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Empire 598 Troubador

Classic Belt-Drive Transcription Turntable

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Empire 598 Troubador


The Empire 598 turntable was designed to far exceed professional standards of performance.

This instrument, in conjunction with other equally high calibre components, will allow you with the press of a button, to hear the full sound of music so akin to the actual performance that only the most expert ear can detect the difference.

The Troubador system is designed to produce sound, magnificent in person sound, from stereophonic and standard vinyl records.

Long life and trouble free operation are guaranteed for the 598 by an ingenious turntable design that involves only two moving parts, a powerful hysteresis synchronous motor and a heavy aluminium turntable platter individually balanced to the peak of perfection.

Finally, the handsome and functional looks will enhance any room.

This is the worlds most perfect record playback system.

With cast aluminium platter, fitted with the Empire 990 Tonearm.


Speeds: 33.33 and 45rpm (zero error)

Rumble: lowest of any turntable tested

Wow and flutter: almost unmeasurable (0.1%)

Platter: 12" OD cast aluminium two piece

Motor: hysteresis synchronous type

Drive system: flexible belt drive

Main bearing: microhoned oilite bearings

Suspension: pneumatic

Feedback: total system gain before acoustic feedback 141dB


instruction/owners manual  English

mkII instruction/owners manual  English - MRL_LPLvr

mkIII instruction/owners manual  English

mkIII instruction/owners manual (alt scan)  English

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Empire 598 Troubador / 598 owners manual, service manuals and schematics are for reference only and the Vinyl Engine bears no responsibility for errors or other inaccuracies. The PDF files are provided under strict licence. Reproduction without prior permission or for financial gain is strictly prohibited. This website is not affiliated with or sponsored by Empire.



i purchased a 598 Troubador and it sounds great. i have only 2 issues:

1. the band sometimes slips up the spindle, which is irritating.
2. the engine is making a very high pitched squeaking sound at times, which for quieter albums is a distraction. where do i add lubricant? there's a hole at the top of the little engine. would i put a drop or two of engine oil there? i'm not sure.

any help would be useful.


re: squeeking

Good chance the shipping screw is still attached to the motor. The motor isn't supposed to actually make contact with the metal housing around it; it should be insulated by the rubber mounting grommets. They put a screw through the housing and into the motor to keep in from moving around while it's shipped, but if you don't take it out, the whine from the motor will transfer into the casing and therefore into the tone arm, plus it will tilt the motor a little to the side, so sometimes the belt will climb up the spindle.

Hope that helps.

thank you

i'll the motor is indeed tiled to one side slightly. i didn't realize there was a transport screw until you pointed it out to me. thanks for that. i'll fix it tonight.


Empire 598 versions

Hi, I'm new to this, and actually new to having a nice quality tt. I just bought an Empire 598 and I have no idea which version it is... Troubador? Troubador II, or Troubador III. Does anyone know how to tell the difference?

Also, I noticed that if I press down on the back of the arm, it sinks and wobbles a bit and so does the platter. Is this normal behavior... part of it being a suspension table?
I told you I'm new at this ;-)

Empire 598 Versions

Be sure your tone arm is in holder so it doesn't flop around and turn the table over to look on the bottom and it will have the label between the tone-arm and the capacitor (the cylindrical object near the front). If the label is not there then you can check to see which model you have by removing the cover on front left to reveal the capstan. If the capstan has two sizes for the drive belt to run on you would seem to have a 598 ver. 2, if the capstan has 3 different sizes then you would have the ver. 3

Hope this helps you.

Also: I found that I was getting a 60 hz. hum from mine so I attached a new 3 wire electrical cord and so I could ground the table or alternatively you could ground the table to your amplifier to get rid of the 60 hz. hum. Trial and error is ok, you won't hurt anything with grounding.

Problem with Empire 598 wiring

I keep losing audio on my 598 and I think the problem is the cable that's directly attached to the turntable. I understand that the cable is proprietary and at a loss on how to find replacements. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Any tips would be appreciated.

Thanks -- Eman

598 audio cable

Hi, just joined and read your post. There is a guy who sells on ebay that was making replacement cables with the matching 5 pin arrangement last year or so. I just recently noticed that he has started making them again. I believe this is probablly a good way to go and might even be considered a slight upgrade. Who knows. Anyway, the ebay auction item number is 130324742141. He's selling them for about $70 each. Sounds like you can order custom lengths. Good luck, I'm probably going to buy a set.


Great turntable. I have a

Great turntable. I have a 698, in cherry condition. By the way, anyone know how to set the cue mechanism? Mine doesn't have enough clearance in the "up" position (likely 1/16", any slight warp negates my ability to use cue up). I set the VTA for a Stanton 681 EEE and now cue is out of adjustment. Any help appreciated. This TT looks and sounds great!

Empire 698

You can adjust the lift height. Take a close look under the tonearm lift, you will see a very small diamater hole in which a small diamater "pin' tool can be placed. The tool is placed in the hole and turned clockwise to raise or counter clockwise to lower. I have a copy of the owners manual I just got, will be glad to up-load it or e-mail you a copy.


adjusting lift height - owners manual

Hi medicmike,
I just joined vinyl engine and (because I) got an Empire 598. I am also having trouble with cueing lift height after adjusting VTA to proper level with current cart. Would you please elaborate on the "pin tool", location of adjustment "screw", and/or email me a copy of your owners manual. I don't see this adjustment covered in any of the PDF files of the owners manual on Vinyl engine.

Thanks, Fred

698 manual

Hi Medicmike,it would be great if you could upload this manual as I am not sure if my turntable is supposed to have a arm lift at end of record as if it does mine does not work. old timer thanks

empire598 turntable

thanks for the scans as i have been looking for info on a 698 and no luck.The 698 i have has only one pully location but has the auto lift and strobe disc for 33 ans 45 speeds Any help please .thanks