How to Repair Linear Tracking on a Turntable

Written by ezekiel james
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How to Repair Linear Tracking on a Turntable
Fix a linear-tracking turntable by lubricating the tonearm. (Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Linear tracking refers to the type of turntable design where the stylus moves across the vinyl record in a straight line. According to, a resource for high-end Bang and Olufsen linear tracking turntables, the linear-tracking design prevents audio distortion issues and provides a cleaner sound overall. Still, if the tonearm on your linear-tracking turntable become unaligned, it can do more harm than good to your record collection. Fixing linear tracking is a matter of relubricating the turntable's tonearm.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Screwdriver kit
  • Lightweight mechanical lubricant
  • Wash cloth

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  1. 1

    Remove the plastic covering that may conceal the tonearm's bearings. Pry off the cover with a flathead screwdriver or remove the covering's retaining screws. In many cases, the tonearm's bearings are readily visible.

  2. 2

    Use a clean rag to wipe down the tonearm and to remove any residual grease from inside the bearings on the back of the tonearm.

  3. 3

    Apply a few drops of silicon oil inside the bearings and along the tonearm shaft. Use your rag to evenly apply the oil all along the shaft and inside the bearings.

  4. 4

    Replace the tonearm's cover and any retaining screws, as necessary. Play a record on your turntable. This will work the lubricant into the bearings.

Tips and warnings

  • If this doesn't fix the problem, take the turntable to a repair technician. Do not attempt to dismantle the tonearm and replace worn-out bearings yourself. If you don't know what you're doing, it's easy to ruin the tonearm.

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