Most popular TT upgrades: skeptical but curious...


1. DeepGroove subplatter.
2. Subplatter ball.
3. Acrylic platter.
4. Michell Techno Weight
5. Plinth legs/pucks/cones etc.
6. Various record clamps and weights.
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1. To remedy speed instability, otherwise useless?
2. Unless original is worn-defective, why bother?
3. Curious to hear if it makes sound better?
4. Baffled. How swapping metal bolts at the end of the arm affects the sound? What are the physics behind it?
5. May be helping to level the table, otherwise useless?
6. Clamps. They seem to do exact opposite of what TT mat suppose to do. Why clamps?

I am not trying to start an argument for the sake of argument. I am interested in improving my Rega P3 as much as other guy. I am just one of those people who needs to know the method behind the madness before plunging.:)
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I have a Scout and am currently demo'ing a Gingko Cloud 9. It has made a definite difference for the better. I don't know that I can explain the physics though.
Michell techno weight adds a stiffer end stub to an RB250 and the geometry of the weight helps offset the downside of a unipivot design by lowering the arm's center of gravity and making the weight act as a sort of "outrigger" to stabilize the unipivot a little more.

Plinth/legs/cones/pucks/isoblocks when optimized to a given turntable should drain vibration out of the turntable innards and into the block, and isolate the turntable platform from in-room vibrations and feedback. Either or both lower the noise floor, quell or reduce resonances, and thereby improve dynamics and inner detail.

Record clamps and weights change the resonance pitch and amplitude of the LP itself, reduces slippage between the record and the platter, thereby improving pace and dynamics, and in my experience with a direct drive turntable, the KAB rubber clamp I use reduces spindle and surface noise.
It's healthy to be skeptical. Why buy a table- and need another platter, bearing for the spindle, pucks, weights, clamps, mats, stands, custom stands and more isolation stands that go under the other two?
All you have to do is buy a Lenco, take it apart, clean it, oil, a dab of grease, adjust the spindle shaft, and, don't forget to place the table in a ply layered plinth.
Shizam!!! You have an excellent idler wheel, vintage table that never needs to be tweaked again. (Because it's so easy, one might be tempted to try a different cartridge).
The only hard part is NOT buying more and more LPS.
One thing I could say for sure for any table ...if you could ... use some sort of wall shelf. Even if you have solid floors I feel the improvement in clarity and focus are worth the effort. Rega does make a shelf but the Target shelf could be a good solution if you decide to get a different table.
Johnnyb53, The rb 250 is not a unipivot,Have you ever actually seen the reduced resonance from using a puck or similar device like on a scope or with any measurement equipment? A record clamp reduces slippage? In 40+ years of playing records Ive never seen or heard of a record slipping during play. Reduces surface noise? Of course you could always buy a lenco and all these problems go away.
i recently bought a rega 25 here on audiogon. it came with the 1rst 4 upgrades u listed along with the heed orbit outboard power supply. so, i can't say what effect those 1rst 4 upgrades may have had. but i do know that when i replaced the heed orbit stock power cord with an after market cord (vh audio flavor 4), my system just took off. blacker backgrounds and a fuller, throbbing sound. now, that particular type of sound may not be right for u. just saying...if u can get a deal on an outboard power supply that might be another option to consider.
Are you saying that by replacing the power cord you changed the sound of your TT?
"changed the sound?" well, i guess u could put it that way. i like to think the heed orbit/vh flavor 4 combo enabled the rega to realize its potential. prior to the power cord switch, the sound was alright but a bit "thin." now rhe sound has more weight and body. for instance, i can feel the kick drum hit my chest.
over at vinyl asylum, another guy had pretty much the same experience when he swapped out the stock cord on his heed orbit with an XLO power cord. so, it probably says that the heed's weak point is the power cord.
anywhoo, i just luv the synergy of the combination i'm using now.
Oregon says:"All you have to do is buy a Lenco, take it apart, clean it, oil, a dab of grease, adjust the spindle shaft, and, don't forget to place the table in a ply layered plinth. "

That's all? How long does it take you to build a ply layered plinth? You make it sound like it's a walk in the park, L.O.L.
Frank sm (small thinker?)
Yes. That's all.
Less than a days "work".
A master woodworker builds my plinths.
Once a table is complete, it will serve a lifetime playing incredible, dynamic music from the darkest lows to sparkling highs.
I have been through it a dozen times.
The walk through the park is glorious.
I doubt you'll ever know.
Oregon, your condescending response to Frank is in appropriate. For starters this thread is about upgrades not your favorite turntable and by now most forum readers know how you feel about your lenco. I think there may be a lenco church starting up on another forum and they may be looking for a minister you should apply.
Hhmmmm, upgrade to a P3 you say. FWIW I have no personal experience with the deck however I've been reading about TT upgrades for a few years and this is my take. There is quite alot written on the subject both here and on other forums. There have been a plethora of ezine articles on the subject also.

The arm itself benefits from a rewire, Incognito, Cardass, take your pick. The end stub & weight replacement is also very popular and have proven sonic benefits. The P3 has been reported to have speed stability problems, generally on the faster side.

Sub-platter and platter replacement is also popular however the information I have read goes both ways, seems to be very system dependent on what the TT is sitting on. Same comment regarding replacing/upgrading the feet.

Keep researching the subject and don't restrict yourself to one source.
Rccc,
How is it he can respond to my post, but I can't do the same to his?
Are you the self appointed minister of this post?
LOL

BTW, I agree, it is (in) appropriate.
My upgrades and what I perceived to be an audible effect for my TT rig (VPI Jr., JMW 10.5, Benx Micro Glider, Innersound Phono Stage - purchased TT with Bright Star Big Rock so neverplayed w/o it).

