I recently serviced a Sony PS-1150 belt drive turntable and want to discuss why I service the spindle bearings on turntables.
The spindle bearing is the central bearing about which the platter turns, rotating the record. This bearing can be anything from a basic narrow steel spindle, to an elaborate bearing with massive stainless steel shaft and ball bearing at the top or bottom. Very often the housing itself is made of brass or bronze.
The lubrication used ranges from grease where clearances are high, to thinner oil in tight-fitting bearings. Really close-tolerance bearings such as those found in my Kenwood KD-600 are so precisely machines that the platter takes all night to settle back down to its resting point as the air is expelled very slowly from the bearing assembly!
Back to the Sony PS-1150. The bearing was desperately in need of service, as it is with most turntables I service. The lubricant had turned to a dirty, black sludge and there was not much of it left. This causes high levels of rumble and increases wow and flutter as friction in the bearing fluctuates as the spindle turns. This black sludge must be completely removed and in its place a suitable lubricant must then be added. In this case I used a thicker weight synthetic oil, but not grease as may have been originally used.
For this deck I chose to remove the bearing assembly as this made it easier to work on. The images show me cleaning out the old grease and show some nice detail in the bearing and spindle. This deck now plays a record very nicely and with less noise than before.
Don’t forget that if you want me to perform this type of service on your deck, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Till the next post, play those records!