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Old 23rd August 2008, 02:13 PM   #1
livemusic is offline livemusic  Israel
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Default Best DIY belt

I just want to share my own and very positive experience with this tweak proposed by Doug Deacon and discussed at A-gon:
In short, the holographic mylar tape sourced from McCormick was treated with special paste to remove metallic backing and expose texture pattern embedded in mylar. This gives much better grip on the motor pulley and substantially reduces micro-slipping. Sonic improvement comparing to the plain mylar tape is nothig short of amazing.
Very minor belt slippage on the pully is inevitable, whatever you do. I belive the fine texture on the "holographic" belt breaks the slippage to infinitevely small portions, making it more even. As you can see on the picture, texture pattern on the tape is extremely fine, you can hardly see it with the magnifying glass, only "rainbow" effect is visible.
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Old 24th August 2008, 01:38 PM   #2
Miniwatt is offline Miniwatt  Netherlands
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I've just done some experiments with different threads, the nylon (that's mylar, right?) one recommended by Scheu, and different sewing threads. Never thought it would make that much difference, like listening to a different TT.
Experiments didn't last very long, nylon is the best, period.

I'll give the tape a try some time..
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Old 24th August 2008, 04:51 PM   #3
livemusic is offline livemusic  Israel
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Default Mylar

Mylar (DuPont trade mark) is actually kind of polyester; it is stronger than nylon and virtually non-stretchable. It was material of choice for all magnetic and VCR tapes. I belive it sounds like consensus among TT gurus (confirmed by my own humble experience), that any trace of compliance shall be removed from the TT drive chain. Compliance=energy storage=time delay= sound smearing. (Rubber belts is no-no for serious TT).
There is a good thread in Audio Asylum discussing belt creep, if you are interested: http://db.audioasylum.com/cgi/m.mpl?...y&r=&session=. Bottom line: you cannot completely get rid of the belt slippage against motor pulley, you can only minimize it. Yes, this is the ticket: bring slippage to an absolute minimum. In terms of pulley grip, wide tape (1/2") is naturally better than thin thread. For the constant and even grip, holographic tape is the winner.
So, I started with plain VCR 1/2" tape, replaced it by McCormick's thicker black mylar streamer, then added the belt tensioner to it and finally holographich tape took over. This makes me think that one of well kept secrets of the top TT design is quality of the drive chain (often underestimated). Holographic tape brought me a major sonic improvement accross the board, even in unexpected areas, like bass definition.
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Old 9th October 2008, 10:04 PM   #4
Clack is offline Clack  Italy
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I would like to try, but where do I find holographic mylar and the paste for its treatment?
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Old 9th October 2008, 11:28 PM   #5
Aengus is offline Aengus  Canada
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Etching cream you can probably buy from a hobby shop that has stained-glass supplies. Here's an example; note that they (like other suppliers of this stuff) will not ship it by air, so you probably want to look for a closer source.

Silver holographic mylar tape is readily available,

here for example.

Google is your friend.


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Old 10th October 2008, 12:01 AM   #6
luvdunhill is offline luvdunhill  United States
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I'd recommend trying surgical silk as well. My favorite belt at the moment.
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Old 2nd April 2009, 04:15 AM   #7
binspaul is offline binspaul  India
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1. What are the advantages of using a surgical silk thread as a belt instead of the ordinary TT belt ?

2. If we use that, how will we overcome the knot issue (As ordinary TT belts are free from any joint) ? Will the knot affect the smooth rotation ?

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Old 2nd April 2009, 10:39 AM   #8
Clack is offline Clack  Italy
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Hi Binspaul, perhaps you would like to read here


Anyway, the silk belt has less traction skills than rubber, but with it TT sounds way better, because the compliance of rubber introduces delay, that makes sound smearing. So, using a good silk belt it seems to have just another TT. The knot is not a problem. The thread is thin, and the knot is the same. You mount the belt with the knot facing outside, so the pulley and counterplatter surfaces won't feel it. I began to use a silk belt months ago and I would never go back to rubber.
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Old 2nd April 2009, 11:46 AM   #9
Clack is offline Clack  Italy
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In detail, first there is a wider soundstage, that with a good rig goes quite outside the speakers, with a better 3D effect.
Mid and highs are purer and cleaner, a kind of improvement that could remember what happens when an MC cart takes the place of an MM. Better overall detail, tighter and more extended bass are other improvements. Also, as the surgical silk is very strong, it lasts forever. So there is no need to search for expensive spare belts anymore.
As the silk has not the same damping properties as rubber, for the noise coming from the motor is easier to pass to the platter. This means that sometimes there could be a slightly noisier cueing, noticeable in the silent intervals between the tracks. This is nothing to be worried about, as the improvements largely overtake this drawback.
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Old 2nd April 2009, 04:52 PM   #10
BobM is offline BobM  United States
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I've also tried nylon thread and silk thread, but not surgical silk. Damn if there isn't a difference based on the type of thread used, both being better than rubber by a wide margin. You do need a speed controller to make it work properly though.

I also like the silk better than the nylon. The nylon was noticeably more forward and "clinical" than the silk, whcih had a better organic quality to my ears and in my rig.

Wish I could try a mylar belt, but that wouldn't fit on my spindle.

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