Terminator tonearm (Pt III) – stop the chatter (updated)

The Terminator linear tracking tonearm combines an air-bearing with a (twin) ‘uni-pivot’ bearing.

Uni-pivot bearings need to be stabilised in order to handle the energy generated by a pick-up cartridge.

In this case, twin pivot points were in metal-to-metal contact with the arm-slider ‘V-brackets’ and some instability or ‘bearing rattle’ can be audible at times.

Brass pivot-weights help to mass-stabilise the pivot points, but you may still hear some vocal ‘stress’ at dynamic peaks, for example.

(1) Rubber Bands – with some help from Trans-Fi, I experimented firstly with natural rubber-bands suspending the pivot points from experimental brackets. (With VTA re-adjusted.)

Voice ‘break-up’ disappeared.  High frequency ‘sweetness’, presence and detailing is noticeable immediately.  However, deep bass balance seems to be reduced.

(I think that the rubber decouples the horizontal slider mass from the lightweight arm wand & horizontal Effective Mass of the tonearm is significantly reduced.)

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(Experimental brackets attached with double-sided tape.)

 

(2) EPDM rubber bands – this black rubber material is stiffer and the sound is better – wider bandwidth, deeper bass, more warmth.  Overall very good – power and delicacy combined!

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(3) EPDM or silicone rubber pads – V-pads, cut from rubber extrusion and adhesive-fixed to standard Terminator slider hanger brackets.

Improved deep bass, punchier with better-controlled ‘overhang’ and ‘decay’.  Overall, excellent.

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(Note – brackets were accidentally reversed here on this slider.)

 

 

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Rubber ‘V-pads’, adhesive-fixed to Terminator slider hangers.

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(4) Nylon Points – to replace the original steel points.  This option is now being offered by Trans-Fi Audio as a low cost upgrade.  I will be testing these soon…..

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Nylon points (bottom right).

 

Update ( 5 Oct 2015 ):

As recommended now by Trans-Fi, I can confirm that the Nylon Pivot Points are the best yet!  They have the detail, resolution, focus and impact of the steel points, but (as far as I can see after a few sessions only) without any sense of stress at high levels or dynamic peaks.  Wide bandwidth, punchy and alive!

(Brass pivot-stabilising weights are now removed, they no longer seem to be required.)

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