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A turntable is a mechanical precision instrument that can only work properly, if the maintained correctly and regularly. So, what has to be done?
1. The Belt
The belt tends to dry out over time or gets greasy from fingertips and gets slippery. This means it loses grip and cannot rotate the platter perfectly anymore, which results in an inexact speed and a higher chance of wow and flutter.
We recommend replacing the belt every year or at least every two years. This does not necessarily have something to do with how often you use your turntable, because even if not played regularly, it can dry out.
2. Bearing Lubrication
The platter bearing is important for the correct speed and overall lifetime of the turntable. If the bearing is not lubricated, you might damage it. The oil can dissapate by playing regularly, or it gets dirty by rubbing of the metal (turns from grey to black).
You should regularly check if there is oil on the axle. In any case, it is a good idea to renew the lubrication after 3 years at the latest.
We offer Lube it for all turntables with a classical bearing where the axle is mounted on the platter or sub-platter and the bushing is inside the chassis.
e.g. Debut, Juke Box, Primary, E1, Essential, T1, X1, X2 and many more.
We also offer Grease it for all turntables with inverted bearings where the axle is mounted on the chassis and the bushing is in the platter.
e.g. X8, X9, X10, Signature 10 & 12, RPM Line and many more.
The bearing gets better and better by just letting the turntable spin. Just make sure to grease or lube it more often.
A cartridge also has a certain life span. The stylus which is constantly running along the record groove does suffer from some degradation over time as well. The higher the tracking force, the higher the wear out.
Also, the tiny rubber of the cartridge suspension may dry out, get hard and become less sensitive, which degrades the detail of the playback quite a bit.
Modern cartridges have way better diamonds and rubbers, which greatly increase the cartridges lifetime. Correctly installed cartridges used in a good, not too dry or humid environment should easily last for 5000 hours. In any case, you can check yourself by using a test record with a tracking test, which gives you a quite accurate sense whether the cartridge is still in good condition.
To make things easier for you, we now offer dedicated turntable maintenance sets. We created four sets to cover a wide range of our turntables.
Compatible with Primary (E), Essential (various models), Juke Box (various models) & VT-E with Ortofon OM cartridge type!
Compatible with Debut III with Ortofon OM cartridge type!
Compatible with Debut Carbon (various models incl. EVO) with Ortofon 2M cartridge type!
Compatible with Debut Carbon (various models incl. EVO), X1 & X2 with Ortofon 2M cartridge type.