Just use some 30 wt. Mobile One. Detergent is fine. A quart should last you for years.
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I guess Jeff's post is against VPI's Harry Weisfield. There are a great many very nice people in the Hi-Fi business...some like Mike at Ayre, John at AudioConnection, and Harry at VPI. I know there are others as well, but I have had personal dealings with these guys and can applaud their honesty, and genuine interest in helping us mere mortals. I encourage those who have had good experiences to make their names known.
I would assume when a manufacturer no longer exists, one has to then try to make the best choice as to what lubricant will work best.
If one visits Galibier's website, and does a little reading about thier bearings, and bearing principles in general, one will gain some good knowledge, that oil viscosity can be dependent upon bearing tolerances.
Tight tolerances will equate to thinner viscosity lubricants. A thin lubricant in a bearing with larger tolerances will permit bearing rock. As Galibier folks explain, using a heavy viscosity lubricant on thier bearings would most likely result in never being able to seat the bearing. The other problem would be an inappropriate lube for such tight tolerances, too much drag, and other problems.
I don't know much about Harry's (VPI) inverted design, but I gather the use of greases was used for a specific reason, and more than likely, gravity dictated that a lubricant was needed that would stay put.
VPI's greases were not meant to be used on thier older conventional bearing designs. Those bearings used, and still should use a high quality oil of the appropriate viscosity.
Then there's probably the more exotic designs, and in these instances, perhaps one would be smart to play it safe, and use exactly what the manufacturer recommends.
Thanks for all the good advise...since I became an audiophile (which in my case means I am all of a sudden depending on good sound, and hence can no longer really enjoy the obscure 70s private pressings I have in my collection)...and since I now have come to terms that Power Cords actually DO change the sound (and quite a bit)...nowadays, when I read that something (anything) improves the sound - I will as a general rule believe it's true (the door opener being the 'PC sound impact' realization)...so, in this case - I do believe different oils will change the sound (and will continue to do so until I have proved myself wrong ;-)
I will tread carefully avoiding using anything that can be harmful for the bearing of course and will read up on Galibier's and VPI's offerings...
To me the 'non-detergent' part seems important somehow - where do you go shopping for '30 weight non-detergent machine oil' (as Viridian advise) here in the USA?
More input appreciated!
Markd51 nailed it: your TT manufacturer recommended a specific bearing lubricant. The fact that other lubricants work well in or improve the sound of other turntables is irrelevant, they don't have the same bearing.
VPI and Linn bearings have fairly loose tolerances, so they need something heavy like grease. If I tried that in my Teres or a Galibier bearing I'd never spin a record - the tolerances are so tight the bearing would never settle into place. Likewise, if I put the thin oils recommended by Teres or Galibier in a Linn or VPI bearing, there'd be bearing chatter and probably damage.
Thomas Scheu recommended 30 weight, non-detergent oil. Use that until you meet somebody who knows your bearing better than he did. Any auto parts store should have some, or any shop that supplies machine oil, as Viridian suggested.
For my VPI HW-19 MK-IV Platter Bearing, all I use, is the Q-Tips with the long sticks (which are becoming a bugger to find!) and wipe out Bearing Well until I see no more oil on them.
I've never let lubricants-oils dry, where I need a solvent to remove, but I would assume careful cleaning with Naptha (lighter Fluid) shouldn't be detrimental, whether the bearing thrust-bearing materials are Bronze, Brass, Rulon, Nylon, Delrin, etc.
On my bearing, I use regular Mobil 1 10-30W with no problems, and was suggested by Mike at VPI, but I do Lube around every few months. Oil is never a problem at the bottom of well, as there it will collect, but up at the top of bearing, gravity will make oil leave the top Bushing area rather quickly.
With VPI's earlier designs, it only takes a few minute's time to yank Platter-Bearing, re-lube bearing shaft with a light film, and re-insert. Mark
I have used synthetic motor oil for years in VPI tables as well as AR. Mobil 1, Castrol, Valvoline, Amsoil, are all viable oils. A new bearing a 10w30 is great, well worn, 20w50. In a BMW manual transmission, synthetic ATF is recommended as a lite gear oil. My favorite is Redline MTL or their Redline ATF. Good enough for BMW manual transmission, god enough for a TT bearing. If there is slop, use the MT90. Too thick is not good as surface saturation may not be as good. The long Q-tips on a stick are the best and I clean the bearing well with ethanol. I let it evaporate, then re-oil. If you have trouble finding the q-tips, let me know and I can get some. Find a friend who is in the medical office business as they are common. I get a bag of about 25-50 for about 7-10.00 Happy spinning, Jeff
Thanks for the "tip"on Q-tips. I've got bushels of them in the house, but I would imagine that it's very important NOT to leave any stray strands of cotton behind. I would first try wipes meant for microscope and camera lenses; those papers are made not to shred during use and are at least somewhat absorbent. I did a search on Vinyl Asylum, and for my Technics SP10 MkII, synthetic motor oil in either 5W50 or 5W40 was recommended by two persons, and no one objected vigorously. Pure ethanol would seem to be a good choice as a solvent for removing any residue when cleaning the bearing housing of old tt's, so thanks for that, too. As for detergent-based motor oils, I would tend to avoid them in a tt bearing. The detergent action is not needed anyway.