Star Sound Technologies Platter Ground
Star Sound Technologies continues their innovations. This one surprised me. It is to be put on your records in the center. It is what they call a platter ground. Not a record weight as it weighs little. Not a record clamp as it doesn’t clamp. It also is not in contact with the spindle. So how, you might ask, does it work? I asked that very question of Robert Maicks, the man behind this very product, exactly that question. He said, “just listen to it,” which is exactly what I did. So what did I hear? Read on…
I must say that it doesn’t sound like any other record weight, clamp, dampener, etc. that I have ever heard. My setup? The Jean Nantais-modified Lenco Reference 100 pound turntable with an Ikeda 407 long arm and their 9TT cartridge playing through a BMC MCCI phono stage and using High Fidelity Cables Ultimate Reference Helix phono cables. From there on, it is my reference system, that now is all HFC Pro cables. Of course, it includes BMW speakers, the Tripoint grounding unit, and the H-Cat X-10 line stage and MkIII amp.
One merely places the Platter Ground over the spindle. It doesn’t contact the spindle, however. I can be moved about and I usually seek to center it on the record. I think not having spindle contact is important but centering is not. I can hear no difference between perfectly centering it to having it a far to one side as possible. I must say that this surprised me and still bothers me seeing it wobble as the record rotates. I have become quite good at centering but admit it really doesn’t matter.
I have heard the benefits of many other record top devices, and they typically offer some more resolution, greater bass impact, cleaner attacks, etc. This unit offers immediate illumination of the recording venue. It has much more information to come off the record with this being defined bass with sharp impact, brass with edge, clean high hat, decay of notes as well as much that is not music, such as audience coughs and on Belafonte Return to Carnegie Hall (RCA Victor LSO-6007) the sounds of the subway beneath it and even ventilation noises. Count Basie and his orchestra’s Warm Breeze [Pablo Today, D2312131] was just revelatory. Satin Doll is probably the most famous piece and is just strikingly real. I thought I was in the recording studio once I upped the volume to real levels for this big band.
Finally, Lena Horne and Gabor Szabo, Watch What Happens [Buddah, BDS-18-SK] just comes alive with the Platter-Ground. She gives a new version of the Beatles’ Rocky Raccoon.
Frankly, I never thought the detail that I get with this device to be on an LP or to be revealed by the stylus. Everything just has a life to it that is thrilling. I am left once again, thinking about the quality of both vinyl and quad DSD music served music. I am glad for this as I have thousands of old records, many mono, that I have never seen on CDs much less SACD or in downloads.
Thanks to the Star Sound Technologies Platter Ground, they are still available to me. If only I had maintained the orderliness of my storage of these albums.
Star Sound Technologies
Address: 245 OAKS Road
Oxford, PA 19363-1952
Toll Free: (877) 668-4332 (US and Canada)
Phone: 1- 610-285-8243