• Item: Turntable  
  • Type: Nottingham Analogue Dais  
  • Posted: 16 April 2015  
  • Builder: Peter  
  • Country: United Kingdom  
  • Comments: 0  

Chassis mods

I purchased the NA Dais a few years ago and loved it. However, I was always concerned that the chassis might be the weak link. It's just a circle of MDF bolted to an aluminium crossmember supported on 3 foam pads.

I spent some time looking at pictures of the NA Annalog, which has a chassis made of sections of endgrain wood. I therefore thought it worth investigating using a butcher block chopping board for my chassis. My first mod was therefore to try a chopping board. There wasn't a huge difference. I then tried two with rigid coupling, and this was a bit better. Obviously the Dais in its natural form wasn't too bad after all!

I then started hearing about Panzerholz (tankwood) and its use by high-end manufacturers. It's very expensive, being made of plywood that's compressed to be 50% thinner. It's also very heavy and horrible to cut. I was fortunate to find a supplier online; they used it to make the "planks" for the bottoms of Formula 1 cars and had offcuts. I therefore ordered 3. They delivered them, left them standing up against the front door, and my wife could hardly move them to get into the house when she got home!

With the sharpest jigsaw blades I was able to cut the Panzerholz into the shapes you see in the pictures. The worst part was drilling the holes for the bearing; I used a drill saw and ended up burning my way through the wood rather than cutting!

I went through various iterations until I settled on the last picture. The chassis is separated from the plinth by 3 original Stillpoints so it's effectively rigidly coupled. The plinth sits on 3 Townshend seismic pods, and they're on a 60mm-thick slab of Lake District slate that I picked up for £25 as an offcut! That in turn is on 4 stone balls (otherwise known as beads :) ) and on a Quadraspire table. I made it so that at some point I can add a second arm to it, as I have a Rega RB300 still attached to a Garrard 301 (Martin Bastin plinth and mods) and a Decca Gold I'd like to use on it once I get another MM head amp.

The arm is a 12" Ace Space, and the cartridge a Benz SL. I use a 47lab Shigaraki head amp, Lavardin IT amp, with Martin Logan Ascents and REL Stadium.


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