A prospective Teres owner with questions

The Cult Of The Teres has nearly convinced me to take a chance with a basic Teres -- the 150 TT. BUT, I figured you guys could, as the Cowardly Lion says after declaring his intent to rescue Dorothy, talk me OUT of it. Um, I mean, into it...Well, you know what I mean...

I've developed some nerve damage in my hands, so DIYs aren't the best route for me. However, TWL, who seems revered on this site, has the OL Silver tonearm (mine is on the way), and probably has the same model as I'm considering buying. Despite the fact that I have no clue as to whether or not TWL is secretly an axe murderer, his take on turntables is quite knowledgeable, so who am I to buck the masses?
Onward to the questions...

1)Saying a setup is simple is easy to say, but quivering hands might make a mistake. Is there anything that could break during setup?
2) I will, of course, tell Chris, at the time of my order that I'm also getting a VTA adjustor with the tonearm. Will that make the "drilling" any more complicated?
3)The sonics. (And yes, I can ask Chris, but there's only one of him and a million of you ["...it takes a village...]about this.)How is the Teres at retrieving very, very low level details such as side/back walls (aha! The infamous "imaging/soundstaging freak rears his head!)ambience retrieval and soundstage HEIGHT.
Lastly, is it warm -- or even overly warm in the midbass region? I've owned a Versa Dynamics 2.3 for years, but it's back in California waiting to be shipped to John Bicht for repair(John expects a 4-6 month wait; it's not his main profession anymore, and he has to squeeeeeeeze it in), so I'm buying another turntable to live with given that I just bought a Microgroove Plus last week -- along with the Silver tonearm. I have a Rega 3 that I gave my sister right here in Connecticut. I'm accustomed to the Versa's depiction of music, but it's not a warm turntable at all. So, I want to be prepared in case the Teres is warm, or dark [dont' like a "dark" sound very much].
For all the rest of the turntables traits, I trust you guys' take on it. I've only been reading the entire Teres threads for the last 36 hours (it's VERY, VERY, VERY cold here in the Northeast today). NOBODY is going outside who doesn't want frostbite. That gives me time to become positively neurotically compulsive/obsessive about this turntable....and you're all invited to observe...
Okay, I'm waiting -- and wanting -- to be (completely)converted. Help me out here, gentlemen (and ladies).
Hi. So far, I haven't "axe murdered" anyone, so I am totally innocent on that count. :^)

Anyway, the questions you have are quite understandable and reasonable.

I'll take a shot at answering them.

First, regarding the OL Silver tonearm, it is a very good choice for the money, especially if you are contemplating a Shelter or other low compliance cartridge. It is very good with them. Also, there is no doubt at all that the HiFi mod is a superb upgrade for practically nothing, and I'd also recommend putting Doug's VTF-on-the-fly kit too, for virtually nothing. The aftermarket drop counterweights like the Heavyweight are good improvements for the money also.

About setup, I don't think that quivering hands will cause any problems with the setup of the table, but could have some impact when installing the cartridge, and adjusting the tonearm. However, this would be the case with any cartridge and tonearm, so that's an issue you'll just have to deal with somehow, if you want to stay in analog.

Be advised that the 150 is only available as a KIT, and must be sanded, stained, finish sanded, and lacquered by the buyer. This must be taken into account considering your shakey hands, and non-DIY nature.

About the VTA adjusting collar, telling Chris about it when ordering is the right thing to do, but I have first hand experience that these OL VTA collars sometimes have different diameters, due to QC variances at OL. Even if Chris drills the armboard to fit the one he measured, it is still possible that there could be a discrepancy in fit. I'm sorry to say that, but it is possible. You may have to do some very slight fitting of the armboard hole with a file or sandpaper, if necessary.

Regarding sonic flavor and detail retrieval, the 150 model is in the wood/lead plinth category of Teres tables, and has very good detail retrieval and strong dynamic bass response. It is not "warm" in my opinion, but it is not overly analytical either. I think it strikes a very nice balance between the analytical and warm sounds, and is very musical. I would not use the term "dark" to describe the sound of the Teres turntables at all.

