I hope you folks won't mind a noob (to the forum) bending your ear and looking for advice.
A 35 year old Technics SL-Q200. I used it gently but frequently for a few years but eventually stopped, and just fired it up again probably for the first time in 25 or more years.
The cartridge is a Shure M92E. I guess it could be 500 hours or so playing time on it, but I think less. I'm guessing. I was a bleeding fanatic about record and stylus care, and it never saw anything but clean mint or near-mint vinyl at 1.25g. I was still very happy with it at the time I stopped using it.
I fired it up recently because I decided to electronically archive my old vinyl. I bought a RIAA pre-amp, and hooked it up to a DAC (M-Audio Audiophile Firewire) that am using to feed my computer running Audacity.
I have been moving music, but am troubled by a couple of symptoms I am seeing.
The Audacity input meters tell me that the left channel consistently plays about 2db louder than the right. I can switch the wires at the TT and the "hot" channel moves from the left to the right. I can sort of hear the imbalance in my headphones, but not so much that I'd notice it if I wasn't looking for it, but my ears have never been sensitive to such things.
The right channel has a low rumble, so faint Audacity only shows it while the tonearm is raised. I can hear it if I turn everything way up. The left channel has no rumble at all, its meter firmly planted at the -60db baseline, while the right meter is doing a constant rumble that peaks at about -54db. I can actually hear it out of the right headphone ear if I turn things way up while the tonearm is raised. The noise is not enough to be seen or heard while playing music, at least not by me.
It is very possible that I had these symptoms 35 years ago too, and just didn't notice it because I didn't have this digital meter telling me stories.
Thanks for all your patience as I finally get to my question.
Any ideas about what may be causing these symptoms, and whether there might be any inexpensive remedies worth trying? Once I get the vinyl archived I may not even touch it again, so I'm not really thinking of spending a lot. Just living with it is not my first choice but it is one of the options.
Advice greatly appreciated.