DIY Linear Tonearm

Love it or hate it, it just won't stop
User avatar
Ray P
Social outcast
Posts: 3122
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:18 pm
Location: Somerset

DIY Linear Tonearm

Post by Ray P » Thu Oct 17, 2019 9:15 pm

I posted a link to this DIY Audio thread in 'Nothing in Particular' - maybe not the best place for it.

Just wondering if it was of interest to any of you who still do vinyl. If I still had some I would give building one a go.

https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/analogu ... nearm.html

Maybe I'll have to look out for a turntable just so I can.

izzy wizzy
Old Hand
Posts: 881
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 7:02 pm
Location: Folkestone
Contact:

Re: DIY Linear Tonearm

Post by izzy wizzy » Fri Oct 18, 2019 10:54 am

It's a massive thread. I've read the lot on and off which took forever. Very interesting in how it develops over time.

I always wonder where people's references are in these types of things. Gee, hope that doesn't sound snobby but one person's terrific is not so much for someone else. In this thread there are so many positive contributers, it looks like a good basis for a design.

Cheers,
Stephen

User avatar
Ray P
Social outcast
Posts: 3122
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:18 pm
Location: Somerset

Re: DIY Linear Tonearm

Post by Ray P » Fri Oct 18, 2019 7:32 pm

I can't claim to have read every bit but reached a similar conclusion; at first I was concerned that it might have jut been one over-enthusiastic builder but the level of constructive participaton dispelled that and there are some great novel ideas in there. Part of me wants to build one but I wouldn't be able to make use of it.

User avatar
Ray P
Social outcast
Posts: 3122
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:18 pm
Location: Somerset

Re: DIY Linear Tonearm

Post by Ray P » Fri Nov 08, 2019 8:07 pm

I still find this fascinating as a possible project, even though I doubt if I have more than half a dozen LPs in the house. An even more fundamental problem is not having a single turntable in the house!

To that end I've been digging around a little and found this box of tricks and wondered if it might be interesting to put a turntable together too. Anyone any experience or thoughts?

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/The-Phainn-D ... 1438.l2649

User avatar
Greg
Shed dweller
Posts: 2667
Joined: Wed May 23, 2007 11:14 am
Location: Bristol, UK

Re: DIY Linear Tonearm

Post by Greg » Fri Nov 08, 2019 11:56 pm

Can’t see the point, Ray. You spend £200 quid on a drive unit, not knowing how good it really is and still have to fork out for what will be the expensive stuff such as platter and plinth and cover. In my view better option is go for a well performing tried and tested TT and build around it. I have settled, probably forever with Denon DP-80. However, today I visited the guy who bought my 401 and helped him set up the geometry. Have to, say, I could happily have settled here. Sometimes there is no need to move on. In your case, it would be madness to go wild with purchase if you don’t have a library. I would go for an affordable direct drive or idler drive and be done with it.

The arm is a different matter and if you want to go diy, good for you. Remember there are good arms out there that don’t cost an arm and a leg and generally, set up is the key to good sound. You also need a cartridge and a phono stage. It’s starting to look expensive. Unless you want to do it for the hobby value, I’d knock it on the head and continue perfecting your streaming system.

User avatar
Ray P
Social outcast
Posts: 3122
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:18 pm
Location: Somerset

Re: DIY Linear Tonearm

Post by Ray P » Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:59 am

Well, this is a hobby Greg and my interest is in buiding a linear arm - buying a commercial turntable and conventional arm holds no interest for me, been there, done that!

Even a reasonable DD turntable is going to cost me more than the £200 the kit would cost me; BTW, the kit includes a platter (there's a cheaper kit sans platter if one was inclined towards, say, an acrylic platter, whuch are available for about £100). I've found some references to the DD kit being used in build projects and it seems to work OK so might be a reasonable basis for a motor unit. Here's an example;

https://ashleycox.co.uk/projects/direct ... turntable/

A potential fly in the ointment regarding the kit is that it has a tapered spindle on which the platter sits so any platter, other than the one they supply, might need some precision machining - not sure how doable that is.

I don't plan to expend an extravagant number of cider coupons, otherwise I might buy one of these;

https://www.tnt-audio.com/sorgenti/langer_7_e.html

We'll see.

User avatar
shane
Shed dweller
Posts: 2863
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2007 12:09 pm
Location: Kept in a cool dry place.

Re: DIY Linear Tonearm

Post by shane » Sat Nov 09, 2019 9:28 am

To my eye, this is all about the electronics. The motor looks pretty puny, and although you can’t see it, I doubt that the bearing is up to much.

