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Old 16th November 2010, 03:11 PM   #101
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post
Thanks, all. I have obtained a few 2mm silicon nitride balls for this job. My back-up is a Papst from my collection.

Kal
Thought I should mention the Papst on single phase power generates more vibration than the E50 unless you can power it with 3 phase power in which case it should run smooth as glass, and be significantly quieter. It is certainly a great looking motor.. (More torque too..)

The other thing to bear in mind is that if you wish to use the stroboscope you will need a tiny step-up transformer to provide the 220V - 240V the lamp requires or you will need to find a lamp that functions well on 120V..
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Old 16th November 2010, 04:54 PM   #102
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Well, none of the Papst motors I have are the one that Thorens used as a replacement for the E-50. They are all newer and run very smoothly with single-phase although I have rigged up a quadrature generator to make it even better.

My power for the Papst would be external with all the rest of the Thorens intact, so why would I need to make any accommodations for the strobe?

All said, I hope not to have to go this route.
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Old 16th November 2010, 05:23 PM   #103
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post
Well, none of the Papst motors I have are the one that Thorens used as a replacement for the E-50. They are all newer and run very smoothly with single-phase although I have rigged up a quadrature generator to make it even better.

My power for the Papst would be external with all the rest of the Thorens intact, so why would I need to make any accommodations for the strobe?

All said, I hope not to have to go this route.
Hi Kal,
Perhaps you don't have the Papst Aussenlaufer type motors as these are genuine 3 phase, not quadrature motors. (They were also used in some rek-o-cut tables) I was a bit skeptical but was able to verify that this is in fact the case. (Mark Kelly and others have written extensively about this subject..) Polyphase power is required to make them run at their highest performance levels. Quadrature motors of course are very much easier to deal with, so I will keep my fingers crossed if you have to use one of these.

There are replacement motor windings available for the E50 from a variety of sources so there is almost no reason you couldn't get the original motor running again no matter how messed up it is. Old motors even show up on eBay with some regularity.

The neon lamp in the strobe runs of off one of the stator windings in the E50 using the highest voltage tap. On 120V the motor provides roughly 240V to the neon lamp, that fact is what predicated my comment. 120V Papst Aussenlaufer motors which is what I thought you had don't provide the additional winding required.

Your comments on the modern Papst motor have me wondering whether there might in fact be a motor out there better than the old Aussenlaufer and E50...
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Old 16th November 2010, 09:06 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by kevinkr View Post
Hi Kal,
Perhaps you don't have the Papst Aussenlaufer type motors as these are genuine 3 phase, not quadrature motors. (They were also used in some rek-o-cut tables) I was a bit skeptical but was able to verify that this is in fact the case. (Mark Kelly and others have written extensively about this subject..) Polyphase power is required to make them run at their highest performance levels. Quadrature motors of course are very much easier to deal with, so I will keep my fingers crossed if you have to use one of these.
I have quite a few but the one that will physically fit in the TD-124 chassis is a quadrature motor. It is the same one that has been used in the original Wilson-Benesch turntable.

Quote:
There are replacement motor windings available for the E50 from a variety of sources so there is almost no reason you couldn't get the original motor running again no matter how messed up it is. Old motors even show up on eBay with some regularity.
I know. Just lining up my options.

Quote:
The neon lamp in the strobe runs of off one of the stator windings in the E50 using the highest voltage tap. On 120V the motor provides roughly 240V to the neon lamp, that fact is what predicated my comment. 120V Papst Aussenlaufer motors which is what I thought you had don't provide the additional winding required.
Thanks. Understood.

Quote:
Your comments on the modern Papst motor have me wondering whether there might in fact be a motor out there better than the old Aussenlaufer and E50...
Sure but it also has to fit.

Kal
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Old 16th November 2010, 11:35 PM   #105
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Hello all.
I just thought I'd chime in and say that this looks like a fun project. And not too terribly expensive.

Here's my current Lp spinner:
Click the image to open in full size.
This is a project from a couple of years ago. I've tried a few different tonearms and cartridges. The Zeta tonearm that is pictured is my current choice. Dynamic, slammy, yet very nicely detailed. I'm using a Uwe bodied DL103R with SS retip. The armboard was cut from Gabon Ebony. It might be a good choice for the Zeta.

Meanwhile here are some notes I've made on the breed.

