Well-Tempered Golf Ball?

In this month's TAS they describe the Well-Tempered Amadeus as follows: "tonearm is suspended from fishing line (which I've seen and understand) and damped with a golf ball."

Can someone explain this golf ball? Are we talking a Titleist here or merely something that reminds the author of a golf ball?
It's an actual golf ball! Here is the Well Tempered website. Look...it's a GOLF BALL!!!

Wow, I can make a Tonearm from a fishing rod and balance it on a golf ball and I'll be in Vinyl Heaven !! Who needs mega-buck turntables now? The ad promises "new music" from my old LP's. I can't wait to hear Miles Davis play "So What" all over again for the first time like I have never heard it before. Well Tempered needs a bailout.
When I use a 4 piece Golf Ball, I will have more backspin on the reproduced notes?
Evidently you guys didn't read the web site very carefully:

It is NOT a golf ball...

All the difference in the world!


If tracking proves sub par, is that a good thing?
Instead of the name "Amadeus", they should have named it:

"The Mulligan" :-)
I'm really Teed off because I hate golf.
Any truth to the rumor that they will follow with a turntable called The Caddy Shack?
what rcm is gonna work best if you get a bogey???
I'd have to dig up some of my Columbia 18-holes to play on it.
The price for the tables is New Zealand pricing. I took this off from Totally wired. They state the price for the tables will costs less than a Linn tone arm. Hope this info helps.

Amadeus Turntable - Dual layer MDF sandwich construction plinth, complete with tone arm and isolation base NZ$4,400

Amadeus GT Turntable - Dual layer acrylic sandwich construction plinth, complete with tone arm and isolation base NZ$5,700

Acrylic dust cover for all models NZ$630
WT Isolation base for use with other turntables and CD players NZ$710
Further in that same issue of TAS there is a full review (sorry, I didn't see it before I posted.) Apparently the arm is attached to the top of the ball - they don't specify the brand - and then the ball is floated in a cup of damping fluid. They gave it an excellent review, but jeez, that looks like the hi-fi equivalent of duct tape. They couldn't have even painted it? It's actually kind of a cool idea that looks like it was executed in the garage.
Yes, I do agree with you Grimace about a black golf ball might have been a better choice. But this is what Linn should be doing at this point by offering a product completely user friendly,instead of being tied to a tech.
I stand corrected it is a black golf ball according to the article. But looking at it, I was certain that is was white.
The Web site shows the entry level model with a white golf ball and the deluxe version (GT?) with a black painted golf ball. Evidently, you have to pony up if you want WT Labs to paint your golf ball.


PS I suppose that it's possible that the golf ball turns black over time as the bearing breaks in.

PPS I'd only add that ping pong balls, large marbles and prosthetic testicle implants remain promising new arm bearing technologies that I trust WT Labs will explore in the not-too-distant future.
I bet the paint is "precision audiophile grade paint" and soon to an audiophile store near you...in "Masters" green. I prefer the Noodle...
Coming soon: A "Swoosh" tweak for the golf ball. And a Tiger Woods Signature edition.
Here's the url for the table: Interesting reading.


One part actually explains how a round peg is better in a square hole! ;)
Now that we got most of the comedy out of the way. Does anyone have any construtive ideas about this table? I am also getting different prices during my search.
anyone have any constructive ideas about this table
I think, it too new for listening, but the Designer is a clever man. His former WT's are musically still ahead of most other Turntables out there like Ravens, Linns, Clearaudio, Transrotor , etc. I had a modified WT Super from Marigo Audio and it was very, very impressing in comparison to others I listened to.
When I would look for a new Turntable, this one would be on my top list for a serious visit.
Do listen to the VPI Scoutmaster, it is truely spectacular. I have it with the Nordost JMW9, and the sound is so beyond digital....with a good LP, music just rushes forth. A solid stand with weight is critical. The Well tempered is a good choice, but don't limit yourself to only one choice. Clearaudio /Marantz also have good products.
One UK hi-fi community has had more experience with the Amadeus and the words from there is it managed to turn quite a few sceptics into believers despite the mdf material, wacky tonearm and preconceived biases. But i think it will have a much harder time in the US market judging by the reactions so far.

