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judicata
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New Cart = Surface Noise?

I just got a new cartridge - and I'm very excited. After taking care of some feedback (loose wire), I'm getting some more surface noise than I did on my old cart. This is mostly light popping and it sounds like static discharge.

First, can improper alignment cause this? Or can new carts do that before break-in? If not - what else could this be?

Buddha
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Re: New Cart = Surface Noise?

Hi, man!

What was the previous and which is the new cartridge?

I'm curious as to the stylus differences.

Are the records clean?

I'm kind of thinking your new cartridge may be tracking in a different area of the LP's, or a newer stylus may be dipping into the dirt.

Is this sonic observation the case for all the LP's you've tried?

Stylus tracking force can matter, too. Counter-inuitively, a tracking force that is too low would be more likely to make for more surface noise (and mistracking) than a slightly higher setting.

Tracking angle may make some difference, too.

Give us more info and we'll keep pontificating!

judicata
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Re: New Cart = Surface Noise?

Thanks Buddha.

Moving from a Sumiko Oyster to a Rega Bias 2 on a Rega P2 TT. I used a cheap-o protractor, so something could be off. Also using the trusty Shure tracking force gauge, and it is tracking right at 1.75g (per Shure's specs).

The records are clean, and I've only tried this on my "new" vinyl, because they are more reliably quiet for me. I've tried 3 records with similar results. Although, I'm just using another side of a record now, and I'm not hearing it. Oddly, it seemed more frequent at first and seems to be trailing off now. Could it be the cart was statically charged or something like that?

mrlowry
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Re: New Cart = Surface Noise?

Cartridges are mechanical devices, they certainly require break-in. Almost no one would dispute that fact.

Someone will correct me if I'm wrong but I believe that if you use a Rega cartridge on a Rega turntable there is no need to align the cartridge. According to http://www.gcaudio.com/products/reviews/inforegatables.html

"Installations of Rega cartridges (from the Elys up) on Rega tonearms is a breeze. These cartridges come with a third mounting hole (positioned at the front of the mounting plate), a corresponding hole is found on the Rega tonearms. Simply align the two, insert a screw and, bingo, you

judicata
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Re: New Cart = Surface Noise?

That is what I thought when I bought the cartridge. Unfortunately, I see no such a thing on the Bias 2 and the RB250 arm. There are just two screw holes on it, and they slide up and down the arm. Now, I noticed when I aligned it Baerwald, the cartridge is VERY close to flush with the tip of the tonearm (what is that called? the headshell?). I've heard that Rega uses the Stevenson alignment, so maybe if it were perfectly flush it would utilize that. Or, maybe my measuring is off and the cartridge should be perfectly flush (again, it is VERY close).

EDIT: I just noticed in that paragraph, it said the alignment thing applies "from the Elys up." I got a bias (a step down from the Elys), so it's a no-go.

EDIT 2: Could be important: Oyster = spherical stylus, Bias = Elliptical.

tejas
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Re: New Cart = Surface Noise?

I remember reading that some people set the tracking force to 2.0g for the Rega Bias 2 and got better results.

Actually I just ordered one of these for my P1 but it has not arrived yet...would like to know how it ends up working out for you.

Buddha
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Re: New Cart = Surface Noise?


Quote:
Thanks Buddha.

Moving from a Sumiko Oyster to a Rega Bias 2 on a Rega P2 TT. I used a cheap-o protractor, so something could be off. Also using the trusty Shure tracking force gauge, and it is tracking right at 1.75g (per Shure's specs).

The records are clean, and I've only tried this on my "new" vinyl, because they are more reliably quiet for me. I've tried 3 records with similar results. Although, I'm just using another side of a record now, and I'm not hearing it. Oddly, it seemed more frequent at first and seems to be trailing off now. Could it be the cart was statically charged or something like that?

I've seen posts around here and there that have mentioned undue surface noise with a new cartridge, but was always dubious about the explanations given - primarily 'smoothing out the stylus.'

