Achates Idler Drive African Padauk Achates Idler Drive  African Padauk  by Artisan FidelityContinuing research and development over the course of past years in hopes to further enhance any hidden playback potential of the Achates idler drive platform has resulted in the debut of the worl...13895.00

Achates Idler Drive African Padauk by Artisan Fidelity [Expired]

no longer for sale

Continuing research and development over the course of past years in hopes to further enhance any hidden playback potential of the Achates idler drive platform has resulted in the debut of the worlds first modular inverted bearing and platter system based on the venerable Swiss Lenco idler drive geometry. Essentially, this inverted bearing system enables the Achates playback characteristics to achieve levels of fidelity previously thought unobtainable. Enhancements easily heard include: vastly lower background noise levels, improved left/right channel separation, increased resolution and improved speed stability. Additionally, this modular inverted design allows for interchangeable upper platter material selection, enabling the user to select a record material interface which suits their own individual tonal and to an extent, playback preferences. Modular upper material selections include: Pure Copper, 7075 T-6 Aluminum, Magnesium, Stainless Steel 316 series. *Please Note - This Classified ad is for display purposes only, individual model build/lead time varies due to their individually hand crafted nature. 110v/60Hz N. American and International 220v/50Hz Swiss motors in stock.  Please call 219.933.8115 or email for ordering information. 

The previously incorporated conventional balanced high grade Inox stainless steel platter has been replaced with an all new modular 6061 T6 aircraft aluminum lower primary platter resting under a direct coupled precision machined upper layer. The modular upper modular sections materials may be individually selected and subsequently interchanged based on the listeners/users preferences, as each material invariably bestows a slightly different playback characteristic. Micro bead blasted platter surface finish shown above on lower platter section.

User upgradeable - For existing Achates owners, this new inverted bearing system is a retro fit upgrade, meaning that it is fully compatible with your existing model. For more information, including trade in information, please contact us directly. Achates Inverted bearing idler drive shown above mated with (1) Reed 3P 12" length Ebony tonearm (9" & 12" compatible / arm not included).

Offering a balance of musicality, drive and resolution rarely achieved in analog front ends costing twice the price, the Achates idler drive is simply a world class analog front end by any standard. (*Please note: Reed 3P 12" Ebony tonearm and Stillpoints Ultra 5’s are not included in asking price. Miyajima Kansui cartridge shown also not included*). Finish as shown above: African Padauk (automotive paint finishes available.)

Some History...
Achates /əˈkātēz/ Latin :/ Meaning : The faithful companion. Designing and hand crafting world class plinths, fabricating measured high tolerance precision CNC machined components using lab grade Swiss materials represent only a fraction of the vital elements required to push the envelope playback of analog. The Achates idler drive is based upon the venerable Swiss made Lenco L75 motor platform and drive geometry. This is an evolved design, some 3+ years in the making. The Achates sole purpose is to provide a listening experience one would normally expect from analog front ends costing up to three to four times its price. The Achates inherent traits of refinement, superb dynamics, drive and deep defined bass are qualities which few can rival. We are proud to state the Achates idler drive has earned the honor of top status over all previous modification and design achievements to date. Our goal with the Achates was to build upon our existing knowledge and work performed with the Swiss Lenco and to simply take everything to the next level. Once again, a fundamental principal to our approach involves using only the finest materials available: German Panzerholz engineered multi layered wood, air or kiln dried select imported hardwoods, specially milled aircraft aluminum and stainless steel for substructure support, premium automotive paints and new premium quality replacement parts engineered to exceed OEM factory parts (where applicable). The previously incorporated conventional balanced high grade 7.4 kilogram Inox stainless steel platter for the Achates has been replaced with an all new inverted 6061 T6 aircraft aluminum lower primary platter resting under a direct coupled precision machined pure 99.99% Copper upper modular layer. The upper modular section materials may be individually selected and subsequently interchanged based on the listeners/users preferences, as each material invariably bestows a slightly different playback characteristic. In place of the stock Lenco factory stamped aluminum chassis lies an all new direct coupled 3mm top austenitic stainless steel main chassis plate with dedicated isolated motor mount, stainless steel linkage / speed selector and precision machined idler wheel with new rubber outer. This enables the Achates design to achieve a higher level of focus, clarity and resolution without sacrificing its inherent energy and musical characteristics. Another critical element for our latest inverted bearing design goal, was to completely start from scratch and introduce an all new large bore (full 0.625") stainless steel housed bearing using the finest materials available: new high tolerance custom made oil impregnated powder metal spindle bushings, laboratory grade precision synthetic Sapphire bearings with a nearly perfect sphericity tolerance of .00062 mm (less than a micron) and an advanced low friction thermoplastic PTFE thrust plate again, with extremely low center porosity. Prior to mirror polished spindle insertion, the user coats the surface with a synthetic base oil lubricant to ensure frictionless contact with the platter’s inverted bearing housing. By once again improving tolerances and increasing bore / spindle diameter, we were were able to achieve greater vertical and horizontal stability resulting in higher resolution and a blacker background within the inverted bearing design architecture.

