In praise of idlers

Feb 21, 2014
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bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
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Ddon't forget that all of these old idler have been built when the main in Europ was 220 volts maximum. So powering them at 210 220 volts give a better result, cleaner treble...
https://positive-feedback.com/reviews/hardware-reviews/the-hanze-hifi-hat-turntable-power-supply/
Yes all the power supplies from schopper, swissonor, and hanze do that. In fact schopper said the power when the 124 built was lower, around 200 or so and that's where the supply adjusts the voltage to
 

gian60

Well-Known Member
Apr 17, 2016
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I wrote to Schopper and told their power supply is a big step and who has is very happy.
Suggest to put at 200 volt,they sell directly and no profit for distributor,so do price list,could be pay the delivery cost
 
Feb 21, 2014
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Looks interesting, but an idler without a massive plinth is something of a concern.
Yes that’s a valid point still be interested to hear if anyone had heard one
 
Likes: bazelio

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
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Agree re the plinth
Vic my rim drive tt designer went thru multiple options before coming up w his idea of c.25kg slate plinth option. Plus mag lev feet, and I've gone on to take this to it's nth degree w another 150kg of slate under.
You can (not) hear the difference
 
May 4, 2013
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I refuse to get to carried away here, I personally own and have owned a few turntables or maybe I am exaggerating, of all drive types mentioned here. My conclusion is there are fantastic Idlers, nice rim drives as there are belts and wonderful direct drives it all comes down to the implementation and materials used in construction. Poorly executed turntables will sound indifferent to appalling with enough care and dedication any type of drive can be made to sound musically excellent. While drives do impact the as does motor vibration speed stability rumble etc a good designer will work with the chosen drive. Direct drives are most certainly not easy to implement well as are idlers but belt drives are extremely sensitive to the motor chosen and its mounting and its enclosure. I have turntables here by manufacturers who have implemented both direct and belt drive extremely well although not sounding identical both capable of extremely good results. Then we have the subject of arm cartridge compatibility not to mention phono stages and even arm cables making the whole analogue playback system extremely difficult to optimise the variables are too great.
 
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Sep 11, 2011
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AND, unlike other gear, we are invited to mess with it!!! We get to try whatever arm, motor, cartridge, dampening, phono cables, etc. We only have our ears to trust. I had a lot of help, but I built my latest. All of us can hear the difference between aluminum and stainless steel arm pods, copper top platters, wood tonearms, and drive systems. It's really something, in the fact they probably measure the same, but your ears tell you when it's right. Lots of fun!
 
Jun 26, 2018
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I very nearly went down the low torque route again in 2011 w the (now sadly discontinued) Palmer 2.5 (I believe descended from the NA). It sounded v special thru Harbeths.

But high torque speaks more to me, and hearing the Salvation the same day as the Palmer was instructive.
Marc, I have a soft spot for the Palmer 2.5. I can guess your answer but I'm interested to hear in detail the differences you recall between the Palmer and the Salvation. Thanks.
 
Jun 13, 2013
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Pallen, I never got to hear them side by side, but detailed seperate demos in the same week. So hard to draw any hard and fast conclusions, esp since the setups they were both playing in were also v different.

The Palmer 2.5 was highly seductive, a really generous open sound that had a little of the midbass hump I've heard previously in Nottingham Analogue and Linn Sondek. Imho, there's nothing wrong in that, as long as there is good tonal discrimination btwn lps, a little warmth is nice to prevent listener fatigue and keep sessions going for longer.

My only caveat was a little lack of drive or propulsion to music, Led Zep sounded a little too laid back. Now this wasn't so much in comparison to the belt drive Michell Orbe I was running at the time, more to the Salvation that I heard in the same period. And I put a certain amount of that contrast to the low torque drive employed by the Palmer, it was one of those tts best set on it's way by a strong nudge.

But no complaints really, and a lot to like in the sound. And the design aesthetic, oh gosh, I really love built up laminated birch plinths, so cool in that mid 20th century aesthetic.

I really enjoyed meeting the designer, I was v sad to hear that the Palmer is no more. I guess it's success would have relied on potential customers like me deciding to buy it.

I can hugely recommend it to anyone if they find a good example s/h.

The Salvation just took things a step or three further. A tiny bit less relaxed, but way more detailed and dynamic, but w no loss of natural warmth. Less mids hump.

