Turntable Upgrades

Realizing that my turntable needs some tweaking to make it spin with consistent 33 rpm speed I started to look around to see what options I have.
It didn't take a while to reailize that the most popular upgrades would be:
1. An electric motor replacement.
2. Power supply... may be with a "power conditioner" built-in.
3. So-called "motor-controller" which can easily cost another $2,000.00 dollars.
4. To finilize a jorney for the smooth stable precise spinning I would need something like KAB strobe and disk (for precise speed measurement).

I just wonder WHY at the first place I would have to do it AT ALL? The turntable I purchased was about 3 or 4000 dollars. Being 10 or 15 or 20 years old I admitt it should go throughout some service...but not through replacement of every electronic and non-electronic component! I just don't get it. If I would buy Porsche 20 or 30 years old it still will be drivable reliable car. For every day. Nothing to replace except a fresh oil. It will still look great. It still will be fun to drive. With that Oracle turntable I have to replace everything (plus to buy some more staff) just to get it to a consistent speed (isn' that SOMETHING it supposed to do at the first place?) Now it needs a new motor. It needs a strobe light (Common! Even 100 dollars TT would have it as BASIC). I now need some speed switcher/controller (Oracle Delphi MK1 doesn't have it too). I need some phone power conditioner. I need all kind of replacement belts and springs. I just think what EXACTLY a consumer pays for when he/she purchases that Turntable. The tonearm is not included as well as carthidge. There is no power conditioner. There is no phono stage. There is no moving coil pre preamp. There is best of the best phono cord (most likely you would have to buy it somewhere elase for another 500 dollars). There is no super-duper power cord too. The electric motor will die soon. So you would have to buy something like this:
(which cost about 800 dollars and should be better then Oracle's one..at least it will have both speeds (33/45) and it could be used to adjust the speed.

And as a last - Delphi MK1 will not have a strob light.
So from where is that 4000 dollars price tag?! Is this price for acrylic rectangle base with alluminium flywheel on it? I just don't get it.
LOL, if you bought a Porsche 20 or 30 years ago and only put fresh oil in it, it would be in a junk yard by now. Are you called "Sputniks" because you live on another planet where things do not need maintenance?
Geez, I really want to spank you. Stop complaining. The Porsche comparison is absurd the way you say it. Cars break and so do turntables. At least you don't have to buy insurance or have a license to play your records. The latter sounds like a good idea after reading your post.
Buy a DK VS1 mkII integrated - that will fix it for sure.
I find your post humorous at best. First of all, the cars that have the longest lifespan are Volvo's, not any of the high dollar models that you mentioned. Secondly, even a typical Volvo that is driven on a daily basis and maintained to very high standards would be falling apart in 20 years. Thirdly, most all audio gear is WAY under-designed, especially for what we pay for it. Fourthly, i feel your pain and hope you can work through these problems and come out on the other side of the bridge a happy camper. Sean
I must say I'm stunned by your thread. I think it warrants stepping back outside to smoke another fat one. I'll be back to re-read........................................
I know a fact that well maintained car such as Porsche will go as much as 400,000 miles with NO motor work (assuming that oil, belts and etc were regularly changed). Same rule goes for many other "hi-end" cars. Why I compare Oracle to Porsche is because they both (Delphi and Porsche) represent high level quality product in their category. Buying Porsche you pay not just for performance and beautiful look but for reliability and strength of all its components. If you need just performance you would buy Mustang or Nissan. It will live bright but shorter comparing to Mercedes or Porsche life. Buying Oracle or other hi-end audio product I hoped to get not just a quality but the reliability and longevity too. But it is not what I see happening in the world of audio electronics. I believe now that the best way to buy audio is to buy it brand new and be prepared it is not going to last long.
Martin Logan speakers I purchased as used had the same "problem" - age. The previous owner I am sure took great care maintaining them. But despite his care they stopped working properly (generate the sound) probably long time ago. Washing them helped a lot. But I still had to get new speaker panels (aka membranes) to bring them back to life.
The reason some of us are buying used audio is to safe money to be able to afford higher quality components. But every other audio component I purchased used needed some replacement parts. Replacement of them brought their price unexpectedly higher. It is just surprise to me to see how quick high end audio ages. I've seen some McIntosh tube amplifiers on ebay that are 30 or so years old. Some turntables as I understand could be seen on ebay are even older. Comparing to theirs age my Oracle is just a newborn. But in reality it is garbage really. Since ALL the parts needs to be replaced: ALL (except acrylic base and flywheel). That is something every potential buyer should keep in mind buying used audio. Cosmetically it could look PERFECT. But while it would look cool it would not really do a business it supposed to do: speakers will not generate the sound, the turntable will not able to spin at proper speed.
Sputniks I guess you have a Delphi I with a failing motor.

