Please Help T3F problems

I really Miss my Goldmund Studio/T3F

As soon as I turn the table on the toneearm drives straight to the spindle risking my Kouetsu Onyx cartridge. It did this to me years ago and I found that by repeatedly turning it off and on I eventually got it to work and I just left it turned on. That worked for awhile but now it will not come out of that mode.

I have a Krell, Apogee Fullrange, Suprateck system and cds just aren't cutting it.

If anyone has any experience with this, Id really appreciate any assistance 



Thanks in advance for any help



I have no direct experience with T3F, but I am under the impression that it was an expensively constructed upgrade of the original Rabco tonearm.  The Rabco was a straight line tonearm that actually relied upon pivoting to make its way across the LP surface. The arm wand was free to move in the horizontal plane. As it moved it periodically closed a microswitch installed at the pivot point. The switch then activated a tiny motor which moved the pivot point along a rail.  Movement of the arm wand associated with the motor drive would then open the switch and turn off the motor until the arm wand arc-ed back to activate the switch again. Your problem could be caused by (1) failure of the switch, or (2) failure of the motor to turn off.  I would suggest you do an internet search on the Rabco.  Perhaps there are Rabco aficionados who are very familiar with your problem and can help you find parts if needed or just show you how to clean the switch contacts.

Thanks guys, I appreciate the fast responses

Ive contacted Goldmund before. They're of no help on TT anymore.

I'll try the Rabco lead and anything else that may come up.



I would bet there are Rabco aficionados out there somewhere.  Meantime, if you can by close examination figure out where those contacts that turn the motor on and off are located, you might try just cleaning them very carefully and gently.

I tried cleaning all the contacts on the pc board and tonearm sensors, that didn't help.

I tried disconnecting the arm cable and powered the servo on and off.  Without the arm being connected to the servo pl8, I got different responses from it. sometimes the arm server display showed that it wanted to drive to the spindle the next time it wanted to cue the arm, occasionally it showed that it wanted to move the arm to the outside of the album area and a few times, it showed that it wasn't trying to do anything. . I don't understand how the servo can display different responses when its not connected to the arm sensors.


Has anyone had issues with the hardware/software of the servo pl8?



I gather you sourced the information referenced by Raul in his post above, which takes you to Soundfountain, and Soundfountain provides some valuable info on the mechanism, and a diagram of the works, if you follow the path on Sf. The results you got with the arm disconnected might just mean that disconnecting the arm confuses the servo as to where the arm is in its path to the spindle. Info on the Sf website indicates there are two motors, in both the Rabco SL8 and SL8E. We might assume that the T3F resembles the SL8E, since it post-dates the latter Rabco. Anyway, the motor to drive the pivot toward the spindle is evidently housed in a small black box that rides on the rail. The second motor apparently has only the job of raising and lowering the arm wand. (You probably know all this; I am just thinking out loud.) If you haven’t already seen the diagrams on Sf, then maybe it can help.

I googled "Rabco tonearm owners group" and found this group on Lenco Heaven:

Those Lenco guys are very helpful.  There are more such sites, if you care to google the topic I put in quotations above.

Seems like one of those guys on the Lenco thread(s) actually fixes Rabco tonearms for other owners.  That's where I would start, if you don't get any DIY hints from other reading.

Throw the T3F away and mounted an Eminent Technology ET2.5 instead.

The ET will last a lifetime and is very reliable - I've heard both on a Goldmund - the ET is a big improvement over the Goldmund arm.

Alternatively go to a pivoted arm - something like the Kuzma 4point9 would be a big improvement also over the T3F.

Thanks dover

I'll definitely look into that.


I do have a LP12 with an Ittok but the Lp12 has a dead motor right now. Id hate to cannilbalize a good table to fix another. I think I'll fix the Linn and change the arm on the Goldmund.

I certainly agree with Dover that you are better off with the ET tonearm, but that involves a larger cash expenditure. On the other hand, you might justify it by thinking that the T3F will likely be problematic in the long term, even if you fix it right now.

My preference is to fix the T3F. I know it sounds fantastic on my system. I just don't know if I have the technical skills to repair it. I'll keep trying for awhile but I need to make a decision and move ahead. My turntables have both been down for awhile and my system just doesn't sound the same with a cd source.  

I wasn't able to spend much time there yet. I dint see anything on the first go round but I'm going back in for a better look this weekend.

@scotchboy said:

My preference is to fix the T3F. I know it sounds fantastic on my system

You’ve done remarkably well to keep a T3F in service all these years. As I recall back around the mid 80's when Harry Pearson had the Goldmund tables in house at Sea Cliff the T3F was a constant source of frustration with issues similar to what you describe.

