When I got it home I came to realization that my receiver didn't have a phono input so I had to wait a week for a preamp to come in before I could test it out in my house with my own LP's. I also took this time to replace the cartridge, which was of unknown age with a Shure Mx97e. I balanced the tonearm, applied the required stylus force using the appropriate dial and aligned it using the included protractor.
The first side of the first LP played perfectly, but then some issues began to make themselves apparent.
- The automatic functions are not working properly at all. When I place the selector to start, the platter starts and the tone arm lifts but only moves over to the pause ledge. It descends to the ledge and then returns home and stops the platter. I have to manually "encourage" it to move over all the way over record and manually line it up and set it down. From there, it will play just fine. This happens 100% of the time. I know there's common issues with the steuyrpimple, but was it just bad luck that it happened to fail on my second play? Before I got the preamp, I was messing around with the controls and may have at one point powered it off before it completed the stop cycle on its own. Is it possible that I powered it off in a state that would cause this issue?
- I occasionally get repeated bars in the reproduction. It will usually repeat 5 or 6 times before it pushes through and continues play. Based on my albeit limited knowledge of TT's (trying to learn!) it seems this may be due to insufficient stylus force. I don't have a force gauge and I've read the spring in the pressure knob can lose its force over time and become inaccurate. I've only tried increasing the force by about a gram but it doesn't seem to happen any less. Oddly the playback will only repeat (skip back) and never skip forward. This happens on most of my LP's at least once.
- Occasionally, maybe 10% of the time, when I start a record I will only have sound out of the right channel. Sometimes stopping and restarting the TT will remedy the problem but sometimes not. Usually if I drop and reseat the cartridge holder it will come back with both channels. Could this be a dirty contact issue? The headshell contacts look pretty nasty, but I'm apprehensive about getting in there with chemicals/force to clean them for fear of damaging the tonearm. Is it possible to remove the entire headshell on these tonearms?
- I seem to be getting audible wow/flutter. This may have been a persistent issue that just took me a few days to notice, but it's definitely there. I haven't removed the platter to inspect the condition of the idler wheel contact surfaces, but I will soon. What exactly am I looking for that would cause wow/flutter?
Other than that, the TT plays great about 80% of the time. I'm considering sending it out to fixmydual or a similar place, but given the cost and complexities of packing for shipping, I'd like to avoid that if possible. I also have considered getting a lube kit, but I'm not skilled in that regard and really wouldn't know what to do with the lubes when I got it. I have the service manual, but it doesn't seem to address the actual process of lubrication and I know if not done properly it can cause more problems than it will solve.
Regardless, I'm still very happy with my purchase!!