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Floating Record Vertical Turntable

Wharfedale EVO 4.1 4.2 Speakers

captrajesh

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This project by a startup named "Gramovox" of someone with Indian sounding name, "Pavan Bapu" has been selected for funding on Kickstarter and so far has 1,685 backers who've funded a total of US$ 641,659 with 31 more days to go!!

Any FMs in Chicago? It would be great if someone checks it out.
 

analogadikt

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Experts have already found major faults with the concept and design. But then good design/quality/performance and successful marketing are not the same:lol:

Regards,
 

IndianEars

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This is a GREAT Lifestyle product. SUPERB :clapping::clapping:

However, analogadikt, I TOTALLY agree with you ...... it is Completely flawed from an Audiophile perspective.... Dont need a 3rd Party's opinion to acknowledge what is Obvious ....:rolleyes:
 

analogadikt

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IndianEars

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This is the Mother of all, Non contact turntables .... .... somewhat lean sound, according to reviews.

There is also ( some what different) the DS Audio DSW1 Nightrider Optical Cartridge, reviewed in the July / Aug 2015 The Absolute sound.

Quoting from the review:

" Indeed, it wasnt all that many years ago that I reviewed the
ELP Laser Turntable, which used beams of laser light (five of
them, precisely aimed at various spots on the shoulders and the
bottom of a record groove and controlled by a large mirror) as a
stylus. Those beams of laser lights were then reflected off the
grooves to optical sensors and transformed by the ELPs photoelectric
circuitry into equalized line-level signals. The advantages
of this system were manifold: Since there was no stylus, there
was no stylus wear; moreover, because of its laser-based, groovedepth
sensor, the ELP was said to be able to read warped or
damaged records more effectively than mechanical styli.
While it may seem counter-intuitive given its CD-like use of
light, there was nothing digital about the ELP Laser Turntable.

The system worked rather more like Laserdisc players (remember
them?), reading analog data rather than a series of zeros and
ones, and simply (or not so simply) turning them into currents.
There was no analog-to-digital or digital-to-analog conversion at
any stage of the process.

Despite its undeniable ingenuity, the ELP did have a problem
that, for me, proved intractable. To wit, the laser stylus had no
way of distinguishing between data and, well, dirt. Unless a record
was immaculately cleaned (and even then), the lasers would
read and amplify any specks of dust and grime embedded in the
grooves as if they were part and parcel of the musical signal.
Now its true that conventional mechanical styli also see this
detritus as they track grooves, but because of their mass they
tend to push such dust and dirt ahead of them like snowplows
(until, of course, enough crap collects on the stylus to induce
mistracking). As a result, the sound of dirt doesnt register as
distinctly via conventional playback as it did via the ELP, which,
with really worn records, produced a kind of crunching noise in
the background.

Comes now the latest iteration of optical playback: DS Audios
new DS-W1 Nightrider cartridge. A re-creation of a
1960s design that is considered a classic in Japan, the Nightrider
uses state-of-the-art technologies developed by Japanese photooptics
specialist Digital Stream Corporation (the co-inventor,
along with Microsoft, of the optical mouse) that simply werent
available when the original was built. For the purpose of comparison,
the primary thing that sets the new Nightrider apart
from something like the ELP is that it uses a conventional Shibata
diamond stylus attached to a conventional boron cantilever,
rather than beams of laser light, to read the grooves. As a result,
it doesnt have the ELPs problem of distinguishing dirt from
Debussya major advantage.

Of course, the Nightriders Shibata stylus also has considerably
more mass than the ELPs near-massless beams of light,
though DSC claims that the entire Nightrider stylus/screen apparatus
for which see belowhas less moving mass than the
ELPs mirror-guided system. Be that as it may, compared to a
conventional moving-coil or moving-magnet cartridge, in which
the stylus/cantilever has to leverage heavy coils and magnets at
its back end, the Nightrider is spectacularly lightweight. Housed
in a machined aluminum body that contains no magnets or coils,
it weighs in at a mere 6.5 grams and tracks between 1.3 and 1.7
grams, with 1.5 grams said to be optimal."
 
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captrajesh

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Experts have already found major faults with the concept and design. But then good design/quality/performance and successful marketing are not the same:

Can you post where these comments can be found regarding expert views on the concept and design? I would love to read them and understand where they are coming from.


Without going into the technical merits of the design and with due regards to those who've posted on the other forum linked, except expressing skepticism, nothing has been said as to why the design is flawed. I agree with the part about vibrations from the speakers mucking up the sound though.
 
