You are here

Log in or register to post comments
troypozi
troypozi's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: May 26 2009 - 8:37pm
Brittle, almost painful "S" sounds and ride cymbal sounds on LPs

I am running my Technics Sl-D2 turntable with a Shure m44G cartridge through a BBE phono preamp into a pair of audioengine A2 speakers. On certain records, "s" sounds distort, and crash and ride cymbals sound tinny and semi-painful. Is it the records, my cartridge, my table? All of the above? Please help.

The two LPs I noticed this on were "Already Free" by the Derek Trucks band (the CD and MP3's do not distort on the speakers). And Try! by the John Mayer Trio (Mp3's didn't distort either.)

mrlowry
mrlowry's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 1 month ago
Joined: May 30 2006 - 1:37pm
Re: Brittle, almost painful "S" sounds and ride cymbal sounds on

It could be a lot of things including how the turntable is set up. Who mounted the cartridge? What tools did they use? It's also possible that the cartridge is worn out. How old is the cartridge?

troypozi
troypozi's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: May 26 2009 - 8:37pm
Re: Brittle, almost painful "S" sounds and ride cymbal sounds on

To be honest with you the cartridge is around 6 months old, but I mounted it myself...and this was the first time I did it. I didn't have a force gauge or anything so I just kinda screwed it on. I know this is sacrilege....

Kal Rubinson
Kal Rubinson's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 51 min ago
Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 9:34am
Re: Brittle, almost painful "S" sounds and ride cymbal sounds on


Quote:
To be honest with you the cartridge is around 6 months old, but I mounted it myself...and this was the first time I did it. I didn't have a force gauge or anything so I just kinda screwed it on. I know this is sacrilege....

Well, that may tell it all. Consider getting a copy of Fremer's setup DVD as a tutorial.

JoeE SP9
JoeE SP9's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 weeks 15 hours ago
Joined: Oct 31 2005 - 6:02pm
Re: Brittle, almost painful "S" sounds and ride cymbal sounds on


Quote:
To be honest with you the cartridge is around 6 months old, but I mounted it myself...and this was the first time I did it. I didn't have a force gauge or anything so I just kinda screwed it on. I know this is sacrilege....

Go to vinylengine.com sign up and download an alignment protractor. If you just screwed your cartridge on it is almost certainly not aligned properly.

troypozi
troypozi's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: May 26 2009 - 8:37pm
Re: Brittle, almost painful "S" sounds and ride cymbal sounds on

I should reiterate. I have the tracking force set to the range of the cartridge (1.5) using the numbers on the tonearm balance. Should I purchase a force gauge anyway? Also I was considering buying a Shure M97xe cartridge so I can set it up right from the start.

linden518
linden518's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Dec 12 2007 - 5:34am
Re: Brittle, almost painful "S" sounds and ride cymbal sounds on

Troy, cartridge alignment is different than setting a cartridge's tracking force. Download a protractor, or better yet, invest in a quality protractor to properly set-up.

edever
edever's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 4 months ago
Joined: Mar 19 2009 - 3:05pm
Re: Brittle, almost painful "S" sounds and ride cymbal sounds on


Quote:
Consider getting a copy of Fremer's setup DVD as a tutorial.

I second this.

He not only shows you what you need to do, he tells you why. Unless you setup carts everyday, it's well worth the investment - and maybe even then: the copy I acquired happened to be autographed...that's gotta be worth some long green

troypozi
troypozi's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: May 26 2009 - 8:37pm
Re: Brittle, almost painful "S" sounds and ride cymbal sounds on

I'm almost wondering if instead of dropping more money on this hand-me-down table I should just buy a good entry level one such as the Pro-ject or the Rega P1 and be done with it. I believe the cartridges are factory installed on those, and from what i've heard, installed well.

Keep in mind the table is going through a phono preamp into my Audioengine A2 desktop speakers.

Thanks

mrlowry
mrlowry's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 1 month ago
Joined: May 30 2006 - 1:37pm
Re: Brittle, almost painful "S" sounds and ride cymbal sounds on


Quote:
I should reiterate. I have the tracking force set to the range of the cartridge (1.5) using the numbers on the tonearm balance. Should I purchase a force gauge anyway? Also I was considering buying a Shure M97xe cartridge so I can set it up right from the start.

The numbers on the collar would only be accurate IF (and this is a big if as is the following if) the new cartridge was EXACTLY the same weight as the old cartridge AND the old cartridge was set up properly. If you notice the numbers are on a collar that rotates on the weight. The position of the collar needs to be adjusted relative to the weight of the cartridge as it relates to the tonearm.

In short buy Michael Fremer's DVD on Turntable set up as others have suggested. Even though he doesn't specifically address your turntable it's still very useful since he explains why you should take certain steps it is a great help for owners of most turntables. Watch the set up for the Project turntable at least 2 or 3 times before starting.

