|What is the arm material?
Carbon fiber, heavy wall reinforced on both the arm and spindle.
Let's discuss the VTA and its precision and accuracy.
The VTA shaft is ½ inch in diameter with 42 threads per inch locked in place with 2-inch diameter locking rings and a set screw. VTA adjustments of 1/2000th of an inch are possible and repeatable.
So we stepped through the damping and the VTA. The tonearm wire, if I remember correctly, is medically sourced.
Yes, it is solid-core ultra-pure silver, ultra-pure Teflon. Insulation is less than 1/1000th of an inch thick, cryogenically treated and directionally wired for best sound.
Other air bearing arms use some type of duplicate manifold to keep their cables moving so that the cables don't interfere with the slide. Is it the thinness of the wires that prevent drag on the arm?
Yes, exactly. Because they are looped down, the wires are so tiny and not twisted together so there's essentially no drag.
Anything interesting about the air suspension?
Yes. We use 3 air suspension units - one large one under the arm and two small units in front. Each is coupled to the table with different metals and each carries a different weight load.
Well, so you don't have sympathetic resonance coupling. Also, they support different weight loads and each resonance point will be different than the others.
Each one cancels out different frequencies?
...to a certain extent.
Why the 3 damping chambers under the table?
These chambers distribute the air to the air suspension units. They are true damping/volume chambers and lower the resonance points of the chambers while isolating them from each other.
I've tested the resonance point of my cartridge/arm combination with the hi-fi test record. The resonance point was 5 to 6Hz.
That's correct for the arm. The air suspension resonance is approximately 3Hz.
What's the base material?
Crushed marble and lead in an epoxy resin.
And the platter - solid lead?
Yeah, pure machined lead. It took us forever to teach the machine shop how to do it and it nearly drove me crazy.
Let's move over to the motor. What makes it unique?
|We use an instrument-grade, ball-bearing synchronous motor with expensive polystyrene and polypropylene caps for the run capacitors, wired with Teflon-coated silver wire and with a solid-silver on/off switch. We put $70 worth of capacitors into the motor just for a run capacitor! I mean, the caps are worth almost as much as the motor is - but it made the difference. The motor is then fitted with standard Valid Points and the motor plate assembly with small Valid Points, which sit on resonance control discs. A convenient knob moves the whole motor assembly smoothly in and out so you can set the belt tension precisely. The belt tension is not super critical but if you get the belt tension too low it will slip and too tight will hurt the sound.
The motor is low torque. Generally you give the platter a slight push to start it.
That's right. You don't need a high-torque motor to run an air-bearing table and a low-torque motor sounds much better.
|If you wait long enough, it will start by itself?
Yes it will, but you'd have to wait. Just give the platter a push and it'll be up to speed by the time you cue it.
Now it's fed by the new and updated motor controller. Lets' talk about some of the design considerations and why it's important to the ultimate sound quality.
Actually the motor controller is triple-isolated from the noise of any electrical rotating equipment, meaning the motor itself and your system power. In the Ultimate Motor Controller, we use super- expensive, ultra high-speed rectifier diodes with zero recovery, the best Black Gate caps; I also use premium Solen caps and .05% nude foil resistors. The A/C is changed to D/C. We recreate the A/C sine wave and then drive the motor through another custom toroidal transformer. The 33RPM and 45RPM settings are adjusted separately and speed is selected with a switch. There's a phase switch on the side of it to set the phase for the motor. You never know how someone wound the motor - did he wind it left to right or right to left? So the phase switch is there. You listen, flip the switch, listen again, then leave the position where it sounds best. That's it.
Thanks for the fascinating design insight on the table