Thanks to 진욱, for sending me the following beautiful pictures of his system with metal pulley and motor thrust bearing upgrades.

Here's Rega RP1 of 진욱, South Korea :

Pictures : courtesy of 진욱 of South Korea

Not all models of Rega turntables come with upgraded motors which are fitted with motor thrust bearings. So if it happens you are planning to upgrade to stainless steel metal pulley, it is worthwhile to consider this motor thrust bearing upgrade in order to optimize the result.

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When Krise of Germany told me that he would be using my stainless steel metal pulley in his on-going DIY turntable project, I was curious and eager to see his very special turntable. What a pity I wouldn't be able to hear the "SOUND" he has spent so much time and effort to build!

Each and every DIY turntable is unique and of great interest to me; there are also a lot of fine points in the creation of these DIY turntables that I can learn from all the fellow enthusiasts around the world!

So I waited patiently for his master-piece to be completed .... .

And here it is ....

Krise, in his blog, Tables will turn shared his DIY experience in detail; it's very informative and interesting.....

Pictures: courtesy of Kris of Germany

My metal pulley in his "Funk Firm design" TT

Resonance control material

Applying the anti-resonance material

The Motor

Of course, this is not all.....

Visit Krise's blog to discover more ......

Thanks, Krise, for sharing with us!

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When I first started to tweak my Rega turntables, I knew aluminium metal sub-platter was something I would go ahead with without hesitation. Strongly believing in there's a reason why aluminium sub-platters were used in P7 and P9 TT's, I didn't want to miss this part of the sonic improvement for sure!

As I'd expected, the result of experimenting with the anti-resonance aluminium metal sub-platter was good - I noticed very substantial sonic improvement after replacing the stock resin sub-platter with aluminium metal sub-platter!

So I always advise: Don't forget to upgrade the resin sub-platter to the anti-resonance aluminium metal sub-platter. And if the plastic pulley is also replaced by a metal one at the same time for better energy transfer, you will definitely not be disappointed....

Sharing with you here :

Aluminium metal sub-platter and standard stainless steel pulley (33.3/45 rpm) upgrades on Planar 3 - from Lasse Brodsgaard of Denmark

Pictures : courtesy of Lasse Brodsgaard of Denmark

Lasse Brodsgaard says :

It has given a little more air to the music, better sound separation and tighter bass.

Thanks, Lasse!

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Experimenting on Thorens TD295 MK III ....

A friend of mine has a Thorens TD295 MK III. This turntable has been used for years to play his favourite LPs, but it shows no trace of "aging"; still very fine and elegant it looks. The glossy finish for the upper layer of the plinth is the trick.

The motor speed for this turntable is electronically controlled and end-of-play auto-stop is another add-on feature to this manual turntable.

No mod has been done on this turntable so far and now my friend is looking for some mod to improve its performance. I take a look at it and feel that something needs to be done to the hard-mounted "vibrating" motor which runs "finger-burning" hot after playing just for a while. I suggest he uses my motor isolation base which serves as both vibration and heat sink.

Since most turntables in the market are using similar AC synchronous motors, these motors fit into my isolation bases well like the Rega motors. But in this case, there is not much free-play in the quite "tight-fitting" motor compartment. So the part where the motor flanges are hard-mounted to, has to be trimmed off slightly. It's a simple job anyway and takes me not more than 10 minutes to cut the screw mounting holes into V-shape grooves (as shown). I am extra careful when trimming so as not to break the "super-short" motor wires (see picture below).

While putting back the motor, I make sure that the motor flanges, motor and motor base are not touching the plinth in the motor compartment. Do you notice there is a small gap at the motor flange?

Put on the rubber belt after aligning the pulley with the sub-platter and my job is almost done!

The motor base now sits under the plinth, "fully isolated". For this TD295 MK III TT, a number of brass spacers are used with the motor isolation base because it has a very much thicker plinth compared to that of Rega TT's. Besides the upper glossy layer (about the thickness of Rega P1 plinth), there is an additional lower layer which consists of four sandwiched layers of MDF board. The rubber feet are also replaced with slightly taller ones to accommodate the height of the motor base.

