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The Galibier Museum

Here at Galibier, we plan every change with one eye on the future and another one on the past. From our early days in 2001, through the present day models, you’ll find a continuity of thought, which has served to validate our initial design and architectural choices as well as to guide our development.

Modular construction means that most, if not all upgrades are available to owners of every turntable we have produced.

Since some of the major upgrades through the years were a series of improvements to the drive system (which can be retrofit to every turntable we’ve built), we compiled this timeline of our drive systems through the years.

Of course, our thinking has evolved. As you view the functional look of our early models, and compare them with our present day turntables, consider their common DNA in the same way you might compare a 1956 Porsche against a present day model.

We hope you’ll enjoy this trip through the past …

Galibier Design - Gavia 1.5
Gavia 1.5 Conversion

Gavia-1.5 Conversion (2014)
This photo shows a conversion of a Gavia-I to bring it to Mark-II performance standards.

  • The arm mount is converted from pivoting to sliding architecture, with micro, fine-adjust pivot spindle feature. This is a key sonic and structural improvement.
  • A new Gavia-II drive system is installed. This is the second major improvement in the Mark-II design.
  • This Gavia has been painted in platinum gray metallic, which is the new, standard color for the Stelvio-II.
  • The graphite TPI © top has been replaced with carbon fiber.
  • The front pillar has been added for both cueing convenience and to protect the area under the headshell.
Galibier Design - Gavia 1.5
Gavia 1.5 Conversion Cavity

Gavia-1.5 Conversion (2014) – optional tonearm cavity:

This photo shows the conversion cavity which is post-machined into the base to accommodate tonearms with an arm stub or whose arm cable exits from the bottom. This is optional and is not required with tonearms like the Tri-Planar, Durand, and Schroeder Reference.

Galibier Design - Gavia Mk-I
Gavia Mk-I with TPI Platter

Gavia-I (2005-2010):

This later Gavia Mk I shows the TPI © platter interface made of graphite, which was introduced at the Rocky Mountain Audiofest in October of 2005.

In the Mark-II turntables, the graphite was been replaced by carbon fiber.

The record clamp is a Hagerman Technology UFO.

The Stelvio-I was cosmetically identical to the Gavia-I, although internally, it differed significantly. The two models paralleled each other in the same way the Gavia-II and Stelvio-II are related, with the Stelvio having a more massive platter and a complex matrix of damping chambers in its base.

Galibier Design - Serac
Serac with 1.5 Armboard Conversion

Serac (2008-2010)

A thought experiment that proved to be technically successful, but did not fare well in the marketplace.  We dedicated manufacturing dollars to performance, at the expense of cosmetics.  The Serac played in a league with $10,000 turntables, but could not compete with turntables in its price range because of cosmetics.  A valuable lesson learned.

Galibier Design - Gavia Mk-I
Gavia Mk-I: Single Tonearm Mount

Gavia-I (2003-2005):

The introduction of the Gavia-I (initially, having kept the name of its predecessor – the Quattro ) marked the first base to be machined from a solid billet of aluminum.

Galibier Design - Gavia Mk-I
Gavia Mk-I – Dual Tonearm Mount

These earlier Gavias (and Stelvios) employed a composite platter architecture which was introduced in their predecessor (the Quattro) and is still in use today.  In 2005, the TPI © platter (top plate) was introduced and the clamping screws disappeared under the 1/4″ thick top plate/mat.  These TPI © top plates were initially made of graphite, and later on of carbon fiber.

Galibier Design - Quattro SE
Quattro SE – Dual Tonearm Mount

Quattro Signature and the Quattro SE (2001-2004)

These Quattros were functionally identical, having only cosmetic differences distinguishing between them.  The Signature model had a veneer finish on its MDF sub base, whereas the SE model was painted black.

Base damping technology was introduced with these models, as the MDF portion of their bases had cavities which were loaded with lead shot.

The base of both models featured a 1″ thick aircraft aluminum top layer,and both turntables could be fit with two tonearms.

Galibier Design - Quattro Signature
Quattro Signature – Single Mount

The damped, composite platter was introduced with these models and the design ultimately became the TPI © platter in 2005, when the carbon top plate was introduced.  This damping technology developed in 2001 has proven its worth, and is still in use today.

Galibier Design - Quattro Turntable
Quattro – s/n 001

The original Quattro

This is the very first turntable we manufactured.  It made its debut at the VSAC show in 2001 (the top half was anodized blue at the time) and is still in use today.  It’s owner has upgraded to the current motor drive system and the Mk 1.5 armboard – proving that even the very first Galibier turntable can be brought to current performance standards.

The Anvil

Galibier Design - Anvil Record Weight
(click to enlarge)

Lastly, we have a close-up of the Anvil record weight – all 6.25 pounds of it.

You can view its scaled size in some of the photos above.  The first few were made of brass, before we shifted to stainless.

These worked quite well, in taming a hint of upper frequency brightness in our Teflon topped platters.

Once we moved on to “carbon based” top plates (first, graphite, and then carbon fiber), the Anvil found its way into the museum.

Our biceps were initially a bit weaker due to its relegation to the museum, but record playing became simpler.  We like the latter, and substituted dumbbell workouts to address the former.