In previous posts, we have spoken about getting your Turntable ready to play LPs however there really is one area that I would like to cover and I’ll start off with a little situation in our store.
A few days ago, a client brought in his Linn Sondek turntable for me to mount a cartridge and align it on his Turntable. The Cartridge was fixed and aligned, anti-skate and VTA done, the whole deal however the turntable did not have the usual “Linn Sparkle”. I had already checked suspension, re-calibrated my settings but no change. I then asked the client when he last changed the bearing oil in his table and his reply was “Huh”! On hearing his reply, I dis-assembled the platter assembly and checked the platter cylinder and shaft. What lubricant was left was black and gooey. The cylinder was cleaned with special lint free Q-tips, The platter bearing cleaned with a special cloth then lubricant was added. WHAT A DIFFERENCE! The liveliness and detail had returned, the sound simply oozed from the loudspeakers!
Lubricating the bearing is something that needs to be done with some frequency. Some tables now suggest that you need to change the bearing oil at least annually. If you own a Dual or popular brand of belt-drive turntable that is of the ’60s to 80s, if you haven’tdone so, I truly suggest that you take your table in for service. Yes, you can do it yourself and it is easy on a Pro-ject, Rega, Linn or their ilk, the oil runs from $30+ for good stuff , in most cases special cloths and Q-tips are supplied with the oil – noooooooo do not use other household oils regular Q-tips or rags . The pressure on the bearing & plate is absolutely enormous and you need something to withstand the heat and no lint! The other tables mentioned, in most cases I suggest you take them to a repair shop as in most cases the bearing assembly must be removed from the table, then dis-assembled.
So there ya go. A quick and easy fix that definitely makes a huge difference!