On-site Setup and Mentoring
Please refer to our COVID statement for current updates on travel and customer interaction.
This is a two-day long, analog focused setup and mentoring session.
We embrace the “teach a person to fish” philosophy, and our time together will be action-packed with analog setup activities.
During the second half of a two day session, we will put you to work to solidify your learning.
Learn by doing.
If you're subscribed to our mailing list, you have access to a sample of the setup report we produce - one of the session's deliverables.
It's approximately 30 pages of detailed information - roughly split equally between general guidelines and actions taken, specific to your installation.
This document, in combination with the mentoring, prepares you to take on future setup activities.
Your turntable set up with up to two tonearms and cartridges.
A completed mentoring session (2-day sessions only).
The setup report referenced above (PDF format) which includes:
- Approximately 15 pages of general setup guidelines, tips, and tricks.
- A complete write-up of specific actions taken to set your turntable up.
- Photos of you stylus and cantilever taken with our USB microscope scope during SRA/VTA calibration.
- Graphical output of your azimuth setting.
- A wow & flutter report for your turntable. Note that with new Galibier turntables, a wow & flutter report is delivered after the QC process and prior to the turntable's delivery. In all other cases, we'll take a reading on site.
This is an action-packed two days, and we won't be held responsible for "equipment surprises" or other distractions which may compromise the above deliverables.
We’re not furniture movers and we won’t be moving speakers, although we may help with minor adjustments depending on individual circumstances (as time permits).
Please read the planning tab to get a full understanding and to prepare for the process. We can't overemphasize how busy these two days will be.
We’ll begin with phone/e-mail consultation and an exchange of photos of your listening room. We may make some general suggestions about your room layout and speaker positioning at this time.
Our target for these conversations is minimize the possibility of surprises, in order to make the best use of our time together.
If you’re interested in building a complete analog tool set, we’ll prepare a shopping list for you (we sell some of the products we recommend - including the Feickert Protractor and AnalogMagik software).
If we’re setting up a tonearm on another manufacturer’s turntable, we’ll begin planning for delivery of the armboard and any other parts required for the installation.
Site Preparation for Our Visit
- Provide a good source of lighting near your turntable (free-standing or built-in).
- Remove excess clutter from your room (no one’s perfect – we get that). We’re bringing quite a few tools and we’ll need to spread out. The more efficiently we can work, the more productive time we have.
- Provide a small table that can support a laptop near your turntable so we can run our USB microscope and analysis software.
If we're installing a new Galibier turntable:
- Clear your turntable shelf from your previous turntable.
- Ensure you have the necessary "household" materials listed in the "Prepare Your Workspace" section of the owners' manual: blanket, paper towels, isopropyl alcohol.
We'll discuss any preparation activity for setup and installation of turntables from other manufacturers.
The above may seem overly detailed, but our goal for you is to have a smooth-running session. The more efficiently we can work without surprises, the more time we have to mentor and coach you in the setup process.
We actually walked in on a scene where sawdust covered the customer's listening room floor. Another vendor was "building" a pair of speakers on site, and he experienced delays. Left with no choice other than to watch this unfolding disaster, we were "recruited" to assist in the project's completion.
The the customer's turntable did not receive the attention it deserved.
A Sample Two and a Half Day Session
Here's an example of a 2.5, Friday/Saturday/Sunday session (scheduling can be made for any day of the week). We span this over three days to mitigate time constraints imposed by travel delays.
Note that a one-day session does not include mentoring/coaching. For one-day setups, we’ll arrive the night before to ensure a full, 6-7 hour session.
- Start with a general system assessment – listening to both your analog (if the turntable is currently operational) and digital setups to establish a baseline.
- Inspect system and your cartridge(s).
- For new installs, assemble and locate your turntable on its shelf.
- Perform first tonearm setup.
- Listen / tweak, and let the system settle in.
- Warm up the system and evaluate yesterday's setup.
- Complete 2nd arm/cartridge installation if necessary.
- Mentoring session, Q&A (ongoing), and fine tuning.
Breakfast and depart.
- If you've purchased a new Galibier turntable from us.
- If you purchased any cartridge or tonearm from us, and you live within 75 miles of Galibier.
- Other situations may apply as well.
Full Price (no product was purchased): $750 (one day), $1,500 (two days)
- One day, covering 6 hours (only incidental mentoring/coaching).
- Two days, covering a minimum of 12 hours’ setup, mentoring and coaching.
- Travel fees are billed as itemized below.
- Depending on product(s) purchased, we will waive some or all fees.
- There are too many permutations to evaluate, and we'll work with you on a case by case basis. Contact us if you have questions.
Reimbursable Travel Fees Include:
- Round-trip air fare from Denver, Colorado.
- Round-trip travel to Denver International Airport at standard mileage rate plus two days’ off-airport parking ($95.00).
- Lodging – one night for single day sessions and two nights for 2.5 day sessions
- Rental car / ground transportation.
When I got back into analog after a long digital, er, detour, I honestly didn’t know much (OK, hardly anything) about how to “properly” set up a high-quality turntable, arm, and cartridge.
My little VPI Scout and its basic 9″ arm I could sorta manage on my own. But the Gavia 1.5, and later the Stelvio II, needed an entirely different level of expertise.
It isn’t so much that it takes many hours — it’s more that a whole series of small individual steps must each be performed with great precision, or else the end result simply won’t sound as good as it should.
Having watched Thom set up my Gavia 1.5, and then heard what it sounded like (so long, VPI Scout!), I knew that I wanted him to install my Stelvio II as well.
We spent half a day on the Stelvio II, sharing a bit of the grunt work (hefting the base) and then Thom doing the real “heavy lifting” by assembling the ‘table, mounting the arm, and aligning the cartridge, each with a ridiculously high level of precision.
The sound quality immediately revealed what a huge upgrade the Stelvio II is from the Gavia 1.5 — wow!
Even if I were strong enough, coordinated enough, and confident enough to attempt doing this by myself, there’s no way in the world I would have extracted the maximum sound quality on my own.
Why invest in a great turntable and then reap only “some” of the benefit?
/ Bethesda, MD