My tonearm screw came loose. Argh.

always listening
ChrisLovesRock
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My tonearm screw came loose. Argh.

Post by ChrisLovesRock » 11 Dec 2018 12:46

Just my luck. Nearly a week after getting my first turntable, an Audio-Technica LP120, while doing a record cleaning checkup, which turned into a cartridge/headshell/alignment/wiring/phase checkup, my cartridge nuts slipped off and now the screws are loose. One of the nuts is MIA. The white ring at the top of one screw fell off and is on the floor somewhere, but I have poor light. Ugh. It's a frustrating mess.

And I have a dust bunny on my 95e stylus, but that's the least of my problems.

Any similar horror stories you'd like to share?

AceDeuce73
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Re: My tonearm screw came loose. Argh.

Post by AceDeuce73 » 11 Dec 2018 16:07

Yup, never fails to astound me how a tiny screw dropped from a height of several inches can travel all the way across a room in a fraction of a second.

Luckily I have a magnetic sweeper that makes finding them easier. Not easy, just easier. If you have a Harbor Freight nearby you can get one for cheap, and it saves a load of frustration at times.

I also keep some of these on hand just in case:

https://www.turntableneedles.com/Turnta ... w-Kit.html

nat
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Re: My tonearm screw came loose. Argh.

Post by nat » 12 Dec 2018 00:29

The magnet doesn't work for aluminum screws and nuts and for plastic washers. A great pity, since parts on the floor is a constant feature of my audio life.

ChrisLovesRock
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Re: My tonearm screw came loose. Argh.

Post by ChrisLovesRock » 12 Dec 2018 04:02

I found the washer, but I have no clue where he nut could have gone. The other one had fallen off on the TT below where the TA usually rests, so I could always look there.

vanakaru
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Re: My tonearm screw came loose. Argh.

Post by vanakaru » 12 Dec 2018 11:18

I drop stuff on the floor way too often. Lately 15 0.7mm bearing balls off the tonearm that had come loose in transit. It amazed me that I found 12 of these in few minutes - remaining 3 in half an hour. I do not have carpet or wood floor in my studio obviously.
One trick I found working well is to lay down on the floor and look as parallel to the surface as possible. Even very small things stand up much better on sideview than strait on.

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Re: My tonearm screw came loose. Argh.

Post by plyscds » 12 Dec 2018 16:52

vanakaru wrote:
12 Dec 2018 11:18

One trick I found working well is to lay down on the floor and look as parallel to the surface as possible. Even very small things stand up much better on sideview than strait on.
That is a good search technique, but as a youngster at home I learned from Dad to shine a flashlight beam along the floor to help illuminate anything lying in it's coverage. It might also suggest that it's time to run the vacuum cleaner, but that will pass if you actually find what you're searching for.

ChrisLovesRock
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Re: My tonearm screw came loose. Argh.

Post by ChrisLovesRock » 13 Dec 2018 03:15

The only part I'm still missing is the nut. Meanwhile, no wonder everything sounded so horrible, out-of-phase(?) and -- stranger, still -- out of sync! I printed my protractors at the wrong size. I printed them straight off the browser rather than via Adobe Reader. I printed out the Stephenson twice and tape-measured it. I wish I had been able to measure before everything got convoluted. As soon as I can re-screw my H/C, I know what to do. And at some point in time, I'll also get a tracking gauge, but money's been tight.

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Re: My tonearm screw came loose. Argh.

Post by Legrace » 13 Dec 2018 20:31

Seemingly innocuous events sometimes morph into horror stories. Case in point; I once had a RCA connector come apart while unplugging a turntable. I can observe the plug end still on the amp, meanwhile all I'm holding in my hand is the barrel and hanging wires. The only time I’ve ever had one disintegrate like this. Note this particular table features continuous loom from the cartridge to the RCA’s, so not a simple matter of just swapping in a new cable. On further investigation it became evident that the stress of the event had additionally caused the conductor to snap somewhere else further up inside the arm. So off it went for a costly rewire. An expensive lesson learned that day! :x

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Re: My tonearm screw came loose. Argh.

Post by JDJX » 13 Dec 2018 23:16

We all do a dumb thing... one time or another.

Just recently...

I disconnected and removed my integrated amp to clean and adjust the shelf that it is on.

Since I'm long time audiophile, I know how to connect a stereo system . It's second nature to me.
so.. I replaced and reconnected the amp.

A short while later I noticed that the bass response was off somehow.
I thought the it might might be the change in the weather or worse, my hearing took a turn for the worse .

Long story short........
In my haste to reconnect it, I reversed the phase on one speaker which are connected to the amp via banana plugs. Yes, it was a very dumb mistake but, fortunately, it was a very easy fix..... once I finally realized the problem of course. :)

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Re: My tonearm screw came loose. Argh.

