Experience with Transcriptor Turntables?

Anyone own or have experience with the rather flashy looking (for their time) turntables called Transcriptor, especially with the vestigal arm? Am interested in comments of performance and availability - including parts. Thanks.
I may have sold more Transcriptors turntables back in the '70s than any other single person in the US. The turntables weren't as quiet as their best competition nor today's better options. The main veering was good but not great from a noise standpoint, and both the Saturn's acrylic plate plinth and the Skeleton's plate glass base tended to be good conductors of motor noise. The conical metal springs motor suspension wasn't the wisest choice for motor isolation, especially since the motto was mounted to a thin sheet metal plate that was reverberant itself. Now, all that said, if you were tolerant of the noise anomalies -- and many people were -- the tables sounded smooth and musical with good dynamic presence. I also personally owned a Saturn and a Glass Skeleton for many years.

The Vestigal tonearm was a brilliant compromise, with strong advantages and liaiblities. Its biaxial design was a nod to the sharp degradation of vinyl after the 1973 Arab oil embargo, which resulted in a big boost in the use of non-virgin vinyl, thinner LPs and "innovations" like RCA Dynagroove, aka Dynawarp. Before record weights and perimeter rings, David Gammon gave us very low vertical moving mass to improve the practicality of very high compliance cartridges like the ADC XLM series, the Empire 9000 and the Shure V15, in an era of non-flat LPs. The arm also had surprising synergy with the lower compliance moving coils of the day. Even the horizontal moving mass was much lower than most tonearms. Downsides were fickle setup, a relatively short length that increased tracking error at the extremes of the groove area, and of course warp-wow caused by the very short stylus-pivot distance for the vertical movement bearing. But on the plus side, where it played cleanly, the Vestigal arm could give standard-setting dimensioning, great detail and revelation, and very strong transient performance.

Eventually, the Vestigal arm fell by the wayside, Transcriptors was undercapitalized to begin with, and turntable design moved to maximum intimacy of contact between the LP and the latter. Transcriptors tables became objects of art for looking cool, but not taken seriously by 1980.

The Souther Linear Arm was influenced by the design choices made for the Vestigal (I can say this because I helped Lou Souther complete work on his tonearm and his exposure to the Vestigal via me triggered some design ideas on his part). I still have a Vestigal which I use occasionally, and still admire for its strengths, but my choice of cartridges today allows me to surpass it by other means.

David Gammon's son revived the Transcriptors company in the last 10 years and offers more modern variations on the Transcriptors theme, plus he has some parts available for the older tables. I believe he still has limited reconditioning services. IIRC the URL is transcriptors.uk.co or transcriptors.net, but checking now I am getting no destination. A Google search also leads to a dead end, so perhaps the revived company hasn't survived the 2008-2009 crash.

After many years of scarcity, I see Glass Skeletons on eBay two or three times a year, at least. They are not difficult to tune up if everything is working. A dead motor or chewed bearing would be difficult to overcome. The tonearms can use a rewire, but the main issue is condition of the jeweled needle bearings. They don't take much abuse, and from what I've seen of used ones, these 30-35 year old items get regularly compromised or ruined by people who don't understand the design and incorrectly torque the bearings. The arm should move freely and neither chatter nor bind.

Feel free to ask specific questions on matters I didn't address here.

They were probably the most striking table ever made. Russ Beardsley at Harmony House in NYC told me around 1970 that he had sold 11 the first weekend he had them just by putting them in the window and turning them on. Did have problems as outlined above. Never had one, although I was a dealer for Michell, which was in some ways a continuation of and improvement on the Transcriptors. I purchased a Vestigial arm but was so horrified at its flimsy appearance I sold it without taking it out of its box. Buy either one as an object of art, not as a working table.
Thanks for the fulsome and very informative/helpful info. Your experience with performance seems to mirror mine except that you have a ton more experience with them and the knowledge to go with it. The reason for my inquiry is that I have had a Skeletal since 1976 or before (colleage Max Gottschalk, designer in Tucson, got me into some interesting audio components, including a Saturn before I traded up to the Skeletal) and I am thinking of using it again in a display type setting. That Vestigal arm is tougher than it looks and sounds very good. I think the bearings are still fine, but that web or framework on which the table rests has sagged and I would like to find a replacement - or find a way to straighten and brace it - or duplicate it with other material. Do you know of such solutions. I also will try to get into contact with David Gammon's son as you suggest might be possible. You are a marvelous source - thanks - and likely that I will be back to you.

