Help with the essentials for a TT and Phono Stage Verification Check

Member
Joined 2019
Paid Member
This group helped me with some early questions on my brother's TT set up. I am grateful. That thing is still going strong.

I am hoping for some additional information for another situation...

I know enough to be dangerous, and I am familiar with the basic TT terms. I can find my way around basic test gear (DMM and scope) along with REW etc. as needed.

I could read more, and learn more, but I'm in a time crunch, and ... truthfully, I won't likely ever own another TT for myself. This is also a unique situation (for me).

Here's where I find myself.

A good friend has inherited a very costly (by my definition) TT rig. Without getting into debates re: its merit. It holds incredible sentimental value, and it will not be replaced / sold for something better, but cheaper / DIY etc. We both assume, but we're not sure, that everything was transported safely and that all the parts and pieces are there.

I feel confident (for now) with a bit of coaching from this incredible community that if it has been transported well, that I can get it running for him ... and perhaps get it running well. From what I've seen so far... everything looks in order, but I have not seen it in person.

Relevant stuff -

TT - Basis B Signature 2500. It does not have the super-fancy external motor control / PSU.
Phono Stage - Asthetix Rhea
Arm / Cartridge / Stylus - Unsure at this point. I haven't seen it in person, and current photos are not usable.
No vacuum gizmo.

What I am hoping for...

Some basics of what to check other than does it turn and make music.

The Rhea is a tube stage. So, is there anything a novice DIYer with ambition could be pointed toward to make sure that it's working 'properly' other than turning it on and making sure it plays music? I'll assume that no one has twiddled any knobs and that his father had it set up for the cartridge... but is there an easy way to check that? I have no idea when it was last powered up. I'd prefer to not even open the lid, but if I should, I can. I'm familiar with safety practices when working with tube gear. Are there any 'simple' measurements someone should do, or is it best that if it makes music to just leave well enough alone? When I buy a used amp, I run it through some basic distortion tests. Is there something similar for a phono stage?

I am familiar with TT basics like azimuth and tracking force, but do these things typically go 'out of adjustment'? What about the TT could or should be checked to ensure that no harm comes to it when we first give it some juice and put a record on? I can grab some proper tools as needed, but I don't know if I need one of those protractors or ... anything.

The motor / belt and table are currently separated. Any guidance on belt tension and how to set that? Manuals for this thing rare as hens' teeth.

Lastly... I'm assuming, but I'm not certain that the speed adjustment / control is... well... contained within the motor assembly and is simply automatic. There are no adjustments that I'm aware of at the moment. Guidance is appreciated. It looks like you just plug it into the wall, and it's supposed to turn at the right speed regardless of mains fluctuations (even w/o the super fancy optional PSU). Change between 33 and 45 by moving the belt on the pulley. It'll only be used for 33. How can I check the proper speed? With all the extra things that were used by the previous owner like a super-fancy record cleaner etc. I'd assume there's a strobe (do people still use those?) or something to check RPM, but if not I can find one.

Any guidance is greatly, greatly appreciated in helping to get what hopefully will be an incredible TT rig playing beautiful music in its new home. I know I can't wait to hear it... and I'm not even a 'vinyl guy'.

With thanks in advance,

Patrick