Best surface, Marble, slate, cutting board???

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Mr Pig
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Re: Best surface, Marble, slate, cutting board???

Post by Mr Pig » 02 Dec 2019 21:14

Rega don't use their plinths to dampen motor noise. They improved their motors and power supplies so that they are quieter. The best way to solve a problem is to not create it in the first place. That leaves them free to design the plinth so that it performs its other functions better and is less compromised.

The problem with damping is that you can't teach it to differentiate between the things you want reduced and the things you don't. For example, Regas ceramic platters are very, very hard but not very resonant so a thin mat can be used and the result is that the record is held very rigidly. If you use a very thin mat on a resonant metal platter the ringing of the platter will colour the sound, so you need to use a thicker one.

I've never heard a high-mass, heavily damped turntable that I liked. They invariably remove too much information.

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Re: Best surface, Marble, slate, cutting board???

Post by Erin1 » 03 Dec 2019 03:03

In response to the above.
I respect that everyone has their own taste in sound, and their own opinion.

But... I've never heard a platter ringing colour the sound.
I know many people talk about this but I've just never heard it.

I've owned a couple of Australian JH turntables which have incredibly thin metal platters that literally go ping and ring when you tap it with your fingernail.

But even with that I didn't hear any ringing.

I did own a Kenwood kd500.
It is very damped. It had great clarity, and low distortion. But I agree with the person above...it sounded a little boring.
Great if you like CD like accuracy.

I think turntables are like musical instruments. The design needs to all work together. The arm needs to couple to the plinth in "the right way" - and the only way to know what works is to try different material of plinth, or rubber grommet. Etc.

The "right way" is the way that sounds best to the user.

The thing with playing vinyl (for me anyway) is not that it sounds better per se than CD, but that it's fun, and it presents a different perspective to the music.

Low distortion damped turntables are close to technical perfection - but they don't sound much different to a CD (in my opinion and experience)

So, may as well just use whatever turntable/ tonearm that you like for whatever reason. There seems to be no definitive answer since people are seeking different sounds/ appearance / and functionality to suit different people.

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Re: Best surface, Marble, slate, cutting board???

Post by Mr Pig » 03 Dec 2019 07:58

Erin1 wrote:
03 Dec 2019 03:03
I've never heard a platter ringing colour the sound.
How would you know? How could you tell what aspects of the sound were coming from where?

Linn LP12 plinths made of different woods sound different. So the plinth has to be colouring the sound. Personally, I think it's often a good thing.

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Re: Best surface, Marble, slate, cutting board???

Post by Brewman2 » 03 Dec 2019 21:55

AudioFeline wrote:
30 Nov 2019 07:28
Good to hear the marble chess board has solved your problem. Would the b+w chessboard pattern show if it was turned it upside-down?
yes, pattern shows.

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Re: Best surface, Marble, slate, cutting board???

Post by Erin1 » 04 Dec 2019 02:03

Mr Pig wrote:
03 Dec 2019 07:58
Erin1 wrote:
03 Dec 2019 03:03
I've never heard a platter ringing colour the sound.
How would you know? How could you tell what aspects of the sound were coming from where?

Linn LP12 plinths made of different woods sound different. So the plinth has to be colouring the sound. Personally, I think it's often a good thing.
That's what I was saying. I never heard a sound I could attribute to the platter.

You talk about platter then talk about the plinth. Different things.

But yes of course different materials sound different. Playing a record is all about mechanical interaction of various parts.... And they're all vibrating or resonating... And all I was saying was to have fun trying different things and finding the resonant or non-resonant sound you like.

Does anyone agree on one "best" anything?
Not really. It's too personal.

Common sense and physics says the heavier the plinth the less it will vibrate.

But will someone like the sound? Some will and some won't....
Some like the additional resonance...
Nothing wrong with that.

cats squirrel
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Re: Best surface, Marble, slate, cutting board???

Post by cats squirrel » 04 Dec 2019 03:12

"Common sense and physics says the heavier the plinth the less it will vibrate." (given the same input) True, but as the energy in the turntable/arm/cart has to go somewhere (and changed into some other form of energy that won't cause problems) you still have the problem of dealing with that (unwanted) energy.

