In praise of idlers

Gregadd

WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
7,138
244
560
Metro DC
I suppose any problem can be compensated for. H ow is it that mechanical resonances are blocked from being transferred to the platter via the idler?
How do you prevent speed variations from the idler wheel being out of round.
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
9,105
3,109
820
I suppose any problem can be compensated for. H ow is it that mechanical resonances are blocked from being transferred to the platter via the idler?
How do you prevent speed variations from the idler wheel being out of round.

every turntable drive approach has it's challenges. which are answered by degrees of execution. if you observe the pictures of the idler Saskia model two in this link, picture 3 and 4 are telling.

https://www.whatsbestforum.com/threads/saskia-model-two.28727/

it shows the idler drive wheel in standby mode, sans platter. throw the lever, and the wheel slips into place connected to the inner platter surface and the motor shaft connected to the Pabst 3 phase motor. the idler drive wheel has a rubber nitril surface with a specific pliability which maximizes grip but minimizes resonance transfer from the motor shaft. observe the build quality of the drive wheel and it's gimbal 'yoke'.....with a bushing, not a bearing. it is really smooth.....and stout.

the motor is mounted on a lower slate plinth, which is suspended between the upper slate plinth holding the platter, and the footers. the plinth weighs 180 pounds, the platter 40 pounds.

idlers come in all sizes and levels of execution. i loved my Garrard 301.......the Saskia.....is another level. and should be.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Gregadd

denimhunter

Member
Apr 10, 2020
37
15
8
55
In all of my research in regards to the Garrard 401, I’ve never seen reference to a MK2 version. What is the difference?
no doubt u know there are mk1, 2 and 3 for the 401 (however u want to call them). Mk1 used 301 motor into 401 chassis (supposed to be the best), I heard it before but no direct comparison. mk2 different motor and bearing I think. mk3 from latter years. U can tell from the strobe light, provided the internals have not been altered of course.
 

jeffrey_t

VIP/Donor
Jan 29, 2012
1,880
1,152
520
no doubt u know there are mk1, 2 and 3 for the 401 (however u want to call them). Mk1 used 301 motor into 401 chassis (supposed to be the best), I heard it before but no direct comparison. mk2 different motor and bearing I think. mk3 from latter years. U can tell from the strobe light, provided the internals have not been altered of course.

Is this “official” or “unofficial?” How do you tell on the unit? Serial number?
 

denimhunter

Member
Apr 10, 2020
37
15
8
55
The 3 digit number stamp underneath by the ground lug is the manufactured date. First digit is year 196x or 197x and last two digits are the week.
Ok. Thanks.
i usually tell by the strobe light, wouldn’t worry too much about the ‘lettering’.
 

jeffrey_t

VIP/Donor
Jan 29, 2012
1,880
1,152
520
Ok. Thanks.
i usually tell by the strobe light, wouldn’t worry too much about the ‘lettering’.
I do find it interesting that no where on the Garrard does it say mk2 or mk3, this seems to be an unofficial designation.
 

gian60

Well-Known Member
Apr 17, 2016
2,150
1,241
258
This is my Torqueo Limited T 34
The standard is T34 exclusive and the Limited serie cost near double because inside quality of material and the thickness is different,and the look is the same.
I found it very very good and much better than my TD 124 Swissonor with nonmagnetic platter and a Garrard 401 i had
301 never tried at home,always listen in shop and i liked
 

Attachments

  • IMG_3698.jpg
    IMG_3698.jpg
    41.3 KB · Views: 45
  • IMG_9821.jpg
    IMG_9821.jpg
    58.8 KB · Views: 46

gian60

Well-Known Member
Apr 17, 2016
2,150
1,241
258
I use him in a second system with Swiss Physics amp and Thorax Lyra
 

Attachments

  • IMG_9817.jpg
    IMG_9817.jpg
    71.9 KB · Views: 28
  • Like
Reactions: paltomare

twintech

New Member
Dec 27, 2019
24
17
3
64
So, what IS the magic of idlers? I think it must be inertia related. Not the inertia of a heavy platter got up to speed by a belt and mass/low friction bearing keeping the platter gently ticking along. It must be something to do w the moment of force applied, and that a continuous motive push urges the platter on. The result in both cases is ostensibly the same: 33.33rpm with as minimal drift as possible. But the keeping speed going versus allowing the speed to maintain, has dramatically different outcomes on the sound we hear.
Yes, I would say that inertia has got a lot to do with it. A very good friend of mine has a really nice Garrard 401. There are some belt drives that can do the same thing! Think of the Kuzma Stabi XL - DC and the Kuzma Stabi M...up to full platter speed in 5 seconds for XL - DC and 2 seconds for M, both have the new super stiff machined plastic belt, which doesn't stretch or walk and can last for 5 - 7 years...
 

ferrari275

Member
Jan 18, 2018
67
20
15
United States
Jespera
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.

