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Lingo 4 motor noise

Discussion in 'audio' started by hifiaf, Feb 2, 2020.

  1. hifiaf

    hifiaf pfm Member

    Hi all,

    I installed a new Lingo 4 onto my LP12 last weekend (full report with lots of photos here), replacing my previous Hercules II/Mose/Airpax setup. The first thing I noticed was motor noise: from across the room I could hear a pronounced "tick-tick-tick." When I ran the motor with the lid closed, the lid amplified it to a positively worrying level. When I switched to 45rpm, it got REALLY loud. All this with a brand-new and relatively fancy motor.

    Reading some threads on here, I tried a variety of fixes. I checked the tightness of the bolt holding the motor to the top plate (all good). I swapped in a brand new belt I happened to have. I tried oiling the motor with 3-in-1 oil by pouring it right in the top of the motor — but that just pooled up and even after a few days hadn't travelled down the shaft. Then I just left it running for a few days.

    The latter strategy seemed to work the best. It's now much quieter. But I can still hear the noise if I lean in close, and on 45s it's audible from a distance even with the lid off. Here's a recording of the sound, amplified to make it audible (the background noise will make it clear that this noise is no longer very loud at all, but definitely audible).

    I've been doing some listening tests, and so far it seems the Lingo 4 hasn't made any positive improvement in the system. I wonder if that might be down to the motor noise.

    Is there anything further I should try, or is this the quietest it's going to get?

    I certainly don't remember my previous motor being this loud!

    Once the Hong Kong post office opens up again (currently closed in response to coronavirus) I'll have a Mober DC kit on its way to compare against the Lingo 4. Should be interesting.

    Thanks in advance for your help!
    torstoi likes this.
  2. Wolfmancatsup

    Wolfmancatsup Empire State Human

    You shouldn’t hear any noise at all. I had Lingo 1/2, and more recently moved to Radikal, and have never heard any motor noise. Do you hear it when the drive belt is removed?
    Personally, I’d want to return it.

  3. david ellwood

    david ellwood Kirabosi Kognoscente

    Why didn’t your dealer install it?

    just read your blog and it would appear that you have bought a faulty unit second hand.

    also you have tried to install it without the correct instructions.

    it’s very unfair to give any kind of review based on what is extremely unrepresentative of what a linn customer would experience.
    Charlie_1 and Wolfmancatsup like this.

    YNWOAN 100% Analogue

    Looking at the fitting pictures I don’t like the way the sensor mounts to the top plate and you really need a couple of spacers (a couple of short stacks of washers would do it) to allow it to sit level. However, that doesn’t appear to be the cause of your noise. I use very much the same motor in my own turntable and it makes no noise at all (to the ear anyway) and didn’t from the moment I installed it. If it is audible to the ear it will be putting quite substantial noise, in the form of vibration, into the system.

    Edit: If this was happening to me I would unscrew the motor and run it briefly with it just hanging on its wires and check if the motor is definitely making the noise when not mounted to the deck - if it is I would request a replacement. If not, then obviously it is catching on something or the belt is, or the inner platter, or a mode in the suspension is being modulated etc.
    torstoi likes this.
  5. Wolfmancatsup

    Wolfmancatsup Empire State Human

    ...and yes, now I’ve looked through the pictures I agree with YNWOAN, that washers, or spacers of some sort, are definitely needed to level off the sensor board.
  6. hifiaf

    hifiaf pfm Member

    Yes, it was purchased second-hand, though it did come with the manufacturers' instructions, and I did follow these to the letter. And part of the fun of this project for me is to learn to do everything myself. The non-level sensor board is perhaps a little too DIY, though, certainly! I'll level that off with spacers. There is indeed noise with the belt removed — so likely an issue with the motor. I'll unscrew to verify. I wonder how one goes about requesting a replacement for something purchased second-hand... Can these motors be purchased directly from the manufacturer (Allied Motion) or for an electronics part supplier?
  7. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig ^'- -'^

    It's very common for Linn motors to make a noise, this noise to be exact. I don't know why they do it but it was generally considered a characteristic rather than a fault and it was said that it didn't impact on sound quality.
  8. chartz

    chartz If it’s broke fix it!

    A ticking motor should have its sintered bearings refilled (re-infused) with fresh oil. This is ideally done with a vacuum pump. I did that many times.
    A drop of oil will usually confirm that.
    By the way, all motors will sooner or later show this issue, not just Airpax ones.

    YNWOAN 100% Analogue

    The motor will be available as a spare from Linn, but at a price. Linn may also consider a warranty claim, though I don’t know.

