Overdamped Turntable

I’ve heard the term many times from many enthusiasts including Himself (Fremer).
What do you hear when you think “overdamped” TT?
How do you differentiate the TT from the cartridge, etc,in that case?

An overdamped turntable sounds slow, less dynamic and less open. An underdamped turntable can ring and sound bright or edgy at certain frequencies. Cartridges rarely identify so unless they are matched badly with the arm or phonostage or fitted with a damping sheet between cartridge and headshell.

There are also Arms sounding slow and less dynamic, which is a matter of slow deduction ability and less good bearings. Arms with e.g. wooden arm tubes not rarely can sound slow, as the wood damps but doesn’t deduct fast. Anyhow sometimes wood is part of the design, but imo not optimal for that purpose, rather tonality cosmetics.

The wrong turntable mat can also lead to slightly overdamped sound.

Rarely any complete POM / acrylic turntable sounds open, fast and dynamic.

But then the motor management has a lot of influence on dynamics, too. You have to care for quite a few things unfortunately, but then it’s mich more dynamic sounding than your digital chain but probably also more expensive :wink:

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An example of how to get an over damped sound IME, throw a sorbothane mat on an original Linn Sondek LP12, ( no nirvana or vahalla mods), especially with a Stanton 681ee cartridge.

Or mount a Koetsu into an SME arm on an Oracle Delphi.

E.g. Linn as well as Rega sound right if one runs them as intended. They may have their weaknesses as many do, but they are properly thought out, while some others like many pure acrylic or pure metal ones are optical design ideas without a sound concept.

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