George Vollema at Great Lakes Antique Phonographs is excellent.   I work on
them too, but am a hobbiest.  I’m in MA but near Providence RI.


Ron L


From: Phono-L [] On Behalf Of Robert
Wright via Phono-L
Sent: Saturday, September 14, 2019 11:10 AM
To: Antique Phonograph List
Cc: Robert Wright
Subject: Re: [Phono-L] Credenza speed readout needle chatter


Well, after another round of removing and cleaning the indicator mech, and
putting a longer pad (which didn't help at all) and adjusting this and that,
I decided to just leave the damned thing off for a while so I could simply
enjoy my phonograph for a few days…


And the noise is still there. The clacking component of the sound, it turns
out, was actually the governor "arm" that gets lowered by the speed
adjustment screw on top, at the point of contact between them. So at this
point, it's a governor problem, evidently.


Is there anyone on this list I can send this motor for repair/adjustment? I
simply don't have the time nor the skills to take it all apart and get it
right, but I do have money. I'm all about learning to fix these machines and
have done lots of work on them, but I need some expert help on this one. I
just don't have it in me. Anyone?







On Sep 13, 2019, at 6:22 PM, SN Medved via Phono-L <>

WD-40 is not a lubricant.  It works good as a cleaner or to displace water,
but not as a lubricant.  Liquid Bearings works well and has no smell and is





From: Phono-L <> on behalf of Robert Wright via
Phono-L <>
Sent: Friday, September 13, 2019 12:34 PM
To: Antique Phonograph List <>
Cc: Robert Wright <>
Subject: Re: [Phono-L] Credenza speed readout needle chatter 


Firstly, thank you both for the detailed info!  


Ron, it looks like your suggestions are aimed at reducing vibration from the
governor mech itself, the application of which makes perfect sense. I just
may try that on all the motors here, in fact. Thank you!


Andrew, it sounds like you're suggesting that once the indicator arbor is in
(let's call it) 78rpm position, it is in that specific axis (or axes) where
the hole may have become enlarged and/or the arbor's pivot post has become
polished -- i.e., there's no chatter at other speeds because the indicator
pad is in a different position, placing the posts where the wear has not
occurred. This makes perfect sense to me, especially as the indicator
chatter happens with at least one other motor here (a spring one, not the
electric one I initially wrote about). I'm sure both machines have operated
at 78rpm or thereabouts their entire lives, indeed.


It also makes sense that adding grease to the pad helps, but only for a few
plays -- once it has cleared out of the path, the posts are again in (let's
call it) chatter position.


In that light, would you think installing a significantly longer leather pad
into the arbor would change its rotational position enough to place it into
a "fresh" spot? It would also increase the return spring tension slightly,
which may help alleviate chatter. Doesn't seem like it would take much,
perhaps an additional 16th - 8th of an inch. It might get another 100 years
of chatter-free use if so. Thoughts? (I've also used a spritz of WD-40 to
lubricate the post holes -- perhaps I'll slather a fingertip of grease on
them instead.)


I also considered sympathetic resonance, but I don't know how much the math
lines up, considering it is a range of speeds (albeit a narrow one) while
the 60Hz vibration is more or less constant (I realize the 60Hz vibration
and any errant governor vibration are two different things). But the hole
wear, in my mind, lines up to that problem range quite well!


I say it often in my emails here, but it bears repeating once again: to
someone like me who loves phonographs much more than they have technically
studied them, this list isn't just a handy resource, it's a lifeline. Thank
you, gentlemen.



Reporting back soon,




PS - In my defense, I never said the source of the chatter was the point of
contact between the pad and the flywheel! I only meant to describe the
symptom, i.e., where the noise occurred, not the underlying disease that
might suggest a cure. I just get in a hurry sometimes. I'll try to be
clearer! :-)








On Sep 12, 2019, at 3:30 PM, Andrew Baron via Phono-L <>

Hi Robert. Intriguing problem, and I think I may be able to shed a little
light. My supposition could be wrong, but if you look at the physics of the
thing, it could point to not one issue (“…obviously the contact point
between the leather nib…”), but more likely two issues. You have to raise
your perception above where the symptom’s cause would appear to originate,
and look at the whole picture.  


The key to solving your mystery may be directly related to something you
conveyed very precisely, that the issue occurs over an extremely narrow band
of speeds. So, it appears that we have a primary cause (vibration source at
the leather and flywheel), exacerbated or amplified by a secondary
condition, which I will assume is marginal wear in the holes that the
leather pad arm’s arbor passes through (the first of the two axles), in
possible combination with the holes that the speed indicator needle’s arbor
passes through, in the indicator frame. Given that the steel arm that the
leather pad mounts to is supported on a smaller arbor, and given that this
arbor is first in line and thus closer to the governor flywheel where the
vibration originates, it’s likely that wear would be more present at those
holes and possibly the associated arbor as well, than at the larger holes
and arbor of the indicator needle. The same wear on smaller parts will
occupy a larger percentage of area, thus having a more noticeable effect.


