Mylar tape on Teres has lots of static.

Is this normal? Is it harmful? How can it be prevented?
Also i hear there is an etched tape that can be made which is better than standard tape. Can someone give me the formula and point me to where the supplies can be bought? Thanks and Happy New Year.
Look for member Dougdeacn's threads for a "recipe" for etching holographic mylar tape and sourcing for the raw materials.
Ground the bearing. Stripping the silver off of the Mylar won't resolve static issues, but grounding should.

Thom @ Galibier
If no conductance exists between the silver tape and the metal bearing, how would grounding the bearing help?
Rubber-soled shoes and the deep pile carpet don't have any conductive elements between them either, but I'll be damned if I don't get shocked every time I touch something that truly is grounded. Physics - amazing!!

Jj2468 is correct. Thom's suggestion would only work if there were a conductive path between belt and bearing. There might be on a Galibier, but not on a Teres.

However, the OP's question is a red herring. If you remove all static potential between belt and platter you'll experience major slippage. IOW, the belt won't pull the platter.

I noticed the belt static during the experiments Swampwalker mentioned and this topic was discussed on that thread. To repeat what I reported then: when I suggested grounding the belt my partner Paul gave me the pained look scientists reserve for imbeciles, and me.

"Don't you understand ANYTHING about sub-atomic physics?", he asked.

"Well, um..."

"Try zapping the belt with your Zerostat while the table's running. Watch what happens."

Oops! There was an instant and complete loss of grip, like someone had oiled the belt. We could hear and see major slippage between belt and platter as the platter slowed. It only regained normal operation when I stopped zapping.

Try it for yourselves. We imbeciles need to stick together.
:-) Professional Imbecile here, reporting for duty!

I take my belt off every so often and the static build up makes it hang funny. One zap with the Zerostat and it relaxes. Most of the time I use Doug's trick about holding a carbon fiber brush against the belt while it is turning. That helps and also removes the dust that builds up there. I also use a microfiber cloth in the same manner but held against the edge of the platter. I do this once at the beginning of a listening session.

Don't you understand ANYTHING about sub-atomic physics? ;-)

The non-conductivity of your shoes and carpet is WHY you get a big discharge when you finally touch a grounded object. If you were grounded at every step there'd be no buildup of a large potential between you and earth.


Here's a link to the etched tape thread .

Nope - I rely purely on faith ;-)
There is a great need for a sarcasm font, BTW.

My only ground path is off the Triplanar's base. Personally, I never understood why one would want to ground the main bearing, but perhaps in certain schemes it could provide benefits - I always look at more ground wiring as an open path for RF/EMI, etc. Considering everything is conductive on a Galibier (except the platter and the belt), another ground point would be redundant. I am rarely plagued by belt static, even during the winter it isn't too bad, but then again, I usually remove the belt every week or so to clean it and the platter edge, so perhaps I've never had a problem due to my normal regimen - usually I see more charge differential between myself and other objects during the dry time of the year, which is why I always touch the plinth first, THEN the arm...zzZZAP!


Thom is correct, grounding the bearing will help. The motor housing is grounded and grounding the platter puts both at the same potential.
Agree we should all routinely ground ourselves at the tonearm base whenever we approach the table. A surprise zzZZZAP! near the armwand or cartridge could produce a costly involuntary jerk (and yes, that's just what Paul calls me!).

Hi Chris,
FWIW, grounding our bearing has little effect on static buildup on the belt we use. I attribute this to the non-conductivity of our platter, belt and motor capstan, which electrically isolates the belt from paths to ground. YMMV with other materials.

As mentioned, reducing static on this belt actually impairs its performance, so it's not a goal worth pursuing. Better just to keep it dust-free, as Dan_Ed and Palasr described. Again, YMMV with other materials.
Doug, with acrylic platters grounding the platter makes a big difference. With the wood platters it does not matter as much. I think that the reason is simply that wood builds up a lot less static. But even in the case of a wood platter grounding the bearing helps reduce static.
Thanks for your help guys.
I am thinking that the static is caused by the belt slipping on the motor pulley at start up. Considering the weight and size of the platter in comparison to the motor pulley, I doubt that static can be avoided
The static doesn't really bother me as long as it is not harmful. I can see the need for cleaning though, since I was surprised by the amount of dust and other foreign debris on the platter and belt
One question though is how to ground the bearing in the 340?.
Doug, Thanks for the link. I will look at it soon and try the new belt config.
Again, thanks guys
I am thinking that the static is caused by the belt slipping on the motor pulley at start up.
Start your platter manually with a finger push, not by pushing the motor's "On" button. Less belt slippage and wear, less strain on the motor, more fun showing off one of the nifty features of Chris's controller. :-)

Don't stop the platter manually though. That increases belt slippage/wear and may jar the motor position. Push the "Off" button and let the platter coast down.
Thanks Doug. This has been my normal procedure. I started it once with the switch and could tell there was a strain.
I encountered some static build-up issues with my tape drive setup, re Teres 145. Lots of acrylic in that setup. Also my tt stands on a Neuance platform, which may or may not be a contributor.

Searching for ways to reduce or eliminate my static build-up problems, I found that different belt materials made a difference. Fwiw, vhs tape was the least problematic. Holographic mylar seemed to build up --some-- static. Probably the worst was clear vhs leader. Static city.

I tried different grounding methods. Firstly, grounding the bearing to the power supply helped. Disconnecting the charger (running straight from the battery) helped reduce static. This is preferred anyway. Sound is perceptibly better straight from the battery than with the charger connected during playback. Could wire in a switch for that, but unplugging the power plug at the smart charger circuit board is effective.

Also, creating a ground link from the motor controller inside the pod to the building ground seemed to reduce the static problem. That is a ground strap to the third leg on the 115 volt socket at the wall.

Using anti static laundry spray on the carpet around the player helped. Keeping anti-static laundry softener sheets, the kind you toss into the dryer with the laundry, around the player helped.

Making sure of the truest possible alignment between motor pulley and platter, to improve belt tracking, helped. But none of those actually solved the problem.

Switching back to silk drive did eliminate the problem entirely for me. That is how I drive it now. Fwiw, silk has a nice sound compared to tape. Your preferences may be different than mine.

Getting back to the mylar belt static issues:
At its worst I saw instances where static build-up was great enough to cause motor controller errors, such as switching off... or on.... at the wrong times.

Probably my situation is aggravated by the cheap nylon carpet in my room. Barefoot is better than wearing socks. Winter. Low humidity. Part of the problem.

Personally, I haven't found performance to suffer at all because of mylar belt static other than that caused by excessive dust build up. Perhaps things are a bit different between Teres and Galibier in this respect.
Last night i lifted the tone arm and left the table turning and got side tracked. Passing in front of my speakers i heard sounds like i forgot to lift the tone arm. After checking again i did and the cause was static on my mylar belt. After applying my De Stat for 10 seconds i returned it to the TT and the sound i heard was gone. I had the volume turned up from the previous lp but dont remember ever experiencing that sound. Its been super cold and dry with almost no humidity down here.