A bit of advice for anyone finding one of these superb British turntables in the loft or garage sale. Clean carefully before using and you’ll have an excellent turntable that will last for decades.
Here is how to proceed :
After unplugging and removing the dust cover, first carefully remove the arm by unscrewing the single nut under the plinth that holds it in.
You really don’t want to get cleaning products ( or oil … ) anywhere near those arm bearings.
Then remove the felt mat and glass platter, just lift them off.
Then remove the belt.
Then take the sub platter off, slowly lift it out of the bearing.
Then, turn the deck upside down over some scrap paper.
The ball-bearing that the sub platter sits on should fall out, but if not, carefully prod it with a wooden dowel until it does.
Then clean everything except the arm with the lightest of sprays and a soft cloth as necessary.
Clean the belt, and both inner rims of the pulley attached to the motor. Gently but thoroughly.
Clean the inside of the bearing. Softly.
If the ball-bearing that came out looks at all “pitted” or anything but pristine, replace it with a new 3/16″ one from any bicycle spares place.
Oil the sub platter shaft after cleaning and before replacing the ball. Use 2 or 3 drops of oil.
Replace the ball and sub platter, lowering it with a slight spin. It should slowly sink into the bearing.
The motor can also be oiled, with a very small amount of oil. Don’t get any oil on the pulley !
Put everything back together. Clean the arm only with a dry cloth. Be super careful near the bearings, or just leave that area. I ruined an RB300 arm with over enthusiastic “maintenance” once.
When replacing the arm back onto the plinth, make sure the arm-lift spur is parallel with the side of the plinth, then tighten the locking nut “hand tight”. Hold the arm-lift spur for leverage not the arm bearings. Don’t use a spanner.
Should be fine after that.
Check the turntable is level, and ensure the tracking weight and bias compensation are correct.
If the speed is off, you may need a new belt, but thats about all.
Cartridge is a matter of taste and funds. As with most things, an excess of the latter tends to invoke more of the former. A very, very good middle ground is the Denon DL103. It is superb.
Have fun listening to records.
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