Charging up for Vinyl

Hello Everybody

It is surely the wrong moment to start a new topic but I'd like to throw something in the group.

We have redecorated our living room and my wife insisted on having our sideboard in the living again.

So I did my thing and placed my Project Debut Carbon with Ortofon red element and old Technics amp on the sideboard.

My wife approved it - we both like it - how it looks and to listen to the relative warm sound of records. Its looks perfect.

I've listened to many, many records over the last 2 weeks and it has given a different perspective to me on some music which is great. I've for the first time in my life enjoyed Mahler. That is something for a Bach addict (or should I say addikt here).

However we enjoy it, the quality of sound - not the enjoyment - is way behind my Supernait 1 based setup.

So before I spend more on the vinyl setup, I have a question.

I noticed that dynamics on vinyl often lead to noise. I would say 'grey' noise. A scratchy sound. It is like the neelde cannot follow the groove or so. Is this caused by dirt on the (visually clean) records?

Or is this a matter of getting a better element or higher up the rank turntable?

Of all the turntables I've heared in my life, my lowly Project Debut Carbon is probably the best so I don't have a vinyl reference. Digital is just so much more clean.

Ardbeg10y.

Original Post

2 years, about 150 hours of listening I think - pretty fresh.. The weight should be correct - I have done the setup exactly following the guidelines - even multiple times, but I can play a bit with the weight. Does the grey noise indicate that the weight should be increased or decreased?

That sounds like it could be either mistracking when things get busy and loud in the groove or maybe just the cartridge itself. You definitely can't have it all at this level of vinyl replay.  However, try a little more weight - up to 2g. also make sure the deck is perfectly level and the bias is correct on the arm.

Thanks to all. I got some results by doing a re-setup of the turn table. I´ve adjusted the weight and now the grey noise is indeed mostly gone.

Tomorrow I´ll do the setup again, but starting with ensuring the TT being perfectly level.

Now I´m going to dream of SBLs, a Nap 140 and a Nac 72!

Update.

The sideboard is a very rigid one. I have levelled the TT, after checking I discovered that it was 1 millimetre out of level (which did not surprise me because my whole house is a bit out of level).

After this, I've recalibrated the weight.

Happy to let you know that it is performing much better now. The 'grey' noise is entirely gone.

I did not expect that the one millimetre level correction did have an effect. Apparently, its a very sensitive apparatus which I will refer to using 'she' from now on :-)

The weak point is now the 'rumble' - again. Project has sold many turntables having a too much vibrating motor hanging in a certain unsufficient suspension system. They have a 'fix' for that: buy their Speed Box which is a better power supply, reducing vibrations.

This is a direction I'm not willing to go. It is more or less an dead end.

The tonearm and element are quite ok. What about the approach to disconnect them and move them to another TT?

Glad you got sorted. ☺

Don't forget to use some Linn green paper to keep the stylus clean, they do get a build up of dirt.

If you've got a significant amount of vinyl then I think you're talking yourself into a turntable upgrade. I'm not familiar with new decks so can't suggest what direction you go.

 

 

It sounds like you've got the bug and you're on that slippery slope seeking more of everything. I'd suggest you have a couple of avenues worth exploring. You can try to find a good but cheap second hand LP12, which will always be tweakable. Or you can maybe go down the Rega path and buy new. A lot will depend on just how much you are prepared to spend? Your best bet is to find a good dealer who knows his onions and let him show you what you can get for your money.

Dialling out the vibration in a turntable motor can make quite a remarkable difference - this is what a good power supply will do to a greater or lesser extent.  When i was at Rega recently I saw their new turntable power supply being built and I was handed first a motor being powered from the old supply; you could definitely feel the vibration as the motor moved from pole to pole.  Then I was handed a motor powered by the new power supply that had just been tuned for that particular motor; a remarkable transformation, with vastly reduced vibration.  

Anyway, I'm glad that levelling there deck sorted out the worst of the problems - it really does pay to get turntable set-up spot on.

Thanks guys.

The good thing of vinyl is that it gives a different perspective on music. A lot of recordings from a different generation and regarding Symphonies, I'm not convinced that what we hear now in concert halls is better than 40 years ago.

When I listen to the setup currently, I have the permanent itch to turn up the volume. But when I turn up the volume, the old Technics shows it limitations and also the rumble gets there. There are also too much cables.

I have also learned that the top side of the sideboard acts as a soundboard for the transformer in the amp. The amp is now on rubber Lego wheels :-)

The current plan is to go after a 72/140 combination and once that is there, replace the TT. I need to read more about TT's before I can make a good plan. I intend to take small steps.

I'd do source first rather than upgrading the amplifier to something that may make your system sound worse. A 72/140 will be quite revealing of the source.

Going old school try a Rega Planar 3 and a Naim Nait. Should be a reasonable cost on the secondhand market.  Nait's are a sublime sounding amp.

