Oh, I get it; this is the TD-1601 photo. First I looked at it, I said to myself "now that does not look like the TD125"!
hahaNice turntable, but your word choice ("basking in the evening light") made me throw up.
That is a beauty!I bought this Luxman PD-444 used for next to nothing. It had the fake-rosewood ends eaten by a pet and are now actual rosewood, but everything else was more or less in order. I love this era of Luxman (mostly).
Lithuanian manufacturer Reed tonearm, the 5T (£14,900), mounted on a Muse 1C belt-drive turntable (£11,000). The 5T is a tangentially tracking pivoted tonearm based on the Thales theorem and claiming a maximum tracking error of +/- .005 degrees. The position of the tonearm is regulated by laser and a linear sensor array.
As a pianist, I'm pretty critical of wow and flutter. The first few hours with the LP-120 were disappointing; there was audible variation in pitch on sustained long piano tones. Then, one day, I noticed that variation was almost gone and the day after, gone entirely. It was probably caused by bearing wear-in. Since then, no issues whatsoever, but with streaming, my usage has dwindled.
I used the same couple of records. One by Vladimir Ashkenazy and another by Lang Lang. (Jan Lisiecki, my current favorite pianist, was too young to record back then.)Did the audible fluctuations in pitch on piano notes dissapear over time on the same records, or did you listen to certain records in the beginning and then other records later when the problem had disappeared?
I'm asking because to me it more sounds like the issue could have been records pressed off-center. Direct drive turntables usually have very, very stable motors, so it seems odd that there was audible fluctuations in pitch, although I suppose it's possible that it could have been the bearing settling in, as you suggest.
I've also had issues with pitch fluctuations on a George Winston piano album, but the record was pressed off-center.
There will always be some residual w/f from the turntable itself, but the best turntables will be defeated by the wow and flutter of record pressings.Every turntable, I believe, has some wow and flutter. As with other issues of music playback, if I don't notice it, it's fine. I can sit back and enjoy the music.
As I have said before, HiFi is more about reducing annoyances than the impossibility of reproducing reality.
If you are my piano tech, you know I'm unnaturally sensitive to piano tuning and voicing. He and I have an uneasy laugh about it, now and then, but when he's done he closes the fallboard, replaces the music desk and rack, sits back, and states, "There! One perfectly tuned piano."
(Like that's even possible.)