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PeterJ08
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Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Joined: Aug 24 2020 - 8:29am
Pops, bumps, crackles in vinyl play

Hello Stereophile community,

New to the website and the hobby, and my turntable is causing me some trouble. I’m using a four-year old music hall mmf 2.2 which uses a Pro-Ject tone arm and a Ortofon stylus (music hall magic 2) and I’ve started to get “bumps” and “pops/crackles” in my sound when playing my vinyl records. The noise sounds like a tire bumping regularly on the road, if the road had regular cracks. It occurs with brand-new vinyl as well as old vinyl. It happens (so far) only when the platter is in place; if I play without the platter, the bumping goes away. It usually takes about 15-20 minutes of playing before the noise starts. It occurs with, or without, the receiver on.

Strangely, it also goes away without the platter mat. So no platter, no noise; platter but no mat, no noise.
Static? Tone arm angle?

I assumed it is the tone arm, and that the tone arm is unbalanced, because of this platter/no platter effect, but now not sure because of the crackly noise.

I’ve done a bit of troubleshooting and here’s what I can say:

1. I’ve rezeroed and rebalanced the tone arm, twice.
2. I’ve cleaned (gently) the stylus.
3. The turntable is properly grounded to the receiver, and both are plugged into the same surge protector.
4. I’ve changed my mat from felt to cork, and removed the mat entirely too.
5. I’ve regularly used a static brush on my records.

Any suggestions would be great. I’ve actually gone to music hall and emailed with their team, but so far, nothing suggested has worked (they are suggesting the motor is going).

If it is the platter, is is safe to play my vinyl without the platter, or will that, in the long-term, damage the tone arm, or the record itself?

Thanks,
PJ

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