 

I started with a Project Debut Carbon, Change to the acrylic platter and ortolan blue stylus (you do not need to change the cartridge as they are the same for red and blue). these do make a big difference. 

the other thing that I did with mine was to remove the screws to allow the motor to be suspended as opposed to being attached to the plinth. this also made a big difference.

However, if you want to make a big change dig deep, I bought a Michell Gyrodec se and it is like night and day... and has lots of wife appeal as it looks so good.

Another thing to do is make sure the records are clean, I'm using Pro-Ject Vinyl and Stylus Clean and seems to work brilliantly. Once clean I use Moth record sleeves that appear to keep the records clean and static free.

Phabh posted:

I started with a Project Debut Carbon, Change to the acrylic platter and ortolan blue stylus (you do not need to change the cartridge as they are the same for red and blue). these do make a big difference. 

the other thing that I did with mine was to remove the screws to allow the motor to be suspended as opposed to being attached to the plinth. this also made a big difference.

However, if you want to make a big change dig deep, I bought a Michell Gyrodec se and it is like night and day... and has lots of wife appeal as it looks so good.

Another thing to do is make sure the records are clean, I'm using Pro-Ject Vinyl and Stylus Clean and seems to work brilliantly. Once clean I use Moth record sleeves that appear to keep the records clean and static free.

Thanks for your reply. I did remove the screws as well when I first discovered the issue. I did also remove the rubber washers. I did have a certain success. When I listen to the music on low to moderate volume, the rumble is not audible. When I turn up the volume to nice levels, is gets worse.  When I touch the motor when it is spinning having the platter removed, it quite vibrates.

But, I will move away from the Project Debut Carbon and get something different. I think of buying an old table and move the Project arm and element to it and then start gradually improve the new table.

I think about this approach because I would upset my family by spending 1500 / 2000 GBP / USD / EUR in once, but every now and then 300 GBP / USD / EUR seems to be ok. Considering a Linn Axis, Rega Planar 3 or an Ariston deck currently. For me the way to good music is more interesting and attractive than getting a tip / top turntable in one move. It is a hobby :-)

I will test the anti-static options you mentioned, thanks for that.

Manticore mantra is a cracking deck for £300 if you come across one, a Manticore arm makes it even better but if you have floor boards it will need a wall shelf. 

Older Well Tempereds look like a good bet too and you won’t be changing the arm.

Used from a dealer gives you a better chance of decent condition. 

I think that whatever else you do, make sure the t.table is on a decent and level surface, certainly not one that is on a stand that sits on a 'live' floor. I have my LP12 placed on 2, brick wall, brackets that has slab of granite on it. I bought the granite from a kitchen fitter company and had it cut to size with bevelled edges to give it a nice edge. It gave a decent improvement in sound and of course, absolutely  no danger of the record jumping from people walking on the floor.

GTB-Buckaroo posted:

I think that whatever else you do, make sure the t.table is on a decent and level surface, certainly not one that is on a stand that sits on a 'live' floor. I have my LP12 placed on 2, brick wall, brackets that has slab of granite on it. I bought the granite from a kitchen fitter company and had it cut to size with bevelled edges to give it a nice edge. It gave a decent improvement in sound and of course, absolutely  no danger of the record jumping from people walking on the floor.

GTB-Buckaroo, welcome to the forum! I just saw that you are new here.

I know you are right. I also have an active crossover, the Snaxo, and disconnecting the device from a floor, or directly related furniture like a sideboard makes indeed a difference.

We also had our wall refinished by a plasterer, so I'm a bit hesitant to drill new holes in my nice wall. But I would not be surprised that I will do that once the TT is on a certain level. My current TT, the Project Debut Carbon does not skip currently when people are walking in the room, or kids jumping on the floor or so. Quite happy for now.

Thanks

yeti42 posted:

Manticore mantra is a cracking deck for £300 if you come across one, a Manticore arm makes it even better but if you have floor boards it will need a wall shelf. 

Older Well Tempereds look like a good bet too and you won’t be changing the arm.

Used from a dealer gives you a better chance of decent condition. 

This is a new world for me, but I will check them out. Thanks for the suggestions.

Huge posted:

Some of the Thorens decks are also excellent value on the s/h market and even the lowly TD166 is rather better than the Linn Axis.

I have seen the Thorens turntables and I'm a bit overloaded by the number of turntables available on the various sites. This is going to cost time!

Thanks for the suggestion

Ardbeg10,

your thread is of some interest for me now, because of more than one reason: I have just bought a Pro-Ject RPM 3 Carbon, installed it on my free top shelf in the 'main' (and finally only) system, and had to deal, after 40 years or so, with leveling, VTA, bias and all that jazz again.

