Is the Teres a

I have just read Art Dudley's review of the Quattro Supreme (Stereophile, October issue), a table spawned from the basic Teres design. (The friendship, then break-up of the original Teres group is also mentioned as a side story.)

I have no experience with the Teres but the Supreme - a design very similar to the Teres - priced at $6,000 got a "B" rating (actually meaningless, but someone's got to give it some rating because we are a rating-mad people!).

Why doesn't Chris Brady send Art a table so that he could at least give the Teres a good review and exposure?

Art's reference, the LP12, by the way, beat the Supreme in one area: PRaT.

i would like to address two points of this post.

First, George, why don't you e-mail Chris Brady and ask him?

Second, I think it should be the other way around. The audio magazines should ask a number of similar turntable vendors to submit samples for a comparison, much like the Road & Track does for specific types of automobiles. Ratings are meaningless unless they are placed in an appropriate context.
The typical audiophile can't bring together 4 or 5 turntables to evaluate, and the odds are no dealer can do that either. Along the same lines the same inability exists with cartridges, tone arms, cables, etc. etc.

IMO, the magazines have had a free ride for years and years, reviewing products that the vendor provides at his or her cost. I need an resource that will evaluate and provide me information to make a sound decision as what products represent value and what products will work best in my system.

"Art's reference, the LP12, by the way, beat the Supreme in one area: PRaT."

What if I bring my creature on steroids? Ouch!
The heading originally was: Is the Teres a "B" in the Stereophile ranking? - don't know what happened to it!

Anyway, click on the site to see how it looks like:

1. Teres has a 4-6 month backlog with no letdown in sight.

2. AFAIK, CB has expressed no interest in altering his vision for Teres. He prefers an activity level he can manage as an enthusiast. Running Teres is not his job, it's his hobby.

Unless one or both of those conditions changes, it's difficult to think of any reason for CB to court the mainstream mags. Teres doesn't need more exposure to meet or exceed its stated mission: to provide high end TT's at price/performance points that beat the mainstream competition. Not being a publically held corporation, unfettered growth need not be part of that mission.

I don't think that Teres turntables and the Supreme should be considered similar designs. They both have DC motors, but very different controllers and even different Maxon motors. The bearings have some shared concepts but they diverge in both manufacturing and materials. Where the turntables are miles apart is in material choices. I have experimented with both aluminum and hardwoods and these materials produce vastly different results. So while there is some limited design commonality and common roots, sonic'ly they are nothing alike.

Not to nit-pick, but "the Teres" is kind of a meaningless term. There is a huge difference between a Teres model 135 and a 340.

So, why no Teres review? Well, two reasons 1) Nobody from Stereophile has asked. 2) If they asked I would most likely decline. It's a bit difficult to see how a review would be helpful. Demand for Teres turntables already far exceeds my production capacity. So a good review would if anything make things worse. But I have to admit that a good review would be a nice ego boost...

If you don't get a big enought ego boost from those of us who own, have built, and expound on the Teres because we believe in your design, something is wrong!!!!

You know we could care less what some pinhead (actually, I kinda like some of Dudley's reviews, no matter how bad his hearing is purported to be) from a magazine thinks. As far as I am concerned, it's a Class A. Maybe when I hear something that beats mine, I'll reconsider. But I have not yet. And, I'll bet it would cost several multiples more, beacuse outside of my plinth, I'm toward the bottom of the Teres food chain! I wish I could have made it to Larry's.

But it would be nice if they asked....

Hi Joe,

How does your table compare to an official one?

1 – Repeating a review in a vague form and drawing a comparison between a Turntable that that might share some design similarities with the Teres turntables and not even being specific about which of several Teres TT’s is patently irrational and slighting to a terrific company with an outstanding line of Turntables.

2 - Why would Teres consider involving itself with the dubious value of reviews from the magazines that are fraught with a conflict of interest of getting revenue for their advertisements from the same people they are reviewing?

3 – There is a plethora of exuberantly positive comments and reviews on the Teres products from an intelligent and articulate group of Teres customers. I have yet to hear/read a negative or less than enthusiastically positive statement made about the performance of Teres’ products or the way the Chris Brady has interacted with his customers. How many examples had you heard of the owner of an audio component company jumping on a plane at his expense to solve a quality issue (as Chris did) ?

