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JIMV
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A phono Question

Being a financially challenged fellow, I have a very modest vinyl front end consisting of a Thorens TD170, an ortofon Red cartridge, and a parasound Zphono phono amp (a refurb).

I have it sitting on a Salamander archtype 3 stand on vibrapods. The turntable is level per a level bubble.

Now my problem/question. Every bit of vinyl I plan has a harsh, gritty sound to it. it does not matter if the record is now or used, this distortion is present. I have replaced the cartridge the Thorens came with and both the old $35 one and the newer $100 red have n effect on the hash/grit...

What is most likely causing this distortion, the cartridge, the phono amp or something else. Setup is as close to what folk advise as I can get...

I am thinking of changing something but am not sure what.

No other source through the amp has the same problem.

Freako
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Re: A phono Question

When you lightly touch the armbase, or the arm-lift with your fingertips during play, do you feel vibrations?

When turning the volume totally down during record playing, do you hear the needle travelling through the grooves?

If yes to either one of these questions, either the cartridge or the arm, or both are vibrating uncontrollably. IMO such vibrations can be killed by isolating 1) the cartridge from the headshell, and/or 2) the arm(-base) from the plinth.

Press one ear hard onto the plinth during record playing (or just the motor running). Do you hear/feel rumble or motor noise?

Have you adjusted VTA properly?

These are the most appropriate questions that pop up in my mind when reading your post. I hope you will get rid of the harsh sound.

JIMV
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Re: A phono Question


Quote:
When you lightly touch the armbase, or the arm-lift with your fingertips during play, do you feel vibrations?

With the sound turned all the way down, I hear a trilling noise from the turntable and the sound of the music very low. I can feet a tiny vibration when I touch the arm lift but none from the arm.


Quote:
When turning the volume totally down during record playing, do you hear the needle travelling through the grooves?

I can hear the music very faintly but not any other nose from the grooves


Quote:
If yes to either one of these questions, either the cartridge or the arm, or both are vibrating uncontrollably. IMO such vibrations can be killed by isolating 1) the cartridge from the headshell, and/or 2) the arm(-base) from the plinth.

How?


Quote:
Press one ear hard onto the plinth during record playing (or just the motor running). Do you hear/feel rumble or motor noise?

Have you adjusted VTA properly?

I do not hear a rumble but a steady trilling sort of noise. I believe I have the VTA done properly

Freako
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Re: A phono Question

Not that I'm positive these tweaks will solve your problems, as they could be deriving from things I don't understand, but the first post in this thread describes my (successful) isolation of the arm and -base from the plinth: http://forum.stereophile.com/forum/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=82915&an=0&page=3#Post82915

The isolation of the cartridge from the headshell might be more effective, which is done by inserting a thin slice of rubber between the cart and the headshell, after which you may have to readjust the VTA, most certainly the offset and so on. This may sound ridiculous to some, but it actually provides a much cleaner reproduction from the TT. http://forum.stereophile.com/forum/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=81384&an=0&page=4#Post81384

As to the "real" nature of your problems, I can't figure out what else could be done. Perhaps an inspection of the stylus through a magnifyer?

By the way, what is the stylus force? It may be too low...

JIMV
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Re: A phono Question

Tomorrow when I have more time I plan to reset the entire setup..

JIMV
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Re: A phono Question

I reset what I could today and found the tracking force was off per the shure gage..Another question or two, how does one adjust the azmuth on a TD-1 tonearm? The cartridge sits at a small angle with the inside edge visibly closer to the record then the outside?

Finally, what is the trilling noise I can hear in the machine, motor noise? If so would it be worth my while (as in not do damage to the turntable...for me to open it up and look for anything loose?

In addition, if I measure level on the felt, I get different readings in every location...Is that indicative of a poor mat...the level on the plater directly is good.

Freako
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Re: A phono Question

I have no idea how (if possible) to change azimuth on your arm.

The noise could also be lack of oil in the main bearing well? The description "trilling" doesn't make sense to me, being a Dane.

You should, if correct measure level on the face of an old record. I don't think the mat needs to be bad for that reason.

JIMV
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Re: A phono Question

oil in the main bearing well? Alas, I have no idea how to fix that but I will try...is there a specific type of oil needed?

Freako
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Re: A phono Question

Special type? I need help to answer that question. It depends... sort of...

