Possibly the ULTIMATE Turntable?
Well Tempered Lab announced a unique new turntable last week, that aims to be the final word in extracting every last ounce of music from your vinyl in a completely unadulterated manner. To achieve this requires truly out-of-the-box innovation while embracing proven vinyl replay ideals.
Undoubtedly the outstanding feature of the WTL Royale 400 is its 16 inch effective length tonearm.
It has been designed in conjunction with a custom rack both to accommodate and get the best from it. The Royale 400 is BIG at 560 mm deep by 640 mm wide, weighing in at nearly 50Kg.
The basic (and inspired) principles of the deck are similar to the current stunning Versalex, and Simplex models. Arm mounting and adjustment is neater, the platter assembly has been rethought, it has ceramic ball isolation feet as has the rack and the motor is now to the rear.
More details will follow but, given that design principles that WTL have been using for years are so much more conducive to more natural replay, any new small detailing added is bound to highlight the restrictions of "conventional" turntable design!!
It is immensely gratifying to be dealing with a company who design and build exceptional products that lead rather than follow.
Here are some of Bill's own words on the subject:
"Well Tempered Lab has tried to achieve perfection in phonograph record playback knowing full well that perfection is not possible. Many obstacles stand in the way of perfection: tracking angle, damping to eliminate sideband distortion, motor control, rotational stability, vibration suppression, mechanical isolation, skating forces to name some of the obstacles. Some time ago Well Tempered Lab invented a Tracking Angle Analyser to examine the issue of tracking angle and tracking angle distortion. The objective was to analyse tracking angle problems from a graphical perspective rather than from a mathematical perspective dealing with pages of equations. This approach has proved successful and has led to the conception of the Well Tempered Lab Royale 400 with an arm length of 16 inches or about 400mm. Using the Tracking Angle Analyser to determine the geometric parameters reveals the following: with an overhang of 0.25 inches and a tracking angle of 11 degrees, there will be 1.5 degrees maximum tracking angle error at the outer most grooves and approximately 1 degree of tracking angle error over the rest of the record surface. Overhang of course causes skating forces and with an overhang of only 0.25 inches, there is barely any skating force and the residual skating force is eliminated by the twist of the filament suspension system.
A phonograph record is one of mankind greatest achievements! Imagine a vinyl surface with grooves and the curves of the grooves being detected by a needle and the resulting fabulous music! This is impossible because of the time, effort and money spent by countless thousands of men over the time since Edison’s invention. Well Tempered Lab is proud to have had a microscopic part of this process."
William Firebaugh Chief Engineer