I soon chose to set the tracking force to a 10% more than suggested in the leaflet of my simple Grado Blue One, and some listening (and a few reviews, I confess) told me that I was right: at 1,65 grams, it tracks well in every point of the LP. Don't care if someone is already suggesting you changes or modifications: it's the main sport here, whoever can't manage to be unsatisfied for more than one day, tries his best to make someone else doubtful and gives unasked for options. Or so it is how I see it. My opinion only.

That said, I was happy to read Richard's post about motor PSUs, because although my motor seems, so far, noiseless and completely devoid of parasite vibrations, it is also wholly separated by the body of the TT, which is something I love in the RPM series. But the wall-wart thingy that powers it looks under the level of decency to me, and although it makes the motor spin, I have tested it and it doesn't even deliver 15V but just 14,85. Nothing to kill oneself for, but it bothers me; so, knowing of a better psu for the Pro-Ject is good news. It is a path that I will definitely take. What's more, I have an old, irrational infatuation for PSUs.

I too have a SN1-based system, and have recently spent a sum for the complete updating of my 15 years old CDX2; yet, I rarely play more than 4/5 CDs per week, while just yesterday, between coming back from work around 7 p.m. and the moment to go to sleep I had played at least 7/8 LPs.

Note - I hadn't read your 7th post: I see you already want to change the TT. I am happy so far with my RPM3 and only plan to have a decent PSU for its motor. The Stageline has warmed up after a couple of days and is giving my Pro-Ject some 'verve'. But I don't need verve, I need being able to listen to more than 1 disc per night, and this new system has apparently brought this gift home at a modest cost.

Best for your future decisions.

Max

 

Ardbeg10y posted:
I will move away from the Project Debut Carbon and get something different. I think of buying an old table and move the Project arm and element to it and then start gradually improve the new table.

 

None of my business, but this looks to me like the shortest way between satisfaction and hell. Why are you wanting to destroy the unprecedented – for you – condition of being able to appreciate Mahler?

M.

Thanks for your reply Max, appreciated.

To start with, Satisfaction and Hell are not mutually exclusive. You are from a country where the people do understand that very well - thinking of Dante's fabulous inferno.

I have indeed more or less given up on the Project Debut. I can hear - having 2.5 years hifi experience - a bit what it can do, and what it can't. I hear some indications of greatness, but I know that the low frequency rumble - even when not audible in itself - has an effect on the total SQ. I do enjoy the vinyl music, but thats mostly caused by the rituals and the music - I like the old, a bit slow recordings of symphonies.

The Project Debut has given me many lessons, which I appreciate. One of them was of course the PSU thing. Indeed a cheepish standard 15v adaptor which probably does no justice to the other components. Maybe I should listen to the better PSU.

However, it has never been as captivating or convincing as my SN1 is.  Sometimes it happens that when I buy / listen / see something, I'm instantly deeply in love and it will never change. The SN1 was such a purchase, like the nSats are for you.

To give a bit more background on the direction which I'm turning in: I turn 40 this year. I have developed over the last years my Naim hobby. A bit strange that it did not happen earlier, I have a background in music (degree of the Royal Conservatory The Hague - you might know people from there - an harpsichord teacher was from Milano), I am fascinated by technology, and have no time to attend concerts caused by to many kids, then the Hifi hobby is a good one. I don't see myself developing new hobbies.

So I'm more or less arranging a nice present for myself to mark the 40 year milestone and give my family an opportunity to contribute to something better than mediocre supermarkt wines.

I should not forget to mention that my hifi hobby is also a seed which gets planted in the lives of my kids. When they have left our house and live on their own, music has another possibility to florish in them again.

Ps, many times when I read one of your contributions on this forum I get reminded of the great time I had in Conservatory. Whilst most students were around the performing music stars, I always identified myself more with those highly interesting theory teachers - the solid backbone of the school and appearing in the most weirdest places / concerts / exams. They seem to understand the world and be able to do an pitchclass set analysis on it (forgot what it was, but it sounds interesting). I can imagine that many of your students / ex-students have the same with you.

Well, thanks for your reply. I learn three things I didn't know: that you are Dutch, you have a degree from an important Music Institution and that you are a Gemini like me. I'd be curious to know who is the harpsichord teacher coming from Milano – I'll investigate. I see that one of the few living composers I really appreciate – Louis Andriessen – comes from The Hague Conservatory. So, if I may ask, what was your course?

As for the Pitch Class Set Theory, it is for me associated to the name of Allen Forte and not much more, because each time I had to take part into an exam commission for some analysis course, the PCS theory always resulted a little alien to me, something halfway between uselessly complex and unbelievably naive... I prefer other analytical approaches.

Interesting paths cross sometimes. I do wish you again best luck with your TT project of choice.

