Music Hall MMF 7 tweak that woke my system up

I posted this over at VA but I thought I would post here in case some don't visit both.

I can't take credit for this as I got the idea from many other threads both here and on the Teres forum and some of you Music Hall owners may already be doing this.
I had been cleaning and listening to some new (used vinyl) additions to my collection for several hours so I know that everything was warmed up. I just decided to mute the pre-amp and take the TT into my workshop and grounded the bearing to the ground post on the connector box. This is then grounded to my EAR 834P. I re-sited the TT and quickly checked that everything was set at before and began playing. Instantly the sound stage was deeper, fuller and I experienced much quiter playback. I wanted to see if it was the quality of these LP's or if the tweak was responsible. So I pulled out some records that I have had and I know to have some ticks. These were now much quieter as well! I then disconnected the bearing ground and after just a few seconds the clicks and ticks were back. That was enough to convince me the ground was making a difference. Nothing fancy yet, just twisted bare wire connections for now.

Now it may be because it is very dry this time of year here in mid-New England and there may be some symbiotic relationship added between my TT and phono stage. This has been the best tweak to my TT that I have tried so far. FYI, I do use a DIY cork mat.
I have received a few emails about how I did this on the MMF 7 so I decided to reply here. Please feel free to add to or recommend changes to this procedure.

First a word of caution. I have an advantage in that my Shure cartridge has a removeable stylus. If yours does not, then you need to somehow make sure to protect it. Either way, lock the arm down. If you are unsure about the mechanical or electrical connections on your Music Hall turntable, maybe you want to to get someone qualified to do this for you. Please read all of this before you attempt it.

You do need to have some basic handyman skills, about 8 to 12 inches of wire (no special wire needed here but smaller is better, I used something like 18 ga.), a small phillips screw driver, a pair of needle-nose pliers, paper towels to wipe up a small bit of bearing oil, cotton swabs, some oil to put back into the bearing when finished and something like small eye-dropper to put the oil in with. I use some needle-less syringes for this. (It's good to have nurses as friends.)

Here is how I grounding the bearing in a somewhat quick and easy way. My method can certainly be improved on but, hey, this was an experiment. Also, there may be some real advantages to grounding the bearing back to an outlet box instead of through the same path as the signal from the cartridge.

I took a length of wire and connected one end to the spindle bearing from the bottom side and connected the other end to the gound connection post that is between the R and L connections. This allows all static that builds up during playback to be dissipated to ground. Otherwise this static will discharge into the cartridge and can be heard as clicks and pops.

First disconnect all the leads, ground wire and remove the belt. You need to lift the platter off the spindle. Just lift from the edges while pushing the spindle down with your thumb. Get a paper towel ready and lift the spindle straight up and out of the bearing, immediately wiping the bottom of the shaft of any oil clinging to it. Next use some cotton swabs to soak up the oil in the bearing. This usually takes 2 to four swab ends, just keep doing it until the swab comes back clean.

You need to get to the little nuts on the bottom side that are holding the bearing housing to the plinth. It would be best if you had an extra set of hands for this part or find a way to secure the table while it is turned up on one end. Hold one of the nuts with the needle-nose pliers from the under side and back out the phillips screw from the top side. You don't need to take the nut off, just back it out far enough to get the bare end of the wire wrapped around the screw shaft under the nut. This is abit tricky, the needle-nose may help you manipulate the wire. Once the wire is in place just re-tighten the screw and nut. Just snug it up. It doesn't have to be torqued down. Now you're done with the hardest part.

You can set the table down upright. Attach the other end of the wire to the ground post that is between the left and right channel connectors on the back. Now when you re-connect the ground wire to your phono stage or pre-amp the bearing will be grounded as well.

Add about 10 to 15 drops of oil to the bearing from the opening on top. (Roy Hall recommends straight 30 wgt. Mobil One. I have tried a few different lubricants and have settled on Valvoline automatic transmission fluid, much less bearing noise with my table.) Gently insert the bottom of the spindle into the bearing and let it settle on its own, usually within a minute or so. Replace the platter, put the belt on and undo whatever you did to protect the stylus. That's it.