The TPI © Platter
It’s difficult to single out the key determinants of the Galibier “sound” (or “no-sound”), but our platter design is a significant contributor.
We developed the TPI© (Tunable Platter Interface) in 2005. In 2010, the TPI© top plate changed from graphite to carbon fiber.
Hearing is believing, but we know of no platter, at any price that matches the performance of the Gavia version of this platter.
Its Stelvio sibling takes it to the next level.
Manufacturing these platters is extremely labor intensive (both to machine as well as assemble), but the sonic return is worth the effort.
The first thing people notice about these platters is how the music emanates from a silent, black background. You've heard this before. We know, but we'd be lying to you if we didn't say that this time, it's for real.
Space is portrayed in a palpable manner which approaches digital blackness, but yet retains an analog sense of "there-ness". It's a difficult thing to explain, but the best way we can describe it is that sense you get in a concert hall when the audience is settling into their seats. You sense the air moving in a way that's rarely portrayed in home playback.
On the surface, you might question the musical significance of this, but it translates into a sense of palpability we're at a loss to describe.
But we'll try …
The low noise floor contributes to a natural yet revealing articulation of complex (interleaving) musical lines.
Small dynamic shadings are revealed, and subtle musical phrasing becomes more intelligible. At the end of the day, this "making sense" is a key guiding principle at Galibier. Everything else is just sound effects.
The most common feedback we receive about this platter is that we understate its virtues.
The TPI© architecture consists of:
- An aluminum "carrier" - the outer, visible section.
- 24 damping chambers which are machined into the carrier.
- The damping chambers are filled with lead and oil.
- A central, .700" (18mm) layer which seals the damping chambers.
- A .250" (6mm) carbon fiber top layer - the TPI© (Tunable Platter Interface)
- The entire assembly is clamped/constrained together with 60 stainless steel screws.
The two platters differ in only one way
- The Stelvio platter weighs 44 pounds and its central layer is brass.
- The Gavia platter weighs 32.5 pounds due to its central layer being PVC.
We went through multiple iterations to arrive at this design. It's such a labor intensive platter to manufacture, that during prototyping, we investigated eliminating the damping chambers.
More than one experienced audiophile suggested that this was an unnecessary element of the design which added cost, with no sonic benefit. We prototyped a version without the damping, and its contribution became clear.
We learned about energy transfer. During one prototyping session, we inserted a layer of paper underneath the TPI© top plate. Dynamics were squashed.
Everything matters ...