It's been a long time since I thought about the T3F. Back in 1980 or so it was the turntable to buy at Sound Components in Miami where I worked. The turntable is ace except for one problem, the tonearm. We had a lot of trouble with them doing odd things like the OP mentions but it's major downfall from a sonic point of view was or is that the tonearm's chassis rings. If you take the table into an adjoining room it sounds much better. It is a beautiful turntable. Removing the arm is going to leave scars and holes on the surface. What I would do is make a thin tonearm board out of a rosewood and cover that side of the table with it than drill the hole for the new arm. A Schroder CB would be perfect and it only requires a 1"hole. The cord comes out underneath so it will not interfere with the dust cover. The look of the arm matches the table. 

Mijo, The "T3F" refers to the Rabco-like tonearm that was marketed by Goldmund, originally I think with their massive Reference TT, which was then the most expensive TT/tonearm combo available, at least on this side of the Atlantic and Pacific.  I don't think the OP has a Goldmund TT.  And he wants to make his T3F work; he's apparently not interested in a replacement tonearm. Did you actually find the Reference TT to be problematic?  HP loved it for years.

Which you like, I guess. Yes?

If I recall correctly the T3F made its first appearance on the Reference as part of an ensemble that also included the dedicated stand.

@lewm , You are correct, the tonearm was the T3F. The turntable we had it on was not the Reference. It was the Studio which I thought was a fabulous turntable in comparison to the Linn LP12. If working correctly the OP is best served by changing arms as he will have a hard time finding a better table. The arm however is a nightmare in progress and Goldmund no longer services it or stocks parts for it.

The Reference is a totally different table. I have never been in the same room as one. 

I wonder if Frank Kuzma was copying the Goldmund Studio when he designed the Stabi M. Remarkably similar tables. 

I saw the Reference ensemble at a high end dealer's showroom, once, but do not recall having heard it.  It was really a milestone product in the sense that it blew away previous conceptions of what even "expensive" turntables should cost.  I would parallel it with the Infinity Servo-Statik One (a shocking $2000!!!) or the later multi-drive Heil/ESL from Infinity (with the massive rosewood wings to block phase cancellation), which was even more costly, for those days.  And from there, prices only went more crazy in the 21st century.

I wonder if Frank Kuzma was copying the Goldmund Studio when he designed the Stabi M. Remarkably similar tables. 

You have got to be joking.

Goldmund is direct drive, Kuzma belt drive

Goldmund has conventional bearing, Kuzma has inverted.

Goldmund has conventional thrust pad/ball, Kuzma has ruby ball

Goldmund has sprung suspension, Kuzma has non sprung damped suspension

The only commonality is that they are both turntables, and black in colour.

Clearly you know nothing about these turntables and I very much doubt you have actually seen either.



lewm - I love the sound of the Studio/T3F. Comparing it to my LP12/Ittok is like floating in a 3 dimensional sea of sound on the Goldmund vs the sound of a $300 cd player (going through a Krell DAC), lifeless and lacking tons of detail. 

There a huge difference in cartridges on the 2 tables. The Goldmund has a Koetsu Onyx and the LP12 has a Mission 773.

The cheapest fix would be to repair/replace the motor on my LP12 and move the Koetsu to the LP12. I just don't have any faith that it would sound anywhere close to the sound of the Goldmund.

Thats why I'm trying so hard to fix the T3F.



rauliruegas Do you by chance have Apogee speakers?

I knew a guy years ago in the Apogee forum that had a set,

I can tell you that Raul does not have Apogee speakers.

You are correct in noting that there is a huge difference between your two cartridges.  You could, in the interim until you can get the T3F fixed, move the Koetsu to the LP12, but you need a very high effective mass tonearm to get the most out of the Koetsu, and I don't know anything about the Ittok.  The good news is you can increase the mass of the Ittok in any of several ways, as simply as putting a coin on the top of the headshell.  A US nickel weighs 5g, for example.


Actually you should not add mass to the Ittok headshell if you run the Koetsu Onyx on the Ittok.

I had a customer with Linn/Sumiko MDC800/Koetsu Onyx Gold - sounded superb.

The MDC800 is only 11g effective mass.

The Ittok LVII is 13.5g effective mass.

The Onyx is quite heavy at 12.5g, ( most of the Linn cartridges are around 7g ) and adding further mass to the Ittok headshell with the Onyx installed will degrade the sound. If anything you might need a heavier counterweight to optimise the sound by running the counterweight closer to the pivot.

So - if you want to run the Ittok/Onyx - just install as is.

Be careful, the Onyx bodies are easily cracked - do not do the bolts up too tight - just a gentle pinch.



Thanks Dover

Especially on installing the cartridge. The Linn rep once told me "there are three kinds of tight: theres tight, theres F_ _ _en tight and then there's Linn tight" 

Lol, the next cartridge I installed was a Grace cartridge and I crushed the body


Yeah Ivor was pretty funny. The Ittoks have "soft bearings" and they recommended taking the arm off to install a cartridge so the bearings don't get damaged. Now I know why. Actually the Ittok is underrated - it does work with a wide variety of cartridges, assuming it is in good condition.

Good point on the already heavy weight of a stone body Koetsu. I neglected to take that into account.