Is a Motor Upgrade Really Worth It?

Black Ultra DC Motor Kit Front View

Continuing our series on upgrading your vinyl front end, we look today at the all important drive mechanism.

You may have observed a noticeable improvement in performance using our platter mats and special belts. These however, almost fade into insignificance compared to an Origin Live DC motor kit upgrade.

One of our clients described this so well on his £800 Avid Ingenium just last week. “OK so the kit set me back around 25% of the cost of my TT, arm & cartridge combined – so it needs to do something pretty special to justify that outlay. I mean a motor is a motor right? It just makes things go round at the right speed? Wrong!!”

“Was it all worth it? In a word Absolutely!! This DC conversion does exactly what the manufacturer claims it will. I now feel that my turntable is punching way above its weight. Sound-staging is improved, as is the ability to hear deep into the mix and around the instruments. It’s like the sounds have a shape & substance instead of just being.. ermm… a sound. Compared to my old AC motor, vibration is imperceptible, which I think must reap huge sonic benefits. My sample is also dead silent. Surface noise seems reduced too, though why this should be I don’t know. My overriding impression is that the motor is just getting out of the way & allowing
the rest of the kit to perform unfettered. Some so called upgrades are really just a bit tweaky, you almost have to convince yourself that you’ve made an improvement instead of just a change. No question of that here. It is flat out better and it is obvious.”

Turntable: Avid Ingenium, with Origin Live Silver MkIII tonearm, Ortofon Quintet Black fed through a Graham Slee Elevator/Reflex phono stage.
Dave G – London

This experience is the latest of many similar comments that can be read in magazine reviews and client reports on our web site. Notably they include owners of budget Rega to higher end Linn decks.

The kit fits 99% of all belt driven decks and because it delivers real results we offer it on a money back guarantee basis. This means if you run into any problems or decide it’s not for you, just return it for a full refund within 3 weeks of purchase.

Your turntable almost certainly uses a similar motor to the Avid. This assumption is drawn from the fact that decks such as Linn (till around 2010), Rega, Thorens, Systemdek, Ariston, etc, used an almost identical Philips AC synchronous motor. This same motor and similar, are still used today by an enormous number of decks.

The problem with 95% of all ac motors (especially the ones used on budget decks) is that they micro-vibrate and thus seriously disrupt the extraordinarily sensitive motion of the cartridge stylus. There are those who ridicule this idea, never realising that all vibration in a record deck is amplified an unimaginable 8000 times.

Some manufacturers reduce the effect of vibration by adding special power supplies to smooth the motor. These are effective to a limited extent but never overcome the real problem which is the motor itself. It’s not uncommon to find a £2000 supply feeding an £80 motor.

We have specialised in motors and power supplies for the best part of 20 years and developed a fabulously high performance solution which competes with supplies costing over £2500. Knowing that most owners of budget decks cannot countenance such an outlay has meant offering this at a mere £345 – a figure which avoids breaking the bank.

In addition to a low vibration dc motor and ultra precise voltage regulation, there are matters of pulley design and decoupling of the motor itself. The pulley we offer is precision bored (not reamed) to avoid the slightest oscillation. It’s also made from a carefully researched plastic that offers superior grip to metal and other plastics. The profile and dimensions are optimised to provide superb torque and minimum belt flutter.

The motor itself is mounted using a special decoupling material and rubber o-rings under the bolt heads. This kit is one of those items where great design trumps expenditure by a massive margin.

Dealers tell us that it’s laughable how this relatively small and innocuous kit outperforms massive motors with huge class A amplifiers driving them.

In our pursuit of ultimate turntable performance we have experimented with top brand Swiss DC motors utilising precision digital encoders at over £1000
for the encoder alone. These and other solutions have all fallen short of the performance we achieve on the Advanced dc motor kit. Yes it is that good!

Whether your deck is a Rega 3 or a Linn, Roksan, Oracle, VPI, Transrota, Avid, Sota etc you will experience a highly significant upgrade using this kit or your money back.

Many people ask us whether the kit will fit their particular deck? There are literally hundreds of turntable models on the market and owners have provided us with fitting guidance to cover a number of decks.

Lastly for owners of older DC motor kit it is worth mentioning that the regulator switch box underwent a significant improvement in circuit and components in December 2013 – You can upgrade older PCBs to latest specification.