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Question Frustrating Turntable setup

Scott_Mac

Well-known Member
Recently bought a Rega P2 turntable as the good lady decided she quite liked the idea of one after hearing one on a recent holiday.

I've set it up as per the instructions and the aid of some YouTube clips but i'm struggling with the arm. I'm used to exact science, but being told to turn the balance weight until the arm floats is tricky!

Basically, the issue I have is that the sound is 'slightly slow'. Being logical I am assuming that it's something simple but I had decided it was either, the belt is too loose and the turntable isn't spinning at the right speed or the needle is causing drag. I have no idea of these are viable options but I was hoping someone could help with some ideas.

Some background info...

1. When first setting it up, the platter wouldn't spin. I reseated the plastic/spindle bit a few times and all seems ok now, as in it spins. But i've no idea how to know if it's spinning sat the right speed.

2. I've tried many adjustments to the arm. Even with the needle so loose it jumps off super easily.

Is it just perseverance and the arm is the issue, or am i missing some key trick?

TIA
 

Scott_Mac

Well-known Member

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Edit, as it is new there should be no reason to oil it.

Without the drive belt on the platter should spin very easily and for at least a minute or so with a quick flick of the finger. There is specific oil for the bearing/platter spindle. Assuming this is ok then put the drive belt back on and see how it spins. There are mobile apps that can tell you the speed e.g. RPM - turntable speed accuracy, some apps use the sensors in the phone and some video a target. Either should see if you are close to 33 and 45 depending on the belt position. Alternatively play the same song on YouTube on your phone and on the record, try and sync best you can and see if they finish within a second or so of each other.

The set up is relatively straight forward to get a decent first starting point.

Step 1 is to either find the supplied alignment template or download one and print it out making sure the scale is correct.

Step 2, remove the cartridge cap, loosen the grub screw on the weight on the end of the arm and turn it until the arm floats. Once there, set the scale to zero without moving the weight. Then turn the weight forward (towards the cartridge) so that the scale reads 2. (This is a good starting place for most mid range cartridges, alternatively look up the spec of the cartridge and use that). Lock the weight with the grub screw.

Step 3, loosen the grub screw that locks the arm height, then raise/lower the arm so that it is parallel to the record surface with the needle on a record (be carful not to bend the needle and use an old record). Once there lock it off with the grub screw.

Step 4, put a record and the alignment template on the turntable, loosen the bolts holding in the cartridge then move about until it line up with the template as directed. Once there, lock the bolts off.

Step 5, if it has anti skate set this to the same figure as you set the counter weight (2).

You should be now set up to go as a first stab and should get you going.
 
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Ugg10

Distinguished Member
If it is brand new, take it back to the shop and get them to set it up and prove it works ok.
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Daft question, some turntables come with a transport screw, does this and have you removed it?
 

TheHighFlyingBirds

Active Member
You can get an app for your phone called rpm speed and wow. You just pop your phone on platter and let it spin. This should give you an idea if its running slow.

With regards to balancing arm, it needs to be set based on your cartridge. I know on my planar 1 it came with the carbon and the weight should just be pushed all the way on and it should be right. However it might be worth getting a scale to set the weight as per cartridge recommendation which if its the carbon its 2-3g.
 

Scott_Mac

Well-known Member
Thanks @Ugg10 in your 2. you mention scale - is this literally some scales?

@TheHighFlyingBirds - i'll have a look at the apps. It's definitely running slowly, lyrics sound really dragged out, not quite wrong speed difference but something! In terms of the balance, yes I learned the same, with the P1 it is a case of screw it right on. I bought the P2 as lots of reviews said it was worth it.... i wrongly assumed the setup would be as simple!!!
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Just looked at the Rega quick start user guide, your weight does not have a scale on it to show how much to turn it. However it does say that 180degs is equivalent to 1g and the carbon needs 2g of weight so you need to balance the arm and then turn the weight one whole turn towards the cartridge.

However it does sound a bit odd that it is running slow, no matter what weight you have set the needle friction should not alter the speed that much.

