(Re)damping cueing on Pioneer PL-41

Discussion in 'Turntables' started by finnbow, Mar 13, 2009.

  1. finnbow

    finnbow The Dude Abides

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    Location:
    MoCo, MD
    As a relative newbie to this forum, let me first extend my thanks and admiration to you, the gentlement of AK. I enjoyed myself a great deal and learned a lot over the past month or so.:thmbsp: I'm rediscovering a hobby that I let slide for far too long.

    Anyway, I got my new (to me) PL-41 TT up and running great. My only issue is the cueing needs to be redamped, if that's the proper word for it. The arm lowers far too quickly, even when the adjustment knob is turned to the full "slow" position (actually turning this knob from fast to slow seems to have no real effect). I've read a few threads about replacing the damping fluid with silicon oil, but am uncertain of the procedure or a good source for said oil. I humbly solicit your sage advice on this, the more detailed the better.
     
  2. bluewizard

    bluewizard Active Member

    Messages:
    205
    While I've never tried it, I wonder if Glycerin would work. You can buy it in any drug store for cheap. It is thick and highly 'viscous', but I don't know how long it would last before it dried out.

    Again, I'm not recommending it, just trying to get the opinions of others.

    I also wonder if there isn't some type of spring mechanism that has wore out. Perhaps a spring washer. Have you looked at the mechanism?

    To open my Pioneer (PL-A35) there are a couple of screws, one in front and one in back, under the turntable plater that hold the suspended table to the base. Loosen, but do not remove, these screws and slide them toward the center of the turntable, and you should be able to lift the suspended table up. Though, naturally you should lock down the tone arm before doing this. Though, the PL-41 may be different than mine.

    I would think that is a mechanism like this, you would want viscosity, but not lubrication. That is you want the friction of the viscosity, but it would seem that the lubrication aspects of it would be counter productive.

    I don't know if they still have it, but I have something called Synco SuperLube which seems to be clear thick non-oily lubrication. I bought it at Radio Shack years ago in a small dispense, but I think they also had it in tubes. I little goes a long way, and it doesn't dry out.

    HOWEVER, I've only used it for general lubrication, not specifically for the viscous aspect. Good stuff though.

    Here is a link to some general 'Super Lube' information.

    http://www.super-lube.com/products-mn-18.htm

    Among their many products the make a food-safe oil, meaning it can be used in and on product that have direct contact with food.

    Here is the product I have -

    http://www.hardwareandtools.com/invt/9104787

    Even if it doesn't solve your problem, it is a good substance to have around.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2009
  3. hakaplan

    hakaplan Needs professional help

    Messages:
    10,727
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    What you need is silicone damping oil, which is a thick goop, as thick or thicker than honey. The viscosity that seems to work the best for most tts is 500K (500,000). You can try to find it at hobby shops that stock radio control accessories, either locally or online. The idea is that the stuff creates friction between the arm lift shaft and the cylinder in which it rides. Ideally you would figure out how to remove the cylinder, disassemble it, clean it and apply new stuff. The easier shortcut that usually works is to either force it down the cylinder from above, or coat the lift shaft with goop and work that up and down to force it down.

    Other members have found online sources. If all else fails, you can buy it at turntablebasics.com, but be aware that their shipping times are all over the place.
     
  4. TJLitt

    TJLitt Super Member

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    Location:
    Wilmington, DE/Parksley, VA
    Turntablebasics.com(and don't expect it to be shipped lickety-split. It will arrive, be patient):
    What you want from them is called 300,000 viscosity silicone damping fluid. Comes in a big old syringe, containing enough of the stuff to last a lifetime. When it gets shipped to you, eventually, here's the process--
    1. Set tension to a mid range on the arm lifter(don't keep it pegged at S or F)
    2. Loosen knurled knob on lifter cylinder and remove lifter arm from the cylinder.
    3. With a q-tip or similar,soaked in rubbing alcohol, try and clean dried fluid off of shaft of lifter arm and inside cylinder, if you can get into it. Don't get anything jammed in there to do this....
    4. Uncork syringe, and put a few(like 3 or 4) drops of the viscous damping fluid into the cylinder. Re-attach arm, and adjust to proper height before tightening knob.
    5. Test if drop rate at mid-range setting is adequate. If still fast, remove lifter and add fluid slowly(one drop or two, test again, repeat). I suspect that 4 drops, tops, will do you just fine. That was all mine took.
     
  5. finnbow

    finnbow The Dude Abides

    Messages:
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    Location:
    MoCo, MD
    TJLitt -

    Again, you've proven to be a wealth of knowledge on this TT. Thanks.:thmbsp:

    Quick question - How many revolutions does your damping adjustment knob turn if you turn it from all the way "S" to "F." Mine seems pretty "loosey-goosey" and will turn with little or no resistance for 6-8 full revolutions. Is this normal (or at least normal before the addition of some new damping fluid)?
     
  6. Josafan

    Josafan Active Member

    Messages:
    155
    I am having a similar problem with my PL-516. I have looked in the SM but I can't really see anything but two springs. I am having problem with the autoreturn, when the record i ended the arm returns before damper lifts it so it scratches my records :no: I need it to lift it quicker and stronger.

    Any suggestions?
     
  7. TJLitt

    TJLitt Super Member

    Messages:
    1,471
    Location:
    Wilmington, DE/Parksley, VA
    pre-fluid, the thing had no effect. Working properly, I think it only makes one or two rotations at most. Was happy with where it was set, so I don't think I played with it too much after fluid addition and initial setting.
     

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