When William Firebaugh, Physicist and Ford Aerospace engineer with expertise in optics and electronics, first came up with the Well-Tempered turntable, it broke all the modes of how a turntable or tonearm should be made. The drive belt is a polyester filament with a diameter of 0.004 inch. The Tonearm is suspended onto a bed of medical grade silicon dampening fluid and the dampening is adjustable. The motor has mass added to the bottom to stop the vibration. The resonances of the tonearm tube are controlled by filling the tonearm tube with a special fine grade of sand. The main bearing rides on a low noise Teflon thrust plate. The platter sits on a round spindle that rotates in a triangle hole of Teflon and the corner of the triangle is oriented to the motor.
For each of these innovations, there is an explanation and ideal solution. Take for instance, the conventional bearing spindle in all belt driven turntables is using a round spindle which sits in the normal round hole, the contact with the bearing surface is made of one point because of the pull of the belt, a condition which can cause rotational instability and wear. 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. I know, there are some very expensive turntables using opposing motors and multiple belts that try to address this issue, but none solve the problem as elegantly as Bill Firebaugh’s Well-Tempered Turntables. Well-Tempered Turntables have much less audible bearing noise compared to all conventional turntables.
To say the least, Bill Firebaugh concepts and visions maybe unconventional, but solving the many mechanical issues in the making of a turntable. Those that do not understand Physics, will laugh at the turntable. A few with an understanding of Physics and how it applies to a turntable, will marvel at the many near perfect innovations and solutions the Well-Tempered turntable. Today’s conventional turntables from Clearaudio, McIntosh, Linn, Project, Rega, Technics, Vertere, VPI, etc. are trying to perfect the turntable with the 1940’s engineering solution. Yes, there CNC lathes to make more precise turntable parts, but it is like using the best machining to try to make a steam engine work. Bill Firebaugh, inventor of Well-Tempered Turntables, is the only one who has read and applied the Bruel and Kjaer’s definitive Analysis of mechanical resonances in turntables and tonearms (using Fast Fourier Analysis) and went about solving the many problems from a physicist’s standpoint. Most others see the same resonances coming from material uses but did not realize that a major part is from mechanical instability. The Well-Tempered solutions are unique, elegant and simple, and less costly. The result is the thoroughly modern Well-Tempered Turntable Line, now revived and better and as significant in 2021 as it was in 1980’s.
Pat highly recommends the Well-Tempered line of Turntables. In fact, Pat was so impressed that he has sold his Linn LP12 and Vertere turntables and bought a Well-Tempered Amadeus GTA Mk II turntable, saving $$$ and getting better sound. Not only do Well-Tempered Turntables represent outstanding values in High End Turntables, but they address and solve problems that exist all too often in today’s turntables, even in very expensive ones. The Well-Tempered turntables are indeed well-tempered and provide a perfect stable platform for your cartridge and stylus to retrieve all the microscopic modulations inside the spinning and accelerating grooves of a vinyl record. When Well-Tempered Turntables are compared to the rest in making music, Pat would say: the others are, at best, ill tempered. Make an appointment to come in and audition a Well-Tempered Turntable, you will come to see why Pat’s Audio Art is so enamoured with them.
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