It indeed is very striking - viewers seem to go nuts about the styling - and I was able to overlook some of the mechanical issues in that it did sound very good at the time. I agree with you - if i did not own this one, would not now buy one for performance. Thanks for your reply.
I loved the turntable since I saw A Clockwork Orange. My brother-in-law had one that I could never get him to sell to me. Over Easter when they came to visit there was a large heavy box on the table and he said it was for me. When I opened the box - there it was in all it's glorious beauty. However, to say the least it needs total restoration. I just received a quote from Michell of 495.00 (pounds) or about 750 usd. (I'm on disability and music is my life). My other turntable is an LP12 and the motor just broke. Does anyone in the U.S. restore the Transcriptor Turntable? I already have someone to fix my LP12.
I bought a Skeleton a few weeks back.... but FED-EX shattered the Plinth... of course the bottom with all the holes.

Now I've paid for a new one from Transcriptors.eu.... and no word for a month.

Any chance you could help a fellow Transcriptor enthusiast and create a sketch of the bottom glass... so we can have the ability of solving mine and future "problems"...

I'm not sure how to make it worth your time... but if taken apart it would be surely appreciated.

I bought a Skeleton from a friend back in the 80's. It had been brutalized. Fitted with a Linn arm that weighted about 5 times the vestigial. I sent it to Michael Gammon for reconditioning and just got it back a couple weeks ago. In the process of fine tuning. Swatkins, are you still looking for an answer regarding the bottom glass?
Stanwal, Thanks for the memories. I used to frequent Harmony House back in the early 70s, as a poor student who could not afford to buy anything. Several years later, I bought a Marantz 10B tuner from Russ. And I do recall the Transcriptors in the window. Later, I owned one. The Vestigial tonearm was aptly named, probably one of the weirdest tonearms I have ever seen, but not THE weirdest. Seems like the Dynavector design is a much better implementation of the basic engineering of the Vestigial.
I fixed an aweful lot of those things while I was going to engineering school (I worked in a consumer electronics repair operation).

They could be quite finicky to set up but seemed to hold together if transported properly to their residence.

I was never a fan of the arm as a little warp had them sounding like a Close and Play.
I have a Michell skeleton and am replacing the cartridge. However, the color coding for the wiring has worn off. Does anyone know which wires go to which post on the Vestigial tone arm? The turntable was given to me without a cartridge so I'm at a loss. Help please! Thanks. Rob
I'm in a similar situation. I have a reconditioned vestigial tonearm, and the color coding on the wiring is not 100% right. But it's easy. With the RCA plugs the pin in the middle is signal and the shield-outer is ground. Right hand plug is red, left is black or white. The right signal on the RCA pin is red, the ground (shield) is green. Left signal (pin) is white, ground is blue. Use a sensitive ohm-meter to match the wires with the cartridge connectors to the right and left pin and shield. When you choose a cartridge remember it has to be high compliance because of the low mass of the vestigial arm. I'm trying an ADC XLM. It still isn't connected, but I'm expecting good results.
I recently purchased a transcriptors Hydraulic turntable from fleabay....misrepresented ...in bad shape....has the fluid arm that needs help....anyone in USA for restoration/repair?? platter has small dents,dust cover missing...can platter be repaired? thanks for any help....Mike
Michael G. is not honouring his fathers memory ...he is advertising on ebay ,can't take payment from paypal and doesn't answer emails....
As I have just got a noce looking Transcriptor Hydraulic with Vestigal tonearm i hope for suggestions for PU.
I hope not to spend more than sat 150USD on it.
I'm looking for a couple of platter weights if anyone might have 1 or 2.  Thanks, Rob
I currently have a Skeleton model in good condition up and running. This week I picked up one that I thought was a skeleton but the tone arm set up is not the same. The motor turns and the origional tone arm came with it but im not sure how to connect. It does appear that one of the main pillar sping holding tops is missing but the rest glass, hinges etc are good. Any one know who might restore? If not who may be interested in buying for parts and what a reasonable price might be.
What wonderful feedback and historic information!  I have always desired one of these decks and the content of this site could direct me in the right direction.