Tangential arm turntables - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 08-29-2006, 07:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Back in the mid 80's I bought a Sony turntable whose arm would slide horizontally across the disc... just like those super cool Bang & Olufsen turntables whose arm works on a rail...

It used to look so cool.

I'm not a audiophile as far as budget goes... but my Sony always had a nice sound and it made me very happy. But after a couple of years, the rail system would start failing to move the arm and sometimes it would simply get stuck.

I suppose that's one of the cons against this system, right? Perhaps this is why we don't see more of those turnatable today?

I heard that system was great because (1) it avoided the centrifugal force generated by the rotating disc and (2) it played the disc surface more faithfully according to the way the disc was recorded (avoiding the arch movement of an arm who's fixed at one point).

I'd love to hear your oppinions about this system because I'd love to have another turntable and I always keep thinking about the one I used to have.

Thanks.
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post #2 of 11 Old 08-29-2006, 08:23 AM
 
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I agree that those B&O linear tracking turntables were the ultimate in coolness. As a teenager I dreamed of owning one someday. By the time I got to the point where I could afford one, however, CDs had already rendered vinyl permanently obsolete.
(Of course, my tastes back then seem rather embarassing now. I actually thought Panasonic Thrusters were desirable speakers!)
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post #3 of 11 Old 08-29-2006, 11:34 AM
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They can work quite well. The problem is that they are very complicated, and have motors, servos, electronics, etc to control the arm movement.
There are a few expensive separate tonearms available for tables. They are non-powered, and I believe all of them use air bearings for close to zero friction, and actually have an air pump that is usually put in a separate room, with a line running to the arm.
The linear arm does eliminate the skating problem that exists with hinged arms, which is the main reason for their sound quality. But a properly setup conventional arm comes very, very close.
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post #4 of 11 Old 08-29-2006, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PULLIAMM
(Of course, my tastes back then seem rather embarassing now. I actually thought Panasonic Thrusters were desirable speakers!)

A bit OT, but...

I had all but forgotten I had some of those a long time ago too; and also thought they were pretty good at the time. If I recall, mine has a tweeter, an 8" woofer, and an 8" passive radiator.

Just because there is a knob doesn't mean you should turn it.
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post #5 of 11 Old 08-29-2006, 11:55 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whoaru99
A bit OT, but...

I had all but forgotten I had some of those a long time ago too; and also thought they were pretty good at the time. If I recall, mine has a tweeter, an 8" woofer, and an 8" passive radiator.
You mean they actually were good? I thought my naive teenage imagination had merely been preyed upon by the marketing experts. :cool:
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post #6 of 11 Old 08-29-2006, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdcrox
They can work quite well. The problem is that they are very complicated, and have motors, servos, electronics, etc to control the arm movement.
There are a few expensive separate tonearms available for tables. They are non-powered, and I believe all of them use air bearings for close to zero friction, and actually have an air pump that is usually put in a separate room, with a line running to the arm.
The linear arm does eliminate the skating problem that exists with hinged arms, which is the main reason for their sound quality. But a properly setup conventional arm comes very, very close.
Thank you for your response. :)
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post #7 of 11 Old 08-31-2006, 06:51 PM
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I have the linear drive turntable (Sony PSX-555ES) in my current AV system. It has aged well and still sounds great.

I was told by a Sony tech to lightly coat the tracking rails with synthetic oil once a year. Can't say if this helped prolong the servos but it appears to still track LPs faithfully.

It is a great turntable and I will be in a quandry when it goes platter up.
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post #8 of 11 Old 09-02-2006, 01:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoreGear
I have the linear drive turntable (Sony PSX-555ES) in my current AV system. It has aged well and still sounds great.

I was told by a Sony tech to lightly coat the tracking rails with synthetic oil once a year. Can't say if this helped prolong the servos but it appears to still track LPs faithfully.

It is a great turntable and I will be in a quandry when it goes platter up.
I'm glad to hear!
long life to it!

:)
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post #9 of 11 Old 10-26-2006, 02:37 AM
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The thing is the inexpensive linear tracking turntables work very differently from high end systems such as the tonearms from Clearaudio.

The inexpensive ones basically almost always suffer from tracking error. They basically position over one point, and when the arm deflects a certain amount from 90º signal the servo to move them across the disc a bit. The arm then is deflected slightly to the outside of the disc, plays through 90º, is deflected slightly towards the center of the disc, the rear of the arm moves a bit more towards the center, and the whole "/|\\" game repeats.

On the other hand, arms like the Clearaudio Tangent, TQ-I and Master TQ-I tonearms minimize the error to stay as close to a true center of the groove position as possible as they track… one reason the Clearaudio arms run in the neighborhood of $2300 for the arm alone sans cartridge.

http://www.musicalsurroundings.com/i..._annivrsry.jpg
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post #10 of 11 Old 10-26-2006, 06:37 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kucharsk
The thing is the inexpensive linear tracking turntables work very differently from high end systems such as the tonearms from Clearaudio.

The inexpensive ones basically almost always suffer from tracking error. They basically position over one point, and when the arm deflects a certain amount from 90º signal the servo to move them across the disc a bit. The arm then is deflected slightly to the outside of the disc, plays through 90º, is deflected slightly towards the center of the disc, the rear of the arm moves a bit more towards the center, and the whole "/|\\" game repeats.

On the other hand, arms like the Clearaudio Tangent, TQ-I and Master TQ-I tonearms minimize the error to stay as close to a true center of the groove position as possible as they track… one reason the Clearaudio arms run in the neighborhood of $2300 for the arm alone sans cartridge.

http://www.musicalsurroundings.com/i..._annivrsry.jpg
Even if I never listened to it, I would enjoy having one of these just to look at! :D
Talk about coolness factor! :cool:
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post #11 of 11 Old 10-26-2006, 09:36 AM
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Very cool, but tangential tracking systems introduce their own unique forms of distortion and artifacts. Airy if you will ;)

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