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Idler vs Belt vs Direct Drive (merged topic)

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Postby krenzler » 09 Dec 2007 17:18

Did you get to listen to the lovely little Thorens too?
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Postby tresaino » 10 Dec 2007 09:18

ben556473 wrote:Hello Tresaino, lovely pictures, lovely gear. Which combination of cartridge, arm and table do you prefer most? Also do you have any problems with acoustic feedback with such massive speakers? Thanks for showing.

Hello Ben, sorry but your first question is both too complex to answer and also off-topic. BTW, these speakers are not mine, I was there only with my little EMT 930. :lol: But I can tell you that acoustic feedback was not a problem for the TTs, as the Raven relies on heavy mass, the Thorens Reference on suspension, and my visiting EMT on the sismic base. But in this system bass is a problem in my view, there was easily too much of it in the room and it got muddy.

krenzler wrote:Did you get to listen to the lovely little Thorens too?

Yes, a great experience, we all really liked the Schroeder tonearm combined with the Dynavector XV-1 cartridge on the Thorens Reference. The owner considers the Thorens superior to the Raven.. I cannot comment on that, but what I can say is that, compared to the three-motor Raven, the one-motor Thorens did not lose anything in terms of speed accuracy and dynamics, on the contrary. This would suggest that belt-driven one-motor designs can be as good as multiple motor designs, a point made by Fremer and others occasionally in Stereophile and elsewhere.

What we did not compare was the slam and dynamics of the EMT with the Thorens, as arms and cartridges did not allow such comparison. But the Raven really lost against the EMT on that front, the differences were immediate and clear.
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Postby Guest » 10 Dec 2007 14:28

"Hello Ben, sorry but your first question is both too complex to answer and also off-topic"
Sorry Tresaino, my mistake.
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Postby lfleib » 10 Dec 2007 14:33

Thanks for the pictures and observations - very beautiful and impressive.
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Postby satanfriendly » 11 Dec 2007 03:23

A most wonderful selection of turntables on display. A real battle of the heavyweights with a most decriptive round by round, blow by blow commentary. Excellent reading and thanks.

Ive three turntables each so completely different in their portrayal of vinyl reproduction. I tend to use them more by my mood, taking in to consideration ease of use, critical listening and by how much I've had to drink (read ease of use again).

I do spend some time listening to the same piece of music on all three and it really is amazing how different decks have such different signatures and its own individual input.

Unfortunately they are all belt, but may be one day a DD and an idler may join their ranks to draw comparrisons.

Cheers for the insight.
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Postby michaelwnz » 11 Dec 2007 05:48

Very nice pictures.

Question: what were the rest of the electronics ?

I see the lights of several Lyngdorf/Tact units ?
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Postby tresaino » 11 Dec 2007 09:23

glad that some of you liked it! :D

Tact electronics were indeed in there, as was a super-expensive German CD player who apparently breaks down more often than it should. But we're off topic again. :twisted:

I would just add an observation, that you may or may not agree with: in my view differences between top idler wheels and top belt drives are at least as important as the ones between top cartridges. :wink:
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Postby gkimeng » 12 Dec 2007 22:24

tresaino wrote:glad that some of you liked it! :D

I would just add an observation, that you may or may not agree with: in my view differences between top idler wheels and top belt drives are at least as important as the ones between top cartridges. :wink:


Ultimately, I think the one place where belt drive wins out over idler is when the time comes to find replacement rubber for 40+ year old turntables made by defunct manufacturers...
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Postby tresaino » 12 Dec 2007 22:39

I don't agree. It is not at all difficult to find good idler wheels, you can buy them for a 100-150 dollars and they last a very very long time.
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Postby LeeS » 12 Dec 2007 22:57

The idler wheel on my GL88 is an original and is still fine after 40 years. Nice and clean, supple, accurately ground and probably good for another 40 years. Not sure what kind of rubber Lenco used, but it's superb.

Conversely, the belt I had for my Michell Orbe went all hard and shiny and lost its elasticity after about 3 or 4 years. I would reckon on replacing it every 3 years or so had I kept the turntable.

Not sure about Garrard, EMT or Thorens idler wheels though.
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Postby Guest » 13 Dec 2007 00:18

tresaino wrote:I don't agree. It is not at all difficult to find good idler wheels, you can buy them for a 100-150 dollars and they last a very very long time.

also Ed Crockett will rebuild your original idler wheel for much less..
look under "Rebuild services" of his web page..he does pinch rollers etc as well.
http://www.vintagelectronics.com/
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Postby analogous » 13 Dec 2007 00:35

LeeS wrote:Not sure about Garrard, EMT or Thorens idler wheels though.


My Garrard 301 is 100% stock. But I plan to get the idler wheel refurbished. It's a matter of when.
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Postby tresaino » 13 Dec 2007 07:31

Ernie L wrote: also Ed Crockett will rebuild your original idler wheel for much less..
look under "Rebuild services" of his web page..he does pinch rollers etc as well.
http://www.vintagelectronics.com/

Thanks for this. We actually experimented and had some custom built from different rubber materials, but with moderate results. The ones Dusch, former EMT employee, is selling are top quality.
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Postby hurdy_gurdyman » 13 Dec 2007 16:10

You can also do what I had done with my ROK idler wheel. I had a new wheel made by a local machinists. Its made out of nylon and has a groove cut into the edge to hold a common O-ring. Whenever its changed it needs to have the rubber precision ground, which should be a minimal charge. This method should make all future rubber changes fast and minimal cost.

Dave :)
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Postby gkimeng » 14 Dec 2007 19:42

tresaino wrote:I don't agree. It is not at all difficult to find good idler wheels, you can buy them for a 100-150 dollars and they last a very very long time.


I've changed the belts on my 46 year old AR table every 5-6 years since it was new, whether they seemed to need changing or not. My last repacement set (just last week) cost me nine bucks, including shipping. I think it's the most I've ever paid for a set of belts.
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