shirefife
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Vinyl Treble Distortion
Jim Tavegia
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Try and go to a Shure M97 at least from the Needle Doctor. A new phono stage would be good like the entry level, Pro-Ject, Music Hall, The NAD, or the little Parasound unit. All should be an improvement. Your current cart must go.
The spherical stylus could be the distortion problem.

Buying the Harman Kardon could also be a good way to go as JM liked the receiver. The fact that they put a phono stage in it is pretty nice in 2006/07. The 3380 is just as excellent at under $200 from J and R in NYC. This in lieu of a phono stage purchase makes sense.

At some point you will want to change the speakers, but spend some time listening to models in the Sterephile Recommended Components list in your budget. There are also many they have not reviewed. Take a lot of time auditioning speakers as this can make the most difference. If with the HK and the new CART you like what you hear...stop. If you can avoid the trade-up merry go round you will be ahead of the game.

shirefife
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Jim,

Thanks for taking the time to respond so quickly.

Great advice. I should have mentioned that most of the time, I listen to my music through the Grado SR80 headphones, and with little kids running around here all the time, I unfortunately don't find the time to enjoy speaker listening.

So to review, from what you said, I could either:

Option(A) - Get the Shure M97 ($90) + HK3380 ($200) - for about $290 total

or

Option(B) - Get the Shure M97 ($90) + an entry-level PreAmp (NADPP2=$120) for about $210 total

From what I gather, you don't think it's my Sony Receiver giving me grief but it's likely the cartridge. In this case, option (B) above, would likely give an improvement in sound at a cheaper cost than option (A).

My question to you: I wonder which would ultimately have better sound? (B) is the cheapest option (not by much), but will it have better sound than (A)?

cyclebrain
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Is your VTF to low? Many get too carried away with using light tracking forces and end up damaging the record because of mistracking.
To check if the problem lies somewhere else in the system try using a different source like a CD player and see if you have the same problem.

tcdn97he
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Came across your post whilst browsing, and I just wanted to say that I had the same problem with a Stanton set-up. I bought a Stanton STR8-30, and heard what I'm guessing is that same treble distortion as you. Cymbals, "s's" and other high-frequency content had a lispy, well, distorted aspect. I took it back to the dealer, a DJ house and they were kind of dismissive. Granted, this was nearly a year and a half after I bought it. (In the interim, I had worked every day for eight months and solving the turntable problem took a back seat.) So, they weren't going to take it back. They did talk me into upgrading the cart, so I bought the 890 FS MP4. My kit had both spherical and elliptical, but no matter. Still lots of treble distortion either way. Of course, the cart was non-returnable.

So, I decided to pay a visit to a local audiophile dealer. Into the Stanton for over 300.00. Traded it in and got a Music Hall MMF-5, which I'm very happy with. (I had some issues with scratches in the lacquer finish. You can read, if you haven't already, the details of my adventure in The Entry Level.) Thanks to the kind and knowledgeable folks on this forum and input from Roy Hall himself, everything turned out fine.

Anyway, wished I'd read your post before I upgraded the cart. As one of the DJ guys offered when I complained about the distortion, "Maybe you just don't like the sound of the cart." Indeed.

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