4 - What benefit would there be for Teres to be reviewed and create a higher demand for their product for which they are back ordered and there is already a significant lead-time from order to delivery ?

5 - Why would an audiophile magazine’s review be of a greater or significantly additional value than the large number of Audiogon members who have posted their overwhelmingly positive experiences with the Teres Tables?

6 - I can tell you from first hand experience (corroborated by some sophisticated audiophiles) that the Teres 340 is a phenomenal TT and a terrific value at it’s price point. I can’t imagine having a person with a discerning pair of ears coming to the conclusion that the 340 is a class B table.

7 - Every time you read about some Audiogoner wrestling with the decision whether to get a Teres because he is unable to audition the table and he orders a Teres, you invariably read a post with him raving about what a great decision it was to have bought a Teres.

8 - How many Teres’ tables do you see go up for sale (very few) and when one is offered it is usually snapped up in short order.

9 - Here is a simple solution for you - Order the best Teres you can afford and spend your time listening and enjoying and stop spending any more time trying to find a review from a magazine. It is hard to imagine that you will be anything but thrilled with a Teres table or your dealings with Chris.

Joe, Hope you are able to make it down the next time we all get together
Doug, nicely said – another example of your normal articulate self
Chris, Thanks for the great table and the wonderful way you handle yourself. I could not be happier.

What do you mean by "official one", George?
Thank you for your reply, Larry. And Chris, and Doug and Joe.

I don't doubt it when you say the Teres tables are exceptional. What I'm saying is that it would be great for the everyday guy (who's part audiophile, part insecure audio geek and part know-it-all) to read about his gear, in this instance, a turntable, on the pages of Stereophile. Equally good, too, for the designer to have his name and product printed in black and white and read around the world.

True, the magazine has its critics and many have questioned its credibility as well as its personnel. But the fact remains it is the only mass-circulated magazine around and many use it as the bible to guide them what to purchase in audio components. Even Chris thinks it's cool if his tables were reviewed and raved about in Stereophile. Who wouldn't - really?

The article caught my eye because the Quattro Supreme is supposed to have taken the basic Teres to another level. Its price range confirms where the table is trying to reach: $6,000.00. So a comparative table would be the Teres 340 - if one were to compare.

Then I asked: if a table that's similar to the Teres and is similarly priced, would the 340 get a "B" ranking because of their sameness?

One more thing, both the Supreme and Teres 340 share the same philosophy: no suspension, mass based. The Supreme's platter weighs 75lbs (!) against the 37 lbs for the 340.

Is this the way to go? As heavy as it should be to be a good turntable?

What do you mean by "official one", George?

Hi Dan,

Joe's table is home-made, isn't it? I was wondering if it sounds like Chris's.

Thanks for the clarification, George. I'm curious about this point also since I am in the planning stages of doing my own Teres. (I'm not quite ready to start ordering parts, maybe in October. I need to finish building my stereo rack first.) I do know based on Joe's posts that he is very happy with the results he has gotten.

I see by your system listing that you have a Basis 2000. I have a 2001 and plan on keeping it even after I add a Teres-based turntable to my system. Right now I like the idea of playing with the suspended vs. non-suspended concepts and hearing for myself what the differences are. It would be much harder for me to do this if it weren't for the DIY concept of the Teres.

Here's my .02:
I understand why you are looking for a mag write up or shootout, but I don't think that one would really answer your questions because you would still be relying on someone else's opinions. Reviews might help you narrow the field but I would stop short of using them to argue the validity of any tables' superiority. The only real way is a side-by-side comparison. As we all know you would still probably not get a consensus on which is the better table.
Doug, Joe, Larry, Thanks for the kind words. It's certainly a nicer and more honest ego boost than any review from some mag. Teres Audio is a for profit business, but my primary motivator for running the business is rewarding interactions with customers like you guys.

George, Yes the Quattro takes what came out of the Teres project to another level. But so does the Teres 150, 160,245, 265, 320 and 340. All of these tables are vastly different from the original Teres project incarnation. But it is incorrect to assume that the Supreme and a 340 sound similar or that they would get the same rating. You point out that both are suspensionless and high mass. Of course all turntables that share those characteristics will have some similarities. However, the material differences (hardwood vs. aluminum) have a huge impact on sound. I know what these materials sound like. An aluminum turntable simply will not sound anything like one made from hardwoods.