MK II double grommet motor suspension is a definite upgrade over the original single grommet motor suspension. For those with a mk1, it is worthwhile to make the conversion.

The 'non-magnetic' platter was optional even on the mk1 models. Look close at the platter used on the TD135 and realize that this is the same platter offered as the 'non-magnetic option' only it was adapted to fit the larger TD124 14mm bearing. Also, the non-mag platter was cast from a zinc alloy with a product name called Zamac. If you want an exact chemical composition of the alloy this can easily be found via google. Not aluminum. There never was an aluminum platter for the TD124, any mark.

20 wt seems to be the magic viscosity for motor and bearing, but other folks use different oils and weights and report different findings. Me, I'm a traditionalist. 20 wt turbine oil for me.

Belts have become a thorny issue on all of the vintage Thorens models. In the case of the belt drive models like the Td150/160/125 etc, the current belt offered by Thorens Export does function correctly. This I have found through my own use. It is the aftermarket belts that tend to be too wide, too thick, wrong length and will over-tension the motor....causing excessive motor vibes to enter the motor plate. But....... on the TD124 I have had better luck using aftermarket belts. Example, the TD124 spec belt offered at Elex-Atelier seems to work well enough over the 60 hz pulley. Caution....it could very well be too tight over the 50 hz pulley. Width and thickness on that belt seems close to right. This observation I make after seeing 1/2 dozen TD124 models pass through my hands and observing which belts were on them when I received them. The Elex-Atelier belt is comparable to the thinnest/skinniest of belts I've seen. And that is likely closest to what works. Too tight = motor vibes. Too loose = pulley slip

Thanks for the feedback on the so-called Thorens belt being offered for the TD124 by Thorens Export. I'll save the money. $35.00 for a belt indeed. Just a glorified rubber band. We deserve better. Like maybe a nice ground belt of just the right width, length, thickness and elasticity. Is anybody listening....!

Did not know that the MkII E50 motor was 15 watt. The mk1 is rated at 10 watt. That could provide some additional, um, thrust...

The TD124 does indeed play quiet.....when the drivetrain is 100% that is. Not only is it pacey, dynamic and slammy, but it also can sound refined and detailed. Perhaps not detailed and airy in the same league as the better belt drives, but it does the authority and slam that they just can't do.

On the other hand, with a gunked up motor, rubber-caked pulley crown, tired belt, sloppy platter bearing, bent outer platter shell, it will indeed fail to deliver.

Mine's pretty close to 100%, so I'm keeping it.

-Steve
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Old 17th November 2010, 12:29 AM   #106
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Hi Steve,
Very nice table.. I've been working on mine for a little over a month now after it sat for a few weeks waiting for the replacement/upgrade parts to arrive. All I can say is I have found my little bit of audio nirvana.. It's in daily use now, I suspect in a short period of time I will have put more hours on it than the original owner..

I am planning on a slate plinth in the not too distant future. Future plans include the Schopper platter to replace the Zamac alloy platter. (I'm guilty I knew about this and referred to it as AL anyway, I had understood it was a zinc alloy, but conveniently forgot.) This platter really rings like a bell, and in the mean time I will probably try to damp it just a little.

Interestingly I find I prefer the oem mat to the two aftermarket ones I have tried. Something was lost in this case seemingly the leading edge of transients, and a lot of HF detail.

I'm somewhat amused by the fact that this turntable has a "warm up time" as it does not run at exactly the set speed until it is warmed up, in fact when very cold it cannot even be adjusted to run at the correct speed although it is very close, once warm it is dead on and has lots of adjustment range. I have found that once properly set warm it will come back to the correct speed without the need for readjustment so I just don't worry about it.. The heavy lubricant is definitely the culprit here, some brag that their platters spin for 90 seconds or more, mine manages around 45 seconds with 20wt oil in the main bearing. Lighter oils would increase that but might result in more bearing noise, mine is unworn and very tight..

I'm still waiting for the turntablebasics belt to show up, their published measurements are closer to my belt than any of the others I have looked at. They are very slow, and don't apparently respond to email, but people have good things to say about their belts.

