How things wear out over time

For those thinking of long term durability of sound systems, this may be of interest.

I lost the right channel of my vinyl playback. CD was all fine. In the true audiophile style, I disassemble half of the universe to check the tubes and swap things back and forth to search for the cause.

Turns out it was the tonearm cable. I use a fairly old Clearaudio Tangent with a Nordost Valhalla RCA tonearm cable which must be approaching twenty years of age soon.

Each time one changes the record, the arm needs to be raised up to get out of the way of the record.

The connector of the right channel (red cable), being closer to the pivot point when the arm is raised, gets more twisting motion than the left channel which travels a longer distance. Over the time, the frequent twisting had loosened the connector.

Tweaked with the connector and swapped the left and right cables around so it is fine now. Let’s see if I can get another twenty years out of it. Clearaudio turntables are built very well but I guess the tonearm design should be such that the toneaerm cable remains stationary when the arm is moved.

1 Like