try reversing the plug.
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I do not know your TT but it may be the motor capacitor gone bad. That is the only reason I know for a single phase motor to change direction on its own. On the VPI mk4 I owned the regular motor had a yellow run cap. You could see it if you pulled the motor and bracket out.
Most times if a run cap go's bad your motor is going bad also but not always. A cap cost a lot less to replace than the motor so try it.
Clip the tone arm in the rest position (use some strong twine), fill up your bathtub completely, and toss the turntable in. If it floats then it is definitely possessed and you you will need to burn it on a stake on your backyard BBQ. If it sinks then it may have only been a problem with the starting winding or its starting capacitor (Try to dry it out although this may have wrecked your turntable. On the plus side at least you can sleep calmly at night and you won't have to clean all your album collection with holy water).
More seriously, just spin the table a little in the right direction before you switch it on...
This actually happened to my VPI Scoutmaster one night. The motor was turning the correct direction but the platter was spinning backwards.
After a few minutes of confusion I found that the motor was too close to the turtable or somethin' and the belt was slipping or somethin' so some movement on the motor and belt corrected the problem.
Shadorne, That takes the prize for the funniest post I've seen in a long time, and in the process you managed to give good advice: check the capacitor. Also, "reverse the plug" assumes you have a two-prong plug. If so, pull it out of the wall socket, flip it over, and re-insert it. If it's a 3-prong plug, you can usually achieve the same end by using a "cheater plug" adaptor, available from any hardware store. However, my money is on a bad capacitor. (You will see a cap installed right where the AC supply enters into the motor housing. That's the one.)
a little drunk tonight so great replies. they hit the spot. I reversed the plug because it is two pronged, but helped nothing. i have repeatedly turned it the correct way and switched it on to no avail. I will now revert to conducting a ritual that includes an evil ridding seance and conclude officially that the table does not want paul. however, if it does not want paul, the stake is ready to burn it. I smell an upgrade coming!