The merits of slate plinths or not

Hi. Well, i have a lenco 78 that i refurbished and placed in a birchply/mdf plinth. Prior to this turntable i was using a systemdek table with a profile arm. I am using the origin silver mk3 with a denon 103 cartridge with the lenco. I find it to be very dynamic, good in speed, musical, natural and detailed. All in all i am very happy and satisfied. I would like to hear some dialog on whether slate would be superior to the wood plinth i am using. If someone through experience thinks they know what slate "sounds" like i would like to hear from them. I would especially like to hear from people who have tried slate plinths and have gone back to wood or some other tables. Slate is sediment compressed. If anyone has gone from a highmass wood plinth to a slate plinth , with everything else in the system remaining the same and preferred the slate, can you tell me what the improvements were and was the difference minute or quite significant. I have talked to people who have done some comparisons but havent been totally persuaded by their tests as it seems it wasnt a very controlled comparison.
Hi,did you ever check out the website,there are a few who switched from wood to slate that would help you with your question.
I put a 2" slate top layer on my plinth, and I liked the sound more than my birch/cld plinth. ymmv, guess I could pull out an audio review or two and co-opt some wordy expressions as to why I like it better, but hey, I find AM radio very 'musical' when there's music playing, so I will just say I like it better!
shortly after adding the slate, I upgraded my cartridge with a soundsmith retip, and I have not touched a thing since!
I'ts been over a year, and I'm happy with it, I might look into another phono stage at some point, but I don't mind researching for another year!
A full year. And I'm not itching to change anything on that table.
Try it, don't let others ears decide for you.
Yeah, I have read in lencoheaven how some preferred their new slate plinths over their birch ply plinths but i guess i'm a little bit skeptical about how or why people come to the conclusions they do without any good test methods/ reasoning behind it. There can be other reasons that have nothing to do with sound as to why people think x is better than Y. So without some controlled testing or some A/B/A comparison , as i said i'm not totally persuaded. I have heard from one audiogoner , through a personal email sent, who said he felt the noise floor was lowered and dynamics increased but that i should not expect it to be a huge difference over what i've got. Only slight. His slated turntable was from a very reputable company but with all that nevertheless has gone on to sell the unit and told me if he could do it all over again he would just stay with the wood cause it is easier and more practical to work with, considering the slightly fragile and heavy nature of slate.
Dear Vertigo, Due to your rigorous requirements, the only opinion you are going to come to respect is your own. So try it both ways. I owned a Lenco L75 in a giant Jean Nantais wood plinth. I used it for more than a year and then switched to another Lenco L75 with only the bearing, platter, and motor from it re-mounted in a PTP top plate (see Lenco Heaven under Peter Reinder), which is sitting in a slate plinth that was cut by a waterjet to accommodate the PTP exactly. Thus the PTP is firmly bolted to over most of its surface area to an 80-lb slate slab, and the motor hangs out in space, well isolated from the bearing. When you use the PTP, you discard the Lenco chassis with all its switch mechanisms and brake entirely, in favor of a 4-mm steel plate. My entirely subjective impression is that much of the improvement I hear is due to that simple fact, rather than to the difference in plinth materials. I like the Lenco/PTP better than the Nantais Lenco, but it's not a night and day difference. And I never auditioned them side by side with the same tonearm and cartridge, and I never did ABA them, so you may justifiably disregard my opinion.
Hi Vertigo,I switched from a ply/MDF layered plinth to slate a while back.And yes the difference isn't huge,but I like it enough that it was worth while to me.Since I built my own slate plinth the cost wasn't that high and I like the look better than a thick multi-layer wood plinth.The PTP3 top plate and Jeremy's upgrade bearings are worth while upgrades to try.I am not so sure the plinth material will make a huge difference after a lenco is bolted to a heavy plinth.Guys have used soapstone,plywood,slate other types of wood and even poured concrete as plinth materials with desired results.Some people are still searching for the "ultimate"(if there is one)plinth material.
Thanks guys for all the thoughtful responses. I put alot of effort into building my player. I am very pleased with its look. I prefer keeping the original top plate because i enjoy the black lenco78 chassis top plates looks sitting atop a honeystained 8 layer laquered coating plinth but more than that with the rest of my system it sounds super! All of that great sound is the result of addressing other areas of the system (which i'm sure everyone else already knows the importance of looking at every area of the system). I think what i'll do is come up with a method of mounting the motor somewhere else other than the top plate but will still keep the top plate. The original lenco78 top plate i have "cold welded" to the wood plinth with four 4 inch screws. I think this provides the same benefits as a ptp3. That is, the internal noise has a good channel/path to drain itself into the plinth just like the ptp3. I believe if i can mount the motor directly to the plinth and separate it from the top plate that i will have made the most effective gains in the area of transferring the least amount of noise getting to the record. On another note, i have been using a maple armboard but will soon be building a slate armboard to make comparisons. That will give me some personal experience/insight into the differences between slate and wood.

++++Dear Vertigo, Due to your rigorous requirements, the only opinion you are going to come to respect is your own.++++ (very observant)(kinda true) No, i just think we audiophiles could use a little more discipline , a bit more controlled comparisons so we can make better choices, quicker progress and pass on knowledge to new audiophiles. Alot of people have quit because they have become frustrated by their lack of progress and all the confusion about what sounds better and whats the straightest path to finding a system they enjoy. We think it'll take too long and be too much work to do controlled comparisons but i think we could reach our goals much quicker but instead to save time i think its taken us twice as long to get there! Well, i guess we're audio enthusiasts not scientists but i guess i am trying to get some clarity and inject some sanity into this hobby not just radical fedeism.

In a perfect audiogon world i only wish that people would post to threads and make comments about comparisons only after having taken care to assure the quality of their comments, conclusions. In a perfect world people would comment after doing this:

One of the most important things in "controlled comparisons" is "level
matching", making sure at the speaker terminals that the amp output ,
using a voltmeter, is exactly identical. when say comparing A product with B product, why? because it can fool
people into thinking, oh, product A has "more bass, more resolution, better
soundstaging" but really , all it might be is accidentally more volume added when trying to return to previous volume level

the other three important things are : taking care to remember to change only one thing in a system at a time , doing A B A listening not just A B . Make sure the system is fully warmed up.

Do these four things and you've got a pretty good indication of the
results , if the differences are huge/negligable, more bass/less bass etc, etc and in a way that is
meaningful and repeatable to us and to other audiophiles.