Drive System Upgrades

Requests for drive systems from owners of other manufacturers’ turntables (particularly owners of Platine Verdier and Redpoint) were deafening, and we listened to you.

We’ve streamlined our production process and this freed us up to re-institute our drive system retrofit/upgrade program for a broad range of turntables.

Shown here, is a Redpoint motor pod conversion.  The inner cavity was expanded to accommodate our top plate and circuitry, for a fully transparent retrofit.

Galibier Design - Redpoint Motor Pod (after conversion)

Redpoint Motor Pod Conversion

You might wonder why an upgrade might benefit you, if you don’t hear any pitch stability issues.
If you read only one thing, link to our
Drive System FAQs page (opens in a new tab).  

We linked to the first question, but there's a wealth of information on that page - about both conversions, as well as our drive system philosophy in general.


Complete Drive System

This is typically for owners of turntables from other manufacturers.

It includes all four items in the “What’s Included” tab.

Pricing depends on how much custom machining is required for the motor pod:

1. With Standard Galibier Motor Pod: $2,745 (belt center line is 5.225″ above turntable shelf).

2. Redpoint turntables – two options:

  • $2,745 – if we re-machine your current motor pod.
  • $3,045 – if we machine a new motor pod. The Redpoint motor pod is .670″ shorter than our standard height, and therefore requires custom machining.
  • 3. Custom Height Motor Pod: $3,045 (for Platine Verdier, Final Tool, etc.)

    Galibier Owners – $1,295

    Your upgrade consists of the drive module shown in the “What’s Included” tab (item #1), and is a direct, plug-in replacement for all turntable motor pods we have ever manufactured (dating back to 2001).

    Not included (since you own the following components):

  • linear power supply – either by Astron ($90) or Teddy Pardo ($510).  We strongly recommend an upgrade to the Teddy Pardo however, if you currently don't have one.
  • Motor pod (we fit the top plate to your existing motor pod).
  • Drive belt.
  • Note: warranty is void if you use an unauthorized power supply.

    Trade-in / Trade-up Policy

    At any point within two years of purchase, you may apply the full purchase price of your drive system upgrade in trade toward a new Galibier Stelvio, Gavia, Savoie, or Eiger turntable.We will re-purpose any compatible parts from your drive system (as applicable) to the model you purchase.Contact us for details.

    What's Included

    The following four key components comprise a complete drive system upgrade for your turntable.  

    This is the identical drive system specified for our Stelvio II and Gavia II turntables:

    1. The Drive Module

    The circular top plate is the heart of our drive system – housing all components with the exception of the external power supply.

    We’ve shown it removed from the motor pod to highlight its modular construction.This has dramatically simplified rolling out system updates, and the very first turntable we built in 2001 has a motor pod compatible with this module.

    Galibier Design - Controller Top Plate (matte finish)

    Drive Module

    Our two decades of international shipping experience have proven this architecture to not only facilitate maintenance and upgrades, but also to reduce shipping cost and risk of damage and loss.
    If at any point, you send your drive system to us, you need only send this module. It weighs under a pound (about 430 grams), and removing it is a 3 minute operation (click here for instructions).

    2. Custom height motor pod for your turntable

    Galibier Design - Redpoint Motor Pod (after conversion)

    Redpoint Conversion

    Shown here, is a Redpoint motor pod conversion.

    Standard issue is either the standard Galibier height, or one to match the current height that your current turntable's belt rides at.

    Motor pods have a cylindrical shape, like this Redpoint motor pod, as we are moving away from the faceted surface you see on the Gavia and Stelvio.

    The finish will have a "brushed" surface with a clear color.

    Some colors are available, but color matching to your turntable (even black) cannot be guaranteed.

    3. Rigid drive belt

    We’ve auditioned numerous belt materials, and if you’re looking at our drive systems, you are very likely aware of why we advocate rigid drive belts.

    Shown here is the previous generation Kapton belt.  We'll update this with a photo of the new fabric belts.