It interesting to note that in recent comparisons between a Teres 340 and a 320 the contribution of the aluminum rings and feet in the 340 can be heard. As a result we are evaluating a 340 where brass has been substituted for all of the aluminum parts (not to mention a new 60 lb. platter). If all goes well it will be shown at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest.

BTW: the Quatro Supreme platter weighs 32 pounds. The base is 75 lbs (vs 95 for the 340).



Yes, I made my own. But, I used the Teres design, acrylic platter, bearing, motor & controller, clamp, and battery pack. The main difference between mine and a stock 245 is the plinth. I also built a sub base a la 340, but it is not connected the way the factory one is. It basically serves as a high mass (maybe 30# Brazilian rosewood ((Madura)) shelf for the TT. Oh, I also went to VHS tape, and for some strange reason I like it better than the mylar.

I may be going out on a limb here, but I'm guessing my plinth sounds better than the "standard" one. I have 25 pounds just in lead shot in it & the arm board. There is also a solid piece of Macassar ebony inlaid (structually, and for sonics, not just for cosmetics) in to the top. It is also at least an inch thicker, and wider around the exterior shape of the plinth. Also, the arm board is solid ebony with lead loading. I also have a couple of other armboards in the rotation.

As far as the weight of the two companies' platters go, each is arrived at in a different way. Teres: Wood. Quattro Supreme: Metal & Teflon. Both use lead loading. As we all know, there are different sonic outcomes to each approach.

I guess my personal opinion (yes, my PERSONAL opinion} is that the Supreme is one butt-ugly piece of work. I have not heard one, and it may sound exceptional. But, if I was going to dump six grand on a TT, it would be a Teres. I don't even really like the acrylic plinths compared to the wood Teres, but I still bought 2 of them in a moment of weakeness (I love that sale page)!

Sure it would be nice to have it raved about in Stereophile. But the day I ever let that influence me over the informed opinions I've learned to trust here on the 'gon is the day I buy Bose.

BTW, Larry: Very well stated! I won't miss the next time.


It's my humble opinion that passing judgment on construction materials (wood vs. aluminum) is the equivalent of judging a vacuum tube outside of its circuit context. It's impossible to come up with any valid generalizations.

One might ask why I love the wooden arm wand on my Schroeder Reference and yet do not use wood in my 'table designs.

Simply stated, tonearms present entirely different challenges to the designer, with the most limiting materials constraint being that of controlling effective mass. Quite the opposite circumstances apply in turntable design, where you can turn mass into your friend if you do it intelligently and damp it properly.

The beauty of this situation is for the consumer. Since Chris and I follow the beat of different drummers, our products are different as night and day. The choices are aesthetic ones - both visual and aural. You will never be all things to all people, and it's foolish to try.

In a fair and thorough comparison, I'm confident that both Chris' and my best effort would handily relegate many of the S'phile Class B and Class A components to the trash heap. I'm hearing this from my customers, and I've performed demonstrations which have proven this to me. I'm sure that Chris has had the same experiences.

I'd really get a kick out of an after hours comparison at the Rocky Mountain Audiofest next month - involving perhaps a Galibier, Teres, Basis, and Clearaudio. I doubt that Chris and I would get any takers for such a session, because Basis and Clearaudio have nothing to gain. However, if enough attendees request such a session of one of the large exhibitors running Basis and Clearaudio (hint, hint), it could happen.

Regarding Art's review with respect to PRaT (and color for that matter), if you read Art's review of the Graham Robin from last year, you'll note that he is describing the Robin tonearm when he describes the Supreme. This becomes clear when he writes of his brief experience with the Schroeder Reference.

Truth be told, I didn't know that Art would get the article to press so quickly. The intent was to have him work through the Robin, RB300, and his Naim Aro. I was in the process of trying to hunt down the Naim rep to get a mounting pattern for Art's (quirky to say the least) arm of choice. The day I received the draft of the article was the same day I received his Rega armboard from my machinist.

None of this is to make any excuses, and my expectations were realized by getting Art (a low-mass kinda guy if there ever were one) to get all hot and bothered over my rig. Did I expect to convert him? Not in a million years.

Thom @ Galibier
Hi NGeorge,

I'll suspend the Teres love fest (temporarily of course!) and address a couple of your followup questions/points:

"What I'm saying is that it would be great for the everyday guy (who's part audiophile, part insecure audio geek and part know-it-all) to read about his gear, in this instance, a turntable, on the pages of Stereophile."

I've only been involved in the higher end of audio for a couple of years, and in high end analog for 13 months, but I can say with a complete lack of insecurity (and a wealth of know-it-all) that Art Dudley's credibility as a vinyl components reviewer leaves much room for improvement.

In May he reviewed the ZYX R1000 Airy cartridge, which I own. He did a commendable job but he missed some things due to the limitations of his equipment. He made other errors due to his oft-stated preference for components with something called "PRaT", an error he apparently repeated in his review of the Quattro.

His equipment-based errors in the Airy review were caused primarily by the tonearms he used: Ittok, Ekos and whatever flavor of Rega is on his P3. None of these arms has a particularly credible height adjustment. The Airy has a microridge stylus that is sublimely sensitive to VTA. On my rig, arm height changes as small as .007mm make the difference between the Airy sounding "nice" and sounding astoundingly solid and dynamic, precisely the attributes AD said he missed in the Airy. The arms Mr. Dudley used are simply incapable of being adjusted to get the most from this cartridge.

FWIW, I'll add that reviewing a reference caliber cartridge on a Rega P3, as Mr. Dudley partly did, is rather like reviewing Z-rated racing tires on a Jeep Cherokee. There's nothing wrong with my Cherokee, but it's no Porsche 911.

AD's oft-admitted preference for components with "PRaT" virtually disqualifies him for reviewing reference quality components IMO. Pace, rhythm and timing are - or ought to be - provided by the musicians, not the reproduction equipment. If AD likes colorations that's his privilege, but he shouldn't go parading them in public while masquerading as a high end guru. That deceives the people he's supposedly serving. (I'd retract the above if by "PRaT" he simply meant that the Quattro failed to maintain rock steady speed during dynamic passages, due to stylus drag for instance. I doubt that's the case however, particularly since there's no reason to believe his LP12 would do any better and every reason to believe it would do worse.)

There is much wheat among the chaff in 'Stereophile' reviews. AD's Airy review contained many commendable insights along with the errors I mentioned. Unfortunately, the people best able to sort the one from the other are the least likely to need the review. :-(

"...both the Supreme and Teres 340 share the same philosophy: no suspension, mass based. The Supreme's platter weighs 75lbs (!) against the 37 lbs for the 340.

Is this the way to go? As heavy as it should be to be a good turntable?"

All other things being equal I suppose that might be so, but of course they never are. CB already pointed out the many significant differences between a Galibier and a Teres. It's more than just mass: 75 pounds of aluminum/teflon/lead are not necessarily 2.027x better than 37 pounds of cocobolo/jatoba/lead. Different materials handle resonances differently. In addition, no turntable I've heard of has a motor controller that equals the Teres. Every other controller regulates the speed of the motor. Only the Teres self-regulates the speed of the platter, which is what really matters of course.

Oops, I'm back to the love fest. Oh well!
I very much appreciated your post, both in message and in tone. I was not planning to attend the "Rocky Mountain High" but if the comparison seesion to which you refer can be realized, I'm there. It is something I'd PAY to hear!
Doug: Nice to hear someone else point out the critical nature of speed control/stability. Too often overlooked among talk of materials.

As far as PRAT goes, everyone seems to have their own definition. I would think that if anyone is referring to PRAT in the context of a table, they are referring to the table's ability to convey the "PRAT" as exhibited by the musicians in their work (as you mention), and not wishing for same conveyance to be "colored". Then again, I could be wrong. ;-)

For me, a humble vinyl guy (I only have the Basis 2000), PRaT would be a Basis 2000 with the RS-A1 arm.

If I still had the 2000 with the stock RB300 arm, then, definitely, there's no PRaT.

I do hope the Rocky Mountain High shoot-out come to fruition. I'll be waiting, with abated breath, the outcome of a Quattro Supreme/Teres 340/Basis Work-of-Art/Clearaudio what-have-you High Noon.

Will it be messy?


Great post. If you could ever get the rest of them in a room for comparison, I would be there in a NY minute. Maybe we could get Albert to forget his camera and bring his TT, too.

P.S. I of course meant butt-ugly in a good way. =X
That would be one wild shootout. Say, how about a SW Audio Fest? Maybe in Tombstone? I hear they have a corral that's supposed to be okay, even if things get as messy as NGeorge hopes!

