TONEARM DAMPING : DAMPED OR NOT ? ? USELESS ? ? WELCOMED ? ?


Dear friends: This tonearm critical subject sometimes can be controversial for say the least. Some audiophiles swear for non damped tonearms as the FR designs or SAEC or even the SME 3012 that is not very well damped in stock original status.

Some other audiophiles likes good damped tonearms.


In other thread a gentleman posted:


"  If a cartridge is properly matched to the tonearm damping is not required. " and even explained all what we know about the ideal resonance frequency range between tonearm and cartridge ( 8hz to 12hz. ). He refered to this when said: " properly matched to the tonearm ".


In that same thread that a Triplanar tonearm owner posted:


" This is the one thing about the Triplanar that I don't like. I never use the damping trough...... I imagine someone might have a use for it; I removed the troughs on my Triplanars; its nice to imagine that it sounds better for doing so. "


At the other side here it's a very well damped tonearm:


https://audiotraveler.wordpress.com/tag/townshend/


Now, after the LP is in the spining TT platter ( everything the same, including well matched cartridge/tonearm.  ) the must critical issue is what happens once the cartridge stylus tip hits/track the LP grooves modulations.

The ideal is that those groove modulations can pass to the cartridge motor with out any additional kind of developed resonances/vibrations and that the transducer makes its job mantaining the delicated and sensible signal integrity that comes in those recorded groove modulations.

 That is the ideal and could be utopic because all over the process/trip of the cartridge signal between the stylus tip ride and the output at the tonearm cable the signal suffers degradation (  resonances/vibrations/feedback ) mainly developed through all that " long trip " .


So, DAMPING IS NEED IT AT THE TONEARM/HEADSHELL SIDE OR NOT?


I'm trying to find out the " true " about and not looking if what we like it or not like it is rigth or not but what should be about and why of that " should be ".


I invite all of you analog lovers audiophiles to share your points of view in this critical analog audio subject. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT?


Thank's in advance.



Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,
R.






Ag insider logo xs@2xrauliruegas
@bukanona
Company which built their reputation on tracking is Shure with V15 series If you’ll check Shure Ultra 500 which is the best in the line you’ll find that it has brush at the front. It’s not intended as anti-static brush, it’s part of suspension keeps it more steady.
The brush is intended to be used as an anti-static device. Shure refers to it as a ’Destatizer Brush’. What's confusing is the ’Destatizer Brush’ is also part of the suspension as it is attached to the ’Dynamic Stabilizer’ which is part of the suspension mechanism.

The anti-static brush is also VERY good with warped vinyl to help the cartridge from bouncing up and then down damaging the stylus. Trust me on this. I USED to play my Shure V15xMR cartridge with the suspension mechanism raised up until I unsuspectedly played a ’used’ new warped album and watched the stylus snap off right before my eyes. I was crestfallen...

@rauliruegas

My friend, never do or say this here - or anywhere else again.
Very uncool.
Japanese people are not a true reference as true audiophiles, they likes high distortions and unfortunatelly they don’t know that what they are hearing has those higher distortions. I don’tcare about those gentlemans, I only took them as an example

Raul, I agree to stay away from this thread but of course I have one long thing left to say.  You wrote,

"Your post change nothing about that cartridge/tonearm combination with a resonance frequency at 4hz and everything surrounded this 4hz.That you like it what you listening is not under question because that is your privilege.

In the other side, where I posted that " mass damping in tonearms is ineffective " ? don’t put words in my mouth, those are your words not mine . "

First, where did I say some particular tonearm and cartridge exhibit a resonant frequency of 4 Hz?  I think you must be referring to my having used the FR64 with an Acutex cartridge.  But I always pointed out that since the Acutex is old, we can assume its compliance is stiffer than original, and I also pointed out that I used a very light weight headshell on the FR64S when I conducted that little experiment.  OEM FR headshells are VERY heavy and contribute to its high effective mass. Since I never mentioned the headshell, we would have an equation with two unknowns, compliance and effective mass.  So how can you assume the Fres was 4hz?  Otherwise, I truly don't know what you are talking about.
Second, I posted earlier in the thread that perhaps the large amount of mass added to the base of the FR64S by the presence of the B60 and the massive aluminum tonearm mounting board that I use with the ensemble has something to do with why my FR64S sounds outstandingly good with a variety of cartridges, despite lack of obvious external damping.  I don't know this to be true, but it is a possible explanation, because the mass can dissipate energy as heat.  I took your (dismissive) response as evidence you disagree with the idea of mass damping.  Those words came out of your "mouth"; I did not put them there.
As to the new question about Well Tempered tonearms, I refer specifically to the WT Reference tonearm and not to any later products, such as the tonearm on the Amadeus, because I have not heard those.  My very best audiophile friend owned a WT Reference turntable and tonearm for about two decades before he eventually died.  In his last 2-3 years, because he was by then disabled, I was setting up his table for a new cartridge, when I noticed what I think is an excessive amount of damping, also poor control of azimuth, also a not so rigid pivot bearing.  Also for those 20 years, I was hearing how it homogenizes the sounds of widely different LPs, from his collection of 6000 LPs, making them all sound "good" or pleasant, but not often like real music. (Is that better for you than "alive"?  Alive means "like real live music".)  I attend live music at clubs and in concert halls at least once or twice a month here in Washington, DC, where we have the Kennedy Center less than 30 minutes away from my house, driveway to driveway, and many good jazz clubs.  Plus I have performed myself as a jazz singer, standing and rehearsing in front of live musicians. Plus I play the piano at home. Those are my sources of my understanding of what live music should sound like.
Have you ever publicly respected the opinion of anyone who disagrees with you, even when we are really only talking about opinion, not factual analysis?  Or is everyone else on the other side of any fence you care to put up "ignorant" by definition?
tyray, in my opinion antistatic effect  is very small and it's more advertising gimmick. 
I am a little bit confused why none of MC cartridges uses brush. Maybe there is some interference. For high compliant ones it should be very OK...
I had a Rabco in which I replaced the arm with carbon fiber and set up the cat whiskers to drive an opamp, complete with a bit of capacitive smoothing so the opamp could match the speed of the grooves. It worked well except that the track on which the arm moved was resonant and sloppy. Reducing the mass of the arm was a big deal though. I think that Audio magazine article really does itself an injustice by referring to ’pivoted’ as opposed to ’radial’ arms- in that regard it makes almost no sense unless you know that they mean ’linear tracking’ when the word ’pivoted’ appears....
@bukanona

tyray, in my opinion antistatic effect is very small and it’s more advertising gimmick. I am a little bit confused why none of MC cartridges uses brush. Maybe there is some interference. For high compliant ones it should be very OK...
Now that you mention it, I do remember before the market had ’standard’ stylus cleaning brushes, cleaning fluids and dust covers, folks just used to wipe the vinyl with a cotton cloth and blew on the ’needle’ or just used nothing at all, which I do remember caused a lot of static and not to mention dust accumulation on the needle.

I’m thinking we both are right though, the antistatic brush also could be thought of an antidust brush too. It must have been a ’revolution’ at the time it came out as it took some years before for the practice and use of ’record cleaning’ became an audiophile practiced standard.

I think the Shure brush patent was such a Shure engineering statement it became synonymous with the Shure brand. Stanton MM carts also uses brushes. Maybe it was just a MM Thing?