The amazing levitating tonearm! Is there a ghost in my turntable?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by TheVinylAddict, Dec 7, 2017.

  1. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Arizona
    OK, maybe a little bait in the title there, but wasn’t exactly sure how to entitle without giving away the ending. Mod, move to OT Forum if this is misplaced….

    But something happened a couple nights back that was a first for me – maybe others have experienced or will take something away from it. Some of the veterans are probably going to get it after about one paragraph, but there might be a few that read until the end. I am surprised this is the first time it happened to me as long as I have used turntables (since early 70’s). This was a first!!

    I took delivery of a Denon DP-59L turntable Tuesday from Japan (HiFiDo). As always is the case with HiFiDo, nice packaging, nice turntable. (Actually wonderful) It came with one of the HiFiDo replacement dustcovers - this is the first one I got from them that has the replacement cover, and overall I am actually impressed with it - they do a darned nice job with the replacements!

    I got it all set up, played a couple of records to dial it in, and then cued up some Coltrane, Favorite Things. Before I put this album on, I installed the dustcover before I started playing - it slips on the hinge posts on the back, a feature I like on the turntables that offer it.

    As the song starts, I lower the cover, and prepare to walk away to enjoy listening and check on a few things I was working on... Then, to my astonishment, the tonearm levitates magically off the record, and collides rather violently with the inside top of the dustcover! Wtf? Well, I have no choice but to lift the cover to tend to it - and of course the tonearm release and drops on the spinning LP.... bounce, bounce, bounce. Ouch. I was a little bewildered at this point.

    I then found an old, trashed record - turned out Boston's first LP did the trick (don't laugh, I actually liked them back in the day as many of us did… wait, OK, I still listen to them too :)). Thinking that the replacement dustcover was probably banging into the back of the tonearm because it was incorrectly sized or something - I started the LP again and carefully and slowly lowered the cover....

    Well, as it got closer and closer to fully lowered, it did not appear that the cover was hitting the back of the tonearm or anything.... huh? Then, just as I got it near fully closed - wham! The tonearm levitates again, and the tonearm / cartridge is again *stuck* to the inside top of the dustcover!!!! Holy smokes, what it going on....? Again, had to carefully lift the cover, this time trying carefully to hit the stop button or lifter button - but the tonearm released again.... bounce, bounce on the spinning record. Ouch again. Well, at least this time it was a party loved Boston and not my new Coltrane!!

    It then dawned on me. I opened the cover, and put my hand up inside the cover, and all the hair on my arm stood up! I then put my head inside for fun, and I looked like Dr. Brown from back to the future! (actually only a little as there is not really much left up there anymore, but you get it!) Well, you now see it - static electricity!!! HiFiDo uses styrofoam inside of the cover when they pack, and that coupled with the fact I live in AZ, and it is winter time - that charged up the inside of the cover enough that it actually lifted the tonearm clean off a playing record!

    I had a DL-110 installed on a 10g headshell with the s-arm, so I figure about 16-17g of hardware on a tonearm with 16 or so EM.... set at 1.8g TF. I would have never thought the static electricity could lift the tonearm clean off the record! It was not subtle either - it would whack the top and stick.... I would have to lift the top to detach it.

    Anyway, just a little amusing story... anyone ever experience anything like that?
     
    Leonthepro, patient_ot, Dave and 2 others like this.
  2. dasacco

    dasacco Forum Resident

    Location:
    Massachussetts
    I once had a Denon DP-62L, and this exact thing happened to me as well!
     
    TheVinylAddict likes this.
  3. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Static electricity was my guess as I was reading the post.

    Don't know why you feel the need to put the cover on while listening, though.
     
    Dominick likes this.
  4. DangerousKitchen

    DangerousKitchen Forum Resident

    You need a Zerostat Stat! Life is too random to not have a turntable dustcover but records really do sound better with the cover up or off.
     
    patient_ot likes this.
  5. timztunz

    timztunz "A Dreamer, but I'm not the only one."

    Location:
    Texas and Brasil
    Uh-oh, the “you gotta put the dust cover down” zealots are gonna come out of the woodwork now. :-popcorn:
     
    TheVinylAddict likes this.
  6. Mike from NYC

    Mike from NYC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Surprise, AZ
    I had the same TT a decade+ ago that I bought used for not much money and the same thing happened every once in a while. Sorry to say but I got rid of it.

