Stiltskin i am half the way there with Tri Planar. I use an Aries 3 and see you are useing a VPI table. Tri Planar replaced my 10.5i. What a serious improvement in all areas. With just that move, you will be amazed.
I am also interested in Gavia also and sure will be following this thread.
I have one of Thom's earlier designs when he and Peter Clark were partners. Thom is one of the most knowledgable people I have met regarding analog and he has been a tremedous help in improving the sound of my system. When I first visited him to hear the table I was not only impressed by the sound of the table but by his passion for what he was doing. I have had this table for about 4 years and Thom has always been available to help if I had questions. Prior to this table I had a VPI HW19 with Kuzma Stogi arm. Thom's tables are far superior to the VPI I had. I am using a Schroeder reference arm which I was fortunate enough to get when the lead time was only 4-5 months. The Triplaner is a great arm and given the lead times on the Schroeder would be my top choice if I were buying now.
I couldn't be happier with Galibier Gavia, which I've had for about 18 months. To make the story short, my decision process lead me to consider both the Teres and Galibier based on value, quality, and speed stability. It was my fortune to have heard Doug Deacon's Teres 320 while searching for my last table. At the time I owned a Basis 2500 with Vector Model 1 tonearm and what I heard from Doug's 'table really helped me to decide that these two 'tables where for me. The mylar tape drive is much better than any other belt drive I've heard. The mass-loaded design also works for me. I have no need for a suspended table.
I traveled out to Denver and met both Thom Makris and Chris Brady, heard their products and still came away hard pressed to make a choice between these two brands. They have many similarities and a few minor differences. Both Thom and Chris are very knowledgeable and excited about their respective products. It really came down to a coin toss, figuratively speaking.
I honestly feel that not only have I purchased a fantastic product but also made a good friend in Thom. He kept me updated on the progress of getting the machining and anodizing on my order with regular phone calls and emails. Yes it took a few months to receive my Gavia but I know that Thom was looking to ensure that things came out to his high standards. I'm absolutely satisfied and a very happy Galibier owner.
Perhaps I can offer a different perspective as a customer who has purchased and is awaiting delivery of a Galibier turntable.
Like Dan ed, I went out to Denver during RMAF so that I could audition my 'last turntable'. During the show, I narrowed my choices to the Teres Versus, the Galibier Stelvio and the Raven AC 3 motor. All are excellent and each has its own unique voice. As with any high quality hand-made product (cars, wine, etc.), the ultimate decision to purchase will be based on your personal aesthetic/taste.
After leaving the RMAF, I ultimately decided to purchase the Galibier. I can not tell you exactly why...it just felt 'right' for me. Honestly, if I had to decide on another day, I might have gone with the Teres or the Raven!
For me, one of the unexpected highlights of the process was the opportunity to meet Jeffrey Catalano of High Water Sound who imports the Raven, Chris Brady of Teres and Thom Mackris of Galibier. Analogue will always be viable as long as people like this are involved. If you have not already done so, please read Audiogoner's experiences with these gentlemen...they are universally positive. I can personally attest to their enthusiasm and willingness to spend time with a customer.
Before and during my purchase process, Thom has been an excellent communicator and quite helpful in making decisions related to the purchase (I am also buying a Triplanar arm and Dynavector cartridge. I plan to have a 2nd arm, the Schroeder Reference, which I am purchasing through Thom.) Thom's philosophy that the best tonearm for any individual is the one the he/she can be best interact with to produce the best sound certainly resonated with me (pun intended). I hope to take delivery in the next few weeks and one of the highlights will be Thom's installation. The purchase price of the Stelvio includes an on-site set-up. Critical to the installation is learning how to set up the table and optimize the arm/cartridge.
I hope to post a review of my initial experiences with the Stelvio/Triplanar/Dynavector in my system in the near future. I hope this helps in your decision making process.
Thank you for your response.
It was Doug Deacons suggestion I look into this line of tables acouple of weeks ago.
I'm up here in the Great White North.
Getting to hear a Galibier table in a system could be remote.
Though I have e-mailed Thom Makris asking if any of his customers are in my neck of the woods that would be kind enough to invite me over for a listen.
Gentlemen,your testimonials have put me at ease considerbly.
Jazdoc ,I will look forward to your impressions on the Stelvio table, Triplaner and the Dynavector.