May I suggest you contact Chris Brady http://www.teresaudio.com to see if you can purchase a Teres motor pod for the Oracle. You could remove the rubber rim on the platter and drive the platter with tape or string.

I have not tried this but I have always wanted to but have not gotten around to doing this yet. One of the projects on the backburner. Check with Chris to see if this is feasible. Also check that the platter rim is flat and even after removing the rubber rim. If this can be done then it is a relatively cheap solution and will give you dead accurate speed. You will not even need to use a strobe.

Hope this helps you out.
Maintaining a 911 well is moderately expensive. At 400,000 miles, one would have had to do at least one, if not two, "top ends" at $4,000 apiece (unless one prefers oil pouring past the valve guides), not to mention 13 of the 15,000 mile checks at at least $600 each (by the time you get done with needed items) and another 13 of the 30,000 mile checks at a minimum of $1500 each. If you do the the 54 5,000 mile oil changes between the 15K and 30K check-ups yourself, the oil and filters alone total $3500. Sixteen sets of tires will run another $10-$12,000. Shocks and brakes are another $5-$6K.Just this "regular maintenance" is already a minimum of $50,000. Total maintenance will be at least $60,000 when all is said and done.

Just change the oil and go 400,000 miles? In a Porsche??
Sputs, you live in another world. One where Porsches are way better than on planet Earth!

Think basic: buy yourself one of the entry level tts now available and when it needs maintenance or repairs throw it out and get another.

BTW You should feel lucky that Oracle is back in business.

As an example so you don't think that your case is unique: a replacement mute switch for an Audio-Research PH 3 phono section cost over $200 to replace on a unit that is way younger than your tt. With your logic, it should never have broken down. It just does not happen that way.

Be a big person, please...
You Oracle has probably been bested by a lot of turntable designs in the past 10 years. I suggest you trade it in for a Teres and also buy a spare bearing. That should give you the relability, peace of mind, and duty cycle you need. You will also likely see better performance as well. Your comparision to the Porsche is flawed (although not totally). Comparisons to cars are actually poor analogies. TT performance in the past 10 years has advanced more than automobile performance has (in the 20-30 years, using your cited Prosche example).

It needs a strobe light (Common! Even 100 dollars TT would have it as BASIC).

And BTW, my music hall is a $300list (I paid less than that by a decent margin) table and I didn't get a strobe light or a strobe pattern. I suggest you heed the advice and either get Teres replacement parts (likley better than the Oracle counterparts) or just outright get a Teres and be done with it.

So from where is that 4000 dollars price tag?! Is this price for acrylic rectangle base with alluminium flywheel on it? I just don't get it.

That's basically what I thought too. I would dump that table and get something better. I briefly looked at an Oracle, but I think it's design and performance has come and gone and thus due to maintenance and upgrade cost - it would represent a poor value proposition in my mind.

Half of the music is supplied by the vinyl. The other half is supplied by the turntable. It has to spin the vinyl as true as possible and mantain speed against motor flucuations and stylus drag (and other design constraints). There are a number of reasons why turntables (motors, bearings, plinths, platters, controllers, resonance controls, etc) cost so much to do right.