Best

Max

Max_B posted:

Well, thanks for your reply. I learn three things I didn't know: that you are Dutch, you have a degree from an important Music Institution and that you are a Gemini like me. I'd be curious to know who is the harpsichord teacher coming from Milano – I'll investigate. I see that one of the few living composers I really appreciate – Louis Andriessen – comes from The Hague Conservatory. So, if I may ask, what was your course?

As for the Pitch Class Set Theory, it is for me associated to the name of Allen Forte and not much more, because each time I had to take part into an exam commission for some analysis course, the PCS theory always resulted a little alien to me, something halfway between uselessly complex and unbelievably naive... I prefer other analytical approaches.

Interesting paths cross sometimes. I do wish you again best luck with your TT project of choice.

Best

Max

The Milano harpsichord teacher was Fabio Bonizzoni. I've studied and completed Church Music on the conservatory, so I got my BMus degree there. The nice thing of Church Music is that the student can study almost everything. My main subject was Organ, and took as secondary subjects Singing and Harpsichord. Next to that there was an endless list of courses which I've done. It was mostly self satisfaction. I was studying while I had already 2 kids, and my third one was on its way when I tried to enter the masters of music theory track, but my solfege was below the level as it should be for that track. They did not sack me for that, but I had to take so much extra lessons that I decided not to go that direction. However there was a point that I saw that my only possibility for a full time job in music was to be part of the theory department of a conservatory.

It always surprised me that people wanted to study 'composition' whilst I believe that the best study to become a good composer is music theory.

I must admit that I have respect for the 'Haagse School' - the style of composition which Louis Andriessen was part of, but I always found it 'constructed' music. I mean by that that the result of the composition was too clearly an expression of an certain idea or concept. Too predictable music. So in my humble opinion, my tiny country has had precisely one great composer: Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck. Having written that, I wrote an essay for music history where I argued that Sweelinck was not Dutch, but pan-European.

Regarding the analytical approaches. I concluded that the normal harmonic analysis does tell something about the progression in music and most importantly: how it affects the listener. This differs to PCS which was to my understanding more or less an anatomic lesson on a dead body. It does not really tell something about the soul of the music.

I must say that in my final study year, I did also study some musicology subjects and there I met a guy having an IT and Music background. He entered all organ works by Bach in a database and let a self written program analyze by a certain algorithm the likelihood that certain works were really composed by Bach. PCS theory can be useful for that. But it tells nothing about the aesthetics.

 

A.,

I agree with most of what you wrote. I'd love to discuss things further, and I'd have stuff for the discussion, but this is not the proper place unfortunately. If you wish, we can move the topic to the Music Room.

Glenn Gould often used to say that his preferred composer was Orlando Gibbons, and that any good music either is a fugue or has the character of a fugue. I am not so radical and eccentric, and although I admire Sweelinck greatly, I also like Andriessen's music because in my opinion one cannot avoid the art of his/her times. We have a terrible burden on our shoulders: at least 500 years of music which we have the duty to understand and accept – selectively, for sure, but for no reason rejecting a whole century or school or style in the belief that we use the music we love as a comfortable cut of clothes, ignoring what doesn't suit or fit us. But mine is the point of view of someone who cannot afford to have eccentric preferences. I cannot say 'I hate Richard Strauss' to a student; I can only do my best to show him/her why S. is a great composer independent of our subjective judgment. But today, music critic has only survived by audiophiles, so I very gladly leave the topic to explain music to those who use to quarrel over a piece of wire.

See you around – in the Music room?

Max

(BTW – I just love Richard Strauß).

Max_B posted:

A.,

I agree with most of what you wrote. I'd love to discuss things further, and I'd have stuff for the discussion, but this is not the proper place unfortunately. If you wish, we can move the topic to the Music Room.

Glenn Gould often used to say that his preferred composer was Orlando Gibbons, and that any good music either is a fugue or has the character of a fugue. I am not so radical and eccentric, and although I admire Sweelinck greatly, I also like Andriessen's music because in my opinion one cannot avoid the art of his/her times. We have a terrible burden on our shoulders: at least 500 years of music which we have the duty to understand and accept – selectively, for sure, but for no reason rejecting a whole century or school or style in the belief that we use the music we love as a comfortable cut of clothes, ignoring what doesn't suit or fit us. But mine is the point of view of someone who cannot afford to have eccentric preferences. I cannot say 'I hate Richard Strauss' to a student; I can only do my best to show him/her why S. is a great composer independent of our subjective judgment. But today, music critic has only survived by audiophiles, so I very gladly leave the topic to explain music to those who use to quarrel over a piece of wire.

See you around – in the Music room?

Max

(BTW – I just love Richard Strauß).

Max, I've just posted an follow up in the Music room, having the name 'Mess(iaen)'. It's about my experience this weekend and the reason why I was absent here.

My apologies to the Hifi-enthousiasts here for a rude distortion caused by talking about music. I have some new TT observations and questions which I will post here later. Thanks!

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