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I think I made a bad purchase.


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So to cut a long story short I was getting tired of looking for a turntable.

I have only 1 friend who owns a turntable. He gave me some advice but he's been busy/not to interested in helping.

I researched as much as i could but you can all the knowledge in the world and it wont beat the trained eye.

Unfortunately I thought i landed a pretty good deal unfortunately I think I may have bought something that needs more work than i thought.

 

I picked up an AT LP1240. Now I wasnt too worried when i arrived about the stylus as i was planning to change it however it came fitted with a shure m447. The whole deck seems pretty thrashed. Previous owner had no clue. This things definitely had a hard life few scratches, a broken target light the covers seen better days. Things I overlooked in photos I guess i shouldnt have rushed into it but I felt like it was still a reasonable deal so i took it.

 

Getting it home i went to a local thrift store and just grabbed the first vinyl I could to test it out. Took it home gave it a clean and put it on. To my amazement it sounded pretty good. However there are alot of things that worry me about this deck and I would love to get some advice on someone who knows turntables more than myself. I think its not setup correctly. the tone arm seems to rattle a bit. the platter seems pretty straight.

 

Is there someone local to sydney that would be willing to take a look at it? or recommend a store i could take it to get it setup with a new cart and give it a look over.

Also i suppose the question is should i try source out another 447 stylus or just go to something else like a at95ml

 

Cheers Richard

 

 

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It seems like your AT LP1240 was used for DJ-ing, which is what it was designed for.  Not surprising it's been mistreated. 

 

The arm shouldn't be loose, it is evidence of it's mistreatment.  How/where does it rattle?  There are lots of places a turntable can become loose.  If it's in the base remove the bottom cover of the turntable (with the power disconnected) and there should be a nut that secures the arm to the base. 

 

The M447 cart is designed for DJ/scratching, and a quick google viewing suggests that a cart designed for hifi will bring much better clarity and less bass boom.  The M447 will have resale value. 

 

I've looked on vinylengine, there is no service manual available for download.  Did you get the user manual with it?

 

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Hey Rob 

 

the rattle doesn’t really give any movement it’s verrrrry slight but the rattle comes from the pivot point on the turntable.  
 

I’ve seen the price of working 447s I’ll definitely consider selling it to fund a better cart. I don’t seem to notice much boom bass however I don’t really listen to much hip hop. Not do I currently own any hip hop albums.  Doesn’t mean I wouldn’t in future but wouldn’t be my go to. 
 

no user manual but I did find one on google.  Yet to read it.  I’ve given it a quick glance over.  There is no point trying to set it up just yet when I think I’m going to want another cart. 

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32 minutes ago, Wimbo said:

If the tonearm rattles, the bearing assembly is loose or damaged. I'd personally, give it a miss.

Unfortunately the untrained eye didn’t check it enough. I own it now. 

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Two things there.

1) Never do that to a tonearm.

2) That don't look good to me.

Saying that, the bearing assembly is loose AFAIK. What damage this has caused is beyond me. 

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There is likely a way to adjust, maybe tighten, to fix that.

 

Think I recall this was a thing with those Pioneers, but was fixable, if my memory serves correctly.

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The inner bit is the adjustment screw and the outer bit is a locknut. 

 

Ideally you would loosen the locknut,  adjust,  then tighten the locknut hoping the adjustment hadn't changed.

 

However for this cheap stuff you can most likely (using common sense) turn the inner screw slightly without touching the locknut. You just need a fraction of a turn to reduce the slack but remember you need some play or the arm will bind. 

 

I have done this successfully  on many of these Chinese DJ turntables. 

 

s.m

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9 hours ago, audiofeline said:

Yes, it should improve the sound.  It should move freely without wobble.

Interesting.

What kind of negative effect would his have on sound?

 

8 hours ago, sdotmouse said:

The inner bit is the adjustment screw and the outer bit is a locknut. 

 

Ideally you would loosen the locknut,  adjust,  then tighten the locknut hoping the adjustment hadn't changed.

 

However for this cheap stuff you can most likely (using common sense) turn the inner screw slightly without touching the locknut. You just need a fraction of a turn to reduce the slack but remember you need some play or the arm will bind. 

 

I have done this successfully  on many of these Chinese DJ turntables. 

 

s.m

 

When you say the adjustment are you referring to balance of the arm etc? This will all be reset anyways when I change the cart. I am happy to reset everything given the last owner had no clue. 

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Classic Hifi in Newtown restored old Marantz. They changed the belt, put on a new cart and bingo! 

It'll be worth taking it to them and get a quote. 

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5 hours ago, Softailricho said:

Interesting. What kind of negative effect would his [a wobbly arm] have on sound?...

It would probably result in a less clear sound, less soundstage.  Remember the styli+cart is a mechanical device, responding to minute movements.  The arm should hold it firm and steady, so the only movement is across the record.  Wobbles result in less accurate cart/styli movement.  Compare the microscopic movements that the styli/cart responds to precisely to the large movement in your arm wobble.  

 

An analogy is suspension on a car.  Good suspension means that when the car's travelling at speed the body will move exactly where the wheels point it.  If it has very soft suspension the body will wobble, and when the car is turned the body's momentum will want it to continue to move in a straight line rather than following the direction of the wheel turn, and then will wobble about before settling down. 

 

5 hours ago, Softailricho said:

...When you say the adjustment are you referring to balance of the arm etc? This will all be reset anyways when I change the cart. I am happy to reset everything given the last owner had no clue. 