The modded Thorens TD295 MK III equipped with Ortofon MC15 Super II cartridge is finally ready for testing. Let's see the difference ....

The first thing I notice is that the motor (also the rubber belt) runs much cooler. Earlier I can't even put my finger on the "hot" motor for more than 5 seconds. And I don't feel the motor vibration now when placing my finger on the part of plinth just around the motor. Both the motor and the belt would last longer with this "cooling" effect.

The sonic improvement is substantial with wider and deeper soundstage, clear and distinctive sound of various musical instruments and of course lower noise floor.

It's real joy listening to Nini's Trumpet "IL SILENZIO" in stereo and Acker Bilk's Jazz Band in mono after the motor isolation base mod. For those who are looking for a good preowned turntable, this is another model you can go for. Not forgetting to mention here also other than a well-designed plinth, Thorens TD295 MK III comes with a heavy (~2.4 kg) zinc alloy platter too.

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I was surprised to receive an interesting enquiry from a non-Rega turntable user : " Can your motor isolation base be used on my Pro-ject P1.2 turntable?"

Generally speaking, I find many Rega turntable owners are still quite sceptical about this unconventional upgrade of isolating motor vibration though the concept of out-board motor is actually nothing new to any turntable lover!

The idea of motor isolation base "evolved" when I was tweaking my Planar 2/3. I was doing it with Rega turntables in mind only. And now someone is exploring the possibility of using it on turntables of other makes - something I have never expected.....

Fortunately, I still have my old Pro-ject P1.2 which is collecting dust in my store-room. I am happy to take it out to test with my motor isolation base upgrade.

At a glance, Pro-ject P1.2 looks quite the same as Rega turntable, but with thicker fiber-board plinth.

Surprisingly this budget turntable comes with a heavier alloy platter(~2.4 kg). The plastic sub-platter is of bigger diameter and thus the aluminum pulley too.

The suspended motor mounting is quite similar to that of Rega Planar 2 and Planar 3 i.e. it is mounted to a metal top plate which is held in place with rubber band to the plinth. This way of mounting is not ideal as when the motor runs, it wobbles at the same time. This causes a slight speed variations which in turn affects the quality of sound tracked by the cartridge.

Removing the motor, I find it fits the motor isolation base perfectly. The problem is: the original motor flanges sit directly on the plinth, in the small "motor compartment". Clearly, this part of the plinth (in the motor compartment) has to be trimmed slightly (as shown) in order that the motor (with the base), would not contact the plinth.

Putting the motor back into the motor compartment (after the trimmed part is darken with a marker pen).

Check to make sure the motor (already secured with screws onto the motor base) is not touching the plinth. Align the pulley before putting on the rubber belt.

Change the rubber feet to accommodate the height of the motor isolation base.

For transportation, the motor (with motor base) is held with the existing rubber band and the metal bracket with transport screws. No rubber mesh netting is required.

The Pro-ject P1.2 with motor isolation base upgrade is ready to run. After playing a few familiar lp's, I notice substantial sonic improvement with lower noise floor and clearer details. The stylus can track better now in the absence of motor vibration and speed shifts due to suspended motor mounting using rubber band.

So what's is the answer? Why not let you decide yourself !

*Some additional pictures of Pro-ject P1.2 turntable might be of interest to you :

"Non-magnetic" alloy platter (top and bottom view)

Pro-ject 8.6"tonearm with adjustable VTA

Main bronze bearing (top and bottom view)

16VAC Synchronous motor & control (covers removed)

Feedback from Arthur of California who also uses motor isolation base for his Pro-ject 2.9 wood:

The isolation base does make a big difference, I don't hear the motor since it is well isolated from the plinth. Thanks again Michael for the invention. I now enjoy listening to my table more than listening to CD's."

Ronald Bonner of Dallas gave his comments on motor isolation base upgrade for his Pro-ject Debut Carbon:

Got it and installed it. Did exactly what I was wishing it would do and more. Thank you so very much....

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