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Troporobo's  SP10

"I've been working toward this project for years, and it is now nearing completion. It's not spinning yet but will be very soon. But when I got the table and plinth back today, I could not resist posting.

This project started when I got an Eminent Technology ET-2 tonearm. I had been looking for a while, intending to build something for it but not yet knowing what. Thanks to a friend in Hong Kong, I managed to get the arm, and shipped it to Bruce at ET in Florida for a tune-up. That took a while . . .

Then I started looking for a table. I had in mind a direct drive and have long admired the massive Japanese battleships of the 70s and 80s. The more exotic of this breed are not so easy to find here in the Philippines. The obvious choice was an SP10. Not having any luck at first, I haunted eBay, knowing that I would eventually find a way to get a heavy TT from the US. Again, a long period of searching, and not finding a Mk. II at anything like a reasonable price, but I ended finding a screaming deal on an original "Mk. Zero" (and convinced a very kind relative to hand carry it on a visit!). But it needed some work . . .

hint: click on thumbnail to view image full size

So a restoration began, starting with complete disassembly and sandblasting. I had once seen a black SP10 that looked really cool, and a design idea began shaping up. I tried having the table anodized but that was a disaster due to the sintered aluminum construction. Back to the sandblaster. Eventually I had it powder coated with a matte finish that looked very stealthy. And I kept collecting parts that I knew I would need, including Herbie's threaded footers for leveling and of course a new cartridge.

Meanwhile, I spent some time researching various plinth designs. I decided it would have to be massive, and I liked the idea of constrained layers. Then i saw mikel's SP10 Mk II and knew that was on the right track. What I wanted done I could not do myself, so I started looking for help. But a few failed attempts with a local machine shop and several stonemasons who couldn't make the idea work in slate eventually led me to consult a local guru (and AA inmate who may choose to reveal himself, or not!) who does amazing things with wood. After a few consultations and visits, usually including a cold refreshment and a bit of listening to his own projects, naturally improvements of my initial ideas evolved. And today, this is what followed me home:

Trop_sp10_2.jpg (190394 bytes)  Trop_sp10_3.jpg (205194 bytes) Trop_sp10_4.jpg (211521 bytes)

Trop_sp10_5.jpg (244733 bytes)

Trop_sp10_6.jpg (197492 bytes) Trop_sp10_7.jpg (227710 bytes) trop_sp10_1.jpg (189138 bytes)


The plinth is made up of alternating layers of very dense plywood and 6 mm aluminum plates. The interior construction is ingenious in the way the layers and TT and arm mount are all bolted together invisibly, but I neglected to document that aspect. I haven't been able to weigh it but I am guessing its somewhere around 40 kg all up. As you might guess from the photos, I was stunned with the craftsmanship on the plinth. This wouldn't have been done without help.

Now all that's left to do is wire up the arm, mount the Ortofon 2M Black that I've been keeping in reserve, hook up the air pump, and see / hear what happens. I can hardly wait. Stand by for future installments!

Robert (Troporobo)"