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There is an app you can download from the App Store called Platter Speed, invented by the famous Dr. Feikert. You play a 3150 hz tone from your turntable (available on most test records) it will give you an accurate platter speed....the app is free, ... a test record will be about 20 dollars or so. Try it, you'll like it.
stringreen, how do we know that the test record was recorded at exactly 33.3333 etc? How do we know that the record hole is perfectly centered? I have Dr. Feikert's Adjust+ test record plus two other test records with a 3150hz test tone and they ALL give me different results using the Platter Speed app.
The ear is king. I will never forget the improvement wrought by a Walker Audio Precision Motor Controller on the sound of my Nottingham Hyperspace tt. It was jaw-dropping, especially because I was a complete sceptic to begin with; I was not prepared to hear an improvement at all. That was at least 10 years and one paradigm conversion ago, for me (from belt-drive to idler- and direct-drive). Now we have these more complex devices that can do the job even better. So, if it sounds good-er, it IS good-er. I am not surprised. And the Eagle stuff is a stone cold bargain in terms of cost.
Though speed stability is very important (who wants wow?), in my opinion, what is really needed is voltage reduction to minimize the synchronous pulse noise from the motor.
I use a $60 Variac on an original VPI Aries. I start the table on 120v. I use that voltage for light record cleaning, finishing with a carbon fiber brush. Then I reduce the voltage to around 60 - 65v for playback. That's plenty of voltage for the VPI motor, and that voltage level reduces the intensity of the synchronous motor pulses significantly.
Once the speed of the table is established and locked on the ~ 60hz "grid" frequency, the table does not experience audible speed fluctuation. At least, I don't hear speed fluctuation. But if line-related noise is important, reducing the voltage in half will also cut the line-related noise in half. That voltage reduction makes a quite audible improvement.
IMO, the synchronous motor pulse noise is magnitudes greater than line-related noise, but I admit never attempting to measure it.
The SDS provides a similar voltage reduction though not as extreme as I use. There is also the same kind of signal regeneration as the Phoenix units. The SDS is more expensive than the Eagle / Roadrunner but includes voltage reduction where it appears the Phoenix products do not.
I have not tried a SDS unit in my system, but friends use it with very good results.
I have no familiarity with the Walker unit.
moryoga: do you have a Signature Series Basis 2800?
The Road Runner sensor/magnet requieres 0.25'' of clearance between platter and plinth. I have an old Basis 2001 that doesn't have this clearance by a small margin.
Do you have any issues placing the magnet in the platter and the sensor in the plinth?
Could you share your experience?
bipoletti, glad you discovered the voltage reduction bit, and sorry I forgot to mention it in the first place. I agree, a very important aspect and consideration.
juan11, I do have the 2800 Signature and it has exactly (I'm sure to the micron like all things Basis :) ) .25 inches. It was a huge relief when I saw it fit so perfectly.
fjn04, bummer on the DC motor. Wonder if there's a work around, or possible DC model. Have you checked in with Bill at Phoenix?
Does anyone have any thoughts on how low to set the voltage reduction on an Eagle? How low is too low? What will happen when one reaches the sweet spot of effficiency and performance? The manual instructs clearly on how to achieve the reduction but provides no rule of thumb or guidlines as to where to set it. Someone above suggests 60-65, I am curious how one arrives at this setting. Thanks in advance....
I use the Phoenix/Roadrunner combination on my VPI HW-19 MkIV, it makes a very nice improvement. I really enjoy the fact that I can look over and see where the platter RPM is currently at. Come to think of it I’ve been looking over less and less and enjoying more and more lately. Been using mine for almost a year now with no issues. I also like the fact that I have the ability to convert it to run 78 ARM, while I have yet to do this, it will be a future use item.
P.S. Nice review by the way, great description of the product.
I'm sorry to say that I not only don't know the answer to that question but I wasn't even aware that dialing in minimum voltage was an option. I'm obviously a newbie at leaving reviews and certainly need to be more familiar with the product before I decide to leave another.
Super cool feature though and I'll definitely be looking into it. If you figure it out in the meantime please post about what you come up with.
Also, very cool and informative vids from Phoenix here:
The link is for part 1; the link for part 2 is in the comments section.