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

  1. #11
    Join Date: Apr 2008

    Location: Warrington

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    I'm Neil.

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    Ah sibilance, one of the most difficult things to get just right in HiFi, and one of the easiest things to make a sound fatiguing.
    Mana Acoustics Racks >> Custom Silent Media Server >> Halide Bridge USB (with AQVOX USB power) >> Pedja Rogic's Audial Model S DAC + Pioneer PL-71 turntable / Vista Audio phono-1 mk II / Denon PCL-5 headshell / Reson Reca >> LFD DLS >> LFD PA2M (SE) >> Royd RR3s.

  2. #12
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Sheffield - UK

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    I'm Mark.

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    As others have said, often perceived sibilance is not actually a fault of the system but is actually on the recording.

    However, if it is system related it can be down to a whole bunch of issues. If it is the speakers it can be symptomatic of a rising top end or of issues where the crossover blends the tweeter with the mid (low order crossovers do little to suppress out of band anomalies for example). If it is the turntable then it may be down to marginal matching between the arms effective mass and the cartridge compliance. It could also be down to the stylus profile or a rising top end in the cartridge. It could even be down to the phonostage.

    100% Analogue

  3. #13
    Join Date: Sep 2016

    Location: Brussels, Belgium

    Posts: 64
    I'm Tim.

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    As originator 'magiccarpetride' pointed out it's on some "older" records in some parts that that SssshFthSssshFth horrible thing manifest itself. All the previous are true (recording engineer mastering) and of course a phono set-up that is right and well set.

    But as a collector of vintage 45's mainly, so out of the lower fidelity end (thank the Lord most are MONO !), I'm often tangle as to understand if it's about my phono setting, the recording mastering and/or the "poor" template mastering job and cheap vinyl, styrene used to press the record...

    I'm about sure about my phono stage by now. Did trial with many different records (countries, pressing plants, materials and decades) when a record condition is an issue I can tell. When it's a recording factor the same and of course when the "plastic" material comes to be faulty. I use to collect old Jamaican records and that is a good "introduction" to all of this and that !

    Harder to understand, but I know strongly pay attention to, is the template mastering job at the pressing plant. Well or not so well done, for some records you just can't escape the poor result if messed up at the pressing plant. Other records who were issued simultaneously in different pressing plant offer you the chance to compare how that factor alone comes in your listening experience...
    - Cart Denon DL-102 in bakelite Ortofon SPU 'G' type headshell
    - TA SME 3009 'Improved' converted in heavy mass with detachable headshell
    - TT Thorens TD 145 totally tweaked driven by an 'Eagle & RoadRunner' PSU & tachometer combo
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  4. #14
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 25,426
    I'm Geoff.

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    If sibilance is noticed more on older records, perhaps that could be due to wear and (or) dirt deep in the grooves.
    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. #15
    Join Date: Sep 2016

    Location: Brussels, Belgium

    Posts: 64
    I'm Tim.

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    Quote Originally Posted by walpurgis View Post
    If sibilance is noticed more on older records, perhaps that could be due to wear and (or) dirt deep in the grooves.
    OK, but I'd say the old records will give their best if read with the required equipment. And for that I can attest. Then music genres also can benefit from different phono set-ups or not... Vintage NOS record perfectly preserved can sound only "acceptable" on a top end phono set up and "alive and kicking" on a tweaked vintage single speaker pick-up.

    Sibilance induced by wear YES, by dirt NO and by static YES. Dirt brings noise and deep groove residues of all species brings the odd "blow" or "woosh" noise/sound. One can learn many efficient specific ways to clean, fix and "unscratch" a record depending on the diagnostic to save a record from "undesirability" or "disregard" with an educated eye and experience.
    - Cart Denon DL-102 in bakelite Ortofon SPU 'G' type headshell
    - TA SME 3009 'Improved' converted in heavy mass with detachable headshell
    - TT Thorens TD 145 totally tweaked driven by an 'Eagle & RoadRunner' PSU & tachometer combo
    - Matts top to bottom: leather, cork, felt & 12" vinyl
    - Pre-amp 'Modulis' Isem
    - Amp 'Exampli' Etalon 2x40W
    - Speakers 2 ways 12" Leak 'Sandwich' 15 OHMS

  6. #16
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 25,426
    I'm Geoff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tlscapital View Post
    Sibilance induced by wear YES, by dirt NO
    Care to explain?
    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!

  7. #17
    Join Date: May 2010

    Location: Worcestershire, UK

    Posts: 485
    I'm Rob.

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    I've always found that the usual cause of sibilance is loose fitting false teeth.
    Rob.
    Powered by crossed fingers and clenched buttocks

  8. #18
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Staffordshire, England

    Posts: 16,585
    I'm Martin.

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    'Wear' usually means a loss of the high frequencies. So would not cause sibilance, the opposite should happen.

    Groove damage adds a sound additional to the music, it does not sound like sibilance. Likewise dirt or grime.

    The quality of the recording is also highly unlikely to be the culprit. A poor press could be the problem but I'm not convinced. Sibilance is miss-tracking, so either the setting up is not optimal, or the present equipment is simply not good enough to accurately track some of the more demanding cuts. I suspect the latter in this case. Time to get your wallet out.
    Martin



    Current Lash Up:

    Technics SL1200 with Sumiko h/s & Nagaoka MP50 * Firebottle valve MM phono stage * Parasound CDPi1000 * NVA P90SA passive pre / Krell KSA50S Power amp * JM Lab Electra 926 loudspeakers *



    "I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me." - Hunter S Thompson

  9. #19
    Join Date: Feb 2013

    Location: W Lothian

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    I'm Grant.

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    Can be a lot of things or a mix of things, but azimuth is more often than not the biggest culprit
    Regards,
    Grant ....
    Sometimes incompetence is useful. It helps you keep an open mind.
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  10. #20
    Join Date: Apr 2015

    Location: Central Virginia

    Posts: 432
    I'm Russell.

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    Seems a little detective work is in order. Can you duplicate the problem? Next time you are surprised by sibilance, back the needle up and see if it happens again. Can you make it happen? Does it happen in the same spot every time? Or even most often?

    So let's say you have located a spot on a record that always causes sibilance, do you know someone else with a record player so you can try it at their house? Do they have the same problem? If so, then there you have it! Bad spot in the record, for whatever reason. But, if it plays on their system without issue, then we must conclude that something is amiss with your setup. If you can't adjust it out of existence, then perhaps it's time for a new cartridge?

    Of course, if you cannot make it happen, if it seems to be a random happening, then perhaps it's static? A large truck passing by? Or Gremlins?


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