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Teres Dept.

Circa 2002/2003. The Teres model 135. (hint; to view full sized image click on the thumbnail)

Circa 2004/2005  Upgraded to lead-shot acrylic platter.  This transforms the turntable into the Teres 145.  By this time I'm using a tape drive pulley mounted to the Teres motor pod and with 1/2 inch wide mylar ribbon as the belt.  Later, I added the battery option which allowed the motor pod to run directly from a 12V battery.

  Circa 2005/2006. 

 A Graham 2.2 tonearm with Ortofon Jubilee cartridge.  The armboard was made to mount the Graham and is composed of interleaving layers of carbon fiber and acrylic glued together with polyurethane adhesive. In this photo a holographic ribbon mylar belt is used.

Circa 2008/2009.  Having gone back to silk thread drive,  Otherwise the Teres remains as per previous photo.

 

Circa 2010.  Trying out a new plinth to support the Teres drive train parts. 

Over the years I have drawn several concept sketches for an alternative Teres plinth.  Some of these are shown elsewhere on the site, but this is the first sketch of a plinth concept for the Teres that I have decided to build.  I call it "Teres R1" because it is the first Teres plinth I've made.  See link below for more details.

 

 

Review: Verus Motor Upgrade for the Teres

assembly and operation

Teres model 135 Review  a review of the operation and sonic qualities of this table.

Teres R1 A new plinth for an "old" Teres.

Motor Pod.  looking inside and at the Maxon A-Max 110189

Making a drive belt out of VHS tape.

Links to vhs and mylar supplies:

http://www.markertek.com  (search site with keywords "vhs tape splicer)
http://www.usrecordingmedia.com  search "tapes and supplies for recording/archiving)
http://www.mccormicksnet.com/product.asp?catID=139&ItemID=196 For mylar ribbon

Another "very" useful link for tape driving info is Thom Mackris's site: Galibier Design.  Click on his "support" menu option to find his useful info.

 

scterplat_4.jpg (139402 bytes) A Platter Upgrade turns it into a Teres 145. 

Installing and evaluating the lead shot loaded Teres platter.

 

 

Some thoughts on owning the Teres

After I had posted the initial Teres 135 review to both the vinyl asylum and to my website I found myself answering emails from people thinking seriously about buying a Teres in one form or another. On the rate of 3 - 4 per month. Then that began to die down as the whole Teres operation began to take the form we see now with the new, more upscale models revealing the direction the company takes.

In the current model lineup I think the model160 is a good starting point because it includes the lead shot platter. Hearing what I hear now, I wouldn't even bother with the standard solid acrylic platter. Further, if you have any lingering doubts about base construction it would be advisable to simply have Chris & Co. build you the base. The Brady family were already expert wood craftsmen before the turntable operation began. Now that they have been up and running a while, these folks can really turn out some beautiful turntables.

The principle force behind Teres Audio, Chris Brady has stated that there is very little sonic difference between the model 160 and its bigger brother, the 255. The real difference is aesthetic. The look of exotic hardwoods like the Cocobolo.  http://www.teresaudio.com



Some issues I've watched come and go:

Most problems people have had were controller related. All issues were resolved as far as I know.

My own controller issues:
1) silk thread drive.  Initially, my Teres 135 came equipped with a straight pulley with flanges. Unless the table and motor pod were precisely parallel to each other, the thread would drive up against one flange or another creating extra drag and, horror of horrors, trigger a speed correction complete with the audible effects of music slowing down then speeding back up in correction. The fix was a change in pulley to the concave silk thread pulley. This appeared to be the cure and Chris supplied the new pulley designs free of charge to all those who had the previous design of pulley.

2) Tape drive notes:

  1. Different drive pulley design.  It has a straight drive area, it's taller with a slight flange at either end to accommodate 1/2 inch belting material.  The pulley installs by simply pushing it onto the motor shaft with hand pressure.
  2. Tape belting material.  1/2 inch vhs tape would be the standard belting material.  A general consensus is that the shiny side should be against the driving and driven surfaces when using this belt. Optional belts include mylar streamer ribbon, available in various shiny colors, then there is the 1/2 inch vhs semi-clear leader.  Others have experimented with pure silk ribbon
  3. The wider driving belt requires an even closer parallel alignment between the driving pulley, at the motor pod and the driven platter, than with the silk thread drive.  I've found it useful to place a single feeler gage (as shim) between one of the three pod feet and the support platform in order to align the motor pod to the platter and then leaving it there.  Automotive feeler gages are handy since they come in a set offering .001 inch graduations of size.  This way it is possible to precisely tune for a true running belt.

