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