Solidair Audio Dark Star Pylons – Spring suspension upgrade for Gyrodec and Orbe
These Solidair Audio Dark Star Pylons are a Michell Gyrodec and Orbe spring suspension upgrade. They are designed to replace the springs used to suspend the turntable in the spectacular Michell Gyrodec and Orbe Machines. This is a reworked version of the go to upgrade for these machines, renowned the world over. They give a very significant sound quality improvement.
The standard springs are there to isolate the platter from it’s surroundings, they do this but have a few drawbacks. The spring bounce can be a bit annoying, though you get used to it. The main problem is resonance of the undampened springs, which muddies the sound a little in the higher registers. This tends to blur different instruments and vocals into each other.
The Solidair Audio Dark Star Pylons replace the springs with a non-microphonic material and introduce damping into the suspension. The top and bottom washers are hand turned from African Blackwood, which has excellent acoustic properties. The web strings are braided high performance UHDMPE which is a remarkably durable material and one of the world’s strongest and lightest fibres. This takes care of horizontal vibration. The vertical vibration is controlled using a nitrile elastomer for added damping.
What you should expect to hear is a more natural sound with significantly improved separation of instruments and vocals. You should hear fine detail that had been previously unnoticed and distinctly hear each different instrument and vocalist.
They are easy fit and don’t change the look of turntable, as they fit inside the aluminium tubes that hide the standard springs. They simply screw onto the standard Michell adjuster posts (not included in the pack as you will already have them). They replace the springs with the different washers on each end.
They are easiest to install by removing the post cover/adjuster. This can then be screwed into the hole in the web, then into the top part of the Pylon. Usually the ball bearings will stay inside them, but take not to loose ball bearing if it comes out.
We have a real time video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bms2vjc-xLs&t=355s
The Michell Gyrodec and Orbe spring suspension upgrade Pylons can also be used in conjunction with our Performance Packs for even better results. The Michell turntables have excellent quality bearings, so you can use a heavy puck, like our “Bass Driver” and not worry about overloading the turntable.
If you are unsure of your Gyrodec model, please look at the images at the bottom of the page.
All our wood is obtained through sustainable Cites certified suppliers.
Which type do you need? M10 newer models or 3/8 UNF early model?
M10 3/8 UNF
Please note the later model Michell suspension on the left which most models have. (Three parts = Normal Solidair Audio Pylons) The post diameter is about 9.8mm. The post contains a ball bearing.
If you have an early model with suspension that looks the suspension on the right, please let us know as there is a slight difference. (Four parts = early model Solidair Audio Pylons) The post diameter is about 9.4mm. There is no ball bearing.
Jaime Gutierrez (verified owner) –
My (very) early-model Gyrodec had the original springs, but due to having no other reference point for comparison I had been happy with their performance. Having heard about these pylons however I decided to try the Dark Star suspension.
Immediate impression before even spinning any vinyl was hugely positive: no more bouncing platter when attaching the clamp! Also, levelling the platter is easier as you now no longer have to try to judge the effects of the bounce. Simply install and then level. Easy!
I have now tested the pylons using a few of my “reference” vinyls and I am delighted with the performance.
I won’t go on about separation, soundstage, clarity, tighter bass etc, but simply that everything sounds better. Ultimately, I think that’s what we all want, and for such an easy installation process I couldn’t ask for more.
Michael Metcalf (verified owner) –
1st the PROS!
Installation was easy with the accompanying video
Listening – on Led Zeppelin II classic records Bernie Grundman cut. If the original Pylons felt like the band was in the room the Dark Star version felt like you were in their room.
Harry Belafonte at Carnegie Hall, analogue productions 45rpm you could hear his voice reverberating off the walls giving an unbelievable sense of the size of Carnegie Hall.
Scott Walker – Scott 4 original
With the Michell springs if felt like the violins were being bowed with hacksaws.
Massive improvement with the original solidair string Pylons beguiling with the new Dark Star version
Every record played offered greater clarity, transparency & resolution
Even more fascinating was moving from my stereo cartridge (ortofon winfeld TI) to my mono cartridge (ortofon cadenza mono) in my Orbe SME V.
Setup was done using the acoustical systems smart tractor plus the analogmagik software & test LP’s
There is just so much less sonic camouflage. If you dont think mono can deliver depth & imaging then they paint as compelling a sonic picture you will ever hear.
Not only were instruments stacked 1 in front of the other like a deck of cards, harmony vocals like the beach boys and the mamas and papas etc you can even hear the different heights of the singers
Yellow submarine from the beatles mono box felt like the waves were coming up to meet me.
If you have a dog it will get walked less
Cutting the grass will be put off until tomorrow
Jobs around the house will be delayed
Because either due to some outstanding engineering or some Cornish Witchctaft,
You’ll just want to keep playing record after record after record.
Dave Bennett –
I’ve had my GyroDec since 1988! Obviously I love it – having kept it for 34 years. It is on it’s third tonearm and has had a number of upgrades over the years. In those 34 years I have NEVER been able to get the bounce correct. I’m not sure its a big deal as it has always sounded great – but I would pay more than the cost of the Dark Star Pylons to sort the bounce.
What I wasn’t expecting was that there is now almost no bounce at all. Isolation – yes. Bounce – no. Push down on the platter and it depresses, let go and it just goes back to where it should be with no bounce, no oscillations.
Wasn’t sure about that until I put on the first record. Wow – what an improvement. I wasn’t expecting such a difference for such a reasonable price. I’m now considering the Trinity for the arm board.
Very happy customer right here!
Neville Octon (verified owner) –
I bought a set of Dark Star pylons for my Gyrodec in December 2022 and they took less than an hour to fit. You can even fit the covers to the pylons unlike some others out there. My first impression was how stable the cassis was and the fact it didn’t bounce around like a drunken duck. After nigh on 19 years of owning my Gyrodec I still find it hard to get my head around it not wobbling like a jelly. However, once the stylus hit the record it all made sense, everything snapped into focus and the music sounded better than ever. Everything just sounded right, if you thought (like me) the Gyrodec sounded great in standard trim you’re in for the shock of your life if you get round to fitting the Dark Star pylons. I have a True Point Audio electronic speed controller fitted and even the speed stability has improved greatly. I think this is due to the platter and chassis being better controlled and not causing fluctuations in the drive belt when everything wobbled . Anyway the overall improvements with the Dark Stars fitted is well worth the money and possibly the best upgrade you can do to a Gyrodec. Michell engineering, or is it Audio now, have missed a golden opportunity here and well done to Solidair for a fantastic product. I’m a very happy bunny indeed.