Word for word.....I concur with Jazdoc! I also wanted to make a final decision on a TT since I am a vinyl only user. I spoke with Chris, met and spoke with Thom and met and spoke with Jeffrey. All are top notch and will be in your corner. I decided on the AC Raven with Tri arm and Dyna XV-1S through Jeff at High Water. But YOU CANNOT GO WRONG with Thom or Chris and their fin tables as well. All three gentlemen and knowledgeable and offer complete service.
I am buying a Quatro (the one currently listed on the Bargin Bin-on the Galibier web site) from Thom. I have not owned a TT in thirty five odd years. This purchase includes a Triplaner and Universe cartridge.M
My digital front end varies between two set ups. An Audio Note dac and transport and a Wadia cdp. Slowly I have become disenchanted with cd's.
My decision path for this purchase included:
1. Buying from a small but passoniate manufactuer.
2. Not getting caught on a steep upgrade curve.
3. Putting the pleasure back into listening.
Thom meets all the qualifications of number one. Hopefully, the above gear will meet the second qualification, and the proof for the third metric will come soon.
Changeout, So your the guy that bought that combo.
When you take delivery of them,I sure would be interested in your impressions back to vinyl after all those years.
Another satisfied Galibier owner here. I have owned a Gavia for 3 1/2 years, and it replaced a VPI 19 III/JMW 10 and Thorens TD-124/Moerch DP-6. The Galibier was a substantial improvement sonically over both tables. I have a Triplanar VII on the Gavia, but I have also used a 12" Moerch DP-6, the VPI arm, and an Audioquest PT-6. The Triplanar sounds best of course, but the table sounded great with all of the arms.
When I started out, I had what is now known as the Serac platter and later upgraded it to the Gavia platter. There is quite a stepup in sonic performance between the platters so if you can stretch to get the Gavia platter from the outset, I would highly recommend doing so.
Thom Mackris is very knowledgeable and is a straight shooter. He is also a terrific guy to deal with.
I have talked to or corresponded with many Galibier owners over the years, and I have never heard any complaints or reservations about the table. In fact, I also cannot recall anyone changing from a Galibier to another brand. That's pretty unusual in this hobby.
When I bought the Gavia, I intended for it to be my final turntable. That still holds true today. No regrets whatsoever.
Dave and everyone else here I would like to thank for your response to my questions.
I have sent an e-mail to Thom for a order of a Galibier table...
Congratulations! Keep in touch and let us know your thoughts on the table.
Stiltskin, I see you've already contacted Thom to order a table so my 2 cents may just add a little reassurance.
I bought my Gavia with Gavia Platter and Stelvio armboard about a year ago. The Stelvio was somewhat tempting but I'm "married with children" and Thom's suggestions convinced me that the Gavia as I ordered it would get me most of the way there. This was to be my final turntable purchase and I can honestly say I'm done looking.
There are a few finish choices available for the base, platter and motor pod and Thom was kind enough to send me samples of what was available. I ended up going with what looks to be the same table as Dan_ed and couldn't be more pleased. My table is beautiful to behold and you don't have to look very hard to appreciate the skill and thought that went into building this audio work of art.
Even a year or so later I still hear from Thom letting me know of new ideas he's come up with to make his products better or just tweaks to get more out of my system. He's a true gentleman and very accessible even after the sale.
Like many others I too went with a Tri-Planar and was fortunate to get mine right around the time Tri had implemented the very cool VTF upgrade; great idea!
Thom provided plenty of helpful information about arms that would work well on his tables but was pretty neutral about which he preferred letting me come to my own conclusions. The top of the line Schroeder looked interesting but I had pretty much decided on the Tri-Planar long before I originally contacted Thom. He just confirmed what I already knew.
After I placed my order with Thom I shipped my Tri-Planar to him for mounting. He's the expert so I figured I'd let him do all the hard stuff plus I knew everything would be to spec. He also made minor adjustments to the arm like cueing that made things a little easier for me once the whole set-up arrived. Assembling the table was a breeze and so was installing the arm and making final adjustments.
An XV-1s sort of tops things off and without trying to steer me, Thom gave me enough info about cartridges he's used to help with my decision. It was pretty much between the Universe and Dynavector but again thinking about that "married with children" thing, I decided on the XV-1s. Also, I've heard the Dyna is a tad warmer so better suited to my tastes.
Regardless of which Galibier table you go with, I have no doubt you'll be one happy camper.
Thank you for your comments.
i chose a micro seiki max 282 arm. I think the table is wonderful. Very neutral, deep transients, good speed, no bloated sound.
Thom is a dream to deal with.
I'm looking forward to owning one of these world class tables.
I just bought a slightly used Graham B-44,I pick it up tomorow.
