Trans Fi Salvation direct rim drive turntable

Hi A'goners, I've just bought this turntable, confident it'll be my last upgrade. The rest of my system is a Tom Evans Groove Plus SRX phono stage, EMM Labs CDSA SE cd player, Hovland HP200 pre/Radia power amps, Zu Definitions Mk 4 loudspeakers, so a pretty good way to listen to vinyl.

Over the years, since 1995 I've progressed from a Roksan Xerxes/Artemiz/Shiraz, via a Michell Orbe/SME V/Transfiguration Orpheus, finally ending up last week with my new Trans Fi Salvation/Trans Fi T3Pro Terminator/Zu modded Denon 103.

This turntable (£2500 UK price, approx $4000-$5000 US) is the brainchild of Vic, a retired dentist, who, fed up with the shortcomings of belt drive and traditionally-pivoted tone arms, literally from the ground up devised first the Terminator air bearing linear tracking tone arm (now in T3Pro guise as on my system), and now the direct rim drive Salvation turntable, a technology in direct opposition to the hegemony of belt drive we've come to accept from the '70s.

In summary, he has developed a motor that directly rim drives an oversize platter. The magic is that vibrations are drained away from the platter and hence stylus. So minimal rumble is transmitted, the weakness of Garrards/Lencos in the past. This is mated to a substantial slate plinth which does a great job of isolating the whole rig from external vibrations.

Where this differs from direct drive is that the torque applied is high enough to counteract stylus drag, but it is strictly analogue controlled ie no digital feedback applying constant micro speed control. Speed is set correctly, torque is sufficient, and speed stability is like a rock.

This is combined with his air bearing linear tracking arm, discussed on other threads.

So technical description over, how about how it sounds? Well, years ago I always assumed the overhang in bass when playing lps on my previous belt drive/pivoted arm tts, apparent as a benign artifact, was all part of the 'romance' of vinyl, esp. when compared to the dry, clinical sound of early cd. But in 2007 I acquired the EMM cd, which had a natural analogue sound playing silver discs, but none of this bass colouration. On studying the growing reemergence of idler/direct drive, and their superiority in maintaining speed stability, I agreed that the belt speed instability might be introducing this.

Two years ago I came across Vic, and now I can report that eliminating the belt for high torque rim drive has taken this whole artifact out of the equation. Whole layers of previously masked information like rhythm guitars are now present, treble information has abundant naturalness and decay, and bass, which appears to be less in quantity compared to belt, is actually more accurate with a real start-stop quality, much more like digital, and the real thing. The other positives are more linked to the arm, including uncanny tracking across the whole record side; I'm really not exaggerating in saying that the last few grooves at the end of an lp side are as solidly reproduced as the first. Music with strong dynamic contrasts are really served well by the Salvation, and I am shocked at how good this all is after trepidation that the sound might be hyperdetailed but too assertive etc. In fact music is reproduced with a relaxed incision, and a welcoming detailed transparency.

The amazing thing is that all of this is not in anyway at the expense of the natural warmth and tonal dimensionality that still puts vinyl way ahead of any digital (imho).

The only thing, and Vic would like this to be known, is that his creation is a cottage industry, and he can only produce limited numbers to order.

I'm happy to answer qs on it, as I really want our community to know about a possible world beating product at real world prices. My tech knowledge will be limited, but no problem discussing sound quality issues.

I'm not affiliated in anyway to the product, just sold my Orbe on ebay and bought this. Regards to all
Interesting I have had both an L07 KENWOOD and also the other very famous table the ONKYO PX100M.

I sold the ONKYO for 20K but it was not worth the money for pure sound but it is a collector table and I restored it and machined a brand new platter.

The LO7 cannot touch the ONKYO PXM 100 (copper platter/gunmetal)and the ONKYO is good (they go for $20K)

(Information link on ONKYO)

They are good but not nearly as good as current rim drive :-)))

Speed is great....but sorry to burst your bubble but they are great but not compared to a current rim drive table around 5-8 K.
Food for thought....
Digital file creation of the TT is fairly common these days. Why not publish a digital file of a particular track (partial track to avoid violation of copyright)? Select some piece of classical music and publish it.

So many people have analog-to-digital and DACs they could judge for themselves. Aside from tonal characteristics of cartridges and tonearms, the overall turntable performance should be evidently clear.

Plus, it would provide even more to discuss and argue...more entertainment.
I have no direct experience with TT Weights tt's, and therefore no opinion on the matter, but there are 2 or 3 owners who have complained repeatedly on this forum about speed instability problems. We are not seeing such reports from owners of the Salvation, or from owners of L07Ds for that matter.

Onkyo PXM100 is a pretty neat turntable, but $20,000 seems an unlikely price to have to pay for one, when SP10 Mk3's in fully restored condition go for about $12K to $15K. Not that the cost matters.
I'm curious if ttweights had experience with any tonearm on L-07D other than the stock Kenwood TA-07J unipivot. IME the Trans-Fi Terminator sounds superb on the L-07D, and may be a spoiler in comparing the L-07D to the rim-drive tables.