proposals.

Worth a Read, and the Ball and Spoon works to certain degree in all the guises seen.

Quite a few years ago I was to experience the Ball and Spoon and a selection of variants of the method, all will impact on the sonic, Metal on Metal is cheap and very good starting place. 

Not that I have tried it, but today, I will suggest Densified Wood on Densified Wood will be a very interesting footer.  

Some versions seen today of the Ball and Spoon method are the best part of a $100.

All junk! Fill box with sand…rest a wood panel on top of sand add turntable on top!

Pennfootball71: Fill box with sand…rest a wood panel on top of sand add turntable on top!

This is the tried and true DIY turntable shelf.

Decouple the sand box with springs between it and the rack and you are golden.