oil change t/t

whats the best oil to use for t/t bearing?
is 3 in 1 multi purpose oil good? or motor oil, if so which?
t/t is simon yorke
All oils are not the same. You should check with the manufacturer to see what is best for your table. The 3 in 1 multi purpose oil is explicitly identified as something I should not use in my turntable. Some manufacturers, like Linn, have their own oil mix, just like Honda cars do.
If you are in the USA contact Sounds of Silence:


Ask them how to clean the well/stacked ball bearings and what type/quantity of oil to use.

You will need to clean the well, and clean/inspect the ball bearings anyway (might as well do it right the first time).

Regardless of what I've read online I would never use automotive oil in a TT bearing and as mentioned 3 in 1 is not suitable (I avoid multi-purpose oil in general).
Dekay, why would you not use a good synthetic motor oil for your tt bearing?
Because one if the automotive oils being hyped for TT use destroyed a low mileage/excellent condition Citroen engine (per my Citroen trained mechanic).

The oil manufacturer eventually admitted their product was not suitable for the engine, though you would not know this from their ad/spec copy.

Nothing special (;-) about the engine other than it being of 1960's design.

Better safe than sorry is why I avoid automotive and multi-purpose oils.

I use Singer "sewing" machine oil in Thorens decks (have since the early 1970's), but the SY TT bearing is different/unique with its stacked ball bearings.
Hypoid, 80w/ 90w transmission oil.
That's what Rega used some say.
spoke to steve (SOS) & my friend jeff at high water sound ,
they recommend Mobile Onefor best sound, but only if room temp. is about 70 degrees plus. or you must "warm up" the oil befor playing. which means spin the platter for about 10-15 min. befor listening.
seems a bit odd regarding the Mobil One oil. I thought the whole point of synthetic motor oil was it's properties do not change with temperature.
Arnold, the split viscosity rating (5W50, 10W30, etc.) of all motor oils has to do with differences in flow characteristics at startup "room" temperature and at full operating temperature. I would think that generally a heavier viscosity would be appropriate for a TT bearing, given its relatively low operating temperature. A synthetic oil is preferable because unlike fossil oil, it is not biodegradeable and thus is impervious to bacteria.
Hi Diamondude,

This topic has been visited numerous times on this forum, with one most important conclusion being agreed upon by all - that viscosity depends on the characteristics of the drive system - including everything that rotates (bearing, tolerance, platter mass, drive method, motor torque, etc.).

A word of warning about 3-in-One. Stay away from it. A friend tried some a few years ago. After 6 months, it formed a sticky varnish which he had to work at to clean off.

I think that once you understand the 3 major goals:

a) protect the bearing
b) provide mechanical stability (so the bearing doesn't rock)
c) musical performance

you'll be better equipped to arrive at conclusions that work best for you.

It is this latter point (musical performance - percieve as nuance and microdynamics) that people overlook. While I specify extremely low viscosity for my bearings, your mileage may vary depending on your bearing implementation.

Rather than cover old ground, check here if this topic intrigues you: http://www.galibierdesign.com/prd_bearing.html
It's fairly easy to separate what's relevant to Galibier, vs. general principles applicable to turntables in general.

Thom @ Galibier
This is what Frank Van Alstine has posted in his AudioCircle forum:

Just because I am allowing this thread to run on here does not imply that I sanction any of these goofy grossly overpriced turntable designs. I don't.

Me - I am running a 25 year old HK T30 belt drive turntable and arm with the main bearing running in Moble One synthetic oil, the arm bearings in 1000 centistroke liquid silicon, a Tri-Pad record mad, and with my custom made external 12V DC power supply to eliminate all AC hum fields from the unit and provide excellent speed stability. It is quiet, stable, and works great with a Longhorn Grado. I use it for phono preamp design, and if you have heard one of my current phono preamp sections, you would not throw rocks at the turntable. The whole setup cost about $150 years ago.

Frank Van Alstine

Frank Van Alstine has contributed much to the audio world and is entitled to his opinions.

The key to all of this is finding your own comfort level. If MP-3's float your boat and you're smilin', then you're ahead of the game.

The original question related to what oil to use for an existing turntable.

There are some bearings which will absolutely work splendidly with synthetic motor oil. Others will be suboptimal.

You can take this as far as your passion and curiousity lead you.

Thom @ Galibier
Agree Thom. Opinions are like....(you know the rest) and the disciples drink the kool aid.
I'm in the process of changing the bearing oil in my Linn Sondek...(it has been in storage for awhile). I ordered the actual Linn Bearing Oil from a dealer in Dallas. I would suggest using the oil specified by the manufacturer (even if u must order it from them).
hi all, i asked steve again at SOS, he said use the mobil one & use the lightest weight which im assuming is 5w-30.
since hes the importer im going by him.
You can actually get Mobil One in 5W-20 or 0W-20. Currently using that in my older Gyrodec with the original non-inverted bearing.
Please be careful. Most bearing sleeves are bronze and motor oil, specially hypoid differential oil contains moly disulfide to protect gear teeth during extreme loading conditions. The MoS2 is a sulphur compound and will attack brass and bronze.
If you use an engine oil, a non detergent oil is best.
I would stick with the manuf. recommendations.
my $.02 YMMV
Amen, brother Nick.

I should have been a bit more forceful in directing folks to the link to my bearing faq in the above post, where I mention to stay away from detergent additives.

While experimentation is can be both fun and productive to those so inclined, the golden rule in medicine applies here too - "first, do no harm".

Are there any high quality synthetic motor oils without detergent additives? Anyone know if Royal Purple or Amsoil have additives?
Did a quick search. Lots of additives in Amsoil.
As some have said, the additives used in motor oil are really not conducive to use in bearings especially copper based. If you must use an automotive oil, then use gear or transmission oils. ATF should be fine, but truelly, for the duty of the bearing in a turntable even olive oil would do. I use simple 3 in 1 sewing machine oil in my Alex III and it sounds fine after nearly 15 yrs of moderate use.
Bob P.
I use pure virgin olive oil,if it's ok for your insides it should be alright to lubricate a bearing.Is this going to harm my bearing? If so in what way?VPI Scout.
How about Slick50?
For general interest. I used a synthetic oil manufactured by LaBelle Industries in my Thorens 321. I purchased the oil at a hobby shop which specialized in model railroads. The label lists turntables as a suitable application.
You may want to look at Red Line MTL which is a very low viscosity synthetic gear-box oil that is safe for bronze parts.