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.
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.
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.
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…