I wish I had picked up a TD-124 a number of years ago, I came very close to abandoning vinyl because nothing I tried sounded close to right. This table was actually promised to me nearly 9yrs ago, and had I known what I was waiting for I would have been chomping at the bit rather more than I have, although the last week of wait was a bit agonizing..
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Old 17th November 2010, 04:20 AM   #107
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re: slate. Yes. There is something about the slate that works really well as a TT plinth material. I have also tried a slate armboard, but using a different tonearm from what I use now. Interesting material.

re: Schopper non-mag platter. Please keep us posted on how this works out for you when you do make the plunge. They say it is a Grey iron with a high graphite content. Probably very messy to machine, with lots of fine black dust getting all over the shop.....but as a platter, excellent stable material for the job. The Schopper product looks very good in the photos.

re: warm up time.
Mine too. Although it improved dramatically after the motor overhaul. And after I switched to 20 wt. lube. At this point I have close to correct speed in about 4 - 6 platter rpms on a cold start. Takes about a minute for the speed to lock in stable. In summer anyway. Winter room temperature is about 4 - 6 degrees cooler and that does cause the TT to take just a few more seconds to get up to speed. Still, it is quite good compared to what it was before I worked on it.

I don't worry too much about coast down times. Although I think I measured it on my first TD124 rebuild when I had replaced bushings and thrust. In the 40 to 60 second range. The funny thing is that a platter bearing with somewhat worn bushings will allow even longer coast down times than one that is operating with spec-correct clearances and lube viscosity.

I'll be interested to find out how that TT basics belt conforms to the needs of the Td124. An inexpensive belt that meets the requirements would be very welcome over here.

I also play a belt drive TT in the same system. Kind of like having a different TT for different records kind of thing.

Click the image to open in full size.

This one doesn't have the authority or ability to cause the drums to leap out of the speakers the same way the TD124 does, but it is quite punchy, absolutely pitch correct with excellent 'prat'. Toe tappin', feet moving pace.....and it handles the delicate bits of classical music with a little more grace and definition. With these two players..., one doing one thing better, the other doing a different thing better,... I'm pretty happy......for now.
-Steve

Last edited by user510; 17th November 2010 at 04:23 AM.
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Old 17th November 2010, 07:34 PM   #108
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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I'll keep my fingers crossed on that belt, but after no response to email and waiting 2 1/2 weeks I'm a little concerned. I'm going to keep looking for other sources that offer comparable belts.

The Thorens belt was a major disappointment, and I'll only use it if the original 43yr old belt gives up - which in daily use over the last few week has not yet shown any signs of excessive stretching or other causes of concern.

You touched on the controversy surrounding the belts on this table. It is a major concern until I locate a supply of acceptable belts. I'll be sure to share anything I find out. I'm keeping my fingers crossed as this is the one potential fly in the ointment..

LF noise from bad belts and other noise sources in this table could be a serious problem considering the fact that my system plays down to 30Hz and resolves well. I can hear hints of record cutter rumble on a recording I am currently listening to for example.. It's a budget Mercury Wing recording of Respighi's Pines and Fountains of Rome. The Chesky reissue of an RCA LSC recording of the same music (different orchestra and venue) has no such noise. Actually this is a fairly dreadful recording - wondering why I am listening to it as I write this.. I won't be playing the other side..

It's much warmer here today, and the TT came up to speed very quickly when I turned it on. Generally it takes just one revolution to come up to within a couple of % or less of set speed, and then the table has to warm up the rest of the way for it to be dead on. Tyoically this takes about 5 - 10 minutes depending on ambient temperature.

I am still impressed by the very low noise floor, presumably the gel motor mounts and bushings are helping here. The only thing I hear is tracing noise, the noise floor whilst undoubtedly not as low as the SME 20/2 it replaced is far lower apparently than the noise levels on the disks themselves. I am not aware of any increase in noise levels at all, although I can no longer make that comparison.

I have only this table, and will work to demonstrably improve it over time, without hopefully compromising its characteristic sound as this is evidently what I like about it. Clearly a great synergy between it, the arm, and the cartridge as well as the rather strange electronics driving my equally unusual speaker system. (Some Japanese audiophiles would probably recognize this system as somewhat familiar, if not the results. Sort of a happy accident actually.)

I expect reports will continue on a regular basis for a while, and I will definitely write all about the Schopper platter experience when I get it. Much penny scraping will be required..

Your other TT looks quite nice as well.
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Old 17th November 2010, 09:49 PM   #109
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One way to revive, or extend, the life of an old belt is to soak the thing in boiling water for a few minutes.