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Sumanta

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I am curious about the spring loading (dynamic) design of the arm, as it is in my mind for even horizontal one.
I am curious to know how it maintained same force across the arc. Most likely it is acting quite close to the hinge but still moving the arm inwards will impact elongation of the spring and hence tracking force.
How it balanced.
I am yet to read/see optical design concept.
 

jls001

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nothing has been said as to why the design is flawed.

I don't know if it's flawed but I see additional complications:

1) They seem to use a small puck to secure the record. Can't say it's confidence inspiring.

2) I am guessing the record has to be as perfectly vertical as possible so that the stylus can track with uniform weight.

3) Since a vertical tonearm can't take advantage of gravity to stabilise it, it must use a constant spring loading or some sort of servo mechanism to hold it in place while also exerting correct tracking force on the record. I would say that's a non-trivial problem to overcome and implement.

4) do look at the support of the platter - it's a single small rod or bar, perhaps an inch across. It looks flimsy so it better be damned rigid or it will be a constant source of unwanted vibrations.

But I think all this is moot. It doesn't look like it's meant to be a serious player, but more of a funky looking lifestyler (think B&O). Two tiny in-built speakers are not going to belt out much SPL nor much by way of sound quality. So it looks like it isn't meant to be a serious player. Of course your opinion may differ! I would rather put my money in a vintage idler or a sturdy vintage Japanese direct drive.

All the same, it's nice to see smart people putting their efforts in innovations in vinyl playback:)
 

captrajesh

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@Jls001 you've articulated the technical demerits rather well. I agree with whatever you said.

Of course your opinion may differ! I would rather put my money in a vintage idler or a sturdy vintage Japanese direct drive.

Not having any serious experience in TTs, I dont have an opinion as yet but it appeared to me that the idea is being pooh poohed just because it is radical; because noone has made any effort to put it down the way you did.
 

analogadikt

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Dear Captain,
I am not an expert audiophile, just a audiofool. Whatever little commonsense knowledge that I have gathered in 45 years of fiddling with record playing machines tells me this.

The tonearm
If this is pivoted at the top with the armtube hanging down, the weight of the tube itself can be utilized to achieve the radial balance. A heavy counterweight is required now for this, with the tube pointing up. When the tube is hanging down, a lighter counterweight can be used, reducing the moving mass. I am not convinced that a pivoted vertical tonearm shall be able to achieve uniform pressure on both sidewalls of the groove throughout its arc, irrespective of the pivot point being at the bottom or top. If it was possible to implement a vertical pivoted tonearm without any major compromises, then the Japanese would have done it thirty years ago. It is cheaper to make a pivoted arm than a linear tracker.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BCm4b0D4Pk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZkV7vGvbYk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_A9FlkbWDiE

The spindle bearing
This has not been discussed on their website so we do not know what sort of bearing design and materials are used. As the bearing is horizontal, the wear on the lower walls of the bearing shall be much more as the weight of the spindle and record, aided by the pull of the belt shall be on it. If the motor is repositioned at the top, near equal pressure on the bearing walls can be achieved, as the belt shall have an upward force on the spindle while the record weight shall try to pull it down.

The Motor
It is not mentioned whether the stepper motor that is used is AC or DC. Usually, AC synchronous, Shaded pole or brushless DC servo motors are preferred for turntables for their smooth and continuous motion. A stepper motor could be used if the step angle is extremely small and the controller does not chop current to one coil completely and then applies to the next one. Also, why cant we have speed change at the press of a button? Even the cheap plasticky belters made in the eighties and nineties had DC motors with electronic speed change. If this product is designed in the 21st century, do we have to manually shift the belt like a Rega?

The Speakers
Thank you for acknowledging the serious flows here. It would be better if the speakers are separates. They should be active units, two way TL with a 4 or 5 woofer. Possibility of a wireless Bluetooth connectivity should be explored.

My suggestion would be to redesign the vertical turntable with the tonearm pivoted at the top, or better still, a linear tracker, DC servo motor with electronic speed change, motor mounted above the spindle and off board speakers as suggested above. There should be a remote control. These changes shall make it most attractive to the market segment it is aimed at.

These are my two cents on this subject, IMO and YMMV strictly apply. While I would not be in the market for this, I wish Gramovox all the best with their project.

Regards,
 

omishra

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I am always amused by optical mouse on my desktop which could read surface change so easily. ;)
May be someday I could imagine how to get this into vinyl record groove reading without touching it. :)
 

captrajesh

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Way to go Analogadikt, such posts encourage healthy discussions and improve the knowledge of FMs. Your points sure are valid and I hope they would be addressed by the makers of the said TT.

Having said that, I do empathise with your statement that this appears to be a life style thingy and not a serious TT.
 
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