Maybe people should consider what Thor Labs (no personal connection except as a customer) have to say about their optical tables, of which the requirements are probably even more stringent than audio kit.:

" The optical table should be a stiff, low mass structure.
The compliance characteristics of an optical table should be as near as possible to that of an ideal rigid body.
The table resonances should be shifted to as high a frequency as possible in order to minimize the number of common vibrational sources that produce vibrations at a resonant frequency.
The table should have internal damping mechanisms that minimize the table’s compliance at resonant frequencies and damp all vibrations in the shortest possible time. The characteristic damping time is referred to as Impulse Decay and is usually reported with units of milliseconds."

Food for thought...

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Re: Best surface, Marble, slate, cutting board???

Post by Erin1 » 04 Dec 2019 03:26

An infinitely heavy plinth should have infinite properties to sink/ dissipate the vibrations, but if vibrations from the stylus hit the bearings, then transfer to the arm/plinth mounting point, then bounce back along the arm, through the bearings and back to the headshell/stylus - the plinth is too hard.

There is no perfect vinyl playback. Vibrations are happening everywhere.

It's a compromise of what sound you like.
If it's too hard vibrations reflect. If it's supple the vibrations absorb and dissipate(at some frequencies not others)

The final judgement is made by your ear/brain.

Sounds nice, or not? 🔨🔨🔨

Theory is good to a point, and obviously helps to design things with a concept in mind. After that it's about how it sounds- which is the point of playing the record.

Manufacturers knowing that everything is a compromise tell stories to make their comprises seem like good ones. (Marketing and advertising)

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Re: Best surface, Marble, slate, cutting board???

Post by cats squirrel » 04 Dec 2019 14:33

Erin1 wrote:
04 Dec 2019 03:26
An infinitely heavy plinth should have infinite properties to sink/ dissipate the vibrations, but if vibrations from the stylus hit the bearings, then transfer to the arm/plinth mounting point, then bounce back along the arm, through the bearings and back to the headshell/stylus - the plinth is too hard.
The infinite plinth would have the same properties, just different numbers. In fact, when analysing the maths of what is going on, it is often assumed that the plate (plinth) is infinite, to start with, at least.
There is no perfect vinyl playback. Vibrations are happening everywhere.
but we can do something to reduce them, if that is what we want.
It's a compromise of what sound you like.
I have never agreed with that statement, again 'like shining a coloured light on a masterpiece painting'.
If it's too hard vibrations reflect. If it's supple the vibrations absorb and dissipate(at some frequencies not others).
well, whether the vibrations reflect or not is down to mechanical impedance of the two bits of stuff. Steel can (and does) have vibrations transferred to it, just ride in a steel car!
The final judgement is made by your ear/brain.
The first thing you have written I agree with. But is it what we are talking about? We can analyse pigments to death, ensuring they are as pure as can be. and the oils and canvas could be exactly what we want, but it won't tell us anything about what we think of the painting.
Sounds nice, or not? 🔨🔨🔨
well, we all like different genres of music, it's just that some of us would like to hear more of the music and less of the mush.
Theory is good to a point, and obviously helps to design things with a concept in mind. After that it's about how it sounds- which is the point of playing the record.
Analysing the design mathematically provides an objective view of what is going on, people who understand the modelling can make huge improvements in a very short time. People who do not understand still make hifi kit, and because they built it, it must sound good (to them, at least!).

" The laws of Physics involved in audio reproduction are established beyond any shadow of a doubt, yet they are regularly called into question" John Watkinson, Electronics World, June 1997


Beranek's Law
It has been remarked that if one selects one's own components, builds one's own enclosure, and is convinced one has made a wise choice of design, then one's own loudspeaker sounds better than anyone else's loudspeaker. In this case, the frequency response of the loudspeaker seems to play only a minor part in forming a person's opinion.


L.L. Beranek, Acoustics (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1954), p.208.
Manufacturers knowing that everything is a compromise tell stories to make their compromises seem like good ones. (Marketing and advertising)
If you say so. But not all manufacturers. :wink:

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Re: Best surface, Marble, slate, cutting board???

Post by Mr Pig » 04 Dec 2019 16:09

Erin1 wrote:
04 Dec 2019 02:03
That's what I was saying. I never heard a sound I could attribute to the platter.
How could you? Can you attribute any part of the sound you hear to any individual component in the turntable? Don't think I could yet clearly they all effect the sound, otherwise all turntables would sound much the same. One of the biggest differences between the RP8 and RP10 is the ceramic platter on the 10. The plinth, motor etc are the same. That ceramic platter costs about £900 if you break it, so clearly Rega think there is a difference in how platters sound.
Common sense and physics says the heavier the plinth the less it will vibrate.
Kinda the opposite is true. Hit a one-inch square of 1mm steel with a hammer then do the same to a three-foot square of it. Which is going to vibrate the most? More mass is just another way of saying more material or matter, and more means more material to absorb, store, transmit energy. All else being equal.

