Well I’ve just completed the main suggestions on this thread for my XB and am really very pleasantly surprised by the results – in fact, rather astonished. In summary, I:
• Thoroughly cleaned out and re-oiled the arm well
• Same with the spindle and of course mirror polished the end and cleaned up the spindle shaft itself
• Added Marc’s () bearing plate
• Filled the pulley cavities with modelling clay
• Cleaned up and polished the pulley belt mating faces and spindle platter facings
• Installed a brand new belt
• Replaced the old RCA connectors as the old ‘grey’ lead with the additional ground wire had clearly broken internally and if moved would blast static through the speakers
• Added a sheet of 1mm thick butyl rubber on top of the base board
• Finally, added a Herbies Mat
The really obvious and quite profound improvements were firstly the far quieter background and almost complete absence of rumble. This I attribute to mainly to Marc’s bearing plus the ‘black oil’ I made up and used as recommended here. A special thanks by the way to Marc by the way for making this item available to forum members.
Secondly, the slight but really noticable ‘flutter’ has been cured presumably by the new belt and pulley mod combination. Thirdly, and this is hardest to explain except through the combination of all of the work, the openness and clarity has improved out of sight. At long last, the slightly closed in sound stage and vague fuzziness that stopped it surpassing my CD source has been cured. Who knows how good it would sound with a better than standard arm. I’m very happy though.