Turntable Troubleshooting

Speed variation

If there is significant speed variation do not open up the motor pod as the Light Speed Control (LSC) LEDs and PCB are carefully aligned. You can easily cause problems by moving things inadvertently.

The possible causes of speed variation are as follows.

  • If the blue monitor light on the LSC (light speed control) has stopped lighting up when it should then first re-read the instructions on how to set it up as the platter height may be too low or the pod may have moved out of it’s correct position.If this fails to solve the problem then the sensors may have accumulated too much dust. The solution is to disconnect the pod from the power supply first to avoid any possibility of infra red too close to your eyes. Then blow hard onto the 2 slightly submerged, unlit LEDs adjacent to the blue LED. If this fails try cleaning off dust with a thin very soft haired art brush. DO NOT USE anything which could exert slight force on the top of the LEDs – this can easily dislodge the critical height settings of the LEDs by forcing them down slightly.
  • If the blue monitor light lights up and remains lit but you have significant speed variation, then carry out the procedure outlined above.
  • Under certain conditions it’s possible for the speed control software to “learn” an incorrect speed at start up which means it takes a long time to arrive at the correct speed. To correct this problem simply leave the deck running at 33rpm for approx an hour and a half without interruption. The software automatically re-learns the correct speed setting over this time.
  • Oil on the belt or pulley can cause wow and flutter problems so occasionally clean the belt and pulley with a diluted solution of iso-propanol – or Acetone (nail varnish remover) – anything which leaves no residue. Soap & water may suffice but you must rinse thoroughly with water afterwards.
  • A worn belt can cause pulley slippage – so either turn it inside out for a fresh surface or try abraiding the surface lightly with 240grit sand paper or order a replacement belt.
  • Sometimes if the deck is near direct bright sunlight,  you may get “flickering” caused by moving tree branches etc which can cause speed malfunction.
  • Check that the reflective strip on the underside of the platter is intact and has not become “fogged” in any way due to things like tobacco smoke, greasy fingermarks etc. Just a wipe with a damp cloth should clear anything – do not use abrasive metal polish.
  • Strobe discs are often surprisingly inaccurate so if the speed is just slightly out and the motor pod’s blue speed monitor light is on, then try another strobe. The Origin Live card disc, KAB and Rega strobes we know are reliable.
    There are no industry standards for strobe accuracy. For budget decks, speed errors of 1% are common, so some strobe manufacturers are not that bothered about precision. Mobile phones speed monitors for rpm and wow and flutter are not at all accurate so do not trust them. The Light speed control is accurate to within 0.00001%
  • Lack of oil in the bearing, check and add if required.
  • Low mains Voltage – This can be caused by extension blocks, mains Conditioners or actual mains. Try plugging directly into a mains socket.
  • Turntable out of level – this affects main bearing friction.

  • Check platter is not fouling on anything.

  • A dirty bearing can exhibit too much friction – the platter should drift round effortlessly with the slightest of nudges (the lighter the touch the better) and go on spinning very slowly before gradually coming to a stop. If you suspect the bearing friction to be a little high, return the bearing to us for checking.

  • A worn thrust bearing – this may occur after many years of continuous use in common with all turntables.

For decks without LSC – pre-dating MK4

  • Significant changes in room temperature – this affects the viscosity of the oil in the bearing.

  • Changed belt tension or a contaminated belt or platter – clean running surfaces.

  • Transistors that have developed temperature instability.

Note: For Origin Live decks pre-2008 it is worthwhile changing the oil to our new type – the older oil could dry out or deteriorate if not used regularly which has been known to cause speed problems.

Belt Vibrates

This is often caused by oil on the belt or pulley. Clean the belt and pulley with a diluted solution of iso-propanol – or Acetone (nail varnish remover) – anything which leaves no residue. Soap & water may suffice but you must rinse thoroughly with water afterwards.

Yes the pod is trained at factory and ready to go.

