Your tool is tingling?
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G_m_c, The properties you refer to have to start and end with resonance, I.e. how the "natural" resonance relates to the other inherent resonances that affect the signal. If you look at the "better" turntables, they all tend to have high density (and correspondingly high mass)components: plinths, platters, etc. There's a reason for that. And there's a reason that the lower end 'tables are at the lower end--that is, they can't bring those "better" components into the price point they're trying to achieve.
No doubt your point is still true. Take for example the low end of the Rega line, the P1. What does is use for a plinth? MDF! It's melamine fer cryin' out loud!! No wonder they can sell it for $300 or whatever it is. Melamine may be the best performance Rega's engineers can get for cheap for the part of their budget dedicated to plinth materials, but compare that to the density and mass of any of the better 'tables and you'll see the relative differences moving upward.
In the end, it all boils down to the relationship between tonearm resonance and plinth resonance. You don't want that relationship to be sympathetic, and the plinth is a good spot to use extremely high density material with a very low natural resonance (frequency). It just doesn't require the same degree of architectural and sonic properties demanded of a tonearm and its manufacturing process.
Don't they use the same plinth construction for P5 as the P9? That is a pretty serious turntable and they could certainly have a diferent plinth construction if there was something better. Go for it and have fun. I suspect if you go for a heavy/dense material for a plinth, you will find the results a bit dull.
Yeah, the P9's a nice table, so is the P5, but neither of them get close to the superb higher end tables out there.
I'm just looking at (just for example) the VPI line. I'm not sure what that material is in their HRX ($8K plus, or somewhere around there, without the outboard motor or separate power supply), but it's dense as hell.
Again, I think the money they (Rega) chooses to put into the various models going up the line is a function of amount of bang for a given buck.
Another thing that bears consideration is that Rega has made their reputation on value, not on state-of-the-art. I don't think it follows that a given unit cannot be improved by upgrading some element of the product. If that were the case, they, Rega would never have moved off the RB300 tonearm standard (which I believe was their first). The fact that they are still even selling the RB300 on a TT is to the point I am trying to make: it satisfies a certain level of performance value at a given price point that works for Rega in the marketplace.
I'd love to hear other opinions on this, and I know there are DIYers here.
After trying lots of things with my planer3 rb300 the best upgrade was reposition of stock feet with mapleshade entry level 2inch brass footers with one placed between the motor and the tonearm not like rega set it. Sounds much better than ceraballs and better than anything else I tried.They also look good under table,not to expensive as I recall.The plinth loves it. I can,t believe how much better my table sounds with that 2 inches of brass right between the arm and motor,probably best bang for buck I did to it.