In your position, I’d go for something like this:

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre ... 3787064970

These decks have really horrible plinths and arms, but the motor unit is solidly made, and cries out to be built into something solid and beautiful.

I’ve have a similar project on a back-burner for some time: http://www.audio-talk.co.uk/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?t=6889

I’ll try to sort out the broken picture links later, but meanwhile, compare this Vestax motor to the one your advert: https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre ... 2692736124

User avatar
Ray P
Social outcast
Posts: 3122
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:18 pm
Location: Somerset

Re: DIY Linear Tonearm

Post by Ray P » Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:08 am

Thanks Shane, that's a really useful steer. I will have a look at some DJ turntables.

User avatar
shane
Shed dweller
Posts: 2863
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2007 12:09 pm
Location: Kept in a cool dry place.

Re: DIY Linear Tonearm

Post by shane » Sat Nov 09, 2019 1:05 pm

Going back to your comment about tapered spindles, the taper on the Vestax motor is formed by a brass sleeve pressed onto the spindle. Removing that leaves the spindle projecting from a “sub-platter” about 30mm diameter which has three tapped M4 (I think) holes for attaching the platter. That enabled me to drop a spare sub-platter from a Heybrook TT2 straight onto the motor and bolt it down.
I then found that the motor had so much torque that the TT2 sub-platter would spin inside the main platter on start-up, so I had to drill and tap them to fit a couple of retaining bolts.

User avatar
Ray P
Social outcast
Posts: 3122
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:18 pm
Location: Somerset

Re: DIY Linear Tonearm

Post by Ray P » Sat Nov 09, 2019 5:21 pm

Useful to know, thanks again Shane. I'll be interested in the images of your project if you can resolve the broken links.

Doing a bit of reading, some of the Stanton DJ decks are talked about as having good torque, which I assume implies a good motor, so a used one of them looks like a possibility.

I was thinking of an acrylic platter - I know you can buy them as upgrades for Project turntables at a reasonable price - but I guess I would need to get hold of a motor unit first to check compatibility.

User avatar
IslandPink
Oooo, Roberts Radio's sound nice
Posts: 7071
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 7:01 pm
Location: Denbigh, N.Wales

Re: DIY Linear Tonearm

Post by IslandPink » Sat Nov 09, 2019 6:47 pm

Acrylic is a good material , go for that if you can get it at a reasonable cost.
On the motor, just think about what you need from this. It needs to be smooth for HiFi, low-cogging, it's not just about torque.

ps. if you want any bits from an old air-bearing arm I used, early version of Vic's trans-fi arms, you can have those for nothing. There's a pump too.

I do think direct-drive + air-bearing linear tracked would be great, but there's plenty of work to do- which may suit you :)
"The bass is the king of the instruments - it has no known natural predator" (Wobble)

User avatar
shane
Shed dweller
Posts: 2863
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2007 12:09 pm
Location: Kept in a cool dry place.

Re: DIY Linear Tonearm

Post by shane » Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:09 pm

Just re-posted the relevant bit of the first post in the Bastard thread with the photos restored.

http://www.audio-talk.co.uk/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?t=6889

User avatar
Ray P
Social outcast
Posts: 3122
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:18 pm
Location: Somerset

Re: DIY Linear Tonearm

Post by Ray P » Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:31 pm

shane wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:09 pm
Just re-posted the relevant bit of the first post in the Bastard thread with the photos restored.
Yes, just been taking a look. Thanks for doing that.

Are you tempted to resurrect the Bastard project now?

User avatar
shane
Shed dweller
Posts: 2863
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2007 12:09 pm
Location: Kept in a cool dry place.

Re: DIY Linear Tonearm

Post by shane » Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:43 pm

Yes, once I’ve finished a project to restore an old pair of Stax headphones.

Unfortunately the PSU board was damaged during a shed tidy-up a while ago, so I’m going to have to do some major troubleshooting before I take it any further. Possibly out of my depth, but we’ll see...

Ant
Old Hand
Posts: 846
Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2017 6:45 pm
Location: Yorkshire

Re: DIY Linear Tonearm

Post by Ant » Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:46 pm

IslandPink wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 6:47 pm
I do think direct-drive + air-bearing linear tracked would be great, but there's plenty of work to do- which may suit you :)
it is great.
ImageJbe series 3 transfi terminator by anthony cresswell, on Flickr

The arm wasn't mine unfortunately,but i would have liked to use it for longer apart from the frustrating finickey setup of the air bearing. I have a design in my head for a magnetic bearing. wether it will work is another matter
Hey, wait, I got a new complaint
Forever in debt to your priceless advice

www.bte-designs.weebly.com

Post Reply