Lubing A/S mechanism

Lubing A/S mechanism

Postby Votan » Wed Jun 26, 2019 10:51 am

Carefully observing the A/S mechanism, I found that the black roller (on which the two metal poles are nailed) very slowly rotates (during the inward movement of the tonearm) around a fixed (non-rotating) horizontal metallic axis. This means that at the point of rotation we have a relatively simplistic bearing where the plastic material of the rotating black roller is rubbed onto the stationary metal axle, causing some subtle crackling noises, perhaps a bit more intense and direct when the arm tracks on eccentric LPs, which cracks may pass as noise to the tonearm. Let's not forget that this is the main reason why some manufacturers and audiophiles incriminate A/S mechanisms that they degrade the sound performance of tonearms.
My question is, if someone has been concerned about whether or not this point of friction needs any periodic lubing, and if so, with what and how much lubricant and how frequently? As well as, how we can dismantle the roller from the metal shaft for better lubing of the whole friction area.
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Re: Lubing A/S mechanism

Postby Brf » Wed Jun 26, 2019 12:37 pm

To be honest, I never gave this much thought. Both of my a/s devices move freely with no noticeable friction and I definitely don't hear any crackling noises. With respect to lubrication, I would lean towards a dry lube like teflon or graphite. Wet lubricants have a tendency to attracted dust which will contaminate the delicate bearing. I believe that the a/s hub is machined from delrin which is very abrasion resistant and has a very low coefficient of friction.

If this is indeed an issue, a simple solution would change the hub material from delrin to a self lubricating material like Rulon which is often used in platter bearing bushings.
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Re: Lubing A/S mechanism

Postby vienna acoustics » Wed Jun 26, 2019 12:59 pm

Hi try the Mclube Onedrop
!
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Re: Lubing A/S mechanism

Postby Votan » Wed Jun 26, 2019 5:18 pm

Brf wrote:To be honest, I never gave this much thought. Both of my a/s devices move freely with no noticeable friction and I definitely don't hear any crackling noises. With respect to lubrication, I would lean towards a dry lube like teflon or graphite. Wet lubricants have a tendency to attracted dust which will contaminate the delicate bearing. I believe that the a/s hub is machined from delrin which is very abrasion resistant and has a very low coefficient of friction.

If this is indeed an issue, a simple solution would change the hub material from delrin to a self lubricating material like Rulon which is often used in platter bearing bushings.

Thanks Brf
My a/s device moves freely too with no cracking noises detected by my ears, but is this enough to assure a fastidious audiophile that NO noise is transferred to the tonearm even from a whispering tiny crack? What about white lithium grease that we use for inverted bearings or even better Finish Line ceramic grease for that specific bearing compared to teflon or graphite?

vienna acoustics wrote:Hi try the Mclube Onedrop

Thanks Vienna Acoustics
What is this exactly and where I could find it?
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Re: Lubing A/S mechanism

Postby Votan » Thu Jun 27, 2019 2:07 am

vienna acoustics wrote:Hi try the Mclube Onedrop

Hi VA,
Finally I found the Mclube Onedrop on the Internet. It seems to be something in fluid (oil) rather than grease, mainly for marine applications. Have you ever applied it at this very point (a/s bearing), and if so, did you find it to have any effect (positive I hope) in the sound reproduction?
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Re: Lubing A/S mechanism

Postby Brf » Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:53 am

Votan wrote:Thanks Brf
My a/s device moves freely too with no cracking noises detected by my ears, but is this enough to assure a fastidious audiophile that NO noise is transferred to the tonearm even from a whispering tiny crack? What about white lithium grease that we use for inverted bearings or even better Finish Line ceramic grease for that specific bearing compared to teflon or graphite?


The viscosity of the grease may be an issue with a delicate load, but that is just me thinking out loud as I have no direct experience with greasing the a/s bearing. If there was parasitic noise caused by the a/s friction, grease would dampen it, but then again, the friction IMHO would be so little that it would /should be dampened by the VTA tower. I can't see any harm in giving it a try, therefore, if you do proceed, please report back.
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Re: Lubing A/S mechanism

Postby Votan » Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:36 am

Thanks Brf,
That's exactly the same thoughts I'm having. And as a usual impatient and prone to trial and error, I would have already tried it, but "unfortunately" from this morning I have ...mummify my whole setup because tomorrow morning I'm living for summer vacations (where no analogue, but only FM and FLACs :x )! So, barring unforeseen, reports concerning potential influence of A/S lubrication in the sound of TT should be expected (from me at least) around the end of August, though I’ll follow VPI forum every day…
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Re: Lubing A/S mechanism

Postby Golear » Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:22 am

I'm guessing you'll hear a difference in sound. It's a loose fit, and I believe that results in some resonance. An oil will probably damp this resonance.

I was going to make my own anti-skate mechanism. Gimbal bearing or a really good fitting bearing. As short and light an upper arm as possible, and a way to anchor the thread down against the rotating body without using a rubber O ring. The rubber muffles the sound. (I already have a small metal weight for the lower arm.) May be the upper arm will be a little bolt that screws into the rotating body. Multiple holes in one body, or multiple rotating bodies with holes, so that one can vary the angle between the bolt axis and the lower arm axis.

PS: I agree with Brf about grease attracting dust. I think oil might also attract dust. I think graphite is an excellent idea.
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Re: Lubing A/S mechanism

Postby Votan » Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:07 pm

I was just thinking of very light polishing (and not at all stuffing) the metal shaft and the inside of the Derlin cylinder with a tiny amount of some grease or oil. So that on the one hand I could reduce-eliminate of any crackling noise and also of the possibility of dust attraction, but also to eliminate a possible dragging and/or dampening from grease’s viscosity due to a stuffing with grease. Which according to what correctly reserved Brf, it would somehow brake the free rotation of a/s device but also at the same time it could muffles the sound.
As regards your thoughts on modification of a/s device, I find them very intriguing and advanced. Also you may remember from another topic (that you had started, see viewtopic.php?f=12&t=10610&start=90) that the shortened of the upper pole proved and in a mathematical way that helps in the more “linear” curve of increase of the A/S force going from the lead in groove towards the lead out groove.
Of course (in extending and also derailing a bit the topic), I always live in fear that in the end we are very wrong with all our efforts to succeed a continuous increase in a/s force (going from lead in towards the lead out grooves), since several studies have been made (but rather older, and – I think - with many not-so-valid assumptions, see http://www.audiomods.co.uk/papers/kogen ... gforce.PDF) which they claim that the Skating force starts from high in the lead in groove having a continuously decreasing parabolic gradient up to 2/3 of the arm’s path and then begins again to rise slightly until the lead out groove (see fig. bellow). I.e. it’s just the opposite of what we accomplish with VPI (and most others) a/s devices!!!
Thanks God, my ears each time that I audition my TT ((a/s device engaged) assure me that the above theories probably need reconsiderations…
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Re: Lubing A/S mechanism

Postby Golear » Thu Jun 27, 2019 5:40 pm

You might want to start a new discussion on this.

Interesting article, good of you to find it. I don't know what to make of the article. I think the results are for a smooth LP.

My ears tell me inner grooves need more anti-skate than outer grooves. I hear mistracking when there's less anti-skate in the inner grooves. And I follow Peter Ledermann's (maker of SoundSmith cartridges) recommendation on it.
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