Turntable Troubleshooting

Speed variation

If your motor will not start at all then its almost certain that its too cold – allow the motor pod to warm up to room temperature then try again.

The light speed control is very reliable and will rarely malfunction. However if speed control does develop problems the solution is usually found in carefully examining the set up as follows.

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. Also there is the danger that if you forget to unplug the unit from the mains then you expose yourself to potentially lethal voltage.

If you are experiencing speed variation on your deck then possible causes are as follows:

Blue monitor light fails to light up when platter rotates

  • 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. Try re-positioning the motor pod so that the 3 LEDs are all inside the rim of the platter.
  • 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.
  • Mains conditioners, Filters, extension blocks etc can cause problems so try plugging directly into a mains socket.
  • Clean the underside of the platter with soapy water to remove any reflective oil film marks or greasy fingermarks.

Blue Monitor Light comes on but platter speed is incorrect

  • If the blue monitor light lights up and remains lit but you have significant speed variation, then carry out the procedure outlined above.
  • It is possible to have a “borderline” condition where the gap between the top of the motor pod and the platter is precisely at the point where the monitor light starts to work. Always ensure you increase this gap by about 1mm. To achieve this lower the plinth using the adjustable feet till the blue light stops working. Then slowly raise it again using the feet till the Blue light comes on again. Now raise the plinth at least another 1mm to ensure that the blue light is not in a “borderline” condition leading to inaccurate control or turn off at a later date.
  • Mains conditioners, Filters, extension blocks etc can cause problems so try plugging directly into a mains socket.
  • 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 finger marks 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.
  • 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.

  • Erratic motors have been known to cause speed glitching so change the motor for new one.
  • A worn thrust bearing – this may occur after many years of continuous use in common with all turntables.


The following only applies if you have a motor pod which connects directly to the mains supply (i.e the lead from the motor pod does not connect to a transformer or wallwort). Do not attempt this procedure on older pods which used a transformer.

As a last resort, you can reset the control software in the pod by carrying out the following procedure.

Re-setting the speed software on the motor pod

Never open the motor pod for safety reasons.
Setting the pod back into learning mode is a little convoluted but this is mainly to prevent it from being accidentality triggered in normal use.

In order to reset the learned value on either 33 or 45RPM: –
1. Turn switch to the Off positon (this is important).
2 Switch off (or unplug) mains power from the pod and wait for a period of 30 seconds or so to allow the internal capacitors to discharge properly.
3. Turn the speed knob to the speed that needs to be reset. Note that the 33rpm setting will only correct the 33 rpm speed – the 45rpm speed will need a repeat of this whole procedure but using the 45rpm setting on the knob .
4. Hold onto the motor spindle so that it cannot rotate and plug in power again. Do not allow the pulley to rotate when the power is plugged in and keep holding the pulley for approx 20 seconds after “plug in”. You can usually feel a point in time where the motor stops trying to turn and goes dead. This is an indication that the learned value has been reset. If you feel the motor spindle slipping inside the pulley you will need to pull off the pulley and hold the motor spindle stationary with a pair of pliers.
5 Turn speed control knob back to the off position.
6. Switch off (or unplug) mains power from the pod and wait for a period of 30 seconds.
7. Restore mains power to the pod again.
8. Turn the speed knob to the speed that is being re-set.
9.The pod will start the motor  and begin the “teaching” process. Teaching is the process where the pod learns the voltage setting needed to turn the motor at the correct speed. This can take 2 to 15 minutes and is signalled by the blue light flashing to show it is “learning”. Once the blue light stops flashing and remains lit the speed is set and you can move on to the next speed setting if necessary. The next speed setting, whether 33rpm or 45rpm is a repeat of the above procedure.

Always remember to turn the speed knob to “off” when disconnecting from the mains or the pod loses it’s memory and you will need to carry out the teaching process again.Video of resetting the speed software – https://youtu.be/hQOjVdpaW6s

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 pulley with rubber debris build up

A pulley with rubber embedded on the surface can cause flutter issues. To address this problem you can take the following action.
Note: Many belts (not just ours) leave a black deposit over years of use which means pulleys need to be cleaned every year or so.
a) Remove the belt.
b) Wrap tissue paper around the underside of the pulley to prevent any dust or debris from entering the motor.
c) Run the motor and hold a screwdriver gently against the pulley to wipe off the attached rubber.
d) If this fails to remove everything try using 320 grit sandpaper – this will not harm the pulley.

To clean the belt you must avoid placing any stress on the joint.  We suggest gently wiping with soap and water then a thorough rinse in water alone to remove any soap residue.

Avoid the use of powerful solvents like Acetone (nail varnish remover) on the belt and pulley.

Bearing Contamination causing speed variation (highly unlikely if oiled properly)

Check that your bearing is properly oiled.

To further check that the bearing is functioning correctly please see the video on how to check your turntable bearings – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMWYeHvcID8

Sometimes a bearing house needs a good clean and new oil (every 3 – 6 years depending on usage)

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

Noisy Motor

Possibly the spindle bearing has developed friction. This should not happen as the bearings are designed to be self lubricating and run dry. However it is and explanation and we have found that a PTFE loaded oil can reduce spindle noise and may solve speed variation in the odd case (we have seldom found this to work for long though). This oil and the video on how to apply it can be found on the link Motor bearing Oil PTFE loaded

The video can be found on the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrMna_UMaxM

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