However it is hard to pull apart Salvation SQ from the synergy it has w it's air LT arm, this bringing so much to the deal to boost the package well beyond it's price bracket.

But the Palmer would have been a fine tt to invest in too.
 
May 30, 2010
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Good idea, let's do some calculations. Im considering a turntable where a motor drives a platter through a belt.
I've used parameters which are sort-of garrard'ish -- but belt driven.

I did a spreadsheet to compute 4 different things:

1. The resonance frequency of the belt-platter system. Thick rubber band => 3Hz, Guitar string => 13 Hz.
2. The platter rotational energy. = 0.41 J [Nm]
3. The torque of the motor. = 27 Nm
4. The rotational energy of the motor. = 0.5 J [Nm]

Unfortunately I cant upload the spreadsheet but I'd be happy to mail it to anyone interested.

Im unsure about the parameters used to compute 4 but it cant be magnitudes off.

What is clear is that the (electric) torque of the motor is a way bigger reservoir of resistance to speed change
and stylus drag than the platter or the moving inner bits of the motor. In fact, to match numbers the platter would
need to be approximately 200 kg placed in a 15 cm radius.

Hence, the drive system (the belt) matters. The point here is that any non-constant stylus drag will trigger a cyclic movement
in the platter relative to the motor (wow) at a resonance frequency that is determined by the mass of the platter and the
spring constant of the belt. If the belt is a thick rubber band you get a resonance frequency of 3 Hz and if its a guitar string
you get 13 Hz resonance frequency. Take your pick. This resonance will be dampened by the damping of the band only.
Crucially, this resonance is correlated to the music.

BTW2: The LP12 wobbles in all dimension, including spring suspension between motor and platter. The only clear beat
Ive heard with the Sondek was the sales guy stamping his foot behind me :)

Jesper

Ps! I would like to see the paper if you have it.
Unfortunately I do not have access to the paper anymore - it is an AES copyright, reserved to paid subscribers.

Thanks for your interest, but I am sorry I can't keep up with your study, in order to go on the subject properly I would need some extra free time. :) But it seems to me there is some mistake in your spreadsheet or in my understanding of it - the energy of the rotating turntable platter is usually quoted to be between several hundred and a few thousands joule and you report less than half of a joule (.41041 J) .

Anyway it seems to me such idealistic simple approach would be chaotic - small variations in the poorly known values would lead to enormous differences in the conclusions. But it is just a feeling ...

It seems we disagree on the Sondek. I was a lot younger at that time, but the damn thing had a lot of rhythm and beat for rock. And I can't believe that the tens of thousands of owners who found so were all wrong!
 

tima

Industry Expert
Mar 4, 2014
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I'm not sure what the risk with a periphery is.
In my mind (since I have not used a ring) the risk is simply handling a large metal ring around a record and cartridge. The amount of space between headshell and platter, getting it centered on the record, the reduced amount of lead-in groove available for the cantilever/stylus, removing it from a record, sitting it somewhere to change the record, etc. This is not criticism of what you're doing - just thinking about what is involved in using one. No doubt you are adept with it.

I'm guessing your's is the larger Kuzma bronze ring, circa 4½ lbs. I believe Kodomo is also using the ring.
 
Jan 12, 2018
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Unfortunately I do not have access to the paper anymore - it is an AES copyright, reserved to paid subscribers.

Thanks for your interest, but I am sorry I can't keep up with your study, in order to go on the subject properly I would need some extra free time. :) But it seems to me there is some mistake in your spreadsheet or in my understanding of it - the energy of the rotating turntable platter is usually quoted to be between several hundred and a few thousands joule and you report less than half of a joule (.41041 J) .

Anyway it seems to me such idealistic simple approach would be chaotic - small variations in the poorly known values would lead to enormous differences in the conclusions. But it is just a feeling ...

It seems we disagree on the Sondek. I was a lot younger at that time, but the damn thing had a lot of rhythm and beat for rock. And I can't believe that the tens of thousands of owners who found so were all wrong!
It’s high school physics.

Kinetic energy is E = 1/2 m v^2 where

the mass of the platter is m = 3kg

travelling at the speed of the rim of the platter v = 2 pi 0.15m (33.3/60 /s) = 0.52 m/s.

