Trans-Fi Audio

Home of the Terminator Tonearm

 

SALVATION  ASSEMBLY & OPERATION INSTRUCTIONS

 

Note: Photos in manual may differ from production model.

Since Salvation was released, several significant updates have been introduced. Links to these updates will be incorporated in the manual. It is suggested you read through the whole manual first before assembly.

Rest plinth upside down on a suitably protected surface. The parts we will need for this section are shown in the photo,

Brass feet, O-rings, Turntable bearing & bolt.

Stretch O-rings over aluminium collets & roll O-rings into grooves.....3/leg.

Repeat for all 3 legs:

 

Salvation has now been updated to suspension legs altho the pics above have not

The legs are also supplied with the bases fitted to simplify, so you only need to screw into the plinth.

 


NEW MAGNETIC SUSPENSION UPDATE SEPT. 2014

See Here (scroll past Magnetic Platter & Testimonials): http://www.trans-fi.com/salvationupdates.htm

 

Next, lay plinth onto its front so it stands upright:

 

NOTE: FOR MAGNETIC BEARING ASSEMBLY INSTRUCTIONS HERE:

http://www.trans-fi.com/salvationupdates.htm

 

NON MAGNETIC ASSEMBLY INSTRUCTIONS

We need to insert the bearing spindle onto the plinth using the bolt

Follow this sequence. The bolt is inserted through the large washer from beneath the plinth so the thread protrudes from the collet on the top.

The thread is screwed into the bearing spindle & tightened with the 6mm allan key provided.

Stand plinth on brass feet. Ensure the surface you are resting on is adequately protected!


 You need to add the oil provided at this stage. Run a ring of oil around the top of the spindle & another to the entrance of the sleeve. A couple of drops too to the ceramic bearing. Handle bearing sleeve removal & replacement gently without forcing!

Routinely, a drop of oil/month applied through the hole in the top of the bearing spindle will suffice.

Note1: While the bearing is settling keep an on the eye air/oil vent at the top of the spindle for excess oil. Wipe clear with soft cloth.  Also note when replaceing the bearing sleeve there is a thrustplate that sits internally. If this is dislodged, ensure it is replaced with the oil groove section uppermost.

Note 2: Aluminium versions of Salvation are more likely to have the sleeve of the bearing already inserted in the platter depending on tolerances. There will be some packing tissue inserted in the bearing. Ensure this is removed before fitting to shank.

The slate plinth will be supplied in its natural state. If you wish to oil/finish the plinth it would be a good idea to do it at this stage.

 

 Carefully unpack the platter. This weighs 9kg! With the wide face down, position it over the bearing sleeve & gently slide into place. Ensure platter spins smoothly, quietly & evenly.

You are ready now to position Salvation in its appropriate resting place. Do this by resting the feet on the disc pads provided. These will protect the surface from scratches & raise the plinth to the correct operational height.

Remove the motor & base from its packing. Position the heavy base on the Left side of the platter with the apex of the triangle pointing towards the center. The base has a Sorbothane pad it rest on. Leave the protective plastic covering sheet on for now. Pair up the motor pod with the base on the brass locating pins.

UPDATE: Sorbothane pad has been replaced with Neoprene which is non-sticky


Adjusting the Turntable height & level

I am assuming we all know how to use a spirit level! For your convenience I have included a bullseye bubble level.

This is probably the most critical part of assembly & needs to be done in a certain sequence or else you will be repeating the procedure several times to get it right. Also, this is important to achieve the lowest friction & best performance of the magnetic bearing.

We must start off with the platform Salvation sits on. This must be perfectly level. You may not think this is an issue because the plinth itself has plenty of adjustment. However, the motor does not. If the plinth & motor are not in the same plane, it will throw the traction belt.

Next, what we are trying to achieve is a plinth level in all planes  aiming for a height of not less than 6.5cm, or 2.5? from the base of the plinth to the platform its sitting on. This is to ensure the motor pod top clears the platter bottom in its retracted position.

Roughly adjust the height using a ruler by screwing the feet in or out, clockwise or anti clockwise until you have achieved the correct height. Measure this on all 3 sides of the plinth. Next fine tune using the bubble level  on the platter. Best place to position is in the center over the spindle. You need to improvise here & use something flat with a hole in the middle to allow for the spindle. A record clamp with a flat top would be ideal, or a roll of tape. Take care not to lose the height with respect to the motor pod. Bear in mind you want the MINIMAL height necessary or else the drive wheel will struggle to reach the traction belt.

This should complete the level setting adjustment. If the Salvation shows signs of throwing the belt, something is not right with the level & you will need to re-check the above procedure.


Positioning the motor

 

 

 Using the lever, check the motor pod pivots up & down. Slide the base toward the platter so the pulley rests against the rubber traction belt. The bottom plate on the motor pod should be parallel with the base. If it's not, slide the base either toward the center of the platter or away. Only need a very fine movement.