 

You are getting confused with the counterweight at the end of the tonearm shaft. @sdotmouse is referring to the horizonal bearings that are loose and causing the wobble.  They should hold the arm firmly so there is no wobble, but no so tight that the arm can't move up/down. 

 

Edited by audiofeline
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I'm not familiar with this AT arm, but I am familiar with the Technics. Looking at the bearing it seems the same setup as the Technics and if this is the case the arm will require dismantling to inspect the bearings for damage. Some Technics arms like the EPA-100 have spring loaded pins which can stick causing slop in the bearings.

 

What happens to the Techie arm is the pin or balls can be damaged so even if the bearing is tightened it adds significant friction to the free movement of the arm.

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Thanks for everyone’s input I’m pretty sure I resolved the main issue. 

obviously I’m very keen to get some of my records on this thing I noticed that the first 3 I’ve opened are warped from factory.  It seems very slight after speaking to a few collectors they classed them as “normal” I’m new to vinyl it’s a learning curve. Internet seems to say they need to be dead flat.  I have over 50 sealed vinyls I’m slowly opening.  They have been stored correctly so it seems to just be poor manufacturing. I was told 180gms are less prone to any warps.  The first one I opened once again slightly warped.  
I opened a new one today and it’s closer to perfect. With the slightest of wobble. 
 

Anyways realising that vinyl is clearly not perfect everything else doesn’t need to be. Of course I like good audio quality but I wouldn’t say I’m an audiophile. 
 

so i reset it by checking to see if the tone arm was balanced it was not. (I suspected someone would have messed about with this thing) so I reset it and chucked one of my records on she played fine. I seem to have a lot of static so I can only assume the stylus is ready for the bin. 
 

I decided to go into a store where I would find some more at tables. No 1240s on display however the lp120 (model under this) the tone arm was almost the same freeplay and noise. I visited 3 shops everything on display was the same.  I decided to go to a store with technics 1200s on display and had a feel of the tone arm to set a benchmark. Yes mine was not going to cut it! So heading home I checked my tone arm adjustments. One seemed to have some sort of clear superglue smeared all over it.  The top adjustment seemed fine. The side (which had the glue on it) I chipped the glue off and tensioned it.  The arm now feels exactly like the 1200 decks it almost floats and moves freely without restriction (I suspect the weight is wrong now so I will balance it up again this week) 

 

I have a bunch of questions but they don’t really relate to this thread so I’ll start a new one. 

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Quality control of newly-pressed LP's doesn't seem to be as high as it was when records ruled the world.  Warps would never have been tolerated back then (except by people who didn't care). 

 

I wouldn't trust a stylus that comes with a secondhand turntable, esp. one that's been used for rough dj-ing.  It might be OK for an old damaged album or some worthless op-shop buys, but it only takes one playing with a worn styli to do permanent damage to an LP.  So keep it away from your new purchases!

 

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15 minutes ago, audiofeline said:

Quality control of newly-pressed LP's doesn't seem to be as high as it was when records ruled the world.  Warps would never have been tolerated back then (except by people who didn't care). 

 

I wouldn't trust a stylus that comes with a secondhand turntable, esp. one that's been used for rough dj-ing.  It might be OK for an old damaged album or some worthless op-shop buys, but it only takes one playing with a worn styli to do permanent damage to an LP.  So keep it away from your new purchases!

 

Cheers for the advice. 
 

Im on the fence if I should find a stylus for the m44-7 cartridge. Or switch out for a vm95ml 

 At the moment my budget only allows for a vm95e 

I just put the shure up for sale hopefully someone grabs it soon 

if so the ml will be in the budget 

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Because it seems like you're looking at upgrading the turntable, get a stylus for your M44 and enjoy it.  Keep the old one (mark it so it doesn't get confused with the new) and keep the receipt for the new one so you have evidence it's relatively new when you sell it. 

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On 02/04/2024 at 3:54 PM, Softailricho said:

Not my deck but this is virtually what I’m hearing. 
 

 

 

 

I read about this issue first time here - https://turntablewave.com/why-is-my-record-skipping-how-to-fix-it/

 

According to their recommendation, you need to replace the tonearm bearings or even the whole tonearm.

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In so far as these cheap DJ turntables are rubbish I have to admit I love them. 

 

There is no point doing more than what I have described to the tone arm. If it doesn't work sell it on Gumtree or throw it in the bin. 

 

s.m

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Thanks Alex. 
I have resolved the issue with the arm. 
thanks to @sdotmouse advice 

I adjusted the arm. It feels almost like a technics 1200 as close as a Chinese copy will get. 

silky smooth zero bind I mentioned it a couple of comments ago where I found superglue on one of the nuts 🤷‍♂️

 

also EVERY single audio technica I’ve found on display is exactly the same.  
The pioneers I found  were better quality.  I’ve found technics that are very thrashed. And the same 

but most cared for technics tables were good. 

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I’m not sure if I should really start a new thread or just ask in this one. So I’ll try here. 
 

I’ve decided to pickup a vm95e cartridge. Cheaper than buying a replacement stylus for the m44-7 and seems to have more positive reviews. 
 

obviously I’ll need to reset everything my question is 

should I set it up exactly where it is sitting or can I take it to another table. Level it up.  Set it up. Then take it back to its shelf and double check its level? 
where it lives is pretty high off the ground and I would have to be standing to set it up.  Would be ideal to set it up on my workbench instead so I can sit down and take my time. 
 

Writing this makes it sound like a stupid question but being a sensitive bit of equipment I thought I’d ask if a change in elevation would change anything.  

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