COMPACT ARCHIVAL TURNTABLE (CAT).
We have been involved, for many years now, in supporting the work of sound archives all over the World. We consider this work hugely important by way of both preserving our recorded history and making it available to a wider public audience.
We have supplied some of the world’s largest sound archives with sophisticated, specifically designed transcription machines to enable the transfer of valuable, yet antique, recordings to modern storage formats, and continue to do so. However…
Recently, we have been approached by many smaller archives seeking a less comprehensive, yet equally professional archival transcription system, more appropriate to their specific needs and more modest budgets. Our response has been to develop the CAT (Compact Archival Turntable).
The CAT is based around the S10 turntable chassis (and S7 or Aeroarm arms), combined with a more versatile motion control system and the capacity to deal with larger format discs. A typical CAT system will enable discs of up to 500mm diameter to be transcribed at speeds of approximately 16-100 rpm in either direction.
The motor system: The CAT motor is larger and more powerful than the typical S10 (audiophile) version and driven by an analogue circuit via a 6-way selector switch, routed to individual preset potentiometers, to select and calibrate final platter speed. No visual ‘platter speed readout’ is provided – this should be accomplished by use of a tachometer – as relying on such displays is unsafe in critical applications.
The turntable: The CAT turntable retains the S10’s base, but is coupled with a larger diameter platter surface plate – typically 16”, though we can supply 12”, 18” or 20” versions upon request – and a 12” nominal length armboard. Dual armboards are also available for the simultaneous mounting of two tonearm bases, if required.
The tonearm: A typical CAT system will provide one 12” tonearm mounting with two detachable tonearm beams (the upper, floating part) and an option for as many further beams as may be required. We can also supply 9” versions of the same, if preferred.
The aeroarm may also be supplied for professional applications – its short and linear nature being particularly useful when transcribing large format discs revolving at high speeds – where g-forces may tend to ‘throw’ conventional a long tonearm from the groove under adverse conditions. However, the aeroarm’s increased cost and its need for meticulous alignment may preclude its use in more modest archives.
The S10 Stand provides a very thorough and solid support for a CAT system, but is an option only – as many archives already employ purpose built supports specific to their needs. The S10 stand is particularly helpful with the aeroarm, as it provides a ready mounting facility for the air supply regulation board. A larger version of the stand, providing 19” rack mounting facilities, is also available upon request.
If the CAT system, outlined above, does not suit your needs and you would like further advice, please contact us directly, listing your specific requirements, for a prompt response.
In the first instance, it would be helpful if you could answer the following questions:
1. What is the largest (physical) size disc you need to transcribe (i.e. 12", 14", 16", 18" or 20")?
2. What range of speeds do you require (i.e. 33, 45 & 78 fixed speeds with minor adjustments only, or a full-range high-precision motion control system)?
3. How many separate cartridges do you regularly employ (excluding plug-in styli)?
4. Approximately how large is your disc collection (i.e. number of discs in total)?
5. Do you have any discs requiring special or unusual transfer characteristics (i.e. counter-clockwise direction, constant linear velocity, etc.)?