Congratulations. Looks like you will be getting a similar setup as mine - Gavia with Serac platter. I am probably the newest entrant into Galibier (my unit came in less than 4 weeks ago)and the farthest (I am in Singapore). I was looking for a high end Turntable but wanted to stay below $10K for the whole setup. I was originally looking at Teres but quickly found Galibier on the internet. I made a trip to Denver and the meeting with Thom made up my mind. I have always liked dealing with small passionate and dedicated manufacturers and Thom is absolutely great. It did take some months but Thom always keeps you updated. And for those who are a little worried about having the TT shipped and setup - well it made it safely to Singapore and I was up and running in a few hours. Thom's packing, instructions and attention to detail stands out in the audio world. I have a vintage Denon DP600 direct drive and the Gavia beats it handsomely. I cannot compare the Gavia to others like Teres, RedPoint, Raven or Dr Feickert as I have not heard them sufficiently to comment. Its always hard to compare TTs because of arm/cartridge combo and setups. A very experienced turntable dealer (Top Class Audio in Hong Kong - http://www.topclassaudio.com/web/eng/index.jsp) once advised me the following: "...Look at what the manufacturer is giving in terms of material (aluminum/PVC instead of wood/acryllic in the case of Gavia), bearings (solid, tightest tolerance) and motor (one of the best available - Maxon) and you can't go wrong.." I believe the price of the Galibier range (especially the Gavia) is IMHO, the best value there is in TT.
Ddriveman thank you for chimming in.
I cannot tell you how happy I am that I went the way I did with Thoms design.
I just needed alittle more convincing and this posting is all it took.
With the purchase of a used Phantom B-44 and then add a great cartridge....
Overall price and performance "Good Lord"
Thom can help you with this but there is a slight issue with using an arm with the cable that attaches through the bottom of the arm stand. That is you won't be able to use the big, heavy Stelvio arm board. Not a big deal, just something to be aware of.
I'm not sure i understand dan. I use a din discovery cable with that armboard. As long as it isn't a right angle one, it seems okay.
Mothra, Go to Galibier's website and look at the pictures of the Gavia and Stelvio armboards. With arms like SME, Graham and those where the cable feeds through the bottom of the arm you can't use the much thicker and more substantial Stelvio board.
Yes, I'm talking about the armboard with the big "oil can" dampener. The original armboard will work fine.
Gosh, I don't think I have a Stelvio armboard picture out there, but Dan describes it well.
There's a big "can" (3.625 diameter x 3" high) hanging under the arm mounting area of the Stelvio armboard. It damps spurious resonances.
You can't drill any through-holes in the armboard to pass an arm stub through (or an exit hole in the "can" to feed an arm cable). There'd be lead shot and oil all over the place.
Stated another way, only arms like Triplanars, Schroeder References, ET-2's and such can be used with the Stelvio armboard.
Thom and others,
How would you compare the Stelvio Armboard against the Gavia armboard. Assuming one is looking to upgrade the Gavia(oops I can't believe I am eben thinking of this already), would you look at the platter first or the armboard?
I'll leave that question for Thom. When I ordered my Gavia I already had a Triplanar so I just went with the Stelvio armboard. I was familiar with the benefits of a heavier platter so again I just chose the Gavia platter. I often wonder how the Stelvio platter sounds? :-)
The Stelvio armboard is a "nice to have", but of course is only compatible with arms that don't protrude through an armboard hole. The mounting holes for Triplanars and Schroeder References are blind holes - meaning that they do not go through the armboard. So, from this perspective, your SAEC, Audiocraft, and Fidelity Research arms can use only the standard armboard.
The Gavia TPI platter on the other hand is a fairly significant improvement over the Serac. Before the TPI interface (in the days of the Teflon top), the choice was a bit more difficult. A little of the positive attributes of the Serac's PVC were lost in the Teflon topped composite. The sound was just the slightest bit "nervous" ... emphasis on the word "slight".
Still, most people opted for the Teflon topped, composite platter, because on balance it did almost everything better. Most everyone has commented that they don't hear this nervousness in the Gavia TPI, and everyone who has heard the demo mats I've loaned them has opted to convert their Teflon topped platters to TPI.
I feel a bit uncomfortable talking at this level of detail on this forum. Perhaps it's only me, but I fear that delving into further nuanced discussion on the topic here crosses over the line of propriety and is unfair to other manufacturers. I'd be happy to take this discussion over to the Galibier forum for those who are interested in digging deeper into the topic.
Thom @ Galibier