Post by ChrisLovesRock » 30 Dec 2018 07:41

Well, wouldn't you know? Guess what I finally found last night? Or rather, it found me. That damn nut was lying on the floor in front of the cable box. I got it all set up and Stephenson aligned.

I don't know if I got the dust bunny off, but the Butterfly is finally getting some of its Iron back. The L/R channels occasionally lost sync (The right was sometimes half a beat ahead). In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida still sounds a bit muffled overall, but it's better than the last time I played it. I'm gonna try another record.

At least I got this much taken care of.

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Re: My tonearm screw came loose. Argh.

Post by ChrisLovesRock » 30 Dec 2018 10:34

*Stevenson.

I put on Patty Duke's Don't Just Stand There and after some fine tuning (including height adjustment), I got it to sound pretty decent. Not perfect, but decent. But that might have more to do with the records themselves. I cleaned them as best I could. I think it's good enough to not fuss with for a while.

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Re: My tonearm screw came loose. Argh.

Post by nat » 01 Jan 2019 15:40

Inna Gadda Vida sounds somewhat imperfect even at its best. I've always assumed it was part of the gestalt of the thing.
I will be roundly chastised for this bit of advice, but simply cleaning records in the sink with a sponge and a little bit of dish detergent and warm water, and then drying them completely is remarkable effective. If you have some sort of very gentle fine brush it is even better. Don't soak the label. Obviously a $500 record machine is vastly better, and more audiophile approved, but the sink is better than playing really dirty records which normal brushes or pads don't cope with well.

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Re: My tonearm screw came loose. Argh.

Post by derspankster » 01 Jan 2019 16:02

nat wrote:
01 Jan 2019 15:40
Inna Gadda Vida sounds somewhat imperfect even at its best. I've always assumed it was part of the gestalt of the thing.
I will be roundly chastised for this bit of advice, but simply cleaning records in the sink with a sponge and a little bit of dish detergent and warm water, and then drying them completely is remarkable effective. If you have some sort of very gentle fine brush it is even better. Don't soak the label. Obviously a $500 record machine is vastly better, and more audiophile approved, but the sink is better than playing really dirty records which normal brushes or pads don't cope with well.
I did the very same thing 40 years ago with no ill effects. Many of those records still get regular play in my abode. I now use a Spin Clean. Easier, and maybe more effective.

der

nat
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Re: My tonearm screw came loose. Argh.

Post by nat » 02 Jan 2019 02:16

I was inspired to listen to Inna Gadda Davida by this post. My wife was amazed, but I have to say that I really dug it - far out baby! Lots and lots of fuzztone, overdrive, and perhaps not the most careful recording, so absolutely useless for checking for alignment/antiskate/distortion, but really fun to listen to.
If you like it, you might also like the live version of Rare Earth's cover of Get Ready. There is a part of me that still digs way too long songs with everyone getting a chance to show off and bore the audience. If it were Prog Rock, people now would think it cool, but so far, no.

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Re: My tonearm screw came loose. Argh.

Post by ChrisLovesRock » 02 Jan 2019 03:44

Another day in my journey, and the best one yet.

I put on a couple mono singles and for some reason, the tonearm skated to the edge of the record, both times. Didn't even play the records: A Gary Puckett (which, come to find out, is warped/bent up at the edges) and a Jackie Ross. Jackie caused it to skate to the edge, and my cantilever got totaled.

I let it wait a day.

After New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest and Dick Clark's Ghost, I replaced the stylus and fine tuned all of my settings and alignments. I started with In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, and, oh my God, it's the best it's ever sounded. I'd say it's even better than the 1990 CD I have. It's possible I damaged the original stylus from the get go. There were a few early skips on both sides that I'd attribute to height adjustment (which is set to 2).

Then to troubleshoot the Saturday Night Massacre and prevent it from happening again, I put on The Monkees self-titled debut in mono. Nice and clean. Incredible fidelity. I was floored. Then, the reverse, I played a stereo single, The Pointer Sisters' "Slow Hand / Holding Out for Love." Wow. Not only did I find out the name of that country song, but learned that the Pointers did it first. Awesome sound quality. Then I tried to find a different mono single, and I went with "A Must to Avoid / The Man With the Cigar" by Peter Noone & Herman's Hermits. Who knew these 50-year-old chunks of plastic could sound so damn good?

Everything I played after Gadda was (near) flawless. No skips. The occasional pop. No/very little surface noise.

I'm letting my ears rest today, but I definitely look forward to More/American Graffiti, Bob Marley's Legend, and Revolver. I can't remember if I still have help or if it was scratched.

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I know now why you "vy."

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