Yes innocent bystander I agree that one mans meat can be another mans poison.. But in this case the amount of damping used and the totally random way it was placed did affect the sound very adversly..I thought their may be something wrong with the 52/4 boards ' even turntable setup was questioned on this forum.. I have owned a few turntables in the last 35 years and have owned three of the current model "The AR Turntable".. I have owned a few Sondek's in my time too ' and the AR to my ears is much more pleasing.. This is why i was so suprised that it all sounded so bad..
The main thing is that the damping 'was not isololated to the plinth !" ' there was damping on the cross member that holds the bearing.. That is what killed the sound . The sound has opened up imessurably now and sounds as I expect..
The little Alphason Opal arm has been on a few decks so I kind of understand its sound.. I bought it in preference to a linn Ittok ' which I expected to sound better to my ears but did not..
Anyway am going to change the stylus at some point probably ' Would like a nice Supex mm ' as I do like their sound. This was the brand that Linn used for a good while.. Don't even know if they are produced now. Getting an old one could be dodgy as the rubber around the stylus is prone to hardening..
Thanks for your interest...
The trouble with tweaks such as the turntable damping is that to one person something can be an improvement, and to another the same thing is perceived as killing the sound - it all depends on what the individual's preference as to how the music should sound and what may be the effect of the rest of their system (including room).
Personally I would have thought that the last thing anyone would want would be resonances in the turntable as they could be picked up by the stylus. Presumably that as why someone had added the damping material, and one assumes that if it was added by a previous user then s/he must have liked the result or would have immediately removed it!