Motor Drive Frequently Asked Questions
Why the battery power supply upgrade?
Stable voltage is critical to retrieving the information stored on an LP. High frequency signals embedded in the grooves are only .025" long!
Small speed instabilities are perceived as distortion (FM and IM). In other words, eliminating wow and flutter is just the beginning of the journey. Think of these micro instabilities as the analog equivalent of digital jitter.
Extracting this information is not a trivial task. Given our choice of a DC motor, what more stable source is there to power it with than a battery? Preamps and amplifiers costing tens of thousands of dollars implement battery power in an attempt to solve the "dirty" power problem.
By offering an "off the shelf" solution, we've reduced the cost of entry to world class speed stability.
Initially, we furnished our turntables with a wall transformer ("wall-wart"), along with a battery umbilical for future implementation of battery power. Our customers were reluctant to try batteries - such was their level of satisfaction using their local power company.
To ensure that our clients' turntables perform as designed, we began supplying them with batteries from the onset.
The improvement experienced by moving to battery power depends on the quality of your power company as well as the resolution of your audio system. We have general consensus on the following improvements being rendered:
- Low level detail resolution
- Delineation of musical lines
- Rhythmic coherency
- Richer harmonic structure in the lower frequencies
- Sweeter yet more extended highs
- An overall improvement in "stability" of musical presentation and space.
The most compact of the units below will run for several weeks between re-charging.
For the average audiophile, a re-charge every couple of weeks is all that's required. Until such time that we design an intelligent charger that does not degrade the sonics we will not advocate such an architecture.
The recommended replacement North America is the Sears DieHard Portable Power 750.
What about "intelligent" charging circuits?
There is certainly a convenience factor associated with intelligent circuits.
At such point that we are able to eliminate the sonic penalty associated with such a circuit, we will make one available.
This feature can be thought of as a luxury item rather than a necessity, and the decision remains with the user as far as how inconvenient plugging their battery in for a bi-weekly recharge becomes.
Why do you use a DC motor?
Our philosophy is to produce a world-class product with minimal system complexity. The simplest and most cost effective route to rock solid speed stability and great sound is with a battery powered DC motor/controller.
There are numerous solutions to spinning a platter accurately. We are open to the possibility of an AC Synchronous motor producing excellent results. We've yet to hear one do this, but we are open to it. The price of such an exercise would be significant, and the performance would have to justify this cost.
What about variable pitch control?
Early on, we received inquiries about variable speed control due to customers' desire to correct for off pitch recordings. Our controllers have trim pots to independently fine tune the switch-selectable platter speeds.
Without a feedback loop, how does the Galibier motor controller maintain speed stability?
Battery power and voltage regulation are all that's required. There is no sensor or strobe disk in our controller architecture, and therefore, no feedback loop. You can fine-tune speed with the dedicated trim pots in any of three ways:
- Use the optical strobe disc of your choice - the way it's been done for decades.
- Read the motor voltage directly from the test points on the top plate of the controller - this method is accurate and repeatable.
- By ear. This is ultimately what you have to satisfy - especially if you're sensitive to recordings which are mastered "off-speed".
Speed stability is ensured by use of high quality potentiometers, motors, and voltage regulation. It is so effective that one audio reviewer replaced the motor and controller on his Platine Verdier with our Galibier.
Ultimately, our design is predicated on four factors:
- Readily available components
Good sound is without question the first and most important criterion.
The latter three are related to each other and are highly desirable. With no logic circuits or other components which can be vulnerable to static and surges, this is a controller which will last a long time - requiring no specialized technology to repair. You could just as easily take it to a local repair shop as send it to us in the unlikely event that it has problems.
While we stand behind our products, we are at the same time proud that we can arrive at an elegant yet simple solution which can be serviced in your home town - independently of us.
Why doesn't a Galibier motor start the platter as quickly as many other turntables?
A critical design premise of the Galibier Design turntables is to have the platter's mass and inertia (14 - 44 pounds) dominate the motor. This, in combination with rigid drive coupling is the basis of our design approach.
Specifying a higher torque motor merely to address platter startup would undermine the design - compromising speed stability.