"What a refreshingly honest blog about listening to music through hi-fi. So happy to see views based upon the enjoyment of music rather than so-called sound 'quality'." - Peter Comeau, Director of Acoustic Design at Mission / Wharfedale

Monday 13 October 2014

Musings Goes Analogue - Part 4 - RD11s Set-Up

Part One here
Part Two here
Part Three here

Didn't really take enough pictures of this process, so apologies for that.

Before any mass (ie the platters) were added to the deck, I lifted it up onto 2 x inverted storage boxes - they supported the deck down each side of the plinth.  A few pieces of card board packing under the storage boxes allows me to get the deck level in both directions.

Next was fitting of the inner platter and letting it sink into the oil in the bearing.

Inner Platter
Then the belt was fitted (to ensure that any adjustments to the suspension allow for the tension / springiness of the belt).  Then the platter was fitted upside down, then the mat on the top of that.  This ensures that the mass of the suspended part of the deck is correct, but allows for visibility of the drive belt - this helps to ensure that the belt can run without falling off the inner platter.

Using the 3 suspension adjustment nuts underneath the deck (visible when the base panel is removed - this deck doesn't have a base panel), I adjusted the suspension so that the armboard became parallel with the deck top plate.  I then flipped the main platter over and fitted the mat and checked for that the platter was level.  Found that the front left (looking at the deck) was too high, so slackened the suspension nut on that corner.  Flipped the platter back over and then ran the motor to make sure the belt stays on the inner platter.  It was fine first time, even when bouncing the suspension by pushing down on the spindle.

With the platter the right way up and with the mat onboard, a gentle push down on the spindle gave a nice clean vertical bounce - with about 8 bounces before it settles.  This has been the easiest suspended turntable I've ever set up.  Its almost as if it had a Rega arm on it all its life!
Suspension looking high on first time of looking at the platter installed - note the gap between the platter and the top plate
Once the suspension was set up, here you can see the closer gap between platter and top plate

Next is getting the cartridge lined up.   Using a card template supplied with the arm, all that was needed was to position the stylus on the "spot" and adjust the cart in the arm and the position of the template around the platter until the headshell was parallel with the lines on the template.  Once this was done, the cart mounting bolts were tightened up firmly, but not enough to damage the plastic mounting lugs on the cart.
Aligning the arm / cart on the template

Now the arm was balanced by moving the counterweight until the arm "floats" horizontally.  Once this was achieved the tracking weight gauge was turned so that 0 is at the top, then the counterweight and gauge are turned together towards the arm pivot until 1.8 grams was reading on the scale.  The anti-skate gauge is then turned to the same value.

Setting tracking weight

Deck all set up and playing music
Part 5 will deal with the build of the RD80SL deck with Linn LVX arm.

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