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Re: Best surface, Marble, slate, cutting board???

Post by cats squirrel » 04 Dec 2019 16:17

first off, material doesn't, has never, and will never absorb sound energy. Depending on the material (regardless of mass), it will either pass on the sound energy, radiate the sound energy (as sound energy) or damp it by converting it to heat, either slowly (poor damping) or relatively quickly (good damping). Mass has nothing to do with damping. Mass (or rather density and thickness) has something to do with mechanical impedance, though.

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Re: Best surface, Marble, slate, cutting board???

Post by Mr Pig » 04 Dec 2019 17:24

cats squirrel wrote:
04 Dec 2019 16:17
first off, material doesn't, has never, and will never absorb sound energy.
That's just semantic games. If the sound is turned into something else, like heat, it can be described as effectively being absorbed. Were that not true then as energy cannot be lost, only turned into another form of energy, the word absorb would have almost no meaning!

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Re: Best surface, Marble, slate, cutting board???

Post by cats squirrel » 04 Dec 2019 17:31

sound energy, when damping takes place, is turned into another form of energy, heat. Sound energy is not absorbed, semantics or not. :?

The word you may be looking for is 'dissipated', not absorbed!

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Re: Best surface, Marble, slate, cutting board???

Post by Erin1 » 05 Dec 2019 11:50

Just for fun here's a quote from the absolute sound in a review of the ELP laser turntable.http://www.theabsolutesound.com/article ... turntable/


"For all the non-mastertape-like inaccuracies that some of my colleagues descry in conventional analog playback, to my ear the Walker Proscenium Gold (and its much less pricey kin) still sounds more like the real thing than anything else around. I guess in this I’m one with Doug Sax, who, in Issue 149’s Roundtable, pointed out that there is something about a conventional record player’s mechanical nature—something about its very flaws, its resonances, its colorations, its eccentricities— that adds life (or the semblance of same) to recorded music, that makes a stereo sound more like the real thing. Amen, brother."

In quoting it, I'm not in any way attempting to prove anything, because all this quote is, is another person's opinion, no different to anyone else on this forum.
But it is interesting that even professional reviewers seem to enjoy the character that a turntable gives to the music.

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Re: Best surface, Marble, slate, cutting board???

Post by Erin1 » 05 Dec 2019 12:03

Mr Pig wrote:
04 Dec 2019 16:09

Kinda the opposite is true. Hit a one-inch square of 1mm steel with a hammer then do the same to a three-foot square of it. Which is going to vibrate the most? More mass is just another way of saying more material or matter, and more means more material to absorb, store, transmit energy. All else being equal.
What if said material was a granite mountain?

Playing a record doesn't involve hammers thankfully. The sort of vibrations are small in nature.

So the material just needs to be heavy enough to overcome the effects of small vibrations. If that's the way you want to approach "the problem"

Personally I don't think it's much if a problem - this matter of vibrations.

There are plenty of decent turntables that play records very well, sound good, and are well regarded, and most don't use any extreme materials, but many do use extensive use of marketing and narratives to sell the product, which is basically a wheel spinning upon a plinth with a pivoting piece of counterbalanced tubular metal mounted upon the plinth (which we call a tonearm)

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Re: Best surface, Marble, slate, cutting board???

Post by Erin1 » 05 Dec 2019 12:14

Mr Pig wrote:
04 Dec 2019 16:09
Don't think I could yet clearly they all effect the sound, otherwise all turntables would sound much the same. One of the biggest differences between the RP8 and RP10 is the ceramic platter on the 10. The plinth, motor etc are the same. That ceramic platter costs about £900 if you break it, so clearly Rega think there is a difference in how platters sound.
A company cannot "think" anything.

If a platter was made of solid gold it would cost thousands. That wouldn't necessarily make it sound better. But I'm sure the marketing department would find a way of telling potential buyers that it does.

I do think most turntables of a certain quality sound much the same.

They certainly do sound more the same than different.

I've played the same record on many turntables. Cheap. Expensive. Old. New. Belt drive, rim drive, direct drive.

I recognised the music on every one.
Clearly these differences you speak of are minor rather than major.
Yes, there are differences, but they're minor not major.