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Trying to understand the turntable/vinyl world...

rdenney

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What cleaner do you use?
I'll answer that for me: My kitchen sink. Yes, I'm careful to wash in sectors, tilting the LP such that the label stays dry. But it takes a solvent action to remove the schmutz of the ages, and I start with dish detergent (not soap) and a soft sponge (fully wetted before making gentle contact). If I keep the LP in its sleeve when not in use, and if I use anti-static sleeves that don't shed paper lint, I only have to clean them that deeply once.

Usually, the first playing after that deep cleaning is to make a needledrop. :)

Rick "unwilling to spend what purpose-built wet cleaners cost" Denney
 

WDeranged

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I suspect I can't add much to this highly contentious thread, but here we go. I got back into vinyl a couple of years ago, almost as a gimmicky pleasure. Friends of mine were in deep and I wanted to join the party.

I've had a low key involvement with music production for 20 years and I knew full well the limitations of the format. Digital is king in my book.

Before long I realised that I really loved the sound. I know what I'm hearing, I understand the various distortions and compromises. I really, really like it. If there was a button on my amp that did what vinyl does (without the glaring, tragic downsides) it would always be engaged.

I had a big stack of old records that I kept since I was a child. Lots of them genuinely sounded better than the various remasters that appeared over the years. Some don't, which is fair. But the ones that do are deliciously vibrant.

The triple headed hydra of vinyl pain is surface noise, sibilance and inner groove distortion. It's agony, especially the surface noise... I flat out don't believe anyone who says that they have no noisy vinyl. The solution for this (in my case) was the Sugarcube SC-1.

I've tried many, many well known cleaning methods and spent more money than is sensible trying to eliminate surface noise. The only thing left is ultrasonic, and one day I will try it.

I'm not gonna try and convince anyone either way. I have records that you simply can't get on digital. The novelty of playing a 60 year old piece of history and have it sounding that good is fantastic.

Vinyl is a lovely flavour, but digital is king.
 

Cote Dazur

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The answer is no, you do not need to spend a lot of money to get good audio off of a TT. The defects in the record will swamp any issues in most reasonably well running TTs
I am not sure to understand, are you saying the defect inherent to any record will mask any difference on how a record will sound on different turntable?
 

IPunchCholla

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I am not sure to understand, are you saying the defect inherent to any record will mask any difference on how a record will sound on different turntable?
Short answer? Yes. Longer answer: I have not seen any convincing objective evidence that differences in needle shape, tone arm composition, or even cartridge create enough of a difference that it is audible in music without controlled A/B testing. In other words, show me someone who can walk into a room with music playing and unsighted identify any of those components. I haven't seen much convincing A/B/X evidence for differences showing up reliably in a large enough amount to be detectable in music. If you have links to such studies, I would love to see them.

Good reproduction of music doesn't require that much. We seem to all overestimate our abilities to hear these things in music. Especially if we are listen for enjoyment and not specifically to hear cues. And yes, I have tested this. I level matched my digital stack and my analogue stack and am able to A/B them. My wife took a number of A/Bs (about 20 if I remember right and this was knowing the source was switched) to be able to reliably tell the difference between a Radiohead song on vinyl and 24bit 44.1 kHz. Her preference in the end was for the vinyl.

My vinyl setup cost me ~$300. $75 for the TT. $180 for the phono stage, and $50 for a new stylus.

Edit: I wish my stylus cost $5.
 
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JP

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My wife took a number of A/Bs (about 20 if I remember right and this was knowing the source was switched) to be able to reliably tell the difference between a Radiohead song on vinyl and 24bit 44.1 kHz. Her preference in the end was for the vinyl.

What was the measurable difference?
 

Cote Dazur

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@IPunchCholla thank you for your reply, no further question. :)
 

WDeranged

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Short answer? Yes. Longer answer: I have not seen any convincing objective evidence that differences in needle shape, tone arm composition, or even cartridge create enough of a difference that it is audible in music without controlled A/B testing. In other words, show me someone who can walk into a room with music playing and unsighted identify any of those components. I haven't seen much convincing A/B/X evidence for differences showing up reliably in a large enough amount to be detectable in music. If you have links to such studies, I would love to see them.

Good reproduction of music doesn't require that much. We seem to all overestimate our abilities to hear these things in music. Especially if we are listen for enjoyment and not specifically to hear cues. And yes, I have tested this. I level matched my digital stack and my analogue stack and am able to A/B them. My wife took a number of A/Bs (about 20 if I remember right and this was knowing the source was switched) to be able to reliably tell the difference between a Radiohead song on vinyl and 24bit 44.1 kHz. Her preference in the end was for the vinyl.

My vinyl setup cost me ~$300. $75 for the TT. $180 for the phono stage, and $5 for a new stylus.

Other than needle shape I heartily agree.
 

IPunchCholla

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What was the measurable difference?
I didn’t measure the difference. I should have. It have a measurement mic. She liked the way Thom Yorke’ voice sounded on vinyl, that it was less syllibant. And that it sounded warmer. I think she was reacting to the rolled off highs and the increased bass from my vinyl stack not going through room EQ.
 

