Simon from Audio T in the UK writes about his experience with the Royale 400 in this blog post.
The Well Tempered Royale 400
Well Tempered Lab has tried to achieve perfection in phonograph record playback knowing full well that perfection is not possible. Many obstacles stand in the way of perfection: tracking angle, damping to eliminate sideband distortion, motor control, rotational stability, vibration suppression, mechanical isolation, skating forces, to name some of the obstacles.
Some time ago Well Tempered Lab invented a Tracking Angle Analyzer to examine the issue of tracking angle and tracking angle distortion. The objective was to analyze tracking angle problems from a graphical perspective rather than from a mathematical perspective dealing with pages of equations. Now the Tracking Angle Analyzer has been used to see if a longer arm could eliminate or minimize skating forces on the cartridge stylus. This approach has proved successful and has led to the conception of The Well Tempered Royale 400 with an arm length of 16 inches or about 400mm.
Using the Tracking Angle Analyzer to determine the geometric parameters reveals the following: with an overhang of 0.25 inches and a tracking angle of 11 degrees, there will be 1.5 degrees maximum tracking angle error at the outer most grooves and approximately 1 degree of tracking angle error over the rest of the record surface. This geometry, with a small overhang, satisfies the objective of the Royale 400. Overhang of course causes skating forces and with an over hang of only 0.25 inches, there is barely any skating force and the residual skating force is eliminated by the twist of the filament suspension system. Measurements of the residual skating force indicate that it is less than 0.1 gram and is thus inconsequential. William Firebaugh
The Royale 400:
Make no mistake this is a significant piece of kit (Of necessity). The plinth is 636mm wide x 556 deep. It is 92mm thick excluding platter, tonearm and isolation feet. It weighs in at a healthy 46kg. The Royale 400 is probably not going to sit well on the average Hi-Fi shelf. To this end, we have designed a custom rack on which the Royale 400 can reside, therefore facilitate easier installation and complete the whole package.
The Royale 400 and its dedicated rack encapsulate all of the componentry that we have learnt through our experience, makes sense and really works…well, in the analog domain!
- Multi-layer “baltic” plywood central layer.
- Anodized aluminium top and bottom layers.
- Proprietary rubber damping material between layers, motor and tonearm coupling.
- Isolation feet capable of supporting the heavy plinth.
- Electronic servo speed controlled motor.
- Refined platter assembly and zero clearance main bearing.
- The now purely mechanical LTD tonearm with 16” (400mm) arm tube.
- Symmetrex tone arm configuration with golf ball suspended in silicone fluid for optimum variable damping
- “Zero Clearance” platter bearing
- 0.004” polyester thread belt
- Easy azimuth adjustment
UK Well Tempered Lab stockist Audio-T have written a very insightful article on the Versalex turntable
The Well Tempered Lab Versalex Turntable and LTD Tonearm are now shipping world-wide. We are very proud of this model more especially for the rather elegant LTD Tonearm which we believe takes William Firebaugh’s original design to new heights of functionality and performance.
The LTD Tonearm will be available as a separate item and enables countless vinyl lovers to experience the Well Tempered Lab philosophies and give their cartridge “the ride of its life”. The Well Tempered Lab Versalex ships only pre drilled for the LTD tonearm. We do not envisage making the Versalex for any other tonearm.
– A multilayer “Baltic” plywood plinth with Walnut veneered top surface (Baltic plywood has natural resonances that also results in a very natural “EQ”. It is therefore very suitable for our purposes, however it is a product of nature and minor transgressions in grain are to be expected).
– Pre-drilled with inserts to facilitate easy mounting of LTD Tonearm.
– Variable Damping.
– Separate Phono Inputs (RCA).
– Hydraulic Cueing device.
We are pleased to introduce the new power supply for Well Tempered turntables. The DPS (Dedicated Power Supply) features high quality components throughout to completely eradicate spurious noise for truly silent analog playback.
Along with the dedicated output for Well Tempered turntables (Amadeus & Simplex variants) the DPS also features a pair of additional 12v outputs for running other audiophile components such as phono stages.
The DPS is shipping now – please contact your local distributor for pricing and availability.
Disclaimer: Here at the Genuine Well Tempered Lab, we receive a continuous stream of complaints regarding Stanalog Audio Inc and the welltemperedlab.com website. We do not endorse this organisation and advise a “buyer beware” approach to Stanalog Audio Inc.