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Motor Drive Overview & Operation


This guide documents the operational characteristics and design philosophy of the drive system released in the late Winter of 2014 as well as the 2018 and 2019 revisions.  We’ll add video support soon.

Click this link to jump down to the “Quick Start” section.

The new generation drive represents a considerable departure from the legacy drive:

  • High torque motor.
  • Closed loop operation for speed lock & long term speed stability.
  • Specified with linear supply.  Do not use batteries or a power supply not specified by GalibierThis voids the warranty.
  • Specified with seamless (no splice) Kapton belt. Mylar may still be used (see drive belt support).
  • Finer speed adjustment – set and forget.

Speed Lock

The 2019 update achieves speed lock in approximately 8 seconds.  The 2014/2018 updates required 45 seconds. This occurs upon powering up or when changing speed from 33 to 45 or vice versa.

Recommendation: leave your controller powered up throughout a listening session.


The high torque upon startup lends the impression that the motor is up to speed within 1-2 seconds. Full locking occurs however as noted above. A belt drive turntable needs to “coast down” after each adjustment pulse (you can’t “push” the “slack” side of the belt).

One of the benefits of the 2019 update (with it’s reduced settling time) is that each pulse is smaller due to the smaller pulley diameter.  Think of this as increasing the sampling rate.  This results in a more dynamic presentation.  In comparison, our Eiger prototypes (rim drive) settle in 3-4 seconds and sonically, the 2019 update approaches the rhythmic presentation of the Eiger.

Operating Changes from the Legacy Drive System

In addition to the speed lock characteristics noted above, the key operational differences you’ll note from the legacy drive are:

  • Much more precise speed adjustment. This was accomplished by dedicating each switch position (trim pot) to a specific speed. The 33 and 45 rpm pots can no longer be reversed.
  • Separation of functionality into two switches – one to select speed and one to enable the controller.
  • Revised power on/off sequence (see below).
Galibier Design - Motor Controller
Motor Controller – Switch Layout

Operation – Quick Start


  • Power switch: The switch on the external power supply.
  • Enable (on/off) switch: The switch on the controller (motor pod).  This is the start/stop switch.

Power on Sequence

  1. Turn on the power supply (power switch).
  2. Turn on enable switch (motor pod).
Note: If you turn on the enable switch before the power supply switch, the motor won’t turn on. This is normal. Cycle the enable switch off and then on again by depressing it twice.  This will reset the controller and resume normal operation.

Power off Sequence

Turn off both the power supply (power switch) and the controller (enable switch). The order does not matter.

Note: if you forget to turn off the enable switch, the controller will not send power to the motor the next time you power up.  This is normal (see above).  Merely cycle the enable switch off and then on to reset and resume normal operation.

Changing Speeds

Press the speed selector switch to alternate between 33 & 45 rpm.  The blue LED indicates 33 rpm operation, and the red LED indicates 45 rpm.  The controller will “remember” the last speed selected when powered off and then on again.

Power Supply Note

Using other than a Galibier-specified power supply voids your warranty.  Batteries cannot be used.