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Old 19th September 2006, 04:55 PM   #1
gary f is offline gary f  Canada
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Default Systemdek Tune Up

Hi everyone

I have a Systemdek IIX table, with systemdek Arm, glass Platter, and I would like to solve some small problems, and increase performance if possible. This topic has been covered a bit in some previous posts, but I'd like to go over it again, and hopefully post pictures, and results.

General symptoms: The sound is generally good, but I feel like the midrage is sometimes a bit "lost" in the sound. I have a few recordings on CD and vinyl, and when I compare the two, the CD versions are clearer and vocals have more impact, and are more defined. Also, I sometimes hear slight distorsion in the vocals on some records. This is not on all recordings. I'm using either Grado Black, or Denon DL-110 cart.

1- Motor noise and vibration: The motor is silent when running normally, but during start-up, it does make some noise during 2 or 3 seconds, as it goes up to speed. Also, when I turn the table Off, the is also some noise during slow down. Kind of a soft grinding noise.

I checked the motor, and there is clearly some vibrations when the motor is running. When I turn the pulley manually, I feel small "dents". Although the vibration is not really perceptible when the motor is mounted, it is surely not very good.

I tried to put oil in the motor, on the axis, but the oil just did not seems to go inside. Is it sealed? Do I have to remove something?

More later...
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Old 19th September 2006, 05:02 PM   #2
gary f is offline gary f  Canada
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2- Speed stability & power supply :

because of the motor vibrations, I'm wondering about speed stability. I don't have a strobe to check however.
Can I check the power supply? Should I upgrade something? I can use a scope from my job to check out the supply.

Edit:
Oh yeah, and if i spin the platter backwards and start the motor, it will continue backwards. I will never start backwards however like that other Thorens post. Is this normal?

Any advice is welcome.
F
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Old 19th September 2006, 05:16 PM   #3
gary f is offline gary f  Canada
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3- Other stuff

Main bearing seems fine, if I remove the belt and give the platter a spin, it keeps going for a long long time, without any perceptible noise. I don't worry for that.

Suspension seems fine. There is no damping of any kind on the springs. Is this normal?

For other bits, I read a few advice from sreten about damping the subchassis and other stuff. I may try this and post results.

Tonearm works well. i know that this is not the best there is, but the tonearm seems quite rigid, no noticeable play on the tonearm. Not much friction in any direction. I won't upgrade for a Rega right now.

Thanks
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Old 20th September 2006, 07:36 PM   #4
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The "steps" that you feel when you turn the motor are normal - and the bit of noise you hear on startup and shutdown are just the belt slipping a little. However, it would be worth your while to make sure that the belt is running on the crown of the pulley and not rubbing of the lips of the pulley when running.

Speed stability is easily tested by ear - put on a disc with organ or horns/anything where a single note is held for a period. Rises and falls in pitch are indicative of wow. If you have this issue, the first thing to do is clean the pulley, belt and subplatter with some petrol or white spirits. To check if your deck is running too fast or slow, count 100 revolutions of the platter - it should take exactly 3 mins.

I really don't know what to suggest to make your midrange come out a bit more. You don't say what phono stage you are using - its loading may make a difference. I also use the DL110 and don't find the midrange lacking at all. You could try different mats on the platter, or none at all and see what that does for you.

Lastly, I made a diy armageddon (clone of naim armageddon PSU) for my TT (similar to systemdek) and it made quite a difference to resolution - have a look in the FAQ section of www.pinkfishmedia.net or do a search here.

Fran
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Old 20th September 2006, 08:38 PM   #5
gary f is offline gary f  Canada
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I'm using a Hagerman Bugle phono stage. I'm considering buying a Bottlehead Seduction but I don't know right now if i will get significant improvement of if something else is wrong in my set-up. The loading is standard 47k ohm. I'm curently running 45 dB gain with either cart. I may also upgrade my buggle with better RCA's, better caps. I'm not convinced that this would make a difference at all.

I'll check up my belt, maybe cleaning it a bit and checking alignment.The pulley/belt alignment system in the systemdek is not particularly impressive.

I'm using a standard felt mat. I used a hard rubber mat for a few months, and noticed no diffence at all between the two mats.

Thanks
F
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Old 20th September 2006, 09:03 PM   #6
lohk is offline lohk  Europe
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If you did not percieve any difference between the rubber and the felt mat, something os definitely wrong with the setup/setting of yout deck. I suspect the suspension system is not working properly. The belt also seems to be worn out - what about the lubrication of the pülatter bearing and the motor perhaps? If your Systemdek is not new (very likely) it has to be serviced by a specialist. It can sound very good if it is in perfect condition.
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Old 21st September 2006, 01:36 PM   #7
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I think the single best improvment you could make would be to the motor or it's power-supply. AC motors all 'cog' to some degree, as you've noticed, and this is a particular problem with suspended, belt driven TT's.

Systemdek used to make an 'E' (outboard 'synthesized' AC supply) version of the IIX and IIX-900 which was a major upgrade.

Better still, get a DC motor such as the Origin Live. Having said that, they are exhorbintantly priced nowadays. There are various DIY solutions discussed here at, er, DIYaudio.

ciao,
A.

edit >> PS - I've owned 2 Systemdeks IIX's over the years (a IIX and IIX-900, both from new), and they were/are very capable decks, easily the best at their price at the time.

Is yours the original IIX with the spiral-groove 'pumped' bearing? If it is, they are highly 'damped' (more drag than the usual precision-clearance types) and very prone to being affected by stretched/worn/slipping belts, or for that matter by out-of-spec 'generic' replacements, which a lot of suppliers think it's OK to get 'more-or-less' right - it isn't , they should be exactly the right length and precision-ground to a consistent thickness after being cut, which many, if not most, cheap 'generics' aren't.

All in all, getting a decent quality belt can be a real pain-in-the-rear, believe me, I've been there.
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Old 25th September 2006, 01:27 PM   #8
gary f is offline gary f  Canada
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Hi guys

I done these things:

1- Put oil in the motor on the axis from the top, but as I said, it does not seems to go inside very much. Did not change anything. The motor is making noise when i touch the axis (when there is a radial force applied on the axis)

2- I cleaned the belt with alcool and it did reduce a little bit the noise when starting.

3-Put damping sheets on the subplatter.

4- Checked the belt-pulley. belt is on the middle on the pulley.

All this is pretty minor I guess and it did not seemed to make noticeable changes.

5- I've ordered a record clamp, and a new cart (AT440MLa). I'll see if this will help.

6- I've decided to upgrade my bugle preamp with better caps, resistors and RCA. Ordering parts in the next few days.

This should make more significant improvements. I'll post results later.
Thanks
F
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Old 1st October 2006, 12:16 PM   #9
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I am not sure that the problem has to do with the systemdek only. Check arm/cartridge resonance even phono stage. systemdek arm is good but the IIX needs something better.
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Old 1st October 2006, 12:16 PM   #10
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Also be careful with the oil in the motor it could be dangerous.I dont think it needs any oil at all.
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