Note1: The motor can be positioned anywhere along the exposed circumference on the left side of the platter....wherever it suits you.

Note2: The motor height should be correct as I adjust them before sending out. However, if something has shifted in transit, the Drive Wheel can be adjusted for height so it is centered on the traction belt in several ways:

  • Adjusting motor height within its pod. Loosen the grub screw with 1.5mm allen key & raise/lower the motor as required, then tighten the grub screw. You may need to loosen the motor plate at the base of the pod to allow some slack in the wires connecting to the motor.
  • Adjusting the height of  the plinth by screwing the feet in or out.
  • Re-positioning the drive wheel on its shaft by pulling up or pushing down.

Note3: The lever position when the pulley is resting against the platter should be facing you so the cam bolt inside is touching the motor pod base. You will notice the lever is weighted, & this arrangement acts as a vibration sink, preventing any motor vibes from reaching the platter. If lever is facing away from you, this effect will be lost & vibes will get through to the platter.

The system is finely balanced so any changes you make between records can affect speed. Make sure the motor pod remains the same distance from the platter & the lean angle has not altered. Also important is to make sure the lever is always facing toward you & is set down very gently so that the cam screw just lightly contacts the base of the motor pod under its own weight. Setting down too forcibly  may cause the lever to migrate downwards gradually lifting the motor contact off the traction belt causing the speed to vary. In practice you can leave the motor engaged even when the platter is not spinning.

Note4: If operation of the cam against the base of the motor feels rough, rub some candle wax or crayon on the base where the cam rests in contact with the bottom of the motor plate.

If your motor cam position does not correspond to the pictures it is possible the lifting cam may have shifted position in transit. The dome-head screw should be perfectly upright when the brass cam lever weight is fully down:

Loosen cam bolt (arrow) with alan key & rotate match to the above position.

 


 



 

You are now ready to connect the motor up to its control box.This is held in place under the plinth by magnets so is easily removed & replaced. Sockets for the motor & power supply are on the back of the control box & are self explanatory. Once plugged in, the control box can be repositioned under the plinth on its magnetic discs.

The toggle switch has 2 positions, on & off, to allow drive wheel changes. (Note: The toggle has now been replaced with a push button on/off.) The motor will take a few seconds to stop rotating when you switch off as the capacitor discharges.

 



 Raise the lever to engage the motor as explained earlier. Use the control knob to finely set the speed referring to the strobe disc supplied.

 


 

A note on speed selection

 

Voltage control selection was discarded in favour of drive wheel replacement. Compared to other turntables, this may be considered an inconvenience. Without getting into too much detail, the rotational motor speed finally selected for Salvation gave the best combination of torque, low noise & ultimate sound. Altering this for other speed settings compromised these parameters. In effect, I think most enthusiasts spend the vast majority of time on 33, so the inconvenience is relatively minor.

 

To play a 45 or 78 speed record, simply select the appropriate drive wheel & replace on the motor spindle.....a simple pull off/push on manouver. The motor pod will need to be repositioned to accommodate the differing diameter

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

Important Operational Tips

 

Ensure the traction belt is intact & has not slipped out of its recess. It should be snug against the top edge of the recess with no gaps, & not overlapping it. It should be even around its entire circumference.

If you find the belt tends to move while in operation this means the platform the turntable is sitting on is not level, or the platter is not level.

 

Ensure no oil has contaminated the belt during assembly. Clean the belt with alcohol.



 

The system is finely balanced so any changes you make between records can affect speed. Make sure the motor pod remains the same distance from the platter & the lean angle has not altered. Also important is to make sure the lever for motor is always toward you & is set down gently so as not to lift the drive wheel away from the platter.


IMPORTANT: Engaging the motor requires the lever to be pushed all the way to the opposite side, then back again toward you so the cam settles gently against the base of the motor. Allow the lever to return under its own weight but guide it until it comes to rest. It is critical that the cam screw is just lightly resting on the motor plate & has not forced the motor way from contact with the platter as this will give inconsistent speed results. Setting down too rough may lift the motor contact off the traction belt even though the platter may still be spinning.  


Once the system is run in & reaches operation temperature (approx 20 mins)  the speed should have less than 0.3% drift assuming the room temperature remains constant & there is minimal variation in mains supply.


 

Note1: The 9kg platter has immense inertia & will take a few seconds to respond to the control knob. Only very slight tweaks are needed when adjusting speed & take care you do not over-compensate as it could take up to 30 secs for the platter to settle to new adjustment.

Note2: You will find speed drift may require frequent minor adjustments until the bearing, motor & electronics are burned in. 

 

Typically, starting from cold the system will run slightly fast. As operating temperature is reached (approx 10 mins, less as runs in) it will slow. A suggested method of operation is to let the system warm up then set the speed. Play several records & fine tune until the speed remains constant.....then leave the control alone.