You make an excellent point about the futility of trying to judge any material in a vacuum. Synergy is critical and difficult to predict. A perfect example is in the two best tonearms I've heard. The Schroeder Reference and TriPlanar VII sound more alike - which is to say, invisible - than the other good arms I've heard. But they could hardly be more different in materials and engineering choices. IME anyone who summarily ruled out one or the other based just on materials would be doing themselves a disservice.

I'll have to check out AD's Graham Robin review, just to get an idea where he was coming from. BTW, any sign of your TriPlanar yet?
I hope you're right (about PRaT in the context of a TT review). But I see the term bandied about so often by fans of colored TT's, arms and cartridges that it always makes me wary. Clearly one man's PRaT is another man's PRiSoN!
Make sure to bring a Technics SP-10 to that TT shootout. There's way too many overrated *audiophile* belt drive TTs out there, Teres included.

An after hours comparison at the fest sounds like a great idea. We could do a good comparison by moving the same arm and cartridge from table to table. Easy for us since we both have armboards for a Schroder. I could also bring some armboards with common tonearm mounts in case we are able to entice other manufacturers to join us.

I can see it now, 3:00AM and somebody says "ooh, ooh, lets hear the Schroder/901/Supreme again". Makes me tired just thinking about it.

Of course, I have no control over this, but will be a happy participant in any after hours playing that may occur - to the extent that my back holds up.

Even if I were to come out the "winner", I'd be the first to admit that this proves very little - other than giving a general glimpse as to broad characteristics.

Everyone there will no doubt be punchy from all of the work involved in bringing the show to reality. Doing a quick setup in one room (and trying to figure out how all of these high mass tables can be sited on stands appropriate to their design) is likely to be unfair to someone and it's hard to predict to whom.

I would go on record however that the Clearaudios and Basis 'tables will be at the bottom of the heap. Sorry if I offend, but I'm unimpressed.

Thom @ Galibier
And a Garard / Loricraft ... very impressive 'tables.

Thom @ Galibier
And a Lenco/Home Depot, also a very impressive turntable ;-)

I have to say that this focus on the importance of PRaT is music to my "ears"! I would have to side with 4yanx on the issue of whether PRaT is colouration or not: the PRaT is inherent in the music, obviously, as timing is the heart of the music, as any musician and all audiophiles should know. The piece of equipment which filters PRaT out of the recording is the coloured piece. Since there are so many variables from turntable design to turntable design - belt or thread or idler wheel or direct-drive; suspended vs unsuspended; high-mass or low-mass; acrylic or metal or wood; damped or undamped; skeletal or massive; high-torque or low-torque; coupled or decoupled - humans and their ears are still the best way to judge the presence or absence of PRaT. Of course, maintaining as perfect-as-possible speed stability in the face of stylus drag (the Great Enemy) is the way to preserve the PRaT of the original performance.

If it ain't got that swing, it don't mean a thing...
Finally, a shoot-out!

Even if the Basis and Clearaudio do not participate, a Quattro Supreme vs. a Teres 340 - a good, legitimate fight.

Okay, the contest has been set. Let the preparations begin... and may the best table reign!

(Excited) George!
And please be careful: Your (Chris and Thom) tables are heavy. :)

(Already panting) George
PRaT ? How does one judge PRaT?
Wouldn't you have to be at the live performance of the recording to be able to discern and decide whether one's system was providing the correct PRaT for that performance and recording?
I'm always in favor of hearing a "shootout" of some great tables.

I still love my Teres 245.
I know it isn't "the best", even in the Teres lineup alone, but it sounds great to me, and I could afford it.

I think that achieving a sound that you enjoy is the important thing, and not chasing your tail for "the best", which is very subjective anyway.

