I have a Porter plinth mk2 combination( the wenge plinthed version that led to the sale of Albert's Walker). I've never heard the others but I can tell you it sounds fantastic. After a while using it I sold my VPI SSM and since have bought two mk3s also with Albert's plinths. For the mk2, I would recommend the Boston Mat 2. The performance and ease of use of this combination will be hard to match.
Cdk84, I don't know anything about the "Thompson" plinth, but you certainly cannot go wrong with either Albert's or Steve's plinth. You might just choose between those based on cost and availability. Albert has recently written that his plinth is back-ordered for 3-4 years, for example. Neither is cheap. Both purport to achieve your musical goals.
Do you mean Chris Thornton? Thornton's tables are very high quality with excellent workmanship, looks and sound. I am very happy with mine.
I am sure Porter and Dobbins are very good as well. I have listened to Dobbins at RMAF and have not had the chance at the Portre's.
I have one by Chris, a Thorens, and two by Steve Dobbins, a Technics and a Garrard.
Chris is more the purest whose finishes are the most unusual, though the mechanics are not necessarily updated, just cleaned,lubed etc...
Almost EVERYTHING Albert does will be top notch as his are meticulous!
In the end...I have ordered Steve Dobbins new table Kondo [the Beat] Figure your budget and patience,research or talk with them all and go with your own impressions!
Azjake, To be fair, the Beat (Kondo?) is a complete new turntable. This is not to say that I am not envious; I heard the Beat at RMAF and was blown away. Anyway, the OP wants to know about plinths. Do you have a feel for the Dobbins' plinths vs the Thornton plinth? (From what I can find on the internet, and since I was not aware of Chris Thornton's work prior to this post, it seems he makes plinths for Thorens tables and is just getting into making them for Technics tables.
I have not heard any of these plinths but I can say that Albert Porter is a class gentlemen who I wouldn't hesitate to buy from. I have no doubt his plinths are outstanding. Steve Dobbins I know of only by reputation but I don't think you can go wrong there either.
Another "brand" of plinths you might consider is OMA slate plinths from Jonathan Weiss. If your from the northeast they have a showroon in NYC. At the least you would get a chance to hear an SP 10 in a proper plinth. They also make a SP 10 where the individual components are taken out of the metal casing and individually mounted in a 200 pound plinth. You can check out their plinths, etc. on their website.
Dear Cdk84: None, go naked IMHO nothing even or meet it on quality performance:
I heard two of the ones you mentioned and I like Halcro and other Agon friend have naked version with very good results.
It is easy to do it and less expensive if you don't like it then you almost lose nothing and you could go for the other alternatives.
Regards and enjoy the music,
I would second the OMA route. I have an sp-10 mk2, it's fantastic and dealing with Jonathan has always Bern extremely possitive.
i've had three plinths from Steve Dobbins; a Technics SP-10 Mk2 like you are asking about, a Garrard 301, and a Technics SP-10 Mk3. i sold my Mk2 plinth when i got my Mk3.
now i've traded my Mk3 for Steve's new tt, 'The Beat'.
Steve does more than build plinths, he also does a good deal of updating to the tt's themselves and power supplies as needed.
i've heard Albert's plinth in his room (it was a Mk3) and Jonathan's tt's at RMAF, although not specifically the Mk2 plinth.
you cannot go wrong with any of these guys.
there are things i like about Steve's plinths which stand out to me (not that any of the other's might not excell in these areas too). Steve's plinths i think are very energetic sounding and tonally neutral. they don't seem to have a sonic signature of their own. they are engineered as a constrained layered design so are predictably neutral, natural, and alive sounding. this is very important to me. i have my Rockport sitting next to these tt's for a reference as well as my big RTR tape machines, and all of Steve's plinths as well as 'The Beat' can hold their own and then some.
i surely recommend Steve's work and both Albert and Jonathan's to the degree i've heard them.. i don't know anything about Thorton (Thompson).
I have the SP-10 Black Emerald mahogany plinth built by Chris Thornton (featured on his web site) and I can assure you that anything you buy from Chris will be of the highest quality. It sounds absolutely wonderful and is built to the same meticulous standards as the plinths of other gentlemen mentioned on this blog. Chris carefully checks out each turntable before he begins his restoration and update mods and will not accept anything that is not up to his high standards to begin with. You can read more about Chris's services at www.artisanfidelity.com. If you buy from Chris, you will not be unhappy!
My impressions mirror those of mikelavigne above. I have Steve's plinths for a 301 and a Technics PL-10 Mk III. The materials did wonders for the sound of my 301. My Technics came with Steve's plinth and it sounds great. Steve is a car guy and his automotive finishes are stunning. I like Steve's plinths more than the OMA slate plinths by a wide margin but have no experience with the other 2 plinths in this comparison.
Dear Cdk84: Please read this post on other thread that is related with what you ask:
Regards and enjoy the music,
I would be interested to know how you would compare your 301 to the SP-10Mk3 in your system esepcially since you use Steve Dobbins plinth for both TT's. Which do you prefer, the idler 301 or the direct-drive SP-10 and why.