    I was able to lift an arm by static electricity but fortunately the lift was in the up position. I was cleaning the cover with a cloth which generated the static .
     
  7. Davey

    Davey very clever with maracas

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    The static electricity pull would only have to overcome the tracking force to pivot the tonearm upwards. The mass of all the parts would come into play when it crashes into the cover, though :)
     
    TheVinylAddict likes this.
  8. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Arizona
    You were sorry to get rid of it because you liked it?

    Or are you saying you dumped it because of a one-off static problem??? Not sure which way to read that.
     
  9. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Arizona
    LOL. Yup....

    My Univ Physics classes were immediately whirring around in my head too.... :)
     
  10. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Arizona
    LOL. Yeah.... some will come bearing product and gimmicks too... :)[​IMG]

    Like many things in this hobby, it is not black or white, absolute that you run with the cover on or off - it is preference. And like many things in this hobby, things CAN cause issues if you don't take proper precautions. (like vibration of a cover with poor isolation).

    I have MANY good reasons for running with a cover, and once explained to anyone who is listening they would probably agree it makes perfect sense - but then you have to be listening and open minded, and not believe it is a “right or wrong” proposition.

    That being said, it is a 90% proposition for me anyway - if I crank Black Sabbath to ungodly levels, the cover comes off when the wife and kids are gone and it's time to rock out. In that case even the best isolation can be challenged Otherwise my TT's have great isolation and the cover is not a sound issue.
     
  11. thegage

    thegage Forum Currency Nerd

    Used to happen on my Sony Biotracer and Rega P5 if I made the mistake of wiping the dust off the dustcover while an LP was playing.

    John K.
     
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  12. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Arizona
    Why, what is wrong with listening with a cover on, in your humble opinion.

    Can you elaborate? Are you saying that using a cover will certainly reduce sound quality, there is now way around it? Or is it that it CAN reduce sound quality?
     
  13. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Situations like the one described in the OP wouldn't happen. It's also one more step every time a disc needs to be flipped.

    He can do whatever he wants. I just don't see the benefit of putting the cover down for playback purposes. Just my opinion.
     
  14. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    It'd be refreshing to not see people jump to conclusions, once in a while. There's a chasm of a difference between an innocuous sentence stating I'm unaware of the reason the OP would put the cover on and being a zealot.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
  15. babyblue

    babyblue Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pacific NW
    The same thing happened when one of my friends bought a new turntable. He tried to return it to the dealer, but they didn't believe him since it worked fine in the shop. He had to convince them to give him his money back.
     
    TheVinylAddict likes this.
  16. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Wild. Another reason to remove the dust cover while playing records.
     
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  17. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Arizona
    Thanks... BTW, I am the OP! :) I respect you opinion, thanks for sharing.

    Your original reply did say "Why do I feel the need...." So I will reply. Before I do, realize I have owned TT's since the 70's and currently own many - with four in operation - three in the main HT. Keep the number of TT's in mind as it will be part of my reasoning. Also realize I am good at getting long winded so if you don't make it to the end, no worries :)

    One other interesting point, realize that throughout my life I have run with the cover off more than with it on - that was always my main MO - it is only recently (last few years) due to other factors that I changed that habit. In the past, I was not always as careful as I am these days - and one bi-product of keeping the cover off was my dustcovers got trashed due to being accidentally kicked, etc. Kills resale. In addition, in the past I did not always have great isolation of the tables, so the cover was off to minimize vibration.

    OK - First and main reason for covers - I live in AZ - much of the year it is hot here, and I have fans, AC running. Coupled with the amount of dust here in AZ, I would rather wipe the coat of dust off the top than trying to clean around the tonearm, under the platter, etc. Cleaning a TT is a pain, and want to minimize that. If you are thinking "why not just play it with the cover off, leave on other times" - first I play a lot of music, it is on all day as I work from home... so that would mean lots of dust. (plus the same dustcover storage issue again).

    On the same vane, while the record is playing - that same moving air, and with two beagles with short hair that gets airborne it means enough times to annoy me a piece of something will land on the LP, and lodge itself under the needle... the tell-tale distortion lets me know there is something lodged. So besides the same dust consideration, that same issue affects play back.