IPunchCholla

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WDeranged

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Not challenging that, but do you have any links? I would love to learn more.

Nope. I hear a reduction in sibilance and distortion with slimmer stylus profiles. Everything else sounds pretty much the same. S'all I have.
 

Sal1950

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Suffolkhifinut

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Would you please explain to me how the relative quality of any turntable can remove the defects in a LP's groove? I'd love to be enlightened.
Unfortunately my laboratory is out of action, fortunately my ears aren’t. Snap crackle and pop is due to static which on my current vinyl playback system is missing hallelujah! Not trying to impress you or anyone else.
 
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Sal1950

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Unfortunately my laboratory is out of action, fortunately my ears aren’t. Snap crackle and pop is due to static which on my current vinyl playback system is missing hallelujah!
Fairytales are best left to the little children. ;)
 

IPunchCholla

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Loricraft 4. In the whole vinyl thing it’s the best thing I ever did.
Cool looking machine. I think I’ll stick with @rdenney ’s method for now.
 

WDeranged

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Unfortunately my laboratory is out of action, fortunately my ears aren’t. Snap crackle and pop is due to static which on my current vinyl playback system is missing hallelujah! Not trying to impress you or anyone else.

The only snap and crackle you ever hear is static? I wish that was the case for me. The most I'll pay for a record is £50. And even then it crackles
 

EJ3

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I do miss good FM, but it's been long gone IMO altho some college/university stations still do some good stuff. Mostly for the last 15 years or so though I haven't lived where I get reception at all, altho do once in a while find something interesting from radio with internet streaming. The old days of interesting dj's and their own choices were nice (I fondly remember particularly KSAN in San Francisco in the 70s)....too much corporate radio these days.
Between my OMNI1/2 wave (less than 5 feet tall, 1/4 inch stainless steel rod mounted on a chimney at 35 feet and my directional (with a rotator) antenna's and being on the coast, allows me to pickup a multitude of stations. Some great & many not so much.
This is from FM Fools:

Radar-FM.png

FM Signal Analysis Results​

Here are the results for your location. The transmitter database was last updated on October 15, 2020. Longer bars represent stronger signals. Details about each transmitter are provided in the table to the right of the plot.

To start over, click here.

FM channels (save image)
If you notice any errors or omissions in the database, please report them HERE so that they can be corrected in future runs.


The values under the "Rx(dBm)" column indicate how strong the signals are "in the air" at your location. These values indicate weaker signals as the numbers get lower (more negative). This is an estimated signal strength value in dBm units, which are typically negative for signals in this range (similar to how you can have negative values on a Celsius scale).

Please understand that this is a simulation and can only be treated as a rough approximation. Reception at your location is affected by many factors such as multipath, antenna gain, receiver sensitivity, buildings, and trees - which are not taken into account. Your mileage may vary.

The table lists several technical details about the local transmitters, ranked from strongest to the weakest for the given location. The columns of the table are:

Callsign​
These are the call letters that the FCC uses to uniquely identify broadcasters. Many broadcasters will have multiple entries for their call sign (for translator and booster stations).
Channel​
This is the broadcast channel for the station.
Xmit(kW)​
This is the amount of power (in kilowatts) that the broadcaster is transmitting in your direction. Since many broadcasters use directional antennas to focus most of their broadcast energy into populated areas, this power level may be different than the raw power level shown by the FCC. This value has already been adjusted for your location according to the radiation pattern registered with the FCC.
Rx(dBm)​
This is the predicted receiver signal strength of each channel at your location, specified in dBm.
Path​
This indicates the path travelled by the signal to get from the transmitter to your location.
LOS: Line-of-sight
1Edge: Single edge diffraction
2Edge: Double edge diffraction
Tropo: Tropospheric scatter
Dist(mi)​
Distance from your location to the transmitter, specified in statute miles.
Azimuth​
Azimuth direction for the transmitter (0=North), relative to true north. The numbers have been color coded according to the transmitter direction for easier identification of channel clusters. Transmitters coming from approximately the same direction will have similar colors, matching the colors in the outer ring of the radar plot.
Magnetic north readings are also provided for easy compass pointing. When using a compass for orientation, the "North" end of the needle should point to the red colored "N" on the radar plot. You can use the magnetic north azimuth values (in parentheses) to aim your antenna via compass.
LOS​
This is the estimated height necessary (at the given coordinates) in order to reach the line-of-sight path of the transmitter. This can be used to judge the severity of a terrain obstruction. This height is specified in feet above ground level. Note that it is possible to have excellent reception even without line-of-sight access to the transmitter. This column is provided for informational purposes only.
 

EJ3

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Illustrative story: I have over the years built a high-precision measurement capability, but with a commitment to avoid batteries and software. That means I have acquired vernier calipers, outside micrometers, bore gauges, inside micrometers, dial indicators, dial test indicators, gage blocks, precision squares and parallels, a precision granite surface plate, depth micrometers, master bores, and so on. Here’s the joke (and the joke is definitely on me): I really don’t have anything I need to measure at that level of precision (and I can measure stuff to 0.0001” and some things to 0.00005”). Why in the world would I have that stuff? On occasion I do need it, and I relish the skill to use it, for no other reason than the joy of expressing that skill.

These days, a machinist will use a digital micrometer that requires no special skill to read, but I had no interest in that. He won’t even need that, because he’ll trust his CNC mill and lathe. Maybe it’s a character flaw. But it sure gives me insight into what prior generations could do. We went to the moon with those old Etalon, Starrett, Interapid, and Brown & Sharpe calipers and indicators. And the insight that stuff gives me includes, among other things, an intimate understanding of significant figures and the difference between accuracy and precision. Those principles are often lost on those using 10-digit calculators to dimension stuff that can only be made accurately enough to need three.

Rick “science and history get along just fine” Denney
All of the little that I still have are Starrett, wish I had more. For the same reason you give.
 
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Chrispy

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Between my OMNI1/2 wave (less than 5 feet tall, 1/4 inch stainless steel rod mounted on a chimney at 35 feet and my directional (with a rotator) antenna's and being on the coast, allows me to pickup a multitude of stations. Some great & many not so much.
This is from FM Fools:
View attachment 207626

FM Signal Analysis Results​

Here are the results for your location. The transmitter database was last updated on October 15, 2020. Longer bars represent stronger signals. Details about each transmitter are provided in the table to the right of the plot.

To start over, click here.

FM channels (save image)
If you notice any errors or omissions in the database, please report them HERE so that they can be corrected in future runs.
The values under the "Rx(dBm)" column indicate how strong the signals are "in the air" at your location. These values indicate weaker signals as the numbers get lower (more negative). This is an estimated signal strength value in dBm units, which are typically negative for signals in this range (similar to how you can have negative values on a Celsius scale).

Please understand that this is a simulation and can only be treated as a rough approximation. Reception at your location is affected by many factors such as multipath, antenna gain, receiver sensitivity, buildings, and trees - which are not taken into account. Your mileage may vary.

The table lists several technical details about the local transmitters, ranked from strongest to the weakest for the given location. The columns of the table are:

Callsign​
These are the call letters that the FCC uses to uniquely identify broadcasters. Many broadcasters will have multiple entries for their call sign (for translator and booster stations).
Channel​
This is the broadcast channel for the station.
Xmit(kW)​
This is the amount of power (in kilowatts) that the broadcaster is transmitting in your direction. Since many broadcasters use directional antennas to focus most of their broadcast energy into populated areas, this power level may be different than the raw power level shown by the FCC. This value has already been adjusted for your location according to the radiation pattern registered with the FCC.
Rx(dBm)​
This is the predicted receiver signal strength of each channel at your location, specified in dBm.
Path​
This indicates the path travelled by the signal to get from the transmitter to your location.
LOS: Line-of-sight
1Edge: Single edge diffraction
2Edge: Double edge diffraction
Tropo: Tropospheric scatter
Dist(mi)​
Distance from your location to the transmitter, specified in statute miles.
Azimuth​
Azimuth direction for the transmitter (0=North), relative to true north. The numbers have been color coded according to the transmitter direction for easier identification of channel clusters. Transmitters coming from approximately the same direction will have similar colors, matching the colors in the outer ring of the radar plot.
Magnetic north readings are also provided for easy compass pointing. When using a compass for orientation, the "North" end of the needle should point to the red colored "N" on the radar plot. You can use the magnetic north azimuth values (in parentheses) to aim your antenna via compass.
LOS​
This is the estimated height necessary (at the given coordinates) in order to reach the line-of-sight path of the transmitter. This can be used to judge the severity of a terrain obstruction. This height is specified in feet above ground level. Note that it is possible to have excellent reception even without line-of-sight access to the transmitter. This column is provided for informational purposes only.
Yeah I've used the tv and radio signal analysis before....doesn't do me much good aside from maybe one or two tv stations and similar for fm radio (none of which are particularly worth the effort). Lliving in the boonies surrounded by mountains has its price, but I don't mind just using the internet either.
 

DWI

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Cool looking machine. I think I’ll stick with @rdenney ’s method for now.
Besides giving effectively silent play, the Loricraft pays for itself in a few years on stylus wear and tear. The Degritter is popular now and they are about the same price since SME took over Loricraft. The upgrades were effectively cosmetic, the machine worked perfectly before, the main upgrade was the price, but it's still reasonable. To avoid any ASR conspiracy theories, the only reason for SME buying Loricraft was because Terry, who invented and made them, wanted to retire. He also owned the Garrard trademarks and his main activity was Garrard restorations and repairs. SME bought that as well and have bought out a 301 for the modest price of £22,560.
Terry would have done an as-new restoration for around £3,500 to £4,000. I almost fell off my chair when I saw the price of these.
 
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