Tweak/mod suggestions for AT-PL120

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BMRR
vinyl addict
vinyl addict
United States of America
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Joined: 23 Aug 2013 03:48

Tweak/mod suggestions for AT-PL120

Post by BMRR » 30 Aug 2019 18:20

I recently acquired an AT-PL120 (nearly identical to the AT-LP120USB, except the PL120 doesn't have USB output). It doesn't have the dreaded platter wobble of some PL120s/LP120s, and the tonearm bearing is only a little bit loose (not as loose as many of the other Hanpin tables I've owned or used). So it's worth keeping, I think, especially since I only paid $100 for it.

I only use it for 78 RPM so I don't need ultimate high performance from it, but I'm wondering which tweaks/mods/upgrades I should pursue. Preferably the ones that cost as little money as possible. :)

Is there an easy/cheap fix for the well-known antiskating issue?

What's the easiest and cheapest way to damp the platter? I'm already using two mats (one rubber, one silicone) stacked on top of each other, which also helps with the tonearm being a little too high even at the zero setting, but I know a lot of people have done stuff to the underside of the platter to reduce ringing. I've seen some products that are either sprayed on or brushed on but I'm not certain I could do this evenly enough that it wouldn't mess up the balance of the platter.

Should I do anything to reduce the resonance of the plinth? Modeling clay is a classic mod and I did this on another Hanpin turntable (an Onkyo CP-1050), but maybe there's something else that works better...?

I've noticed that the speeds are slightly off when I'm using the turntable in quartz mode. What's strange is that they look perfect when viewing the dots on the platter, but the RPM app on my phone as well as my printed strobe disc show that the speeds are either too fast (at 33) or too slow (at 45). Does that mean the dots on the platter were not made correctly, or does it mean the strobe lamp is malfunctioning, or does it mean the quartz speed system is not calibrated correctly... or something else?

What's also strange is that if I disable quartz and set the speed manually with the pitch slider, I can achieve a perfect 33.33 RPM, but the wow & flutter increases from .18% (when using quartz) to .25% (when quartz is disabled). (again this is measured with the RPM app on my phone).

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