I have cleaned out any residue of oil in the well of my TT, and replaced it with silicone oil, but I know for a fact that many audiophiles would be ready to jump off a bridge if they knew...

Anyone?

JSBach
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Re: A phono Question

I'd be contacting Thorens about the motor, VTA etc. At a distance it's almost impossible to solve these kinds of questions though, especially considering the language we all use to describe certain distortions varies from person to person. If you can find that rare species, a retailer or technician with knowledge of turntable/ cartridge set-up, I'd be taking my gear to them. An alternative is to join a local audiophile club, if there is one, and ask one of the members if they know anyone willing to help with your problems. You may be amazed and how many offers of help you'll get.
You may also like to ask you question on the Vinyl Engine Forum , the home of the real experts. Good luck.

JIMV
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Re: A phono Question

I beat the azimuth problem. I went to my local high end stereo shop prepared to buy a tool set for such things. After a sales pitch for a really nice Project turntable beyond the reach of this poor music lover. They advised they did not do anything complicated with turntables but said the tools might be available at a local hobby emporium, those folk sent me to a motorcycle repair shop and those nice folk to Sears where I bought a very small socket wrench with a size 1 Philips head attachment. Then home for a try and, shazam, it worked so the azimuth is now about right and 90% of my constant distortion is gone...

So, I am sure the tracking is right and I am sure the azimuth is OK and I am sure the anti skating is set right.

Now, as I have been playing the thing, distortion be damned, a couple of hours a week for almost 18 months, I am fearful my remaining problems are probably due to cartridge abuse..

I have an Ortifon 2M red mounted...new questions...

Does anyone have any experience with a good $200 cartridge (I know, in the rarefied world of vinyl any cartridge that does not cost as much as a years university admission is to flawed to count, but still....what sounds good for $200)...

I am considering the Ortofon 2M Blue or perhaps a Sumiko for a bit more.

Second question...what gets the bigger bang for the buck, a cartridge change or a phono amp upgrade?

zfreiman
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Re: A phono Question

Just my 2 cents. I would look into purchasing a vibration isolation platform to set your TT on (like a cloud system)or Sell the Thorens and buy up. I don't think the thoren's has a great upgrade path. I just moved from a Music Hall MMF5 to a Rega P3-24 and couldn't be happier. I would avoid the nickel and dime route with tweaking looking for the next big step towards audio nirvana.

Just a thought - Z

JIMV
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Re: A phono Question

If I had the money I would BUT...I am not Mr. Fremer...I am unable to spend the price of a modest car on a turntable...

Actually, that is unfair as you do note a upgrade path, but I do not have a grand sitting around for an upgrade so I need the system I already own to work as it should...

Bizarre azimuth fixes, strange disassembly requirements,odd tools one cannot find, overpriced alignment devices and the general voodoo required to get a turntable to work as well as a modest CD based system are the problems...

Am I suffering from wildly unrealistic expectations when I think my $900 worth of vinyl front end should play a new 180G record to sound at least as well as my $100 CD player, 'as well' meaning as reliably, trouble free, and repeatably?

The idea that the sound of reasonably priced vinyl is sufficiently better than the sound of reasonably priced digital to warrant the astounding hassle and cost of that vinyl is right up there with the idea that alien abduction is a real problem.

I have heard great vinyl...That $30K system sounded amazing. So does a $30K digital system. The problem is...a $3K vinyl system MAY sound as good or better than a $3K digital one, but that is unlikely and making it sound better involves a serious set of activities including prayer, profanity, ritual, and a lot of expensive side actions from setup to record cleaning.

Freako
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Re: A phono Question

I have no recommendations, but I do wish you good luck

zfreiman
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Re: A phono Question

I completely understand your stance on having your paid for TT work properly and respect that. I too worked through some headaches with the MMF-5. I had a dry bearing issue that I noticed after I moved. Some of the bearing oil leaked out and I noticed a degradation in sound quality. I did some research and found "Super Lube" manufactured by Synco Chemical Corp. Its a Multi-purpose synthetic based oil with PTFE. The bearing was super quiet after the oil change. You can buy it in a .25 oz pen applicator. The 2nd biggest budget mod I did was to purchase a 15" x 20" John Boos hard-rock maple cutting board and place it on 3 Vibrapod-cones. I used that as a vibration isolation stand and then set the TT on 4 Vibrapods on top the cutting board. Wow blacker blacks, better bass and more detail. I would push you towards those two mods before you upgrade your cartridge, you should be able to complete both mentioned mods for under $100.

