Years ago I came here asking questions on how to begin my journey into vinyl. At that time, I was stuck with a linear table and interest in the Music Hall 5 series.
Due to financial constraints and other priorities, my interest was then put on hold. Until very recently. I just scored a used mmf5.1se on eBay, in pretty great shape. There's a small crack in the dust cover, and a tiny scratch on the corner of the top plinth. It came with a Goldring 2500, and a Grado Gold cartridge, a clamp, and two belts. Altogether around $1,200 worth of stuff, and I got it for 50% of that. I was pleased with the deal.
Now, I'm new to setting up this kind of turntable. So I was going through MH's instructions carefully. I got to setting the tonearm balance and, while using the counterbalance, discovered that I could not get the tonearm to zero out. Even setting the counterbalance to maximum weight would not raise the arm to a level position.
I removed the counterbalance from its post on the tonearm, and took a peek. This is what I saw.
I may be a newbie, but I could tell it wasn't right. There shouldn't be wiggle and play in the counterbalance's post, nor should there be a crack and a screw, nor should the post be upside down as it appears to be.
So now you know my problem. Negotiating with the eBay seller to try and get refunded for the worth of the tonearm as it relates to the total purchase price is part of my solution, perhaps the easy part. I don't believe the seller I purchased from was attempting to be dishonest - I am pretty sure he got it used and, not knowing much about turntables, got duped by the original owner. I don't think he ever knew he was using a table with a broken counterbalance post.
The hard part is, what should I do to try and get the table in working condition?
My research suggests that you can't even buy a Pro-Ject 9 anymore, only the 9c, 9cc, and 9cc EVO arms. They look to quickly exceed the price I paid for the whole table. That, and I don't feel confident that I could remove the current tonearm and install another, so I'd have to find a repair shop and pay for the work, increasing the cost even more.
Obviously somebody tried to "fix" this tonearm and pass it off as working. Might it be possible to actually fix it so it is usable?
Please share your thoughts and opinions, I'll gladly accept any advice you can offer. Thanks!