The Saga Begins (Click here to Skip the intro and goto Re-assembly)
This all started when I fit the new Denon 110 to the rebuilt LP12 (more of which later). Having laboured over the cartridge alignment it was time for the acid test, the HiFi News Analogue Test Record. Well it does say that many decks won't pass the test on Side 1 track 9, mine being no exception, but I just had to find out why.
Everything looked good with the cartridge alignment, arm and armboard levelling, platter etc, but when I looked at the headshell from the front, I could see that it was'nt level (i.e. the top was not parallel with the plinth).
You can just see the misalignment here ....
Having looked for several minutes at the arm, I decided to try to 'adjust' the headshell or armtube (whichever was easiest) to correct the problem having first confirmed the mis-alignment with the spirit level at each end of the tonearm and removed the arm from the armboard.
Easier said than done, Linn did not mean for us punters to go 'fiddling about' with their machinery, all six screws (three at each end) in the arm-tube are loctite'd in and almost impossible to remove without risking permanent damage to the arm-tube. Finally decided that since the bearing end screws were the biggest, that they would be more likely to stand up to the assault with the screwdriver, this proved to be case and I quickly had the buggers out.
Damn, there is no adjustment available, the holes in the arm-tube are only large enough to permit the screws through to the tail end of the arm bearing assembly, tried to slightly mis-align the screws to achieve the desired adjustment but they just self-centred themselves - back to square one. Only option I could see was to remove the arm-tube completely to drill out the screw holes slightly oversize to give some adjustment.
The fun starts here ....
Flushed with my initial success in removing the screws, I took a firm grip of the arm-tube in one hand, bearing assembly in the other, and gently but firmly tried to break the glue seal between the two assemblies by alternately twisting the arm-tube in each direction. Success again, it actually moved !!, well now I'm getting really cocky, so I just carried on rockin with complete dis-regard to I WONDER HOW LONG THIS TONEARM WIRE IS ....... SNAP !!!, arm-tube in one hand, bearing assembly in the other, short length of wire protruding from the arm-tube and none in sight at the bearing assembly end - Doh !!
See the sorry state of affairs below ....
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1. It came off in my hand Chief - honest !!
2. Close-up of the headshell with wiring still attached
3. Detail of the headshell and plug retaining screw (tiny)
4. Internal wiring in the headshell
4. As far as you need to go to get the new wire in !
I decided at this point that I would only dis-assemble the tonearm enough to be able to replace the wiring, well, as you can see, that's quite a long way really. I found that it's impossible to thread the new wiring in without taking the bearing end apart too, the wiring actually passes through a very small hole, and a wiring tag for the earth wire (just visible to the right of the bearing pillar in picture 4).
As you can see in picture 4, I left the anti-skating assembly and arm lift in one piece as it uses a very fiddly spring and twine (yes twine) mechanism which I was not confident I could refit successfully. The bearing pillar can be removed after removing two grub screws in the anti-skating assembly, and a further 4 in the outer bearing pillar assembly. To avoid possible damage to the tonearm plug, you should also undo the small grub screw holding it into the pillar to allow it and the wiring to be withdrawn.
The central part of the arm assembly (which the tracking weight slides onto) must be removed in order to fit the new wire. This is achieved by undoing the outer 'nut' (carefully to avoid damage), and then the inner one which has two 'flats' machined onto it to allow removal. The central spindle which goes through these 'nuts' is connected directly to the tracking force knob and spring, so as you loosen the inner nut, the spindle tends to turn with it (against the spring), and spring back when you let go. Best not to treat this too roughly as damage to the spring may result. It will come off eventually.
Re-assembly is virtually a reversal of the above ..... (see photos)
Re-assembly Stage 1 - re-wiring the Tonearm plug (Back to top)
I'm using Van Den Hul MSS-7 wire which I purchased through Mick Seymour via Ebay (of course). It's actually slightly thicker than the original, but much more robust and flexible (reasonably easy to use too). I've soldered the new wires onto the plug using some Cardas solder purchased specially for the job.
Stage 2 - Re-fitting the Bearing Pillar assembly
This photo shows the bearing pillar and Anti-Skating assembled, you can see why the arm centre needs to be removed for this, very little room to get the wiring through otherwise.
Stage 3 - Headshell Preparation and Painting
Thought I might as well do this while I've got the arm dis-assembled ....
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1. Rubbed down with Scotchbrite
2. Re-coated with Matt Black Spray Paint (3 coats)
3. As above, side-view
Stage 4 - Re-assembly of the Arm Tube Bearing
This is quite tricky as you have to ensure that the wires are not trapped in the bearing assembly when you re-fit the horizontal bearing into the 'stirrup'. Having spent time getting the arm plug assembly into the bearing pillar, I then decided to remove it again in order to be able to keep the wiring taut as I re-assembled the horizontal bearing.. ah well, we all make mistakes.
Sorry, no photos of this stage, in all the excitement I forgot. So, having then gotten the horizontal bearing back in, and the arm connector re-fitted, I fitted the arm tube loosely (in case I had to remove it again) and pulled through the wiring. I went for about 2 inches of extra wiring protruding through the tube before cutting to length (a bit scary that part, I had to have several re-runs of the decision before proceeding).
Stage 5 - Soldering on the Headshell connections
This is a real bitch of a job as immobilising the headshell while you are soldering on connections this thin (about AWG30 IIRC) is no mean feat. Luckily the Cardas solder is very quick to 'stick' to the headshell plug connections so the wiring went in without too many hitches.
I remembered to take photos this time .... Picture 1 shows how much spare wire I now have to get into the arm tube before re-fitting, unfortunate this but you need about this length to work with.
Picture 2 shows some detail of the wiring inside the headshell, I wrapped a little 'spare' VHD wire round the loom to keep it together and reduce individual strain on each conductor. I also utilised the original earth connection to anchor the new wiring to, this should also serve to take the strain off the wiring itself.
Stage 6 - Re-fit Headshell and Arm-tube
Since I am currently away from the deck, I will leave final assembly until I can fit the arm back onto the armboard and carry out final alignments. I intend to Loctite the screws in at that point ala Linn, but don't want to run the risk of setting it at the wrong angle before then.
The final pictures will be posted then, but in the meantime, this is the Ittok re-assembled for transport, all screws are tight but 'undoable' for alignment.
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1. The arm in all it's (newly re-wired) glory.
2. The screws which are to be adjusted.
3. Aahh, thats better, not so many pieces !!
Stage 7 - Re-fit Arm and align - to be continued ......
This site was last updated 03/06/05