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Old 16th May 2006, 11:47 AM   #1
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Default Platter Materials

I'm interested on any experience people have with platter materials.
Primarily I was looking at Delrin and wondered if any on had used it,
but also aluminium , stainless steel, acrylic, pvc etc. Pros, cons, tonal qualities.

Any comments welcome

Regards BT.
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Old 16th May 2006, 05:53 PM   #2
Deckman is offline Deckman  United Kingdom
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Question Platter material

I have made platters from all sorts of materials. The choice of material depends on number of factors.
· Is it a suspended deck? If so you need to get the mass right so as not to affect the suspension.
· Do you have closed loop speed control? Or do you need to rely on the mass of platter for speed stability.
· You need to consider the materials used in the construction of the deck itself. The materials you use will influence the sound. Generally speaking a turntable made completely of granite will sound, like the material, hard, clean, fast. A suspended deck made from wood will sound more organic. You get the idea.
· How do you intend to drive the platter? Will you use a sub platter, Rega style, or drive the platter rim.
· Will you machine the platter yourself? You will need a fairly large lathe, probably with the gap bed to swing 300 mm.

Cast acrylic is increasingly popular as it is relatively easy to machine, does not cost the earth and provides a good interface with the record.
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Old 17th May 2006, 07:42 AM   #3
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Hi Deckman,

What I'm trying to achieve is to create as good a deck for as little as possible. I intend to keep things as simple as possible and try to use things which can be adapted. Probably no suspension, no subplatter and DC motor without speed control. I do not intend to machine the components myself, so will need to ask around for help.

I will need to source a good bearing from somewhere, again cheaply.

For the plinth/subchassis could be granite or aluminium, for the platter could be acrylic aluminium. All dependant on cost/tonal quality. Have found wood a bit dull in the past.

still open minded.

Regards BT
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Old 17th May 2006, 10:05 AM   #4
Deckman is offline Deckman  United Kingdom
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Question Where to start

OK, it may be easier to start from a different place and say what is your total budget for this project, then work back to the main component costs. To give you some idea of costs, a half decent main bearing is the Rega P3 (available through the moth group for around £18+p&p) you would be amazed at how many manufacturers use this bearing. A slab of clear cast acrylic 50mm thick is around £50, but because it has to be machined on all faces this could be the most expensive element. £50 - £150. Then it has to be polished, you can do it by hand but it takes ages and its hard work.

I use a lot of acrylic in my turntables. The most popular design at present is the ‘plastic fantastic’ (over 12 kg of acrylic) it sounds fast, detailed and clean. About as far away from the nice ‘warm’ analogue sound as you can get!

I have made decks from granite (Black Zimbabwe granite is best for this) they sound fantastic but we're talking ‘cost no object’ if you're on a tight budget I would go for an AC motor driving a sub platter. You can get the motors from radio spares (RS Stock no: 441-0423) just over £30.
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Old 18th May 2006, 01:34 AM   #5
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Default just curious

Would it not be the most logical choice of platter material to use vinyl? Used records could be a very inexpensive source melted down to liquid and cast into a form then machined true. Would seem that as an interface between the record and the platter this would be ideal. For greater mass one could also have a look at VCT floor tile (vinyl composite tile) these are the ones that are about 1/8 inch thick by 9" or 12" square. Lots of mass and very dead. Would be interested to hear comments. Best regards Moray James.
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Old 18th May 2006, 07:45 AM   #6
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Hi Moray,

Melting records sounds messy but if anyone has a method I would consider it. I might look into the tiles though.

Deckman,

It would be difficult to suggest a budget, but let's say £500.
As for the rega bearing, can it be used without the sub-patter, would it cope with say 80mm of acrylic say or 50mm of Aluminium?
What have you used in the deck show and other decks?


regards BT
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Old 18th May 2006, 10:43 AM   #7
Deckman is offline Deckman  United Kingdom
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Default Bearings and stuff

I guess the Rega bearing is good for about 3 1/2 kg, possibly more but you will have increased wear. There are ways to increase its load carrying capability using a better quality ball bearing and PTFE slugs, but I don't think it will meet your requirements. Your probably looking at supporting a load of around 4,5-5,5 kg and that means a specialist bearing. You may have difficulty getting any of the mainstream manufacturers to supply you. You could try origin live, http://www.originlive.com Another option is to buy an old deck, something like a ‘system deck’ the bearing in this deck is massively over engineered and will last forever. There are places around the world that supply turntable kits. I have my bearings made for me, they are made one at a time and cost just over £250 each!
The deck shown uses 40 mm thick clear cast acrylic. Don't discount cheaper materials like MDF.
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Old 18th May 2006, 04:35 PM   #8
karlw is offline karlw  United States
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Two things worth keeping in mind: resonance and weight. Materials like aluminum will ring unless sandwiched with something to counter it. Good, inert materials are stone, concrete, and certain plastics.

The second thing to keep in mind is the weight. If you get your platter over 18 lbs or so, mechanical bearing noise will begin to be a problem. Most platters weigh less than this, though, and designers wishing to go heavier often resort to air bearings.

-Karl
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Old 18th May 2006, 05:48 PM   #9
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Default Gyro Mass

If you wanted to go with the less expensive Regga bearing you coucl consider a lighter platter with "flywheel" mass added to the outside edge of the platter as Mitchell has done on thier "Gyro Deck". Other companies have also gone this direction. This is a good compromise. Regards Moray James.
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Old 18th May 2006, 08:52 PM   #10
Nanook is offline Nanook  Canada
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Default again..(hey Moray how ya been?)..

well the DIY table rears it's ugly head again..!

Ok, not ugly.

Q: Toseland, why are you wanting to build? What is the motive? If you want a good table available inexpensively, look at used. You don't state your intended budget. Are you wanting the performance of say a Delphi (sorry for the obvious canuck plug, I can't help myself), for the price of a BPPOS, then nope. and if your budget is say perhaps 50-60 % of a Delphi (or whatever your dream table is), then you may well be better served by finding a used one. If the exercise is to prove you can, then go for it.

someplace I recall a Harley Davidson valve/guide pair that had been used. I had a custom brg made and it has cost me way over $300 USD. Apparently a brg from a Technics SL1200 can be purchased new for $30 USD as well (and knowing that now, that is perhaps the way that I would go).
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