I'm a Raven 1 user and find it very challenging in the look department too. I haven't heard one but i would not dismiss it out of hand as the designer has some track record in the past.
You do not have to get it with the wtt arm, a Dynavector 507 Tonearm can be mounted on the table. I am personal convinced that this table might not be a prince in the looks department, but will make many very pricey models stand up and take notice. The WTA with it's ease of setup along with superior sound using it's own arm, will finally mark the Linn's last days on earth.And prove that the Linn's design was flawed and now obsolete.

The comedy's not over just yet!

A Lithuanian start up is selling a new 'table on A-gon called "The Milky Stork".

My guess is that this name doesn't translate well from the original Lithuanian.

Any way you slice it, there's some odd stuff afoot in the analog world.


PS If you don't find humor in the notion of "a precision made golf ball" as your arm bearing, you might want to take a deep breath. Even if this turns out to be the perfect solution to the problem, the comapny needs more to:

A)work on the appearance
B)excersize a little more intelligence in its marketing copy.
A)work on the appearance
B)excersize a little more intelligence in its marketing copy

I can only guess what you are trying to say.They meaning WTT should have just kept their mouths shut about the use of the golf ball,or just hide the fact that one is being used?
I heard the optimum tracking force is Fore! grams.

I hope the appearance point is self evident: the thing looks like a high school science project gone wrong. Every high end product needn't be finished like a museum piece, but this one is sloppy.

As to my objection to WT Labs' use of the term "Precision made" to describe their golf ball; my issue is that this phrase is market speak for "expensive" as in:

"Our megabuck pre amp is so expensive because we use "precision made" XYZ brand resistors and capacitors".

I find that the use of this phrase by any manufacturer is generally sort of obnoxious, but WT Labs' using it to describe a golf ball marks a new height of idiocy. Maybe WT Labs uses golf balls that are superior to those used by all of their competitors in the suddenly frenzied golf ball bearing tonearm market. Perhaps the competition is using recycled balls fished from the water hazard over by the 18th hole.

Let's be generous for a moment. Perhaps WT Labs is merely trying to educate its potential customers that all golf balls - not just those employed in their bearing - are made with a precision unappreciated by the high end market. You'd be surprised at the complexity of manufacturing a golf ball, not easy (or cheap) you know...Oh wait a minute ...even the best golf balls cost less than a few bucks a pop. Please!

Look - if a golf ball makes a great bearing, say so. As in "after trying exotic materials like XYZ, we've found that a SIMPLE golf ball works best". Of course, this would imply that an arm using a golf ball SHOULD be cheaper. I'm pretty confident that this explains why WT Labs does not so describe the golf ball they use.

Sorry, but even if this product is great - I find their marketing of it insulting. I know a lot of folks love their products (and I'd never argue the point as I have had limited experience here), but the company deserves all the crap they can get over this one.

There are some very funny answers here but I don't see any comment from anyone who has heard one.I've heard an Amadeus at length , ( many hours , several different carts and electronics).I'm not an owner or affiliated in any way with Well Tempered ; I just spend too much time at my dealer's place!
I'm not a reviewer so can't use the audiophile terminology as well as others here ; these are just listening impressions. In summary , it is ( IMO) an outstanding table.It is very quiet , with no rumble detectable. Speed is accurate ( Clearaudio strobe and KAB strobe)- I'm quite pitch sensitive so thankfully I couldn't hear any problems.Music just floats from a very black background.e played a very old Peggy Lee LP last week which looked like it had seen better days ( likle most of us , I guess) but it had no problems and tracked well. The standard cart seems to be Dyna XX2 but we played with my Te Kaitora Rua and a Koetsu Rosewood we had lying around. The better the cart , the better the sound I think I'm trying to say.My listening is almost exclusively jazz and classical but I love " Le Parc" by Tangerine Dream . On " Yellowstone Parc" there is a tight low bass line which underpins the whole song- get this wrong , and there is just an awful low frequency mess. Get it right and there is a darkly forboding , but very melodic , tight rhythm which is why the song appeals to me. Suffice to say , the Amadeus nails it.
I can't add anything to the discussion about appearance or construction/ marketing although it does look better in real life.Like others , I'm not sure about the hooplah about a "Precision " golf ball , but the thing works.My only slight concern is the fixed mounting arrangment of the carts which may prove an issue for some but on the carts I'v tried with it, no problem. Is it the best table I've ever heard- no , but it isn't the worst either.It's just a very very good table , at a not ridiculous price ( in $ NZ).
Martykl I would agree with you on some points. But I will say and in your own words when a "high school project" trashes an $8,000 dollar table. Then we must reevaluate most high end tables and arms, and then consider why a pioneering product such as the WTA with it's precession perfect sphere golf ball. A product in my mind that took alot of and no pun intended "BALLS"" put into production.That is going to kick many of the same mega buck table's and arm combos that now have to justify there cost.
>>02-15-09: Jallen
Do listen to the VPI Scoutmaster, it is truely spectacular<<