-Z

JIMV
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Re: A phono Question


Quote:
I have no recommendations, but I do wish you good luck

Thanks...I get frustrated with the process and the small results I get on my income. Still, vinyl is the only way to get a lot of old music that never made it to CD...It is supposed to be about the music...

My latest find was Dion Warwick's 'Greatest Motion Picture Hits'...I can buy some of the individual tracks as down-loadable MP3's but most not and MP3's are, after all, MP3's.

I am still interested in folks opinion on bang for the buck changes of cartridge v phono preamp...

JIMV
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Re: A phono Question


Quote:
I completely understand your stance on having your paid for TT work properly and respect that. I too worked through some headaches with the MMF-5. I had a dry bearing issue that I noticed after I moved. Some of the bearing oil leaked out and I noticed a degradation in sound quality. I did some research and found "Super Lube" manufactured by Synco Chemical Corp. Its a Multi-purpose synthetic based oil with PTFE. The bearing was super quiet after the oil change. You can buy it in a .25 oz pen applicator. The 2nd biggest budget mod I did was to purchase a 15" x 20" John Boos hard-rock maple cutting board and place it on 3 Vibrapod-cones. I used that as a vibration isolation stand and then set the TT on 4 Vibrapods on top the cutting board. Wow blacker blacks, better bass and more detail. I would push you towards those two mods before you upgrade your cartridge, you should be able to complete both mentioned mods for under $100.

-Z

On the vibrapods...my TT is heavier at the back then the front. When I set it on vibrapods, the level is off...Any suggestions.

Freako
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Re: A phono Question

The most important must be that the TT is level when you play records. Otherwise I don't see it as a problem, but maybe I'm wrong?

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Re: A phono Question


Quote:
On the vibrapods...my TT is heavier at the back then the front. When I set it on vibrapods, the level is off...Any suggestions.


Sell the Vibrapods on eBay. Buy two concrete paving slabs & paint them flat black. Place a partially inflated motor bike inner tube between them and put your TT on top. If there's a 'she who must be obeyed' in residence don't bother unless you're fishing for a divorce.

Freako
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Re: A phono Question

LOL! I have done another, almost similar trick:

I had a 1

JIMV
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Re: A phono Question

Now we know why...I figure I am lucky in that My spouse likes the Salamander rack.

mark evans
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Re: A phono Question

This guy was me many moons ago.

JIMV
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Re: A phono Question

Well, I battled with the thing today and managed to get the C clamp off after only drawing blood once when I stabbed myself in the finger with a screwdriver. When I lifted the platter I discovered the cause of the trilling noise. The company who sold me the Turntable who shall be nameless but has a catalog in which each and every item for sale has a price listed as "only" whatever, from the reasonable to the absurd, had set it up for me with an Ortofon OM10 cartridge..sort of (the tracking was off, the anti skating was off and the azimuth WAY off). The trilling noise was the plastic stylus protector for the OM10 helpfully left behind under the platter to vibrate.

Sigh...

Freako
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Re: A phono Question

at least you found the culprit

jackfish
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Re: A phono Question

Yeah!

rvance
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Re: A phono Question


Quote:
(the tracking was off, the anti skating was off and the azimuth WAY off). The trilling noise was the plastic stylus protector for the OM10 helpfully left behind under the platter to vibrate.

Bitch..bitch..bitch.

JIMV
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Re: A phono Question

The saga continues...remember the C-clamp that had to be removed to get the platter off? Well I managed to break it...so I need a new on, or some. Thorens is helpful..they say go to the seller...

JIMV
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Re: A phono Question

Now the spindle does not spin....and I stabbed myself again trying to replace the stylus on the cartridge...

This blood sacrifice thing is getting old...I sent an inquiry to Thorens tech support and so far they have been both helpful and timely, though they did not appear to be very familiar with the particular table.

Buddha
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Re: A phono Question

Luckily, the C clamp is likely not very important, being there mostly to keep the platter in place when shipping to avoid vertical displacement. With your table sitting still on your rack, I would not even worry about it at this point. If you look at almost all other tables, there is, in general, no C clamp used to secure the platter to the table.

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