To my ears, a properly implemented tape drive on those tables is not simply "good enough". It's better.
Others have reported differently of course and they prefer the Verus.
Partly it's a matter of what music you listen to and what kinds of sounds sound "real" to you. If rock, contemporary vocalists and multi-miked/multi-mixed recordings are your standard, the Verus may well be preferable, or at least as good. If the harmonic complexities of Hogwood or the pure vocals and acoustics of Alfred Deller or Emma Kirkby matter to you, the tape drive can better provide the clarity those sounds require.
It may also be a matter of whether those who prefer the Verus have truly made the effort to optimize their tape drive. That isn't difficult, but it should be done before a judgement is made.
I think it makes sense to optimize the tape drive first but I do think the flexibility to use the Versus may give these tables an advantage over the Raven. May lean toward Galibier. Trying to get ahold of Thom on email but I'm sure he's quite busy. Being factory direct probably keeps prices lower too.
That would be quite a turntable collection.
Just thinking out loud...
Regarding TW Acustics I know some owners are using 1/4 tape with their Raven Ones and like it very much.
However it may be another story trying to use it on the 3 motor Raven AC, possible difficulties installing the tape on three pulleys including the platter, well difficult for me perhaps, big mitts.
They are all good tables , the end results with this experiment could be surprising.
I've been wanting to try out the Tape drive on the Raven. If anyone knows where I can get a pulley similar to the Teres pulley so that I can use a mylar tape, please let me know.
Any tips would be much appreciated.
Doug; may I ask what is a properly implemented tape drive? My rig consists of a Galibier Quattro SE with a Serac platter, TriPlaner, Zyx universe. I do run through a mylar tape every 90 days or so.
Thanks in advance
Doug is talking about the acid etching process on the Mylar tape.
I've yet to put this technique into production, but it is absolutely worthwhile.
Here's the scoop from the ever resourceful Doug and Paul http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?eanlg&1215361521&read&3&4&
Thom @ Galibier
I assume you're going through belts quickly because the metallic backing is wearing thin. Read the thread Thom linked to for a notable improvement in both belt life and sonic performance.
Note: the ever thoughtful Mosin suggested kapton as another potential belt material which might (or might not) provide a further improvement. Haven't had time to try that yet.
A Galibier, Redpoint or Teres capstan might be adaptable to your Raven motor. Might have to drill out the hole for the motor shaft. Otherwise they're perfect for a 1/2" tape, assuming the capstan diameter is compatible with the speed range of your motor controller.
Agree with you and Stiltskin that the experiment is worth hearing for yourself. The majority of Verus testers on Teres BD tables have found it to be an upgrade. You might too.
OTOH, if we had a two table budget we might sell both and buy one of Mosin's Saskia tables. Haven't heard it in our system to confirm all aspects of its performance, but it's certainly the most speed-stable table through transients we've heard. It outplayed every table at RMAF in that respect, regardless of drive system.
So many tables...
Personally, I love Mosin's table, though I haven't heard it. It's beautiful and looks like it would be reliable for a lifetime. You may recall my past complaint about it's cost. I'm over that now and appoligize to any I may have offended with my remarks. The main down side(appart from cost) is that it only handles one arm at a time and I believe it doesn't handle 12" arms(am I right about that?). I'm guessing Albert Porter will end up with one. It just may not be flexible enough for me to justify the price.
For now, I'll check out the Raven AC at Highwater in May and hopefully the Stelvio at Galibier in June. Where is Oswald's Mill Audio anyway, just in case.
Doug, I've used Kapton for several years on my tape driven turntable. I've tried several different lengths and thicknesses. It is too smooth so it doesn't grip as well as stock Mylar. I don't know where you could obtain this material since I don't believe the company I worked with would sell to the public. I run a machine shop so it's pretty much standard business practice. It's also extremely expensive.
I have not heard the rim drive Teres but only the Saskia seems to be an actually new design. The tape drive on my galibier works well. I would give the edge to the Galibier over the redpoint (i looked into both before buying) because I fel the Galibier offers as much or more than the redpoint at a lesser cost. Thom is a great guy and is working to always improve his design. The galibier is a bargain at the pice poin compared to a lot of other things I have heard.
I agree. In this catagory the Galibiers have to be considered a relative bargain. From the research I've done so far it seems they deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as other top tables and it appears the level of service may be second to none. We shall see.
Just a thought....Perhaps Doug would welcome you into his home to experience his modified Teres table. I believe he lives in the north east of United States.
Next stop High Water Sound in New York.
Then you could swing around to Oswald Mill Audio in Pennsylvania....Who knows, after this stop you may no longer care about flexibility for multiple arms....I know the price, however at least you experienced the Saskia.
Then to Denver....
That sounds like a fun tour but the trip to Highwater is during a visit with my wife and three oldest children at my brother's in New York. I'm afraid I won't have time to visit Pennsylvania and wouldn't want to impose on Doug. Freedom is a luxury I don't always have.
it's been a while since this thread had been active but I was curious as to how you made out with your turntable search.I have my suspicions, but I want to hear it from you.
What has your search lead you to?
Inquiring minds wanna know...
I heard the Teres at Doug and Paul's, the Raven AC at Highwater, and Galibier(Gavia with Stelvio platter) at Thom's. I honestly enjoyed all of them and a choice between the TW and Galibier tables would still be a tough one. My mind was made up(for now) when I visited Albert Porter and heard what he's been doing with the Technics direct drives and his custom plinth design. I bought his custom mk2 and am using it with the 312s magnesium arm and Air Tight PC-1 Supreme cartridge through the Allnic H3000/L4000 pair. I feel this combo actually tops all these fine tables at a fraction of the price and is simple to operate.
I've also found that I'm quite happy with the sound of the VPI SSM Ref through the Allnic pieces. For now, I'll continue running it as well with the Benz LP. I also have an extra Arm wand for the VPI that I will soon be mounting the Dynavector xv-1s mono on. Switching between mono and stereo takes less than a minute this way.
I wouldn't rule out a TW or Galibier table in the future(or a Technics mk3?), but for now I'm done and continue to be astounded at the sound I'm getting.
That's probably more than you ever wanted to know about my system but there you go. Thanks to all I auditioned with. It was great meeting you all.
Has anyone tried VHS tape for tape-drive? They are cheap and plenty to go around...
that's quite interesting,I had you pegged for a TW of some type judging by your posts.
I totally agree with you about the difficulty of choice between the Galibier (any model) and the TW Acustic.As one A'Gonner stated "it depends on which side of the bed I woke up on" and another, "if I had to make the choice again I could have gone the other direction"
However, I must say,it seems that the community of Galibier owners (Teres as well) and support is very positive and must be considered by anyone considering taking the plunge,this is just my my observation.
I see you have been well traveled in these last few months.
Isn't it a great situation to be in having to decide among such great tables,designs and designers?
In short the Technics sounds killer,judging by the fact that you we're a to audition 3-4 tables in such a close span of time.your audio memory must have been taxed but the fact you chose the SP-10 above the killer 3 you've auditioned says ALOT!
I will keep my eyes peeled for more about them.
Go to soundfountain.com and look up the technics SP 10 series. The custom plinth are disscussed with detailed pictures of the Albert Porter designed African Wenge plinth, the very same one I'm now using in my system. It takes motor noise out of the picture and leaves you with a quiet and easy to live with drive system that's dynamically rock solid. I believe Albert has enough material to make several more plinths now. Just buy a working Mk2, have someone replace the caps and diodes in the power supply(or do it yourself), put it in a custom plinth and you 'll find you have a giant killer at a reasonable price. Not to take anything away from the TWs and Galibiers, just another solid option.