Hum Problems

See Tonearm Troubleshooting

For Setting Up Linn LP12’s

See LP12 Set Up (PDF document)

Foot Fall Problems Causing Stylus To Skip

If your turntable is sited on a wooden floor there are sometimes problems with a heavy footfall causing the stylus to skip in the groove. Sometimes at higher volumes there are also problems of low frequency feedback through the floor causing the headshell end of the arm to oscillate visibly in the groove.

Solution: The most obvious cure all is to place the turntable on a wall shelf (preferably on a solid wall rather than stud partition. However before adopting this course of action there are a couple of other possible solutions.

a. Try moving the table to a different location – even a few inches can make a difference.
b. Try weighting the table down with a heavy object – slab of marble, etc.
c. Try using something like the Seismic sink which is essentially a rubber tyre inflated inside a platform.

Stylus Oscillation

Sometimes at higher volumes there are problems of low frequency feedback through the floor causing the headshell end of the arm to oscillate visibly in the groove. Look to above section for solutions to this problem.

An alternative explanation that has been known to cause this problem is motor vibration caused by a pulley foul or similar problem causing excessive sub-chassis vibration.

For “Popping” Noise Through The Speakers

See Troubleshooting Motors & Power Supplies

Static, causing your turntable mat to lift off with records or give you a shock when touching the headshell

Static problems are aggravated in particular environments. The cause of static can be due to a number of factors and solving any problems, demands tracking down the source(s) in a multi-faceted approach.

Dry atmosphere

Air conditioning often causes problems so a humidifier can help or introduce pot plants with plenty of water.

Synthetic carpets or clothing

Try wearing different footwear. Rubber soled shoes allow you to build up thousands of volts of static. Also check out different clothing. Maybe put a non-synthetic mat where you stand to change your records.

Record sleeves that put static on the record when they are removed

Use genuinely anti-static sleeves. Try anti-static guns that remove static charge from records. Zap guns are available on our website.

Records that have not been cleaned to remove mould release agent

All records are covered with a microscopic layer of a waxy substance called mould release agent that’s needed when manufacturing the record. This layer can produce high levels of static that affect performance and should be removed by cleaning with the correct method. We strongly recommend clean your records with L’Art du Son cleaning fluid. This does the job without damaging your records.

Equipment placed on surfaces that have exceptionally high insulation and capacitive characteristics

There may not be much you can do to solve this problem but if experimentation is possible then try a few things.

Earths that are not connected or not functioning

If you have a continuity tester then check that earth leads are working. For example you should get conduction between an exposed metal part on the tonearm and the earth lead on the end. Don’t make the mistake of thinking an anodised part should conduct because it won’t (anodised surfaces are non-conductive).

Bearing Noise

Very slight bearing noise can sometimes occur – the oil must overflow to eliminate noise. If this does not do the trick then there may be a nick on the shaft perhaps caused by poor handling. Feel the spindle carefully for a rough patch. This can be rectified by lightly using 800 grit wet and dry paper on the defective area only of the shaft. If the defect is a small dent you need not get rid of the whole dent – just abrade the edges to get rid of the raised points.

Marks inside the bearing house can be caused by inserting a spindle at a slight angle but they are very slight and usually bed in with the bearing.

People invariably get focussed on audible noise and producing a silent bearing or motor is EASY. However silent bearings can sound dreadful on audition in comparison to a high rigidity “noisy” design.

Never tamper with the bolt in the bottom of the bearing or oil leaks will occur and you will probably not succeed in re-tightening it.

Motor noise

The “whirring” noise of the motors we use is the noise of brushes contacting the motor rotor and cannot be helped. It’s better to have great electrical contact which improves your motor’s smooth operation even if it results in a slight audible noise. Brushless motors may seem an ideal answer but they are in fact much worse in terms of performance as we’ve tried them. Your cartridge picks up vibration not audible noise and silent motors can have terrible vibration.

Having said this there are sometimes intances where motor develop a kind of “rumbling or grumbling or even knocking noise” This is discussed and a solution put forward in the Youtube video at the bottom of the following link Motor rumble

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