As charming as the LP12 is, it aint got beat and drive or power of an idler. I heard one recently. Project has sold many gramophones. Dont make them great either.

Jesper
 
Sep 27, 2016
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In my mind (since I have not used a ring) the risk is simply handling a large metal ring around a record and cartridge. The amount of space between headshell and platter, getting it centered on the record, the reduced amount of lead-in groove available for the cantilever/stylus, removing it from a record, sitting it somewhere to change the record, etc. This is not criticism of what you're doing - just thinking about what is involved in using one. No doubt you are adept with it.

I'm guessing your's is the larger Kuzma bronze ring, circa 4½ lbs. I believe Kodomo is also using the ring.
Using a ring is not challenging. It's an extra step, yes. But analog is itself a time investment, and periphery rings are really nothing in the grand scheme. Top Wing are the first carts I've encountered that ride low enough so as to make contact with my periphery ring. And there is but one Kuzma periphery ring option that I'm aware of when you buy a Stabi M. To my knowledge, it's the same ring used on the XL DC as well. I don't know if it's brass, but it has decent mass. 4-5 pounds sounds about right.
 
Jun 13, 2013
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Bazelio, I would really rather not use the ring. My LT arm gantry has a fixed install over the platter which means I have to swing lps parallel and close to the platter, and drop them down. Ditto the ring. Which then sits less than an inch from the cart. I then need to pretty attentive in cuing up, necessitating need to lift armwand to its max extent.

I cannot ever risk doing any of this in an absent minded fashion. Overtired or benefitting from the demon drink are out.

But, along w use of a centre vinyl weight, the benefits are subtle yet undeniable. My lps dont sit direct on the platter, but on nine 0.5" high Delrin cones bonded to the platter. The ring and weight create a greater continuity w these cones.

It was a bonus finding a ring that didn't cost nearly four figures.
 
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tima

Industry Expert
Mar 4, 2014
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Using a ring is not challenging. It's an extra step, yes. But analog is itself a time investment, and periphery rings are really nothing in the grand scheme. Top Wing are the first carts I've encountered that ride low enough so as to make contact with my periphery ring. And there is but one Kuzma periphery ring option that I'm aware of when you buy a Stabi M. To my knowledge, it's the same ring used on the XL DC as well. I don't know if it's brass, but it has decent mass. 4-5 pounds sounds about right.
The was a heavier ring for the Stabi XL and Stabi M as you describe. At one time Kuzma had two rings (aka outer clamp), now they may have just one. If yours is 4-5 pounds, they may no longer make that version, at least per the Web site. The other version is shorter and lighter, ~2 lbs, part nbr. 180503 It is supposed to fit all Kuzma tables.
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
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Dave, my rim drive is an evolution/mutation of the L75. Vic the designer has taken the basic concept, and managed to crack some of the technical challenges, esp re minimising rumble, and it's transmission to the stylus. If you Google "From Lenco To Salvation" on Lencoheaven forum, you'll see a heroic effort to preserve the inherent vitality of idlers, and addressing those weaknesses that can limit the highest performance.
Marc, Have you heard the VPI Rim Drive? I wonder why VPI seems to have experimented with all of these various drive types. It is a very interesting approach, IMO. I'd be curious to know which of their various models had the biggest fans. Is the Rim Drive still in production?
 
Jun 13, 2013
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Peter, like all things in audio, every method has positives. And then the engineering hurdles to achieve it.

From what I gather, the Terus Verus rim drive used on Terus tts, and I believe TT Weights, had noisy motors (or noisier than ideal) via ball bearings used, and the O-Ring used in the drive wheel contacting platter was prone to distortion/denting/dinging leading to audible feedback. No comment on VPI rim drive but it may have used identical or variant Verus motor drive.

Vic went back to basics, designed a quieter, higher torque motor, found a way to minimise vibn transmission to stylus (ie reduced rumble), and critically a way for the rim wheel driving the platter to not deteriorate.
 
Jun 13, 2013
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Just removed vinyl periphery ring and lp weight from my rig. The right choice. Suprised and not suprised. For one, they always seemed to be beneficial, but not anymore. Two, designer Vic created his tt to formally avoid all hold-downs, going so far as to not even have lp on platter, but balanced on Delrin cones. I should know not to go against daddy Lol.
 

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