    The LP12 motors that were prone to making this ticking noise were the older AC versions that had a sprung thrust pad* that pressed against the end of the motor shaft. The newer version, that has been fitted for some time now, shouldn’t suffer from this ticking noise.

    * Primarily it was the spring that was the issue. Linn tried a whole series of cures; replacing the plastic thrust pad with a ball bearing, then a larger ball bearing, then gluing the spring into the support cup, then using grease - eventually they realised it was better to just remove the whole thrust pad assembly and now they use a simple glued on cap that supports the end of the shaft without applying pressure to the motors bearings.

    Oh, and I would disagree that the bearings should need to be refilled with fresh oil.
    torstoi likes this.
  10. hifiaf

    hifiaf pfm Member

    It looks like the problem is with the motor. I removed it physically from the deck, holding it in my hands with no contact at all with the top plate, and I could feel the tick. Here is a video with sound once I'd reattached it to the deck (not touching or rubbing anything, I promise), but without the belt installed. The sound is very loud indeed, though when touched with my finger, it gets a lot quieter (though I can feel and still hear it).

    A link to just the audio is here.

    Looks like I'll be contacting Linn!
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2020
  11. chartz

    chartz If it’s broke fix it!

    Absolutely characteristic of a need for new oil. The bearings are dry. As I said, I’ve done quite a few. Admittedly, none coming from a Linn, not that much common here.
  12. YNWOAN

    YNWOAN 100% Analogue

    A motor this new really shouldn’t have any lubrication issues. In addition, it is under zero load. I’ve known LP12 motors over twenty years old that don’t require further lubrication.

    Edit: Looking at the video I am surprised to see the reflection on the drive pulley altering so much as it rotates. The machining of this component is normally very good and I wonder if the bearing shaft is slightly bent.
  13. nobeone

    nobeone pfm Member

    Ah now that makes more sense, a sintered bearing has the lubricant built into the sintered material, that is (sort of) the point. It should not need lubricating, arguably ever, certainly not when new. Besides a worn bearing, unless it has pitted in one area, does not tick so much as rumble and grind. A tick is a once or perhaps twice per rev based on an imbalance, a loss of material (a chunk of motor!) or indeed a bent shaft would do this. I think @YNWOAN probably has spotted the issue.
  14. chartz

    chartz If it’s broke fix it!

  15. YNWOAN

    YNWOAN 100% Analogue

    This motor will use sleeve bearings and it’s possible some misalignment is present. It’s also possible that the fault lies with the machining of the cap glued to the base of the motor. This cap supports the motor shaft and is intended to hold the shaft equidistant between the bearings. However, it is possible this is acting as a form of vertical cam (slightly) - this may account for the noise and the visual discontinuity of the revolving pulley. Extra lubrication may help to mask the problem but it really isn’t a good idea to use too much lubrication on motors such as this. Frankly, it should be replaced.
  16. hifiaf

    hifiaf pfm Member

    Thanks very much for your help. I'll get it replaced. I don't mind setbacks like these, as long as I learn something along the way — which your collective wisdom has assured in this case!
  17. 9designs

    9designs pfm Member

    Probability the reason someone sold it, perhaps they dropped it or damaged it somehow? Fair to say it’s F’d
    Charlie_1 likes this.
  18. YNWOAN

    YNWOAN 100% Analogue

    Unfortunately, I agree. I suspect it has been fitted - but only briefly as it was immediately removed due to this precise fault....
  19. hifiaf

    hifiaf pfm Member

    Apparently it had changed hands many times before reaching me (bought in the Netherlands, sold to someone I know in California by someone in Germany, then sold to someone I don't know in California, then to me in Canada). I saved quite a bit over list, but definitely not worth it. As I said, I wanted to install it myself, so buying second hand from a complicated chain involving at least one person I know and trust seemed like a good idea. But in the end a cautionary tale and a reminder that Linn's emphasis on dealer support is very sensible.

    Some evidence that it had never been installed: no marks on any of the screws, non-removable items like zip-ties fully intact, no wires shortened, no bends on any wires. In fact, this is likely definitive — it would be hard evidence to hide, and it would be strange to go into the installation INTENDING to cover your tracks if you didn't already know the motor was damaged. But that doesn't mean the motor wasn't dropped...
  20. hifiaf

    hifiaf pfm Member

    Quick follow-up. I wrote to Peter Swain to ask about a replacement motor, and he (writing from all the way in Kuala Lumpur — what a man!) said in his experience this knocking is common at first and almost always goes away after the motor is run in (he recommended 50 to 60 hours). I've had it running for a good 150 hours or so, but it has gotten quieter over that span. I'll keep it running in the meantime and we'll see...

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