Linn turntable running slow

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by banjoman, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. banjoman

    banjoman
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    I got hold of an old Linn Axis turntable in very good shape a few months back and its been working great all the way through.

    Only recently, when I put on a very heavy weight vinyl (180 gms plus), it runs slow and out of tune. No such problems with lighter vinyl.

    Does this mean the turntable belt needs replacing. I dont know how old the current belt is - my guess is pretty old.
    Is there anything else I might need to check/do - oil change?

    Replacing the belt seems completely straight forward.
    If I need to change the oil as well well, where do I start. Where is the oil housed in a Linn Axis?
     
  2. mjcairney

    mjcairney
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    The have a helpline on an ordinary geographic telephone number so why not call them and see what advice they would offer? Most it'll cost you at that point is the price of an ordinary phone call.

    Cheers,

    Martin.
     
  3. banjoman

    banjoman
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    Thanks Martin
     
  4. mjcairney

    mjcairney
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    You're welcome. :)

    Let's know how you get on please.

    Cheers,

    Martin.
     
  5. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig
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    It could be a few things.

    It could be a phase on the motor down. If you have a multi-meter check the resistance on both sides of the motor. If they are both much the same the motor is ok. I think it's about 48 Ohms but I can't remember off hand. Sometimes the motor needs a drop of light machine oil in the bushes on the top and bottom but it's not that likely.

    Changing the belt is a good idea anyway. While you're at it clean the motor pulley and sub-platter with IPA or meths to get rid of any grease and dirt.

    Also take the belt off and spin the platter by hand. It should spin very freely and run for ages. Regardless of what it does it would be a good idea to change the oil anyway. I recommend Audio Origami oil, it's cheap and sounds better than Linn oil. LINK

    If the motor is ok, bearing good and drive system clean and dry it must be the power supply. There isn't anything else!
     
  6. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    As always Mr Pig offers good advice.

    Remove the belt and inspect it. While you have it off spin the turntable platter. This has a flywheel effect, and once it starts to spin, it should keep spinning for a while. If you feel any resistance on the turntable platter, then it needs to be cleaned and oiled.

    Next, spin the motor shaft by hand, it should be relatively free of resistance. Though you will not get the flywheel effect of the platter. If it does not spin free, then it too need oil.

    As Mr Pig suggests, a few drops of IPS (isopropyl alcohol) will loosen any dirt and dried oil. Then lube with an appropriate lubricant. For shafts, I use common light oil. In my case, 3-in-1 brand. Sometimes called sewing machine oil.

    If that does not free up the platter shaft, then likely the bearing at the bottom of the platter shaft need grease. In this case, I use a product called "green goo" which is a type of synthetic grease used by people for Radio Control models. It can be found at RC Hobby Shops.

    Getting at this bearing is difficult and varies from turntable to turntable. I'm not sure how your turntable is configured.

    Also use IPS (alcohol) to clean the platter (assuming it is not plastic) in the area where the belt makes contact, and the belt pulleys on the motor shaft to make sure belt residue and finger grease have not contaminated them.

    Very likely, the problem is the belt which should be an easy and cheap thing to replace. My turntable is from 1978 and I can still get belts for it.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
  7. banjoman

    banjoman
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    Thanks a lot Mr Pig, BluWizard
    Will try these out over the weekend
     
  8. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig
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    Let us know how you get on. If you find it does need oil it's not hard to do. Just remove the outer platter and belt and the inner platter/spindle just pulls out of the bearing well.

    Wipe off the spindle with white spirit then IPA or meths.

    Use long cotton buds or old cloths to get the old oil out of the well then wash it out with white spirit and then IPA/meths. You could take the bearing off actually, it's only three bolts. Dead easy to wash it out then.

    The Audio Origami oil comes with cloths, long cotton buds and pipets for cleaning out the bearing. Everything you need except the solvent. It's very good value.
     
  9. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    As to the belt, in some cases the belt may have fine cracks in it indicating that that rubber/rubber-like substance is drying out and deteriorating, but often times the belt will look good, but it will be stretched and that will cause it to not have the proper tension.