Another thing that gets me thinking is why should a phono stage cost as much as they do to get something decent? Of course it appears that amplifying and RIAA equilizing very low level phono signals is harder that it appears to be at a quick cursory glance. A TT is no different.
The most reliable audiophile turntable is not an 'approved' adiophile turntable...

Another case of "tweekitis audiophillia".

I understand that some high end turntables use DC motors, and if these use brushes and mechanical commutators their life will be limited. (Of course there are brushless DC motors, but this more sophisticated technology may not have penetrated the analog market). However, a turntable that uses a synchronous AC motor should last for ever. Perhaps the motor bearing will need a drop of oil every decade, and drive belts will need replacement. Many AC induction motors (no brushes or commutator) that are almost a hundred years old still run fine, although their bearings (which are not of the sealed type) need more frequenct attention. The platter bearing is usually so massive as to be essentially under no load at all.
Hi Sputniks: Who told you to pay 4K for that used TT?
Great mistake. Don't complaint about: is your " inexperienced " fault.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Byfo- I cant believe I read this silly-ass thread the first time. Maybe you have the right idea, except the part where you read it again.

You know a lot of things I don't.

I own four Porsche 911's. 1965 2.0 race car, 1968 2.0 race car, 1987 3.2 coupe and 1989 3.2 coupe.

No, UNDERLINE NO Porshe will go 400,000 miles with or without anything!

After 20,000 to 50,000 miles tons of things start to go wrong. And I mean tons. God forbid you put one on a racetrack. You won't need to wait for it to go wrong. Last year we built four engines for our 2.0 liter cars.

So, let's look at the street versions. Only 18 years old and 16 years old. No problem. One has 29000 miles and the other 46000 miles. Just beginning to break in. Right?

Wrong. New brakes, rotors, suspension, exhaust and now clutch for the '87. Also the headliner needs replacement. The radios suck, the mats are gone.

But, that's not what I love about my Porshes'. I love that they are fun and they're not so fast that I'm a danger to the world while having fun. If you start with the premise that you're willing to replace whatever goes wrong, it's hardly possible that anything will become obsolite.

We race historic Group C/GTP cars. That is cars that ran professionally between 1980 and 1992. There aren't a lot of parts stores with spares for $100,000 1000hp engines, but they still need parts and we have them machined as needed.

I bet you could do a little better price vs performance point by moving up to a current production model table, but, who am I to talk, I drive a 1988 Group C car of which there is one, yes, one in the world.

Your complaints are funny, especially since you can cure them with money. An easy solution in life.
My father's Leica is 40 years old and it still makes great pictures. Nothing was replaced since a day it was purchased. Nothing ever was broken. One beautiful example of solid quality. It looks like hi-end audio doesn't have examples like this. Sure I will replace everything that needs to be replaced in my turntable. Not a big deal. I am sure at some point it will perform even better than 20 years ago. Too sad that would happen not because of my intention to make it better but because of malfunction of the device.

That Leika of your dad's sounds even better than the Porsche. The spool inside probably doesn't turn at 33rpm and the electronics have only to move the telltale in the light meter, if it has one.

The comparison is interesting. I'm beginning to understand you. German engineering is the best, whereas, in a camera the mechanicals only move the shutter, a perfected and low mass movement.

Turntables have small motors moving large mass objects and the accuracy of the speed is paramount to the results. So, it's not quite so simple as moving a low mass shutter.

Back to that Porsche again. I'd still like to know who has a 400,000 mile 911 that drives like my '89 with 29,000 miles? I want him/her (this is the only case you'll see of me being potentially politically correct) to pick lottery numbers for me.

I admire your desire for a simple world which works perfectly. Please send some to me upon discovery of same.

Best wishes,

Bill E
Again Sputniks, I would dump what you ahve (since it's a maintenance headache) and buy a Teres (or similar) with a spare bearing.
if you want a rock solid table, that will probably last forever ( except for maybe bearing wear ) get a VPI scout or scoutmaster.