# The Courteous Vinyl Playback Discussion

Thank you very much!

If you have other technical literature on vinyl playback, please share. Textual references, links to articles, books, specific authors worth looking up - anything. It is been hard to find something like this on the internet, all I get is audio forums and audiophile magazines reiterating the same ideas over and over

(And all the AES papers are under paywall)

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Doesn't angle of the cantilever change anytime it moves from side to side, meaning, anytime it reads a lateral modulation? Same for up and down and vertical modulation

Also, if the stylus is riding in the groove, reading audible signal, how can it draw a high-amplitude 10 Hz sine wave on top of that? Unless there's sine wave of that amplitude embedded into the groove I can't see how it could do it, there should be no space for the stylus to do that.

At this point I'm even convinced this 10 Hz high-amplitude component isn't really reflecting what is happening in the groove - maybe the tonearm wobbles at 10 Hz relative to the stylus in the groove, and this movement induces current in the cart. Even though we want only current cause my movements of stylus in the groove, we can't get it in isolation, since everything moves and interacts.

Why would we care about pressure on the surface if MM/MC cartridges measure velocity?

Basically you said "it wobbles at 10 Hz and it affects other wobbles at other frequencies". Sorry, but this doesn't seem a convincing scientific argument. In essence this is a statement about a tonearm/cartridge system being a nonlinear signal transducer. 10 Hz affects regions far from 10 Hz. While it makes sense, none of the above explanations say anything about the amount and inner workings of this nonlinear behaviour.

I hope somebody could give an explanation in terms of transducers (I guess cartridge could be called a seismic transducer?)
What you are seeking is a fully developed mathematical model of a highly complex system - I have not seen such a model.

I have seen models that cover specific aspects of the system, and conceptual explanations (like the ones I have posted)

It is a highly complex system, including floor structure, rack/stand mounting (and any isolation/springing involved), turntable feet/suspension, plinth design (layers, materials, absorbance), motor and platter design and mounting, arm type design and mounting - along with any damping involved, then cartridge, cantilever, cantilever suspension and needle. - also lets not forget environmentals, vibrations coming from nearby road, feedback from music being played in the room...

This complexity is part of its fascination - there are an enormous number of variables, and many of us have measured the impact of a whole bunch of these... like any such highly complex system, there are also a huge number of possible "optimal" solutions.

Yes cartridges are transducers... and as anyone knows, transducers are the most imperfect component in any audio chain!

If you want to integrate the various models that have been developed... there are many of us here who would applaud the effort... and would love to use the outcome if successful!

I hope somebody could give an explanation in terms of transducers (I guess cartridge could be called a seismic transducer?)
Look in the ASR search for “seismic” for user @Frank Dernie. He has offered much on this topic.

Also, why did companies like Sony, Denon, JVC make electronically damped tonearms?
I’ve wondered why high-end manufacturers did not recreate these electronically damped tonearms in recent years. Why did this approach fall so completely out of favor?

I’ve wondered why high-end manufacturers did not recreate these electronically damped tonearms in recent years. Why did this approach fall so completely out of favor?
All of those TT's were high end efforts (by top electronic engineers/manufacturers)... and all of these manufacturers, abandoned that end of the market.

The methods that could be achieved by boutique manufacturers have continued - the Dynavector arms use a magnetic damping mechanism, and there have been a number of oil damped designs

There is some aftermarket activity for those beauties.

I guy named Professor Bzzzt has done cool thinks to the Sony and Yamaha models. He can get the tracking error amazingly low.

Thank you very much!

If you have other technical literature on vinyl playback, please share. Textual references, links to articles, books, specific authors worth looking up - anything. It is been hard to find something like this on the internet, all I get is audio forums and audiophile magazines reiterating the same ideas over and over

(And all the AES papers are under paywall

If you search older issues of Audio, 60-70s) Hifi review etc you can find a lot of technical talk in vinyl reproduction.

Also some on VinylEngine database

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I guy named Professor Bzzzt has done cool thinks to the Sony and Yamaha models. He can get the tracking error amazingly low.
Hi, could you please share more information/links on this? Do you mean linear trackers like Technics SL-10 or Sony PS-X800 when you talk about getting the tracking error low? How low?

If you search older issues of Audio, 60-70s) Hifi review etc you can find a lot of technical talk in vinyl reproduction.

Also some on VinylEngine database

Strange, I wonder why ?

