Join 3,368 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


The Altmann DIY Turntable
April 24, 2009 5:20 AM   Subscribe

The Altmann Do-It-Yourself Turntable:

"After the success I had with my homebrew tonearm, I decided to build a turntable that is able to fathom the sonic delicacies that the tonearm is able to produce ... Depending on your local price for wood, and your ability to find some surplus parts, total cost can be as low as $50."
posted by jim in austin (28 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite

 
Holy shit that's beautiful.
posted by mediareport at 5:34 AM on April 24, 2009


Wow. Really nice, and I bet it sounds great.
posted by jquinby at 5:49 AM on April 24, 2009


You know, you might be a complete geek if your first thought about the tone arm is, "I bet a different species of wood would give him even better sound" and then start designing the experiment to figure out which species would be best.

Not that I bring this up for any reason in particular.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 6:17 AM on April 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


This is so unfathomably awesome.
posted by Dysk at 6:18 AM on April 24, 2009


What's good for a Shovelhead engine, can't be bad for a turntable

This somehow lacks the implied universality.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:22 AM on April 24, 2009


HOLY MOTHER OF BAELZEEBUB THIS IS TEH BOMB
posted by spicynuts at 6:25 AM on April 24, 2009


Gorgeous isn't it? The really amazing thing is the budget. A few years back his DAC was all the rage.
posted by caddis at 6:27 AM on April 24, 2009


Regardless of the source of your turntable, Gizmodo Australia helps you tune your turntable.

I'll hold my comments on the universality of this turntable, as I doubt the thread-driven drive would hold up to much travel or DJing.
posted by filthy light thief at 6:37 AM on April 24, 2009


Now all it needs is a Silver Rock Signature Knob.
posted by Joe Beese at 6:56 AM on April 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'll hold my comments on the universality of this turntable, as I doubt the thread-driven drive would hold up to much travel or DJing.

Doesn't matter to me, I don't DJ. I do, however, blast vinyl up in my apartment all night long. Don't need a travel turntable.
posted by spicynuts at 7:03 AM on April 24, 2009


this is best combination of wax and wood possible.

i might have a project which will keep me off mefi.
posted by the aloha at 7:14 AM on April 24, 2009


His design gets high marks for originality, but it looks very impractical and unlikely to work very in actual use. Any warpage of the wood due to humidity at the valve is going to translate to large movements out at the perimeter of the turntable. He makes no mention of having the pin the record sits on being concentric with the valve under the turntable. For this to happen with his method of screwing the valve to the underside of the plywood would be a miracle.
posted by digsrus at 7:28 AM on April 24, 2009


Any warpage of the wood due to humidity at the valve is going to translate to large movements out at the perimeter of the turntable.

That's the wonderful thing about plywood - the layers are ofset to one another to minimize the effect of humidity. This is why you can do frame and panel construction with plywood where you glue in the panels and have no problem, but if you try that with solid wood panels they will literally tear themselves apart.

Given that he had the disk cut with a CNC machine, I'm sure he has things alligned well enough, though you're right, he should really talk about this a bit. I think he's out of his mind on the "this project requires a CNC maching" thing, though. All you'd really need is a drill press and a lathe.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 8:07 AM on April 24, 2009


total cost can be as low as $50

Does that include the Monster Cables?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:29 AM on April 24, 2009


Freaking cool as hell. I would love to do this. I have a friend who is an artful, master machinist - I bet he'd help me out on this gig.
posted by PuppyCat at 8:56 AM on April 24, 2009


Monster Cables? No, his whole rig is DIY.

DIY cables
posted by caddis at 9:09 AM on April 24, 2009


The interesting aspect of driving a turntable with a stepper motor is that it would make electronically controlled turntablism possible.
posted by CynicalKnight at 9:11 AM on April 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's a strange website. The turntable page (from 2006) starts out nice and minimalist (using wood and motorcycle parts and all that) but by the end he's got you feeding digitally generated phase-offset sine wave streams into a stepper motor just to make the thing turn.

Most of the website is devoted to charging €750 for various tiny circuit boards mounted to big pieces of wood, where the chips have been painted with a magical lacquer that he used to sell separately, and the whole thing is powered off a car battery.
posted by w0mbat at 9:38 AM on April 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


Is there any reason (besides aesthetics) why wood is a better choice than, say, metal? It would be fairly trivial to build a platter and arm out of aluminum.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:13 AM on April 24, 2009


a magical lacquer that he used to sell separately...

Towards the end of that lacquer page, I was wondering if it was going to break into EARTH HAS 4 CORNER SIMULTANEOUS 4-DAY TIME CUBE IN ONLY 24 HOUR ROTATION or somesuch.
posted by jquinby at 11:04 AM on April 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


I bet it sounds better than that one Mr. Wizard made with a sewing needle and construction paper.
posted by box at 11:56 AM on April 24, 2009


CD--as I understand it, people who are into this kind of stuff (I'm kinda on the border) often believe that wood has better resonant properties than metal.
posted by box at 11:57 AM on April 24, 2009


At least his current tonearm design does not depend on the cartridge being affixed to the tone arm with cable ties, as did his original design. Not exactly the way to achieve a precise alignment of the stylus tip for optimum reproduction.
posted by hubbit at 12:05 PM on April 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Also, more to the point, plywood is cheaper than aluminum. And personally, I thought that using the CD player to control the rpm was the coolest part of the whole project!
posted by Squid Voltaire at 12:10 PM on April 24, 2009


A few years back his DAC was all the rage.

Good god, he has what looks like $50 worth of mouser/digikey parts on a PCB and its base price is 750 euro, ($993) It doesn't even come with an enclosure, holy mackerel I'm in the wrong game.

game:
Build audio gear that functions
tell people its the best ever
set high price
???
profit
posted by jester69 at 1:11 PM on April 24, 2009


Yeah, when I first saw the €750 price tag, I thought that there must have been some kind of weird German decimal error that I didn't understand. But apparently they actually cost €750, which is kind of scary. The tonearm and turntable look really nice, though, and reading the page gave me a good new source for cheap electronic components (AllElectronics Corp.).
posted by malthas at 3:30 PM on April 24, 2009


Good god, he has what looks like $50 worth of mouser/digikey parts on a PCB and its base price is 750 euro

Somewhere out there I found someone hawking a three stage timer for running Halloween props that used about $5 worth of stuff from digikey/mouser and they were asking $99. Makes this look like an absolute deal.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 8:47 PM on April 24, 2009


I wish he'd post some .mp3 files so we can hear how it sounds.
posted by surplus at 12:50 AM on April 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


« Older The entirety of David Attenborough's wonderful nat...  |  Andy Partridge (ex-XTC frontma... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments