In praise of idlers

Jan 12, 2018
44
28
18
Copenhagen
#1
Without idlers I dont think I would listen to records, and without records I dont think I would bother about hifi.

For me, the idlers are unmatched in the addictive way they drive the music and carry the beat.

My musical taste is more marley than mozart.

Well, thats just like my opinion. Whats yours?

Jesper
 

spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
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#2
Hey Jesper, you know my view. My rim drive is strictly speaking not idler, but an offshoot, and is evolved directly from the Lenco L75.

In terms of tonal solidity, fluid heft, and my tagline "the note is everything", idlers are hard to beat.

Yes, we can argue that as in all engineering, it's the total package that matters. An idler in a rumbly old plinth will die next to a nicely isolated belt drive.

But put that idler in even just a semi decent new plinth and focus on rumble management, and now that idler comes alive.

I've just rifled thru Miles Davis 70s electric jazz period, Bitches Brew to Pangea/Agharta, and the sheer heft and life in these lps is ably portrayed by my heavilly-modded rim drive Salvation.

Where my old belt drive (Michell Orbe, modded w Origin Live motor and Gert Peterson suspension/armboard upgrades) maybe had the edge on airiness, my rim drive just nails the gestalt, the message. Huge solidity, but also fast reflexes, and a real spotlight on density, tonal saturation and certitude.

I love my rim drive so much, that instead of the tedious usual proceedure that audiophiles do in going for a new tt, I invested 5x my original outlay in maxxing it to the hilt, and marrying idler superior strengths w improved performance parameters I only hear in the best belt drives and DDs.

Idlers rule.
 

bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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#3
Without idlers I dont think I would listen to records, and without records I dont think I would bother about hifi.

For me, the idlers are unmatched in the addictive way they drive the music and carry the beat.

My musical taste is more marley than mozart.

Well, thats just like my opinion. Whats yours?

Jesper
So Metallica = direct drive, Marley = idler, Mozart = belt?
 

spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
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#5
We love categories. And idler is a killer category.

Maybe LGBTTY...XYZZZZZZZ can be mutated for audiophiles too.

Ked, idlers are at a natural disadvantage on classical. Their rumble characteristics mean that absolute cleanliness of reproduction is hampered compared to the best, zero noise belt drives or DDs, esp those w air bearings like Vyger or AS.

They are rhythm monsters. The trick is to minimise rumble, isolate from outside vibn, and mate w sympathetic/balancing tonearms, carts and phonos.

Get an idler w high torque and good speed stability, put it in an uber plinth, reduce rumble to the stylus, isolate from the world, mate w fast and accurate arm/cart/phono, and for outlay way below many so-called cutting edge belt drives, you will have a tt that nails music, both drive, and the delicate stuff too.

My rim drive cost me £1700 in 2013. To date, I've spent another £9-10k on it, and classical lps are the first thing I reach for. Knowing that only top eschelon belt drives costing multiples more might take me further, but not across the board.

Nothing can match the price/performance sweet spot for well sorted idlers.
 

bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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#6
Marc, in the western electric room at Munich they use only idlers though exotic modded ones such as commonwealth, dual platter lenco, etc and that's easily the best analog playing at Munich including on classical.

But otherwise I agree with you. I don't like Garrard, I like schopper 124, PTP is nice but schopper is better.

After schopper my next price point STST Motus II which is a suspended direct drive. After that it's Brinkmann balance and Vyger.

Tang's EMT sounds great for certain type of music and could be the best second table one could have. It is not a primary table due to the inability to render a lot of classical properly
 

spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
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#7
Ked, if yr tastes are 99% classical, and 1% LZ, you're gonna need Vyger AND idler.

Simple as that.

If like me, its 2/3 rock and jazz, 1/3 classical, and you wanna get into Ravel and Shosty more, and not run a belt drive, you do what I've done, squeeze every last iota of juice from the idler/rim lemon.

My Salvation cannot do that last percentage of inner beauty of Ravel. But no belt drive I've heard comes close to what idler does on Immigrant Song etc.

And I won't run two tts.
 
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spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
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#8
Ked, idler to those who haven't experienced it/wedded to belt/skeptical, is just like trying to convince a SS devotee of the joy of triodes, or a box spkr fan of the delights of horns or ribbons.

It'll be the usual lost cause of talking flow/continuity etc etc.

No SME or Brinkmann or Kronos or AF owner feels their tt lacks tonal saturation, fluid heft, gestalt of the note. Idler fans believe they do. Well, I do anyway.

