View Full Version : An Empire of granite: Tales of custom plinth/base building


Big Bill
05-03-2012, 10:32 PM
I acquired an Empire 598 recently that was in extraordinarily good shape and after hearing it play, I knew I had a keeper on my hands. The factory plinth/base was in incredible shape as well but I felt this table deserved better than press board. I decided to go with granite for this project. I designed the plinth to compliment the lines of the aluminum top plate and had it cut on a CNC water jet rig. The plinths periphery was then machine polished. Next I mounted the Empire and its new granite plinth to an Empire 298 solid walnut plinth which I refinished with a dark walnut stain. I love the way this project turned out and I really love the way this table sounds mated with the Empire 2000E cart and stylus.

Thanks for reading, Bill.




http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=346982&stc=1&d=1336102187

http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=346983&stc=1&d=1336102187

http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=346984&stc=1&d=1336102187

http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=346985&stc=1&d=1336102187

http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=346986&stc=1&d=1336102187

http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=346987&stc=1&d=1336102187

saltwater
05-03-2012, 10:35 PM
Very nice bill.

VintagePlus
05-03-2012, 10:37 PM
Looks great!!

ejfud
05-03-2012, 10:39 PM
That's real nice Bill!

SkyLounger
05-03-2012, 11:00 PM
Bill, I hate you... in a good way! Gorgeous.

mackat
05-03-2012, 11:01 PM
Really Bill, you have to stop making us jealous :D


Ben aka MacKat

AudioSoul
05-03-2012, 11:13 PM
The best looking Empire I have ever seen. Including the one I use to have. Great job!

roofjumper
05-03-2012, 11:17 PM
Thats awesome !!! I dream to have something like that before i die !!!

Balifly
05-03-2012, 11:17 PM
Rock and roll solid!!! :thmbsp: :thmbsp: :music: :D

JBL GUY
05-03-2012, 11:25 PM
Outstanding! Beautiful!

That is one super nice Empire turntable.

Spalls
05-04-2012, 12:11 AM
Wow! I have always liked the look of the original Empire decks, but I now have a new favorite. Very, very nice :yes:

theophile
05-04-2012, 01:07 AM
I think that Bill is trying to corner the votes on the AK member with the greatest number of droolworthy turntables award. :scratch2:

:D :thmbsp:

Stanton681EEES
05-04-2012, 03:55 AM
Very nice indeed. If you don't mind what did the project cost you?

bob06
05-04-2012, 04:24 AM
Awesome looking. Nice work.:thmbsp:

ehoove
05-04-2012, 05:30 AM
I think that Bill is trying to corner the votes on the AK member with the greatest number of droolworthy turntables award. :scratch2:

:D :thmbsp:

I agree, and doing a fine job of it!

Beautiful table and workmanship once again,
Regards,
Jim

KentTeffeteller
05-04-2012, 07:22 AM
Beautiful Job. Nice turntable, love old Empires.

gillsev
05-04-2012, 07:25 AM
Beautiful :thmbsp:

Now I'm thinking of doing granite on my TD124 :D

philviral
05-04-2012, 08:14 AM
You're on fire Bill! Looks great.

elcoholic
05-04-2012, 08:19 AM
Gorgeous. Really nice job.

spartanmanor
05-04-2012, 08:23 AM
Nice work!

Andy_H
05-04-2012, 08:34 AM
:ntwrthy: Holy smokes, Bill! The hits just keep coming. :ntwrthy:

squirrelnest
05-04-2012, 09:01 AM
Solid look to that turntable...well done!

turbohippy
05-04-2012, 09:11 AM
That is a beautiful TT and I love that cart too!

I have been thinking along similar lines and I am curious about the price of the rock cutting part.

And nice pix!

Fisherdude
05-04-2012, 09:36 AM
Flat-ass gorgeous.

iLUVanalog
05-04-2012, 09:44 AM
[QUOTE=Big Bill;5662091]I acquired an Empire 598 recently that was in extraordinarily good shape and after hearing it play, I knew I had a keeper on my hands. The factory plinth/base was in incredible shape as well but I felt this table deserved better than press board. I decided to go with granite for this project. I designed the plinth to compliment the lines of the aluminum top plate and had it cut on a CNC water jet rig. The plinths periphery was then machine polished. Next I mounted the Empire and its new granite plinth to an E



WOW BILL!!! Beautiful job!!! Looks gorgeous!!

Doc Brown
05-04-2012, 09:45 AM
Really nice.
I like the way the edges on the granite are done like the edges on the turntable.
Beautiful.

