Generally with any turntable platter bearing(s) you can use a few drops of Dextron automatic transmission fluid with no worries!
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Wow! A week and no replies, and then some very interesting observations, opinions and suggestions for which I am most grateful indeed!
Atmasphere, I am definitely going to try your suggestion. If there is an issue, be it sound-quality OR mechanical, I can always wipe it out of there and use something different.
Chazro, I remember all that hoopla about the green markers and am inclined to lean in the direction you suggest....I definitely WILL post an update, so stay tuned and thanks for your kind advice.
Wish I had a chemist friend who would be able to break it down precisely and tell me how many "snakes" it would take....:-)
I found a suggestion from another Spacedeck owner that Royal Purple Synfilm GT is supposedly very similar in terms of viscosity to the NOTT oil, so that might be an alternative. See it here:
Also, another owner has been using this product without complications:
I am very interested in maintaining the integrity of this deck so will be very cautious, but $125 a bottle for a few ounces seems very much like gouging to me, especially when one has just contributed quite heavily to the corporate health by purchasing their product. Seems to me they would be only too happy to send along a bottle from time to time rather than take this approach. But, who knows what their stuff costs them so perhaps I am wrong in my observations....kind of doubt it though.
The real travesty is that Nottingham has to date and to my knowledge NOT PROVIDED EXPLICIT SETUP DIRECTIONS FOR THE ARM!!! The owner's manual for the table itself is marginally adequate as it takes a lot of time for someone not too familiar with such things to get it.....but I took the time, and now I "get it," but the arm is still a bit of a mystery to me and it sure would be nice to know I have it precisely as NAS intends.
I know, I know, "take it to a professional...." Well, I live in a fairly rural area and I just can't do that without driving a very long way, likely 8 hours or more, to find such a person.
Sigh....will limp along, trial and error it is.
Thanks again, everyone.
I should point something out here.
The main deal with the oil is to prevent the bearing from failing. I have heard rumours that some manufacturers use the oil to produce drag on their drive system so that their speed controls will work properly. I don't know if the Nottingham does that BTW, but such use of oil is a mistake. It should be obvious why- misapplication will cause the speed control to not function ideally, and there is no way to know once the unit ships from the factory that its working right!
So, from an engineering point of view, that idea is flawed and something that no-one should do on account of poor reliability and repeatability. Thus, a proper oil that protects the bearing is what is needed. The Dextron I mentioned does this beautifully- I have used it in professional tape deck bearings and all sorts of turntables over the last 35 years. I have yet to run into a situation where it did not work splendidly. You can pay $100/bottle if you want, but I would not be surprised to find that the oil thus obtained is very similar.
OK, I have made the decision to go with the Dexron as I had some of that in my garage left over from the last time I serviced the autotranny on the car.
Lifted the platter off the table and discovered there was hardly any oil left in the well!!! What was there had a sludge look to it and this was definitely NOT what was recommended, so I felt fairly confidently that anything I did would likely represent an improvement.
First, took some Q-tips and a rolled paper towel and cleaned the well along with the shaft thoroughly until there was nothing left of the old stuff. Then, as the setup manual Rob Doorack very kindly provided suggests, filled the well a little less than half way with the Dexron and lowered the platter back down. Spinning while lowering it, I was surprised at how easily it spun and as the manual suggests, definitely helped with getting it seated once again. It spun for a very, very long time and that, I thought, was already a good sign.
Hooked everything back up and pulled out a record with which I am VERY familiar in terms of precisely what it should sound like so as to be more sensitive to new sounds, anticipating that there might be some as others have mentioned hearing the difference between the NA oil and other lubricants.
But, "The Nightfly" (Fagen, highly recommended) sounded just as it should. I can't claim it sounded any better, nor did I expect that, but the fact that I have fresh lubrication in the bearing well and removed the old sludge definitely makes me feel better about the prospects of a longer life for the bearing.
So far, so good, and thanks to Atmasphere for the "sound" suggestion and, again, special appreciation is expressed to Rob for the manual. I'm still studying it and hope to become as familiar with this table as I am with my other components. I will definitely keep you all posted should anything untowards develop as result of the Dexron, but based on Atmasphere's comments, I doubt that will be the case.