For me, idler/rim was such a natural move after deciding to go down the triodes/full range driver route. What would be on paper a rabbit hole to belt drive/SS/box spkrs afficionados, is more like taking a journey to the heart of music on vinyl.
 

bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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#9
Ked, idler to those who haven't experienced it/wedded to belt/skeptical, is just like trying to convince a SS devotee of the joy of triodes, or a box spkr fan of the delights of horns or ribbons.

It'll be the usual lost cause of talking flow/continuity etc etc.

No SME or Brinkmann or Kronos or AF owner feels their tt lacks tonal saturation, fluid heft, gestalt of the note. Idler fans believe they do. Well, I do anyway.

For me, idler/rim was such a natural move after deciding to go down the triodes/full range driver route. What would be on paper a rabbit hole to belt drive/SS/box spkrs afficionados, is more like taking a journey to the heart of music on vinyl.
Owners seldom feel their stuff lacks anything till they move on. I don't think it is as religious thing here with triodes vs SS, for example.
 
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spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
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#10
I think it is Ked. It's obv a subset within a subset. Ie a specialism of an already specialist option.

We all need spkrs and amps. You just have to choose box or specialist non-box. Ditto SS or specialist non-SS.

But lp is already a specialist choice wrt the majority who are digital.

Idler is specialist specialist. And those that have settled on idler are as emotional on their choice as those who have seen the light on triodes and/or horns.

Ditto R2R as well.
 

bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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#11
I think it is Ked. It's obv a subset within a subset. Ie a specialism of an already specialist option.

We all need spkrs and amps. You just have to choose box or specialist non-box. Ditto SS or specialist non-SS.

But lp is already a specialist choice wrt the majority who are digital.

Idler is specialist specialist. And those that have settled on idler are as emotional on their choice as those who have seen the light on triodes and/or horns.

Ditto R2R as well.
Some people are emotional some are not
 

spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
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#12
Music IS emotional. It's not a series of data points.
 
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#13
As far as know quality analog tape is direct or belt drive - I have never seen a decent idler tape machine.
 

hi5harry

New Member
Sep 11, 2011
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#14
I REALLY hope this subject keeps it's momentum. I changed my turntable from an after market belt drive system to a Teres Verus rim drive ( albeit on a 50 lb. platter), and the difference was phenomenal! It gave my Lyra Atlas the drive and heft to the music I'm not sure I could have achieved any other way. If your an vinyl junkie, you should investigate. IMG_4069.JPG
 
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spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
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#15
Harry, I'll do my best. Like you I'm a convert/devotee. My Salvation is a parallel evolution of the Verus drive, so I have a good idea what you're experiencing. I know people love to run warm carts like Koetsus on idlers, but like you I'm getting great results w my naturally fast and neutral Straingauge. My advice to you, if you're not doing it already, is pay attention to rumble management. Look at bulletproof isolation under yr yr tt, and maybe even an isolating later under yr Verus rim pod. I use a 9mm thick custom order Symposium Acoustics Svelte pad to replace the stock sorbothane. Well worth the effort.
 
Jan 12, 2018
44
28
18
Copenhagen
#16
In my house, most jazz (and little bit of classical) goes on the 301 and most pop and rock go on the lencos.

There are exceptions though. Elvis and kraftwerk like the power of the garrard and "something else..." likes the
beat of the lenco.

I wonder whether that belt drive "air" is really just a product of the speed wobblyness of the elastics...?

Worth noting that all records are cut using direct drive and that the best cutting lathes seems to be based
syncroneous ac motors. Vintage lyrec to be specific.

Jesper
 
Jan 12, 2018
44
28
18
Copenhagen
#18
Here are my two big decks. I use the L70 arm on the ptp because nothing makes the denon 103 sing like that arm.

And also a snap from the bedroom. Yes I know, the L70 shouldnt sit on the floor like that — ive been lazy.

Jesper
 

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Solypsa

Active Member
Jun 7, 2017
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www.solypsa.com
#20
...Worth noting that all records are cut using direct drive and that the best cutting lathes seems to be based
syncroneous ac motors. Vintage lyrec to be specific.
Jesper
I used to have a Neumann lathe with the Lyrec. Wonderful machine to work with and what a massive hunk of metal that motor is! To be fair, however, if I could have found a Technics SP02 DD replacement motor at reasonable cost I would have wanted it...
 

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