1. Added Living voice TT mat & BDR record clamp and felt all was a little quieter and smoother sound. Dynamics increased a bit.
2. Added SDS and noise floor went way, way down; better detail, soundstage, dynamics & better bass impact; more air around notes, wider & deeper soundstage - obviously needed speed stabilized & corrected.
3. Upgraded outboard motor; upgraded power cables on SDS & motor to Shunyata Hydra Diamond back as well as shunyata taipan to preamp and phono stage and felt the front to back was deeper and the notes had a little more room. I didn't realize I had motor noise until I upgraded to the new motor. Background became very black; music just came out of the soundstage. .
4. Upgraded TT IC from stock Monstor Cable to Cardas Phono IC and didn't really experience much of a difference. (felt better doing it, though)
5. Upgraded power conditioner from Richard Gray 1200S to Hydra 8 and brought system to another level-the air around the notes went up multiples; absolutely no noise and incredible black back ground. Music just flowed from a black, wider and deeper soundstage.
6. Added Shakti Holographs - more demensional, wider sound stage. Better detail and transparency and I thought it was pretty good before I aded them.

Just my 2 cents~
05-08-08: Rccc
Johnnyb53, The rb 250 is not a unipivot.
Woops, you're right. I've read various articles that seem to say that it is, but it obviously has an axle bearing for vertical movement.

Have you ever actually seen the reduced resonance from using a puck or similar device like on a scope or with any measurement equipment?
No, and I didn't know that was a requirement for posting here. It comes down to this: I have a buttload of used LPs I've gathered from thrift shops and dollar bins over the past year. On some records, the surface noise is a bit distracting; then I put the KAB record grip on and the surface noise recedes into the background enough to enable me to enjoy the record. It's happened many times on many records. But am I going to go out and get an oscilloscope and post pictures to satisfy you? I don't think so.
A record clamp reduces slippage? In 40+ years of playing records Ive never seen or heard of a record slipping during play.
There are too many articles to count that talk about stylus drag affecting speed consistency. It's not an extraordinary leap in logic that if there is such a thing as stylus drag, that if the record were on a felt mat there could be microscopic slippage at the record/mat interface--enough to audibly affect pitch or tempo--without necessarily causing the belt to wobble or actually slow down the motor. After all, the modulations in a record groove are microscopic--down to .1 micron. Why couldn't a groove area with heavy modulation induce speed fluctuations, including some microscopic record slippage?

Or do I have to furnish electron micrographs of the actual event accompanied by time stamps to the 1/1000 of a second to satisfy the Posting Police?
I am dubious of stylus drag having any audible effect on a direct drive, quartz locked turntable...even with a felt mat.

I always thought the primary benefit of a record clamp was to reduce micro-vibrations in the LP itself by "coupling" it to the platter.
Johnnyb, I dont know of any articles by any responsible writer or technician that supports stylus drag or record slippage having any effect on record playback, mabey you can educate me. Im not policing your post Im simply pointing out your observations are audio folklore that should have been put to bed years ago instead of being perpetuated on the internet.

05-14-08: Rccc
Im not policing your post Im simply pointing out your observations are audio folklore that should have been put to bed years ago instead of being perpetuated on the internet.
This "pointing out" of "observations [that] are audio folklore" and that they "should have been put to bed years ago" are the very definition of being the Posting Police.

As for whether stylus drag has an audible effect, why do most audiophile turntable designs try to do something about it, sometimes going to extreme measures? Why do some belt-drive turntables have platters so heavy (for the flywheel effect) that they have to use opposing magnets or air bearings to keep their 40-80 lb. platters from grinding down conventional bearings? Why are direct drive turntables servo controlled? Why did Teres introduce the Certus drive (which they go to great lengths to explain how it addresses audible stylus drag)? Why do enthusiasts seek out the old pro quality idler drive turntables? It seems to me a lot of thought and effort goes into addressing stylus drag, from designers to users, while you make it sound like I'm the lone crackpot.

Enter "stylus drag" in Google and you'll get 37 screens' worth of returns, including references to John Watkinson's book, "The Art of Sound Reproduction." Enter "John Watkinson" and "Art of Sound Reproduction" and you'll get 6 screens' worth for that very specific entry alone.

I suppose, however, that you could pronounce this audio/video consultant and author "not credible" if you choose to, but that would be arbitrary and subjective too, wouldn't it?
RCM! (record cleaning machine)
Don't forget the TWL hi-fi mod. A search of the archives will reveal much discuss of the cheap (as in a couplpe of bucks) and easy mod along with plenty of explanation.
"This "pointing out" of "observations [that] are audio folklore" and that they "should have been put to bed years ago" are the very definition of being the Posting Police."

Thanks for the clarification, I didnt know that was the definition.

Enter "stylus drag" in Google and you'll get 37 screens' worth of returns,

Enter Bogey man you get 883000
But of course you are correct, my apologies
Here is a thought about record mats and clamps. Only use clamp or solid material mat (vinyl, acrylic, kryptonite) if your table is reference range quiet . I mean your bearing and motor and spindle and belt etc., etc. are all silent.
Coupling record to solid surface with some extra down force (from clamps)would, IMHO , only increase noise coming from the table drive gear.

I could not find a good picture of :TWL's Hi Fi Mod.
I appreciate if anyone has a link to pictures.

Thanks.