    Galibier Design - Motor Pod

    Rigid Belt

    4. Power Supply by Teddy Pardo

    Galibier Design - Teddy Pardo Power Supply

    Teddy Pardo

    These drive systems benefit from clean power, and the Teddy Pardo is the best linear supply we’ve found to date.

    Click the thumbnail to visit the Teddy Pardo site (opens in a new tab).


    The first comment is from one of our early adopters (R.P. from Albany, NY).  He eventually became one of our beta testers (and was involved in the Durand Talea beta test as well), so it's no surprise that he liked what he heard.  We wouldn't have released this if it didn't meet his standards.  He was previously using a controller designed by Mark Kelly.

    You may recognize #2 (audiotomb) from Audiogon (another Galibier owner).  

    Lastly, C.H. plays the oboe and is a music professor at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley.  We retrofit a Galibier drive system for his Redpoint turntable (the re-machined, red motor pod on this page).


    I got the controller installed yesterday and my initial impressions are exceptionally positive. Yes, there is more airborne rotational noise, especially at 45 RPM, but I generally don’t listen in the 50 dB range, so it’s not an issue for me.

    What has struck me thus far is the instantaneous nature of note attack and leading edge transients being rendered so much more clearly, from the midrange on up.

    Harmony vocals seem much more distinct, and less ‘massed’. Intelligibility of lyrics has been taken to a new level. Continuousness to use Harry Pearson’s phrase.

    Speed stability is (shockingly) even better than before (I didn’t have to adjust the trim pots one iota) – it’s also amazing how rapidly it achieves speed lock.

    I’m assuming it simply likes running at the higher RPM. I think there’s a lot to be said for having the belt spend less time in contact with the pulley per revolution – enough to maintain good traction, but rapidly enough to not give the controller time to ‘think’ about speed corrections (or maybe it’s performing the calculations that much more rapidly). Fascinating either way.

    The system hadn’t quite fully hit stride last night before I had to go to bed, but this evening I’ll give it a more thorough listen and play some slightly more diverse music to put it through its paces.

    Thus far, color me impressed.


    Albany, NY


    Thom Makris of Galibier has never rested on his laurels and has developed a fabulous new drive system worthy of his refined turntables.

    The first thing I noticed was rock solid speed which made for clarity and focusing of the presentation. My original Galibier motor pod was certainly no slouch in that department.

    Leading edge transients are very pronounced and did not lose tonality upon release. Cymbals, pianos, horns, etc. all jumped out of the mix with enhanced dynamics.

    The smaller drive pulley allows the motor to get up to speed very quickly and keeps belt interaction to a minimum. The new controller has finer resolution in speed control adjustments and comes calibrated. Mine was dead perfect.

    Utilizing a Kapton belt and Teddy Pardo power supply the results are stunning.  Those with other high mass turntables should consider the Galibier motor pod as a significant analog upgrade.

    Tom Bergeon (audiotomb)
    New Orleans, LA


    Hi Thom,

    Well, that’s not a subtle difference! Thom, I don’t think I realized how broke the original motor was and what an effect that has had on my perception of vinyl playback over the years since I bought the Redpoint.

    It took all of a minute to have the controller set up and working, and the speed was locked on at 33 as well as 45. I simply used the KAB strobe disc to check it. I’ve never seen it sit that still on this turntable before… I tried both my diy mylar belt and your Kapton belt and, at the moment, I seem to prefer the Kapton. I could easily hear the difference between the two belts. That ability to finally “hear” differences ended up being what my entire weekend was like!

    It was pretty amazing to listen to familiar recordings. The depth, three dimensional quality and believability has pretty much gone through the roof. Dynamic range seems to have increased as well.

    I also am finally able to hear smaller differences in VTA and azimuth. I need to sort out some adjustments in my phono pre now.

    Seems I’ve been using adjustments in the phono pre and arm in an attempt to compensate for problems with the motor. Of course, now I need to get a lot more serious about arm and cart setup because those things are now way easier for me to hear.

    Just wanted to give you a quick update on the thing. I’m really happy!

    Greeley, CO

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