    Then, as mentioned, if I take the covers off, it seems I never have a good place to put them, and they get kicked,scratched, etc. And since I have three TT's to deal with AND I want to maintain resale because I plan on selling a couple once I settle on the ones I want - I want the covers to remain pristine.

    Finally, realize my TT stand is on a concrete floor, and that floor is raised 6 inches above the concrete floor where my mains and subwoofers are - and then the TT's sit on granite. It is not even as ideal as it is going to be - I am building a new TT / audio stand in the shop that will have multiple levels of granite shelves - that will be well isolated. (btw, my fourth active TT is in the woodshop - so no need to justify the cover in there - and yes, I have good dust collection and air handling, so it is not that bad, but enough again a cover is a must. I am truly a vinyl addict.)

    So these days, cover on. With good isolation, I don't have an SQ issues.
     
  18. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    If you're happy with this workflow, more power to you. Glad you figured it all out. A strange situation (staticky cover) to be sure.
     
    TheVinylAddict likes this.
  19. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Arizona
    Read my post above... and don't necessarily agree - this is a one-off that will probably never happen again.

    It had to do with the shipping - and to back that up - two weeks ago HiFiDo shipped me a GT-2000, and the same thing - they packed the inside of the cover TIGHT and filled with styrofoam. When I unpacked it on the kitchen table, all the stryrofoam little bits kept getting sucked back in - it was loaded with static. There were so many white specs, that I rinsed it in the sync, and Windex'd it. Problem solved. Static gone in that instance. Has never come back on that table.

    This DP-59 TT, I unpacked, and same problem, only there were not a bunch of styrofoam bits as the blocks of styrofoam were tighter and more solid, and I did not clean it. All the static was there, I just did not realize it - then installed it and voila.

    For my needs, this one-off problem does not justify running with the cover off - I don't expect I will see this any time soon again - it is a one-off.... if it started for some freak of nature happening frequently, then I would find a way to address the static so I could run with the cover on still due to the reasons that are more pressing for my needs (described above).

    But YMMV, I respect your opinion, and you can run with it on, off, sideways, crooked whatever works for you!!! I have done it all ways, and currently my MO is on. And if you read prior posts, I still take it off when I crank the volume and rock out!!
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
    patient_ot likes this.
  20. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Arizona
    Wait - he tried to return it because of a one time static build up? Or it was happening every time? I don't follow.

    If you see my follow on post above, this large build up was due to packing, shipping - I have played it many times since then (its playing now - London Symphony Scherezade - Living Stereo), and I really don't expect it to repeat!

    Plus, NO WAY am I thinking of returning this thing - $900 shipped for a DP-59L with both tonearms, four weights, and Excellent to NM condition - it looks and plays like it was stored in a box, but played enough so it runs great! It would cost at least $1500 for this in similar condition in the states - heck the S-tonearm sells for $200+ and the weight for $150 by themselves!!
     
    bluemooze likes this.
  21. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Arizona
    Patient - I just noticed that was you I was replying to... got so caught up in reply mode, I missed that until now!

    I am not a cover off / on type of guy - I play with cover on now due to dust, other reasons, I ran with cover off for years too. There, not long winded for once.
     
  22. timztunz

    timztunz "A Dreamer, but I'm not the only one."

    Location:
    Texas and Brasil
    I think you misunderstood me. I wasn't referring to you as a zealot. As you stated, you only made an "innocuous sentence stating I'm unaware of the reason the OP would put the cover on". I'm not a cover on / cover off kind of guy anyway. I think conditions exist where one may be more advantageous to SQ than the other. But not always on or always off. I've practically been lynched for suggesting that by those who say ON is the ONLY option, period, end of story. They are the zealots I expected to see. But I was wrong. Maybe they're sleeping. :)
     
  23. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Ah, you're correct. I did misinterpret your comment. I'm sure with verbal inflections, that wouldn't have happened. The limitations of the written language at work. :)

    And about being lynched, some people take this stuff way too seriously, IMHO.
     
    timztunz likes this.
  24. thegage

    thegage Forum Currency Nerd

    You mean the people most often affected by it?

    John K.
     
  25. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Arizona
    Maybe the OP could have worded that differently. Personally I take "lynching" seriously, put me in the category with some people. :hide:
     

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