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Old 27th March 2003, 09:54 PM   #1
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Default My Teres and DIY tone arm

Perhaps this will be of interest...

I just completed building a custom base Teres turntable and a DIY linear tracking, air-bearing tonearm. The tonearm design uses ideas from the ETII and Morch arms. You can check it out at:

The audience for the web site was fellow Teres builders, so it may not be entirely comprehensible. Feel free to ask questions.

I highly recommend the Teres to anyone wanting to build a turntable.

Paul Ebert
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Old 28th March 2003, 01:38 AM   #2
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Default DIY TERES.


Thanks for sharing, Paul.

Quite an impressive TT you have there...and an airbearing tonearm too.

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Old 28th March 2003, 04:13 PM   #3
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congrats Paul,

what did you do with the Moerch ? you have a DP6, if I recall correctly. And your turntable before, hasn't that been a Platine Verdier ? How does the Teres/linear tonearm hold up against the old rig of yours ?

Hartmut from Munich
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Old 28th March 2003, 04:33 PM   #4
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Very nice setup, Paul

Your air-bearing tone-arm is really interesting , ,

Is there any suspension on the turntable?
- Jan -
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Old 28th March 2003, 05:29 PM   #5
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Thanks for the kind words, Guys.

My old 'table is a Linn LP12 with an Akito (nothing near as nice as a Platine Verdier). I also own a UP-4. A while back the Akito broke, so the UP-4 was purchased to either go on the Teres if the DIY arm didn't work out or to be sold with the LP12. Once I have the UP-4 mounted on the Linn, I will probably compare it to the Teres, but it will probably not be a fair comparison. The Linn has a way past it's prime 10X4 II on it and the Teres a Grado Black. I plan to purchase a better cartridge for the Teres, but that will put the Linn at a disadvantage due to the age of the Dynavector. I don't feel like buying an additional cartridge just to make a valid comparison.

The Teres currently does not have any suspension, nor has it needed one. At least not that I've noticed. The old entertainment unit it is in is rigidly attached to the studs in the wall behind it and footfalls, etc. haven't been an issue with either the Teres or the Linn. If I do give it some sort of suspension, I would like to experiment with rare earth magnet levitation. But that's a few projects away, at least.

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Old 29th March 2003, 12:06 PM   #6
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Very nice job, Paul- my congrats!

Some questions, with you permission.
1. What kind of air bushing used - something ready made? Is it high or low pressure bearing? What pump is used?
2. As you noticed, the lateral mass is somehow high, because of solid rod used for slider - you may drill it from either side to max depth (?). From my experience (Ladegaard tonearm on earlier thread) it is essential to make the slider as light as posiible, because even the lightest one has much more lateral mass than any pivoted tonearm. My last version arm made of balsa wood still need to loose several grams - I can hear some distortions playing LP's with heavy excenticity. Conty (Basis Vector arm author) claims in his article, that all linear trackers have excessive lateral mass. Anyhow, there should be some kind of proportion between lateral and vertial effective mass.
3. Ideally, the arm pivot axle should be placed on the same plane as LP surface. Otherwise, overhang will vary slightly when the needle goes up and down over the surface imperfections. VTA is also more influenced by this for shorter arm. Have you noticed any sound unstability when playing not perfectly flat record? May be it is just theoretical issue, I don't know.

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Old 31st March 2003, 07:11 AM   #7
peterr is offline peterr  Netherlands
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This looks to be a great TT!
I am especially interested in the arm. Would it be possible to have some more pics of it or even drawings maybe. I am planning to build a linear arm someday and therefore am trying to get as much info as possible.
Happy listening!
Keep an open mind. It helps.
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Old 31st March 2003, 07:35 PM   #8
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Let me address Michael's questions, first.

1. The air bushing is from New Way Bearings ( It is part #S301201 and the pillow block for it is part #S8012P01. They aren't cheap. The pair is about $240. It will operate between 40 and 80 psi, with 60 being recommended (high pressure for a tone arm). I managed to find a relatively quiet oil-less air compressor. It is a Thomas 607FA22 compressor. Even that is too loud (57 dB). It resides in the basement.
2. Yes, the lateral mass is quite high. But, apparently, it's a matter of controversy whether that is good or bad. As you probably know, Poul Ladegaard considered it beneficial. I've heard of ETII owners filling their shafts with sand to increase the horizontal mass, thereby improving dynamics. Of course, it must be compatible with your cartridge. Unfortunately, the compliance spec supplied by cartridge manufacturers does not differentiate between vertical and horizontal compliance. The Grado Black I'm using as a test cartridge works OK and it is specified at 20x10-6 cm/dyne. If there is a mismatch, it will appear at lead-in and lead-out grooves and with eccentricity, as you mention. I will probably reduce the horizontal mass as I am able.
3. Yes (again), the axis should be lower. On my next revision, I may lower it, though (again), it hasn't been a problem. I haven't played any really warped records. I went with the short arm as a way of reducing effective mass.

As to pictures or drawings, I'll try to post more pictures, but, for some reason, my digital camera is not working well. I'm hesitant to create drawings as this is really a prototype. It works well, but I'd do things quite a bit different (especially the vta adjustment). My recommendation for anyone wanting to make a linear tracker would probably be to build a Ladegaard arm. Being lower pressure, it's much easier to obtain a suitable pump and it has no costly bushing. Between the air-bushing and the pump, my arm ended up costing about the same as a used ETII. Of course, I have all of the DIY benefits. The high pressure is certainly a sonic benefit as well. I think that using the air bearing for both axis is also a benefit over the Ladegaard. But, the Ladegaard gives an incredible amount of value.

My arm was really easy to make. Besides the bushing, the only other specialized part was the slider shaft. That was part #1031K12 from McMaster-Carr ( I probably spent about 40 hours making it, including the cable. The cable took about 12 hours. The only critical part was making sure that the arm tube was precisely 90 degrees from the slider shaft.

Feel free to ask more questions.

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Old 2nd April 2003, 06:23 PM   #9
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Originally posted by Paul Ebert
The high pressure is certainly a sonic benefit as well.
Did you make any comparison tests? I just curious, does the high pressure tonearm have real sonic benefit? Teoretically yes, because of higher bearing stiffness. But one can make low pressure slider longer and thereby increase the torsion and lateral reaction moment - actually the same thing the high stiffness does.
BTW, one of the most expensive tonearms (Airtangent) has low pressure design.
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Old 2nd April 2003, 06:39 PM   #10
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Well finally a use for all that Ampex 456 sitting in my basement.

Dues the belt run 15 IPS at 250 nano-webbers?
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