Hi, could you please share more information/links on this? Do you mean linear trackers like Technics SL-10 or Sony PS-X800 when you talk about getting the tracking error low? How low?

Hey!

I have two turntables he has done and love the results!

Both were PSX 800, but I have a Yamaha PX-2 I will eventually get to him!

Feel free to hit me up with any questions!

Best wishes!

Feel free to hit me up with any questions!
Thanks!

I'm curious about PS-X800. I'm also a bit discouraged by all the anecdotal claims on the internet about how those servo-driven linear tracking tonearms function by error correction, and in practice have higher tracking error than pivoted arms.
For example, see similar claims by @restorer-john : #19 (ASR) , #85 (audio karma)

I wonder how much of that depends on proper calibration.

The question: since you mentioned "getting the tracking error amazingly low", could you please elaborate on that?

He states he achieves he can achieve 1/1000th of a degree tracking error, less than the concentricity variation of the LP.

They make inner groove issues much easier to deal with for tracking angle, for sure.

To my ear, he does a great job, I have not objectively measured any specific tracking error parameters myself.

I’ve wondered why high-end manufacturers did not recreate these electronically damped tonearms in recent years. Why did this approach fall so completely out of favor?
Partly because of this phenomenon.
All of those TT's were high end efforts (by top electronic engineers/manufacturers)... and all of these manufacturers, abandoned that end of the market.

The methods that could be achieved by boutique manufacturers have continued - the Dynavector arms use a magnetic damping mechanism, and there have been a number of oil damped designs
Yes, although Panasonic could have had a go when they recently released a range of TTs including high end models.

But I suspect their marketing division set the parameters, and words like ‘complex’ and ‘advanced engineering’ would have been notably absent from the mission concept, not least because they tried that in the past and the West rejected it, and partly because the current craze is all about things other than performance measures.

cheers

Partly because of this phenomenon.
Ok - but the patents on these electronically damped tonearms have long expired. The ability to reverse engineer 1980's technology should not be insurmountable. Sigh - I guess I'll have to wait for the Chinese engineers to do it.

Ok - but the patents on these electronically damped tonearms have long expired. The ability to reverse engineer 1980's technology should not be insurmountable. Sigh - I guess I'll have to wait for the Chinese engineers to do it.
I'm with you, a great place for some tech!

@Angsty the ‘ability issue’ is talking about the limitations of the cottage industry ‘gurus’ who build ultra expensive decks with ‘cottage industry tech’.

And since when did Chinese engineers wait for patents to expire? Why haven’t they already done it?

Personally, I can’t see why one wouldn’t go for a good LT arm instead, if you want high end and performance.

@Angsty the ‘ability issue’ is talking about the limitations of the cottage industry ‘gurus’ who build ultra expensive decks with ‘cottage industry tech’.
I do think there is a difference between the ability to engineer a solution in a small shop and the ability to manufacture it reliably in volume. I am not intimately familiar with how the electronic tonearms are engineered, but it does not seem infeasible given the range of electronics that are made today.

Linear tonearms have their own engineering and marketing issues.

Everything has engineering issues, but some are more fundamentally flawed than others.

I do think there is a difference between the ability to engineer a solution in a small shop and the ability to manufacture it reliably in volume. I am not intimately familiar with how the electronic tonearms are engineered, but it does not seem infeasible given the range of electronics that are made today.

Linear tonearms have their own engineering and marketing issues.
I did mean my enthusiasm for the linear tracking electronic tonearms.

Thanks!

I'm curious about PS-X800. I'm also a bit discouraged by all the anecdotal claims on the internet about how those servo-driven linear tracking tonearms function by error correction, and in practice have higher tracking error than pivoted arms.
For example, see similar claims by @restorer-john : #19 (ASR) , #85 (audio karma)

I wonder how much of that depends on proper calibration.

The question: since you mentioned "getting the tracking error amazingly low", could you please elaborate on that?
Most of the servo linear trackers, use error correction to move the arm base linearly - however the arm itself, is typically still a pivoted arm... but the angles of pivot needed are tightly limited by the fact that the base is shifting - so the tracking error due to pivoting is reduced to a near optimal level... a level of tracking error that a "normal" arm can only achieve at one point while traveling across the record surface... the linear tracker achieves that right across the surface of the record.

Hence the servo doesn't have to be spot on... it just has to be "close enough".

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