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Thread: Sibilance in general -- what is the most likely cause?

  1. #1
    Join Date: May 2010

    Location: Vancouver, Canada

    Posts: 1,845
    I'm Alex.

    Question Sibilance in general -- what is the most likely cause?

    Every now and then, I run into sibilance issues while playing LPs. It doesn't happen often, but it does tend to pop up once or twice during the regular listening week, prompting me to start thinking about what could be causing it.

    For the most part, my cartridge/tonearm appears to be set properly, since I'm getting perfectly natural reproduction of the consonant 's', as it is being enunciated by the vocalists. But on a few occasions, it does get distorted. And it never fails to startle me. So my question is: given that there could be several reasons for this distortion, what, in your experience, is the most frequent cause? Is it the bad source (i.e. badly recorded vocals), or is it the worn LP, or is it the bad groove tracking? Or is it merely a not thoroughly cleaned vinyl?
    Don't you just hate it when you cannot detect where the post ends and a signature line begins?

    Alex.

  2. #2
    Join Date: Oct 2012

    Location: NE England

    Posts: 4,647
    I'm Jez.

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    Distortion from worn stylus, knackered records etc mainly. It can be from tape overload in cases where they've not been able to fully control the recording (live etc) or been able to do a "Take 2" after re-setting levels.

  3. #3
    Join Date: Feb 2016

    Location: Melksham, Wiltshire

    Posts: 253
    I'm Peter.

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    I would agree with what has already been said.... worn stylus, knackered Records. But it's worth having a check of alignment, VTA, anti skate etc just to make sure, even if some recordings play ok.

    Recently installed a new Decca Gold and had a similar problem. Not knackered Records but VTA not setup correctly.

    Has this just suddenly become apparent?

    A good test record and careful setup should sort out what is wrong.

    Peter


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 28,488
    I'm Geoff.

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    Yes. I've found VTA to be a prime suspect with sibilance. Too little downforce can cause problems too.
    Mr. Tact!

    Main system: MMs/ADCs/Low output MC's/One rare Japanese SUT/One scarce British phono stage/various tonearms/hefty Japanese DD TT and hefty Japanese BD TT and small British BD TT. 4 CD players/2 jitter buster/2 DACs/Valve buffer. TVC stepped attenuator or valve pre-amp or solid state pre-amp. Current dumping power-amp or either of two Class A SS power-amp or Class A EL34 valve monos or big Japanese (part Class A) integrated. Big dual concentric speakers/Smaller dual concentric speakers/Two way British compacts and full range speakers, amongst others. And too much more to list!

  5. #5
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Durham - UK

    Posts: 1,354
    I'm Ken.

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    Do you get similar sibilance on CD or any other source?
    Ken

    http://www.jkwynn.co.uk/
    DIY Technics/ProJect based Turntable + Terminator linear tracker + Ortofon MC20 Supreme / Pro-Ject Phono box & Pre Box RS / KMTech Active X-Over / Nakamichi AVP1 Power / DIY Sealed Three Way Speakers / Stello CDT100 Transport / DAC Magic.

  6. #6
    Join Date: May 2010

    Location: Vancouver, Canada

    Posts: 1,845
    I'm Alex.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Qwin View Post
    Do you get similar sibilance on CD or any other source?
    Haven't checked.
    Don't you just hate it when you cannot detect where the post ends and a signature line begins?

    Alex.

  7. #7
    Join Date: May 2010

    Location: Vancouver, Canada

    Posts: 1,845
    I'm Alex.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boyse6748 View Post
    I would agree with what has already been said.... worn stylus, knackered Records. But it's worth having a check of alignment, VTA, anti skate etc just to make sure, even if some recordings play ok.

    Recently installed a new Decca Gold and had a similar problem. Not knackered Records but VTA not setup correctly.

    Has this just suddenly become apparent?

    A good test record and careful setup should sort out what is wrong.

    Peter


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Almost all my LPs play fine. It is just that every now and then, on some older records, I get startled by the sibilance distortion.

    My Rega RB300 tonearm doesn't have VTA adjustment...
    Don't you just hate it when you cannot detect where the post ends and a signature line begins?

    Alex.

  8. #8
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Durham - UK

    Posts: 1,354
    I'm Ken.

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    Quote Originally Posted by magiccarpetride View Post
    Haven't checked.
    Might be a good place to start before changing anything on your TT set up.
    Would quickly confirm or rule it out as the source of the problem, as there are other things that can cause sibilance.
    Ken

    http://www.jkwynn.co.uk/
    DIY Technics/ProJect based Turntable + Terminator linear tracker + Ortofon MC20 Supreme / Pro-Ject Phono box & Pre Box RS / KMTech Active X-Over / Nakamichi AVP1 Power / DIY Sealed Three Way Speakers / Stello CDT100 Transport / DAC Magic.

  9. #9
    Join Date: May 2010

    Location: Vancouver, Canada

    Posts: 1,845
    I'm Alex.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Qwin View Post
    Might be a good place to start before changing anything on your TT set up.
    Would quickly confirm or rule it out as the source of the problem, as there are other things that can cause sibilance.
    Good point. Thanks.
    Don't you just hate it when you cannot detect where the post ends and a signature line begins?

    Alex.

  10. #10
    Join Date: Dec 2008

    Location: Lincolnshire, Home by the Sea

    Posts: 3,604
    I'm Shaun.

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    I used to get some sibilance many years ago which I found out was caused by a cartridge/arm mismatch. I had a low compliance moving coil in a low mass tonearm and as you would expect ran into tracking problems.
    Marantz CD6005 into Audiolab MDAC
    Nottingham Analogue Interspace turntable with Origin Live Onyx tonearm/Denon DL103/Dynavector P75 MkIII phono stage

    Prima Luna Prologue preamp
    Prima Luna Dialogue Premium power amp/EL34

    B&W CM8 S2 loudspeakers

    Atlas Hyper interconnects
    Van Den Hul Teatrack biwired cables

    Anything Ozric Tentacles based

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