    At any rate, this is probably an opportune time to lubricate everything. If the spindle shaft/platter spin reasonably free, then just a drop or two should keep it working fine.

    The same with the motor, even if it spins free, a couple drop wouldn't hurt. With my turntable I can easily oil the motor bearing from the top, but oiling the bottom bearing is not so easy. There is a small hole in the top of my turntable marked "oil". This is a wick-tube that leads down to the bottom bearing. It is not ideal, but a couple drops of oil in the tube couldn't hurt.

    Again, I use a very common "3-in-1" brand light oil. There are synthetic oils and greases that might also work, but you want to avoid any Spray oils or Teflon PTFE Spray lubricants. These tend to dry out quickly especially when mixed with petroleum oils and ultimately create a gummy gooey sticky mess.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  10. gogbreath

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    I cannot comment on the electronics, but as an owner of an Axis, I can comment on oiling the bearing. As others have said, it might be worth changing the oil in the bearing. I use Audio Origami oil but Linn oil or light machine oil is likely to be ok. You pay your money, you take your choice. But whatever else you do, do not attempt to grease the bearing. This is an oil lubricated bearing. If you shove grease in it you will ruin it.
     
  11. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    The only place I used grease was on the ball bearing at the bottom of the Platter Spindle Shaft, and that was a light synthetic grease.

    Unless you are having a problem, I would stick with light oil on the shaft and bearing sleeve of the spindle. Trying to remove the Platter Spindle from the shell/bearing sleeve holding it is not for the faint of heart.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  12. banjoman

    banjoman
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    Dear all
    Thanks a ton for all the tips. I am waiting for a new belt, oil and some cleaning spirits - then will do all the checks and changes suggested.
    I am totally new to turntable parts and maintenance - so after I remove the inner platter, is it obvious where the bearing oil is housed and needs to be replaced? Also, any tips on identifying the other parts that might need lubricating
    Apologies for the Dummies questions!
     
  13. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig
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    Not on an Axis it isn't, it just lifts out.

    Yes. The spindle fits into a hole, the bearing, and that's where the oil is. After you've cleaned it all out wrap a bit of tissue paper around the bearing, the hole were the spindle goes. If you bought Linn oil put the full bottle in the hole. If you bought the Audio Origami oil put most of one vial in the hole.

    Put the spindle into the bearing and let it sink right down. It'll take a minute, don't force it. Once it's fully down pull it back out again and remove the tissue, which should have some oil on it, and put the spindle back in. If there was no oil on the tissue the bearing might not be full so add a little oil and do it again.

    There aren't any. If you can hear the motor making a scraping/ticking noise from more than a few feet away put a tiny drop of light machine oil on the motor bushes. They are the points where the spindle on the motor exit the tin can. One drop, no more. Slightly noise from the motor is normal, if it's not bad leave it alone.
     
  14. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    Sorry Mr Pig, but I didn't understand the whole "pull it back out again and remove the tissue" thing. How and why does the tissue come into play.

    You seem familiar with this turntable, is there a ball bearing in the bottom?

    We have two, potentially, bearings, one is the sleeve bearing that surrounds the spindle shaft. The other is any potential bearing at the bottom of the spindle shaft. In my case there is a single ball bearing down there. You, or I, really really do not want to lose that ball bearing.

    As to the original problem, while a good clean and oil won't hurt, I suspect the new belt will fix things up nicely.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  15. banjoman

    banjoman
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    You guys are great! Thanks a lot for the detailed tips.
    I did check on the inner platter yesterday and it is a bit sluggish when I spun it with the belt removed - so I guess an oil change is in order
    My new Linn belt and oil just arrived - will have a go tomorrow.
    Will keep you posted.

    Thanks
     
  16. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig
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    In the Linn turntables you want the bearing well to be full right up to the brim. The problem is that once the platter has dropped down over it you can't see the bearing. The only way to make sure it's full to the top is to put oil in until it overflows.

    You wrap the tissue around the bearing so that when the oil overflows it soaks into the tissue. The only reason you take the spindle back out is to remove the tissue!