In fact, I would not be at all surprised to find that you prefer the sound of the Teres over the Versa Dynamics table.

Certain "audiophile" characteristics such as width and height of soundstage, image, and such will be subject to many factors, but on my system I can get a very realistic soundstage width and height and depth, with excellent imaging. I expect that you would also. While this table may not be the absolute all-out best in the world, it certainly does very very well for the money, and would be sufficient for many audiophiles to be their last turntable purchase.

In the final analysis, it will be a matter of taste as to whether you are totally satisfied with the Teres. But in my opinion, if you are not satisfied, you wouldn't be satisfied with anything else in the price range either. I think you'll be pleasantly shocked at how good it sounds for the money.
I can vouch for the fact that good 'ol TWL only uses the axe on digital components!
Two items to consider.

One, given that Teres tables seem to have a pretty dedicated following, you might want to post a "wanted" ad for a Teres 150 table (or perhaps a slightly better model, since you would be buying it used, you might get a better model for the same price). You might find a current owner of a low end Teres table wanting to move up. That way you could buy a used, but finished table, without having to do any of the work.

Two, beware of TWL. I would certainly expect an axe murderer to deny being an axe murderer. Ergo, he must indeed be an axe murderer. Notice that he addressed that issue before he tackled the turntable issues. A clear sign.

Speak of the Devil, Tom (TWL) just happened to walk in just as I was writing about him. Hey, Tom, how is it going?
Hey, careful with that axe, Tom.
No. Wait. Tom, I didn't mean it.


No, Tom!

Whack! Whack!

No, ..really,.. I didn't mean it!

Whack! Whack! Whack!

I've heard that he repairs and makes axes!

I don't know what is left to say about Teres tables that has not already been said. Lots of folks without nerve damage need a little help setting things up. Good luck!

I remain
Kurt? Kurt?

You there?
Hi Greg,

Twl heats with wood, so he probably owns an axe. I've also heard he owns a Rotweiler. You wanna be careful around here.

I agree with his advice and will add this:

1) Unless you drop it a Teres is pretty break proof, except for what I wrote you about the bearing. Tonearm bearings and cartridges ARE fragile however. If you feel the need I'll drive down and help you mis-align your rig as accurately as mine is mis-aligned! (We live about 20 miles apart.)

2) Forget the inconsistent OL VTA adjuster. Order the one from Expressimoaudio. It always fits a 25mm hole and it's a better design anyway, IMO. Their extended Rega arm nut is pretty handy too.

3) Sonics: detail retrieval. I haven't heard a 150 but a 265/Silver/Shelter 901 is spectacularly good at those things. Breath intakes by soloists? Any rig will do those. How about distinguishing between mouth and nose breathing by a solo trombonist in the back row of an orchestra. A Teres can do that. We've all heard the right/rear echo on Brubeck's 'Time Out'. Have you heard a TT that plays that echo clearly enough so you can keep time to it? I have. Page turning on most orchestral records. Pre-echoes on nearly all records (annoying but telling). Yada, yada, you get the idea.

