Part 2 here
Having had some experience messing about with set up several times on a Thorens TD160BC MkII with different arms and platter mats (very successfully), and with an LP12 (not so successfully - got it close but ended up at a Linn dealer for a full service and set up), I approached the RD11s reasonably confidently, but also in the knowledge that if set up was a problem I'd just do a bit more research and then go back to it. This is a project for fun and experience building, not as a serious source for my system.
So here's the starting point, a several decades old plinth, suspension and motor unit, sourced through the classifieds at hifiwigwam.com:
|Starting point - an Ariston Audio RD11s|
Sitting on the workbench in the garage, I started by giving it a quick clean, which wasn't too hard as its in such great condition and came packed with copious amounts of bubble wrap and with the bearing plugged, inner platter and main platter removed, as it should be.
The underside of the deck has no base plate - its lost this somewhere in its no doubt long and varied life. Still, I think this could be a good thing on 2 counts - first it means easy access to all the relevant suspension adjustment options, secondly, because it is no longer effectively a box, there should be less chance of resonances building up inside which may affect the sound quality.
First was to check the alignment and fitment of the newly arrived soundsupports.com SME to Rega armboard adapter.
|Armboard adapter offered up to the existing SME mount|
|ISOkinetic (Rega) RB202 tonearm, unpacked from its box. Note the low cost "captive" arm lead to carry the signal to the pre-amp|
|Armboard fitted to the three-point mounting with countersunk bolts|
|Unboxing the Goldring Elektra Cartridge|
|Stylus removed from cartridge body prior to mounting|
|Cart loosely mounted in the headshell and connected up|
Next up, using ISOkinetic supplied oil, I ensured that all the existing oil was soaked up into kitchen towel and then refilled with the new oil. Before fitting the inner platter I laid a small amount of kitchen towel around the bearing to catch any overflow - of which there wasn't any.
Having given the inner platter edges, outer platter engagement surface and the spindle a clean with alcohol and then a polish with a dry lint-free cloth, the inner platter was gently lowered into the bearing shaft - being careful not to "drop" it into the hole which could damage the bearing surfaces. The last few mm of travel took about 10 seconds or so as the oil was pushed out of the way. No excess oil at this point, so I'll remove it again later and put a little more oil in there.
|Inner platter installed|
|Arm and complete platter installed - note the huge gap between platter and top plate|
Setting up and first play is in Part 4.
Part 3 is here
Part 2 is here
Part 1 is here