Well that's a boatload of hyperbole so let's be realistic.

It's a competent table, but hardly spectacular.

I merely said that it (i.e. the exposed bearing) LOOKS like a high school project. Hide the damn bearing and pass the additional $2 worth of plastic collar costs along to the consumer! While you're at it WT Labs, cut the crap and acknowledge that the cost of your arm bearing is <$2 and pass that savings along to the consumer. When that is done we can admire the product, but still chuckle at the idea.

BTW, they might want to consider a more colorful model name. Too bad "Milky Stork" is already taken.

The basic Amadeus is app $2500 (if I got it right as the value I saw for the NZ dollar is app 55 cents). Since the 'table appears to be a basic unsprung design that is nicely finished (and more than enough has been said about the economics of producing the arm) the price feels about right vs other 'tables out there.

WT Labs has a good rep for resonance control so I assume it's a strength here. The motor/controller appears to be a small, integrated unit that's hard to comment on without further info, save to note that it's probably inexpensive relative to the stand alone motor/controllers used in some other (usually costlier) 'tables. Ironically, the arm is likely to be a major point of differentiation.

I'd actually love to hear one of these and, until I do, I'd never write this product off as a potential value. I just wish that it had been handled a bit differently. It would be difficult to imagine actually buying one in it's present state - For me, anyway.
Sorry, that price should read more like $2100 and change.
You are going to see many in less then a year after purchase, being placed on the used market. And not because of poor performance, but the golf ball jokes will leave to many with a bad taste with thoughts that they have made a bad purchase.
Such arrogance, such idiotic babble.
How can you comment on something you haven't experienced?
I would think if you hear it you'll be changing your depends! and the joke will be on you....
Chashas1 are you talking to me you most be talking to me because their is no one else in the room so you most be talking to me.

Have owned any Well Tempered products in the past?

yes in the past I had the original WTT classic with square motor, also the WTT record player along with a Goldmund studio table and 3b arm along with others. Such as a VPIHW19,Musichall MF-5,7 tables. I can talk with some experience and say I love the WTT tables and would be very happy to hear from any member that has the new WTA and their opinions.
Check back in June. By then I hope to have an Amadeus in my system. And no, I don't care that it uses a golf ball. Under show conditions, at CES, it sounded great. Compared to a Grand Prix Monaco and Dr.Fickert it still sounded great.
It was very natural sounding to me.
You can look at it this way. There are three "versions" of the table. There is the standard Amadeus, which has a Dual Layered lacquered MDF sandwich plinth and an Acrylic Platter.
There is the "GT" which Which is the same except that it has a Dual Layer acrylic sandwich plinth and a Acrylic platter. The non GT has a white golf ball. The GT has a black golf ball. Then there is a version marketed by Dynavector. That is called the DV500. That is a table that is specifically made for the Dynavector arm. I really like the look of the GT. If my vanity proves to strong, I may get that one. There are a few reviews floating around and they all state that is a great player.
Compared to a Grand Prix Monaco and Dr.Fickert it still sounded great.

