I am the original owner of this turntable since the summer of 1981. For a time, linear tracking was the Holy Grail for turntables. The Technics SL-7 is in perfect operating condition. It was sort of the "poor man's version" of the Technics SL-10 or SL-15. I use a Shure V15 LT and have never had one issue with the tone arm - either mechanically or sonically. The platter has a tiny bit more rumble that you can detect with headphones and some vinyl, but I chalk that up to the angled Technics bases that it's sitting on. A rubber mat would probably be the quietest, but not as convenient. Still, it beats almost every DAC I have in detail and overall frequency response.