LP spindle hole off center

Hi Everyone,
I was just listening to a new album I bought, "4:13 Dream" by the Cure. I noticed a lot of distortion in the right channel. I looked at the record as it was playing and saw the tonearm swinging inwards and outwards a LOT. I surmise that the spindle hole is off center by a good distance. I would estimate it is off by approximately the radius of the hole itself.
Three questions:

1) Is this the likely cause of the distortion?
2) Why the right channel?
3) Has anyone ever attempted to manually "fix" an off-center spindle hole? Any success?


Fixing an off-center spindle hole is a pain, but it can be done. The way I've handled this on a few occasions is to determine which direction the hole needs to be moved, then use a fine-tooth 1/4" diameter "rat tail" file to file that one side of the hole. One ends up with an elongated oval hole. Using a clamp on the turntable then makes it possible to position the new edge of the filed-out spindle hole against the spindle and clamp in place.

Good luck.
There used to be a $7,000 turntable by Nakamichi that could correct for off-center lp's. You could search for one on Audiogon.
It would certainly cause distortion, although I don't know why it would only be one channel.

I have an LP which has a hole that is off by more than the diameter of the hole itself. I just drilled a new hole with a forstner bit. Worked fine.
Use a record that has a perfectly centered hole and use it as a template to drill a new hole.
Off-center records would cause pitch distortion, possibly dectable on sustained tones... but not "distortion in one channel." So you have two problems... a bad record, and some other problem with the turntable setup (maybe improper alignment or anti-skating force). Could even be a worn stylus or bent cantilever. I'd definitely experiment with the anti-skating setting and check the cartridge alignment and tracking force. You can probably eyeball the cantilever to see if it looks centered.

A lot of times I play off-center records and can't even tell except by looking at the arm move. But if it's very severe like you've noted it may be audible. Do you notice distortion on loud passages on other records?