When you switch the system off, the motor does not need to be disengaged from the traction belt. The next time you start the system from cold, it will run fast. If you try to adjust the speed at this stage it will slow as the system warms, so best to let it run fast until it settles to the correct speed.


 


IMPORTANT

The whole system of speed control is finely tuned, & any variation in consistency may require adjustment, from VTF of the cartridge to the weight of record clamp used. Sophisticated motor speed control methods have been ditched in the case of Salvation as these all proved detrimental to the sound using this direct rim drive method. In practice, speed drift on Salvation is not an issue providing you are not varying the way you play your records from record to record or are a stickler for speed accuracy! Please consider this before ordering.


Fit Terminator as per its own instructions in the manual. Use the rearmost hole in the plinth & rearmost slot on the mounting bracket. Ensure the mounting column does not drift towards the platter so as to foul it when tightening the bolt. Follow Terminator instructions for alignment.

You just need to sit back now & enjoy!

 

A word on motor vibration

 

 I could write a book on this, but will keep it brief!

First off, the pulley engaging the platter makes a slight ringing noise. This is normal & unavoidable, but does not transmit through to the platter or record in anyway. I am more concerned with vibration from the motor getting to the platter. I have outlined the techniques used to avoid this.

 The base of the motor has a 5mm thick rubber layer. This was found to be the best material in  blocking any motor vibes from getting through to the platform the turntable rests on, & back through to the plinth.



Note: Peeling off the backing will leave the sticky surface in contact with your platform which may make positioning difficult. I found a dusting with talcum powder will sort this.

Note: lastest versions of Salvation now use a neoprene base which is non-sticky!

What I am going to mention next is very important if you didnt already know . Effectively, the base the turntable sits on becomes a part of the turntable.

Ok.....we have to draw the line somewhere because I cant provide Salvation with its own stand & platform....you need to sort this at your end. And every situation is different, depending on the contruction of your house.

In my case, I have one of the worst possible scenarios.....wooden floors & speakers sitting right next to my turntable:

I had to mount on a wall shelf as I was suffering from footfall & the level of my turntable would alter when I walked near the deck. Something you really dont want with an air arm!

The walls are brick, but with drywall plasterboard interior construction, which means to get a firm mounting direct on brick I had to hack the plasterboard away. I could not find suitable shelf brackets, so modified some microwave ones adding a metal side support.

Once I had my shelf up, I had succeeded in banishing the footfall & level problems, but when I turned the volume up, I got howling feedback! Grrr..........!!!

Now, this problem had been ongoing. Never had this trouble with my Gyrodec.....nice soft suspension to soak up the nasties! Problem with the soft suspensions is they also leave alot of bass detail behind. You figure the deck is always bobbing up & down (at a microscopic level) which is where the bass information is in the groove. You definately need to eliminate the suspension to extract this information, and I would go so far as to also look at the main platter bearing contruction. I found the elasticity of the nylon thrustpad affected bass retrieval which is why I eventually settled on Lignum Vitae!

Anyway, I was then on a quest to sort the feedback. I tried spikes, different density foams, styrofoam, ball bearings,  wood (soft, hard, MDF,thick, thin) & none of them worked. The way to test feedback, by the way, is to rest your stylus on a stationary record & turn up the volume. You can also test how good your platform is at isolation by tapping the surroundings in the area.

Finally.....I tried squash balls! Success.

So, I have a shelf made of 40mm solid wood kitchen worktop screwed directly to the brackets. On top of this I have a slab of slate which is resting of 4 squash balls in egg cups. You cant see all this because I built a plinth around it.

This is effective at stopping feedback.

Now, I have also found the material the platform is made of affects motor noise intrusion. Before slate, I was using solid wood. I found this resonated & vibrations from the motor tended to find its way back up through the plinth. Experimentations with different materials showed slate worked best in my environment, so thats what I am using now.

At the begining I said this problem was ongoing. I recently changed the squash balls for cooling bags.........those gel filled plastic bags you put in the freezer for taking on picnics. They are as effecive as the squash balls, but without the bounce! Also, the balls tend to flatten with time & become less effective. Sand may also be effective in this regard, but is not something I would want to risk in my environment!

Note: Gone back to using balls now, albeit Sorbothane ones which dont deflate like squashballs over time. I am using 10 balls now though!

I include this information here because the ultimate performance extracted from Salvation depends on the platform it sits on. This fact, however, will apply to any turntable.

If any of you out there have found anymore interesting solutions to this problem, please let me know!

Dimensions

 

Care for your slate plinth

Minor scratches & markings are easily removed with some 600 grit wet or dry sandpaper. Use white spirit or turpentine as lubrication. A sheen finish can be obtained using a soft cloth soaked in linseed oil.

There may other proprietary market products for use in stone slate that could be tried.