MagLev turntable
Moerch DP6/8 tonearms
van den Hul Colibri and Canary cartridges - and latest My Sonic Lab Eminent EX cartridge

Copyright 2017-19 © Troels Gravesen

This develops all the time, so...
go to:  Feb 2017    Feb 2018     Dec 2019    Dec-2022

It's no secret a lot of high-end turntables are manufactured in China to custom specifications - and sold at horrific prices. Not saying prices are unreasonable, only beyond reach of a wider audience. However, critical turntable parts may appear on eBay from time to time and essentially we only need three things to reach into high-end turntables: The platter, bearing and motor. The rest is trivial, rubber belts, tone-arms, cartridges, etc.

Magnetic levitation has been around for decades but few have done something about it until small neodymium ring magnets became available. As can be seen from the first photo, not much is needed to make 12 kgs floating in the air - almost. We still need a bushing to keep the platter stable horizontally, but the friction of the spindle + steel or ceramic ball against a thrust plate is gone. Wonder why not more common. Even the Döhmann Helix 1 turntable use a traditionally spindle on a ceramic ball. Arguments against magnetic levitation may be vertical movement, but this should be a matter of mass. Whatever, I took my chances and bought a 12 kg aluminum platter and a Jasmine motor and asked for an extra spindle so I could use flat belt or one/two round belts.

The Jasmine motor gets the platter going at 33 rpm in 3 sec. Nice! The flat belt supplied is interesting, being rather rigid, but needs a little help from time to time finding the middle of the pulley. I ended up using the twin round-belt pulley and use two rubber belt. Works without any problems and I take notice even the serious high-platters are driven this way. The newest trick is to use two rubber belts with different elasticity! Try it out. 

A one-evening quick mockup plinth got me going and it kept me up all night, pulling out records that I previously thought so and so, but here came to life with a significantly reduced noise floor compared to my beloved Lenco decks. The difference is not subtle, not at all. Improvement all over the spectrum, from bass to the highest treble. The low noise floor is something that makes listening at low level much easier.

Later I made a new plinth as seen below, and it's probably not the  final. Just gives ideas of what to change next time.

All in all, a significant step up the ladder to aural nirvana.


Feb 2017

Basic ingredients in high-end turntables, platter and motor.
The platter is 60 x 300 mm and weighs 12 kg. This is all info available. First time set-up, just to see it spinning.

Download Jasmine manual here.

The links to these products change from time to time - if still available.
I don't keep track of the items, so please do not ask. Search eBay.

This is what you get from your money. 12 kgs platter and spindle with neodym magnets.

Mockup taking shape. Adjusting SME tonearm pivot distance. The SME templates following the kit helps a lot.
The Colibri is so nosy I had to pull back the arm some further 5 mm.

SME and DP6. Double round belts.

Here DP8 and SME.
Should I make a plinth for one or two arms? Having choices we often end up only using one all the time.

The "final" plinth. Separate plinths for arms and platter, however glued together by rubber glue.
Made from 4 x 20 mm Baltic birch with 4 mm bitumen damping layer.

Arm bases in place. 20 mm black MDF standing on 20 mm alu tube spacers.

Time to step back and take a look.
Well, every fist time is a prototype, but I think I'm close to where I wanted to be. Still need a more firm motor support.
Hmm... kind of looks like my home alter - and kind of is. My preferred musical source.

The mockup sounded better than this one.
Hmm... turned out the alu tube pillars for the arm boards were too resonant. I think.
Smaller arm boards and solid BB support. VTA, Azimuth and hangover check up. Now as good as before.


Final twin-Moerch DP6/DP8 set-up.
I bought two Jasmin tone-arm adaptors allowing us to slide the arms back and forth. So much needed to get the overhang right.
You may notice the SME head-shell handle. The Moerch handle sucks. The SME was made decades ago and this is how it should be done.

Are you into Moerch tonearms, this cartridge alignment protractor is a must.
Comes from Poland here at eBay for ~20 quid. Highly recommended.



Feb 2018

Eventually - after a year - I realised I use #2 tone-arm rarely, almost never.  Thus, new plinth with the DP8 arm and motor to the back. With 100 cm rubbers the pulley needs to be some 240 mm from the center tap. I had to rotate the top plate of the motor (drilling holes and making threads) to achieve that and have ordered 98 cm rubbers to see if I can rotate it back and have dials and switches in optimum position. I couldn't rotate the entire motor and still have the power plug to the rear.
BTW: I've used this Michell fasterner for decades and I recently bought one more for my workshop turntable Denon DP67L. It works and I don't like those platter weight variants. Why place a heavy chunk of metal adding to the friction of the spindle towards the steel/ceramic ball? Well, here we don't have any ball, but a heavy weight would change VTA.

I had some new 980 mm rubbers and they work fine, but would advise having the pulley centre some 225 mm from the spindle centre with 980 mm rubbers. With the current optimal positioning of the motor top plate, the pulley centre is 222 mm from the spindle.
The motor housing has 3 strips of vertical self-adhesive foam strips to keep centered in the hole.
98 cm belts bought on eBay here.


Dec 2019

Latest addition is a My Sonic Lab Eminent EX cartridge. For this cartridge I use my SME 309 GD tonearm. More to come on this new cartridge.
Go to MSL website

Click image to view large.

These Clearaudio belts, 92 cm, better suit my set-up.


The Maglev is long gone and I decided to leave all turntable trouble to Kuzma:
The MSL cartridge stayed. I love this cartridge and think it ranks among the very best next to my Ortofon Anna-D.


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