The Tape drive upgrade was very inexpensive and well worth the extra effort in setup. Biggest sonic benefit I heard would be attributed to those qualities closely tied to pace rhythm and tempo. A much more positive coupling between the driven platter and the driving armature of that Maxon DC motor. This is very much to the heart of Teres turntable design philosophy.

Controller upgrades: Over time I have benefited from 2 different controller upgrades. The first, which Chris dubbed "The Signature Upgrade", became known as Signature 1 and then there was a Signature 2 that came later.

From an operational point of view the "Signature One" upgrade involved swapping out the controller board within the motor pod and included new stainless steel cones as pod feet. The cost to me was in the neighborhood of $60 and worked like an exchange program. I sent in the money to Chris and he then shipped me another motor pod complete with the new circuit board. Upon receipt I shipped my old pod back to him. He paid shipping my way, I paid shipping the way back to him. 

The "Signature Two" upgrade was another controller board evolution. However this time I ended up receiving the sig 2 upgrade when my sig 1 board experienced a catastrophic failure. One of the components within the board went "pop", died, and shut down the whole works. I phoned Chris about this and he shipped me another motor pod free of charge, this time with Signature II circuitry. I've been running this pod for the past two years with no more issues.  

The object of both sig 1 and sig 2 controller upgrades was improved sonic performance. In general I experienced a more liquid melodic presentation with inner details becoming more apparent. Pretty good stuff.

Battery Upgrade:

I've had good results with this inexpensive upgrade and continue to use it. Others have reported dead batteries at one point or another. Again, Chris has supported these folks by either selling them a new battery or by steering them to a vendor who can supply the battery at a competitive price.

On the negative, this option truly does look like a kit since it is left up to the owner to devise his/her own enclosure. On the positive, the lead acid battery is sealed
(won't ooze out any nasty white stuff) and can be placed on the audio rack as is. I've used 4 blobs of Blu-Tack to mount the circuit board directly over the top of the battery.

For me this has been a substantial sonic upgrade over the standard power supply. It is used in combination with the same PS, keeping the cost low.   Sweeter melodic presence combined with a further opening up of inner detail with a more linear high frequency extension combined with an even better sense of pace and rhythm.  That's what I got with the battery option...!

The Platter upgrade:

The lead shot chambered acrylic platter proved to be a very substantial sonic improvement that was obvious and easily appreciated.  The additional weight of this platter, nearly twice that of the standard solid acrylic model, magnifies the moment of inertia out at the platter rim.  The increased momentum of this platter means greater force that is less likely to be slowed by stylus-to-groove interaction.  This change makes itself known in the sonic sense by delivering a more defined sense of rhythm.  Music has greater toe-tapping, finger-snapping involvement.  Detail levels, dynamics, leading edge transients.  These were all augmented.  I also have noticed more definition to the sustain and decay of notes.  Sonic imagery became more apparent, more obvious.  What's that often-used word audio writers resort to...?  Palpable!  Like an apparition taking on solid form in the space before you, the sound stage became better defined with substantial improvements in imaging.

There was an overall mellowing to the tone of the midrange.  Slightly darker, and smoother.   In photography, when lighting gets out of control, we sometimes experience over-exposed hot spots on the shiny objects.  Small areas of the object become washed out and white, losing definition.  Perhaps something akin to the sonic equivalent of this, a slight amount of glare was removed with this new platter, leaving in its absence greater definition to the sonic picture.  Those small bits of lost information are now read with clarity.  

Taken altogether, and in light of the very generous exchange policy currently offered, the question of whether or not to upgrade from the standard platter to the lead shot model becomes a no-brainer.  It's quite natural.  You want this. 

"Is the Teres all you've ever wanted in a TT?"

No but I do see an upgrade path that can take this table well into territory only a few can afford, when speaking of other brand names, that is.  Much can be done to enhance the basic package as it is in my situation.   Mainly, for me I see tonearm upgrades as the logical course to the next level. I'm also looking at my own different ideas for base design.  Additionally, I am curious about different methods of drive.  How would a high-torque AC synchronous motor, in combination with a flywheel and isolated power source, compare sonic-wise to the preferred Teres tape drive....?  Might be fun to experiment.  Expensive too.  Flywheels and sine-wave generators cost more than do Maxon DC motors and small 12 volt batteries.
 
The essence of the Teres sonic character should be its platter and bearing but as I have noted above, various other aspects make substantial differences in what we hear out of the table.

Would I wonder if I should have bought a Nott or Gyro...? No. Think further up the food chain. People tend to compare the Teres against more formidable competition like the VPI TNT (Teres wins) or the SME 20 (you call it) up in the $10k price range and above. Only you get there for about 1/5th the price. This is true appeal of the Teres and it's what won me over.


7_8_2010