Linn Axis Resonance / Distortion


Novice Member
Hey everyone... this is a sort of second post on similar subject following the initial one in January 2019.

So... I have a Linn Axis turntable fitted with a Linn Basik Plus arm and now a Rega Bias 2 Cartridge. Last year I didn't think it was sounding right and after lots of fiddling I took it to my local Linn dealer who serviced it, recommended and fitted the Rega Bias (in place of the Audio Technical AT95) and tested it - stating it sounds really nice. All good - and it does sound really nice... mostly... but.... Every now and then I hear what I can only describe as distortion / resonance within the sound. It is not on everything and appears to be only on long sustained sounds - think of a flute holding a note – or even a sustained vocal and you would be in the right kind of area. To me it sounds like there is a coarseness or distortion to this sound that is just not correct. But it does not happen on every single record I play.

I should state I do not own any solo flute recordings so this is based on hearing this type of tone in the background with other instruments. Most recently whilst playing a brand new copy of Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells I note some of the sustained sounds had an edge to them that’s just not present on the cd. The trouble is in all other respects the sounds is fine, so it’s very hard to demonstrate to other people.

My question is it likely to be a dirty record? Cartridge alignment? Or something else? What tests can I do?


Well-known Member
If VTA, cartridge is set to correct weight and anti-skate are all good-am assuming you handle this yourself and that the aforementioned were not upset during transit, then I suggest that speed error courtesy of grease or oil contamination of the drive path including belt is the culprit.

Get some Isopropyl Alcohol plus a clean, lint-free cloth and clean the drive pulley, belt and sub-platter. Be sure to wash your hands before cleaning.

It may be that if the drive belt is old, then a replacement is necessary.


Distinguished Member
If you download the free version of RPM app you can see how bad (or good) the speed varies. Free version will be fine for a quick check, you get 10 free goes but on iOS you can just uninstall, reinstall and get another ten.

I find the rpm amp work best on a phone placed on a roll of sellotape across the central pivot point.

I loved my axis/basic plus with a vm95ml. Wow and flutter should be around 0.1%-0.15%.
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Well-known Member
To me this sounds like possibly misalignment or more likely a symptom of a not that great cartridge.

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