It will be alot of fun doing the shootout, though. Maybe I can get out there and hear them for myself.
Forget about "correct" PRaT, and just concentrate on whether or not any PRaT is there. Humans react to rhythm in a way no machine will ever do (and consequently will never be reliably measured), as we are tapped into the rhythms which are found in nature all around us, such as our own regulated heartbeats. PRaT is what makes you want to dance, or nod your head, or tap your feet, or wave your arms: it is biological and this is why it is distrusted by many, who feel a need to have everything measurable by scientific equipment before they trust it. Of course, after our biological response has identified relative levels of PRaT which scientific equipment fails to detect, we can then devise or further develop the instruments which will more reliably indicate its existence or non-existence in playback equipment. Only a truly awful musical ensemble of any sort will fail to get the rhythm, and the equipment which fails to retrieve it from a recording is, quite simply, a failure. Of course, PRaT can be retrieved in varying degrees (or lost in varying degrees), and the equipment which makes arm-waving, head-nodding and foot-tapping an IMPERATIVE (assuming a system capable of transmitting this), is therefore at the top of the pile in this very fundamental aspect of music reproduction. Music, after all, is in very large part a biological and emotional experience, as well as intellectual. We have to place our reactions to music ahead of our scientific analyses.

Now, back to my IMPERATIVE Lenco! ;-)
"Maybe I can get out there and hear them for myself."

That's a great excuse to take out the *mature* waitress for a spin on the BMW 'cycle...
"...maintaining as perfect-as-possible speed stability in the face of stylus drag (the Great Enemy) is the way to preserve the PRaT of the original performance."

My point exactly Jean, and this is why I had a problem with the PRaT comment NGeorge quoted from Art Dudley's review. How could an LP12 resist stylus drag better than a Quattro Supreme? That just seems so unlikely...

BTW, what instruments/voices do you guys find to be most vulnerable to stylus drag? For me it's massed violins, but I'm curious what other musical sounds you've noticed that need "perfect" speed stability to sound acceptably realistic.
Like I said before:

The better my system sounds the more *physical* it gets. You can have an expensive system that is ultra quiet, ultra detailed, with good imaging yet Laks "boogie factor".
Voice (that's an instrument, right?), especially sustained female notes. Keyboard tremolo comes to mind, too. The kind that gives you a real "visceral" feel when it's reproduced correctly. Jean mentions the speed stability of his Lenco. I tried some newly acquired Tito Puente LP's (ones with a lot of vibraphone) on one of my Lenco projects and damned if that solid speed stability didn't let that sound come through in spades.
Sorry, though, this is waaaaay off topic.
Art Dudley's little story about Thom and Chris may not be able to bring them back together. Yet it's quite comforting to know that although they "march to different drummers" now, they still pursue their love of music, or more specifically, their vehicle to transport the music to a higher level.

How they began as an internet group, to how they first formed an alliance, to their eventual split, was told with an ending different from where they finally wound up - their separate ways.

Be as what it is today, they will meet at the Rocky Mountain Audiofest and compare tables and notes to see whose design would merit the consumer's requirements and desire.

Whoever wins, there will be no losers. Because they have evened the playing fields and proved that regardless of their past (they're friends, aren't they?) they would have served the common good.

God bless them!

What if we have a tie?

Then you have to buy one of each.
Hi Doug, while ALL instruments, including the human voice, require perfect speed stability to be reproduced correctly, I find speed instablities are most clearly heard (a different issue) in the decay/resonance of instruments, which being but the resonance of a note already struck, simply decay unwavering until vanished, and nothing decays/resonates audibly like piano. The piano keys are hit, the strings vibrate, the box resonates, and any speed variation is CLEARLY audible and exposed, as decay/resonance CANNOT waver in pitch. Bells are good too, as are acoustic guitars, echoes of various sorts, and so on. I don't get my musical enjoyment from hearing evidence of perfect speed, but if I hear a perfect decay, then I know my playback system is spot-on. Besides, hearing a wavering resonation/decay of any sort is annoying and worrying. All that said, a 'table which gets the speed spot on, and sustains perfect speed in real-world conditions - i.e. while playing a record - not only captures the PRaT which should exist in every recording regardless of quality, but also does a better job of retrieving detail, imaging information, energy (dynamics) and frequency extension.