The wear I describe would be very subtle. If for example, the holes that the
indicator arbor passes through are normally three-thousandths of an inch
larger in diameter than the arbor (just guessing on this — I have not
measured it), and it’s known that the arbor touches only a specific portion
of the wall of those holes at a specific speed, then you may find that the
holes and/or the arbor itself have worn -slightly- out of round. It would be
hard to see, but if the holes are normally for example .003” larger than the
arbor, and now they’re subtly egg-shaped and .005” in only one direction
(out of round), then any vibration whatsoever at the contact point (leather
pad & flywheel) would cause the arbor to vibrate in a unidirectional
orientation, within its holes. 


Wear would naturally occur on the associated parts only in the specific
areas of the arbors and holes that would be in constant contact when the
machine is set to run the correct speed, assuming that for most of the
machine’s life it was set to run at the correct speed, thus causing the wear
at those limited locations


Keep in mind that even though the holes may appear to be a very close fit to
the arbors and thus touching them all around, the reality is that the
contact point between arbors and holes can only be over a specific small
part of the ID of the holes. For them to touch all around, the holes would
have to be the same size as the arbors, which would be a zero clearance,
zero tolerance hole — almost a press fit. The holes are larger than the
arbors to provide freedom of movement. Freedom of movement when constrained
within certain engineered limits is a good thing. Freedom of movement
outside of those limits can either cause problems or allow problems
originating elsewhere to come to light.


Chances are that this machine has lived with a slight vibration at the
governor most of its working life, and this has in effect caused more wear
to occur in a very narrow and specific way. ANY vibration will lead to
greater wear on associated parts than the same arrangement with no
discernible vibration. There are multiple causes of vibration at the
governor and pad, which could be explored as part of another investigation.


To correct your immediate problem, and assuming nothing is done to correct
the vibration, then you might approach where the visible effects of this
vibration manifest, by sourcing a different indicator frame and arbor. While
the indicator needle serves to show the turntable speed, it also makes a
marvelous vibration indicator!


All of the above supposition is based on imagining all of the related parts
working in the mind, in the absence of physical inspection, and therefore
remains in the realm of theory. To check to see if the arbor holes are worn
slightly out of round, a clockmaker would insert a "smoothing broach" into
the holes (tapered steel tool of round cross section), until the tool gently
seats in the hole. Then they would hold the indicator frame and broach up to
a light source and hunt for a slim, crescent moon shaped irregularity
showing at the hole, around the broach. If present, this would prove a worn
hole. The test would be repeated for each hole. Wear would likely be greater
at the hole closest to the steel arm and hairspring that supports the pad,
than at the opposite end of the same arbor. You should also inspect the
arbors themselves, where they touch the holes. I would expect to see that a
narrow portion of their OD would at minimum appear more polished, indicating
a history of (normal) rubbing. They could still be in tolerance  however
unless they measure out of round with a caliper.


All this conjecture about worn holes is based solely on your comments about
the problem manifesting only across a narrow portion of the speed range. For
a condition where vibration of the needle is present across the entire speed
spectrum, I would focus on resolving the source of the vibration, which
could be as simple as refreshing the mounting pads between the motor housing
and motor board. Vibration transferred to the motor board from the motor,
could result in sympathetic vibration from the motor board to the indicator
frame mounted under it, even if there is no wear at the indicator frame
holes and arbors. In this case, you can ignore nearly all of the above.
Ultimately, if the inidcator assembly is worn and replacements weren’t
readily available, they could be restored to their factory tolerances.


Best and good luck. Keep me posted on what you learn,

Andrew Baron

Santa Fe, NM

On Sep 12, 2019, at 7:47 AM, Robert Wright via Phono-L
<> wrote:


Hello to all! I hope someone can help me with this incredibly annoying
problem: the speed indicator mech of one of my Credenza X's chatters at
78rpm It's fine at 80, it's fine at 90 (I have a Hughes adapter I use for
Pathé verticals), and it's fine below 77. But right at 78 to 79rpm, it

It's pretty obviously the contact point between the leather nib and the
governor disc -- once it's up to speed, it bounces instead of riding
smoothly against the surface. I've cleaned the disc and even held some 2400
sandpaper against it, I've replaced the leather nib with fresh leather
shoestring of two different gauges (one which was sold specifically as
material for phonograph brakes), I've soaked the nibs in oil, I've slathered
them with lithium grease… Nothing helps. I can get a few plays without
chatter if I apply more grease, or clean off the grease that's there (same
result -- "disturbing" that contact point in either way helps for a few

Anyone else ever had to deal with this? 

Thanks in advance,

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