JoeE SP9
JoeE SP9's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 weeks 15 hours ago
Joined: Oct 31 2005 - 6:02pm
Re: Brittle, almost painful "S" sounds and ride cymbal sounds on

Properly aligning a cartridge is a pain in the ass. However, you only do it when you install a new cartridge. See my previous post.
Downloading and printing a stylus protractor is quite easy. Aligning the cartridge by following the directions is not "rocket science".
If you have given a correct description of your problem aligning the cartridge should solve your problem.
BTW: All you have to do is loosen the bolts and move the cartridge until it lines up with a grid. If it takes more than 20 minutes the first time you do it someone will come and take your screwdriver away.

I have had a DB Systems Stylus protractor since the early 80's. A Shure SFG-2 (Stylus Force Guage) has been with it since around the same time. They are both great investments that will last a lifetime. Neither one is expensive.
www.needledoctor.com has both in stock.

wgriel
wgriel's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 7 months ago
Joined: Oct 28 2006 - 6:59pm
Re: Brittle, almost painful "S" sounds and ride cymbal sounds on


Quote:
I'm almost wondering if instead of dropping more money on this hand-me-down table I should just buy a good entry level one such as the Pro-ject or the Rega P1 and be done with it. I believe the cartridges are factory installed on those, and from what i've heard, installed well.

I did just that when I got into vinyl a few years ago. I bought a Pro-Ject Xpression II, and my dealer recommended that I swap out the supplied cartridge (at that time it wasn't a very good one, they ship a better cart with the table now) with a Shure M97xE. Since I had a good relationship with the dealer and I trusted his advice I told him to go for it. He set everything up for me so I didn't have to fuss with it.

It was a great sounding combination and brought me loads of listening pleasure!

If you can, I do recommend buying one of these entry level tables from a dealer. They can make sure everything is set up properly, can help you out with upgrades if you decide to do so and are a great source of help and advice.

Mine will let me borrow a Nitty Gritty vacuum cleaner over weekends, and will let me try out possible upgrades like a new platter, etc. before buying. Of course, therein lies the danger too: I no longer have the Pro-ject, because the dealer was all too happy to let me borrow an AudioNote TT1 to try out. Well, it was a substantial upgrade over the Pro-ject (and a substantially more expensive table) but after having it in my system I couldn't resist upgrading!

tom collins
tom collins's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 4 days ago
Joined: Apr 3 2007 - 11:54am
Re: Brittle, almost painful "S" sounds and ride cymbal sounds on

wgreil: i feel your pain about the friendly dealer syndrome. i started out with a rega p2, now have a nottingham horizon se and thinking about moving up again. what are you gonna do?

tom

JoeE SP9
JoeE SP9's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 weeks 15 hours ago
Joined: Oct 31 2005 - 6:02pm
Re: Brittle, almost painful "S" sounds and ride cymbal sounds on

Why is everyone ignoring the real issue?

The OP has a TT that has a seriously mis-aligned cartridge. That's why he is getting such awful sound. Telling him to buy another TT is curing the symptom and not the disease.

I'll repeat, the cartridge on the TT needs to be properly aligned. It's easy cheap and very effective.

mrlowry
mrlowry's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 1 month ago
Joined: May 30 2006 - 1:37pm
Re: Brittle, almost painful "S" sounds and ride cymbal sounds on


Quote:
Why is everyone ignoring the real issue?

The OP has a TT that has a seriously mis-aligned cartridge. That's why he is getting such awful sound. Telling him to buy another TT is curing the symptom and not the disease.

I'll repeat, the cartridge on the TT needs to be properly aligned. It's easy cheap and very effective.

Agreed! Spending MORE money when what one already owns is probably far from optimized is a waste of cash. That having been said I don't condone direct turntables.

Glotz
Glotz's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 6 days ago
Joined: Nov 20 2008 - 9:30am
Re: Brittle, almost painful "S" sounds and ride cymbal sounds on

Yes, yes, yes. You cart is not aligned properly! DO NOT upgrade! Get the basics finished first, or go to a dealer you can trust, and have them do it for you! Even with some experience, making sure it is aligned in all possible dimensions is the key!! Do not listen to anyone else telling you different, they are assuming you know what you are doing, and clearly you have told us that you just screwed on the cartridge. Overhang, alignment, azimuth, sra... what else needs your attention now?!!?

commsysman
commsysman's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 11 hours ago
Joined: Apr 4 2006 - 11:33am
Have you set the tracking force correctly???

I certainly agree that the cartridge is probably not aligned properly.

As for the tracking force, however, you might be ignoring the basics in setting it.

Step one is to unplug or turn off the motor and position the arm over the turntable and adjust the tracking force balance weight until the arm and cartridge "float" over the turntable weightlessly (the arm not trying to go up or down...just floating with no down or up force....

Does the indicator ring on the adjustor read zero?

If not, you need to rotate the indicator ring on the balance weight assembly until it reads Zero in this balanced state.

Only when you have "zeroed out" the indicator for your cartridge can you then use it to set the tracking force.

  • X
    Enter your Stereophile.com username.
    Enter the password that accompanies your username.
    Loading