No "dark" TT could do such things. A bright TT could, but a Teres certainly isn't that either.
So, only the 200 series turntables and higher are "finished," then? I noticed that there are two prices: "Kit" and "Assembled". The "kit" part's been made as clear as that acrylic platter. What else does the "assembled" price include - besides the finishing's [I assume]- completed? Do they bring it to your door completely setup except for the arm?
Twl, thanks for the warning regarding the VTA collars. As far as the shaky hands, I'm still safe with nitroglycerin vials and babies and can still thread a needle easily enough. It's more a matter of utter steadiness. I haven't yet, even with the [occasional] shakiness, snapped a cartridge or even damaged one. Doesn't mean it doesn't cause me a little anxiety with needlenose pliers, anyway, though. I should have said, "I FEEL like I'm all thumbs" in DIYs. Once I get started, I just go so carefully that what takes others 1 hour to do takes me 5 hours to do.
On that subject, I looked at the manual for the 100 series. Does it just LOOK more complex than it is? How long did it take you guys - and I'm only talking to the "all thumbs" among you. Experts need NOT respond :) to sand and assemble the base?
Part of me says, Go ahead, it'll be fun. The other part says, throw money at it and hire a finisher (that's also the part that's saying, Just buy a 245 and you won't have to upgrade so soon, and you'll have a heck of a lot less to do! [I lean towards the second voice, but then, that's a sign of schizophrenia, so maybe the first voice is secretly a cabinet maker when I'm fast asleep...wondered what all those shavings are on next to my bed...]). Needless to say, the second voice was the one that talked me into the Versa, Wilsons (WATTS) and Goldmund stuff in the 'good ol' days. Now that I think of it, it's the voice that drove me into poverty...So, I'm not going to listen to it -- at least, not for today. Come time to order, who knows which voice will be speaking to Chris.
An off-the-topic question: do any of you guys have any experience at loading your Shelter cartridges at 47k? My Microgroove Plus - soon to arrive - is being assembled at 47k (you can only get lower loadings up to 1k and then higher - 47k and up - in the Evanses, but not the capacity for ALL the loadings in one unit, which will make mine useless for anything except 47k. My Guru buddy - the famous one -- insisted on it (yes, HIM). Sounds like the Shelter wouldn't like this loading. Am I right?
...with the Teres, whichever one I buy. I'm not really looking for an "ultimate" level of sonics. What I'm looking for is a deep level of emotional response to the music I play THROUGH the Teres. And that can't be given to me by ANY component. Only my emotional depth can give me that.

On a less mystic level, I do know that the other components in the system must be in correct phase, have low noise, etc. to provide the "fun" aspects of sound reproduction (I almost wrote "music reproduction," but soundstaging and imaging have nothing to do with the musical experience per se, and much to do with the recording experience). I was in the business for a while and I heard some of the "best" stuff.
Still, some components ALLOW the completeness of soundstaging; others are less complete in their depiction of what the microphones hear. I still think it's fun to hear both the music AND the truck driving past outside the hall. My Child aspect is well and alive!
Hi Doug! I'll probably take you up on that! I can't tell you how exciting it was to find out that you were so close to where I live. And on top of that, I only picked your name out of the heaps of Teres names in this thread using intuition. How coincidental is it that you happen to live in Connecticut 20 miles away? Guess the Teres and I were meant to be together.


I'll look for the phone number online unless you have it handy.
Doug, with VERY good reason you love your Teres rig, and I wish that I had it myself. However, some folks consider my Spacedeck to be on the dark side of neutral with respect to tables and I can get all the detail you mention with my Spacedeck/Illustrious/501 combo. Well, maybe I didn't really try to distinguish between mouth and nose breathing. :-) What part of what recording would I need to spin to test that?
David, I sort of assumed a "dark" component would tend to mask some details, since they seem to live in the higher frequencies IME. I've been playing around with small changes in loading and can reproduce something like a darkening effect by going from say 41 ohms (too bright) to 38 or 36 (too dark). I'm willing to be educated by a Spacedeck of course, especially if I can visit tonight. It's friggin' cold here!

Try the Classic reissue of LSC-2201, Mussorgsky/Pictures at an Exhibition/Reiner/CSO. It's a good recording though not quite world class, but I love the performance. The long trombone solo I mentioned is on side 1. It's quite amazing to hear the incredible breath control of the anonymous trombonist.
Doug, you are welcome here anytime. YOU'RE cold? Given TOm's description of his abode, I suspect he is busy devising a heating coil for his platter, lest a nice thick layer of frost form! :-0

I am mostly in jest with respect to the above. I have heard the Spacedeck described as dark by some, but I find mine basically neutral. Perhaps the OL/Shelter combo adjusts. Then again, I have also heard some refer to the 501 as dark, so there you go.

I don't have that, or any, copy of "Pictures" currently, having sent one to somebody... It is just more than cool to hear such similar on LP's and then let someone who usually listens to a lesser refined system in on the experience.