Enrique from Australia has recently completed his DIY turntable project with my acrylic plinth and other turntable components as mentioned in his detailed feedback with pictures as follows:


Enjoy reading!

Hi Michael,
I have finally got my turntable complete and running. Just to recap, the turntable uses the following parts:
  •  Acrylic plinth with top brace 
  • Two belt pulley system running the silicon belts 
  • Premium sub-platter 
  • Bronze bearing hub with ceramic ball bearing 
  • VTA adjuster 
  • Adjustable feet 
  • Motor isolation platform  
The system is then completed with 
  •  Premotec 110V motor 
  • Hercules II Power Supply 
  • Granite bottom base 
  • Moth / Rega RB251 tonearm 
  • Dynavector 17D2 cartridge 
Firstly, the package was delivered very quickly, within 5 working days from the day it was posted. Everything was carefully packed with plenty of protection, so that was quite reassuring. 

Putting it all together was very easy with simple instructions. Everything just fits together very well and is quite fool proof. The pieces are very well constructed and the quality and fitting is very high. It was also very reassuring that any questions I had via email were answered very quickly, so that is great service you provide. 

The time came for the sacred ritual of turntable setup. Heart racing, slight sweat on the forehead, expectation running high… I first setup cartridge on the headshell. Spent a bit of time making sure that the alignment protractor was aimed properly to the tonearm and then proceeded to do fine adjustments to the cartridge position on the headshell until the overhang was achieved accurately, the cartridge body tracked at the correct offset angle and the tip precisely hitting the desired spots on the protractor. Once the vertical tracking force was set using a digital scale, I then did a quick check that the tonearm is horizontal when the cartridge contacts the record to start with. The finer setting using the VTA adjuster is to set the tonearm height at the point where the tip is tracking at approximately 93 degrees (Stylus Rake Angle or SRA) to the record surface. Although this a bit academic since each record will be slightly different thickness and therefore affect the Stylus Rake Angle (SRA) minutely, the idea I to finely tune the turntable so that one gets an overall best sound. The lower the VTA the more prominent the bass becomes, the higher the VTA the highs become more, and the sweet spot obtains a good balance plus focus and sharpness in the imaging and sound stage. Therefore, the finer vertical tracking force and vertical tracking angle I would decide and fine tune through listening.
Pic 1 - The VTA is shown here and really easy to install. 


Pic 2 & 3 – Adjusting the cartridge alignment and stylus 
tracking angle is possible thanks to the VTA adjuster.

Next is simply making sure that the granite base was level. This is easy as I use adjustable metal spikes… it is surprising how un-levelled floors and shelves can be and surprising how many people skip this simple step!  Next I placed the turntable on the levelled granite platform and also ensured that the turntable itself was also level (the adjustable feet come in really hand for this also, and as recommended, I filled the rubber feet with plasticine.  Making sure that the base and the turntable each are level, ensures that the decoupled motor (which sits on the base) and the turntable are running on parallel planes to minimize any shift in the bets as it runs through the sub-platter.

Pic 4 – Motor base, dual pulley and belt and Sub-platter with Bronze bearing

I placed the platter on the turntable, and turned on the valve amps and the motor and allowed it to run for a few minutes whilst I pulled out my favourite records.

Pic 5 – The turntable with the Hercules II power supply board 
which I fitted into a Perspex and wooden box.

Is this it?  Did I finally get to the point of listening the turntable?  One final check… oh yes, I forgot to pour myself a glass of scotch whiskey.

First up I is a Mobile Fidelity version of Cat Steven’s Teaser and the Firecat.   The tip hits the record, I turn up the volume… wait… nothing for a few seconds, my heart momentarily stops, and then out of the silence, the guitar comes.  What had just happened?  Strange to say, but those first two seconds of silence were my very first impression of the turntable – silence, a lack of background noise.  The guitar then springs into life.  The detail in the guitar playing (The Wind) is awesome.  Fingernails on the strings, you can appreciate the sound and timber of the actual guitar.  Cymbals and Triangles are reproduced very cleanly with loads of extension.  The turntable exhibits really good pace, a big sound stage and there is a palpable presence and natural sound to the voice.  This setup is clean and fast, with plenty of dynamics.  The background noise level is very low and this silence is so important, because out of it, the voice and instruments do really spring into life.  On the more complex passage of Bittertblue, the sound remains dynamic and tidy, clear separation of musical instruments at the top and bottom registers.

Impressed with this, I went on to a Wilson recording of The Choir of Grace Cathedral, last track first side (Grieve Not).  This is a choir piece with loads of deep organ notes.  The amount of ambience the turntable reproduces is really very good.  There is so much detail, you can hear the organist hitting the keys with his hands and feet and pulling levers of the organ… you think you are there.  The voices are so well presented, delicate and again so much detail to each voice.  I have listened to this track many times before and I am rediscovering it again with this turntable.  Loads of detail, and a very well defined very deep base from the organ.

I could go on and on, but let’s just say that the turntable performed spectacularly in Miles Davis Kind of Blue (Music on Vinyl, 180gsm two LP version).  Again, a big sound stage, loads of ambience and detail, great extension of the cymbals, very clear percussion, and it is so good to hear not just the front and main instruments, but also other background instruments, the huff and puff on the horns, the tone on the piano…  and did I say my scotch whiskey tasted better than usual.

This turntable has exceeded my expectations.  It is simpler to put together than I thought, and the sound is reproduces is very clean, dynamic, with plenty of extension and detail.  At this stage, I am already very happy with it.

I can’t wait for the counterweight now.

I will let the system settle, listen to it plenty more and try some different mats.  I am currently using a felt mat, but will give some other ones a try.   Thank you Michael for your great products, for making it so much fun to fine tune a turntable to extract as much information as possible from the vinyl.  Indeed very impressed with the quality of the build of the products as well as the quality of sound it produces.

Cheers,

Enrique


Thanks, Enrique!




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