EMT 927 & R80 "The Bearing and Platter" Size matters?

Was it the abundance of metal Germany that led William Franz KG  with “Electrical Measuring Technology” to design and build such an imposing machine? Maybe not! Or was he just seeking to mark history with an incredible achievement towards analog reproduction? The design was aimed and for  the high demands of broadcasting; one record, one machine heard by many thousands….no we are not in the “lets make you believe “thanks to marketing” that sound is reborn…(ie Linn LP12?)…we are into the serious pro guys who know what is best for them and their audience.

We will take step but step articles working into the R80 and 927. We feel that too much is said about the machine from the outside, the symbol and relative rarity being highlighted. We will attempt to add some factual insights into this machine hoping it will lead us to better understand the qualities that are so obvious to any ears.

So 1st of all the bearing & platter assembly:


The whole platter assembly rests on one ball that is sell centering. The bearing shaft is 16,6 cm long and has a diameter of 2 cm is hardened steel. The very sheen of the metal tells you this is no joke. Compare that to any “modern” turntable bearing will make you wonder…


What does all of this “over engineering” achieve? The 927 got an oil-filled sintered bearing. Sinter bearings have been available since the 1920s but these are very special ones. Bearing and shaft were carefully selected and matched,  an sinter bearing in oil bath which will exist for eternity. Platter and shaft are harder than the ball, which can be replaced easily.

A bearing that can run for days, weeks, months, years…with no variations. That was exactly what it was meant to do? More than that it provides a rock solid basis to ultra stable and silent rotation of the platter addressing the all mighty ‘Wow and Flutter’. And that is the aim of the game. We will look later at the motor & idler drive that ensure a big part of that also. Needless to say that a super solid support and platter will be of no use with an unstable drive!

But this all means nothing unless you have a good record to play!

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