I will be very interested in what your experience is the next few days.

For sure, an elliptical stylus will track deeper than a conical one, but usually that shouldn't matter with new vinyl, and usually makes for less noise with used discs.

I'd really like to see Mikey do a spot in Analog Corner about measured compliance of a new and then broken in cartridge and see what might be seen.

Keep us posted, if I run across anything else I'll post it right up.

Cheers.

judicata
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Re: New Cart = Surface Noise?

Ok, interesting developments. First, the crackling seems to occur a bit less, but this is not scientific (I'll re-play the vinyl I started with to test this later).

Second, and a little more interesting: When I just turn the TT on, without putting the needle on the record, and turn the volume up full I get typical noise of course, but no crackle. No surprises there. Then, after turning the volume down to a reasonable level, I play a record. When I hear a little bit of crackle, I let it play for a few minutes then I lift the needle off the record. I turn the volume up full and now I hear some crackling.

My hypothesis (let me know if this doesn't sound plausible): static electricity. I don't have an anti-static gun yet, but I think I'll pick one up.

Elk
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Re: New Cart = Surface Noise?

Static can indeed be a problem in some circumstances.

The anti-stat guns work. Let us know what your experience is after you pick one up.

mrlowry
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Re: New Cart = Surface Noise?

I have a carbon fiber record brush and that really does help with static as well as dust. It's not as good as an anti-static gun but it's cheaper and it's a brush too. You can buy them from dealers that sell Audioquest, Clearaudio, or Acoustech. They all look identical other than the logo. Buy the Audioquest and post about how much you love it in the "General Rants n' Rave" section so that we can all enjoy DUP foaming at the mouth.

I'm consistantly amazed at how much dust these brushes will bring up from the depths of the grooves of a seemingly clean record, even new records.

judicata
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Re: New Cart = Surface Noise?

Thanks - I actually already have one of those brushes. It definitely removes the dust, and I'm very pleased with it. Some records still will raise the hair on my arm, though.

tom collins
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Re: New Cart = Surface Noise?

you can also try an antistatic brush meant for camera lenses. i use one of those as the record spins as well as a little trick someone showed me - at the same time, i keep my thumb gently against the edge of the lp as it spins to provide a ground. this seems to work for me

judicata
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Re: New Cart = Surface Noise? - Update

During the past week, the pops (I still think it is static, since it was inconsistent) have steadily decreased in number and volume. They were clearly noticeable before, and now it has decreased to the point where I'm not sure whether the nosie was on the recordings before the cartridge switch (I'm inclined to say it was).

This happened as I was waiting for my antistatic gun to come in. And, consequently, the weather in NYC improved and it hasn't been as dry. Soooo, I guess we'll wait and see.

I have two hypotheses: (1) the cartridge is more prone to pick up static discharge (either because of its nature or because it was new) OR (2) I just happened to install the cartridge on the most static-prone of days since acquiring my TT, thus proving once again that correlation != causation.

But, the bottom line is that the problem seems to be gone, thank goodness. We'll see if it comes back when the humidity drops, and if the static gun helps.

If anyone has any tips on using the Zerostat, I'd happily take them. It didn't come with instructions. It came with a removable foamy nozzle that doesn't look like a cap (that is, it looks like it should be on the gun while in use). I've also heard that if you hear "clicks" you're pulling the trigger too fast - but it is darn near impossible to avoid a few clicks. I've also heard different stories on whether to point the gun away when you release the trigger.

Buddha
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Re: New Cart = Surface Noise? - Update

First, you have to make sure it's still got charge.

Hold a finger about 1 inch in front of it and destat your finger to make sure all is well.

judicata
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Re: New Cart = Surface Noise? - Update


Quote:
First, you have to make sure it's still got charge.

Hold a finger about 1 inch in front of it and destat your finger to make sure all is well.

I'll have someone else do this. If I shock the s%!t out of my finger, I'm coming for you

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