Strange low frequency noise when playing vinyl.

I'm getting a strange low frequency noise when playing vinyl that I did not notice until a month or so ago. My turntable is a Scoutmaster with JMW9 tonearm. I've included a link to a recording I made of the noise. I used the locked inner groove of an LP and removed the belt from the motor and spun the platter by hand. As you will hear, the noise will change with the speed of the LP. I have tried the following the remove the noise: Two different cartridges by different manufactures; outer ring, no outer ring. Clamp, no clamp, two different phono stages. Only possibilities I can think of is bearing noise or resonance of the tonearm.


You may need to turn your speakers up to hear the noise.
I can not play flac files on my Mac, it may be better to upload with video to utube so we can help you out.
It's not video. It's an audio file. There's no way I could capture the low level hum with my camcorder. I used FLAC to encode the audio to make a smaller lossless audio file. You can download VLC for Mac that will play FLAC files.

I can think of two possible causes.

First I would pull the platter off and examine the bearing. If you did not assemble the table yourself pull the platter straight up and it should come right off. Vpi recommends that you relube it once a year. You can buy the lube from Vpi directly or just buy some white lithium grease. Wipe off the old gease and put a good dallop on the top of the bearing. Then carefully replace the patter.

If that does not help it may be noise from the motor getting into the plinth. I once had a scout that had this problem. I solved it by completely isolating the motor from the shelf the tuntable was on. I acompished that by having a sandbox under the turntable stand. Then I attached a 2x6 to the outside of the sandbox. I then fabricated a flat piece of steel to go on top of the 2x6 to support the motor. The turntable was really quiet after that.

If you find that it is the motor and you bought it new I would ask for a new motor.

I now have a Vpi Classic and hear no noise from the motor at all. I may have had a defective motor on the Scout.

Sarcher30: It's not the motor. The sound is there even with the motor off and the belt removed. I can spin the platter by hand with the needle in a locked groove and recreate the noise. It's definitely coming from the bearing or the tonearm.
I will try and relube the bearing once I get some white lithium grease, but how do I get the old grease from inside the platter housing? I do not want to use "q-tips" as they will leave behind cotton fibers.

How old is your table?

I have not worried about cleaning the inside of bearing in the platter. I just clean the shaft. If your turntable is quite old and the grease is dried up you could use some lacquer thinner to flush it out. I don't know what they use for a thrust plate. If the thrust plate is made out of plastic lacquer thinner may not be a good idea.

You could call VPI and ask what they recommend.