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The Versalex is the latest top of the range turntable from Well Tempered Lab.It is another great design from William Firebaugh who has been designing turntables for decades and the Versalex is the ultimate expression of his "Outside of the Box" thinking.
The plinth is constructed of 30mm solid Baltic birch ply and veneered on top with an attractive walnut finish. This not only gives this turntable mass but is naturally damped too.William Firebaugh has incorporated many ingenious engineering solutions in the Versalex deck. Read more about the design of this unique and engaging turntable in the designers words below!
Controlling The Mechanical Resonances Of The Tone-Arm The Well Tempered tone-arm does not have a bearing in the normal sense. Many tone-arm bearings use high quality ball bearings that have clearances in the low micron range. However, that is where all the action takes place. The Amadeus bearing has zero clearance and damping for un-rivaled performance. The tone-arm is constructed with a golf ball partially immersed in high viscosity silicone fluid. Golf balls are very precisely made and are well-suited for this application. The degree of damping is adjustable.
Controlling The Resonance Within The Arm Tube The 10.5 inch arm tube of Versalex is filled with a special grade of sand to eliminate any resonances within the tube. This technique is very effective and is unique to all Well Tempered designs.
Rotational Stability Of The Spindle The Well Tempered round spindle rotates in a triangle hole of Teflon and the corner of the triangle is oriented to the motor. This arrangement causes the spindle to rotate in a zero clearance bearing. If the spindle is in the normal round hole, the contact with the bearing surface is made of one point, a condition which can cause rotational instability. With the round spindle rotating in a triangle hole, contact is made at two points resulting in zero clearance and a high degree of stability.
Bearing Noise The Well Tempered bearing uses a Teflon thrust bearing. The stainless steel spindle has a precision point and rests into a small hole in the Teflon thrust bearing to achieve very low noise.
Acrylic Platter The Well Tempered platter is acrylic which I have found to be very suitable for this purpose. In addition to having desirable mechanical properties, this material is relatively heavy resulting in increased moment of inertia for lower flutter and wow.
Drive Belt During my research, I have measured hundreds of belts of various types, using flutter and wow as the criteria. None have the excellent characteristics of the Well Tempered belt. The belt is a polyester filament and has a diameter of 0.004 inches. To use this belt requires a knot and this may normally cause a problem. I have overcome this problem with a motor pulley of a special design to accommodate the knot. In addition to being a superior belt, this material is widely available and easy to replace. I tested the durability of this belt with a test of fifty days continuous operation with no effect.
Motor and Motor Drive We use a small dc motor and is driven by a torque servo of my own design. The motor is mounted to the plinth and is very effectively mechanically decoupled by a ring of isolation material. The combination of belt, motor, motor drive electronics, and isolation results in low flutter and wow. In fact,the lowest we have ever measured. Your cartridge will get the ride of its life! - William Firebaugh
Symmetrex tone arm configuration
“Zero Clearance” platter bearing
Servo controlled motor with vibration controlled mounting
0.004” polyester thread belt
Fully damped LTD tonearm featuring golf ball suspended in silicone fluid for optimum variable damping - Easy azimuth adjustment
Fixed headshell with no fussy setup
Isolation feet included
“Baltic” Plywood plinth finished in real walnut
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