And please tell us all what is the retail price of the above system?
The basic table is $2850 minus cartridge.(white golf ball). If I remember correctly they were running a Dynavector XV-1. I think that is $4500. So total is $7350. Not chump change to be sure. The Grand Prix table was over $30,000 probably and the Dr.Fickert was probably over $15,000. I don't intend on getting that cartridge. I am going to get the DV17D3. But even other reviewers who have used the table with "basic" carts have indicated that it sounded great.

Given that you've owned WT products in the past, do you really believe the WT tonearms are easy to set up? I bought your Well Tempered Record Player, and found the WT arm incredibly tweaky compared to any fixed bearing arm.

David nice hearing from you. I agree with you that the WTT arms are somewhat tweaky, but over a short time things start to snap into place and the table becomes very stable with a long period of time. I hope and I'm sure that the new table from WT is much less and according to many a breeze to setup and a large improvement in performance. My only other complaint was with the early arm's fragile tonearm cartridge clips, so lets hope that this has been addressed. I have no problem excepting that there are better tables out there. But it seems that Linn as a following of religious fanatic's that like to shout everyone down with how great their table is. When in all actuality, it was bye passed in sound quality over 20years ago by other tables.
Bill Firebaugh had a prototype a year or two ago when he spoke at our club, the Pacific Northwest Audio Society. The prototype also had a golf ball and I thought it was a joke too. I've had a couple of WTT in the past and was really intrigued listening to him and his ideas.
The prototype sounded very good. I was really impressed. I found the arms of the past were finicky as well.
I look forward to getting one in our room to test.
To add a log to the fire, I spoke to a dealer who said that the arm has no adjustable overhang, and that Firebaugh has developed an arm geometry that is unaffected by imprecise alignment!!!!!!

Wow, that is a new one on me. But I totally believe it. I used to own a WTT for many years. It was fantastic for the price, though taking a bit of time for the arm to settle each time during set up.

Firebaugh's work speaks for itself. If I didn't own a Raven One, I'd most likely buy the Amadeus.

(Just don't ask me what the WTT to R1 jump in quality was like, unless you have the money to afford the R1)
Emailists, Do you truly believe the dealer who told you that the WT tonearm is "unaffected by imprecise alignment"? If so, I have some herbal remedies to sell you. He was correct in saying that there is no (easy) adjustment for stylus overhang, because the headshell has two discrete holes in it, not slots in which the cartridge can move forward or rearward to fine adjust overhang. I guess this is a perfectionist approach, but it is a pain in the arse when you want to align your cartridge properly (at least on the WTT Reference). The only way to do it is to loosen the nut that affixes the vertical shaft of the tonearm, which is located on the underside of the tt chassis, then twist the shaft on its axis. Unfortunately it is almost impossible to re-tighten that nut without altering the adjustment by at least a tiny amount. The propaganda about immunity to imprecise alignment reminds me of their earlier claim that the (original) WT tonearm had "no bearing".
Audiogoners are well informed and have very strong opinions on all thing audio, myself included and many are well to do, myself unfortunately not included.
I have just gotten an Amadeus and I can say from hearing it at length that it is a nice sounding turntable amongst many others TT's in production.Yes, it is wacky and yes there are some design features that are perplexing to some. I am not going to fan the flames of the nay sayers buy saying it is the best deck in the world but until you hear one please try not to be too suspect and condemning . To each his own. Golf anyone? LOL
It's quite easy, Lewm, if you can understand it all. The arm isn't the least finicky, and in some ways is quite a departure from the old WT. Firebaugh has made it easier for you, not harder--that's the beauty of it, and it sounds better.
check here.....
At the WTL blog, found through the "Resources" page at welltemperedlab.net:


Take care
I wonder if the damping fluid viscosity is critical,
I bet It is. Great idea IMO. I wonder if a thread
(Schroder style) would yield even better results.

Hey what about a Ginko style Base with 4 Golf Balls
to complete the look.
Yes, socoaste, the fluid viscosity should be what Firebaugh recommends--you wouldn't want to float your ball in just anything, now would you?

Could be a nice look, especially if you were Arnold Palmer, otherwise way too hard, I'm afraid. I'd go back to your squashed balls if I were you.