In the present work, it is observed that, to maintain stability, different sets of feedback control gains should be applied for free and forced vibration attenuation. For forced vibrations, feedback controllers with certain optimum positions of closed loop poles give maximum vibration reduction. By combining the feedback and feed forward controllers (i.e.by using a hybrid controller), better transient performance can be obtained in the case of forced vibrations. By using the concept of a dead zone and making the hybrid controller adaptive, ideal performance and guaranteed stability of the closed loop system can be achieved for both free and forced vibrations. The proposed controller remains effective for large variation in system parameters. © 2006 IOP Publishing Ltd.