i have been tossing around this idea in my head since this thread started. this thread opened up the theory of set up synergy that is always strive for. there has been a lot said about groove noise, and then a bit said about 'air' and 'focus' (tightening up). this is one thing that is always commented on by my clients, the lack of groove noise, clicks and pops. the focus is also a big 2nd in comments.
as far as air is concerned:
euphonics are another way of adding 'air' to the playback quality. nelson pass does this with his 'x ono' phono stage. (quote from a hifi choice review i remember-dont know when it was though) and i can confirm the additional 'air' it seems to give. this does not mean the playback is accurate, just sounds more inviting. tubes can do this too if the euphonics are not reined in.
as some may already get, i think it is a form of resonance feedback that is causing this. it is also a sort of feedback that makes the clicks and pops more audible. for those with an SME arm, not overtightening the base onto the armboard will help with reducing groove noise. that is, the rubber gromets should not bulge above the screw. also, not overtightening the cartridge mounting screws will allow the isolation built into the cartridge by the designer to work properly.
i have the feeling that this tweek is just a fix for incorrectly setup players. some of the mistakes i mentioned above. we use spikes and other isolation devises under our amps and cd players, and tt's. also special racks for our components. we do not know what the designers used for tables (lab and listening room) when they were fine tuning the component. we know it makes a difference what we set our components on. some like stone, others wood, others balloons.
back to the topic:
if a mat can do what this isolation plate does;
ok whats going on here.
I put together an isolator using some butyl based damper material (its a tad thick...)
now I have been using Funks isolation mat on the platter and noticed a reduction in surface noise. The cart isolator seems to have done the same thing,a reduction in surface noise along with a general improvement in sonic clearity.
then it is a sort of proof that it breaks the feedback cycle that amplifies the groove noise. every designer has his method of doing this. now i think it has bacome a lost art of system set up that makes a market for such a product. if there were still hifi stores near by that has the know how to install a system in someones home, then we wouldn't have to learn for ourselves what all the 'dinasours' know. we would gladly have a 'dinasour' setup our system for us. this is the price we pay for our 'pay as little as possible' mentality that has driven all the specialty stores out of bussiness.
set up right, we wouldn't need this isolator. for those of us that don't have the knowledge, this isolator could be a godsend.