Neosonic
05-04-2012, 11:08 AM
Another stunning table! I can find no way to express in words my admiration of your talents. I am simply in awe.

dodog
05-04-2012, 11:23 AM
You'd been quiet for a while and I'd wondered if you'd stopped doing things in your workshop. Now you post a kick-ass multi phono-pre, an awesome RCA idler and this gorgeous Empire rebuild. Just amazing. I too hate you, in a good way. :D

Big Bill
05-04-2012, 11:44 AM
Very nice bill.

Thanks Salt!

Looks great!!

Thanks Vintage!

That's real nice Bill!

Thanks Gary!

Bill, I hate you... in a good way! Gorgeous.

I understand, Thanks!

Really Bill, you have to stop making us jealous :D


Ben aka MacKat

I'm not doing it purposefully. :no: Thanks Ben!

The best looking Empire I have ever seen. Including the one I use to have. Great job!

Thanks for the kind words Soul!

Thats awesome !!! I dream to have something like that before i die !!!

Thanks and I hope you do too!

Rock and roll solid!!! :thmbsp: :thmbsp: :music: :D

Thanks again brother!

Outstanding! Beautiful!

That is one super nice Empire turntable.

Thanks so much Guy!

Wow! I have always liked the look of the original Empire decks, but I now have a new favorite. Very, very nice :yes:

Very kind!

I think that Bill is trying to corner the votes on the AK member with the greatest number of droolworthy turntables award. :scratch2:

:D :thmbsp:

There is such a thing?? :scratch2:

Big Bill
05-04-2012, 11:45 AM
Awesome looking. Nice work.:thmbsp:

Thanks Bob!

I agree, and doing a fine job of it!

Beautiful table and workmanship once again,
Regards,
Jim

Thanks so much for the kind words Jim!

Beautiful Job. Nice turntable, love old Empires.

Thanks Kent!

Beautiful :thmbsp:

Now I'm thinking of doing granite on my TD124 :D

Thanks Gill!

You're on fire Bill! Looks great.

Thanks Phil!

Gorgeous. Really nice job.

Thanks pal!

Nice work!

Thanks again!

:ntwrthy: Holy smokes, Bill! The hits just keep coming. :ntwrthy:

Thats very kind of you Andy!

Solid look to that turntable...well done!

Thanks!

Solid look to that turntable...well done!

Thanks!

Flat-ass gorgeous.

Thanks so much Fisher!




WOW BILL!!! Beautiful job!!! Looks gorgeous!!

Thanks Analog!

Really nice.
I like the way the edges on the granite are done like the edges on the turntable.
Beautiful.

Thanks so much Doc!

Another stunning table! I can find no way to express in words my admiration of your talents. I am simply in awe.

You're to kind sir!

You'd been quiet for a while and I'd wondered if you'd stopped doing things in your workshop. Now you post a kick-ass multi phono-pre, an awesome RCA idler and this gorgeous Empire rebuild. Just amazing. I too hate you, in a good way. :D

Yes, I've been busy during my posting absence. :D

Big Bill
05-04-2012, 11:49 AM
Very nice indeed. If you don't mind what did the project cost you? I'm thinking of making and selling these, I need to figure out what to do to clear it with AK first though. :scratch2:

Redboy
05-04-2012, 11:51 AM
Neat! That one came together nicely.

Bill, how did you find the place that did your waterjet cutting? I've got a chunk of slate in the back yard that I want to turn into a plinth or two, and the couple of places I've contacted wouldn't touch it...

What types of businesses should I be looking for?

Arkay
05-04-2012, 11:56 AM
That is just plain beautiful - a true "gentleman's turntable" (in the best sense). If it sounds half as good as it looks (which no doubt it does), you have an audio treasure there. Congratulations and well done! :thmbsp:

Doug G.
05-04-2012, 01:41 PM
Gosh Bill, you really suck at building ugly turntables. :D

It's B-A-utiful.

Doug

kbuzz
05-04-2012, 02:37 PM
Id buy one !

240sx4u
05-04-2012, 03:48 PM
I have talked about making a granite base for my delphi a few times now, did you do the stone work yourself?

tablaloops
05-04-2012, 03:58 PM
Great work ! Love the Empires !

Curious tho', have you bolted the top plate onto the granite plinth ? Do you have a picture of the cutout ?

I have a 208 in stock form that is prime for some upgrades. Currently using it with the RS-Labs RS-A1 tone arm. Some pics below :

https://picasaweb.google.com/110051986770909398297/RSLabsRSA1?authkey=Gv1sRgCNDnrJjDga_biQE

VROBERTSON
05-04-2012, 03:59 PM
That stained base job turned out beautiful! I had the pleasure if hearing this table, and all I can say was it sounded wayyyy better than I was expecting. Sounds as good as it looks for sure!:tresbon:

finnbow
05-04-2012, 04:11 PM
Gracious. That's damn near too pretty to play a record on. What cartridge are you putting on it?

arcorob
05-04-2012, 04:28 PM
Cutting granit is no mean feat...wow...I will tell you what makes a good granite plinth, UBA TUBA

Pic here

http://www.buyandbuild.net/eCart/images/32-uba-tuba3.jpg

Big Bill
05-05-2012, 07:52 AM
Neat! That one came together nicely.