    No. Many similar bearings do have a ball which sits in hole in the bottom of the spindle to provide a point contact. Linn felt this wasn't rigid enough and on their turntables the bottom of the spindle is formed into a round, hardened steel tip. To be honest, I think the performance advantage is probably negligible and these bearings have a big disadvantage. Once the tip wears you need to replace the whole thing rather than just the ball.
     
  17. banjoman

    banjoman
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    New belt installed and bearing oil replaced. Turntable spinning very nicely and steadily and sounding great!!
    Thanks a million for all your help.

    Interestingly the vinyl - Primal Scream - Vanishing Point - that first made me realise the Linn Axis might be running slow is still playing slow. All other vinyls even those more heavyweight than this vinyl are playing perfect!!
    Then, on a whim, I tried the Vanishing Point vinyl on 45 RPM speed and voila!! It sounds fine!! Could this be a mispressing?? Has anyone come across this type of issue? It is an LP and even says 33&1/3 RPM on it but only sounds right at 45 RPM!!
     
  18. banjoman

    banjoman
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    Oil and belt replaced and the Linn is turning nice and steady and sounding great.
    Thanks a million everyone for your help.

    Strangely, the vinyl - Primal Scream's Vanishing Point - that made me realise the Axis might be running slow - is still running slow. All other vinyls including a few more heavy weight than this are running absolutely fine.
    On whim I tried it on 45 RPM speed and voila!! It plays fine!!
    Is it a mispressing?? It is an LP and even the vinyl says 33&1/3 rpm but it only plays properly at 45 rpm!!

    Has anyone come across this type of issue?
     
  19. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig
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    No! Sounds like a marketing ploy to me.

    Oh well, at least your turntable got a service out of it ;0)

    What cartridge is on your Axis? Does it have a Basik or Akito arm on it?
     
  20. banjoman

    banjoman
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    I have the Basik arm and Linn K5 cartridge.
    Quite a basic set up but for someone who just got into vinyl, it serves me very well and sounds good.
    I would like to change my cartridge at some point. Have a limited budget of max £150. Any suggestions?
    I play a lot of jazz and rock and have a very wide selection of old (used 60s records) and new vinyl.
    Heard good things about the Denon high output cartridges - I think the DL110
     
  21. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig
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    The K5 is ok and a good match but it's an old cart so the stylus must be on its last legs by now. For £150 you should get a new cart that's much better than the K5. I'd put the K5 in the same sort of ball park as the Audio Technica AT 95e, it's pretty similar.

    The Denon carts are very good indeed but unfortunately are not ideally suited to your arm. A good moving magnet would be a much better match. One of the Goldrings should be nice.

    Another option would be to swap the arm for an Akito. The Akito is a lot better than the Basik and will give you a better sound with a simple cart than the Basik will give you with better cart. Used Akitos are not cheap but you'd obviously get money back by selling the Basik.
     
  22. banjoman

    banjoman
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    Actually - to correct myself - I have Linn Basik Plus arm - which I believe is better than the Basik.
    I will look out for an Akito.
    In the mean time I can get a good deal on an AT110E or a Goldring 1006 or a Goldring 1012GX
    Any thoughts?
    I will need a cartridge that can extract a lot from old vinyl!!
     
  23. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig
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    Yes, the Basic Plus has a fixed headshell and a better counterweight mounting I think. Other than that I think they are the same.

    Either of the Goldring carts should be fine. I'd go for the 1012GX as I have a 1042 and it's a very good MM cartridge. The best one I've used. I'd imagine the 1012GX would be very similar. You could upgrade to the 1042 later just by fitting the 1042 stylus. The bodies are the same.

    Yeah, ideal and a lot better than the K5.
     
  24. banjoman

    banjoman
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    Thanks again - will try to get a 1012GX on sale. Might need your help in how to replace the cartridge on the BAsik Plus once I get it!!! Never done that either.
    Must say - really appreciate your experience and willingness to help
     
  25. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig
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    No problem. Just give me a shout and I'll walk you through it. You will need:

    A set of metric Allan keys, including very small ones.
    A pair of tweezers.
    A Linn tone-arm protractor. LINK

    You don't need an official Linn one. As long as it's the same geometry it doesn't matter. You might be able to download one off the net and print it off and piece of card. The one I have is just a bit of card, does the job.
     
