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Turntables, cartidges, and phono stages

Mashcky

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Feb 19, 2019
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#1
Hey folks,

There is a lot of great discussion about digital audio gear here but not a lot about vinyl playback. This makes sense due to the shortcomings of vinyl as a medium in the realm of audio science. But for those of us who are stuck (at least in part) in the vinyl record world for whatever reason, what is the best gear from an engineering standpoint?

Please refer to measurements or science wherever possible. Though I’m personally interested in gear that achieves good measurements at affordable prices before greatly deminishing returns – if such a thing exists – let this be a thread for any and all discussion regarding measurement-based vinyl playback.
 

Zog

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Mar 13, 2019
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#2
In terms of turntables there are two main concepts - simple in conception but difficult to achieve. First you want freedom of vibration. The bad vibes come from ambient vibration in the room, footfall, sound from the speakers, the bearing on the thrustpad, and even the needle in groove. Second is accurate speed. Again there are various types of speed misalignment and various attempts to prevent it.
To answer your question you would like gear that measures well in these two aspects and you will have a great TT. You can solve these issues by buying your way out of the problems. Better gear should not suffer vibration or speed issues. Another way to the best gear is to work on your own turntables. My TT of choice is the classic Technics 1200 series as they are very modifiable.
 

Mashcky

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Feb 19, 2019
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#3
In terms of turntables there are two main concepts - simple in conception but difficult to achieve. First you want freedom of vibration. The bad vibes come from ambient vibration in the room, footfall, sound from the speakers, the bearing on the thrustpad, and even the needle in groove. Second is accurate speed. Again there are various types of speed misalignment and various attempts to prevent it.
To answer your question you would like gear that measures well in these two aspects and you will have a great TT. You can solve these issues by buying your way out of the problem.
I’ve noted that more expensive designs have larger and more expensive plinth and platter arrangements to deal with isolation from vibration. I’ve also seen external raisers to put turntables on, wall jut-outs with sand, and DIY solutions like you mentioned. Troels Gravesen has a project page for a mag lev turntable with a thick plywood plinth and bitumen pad layer.

How do problems of external vibration compare to the challenge of vibrating motors and internal moving parts? In other words, can the isolation problem be solved inexpenaively but putting a TT in a box of sand, or is this a more challenging engineering problem than I’m making it out to be?
 

Zog

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#4
I don't really compare anything. I just do what I can to to eliminate or at least reduce vibration. I have not heard of a sand-box and I guess it would help but it would hardly look any good.
Where Troels uses bitumen I use dynamat. Basically I put it on any non-visible part of the TT.
The mag-lev is good in concept but I do not know how it would work in practice. You can get mag-lev feet, readily available on ebay. The way I look at it one should use more than one method of vibration attenuation. Mass - a massive table would help. Damping material - I use Dynamat and sorbothane. Isolation also helps.
 
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