Does removing anti-skating really improve sound?


I know this topic has been discussed here before, but wanted to see if others have the same experience as me. After removing the fishing line dangling weight from my tonearm I’m convinced my bass and soundstage has opened up. I doing very careful listening with headphones and don’t hear any distortion or treble harshness. So why use anti-skating at all? Even during deep bass/ loud passages no skipping of tracks. Any thoughts from all the analog gurus out there?
tubelvr1
 As others have pointed out, there are many different combinations of factors that contribute to the skating effect in each set up. I have a VPI Scoutmaster Signature, which included an antiskate device. I have tried it with and without a number of times in the past decade, trying different combinations of adjustments (VTA, VTF, etc), and I’ve always preferred the sound without the *device*. I believe that the wire to the lemo connector on this tonearm, when the right amount of tension is applied (with a wire twist), produces just the right amount of antiskate. I, too, use the Peter Ledermann method of lowering the stylus down between the grooves at the end of the LP. I can get the requisite “slow” inward movement of the stylus toward the spindle that he suggests, with just the wire twist. The music seems to sound a bit more “dull” with the antiskate device attached. Keep in mind that the wire tension (I believe) is providing some antiskate, so I’m NOT saying antiskate isn’t necessary, I’m only saying the antiskate *device*, in my set up, isn’t necessary. Btw, my son has an Avid ‘table with a Rega 330, and that setup definitely requires some antiskate, but if it’s adjusted as described in the manual, it’s too much. It needs to be dialed back to be correct according to the Ledermann/Schröder method. This is only my experience, so YMMV. 
Krell, Over the years there does seem to be general agreement that the "recommended" amount of AS is usually too much for best SQ and even for lowest wear on the cartridge.  So, your son's experience is typical. In the good old days, the AS mechanism was sometimes marked with values starting at 0.5 or 1.0.  These often were to indicate that if you were tracking at 1.0g, you should use the 1.0 setting on the AS device.  Almost always, that is too much AS.
Thinking about the varying levels, ie. average and peak levels being quite different, the best *sounding* antiskating will rather compensate levels with average modulation.
This will need less compensation than trying to minimize and center distortion artefacts on high level modulations, like eg. 70u.
This latter method is what I used in earlier times, but my feeling was that I usually ended with too high antiskating settings.
I tend to agree, that (one of the better methods of) "traditional" adjustment results in too high antiskating for optimal music replay (with musics low to moderate average levels - and relative friction).
My first 17d2 started sounding a bit lop sided after a few years, all right a few too many years even for a micro ridge stylus. The arm was a Rega RB300 and I’d believed the instruction to just set the magnetic anti-skate to the same value as the VTF. The result was not only an unevenly worn stylus but the cantilever was squed to one side and slightly twisted, I eventually got it checked under a high powered stereo microscope which confirmed the stylus wear. I set up the anti-skate on its replacement using the blank track on a test disc and that one was still straight when it was replaced. With that arm I could never hear much difference. When I replaced it with a Naim Aro with its thread and weight there was one of the possible settings that sounded livelier than the others (using solo piano music) so I used that. With my current Schöder I set it initially with the test disc and then fine tune for best dynamics, as far as I can determine by ear, which is a bit less than the test disc setting.
Millercarbon....or increase vtf slightly to eliminate mistracking.  Very many high end audiophiles don't use a/s