Again, daft question, you are not trying to play a 45 record with the turntable set to 33?

If you don’t want to download an app then you could use a stopwatch on your phone to time say 33 revolution and see how close to a minute it is (should be 59.4s)?
 

Scott_Mac

Well-known Member
You can get an app for your phone called rpm speed and wow. You just pop your phone on platter and let it spin. This should give you an idea if its running slow.
Couldn't find that specific app, but using another the RPM is 33.19 so slightly fast rather than slow.

Helpful though as points me to the arm as the point of focus!

Will test the above, have some mega accurate scales at work - do i just place the needle on the scales, this seems scary!!!
 

Scott_Mac

Well-known Member
Just looked at the Rega quick start user guide, your weight does not have a scale on it to show how much to turn it. However it does say that 180degs is equivalent to 1g and the carbon needs 2g of weight so you need to balance the arm and then turn the weight one whole turn towards the cartridge.

However it does sound a bit odd that it is running slow, no matter what weight you have set the needle friction should not alter the speed that much.

Again, daft question, you are not trying to play a 45 record with the turntable set to 33?

If you don’t want to download an app then you could use a stopwatch on your phone to time say 33 revolution and see how close to a minute it is (should be 59.4s)?
Thanks for your help, we've just crossed posts. I've tested the speed and it's at 33.19 so not the platter. Is pointing to something else.

I had used the guide, as you say, it says to get the arm balanced and then add 2 turns. Which is what I thought I had done.... as you say, I couldn't imagine friction have that much effect!

It doesn't sound like it's 45 on a 33... it's not that slow, it's only a bit. I'll try and record a sample so you can hear what I mean!

It being very new to me, it couldn't be a needle issue could it - again, doesn't make sense but i'm working on any idea I can think of!
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Manual says 1 turn for the carbon (and a lot of other mid range mm cartridge).
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
If the platter is spinning at the right speed nothing you do to the cartridge or needle should make it sound slow I don’t think. Did you measure it with the arm on and off, is there a difference?
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
33.19 is actually very slightly slow as the standard is 33.33333rpm.
 

Scott_Mac

Well-known Member
Thanks both.

I've just gone back to the beginning and setup everything from scratch. It's better, but something just doesn't sound right. Really hard to explain and without you knowing specific bits in tracks, going to be tricky.

Maybe 'slow' has been a misleading term, having just sat and listened to a few things does this help: if you listened to a piece of music with a sustained note, such as a bow on a string instrument the sound, maybe the pitch, seems to fluctuate like a sine wave. Only slightly but definitely noticeable.
 

Scott_Mac

Well-known Member
Simpler suggestion... at times the instruments just sound plain out of tune!

I'm a-b'ing it with Spotify (and apart from a horrendous difference in sound quality) it's the clearest way I can think to describe it now!
 

Scott_Mac

Well-known Member
Here a video here that might help :)

That's the very app i've just used and that which has confirmed the speed is ok... see my last post that crossed this. I'm trying to describe an easy way of demonstrating things and i've come down to instruments sound like they're going in and out of tune.

Baffling.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Wow. Can't remember my Technics being that hard to set up in the 1980s. Strobe light for speed and a simple screw adjustment for tracking and weight. Don't get this problem with SACD. Move into the 20th century you lot. ;)

I'm sure you'll get the help you need from knowledgeable members.:smashin:
 

simonblue

Distinguished Member
That's the very app i've just used and that which has confirmed the speed is ok... see my last post that crossed this. I'm trying to describe an easy way of demonstrating things and i've come down to instruments sound like they're going in and out of tune.

Baffling.
Very odd,are you using an phono stage,or is it plug strange into your amp/receiver ?

:)
 
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Scott_Mac

Well-known Member
Very odd,are you using an phono stage,or is it plug strange into your amp/receiver ?

:)
Plugged straight into the phono stage on the receiver. I am lead to believe it’s the same one as in their stereo amps so wasn’t too fussed!
 

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