The Achates also features our constrained layer dampened (4 layers of substrate), direct coupled high mass Panzerholz (or non-Panzerholz) plinth designed for use with (2) 9"-10" tonearms, (1) 9" + (1) 12" tonearms, or (2) 12" tonearms. The directly coupled high mass plinth is carefully constructed using layers of German Panzerholz plywood, North American Poplar and aircraft aluminum implemented together using constrained layer dampening. Prior to finishing, the entire plinth is seal coated using a high grade synthetic phenolic resin. By seal coating, we are able to prevent any unwanted shifting of inner structural layers with the added benefit of locking environmental moisture and humidity out, thus resulting in a stiffer internal structure with higher rigidity which adds additional strength. Prior to use, each donor Lenco L75 motor is disassembled down to its core parts, cleaned, lubricated, re-aligned and inspected prior to reassembly and testing to ensure the mechanical/electrical operating condition is flawless. Any parts not meeting strict requirements are disregarded. The factory Lenco idler wheels are disregarded and replaced with new CNC Artisan Fidelity modular idler wheels with precision rubber outer rims.  Addressing motor vibrations, again entails the incorporation of a drain cavity extending from the bottom of the motor running through the entirety of the plinth to minimize any possibility of unwanted mechanical vibrations. Fortunately the precision Lenco Swiss motor was built well enough that the level of inherent vibration is quite small, a testament to its engineering quality and high tolerances. During the final stages of construction and just prior to application of the Dupont automotive paint finish, the prepped and sanded plinth is carefully and thoroughly inspected to ensure the base layers are ready for a long lasting and smooth finish worthy of any showroom or home. Finally, after multiple spray painted coats, multiple acrylic clear coating layers are applied and allowed to cure for at least 48 hours prior to the final wet-sanding and buffing stages. The tonearm boards are made from solid German Panzerholz, Lignum Vitae, Brazilian Rosewood or Cocobolo hardwood. These exotic hardwoods were chosen for their specific density and acoustical characteristics. For additional vibration control, Stillpoints technology is utilized. After many hours of listening trials using various materials, we have chosen Stillpoints based strictly on their sonic merits.

As many are well aware, a Lenco L75 based design, if properly implemented and modified may indeed achieve reference status among the finest analog front ends. For us, accomplishing this feat was easier said than done of course, as with all similar worthy contenders at this level. It is here, however, where we can state with utmost confidence that this design offers the highest performance we have heard to date in the areas of dynamics and drive and is one that will easily satisfy the demands of any serious audiophile or music aficionado. Packages are available which include a tonearm or tonearm/cartridge combination setup prior to delivery. Or, if you have a preferred tonearm and cartridge you would like to use, we can mount them for you prior to delivery. Safe shipping is a high priority of ours and one we take seriously. We securely crate and pack our hand crafted turntables to ensure safe shipping anywhere in the world. ISPM-15 certified international shipping crates available for international orders. Our precision hand crafted plinths are warrantied for one full year from date of purchase for any structural defects.

Christopher Thornton
Artisan Fidelity

Seller Information


Last 12 months

Member since January 2003