As to whether or not the Linn shows evidence of better speed stability than a well-made and massive unsuspended deck, this is a complex issue. The Roksan turntable has a motor laterally mounted to a spring which allows the motor to rotate with the belt to prevent belt-stretching, thus pulling off the trick of having greater snap and speed, traditionally, than a Linn. On the other hand, these high-mass decks, if they use a rubber belt of some sort, have no such compensation. Regardless of the mass of the platter, the belts will stretch, and the greater mass of the platter ends up not overcoming stylus drag totally so much as reducing it in frequency, as the belt simply cannot react as quickly while dragging such a large mass. It will, however, react at some frequency. But the rhythm lies in the lower frequencies, and if the belt-reaction to stylus drag is lowered to this frequency, then PRaT will suffer, and the Linn, with a lower-mass platter, come out sounding like it has superior PRaT. Thread-drives are a different matter, as it is difficult to predict exactly what is going on here: they are not stretching, but are they slipping? And in what way are they slipping? Perhaps, like rubber belts, they slip precisely when stylus drag is at its worst, which is logical, which in the end means they have some of the same problems rubber belts have, in racing at precisely the point there is greatest energy in the music. Finally, the Linns are suspended, and the subchassis does react to stylus drag and belt reaction in a way similar to the Roksan's motor's lateral freedom: the Linn's entire subchassis twists in reaction to the stylus drag, thus mitigating belt-reaction, and reducing damage to the PRaT. But, while the Linn saves the Prat, it sacrifices the detail higher-mass decks, which have more stable speed overall (above the low frequencies), traditionally excel at. Of course, all this is mere theorizing, in the wake of my experiences comparing the sound of various high-end and classic decks to such high-torque designs as the big idler-wheel decks (like, of course, the Lencos) and the Technics SP10 MKII (which is discussed at length recently on VA).

In the end, it's what makes you happy that makes you happy - providing you are not deluding yourself as so many in fact do (I have a detail-freak friend up here who always goes for detail, and upgrades at least once a month at great cost, indicating deep-rooted dissatisfaction). So good to see the vinyl industry doing so well and generating so much interest! I hope the music-fest goes well for all, Vive la Vinyl!
Salsa music is extremely hard to reproduce. There's way too many instruments that have fast rise times and slow, linear decays being played together *very* fast: vibraphones, congas, piano, bongos, trumpets...

Mr. 4yanx, you're with the program! Glad you caught up.
Hi Jean,
Thanks for the thoughts and examples. Like you, I would find any pitch wavering in piano decays, bell decays, etc. to be quite disturbing. OTOH, I would not necessarily assume that pitch-perfect decays indicate full resistance to stylus drag in all circumstances. Decays are, pretty much by definition, non-dynamic. Stylus drag during a decay is decreasing. A momentary speed loss caused by the leading transient *could* be recovered on some rigs by the time the decay begins. My old silk thread could cope with piano decays fairly well. It's susceptibility to stylus drag was most noticeable at the biggest transients.

Good insights on the Roksan, Linn and thread drives. Thank you. The silk thread previously used on the Teres was capable of some tiny amount of stretch over time (far less than rubber though) but I believe its major problem was inadequate friction aganst platter and motor pulley at moments of maximum drag, as you stated. Mylar is less slippery, and 1/2" wide tape provides many times more surface area than thread. I know from my work in graphic arts reproduction that mylar is dimensionally at normal room temperatures. No stretch. Provided that motor and plinth do not move relative to each other, it seems like this motor-platter linkage "should" be as stable as my ears - and the more sensitive ears of my partner - indicate.

Sorry to hear about your detail-freaked friend. That's a dangerous and expensive trap to fall into, since there's potentially no end to it. FWIW and as I'm sure you know, a front-row or even podium level of detail is possible without sacrificing musicality, or even PRaT. But chasing detail for detail's sake seems a sterile endeavour.

We have reached a state of intense musical satisfaction with our rig. You and Psychicanimal can be assured that our toes tap themselves, our heads involuntarily bob, on every record. When you find yourself caught up in the *rhythms* of 'a capella' medieval chants or a solo lute, you've attained real PRaT. Most rigs can deliver PRaT with Sousa or Strauss (any Strauss, take your pick!).

Thanks to the help of my good friend 'Cello' we've been allowed to hear enough different things to develop a good idea of what directions we needed to go. Our recent arm and cartridge upgrades provided everything we were looking for and more. Judging by the astonishing length of your Lenco/Home Depot thread, it seems others are finding much the same on that path. Bon chance with its continued progress and thank you for helping to lead the revival!
Thanks, Psychic, and thanks Doug: I may try Mylar tape on my Ariston RD11S, which like the Linn majors on PRaT while sacrifing information. But with excellent PRaT and a gorgeous sound (Grado-esque midrange), and let's face it, quite good detail retrieval when not compared directly to the rising stars, I could easily live with it as my sole choice. I keep it because when it plays, I forget about audio (blessed relief!). I may even retire to it when I tire of the astonishing information-retrieval and dynamics and bass of my Lencos ;-) Then, I will try that mylar...

