Audiosilente idler wheel versus Artisan Fidelity idler wheel for a Garraed 401


Greetings,
I am considering upgrading to a new idler wheel for my Garrard 401. Reviews on forums seem to agree that there is a noticeable improvement in sound achieved. There are two possibilities that I am considering. 

The Audiosilente idler wheel is US$365
Artisan Fidelity is approx. Euros 100.

I ma wondering if anyone has any commentary are experience which of these two may offer the greatest improvements. I am certainly interested in an improvement in dynamics and everything else that is possible!

Artisan Fidelity https://www.artisanfidelity.com/accessories/garrard-301-precision-idler-wheel

Material - Austenitic Stainless Steel CNC machined case hardened CNC ground inner coupling pin, near true zero measured radial run-out.  State-of-the-Art CNC/CAM Machining achieves ultra close tolerances and accurate concentric form. Heavy weight enhances flywheel effect.Periphery Outer Drive Material - Concentric, Molded Seamless Rubber based Composite, precision CNC ground, near zero measured axial run-out. Manufactured as direct OEM Garrard 301 Schedule I & II / Garrard 401 / Garrard 501 Model replacement part.

The Audiosilent is aluminum with a square rubber outside ring.
http://www.audiosilente.com/garrard-401-idler-wheel-garrard-401.html

Any commentary would be most welcome.
Thank you, 

mozartbrain
90,00 EURO is approximately 101.00 US as of today.
for the  Audiosilente idler wheel.

Not sure where the $365.00 is from.
The OP transposed the pricing.

Audiosilente $100
Artisan Fidelity $365

OP, do a search I think @noromance posted a comparison between the two and like the Artisan Fidelity better.
Here is a link to when I fitted the AS idler.
In theory, wouldn’t you want a low moment of inertia, so the motor doesn’t have to do work to move the idler, in addition to moving the platter ? If so, I would choose aluminum over steel. The idler should instantaneously transmit force to the platter. (I don’t own a Garrard but do own a Lenco.)
I never got around to the AF review mostly because I wasn't blown away by the difference. Replacing the AS with the AF brought some additional weight and blackness to the soundscape - a good thing and worth the expense of $400 shipped.

The AS gives 90% of the AF. I can recommend the AS 100% and I believe AudioGrail now fit them on refurbished Garrards.

Note that I had to sandpaper the spindle shaft thickness to get the AF to fit while the AS fit exactly from the box. (AF Chris provided detailed instructions on this by immediate email so not a biggie)
@lewm The lighter AS certainly has a light, airy, detailed sound to it which may reflect your point. The AF did sound ever so slightly weightier but not slower.
I also have the heavier CTC aluminum platter and did a speed check after fitting the AS, then the AF and then the CTC. amazingly, to me, the speed was the exact same each time.
 I wasn’t thinking that the heavier idler wheel would actually affect average platter speed. I was thinking that a lighter idler wheel would make the response time more rapid. By which I refer to the response to stylus drag or bearing friction or other factors that might put a drag on the platter. Because the motor only has to motivate the platter. Maybe The weight of the idler wheel or its moment of inertia is analogous to the compliance of a belt in a belt drive turntable. A belt with low compliance would be like a very light idler wheel.
@lewm I know what you meant. My point about the same speed was that the torque "compensated" for the load. That being the case, it's possible that rapid response time is unaffected by dynamic load like stylus drag or bearing friction.
That's certainly the goal.  What you observed implies that the motor can overcome any additional load that might be imposed by the higher mass idler wheel.  (I intentionally used the word "might".)
Notwithstanding, the primary objective is to see if it sounds better. It does for me, so I'm not too concerned. Thanks Lew.
The AF idler is currently sold out. I had to wait 4 months or so IIRC when I bought mine. OP, get the AS, you won’t be disappointed.
Thank you all for your comments.
Can anyone conform that the dynamics improved with either the AS or AF?
I remember when I heard a Garrard 301 where the owner had machined their own idler wheel. It was one piece and he commented that the wheel was ever so slightly smaller (diameter) so as the contact with the platter had more 'sensitivity' that created more dynamics. Does that make sense to anyone? Or maybe I'm confused.
Thx,
 
Mozart, There’s got to be more to that story. Machining down the diameter of the idler would reduce platter speed. That could be compensated by increasing drive speed but would hardly suffice to improve dynamics.
Think that statement through Lew
I don’t think the size of the idler wheel can change the speed of the platter.
@dangcaonguyen 
@vetterone 
@lewm 
I think that the machinist who made the idler said that he had reduced the 'pressure' between the wheel and the platter. He found that this allowed more dynamics. I guess the platter was not so 'rigid' in its lateral spinning motion so that the needle moved with greater amplitude. 
Does that make sense to anyone or I am way off track myself?
Thx,

If the idler wheel is normally say 2" in diameter, and there is no allowance for the idler to move closer to the platter if it is reduced in diameter by say one millimeter, it will exert less force on the inner platter contact point.
What effect does that force have? Maybe additional damping causing a loss in information or conversely ringing making it appear there are better dynamics? Perhaps the additional pressure exerts an asymmetric force on the bearing and it’s reduction reduces the transmission of bearing noise.
Post removed 
Post removed 
@dangcaonguyen 
@vetterone 
@lewm 
@noromance 

Thank you All,
I have ordered the AS idler wheel with brass bushes.
Simone (from AS) asked if I would like to order the brass bushes for the motor too.
Any opinions?
Thx again,

If you know how to take the motor apart to lube the lower bearing, it can’t hurt having a replacement bearing on hand. If the table is used and new to you, figure on doing the above as a matter of essential maintenance.
The most difficult and real PITA bearing in the 301/401 is the lower idler bearing. Be real careful working on it when you swap the new AS in. If the lower spindle is wobbling in the bushing, you will have real bad sound. Replacing the bushing requires some skill and tooling.

@noromance  
Thank you for your recommendaiton.
The AS idler wheel arrived today. I have installed it and seems to make a slight 'whirr sound' but it sounds great. Especially. in the mid range. Also more dramatic/faster articulations/dynamics.
I haven't installed the bushes. It looks tricky. The existing upper bushing is firmly in place and I'm not sure how to remove it without some pressure. Is there are good way to do this or does it normally come out easily?
May be there is some tutorial/ video available somewhere?
Thank you,
Do not attempt to change bushings if they seem okay. It’s a job you’ll regret undertaking without specialized knowledge.
Does the idler spin freely and take some time to spin down?
Does it make the whirring noise with platter off?
@noromance 
The idler spins freely and the platter takes 18 secs to completely stop.
The 'whirring' is hardly audible and I can only hear it with the platter off with my ear a couple of inches away. 
Thx again,
Good. Make sure to clean the inside of the platter rim with alcohol. 
90,00 EURO is approximately 101.00 US as of today.
for the  Audiosilente idler wheel.

Not sure where the $365.00 is from.
exactly!!

What does increase the price by more than three times?
The USA customs? The importer? The authorized dealer? Naaaahh
@best-groove 2 different idlers. Audiosilente is less expensive aluminium. The Artisan Fidelity one is stainless steel and higher tolerances.