Bill, how did you find the place that did your waterjet cutting? I've got a chunk of slate in the back yard that I want to turn into a plinth or two, and the couple of places I've contacted wouldn't touch it...

What types of businesses should I be looking for?

PM sent!

That is just plain beautiful - a true "gentleman's turntable" (in the best sense). If it sounds half as good as it looks (which no doubt it does), you have an audio treasure there. Congratulations and well done! :thmbsp:

Thanks Arkay!

Gosh Bill, you really suck at building ugly turntables. :D

It's B-A-utiful.

Doug

Thanks so much Doug!


Id buy one !

Thanks Buzz!


I have talked about making a granite base for my delphi a few times now, did you do the stone work yourself?

I only designed it, I contracted the fabrication out.

Great work ! Love the Empires !

Curious tho', have you bolted the top plate onto the granite plinth ? Do you have a picture of the cutout ?

I replaced the studs on the bottom of the top plate with longer ones and through bolted through the granite and the base.

That stained base job turned out beautiful! I had the pleasure if hearing this table, and all I can say was it sounded wayyyy better than I was expecting. Sounds as good as it looks for sure!:tresbon:

Thanks Vince!

Gracious. That's damn near too pretty to play a record on. What cartridge are you putting on it?

I'm running the Empire 2000E that came mounted on it.

Cutting granite is no mean feat...wow...I will tell you what makes a good granite plinth, UBA TUBA

Thats a nice looking stone.

mfrench
05-05-2012, 09:02 AM
Congrats, again, to you, Bill.
I'm really glad to see you step out with the granite plinth. So many times, too many, you'll see the repeated mantra of granite is too bright and ringing (from people that have never tried it). So, I congratulate you for that fairly bold trend-bucking step.
The only thing that has stopped me from using it in my stone builds is the hardness of the stone, and, my inability to work it myself without a substantial investment in tooling.
Now seeing your example, it might just be worth doing that anyway.
Beautiful.

stoutblock
05-05-2012, 09:08 AM
Neat! That one came together nicely.

Bill, how did you find the place that did your waterjet cutting? I've got a chunk of slate in the back yard that I want to turn into a plinth or two, and the couple of places I've contacted wouldn't touch it...

What types of businesses should I be looking for?

Find a granite kitchen counter contractor.

Divotdog
05-05-2012, 05:41 PM
You're killing me Bill! I've been working on the same TT project for months and you are putting out one a week! :D That looks great, gotta love the granite. :thmbsp:

Ken Boyd
05-05-2012, 06:59 PM
As much as I loved the OEM looks of the Empires yours looks very nice, and looks like you took a lot of care in beveling the edges quite nice. Love those Empires and your modification is just stunning.

70WR
05-05-2012, 07:26 PM
Hummm :scratch2:
Wife has a couple granite slabs - I once seen her rolling dough on one for making cinnamon rolls, other than that I'd probably put more use on one :scratch2:
Nice

Big Bill
05-05-2012, 10:39 PM
You're killing me Bill! I've been working on the same TT project for months and you are putting out one a week! :D That looks great, gotta love the granite. :thmbsp:

Not quite that fast Mel, they've been in the pipeline for some time! :D

As much as I loved the OEM looks of the Empires yours looks very nice, and looks like you took a lot of care in beveling the edges quite nice. Love those Empires and your modification is just stunning.

Thanks so much Ken!



Congrats, again, to you, Bill.
I'm really glad to see you step out with the granite plinth. So many times, too many, you'll see the repeated mantra of granite is too bright and ringing (from people that have never tried it). So, I congratulate you for that fairly bold trend-bucking step.
The only thing that has stopped me from using it in my stone builds is the hardness of the stone, and, my inability to work it myself without a substantial investment in tooling.
Now seeing your example, it might just be worth doing that anyway.
Beautiful.

Thanks brother! I've read similar posts about granite myself. I was less concerned with the possibility of ringing seeing as how the 598 is basically a "self contained" system and really only uses the granite as a "perch" if you will. I hear no undo "brightness" nor ringing in this build and actually think the granite has helped to "shore up" the bass if anything. :yes:

kbuzz
02-01-2013, 10:38 AM
Bill I know this is in an old thread, but why did you end of selling this beautiful work of art?