Again, sweet music to my ears to read so much about the importance of PRaT, which is what drew me into this discussion. Long life to Art Dudley to keep focussing our attention on it, sloppy set-up or no!

Happy listening!
Complex, full blast orchestral passages are the toughest in the stylus drag department, for sure. That's what I use to check improvement in *instantaneous* power delivery in my modded 1200. In the case of a bidirectional, quartz locked DD motor that's the singlemost important criterium. Nightdoggy taught me that, as his approach to modding his 1200's was specifically targeting the quartz lock circuitry & instant power delivery *within* the unit. He does not use an external power supply, claiming it will adversely affect instant power response. All I know is that I replaced the stock 24 ga external power supply DC wiring for 18 ga and the improvement was phenomenal! The same went for the stock AC power cord being replaced for an 11ga, cryo'ed Tice PC3. Everything I do to improve instantaneous power delivery is audible by no small measure.

It's hard for me to visuallize something like a belt drive with a massive platter dealing with this stylus drag issue successfully--no offense meant to anyone.

Hi Doug,

I mounted the Triplanar this evening, but it was getting too late to fit a cartridge. Tomorrow night, I wear my shipping department hat, but may well fit a cartridge and take her for a spin.

I need to comment about the much overused (and overrated) PRaT. I think one needs to consider it in the same manner as one does soundstaging. By this I mean as an incidental result and not as a goal. If you do everything correctly, you'll get PRaT and soundstaging. There's nothing wrong with this. If you design for it, you're headed down a path of ruin. Similarly, if you buy with either of these sonic attributes at the top of your checklist, you'll soon grow dissatisfied and become a regular seller in the 'gon.

Go for tone, go for low noise floor, go for dynamics, but please ... for your own psychological well being, let the PRaT and soundstaging just "happen"

PRaT is one of those characteristics that can be faked by having a hot upper midrange (can you spell Linn?) which emphasizes the leading edge or instrumental attacks. Certainly, you can kill PRaT with excessive resonance, and I'm not suggesting that all components with a "hot" tonal balance will have PRaT. You can certainly can enhance it with frequency response anomalies however.

Soundstaging is similar in this respect - a big bass and boosted upper frequencies can give you an exaggerated impression of space. True soundstaging comes from components with a low noise floor which are phase correct - to the extent this is possible.

Thom @ Galibier
And ... we can rest our backs after the heavy lifting and let Frank Schroeder do the setup. I'm sure we can con him into it.

Thom @ Galibier
PRaT follow-up ...

Of course I was presuming tables with speed stability and immunity to varying stylus drag modulating their speed.

My focus was on 'tables which cannot have the kind of speed stability that a Teres, Galibier, Redpoint and Verdier have ... suspended decks with rubber belts.

From this perspective, their PRaT is a lie. If you can live with it, then be my guest.

Thom @ Galibier
PRaT is one of those characteristics that can be faked by having a hot upper midrange (can you spell Linn?) which emphasizes the leading edge or instrumental attacks. Certainly, you can kill PRaT with excessive resonance, and I'm not suggesting that all components with a "hot" tonal balance will have PRaT. You can certainly can enhance it with frequency response anomalies however.

As I was packing for my move I decided to hook up the little Rat Shack AV-7 speakers RX8man gave me. I used my mother's 23 yr old NAD receiver with the infamous AIWA changer, a Soundstream/Krell DAC-1 and some basic filters. The system was cooking!!! It had really good beat, congas sounded intense and the bass was there, giving great boogie factor. Then I decided to clean the unit, put some Sil-clear in the fuse holders and when I plugged it back the R channel blew up (I thought everything was dry, oh well...). Point is I got my vintage Yamaha A-1 dual mono integrated out of the box and when hooked up it didn't have the boogie factor of the NAD. The Yamaha is more neutral, quieter, more detailed, more musical, so I figured the NAD's PRAT was a trick...exaggerating the leading edge of the conga's freq range (upper midrange) and the string bass frequencies(they call that acoustically correct tone controls or something).

Very well.
I would be happy to send you a piece of Mylar (same that Doug uses) in the mail.
Just email me with your address and I will send it out to you today.