  26. banjoman

    banjoman
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    Thanks
    Just bought a Golding 1012gx online. Will get hold of the Allen keys and other stuff.
    Is it better to take off the tonearm before refitting cartridge? How does one do that?
     
  27. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig
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    Yes, with Linn arms you have to. The way in which Linn mounted the bearings means that the torque from tightening the cartridge can knock the bearing adjustment out.

    Removing the arm:

    Remove the counterweight. it just screws off the back of the arm.

    If you look at the underside of the arm you'll see that the cable plugs into the base of the arm via a plastic 'L' shaped plug. On the side of the pillar, just above the plug, is a tiny Allan screw. Undo that screw and pull the plug out. It's a tight fit.

    Back on the top of the deck, if you look at the black arm collar that sits on the plinth you'll see a big Allan screw sunk into the right-hand side. This is what locks the arm pillar in place. Undo that screw and the arm pillar, and the rest of the arm with it, will slide up and out of the deck. That's it, the arm is off.

    Fitting the new cartridge:

    Use the tweezers to pull off the tiny tags on the back of the cartridge. Do NOT pull on the wires as they'll probably come off the tags, and then you have a real problem. Undo the two cartridge bolts and remove the cartridge.

    Keep the stylus guard on the cartridge whilst fitting it. Bolt the new cart on but leave the bolts loose enough to allow you to move it, just nipped up. Fit the tags on the pins of the cart.

    NB: The positions of the wires are not standard, they vary from cartridge to cartridge. Check with your new carts instructions or on the back of the cart itself to see where the wires go.

    Pop the arm back onto the deck, slide it down until the arm is level with the record surface and nip up the collar screw, just enough to hold it in place is fine. Remove the stylus guard and use the protractor to position the cartridge. Nip up the cartridge bolts enough to hold it in place but DO NOT fully tighten the bolts.

    Replace the stylus guard and remove the arm from the deck. Tighten the cartridge bolts. Hold the arm-tube or head-shell while tightening them, not the arm pillar or bearing housing at the other end of the arm. A firm nip is ample force, the Allan key provides the leverage.

    Refit the arm, level it and tighten the collar screw. Again, a good firm nip is all you need. Excess force will make the arm sound worse and might damage the screw.

    Refit the wiring plug under the deck.

    Remove the stylus guard, refit the counterweight and move it until the arm is balanced and floats level. Rotate the bezel on the counterweight to zero. Check the arm is still balanced. Rotate the weight to the desired tracking force, about 1.8g should be good for that cart but experiment.

    You're done!

    Notes:

    If you want to make the arm look a little tidier you can fit the weight backwards, with the tracking force bezel at the back. If you do this just balance the arm, set the bezel to 1.8g then turn the weight to zero.

    When the arm is balanced it should float very freely in all directions. If it sticks the bearings are out. Also, there should not be much free play in the bearings. A tiny amount is acceptable. If the arm fails either of these checks you should get it looked at.

    If you sell the K9 on eBay you'll be surprised by how much it might fetch. Linn sheep are not very bright animals ;0)
     
  28. banjoman

    banjoman
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    Gosh mr pig

    I couldn't have asked for more detailed instructions! I am eagerly awaiting arrival of my new cartridge and tools and will put your advice to good use!

    Thanks a million
     
  29. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig
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    No problem.

    Just remember to take your time. It's when you rush to get things finished you break things. Snap a tag off the cartridge leads and it's a nuisance but fixable. Take the cantilever off the cartridge and it's scrap! So easy does it.
     
  30. banjoman

    banjoman
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    Mr Pig
    New cartridge installed. Sounds great!!
    Have to confess, not 100% sure if I got the final alignment using the protractor perfect, but it sounds pretty good.
    Impressed by how much better the Goldring sounds compared to the K5!

    Thanks a ton for your help
     

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