LP12 belt -which side?

I got a new drive belt a few months ago (£50 as they supposedly last longer???) btu didn’t change it straight away.

Now typically I can’t remember if it’s smooth or rough side that sits against the inner platter (and then there’s up/down variation).

Naturally most searches in Google lead to Linn’s defunct forum - such a shame there’s no archive at Linn.

I’ve found one post saying smooth on the inside on another site.

Is the Naim site archive up yet?



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All the old Linn forum is now on HIFI Kabin hope this is OK admin?

the smooth side of the belt goes onto the motor and inner platter


Thanks Antz, much appreciated.

My problem now is working out which is smooth and rough!

Use an eye glass and you should be able to tell. Don’t rub your fingers along it, or you’ll get into a catch 22 where you’ll need to clean it and you shouldn’t be doing that.

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Good idea - just have to find a magnifier of some kind!

There’s a bit of me tempted to try all permutations to see what sounds best, though I guess it probably takes some hours for a new belt to settle down to a consistent sound.

The worst thing is realising that the last time I changed a belt was several years ago, but I could probably actually see what I was doing without reading glasses back then :anguished:

TBH it’s really easier just to visually see the correct side and then the direction of the rubber. This solves a lot of hassle listening to all combinations.

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When you’ve got it figured out, I would just take a ball point and draw a squiggly line on the side NOT in contact with the pulley. Then if you take it off, for some reason (e.g. transporting the turntable), then you’ll be sure you’ve got it right. I do this, and haven’t noticed any change in sound quality from doing so.

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Possibly odd that Linn have never had a logo or something similar on the non-contact side to guide us - then again it would have probably added another £50 to the cost :open_mouth:

Do you mean the smooth side is the one in contact with the motor and the inner platter?

Linn have always said the side and direction of a new belt should be determined by listening
Hence no printed logo etc

my dealer showed me using the inside of your lips

Yes, same here. The get a ball point pen and mark it. :grinning:

So new belt, how long needed for it to sound right, or should it be better from the off - the new belt sounded great on the first track of an album, very dynamic, then harsher on later tracks. I’d imagine it would have to stretch a little to get bedded in. The platter seems a bit jerky starting up with the new belt too.

It should be spot on from the start. You sure you haven’t over stretched the belt getting it over the pulleys?

Don’t think so Guinnless, I have swapped new/old a few times in recent weeks and have tended to go back to the older belt which if I lay the two over each other, the older one seems definitely a bit longer. May just be the stuff I’m playing, need to try more material I guess.

It’s a Neoprene belt so they don’t stretch. I assume you purchased a genuine one from a reputable supplier?

As far as I know yes, from a large UK hifi chain. Was charged £50.

I assume they are not individually packaged in Linn packaging (I’ve never had one like that having purchased 3-4 replacement belts from a Linn dealer over almost 30 years), I think this was one of a batch of several, actually the last in a bag (presumably supplied as multiples for dealer servicing?).

Are you certain that the belts don’t stretch over many years of usage? I’ve always assumed they do.

Even a well used one is a very snug fit over the pulleys. Mine is a few years old and snug with a nice smooth start.
I’ve seen people out their fingers on the inside of the belt to stretch it over the platter or motor pulley, this over stretches the belt and you then get uneven running.

I try not to do that, though probably difficult to say for certain that I haven’t, just played a different album and much better detail.

What’s the recommended way to apply the belt? Around inner platter then pulley or pulley first? The former always seems easier to me, I think sometimes I don’t have the belt fully around the inner platter to get it over the pulley then rotate the inner platter to get the belt fully on - not really given it a huge amount of thought to be honest but think I’d have avoided any big stretches to get it over the pulley for the reason’s you describe.

Edit - however, with another LP just now, and the 2nd tonight, the cartridge has bounced around on the first track for a few seconds - that never normally happens when starting the platter up and lowering the tonearm with the arm lift to the lead in groove - I thought for a minute both records were either warped or had tight spindle cutouts and weren’t flush with the platter. Hmmmm…