I am not so sure about using talcum powder in this application with the TD124. Although I have tried it with no obvious effect. I think the suggestion about using talcum powder on a clean belt comes from the suspended sub-chassis belt-drive crowd that were worried about having too much belt 'stick' and the associated 'slap' that might come about on the unloaded side of the pulley. All just conjecture. No one has proven this mythology that I know of. Folklore.

re: LF noise. My speakers will just barely reproduce 30hz notes. Example, the continuous organ pedal note in the opening bars of Also Sprach Zarathustra. Thinking of the Bohm/BSO performance as was used in the 2001 A Space Odyssey Sound Track Lp. Although other performances get enough ooomph into this part of it. Thinking of the Reiner/CSO performance that I have on a MOFI Lp. Point is... on this piece my system will reproduce this note...although not to the same gut rattling intensity that I first heard when in the Bagdad Theater on NE Stark street Portland, Oregon 1969. Now there is a hi-fi memory that sticks with me. Magnetic film audio played through VOT gear in the appropriate auditorium. I suspect records can't manage this.

The TD124 plays this cleanly, and with more authority than any other deck I've had in here. I'm sure the arm and cartridge and phono stage play into this. The other observation is that I hear no obvious LF noise while playing this.

I don't have the Merc record you mention. I do have some records that exhibit some rumble that most likely exists within the lathe lacquer master itself. Older 1950's recordings. From time to time this has been of some concern to me until I was able to demonstrate, as you did, that the home system does not rumble by playing a different record at the same volume level and listening for it.

I'm still using the belt that I sourced from Elex. Although they get $25.00 for that belt. It would be nice if we could source the same exact belt for a much lower price. Worth experimenting for.

re: motor grommets.
I've tried three different materials in TD124 motor grommets.

The ones you get from Mirko (sq38s on ebay)...which appear close to rubber in hardness/texture.

The FD81 kit from Schopper (Octave Audio-USA is the NA distributor/dealer).

And the silicone gel grommets from Vibration-Mounts.com. I assume it is the latter grommets that are being offered by the other ebay seller, jec965 These can also be sourced directly from Vibration Mounts. btw.

In this group of three, I prefer the FD81 kit from Schopper. That grommet is some sort of poly (urethane?) material that is midway between rubber and the silicone gel in hardness. I think it provides just the right amount of stiffness/versus vibration dampening for this application. The result being a 'perceived better sense of pace correctness when compared to the silicone gel bushings. I 'intuit' that the silicone gel bushings allow the motor to twist and squirm a little too much under the torque loading of operation. Of course this is not measured in any way. Just my observation based on using and listening. And that is why I choose not to use these for the near term.

(disclaimer. I am not affiliated in any way with the above three. And I would buy from any of them should they have the parts I need)

Other notes: Silicon Ceramic Bearing Balls are commonly sourced from Boca Bearing in Florida. Probably, the best prices on these are had from them. Cheaper than McMaster-Carr. Easy to deal with online and I have experienced fast shipping from them.

-Steve
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Old 18th November 2010, 05:51 PM   #110
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Hey Steve,

Actually the talcum powder recommendation comes straight from Thorens, it is mentioned on p.14 of the MKII owner's manual and is recommended to help quiet the table.

Interesting comments on the motor bushings - i'm pretty happy with the gel ones for the moment, but I'll revisit this at some point out of curiosity.. I'll spring for the Schopper kit at some point. The mounts JEC965 sells are sourced from Japan and don't appear to be similar to anything I could find at Vibration Mounts, but OTOH I only spent a couple of minutes browsing their site. I can say they seem extremely effective and have no negative effect I can hear.

I've found that the little Bren1 record clamp I purchased does very good things in terms of bass authority, things just sound a little better delineated than without. The other benefit of course is that it doesn't interfere with my cartridge and headshell. No interference with clutch operation - I wouldn't be without at this point. I recommend it..

Table is very quiet. The disc I mentioned has other problems as well as the rather significant level of rumble that seems to have been recorded on it. Seems like a bad reissue, audible distortion at times, and an overall glassiness to the sound. Competent Orchestra (Minnesota) and a big name conductor.. Shame, it is now in the tbd bin (to be disposed)..

I'll check out Boca bearing..
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