While I may not quite agree fully here :), I do admit that my idler drive likely represents my favorite type of musical presentation for enjoying analog LP based playback.

There is just something special about them, when done correctly.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jespera

ferrari275

Member
Jan 18, 2018
67
20
15
United States
twinteck

Yes, I would say that inertia has got a lot to do with it. A very good friend of mine has a really nice Garrard 401. There are some belt drives that can do the same thing! Think of the Kuzma Stabi XL - DC and the Kuzma Stabi M...up to full platter speed in 5 seconds for XL - DC and 2 seconds for M, both have the new super stiff machined plastic belt, which doesn't stretch or walk and can last for 5 - 7 years...

Interesting that you mention the Kuzma XL DC, which I happen to own. Out of all of the belt drives I've had the opportunity to experience throughout the years, this one has some of the most snap, dynamics and air which does in some ways remind me of my 301 Statement.
 
  • Like
Reactions: twintech

ferrari275

Member
Jan 18, 2018
67
20
15
United States
jeffrey_t

I’ve procured a super clean 401 and I’m building it out over the next few weeks. Just installed an Artisan Fidelity idler wheel.

Congrats! The upgrade possibilities are nearly endless with the 401......
 
  • Like
Reactions: jeffrey_t

twintech

New Member
Dec 27, 2019
24
17
3
64
Interesting that you mention the Kuzma XL DC, which I happen to own. Out of all of the belt drives I've had the opportunity to experience throughout the years, this one has some of the most snap, dynamics and air which does in some ways remind me of my 301 Statement.
Yes, I have heard the amazingly good Kuzma XL DC, and for me it was a really tough choice between that and the Stabi M, they are closer than you think, in some ways the M can seem to have slightly more get up and go, but not always the case. I do think that the XL DC wins in bass slam but they are very close. In the end I went for ease of set up, and the looks of old school turntable...
 
  • Like
Reactions: kodomo

jespera

Well-Known Member
Jan 12, 2018
127
74
95
Copenhagen
The origin of the idler magic? its that direct connection between a strong torque motor and heavy platter. No belts streching and wobble from stylus drag.

The torque of a typical 15w idler motor corresponds to the inertia of a 200kg platter!

Further, compared to direct drive, the torque ripple of the idler is much smaller and more frequent due to higher rotational speed. The heavier the platter, the more the torque ripple will be eliminated. And no electrical feedback system is needed.

My guess is that the kuzmas come close to idler performance due to that stiff plastic belt that locks the platter to the (big) motor.
 
  • Like
Reactions: twintech

ferrari275

Member
Jan 18, 2018
67
20
15
United States
twintech
Yes, I have heard the amazingly good Kuzma XL DC, and for me it was a really tough choice between that and the Stabi M, they are closer than you think, in some ways the M can seem to have slightly more get up and go, but not always the case. I do think that the XL DC wins in bass slam but they are very close. In the end I went for ease of set up, and the looks of old school turntable...

IMO great choice. :cool: The Kuzma Stabi M looks new school - old school fantastic. Have not compared them directly but I bet the M sounds really superb.
 
  • Like
Reactions: twintech

About us

  • What’s Best Forum is THE forum for high end audio, product reviews, advice and sharing experiences on the best of everything else. A place where audiophiles and audio companies discuss existing and new audio products, music servers, music streamers and computer audio, digital to audio convertors (DACS), turntables, phono stages, cartridges, reel to reel, speakers, headphones, tube amplifiers and solid state amplification. Founded in 2010 What's Best Forum invites intelligent and courteous people of all interests and backgrounds to describe and discuss the best of everything. From beginners to life-long hobbyists to industry professionals we enjoy learning about new things and meeting new people and participating in spirited debates.

Quick Navigation

User Menu

Steve Williams
Site Founder | Site Owner | Administrator
Ron Resnick
Site Co-Owner | Administrator
Julian (The Fixer)
Website Build | Marketing Managersing