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Varun
01-08-2009, 07:52
Dear members,

These forums have a tendency to attract all your attention rather a lot in an infectuous way-something I try and avoid as time is precious. But then here is another thread.

This follows the discussion on cartridge Vs cartirdge and re-tipping etc.

The fact of the matter is that sound reporduction has many problems as Grand Wazoo Chris will find out. I have moved my stereo from a 24x14 room to a 20x13 room-from a solid stone wall on 2 sides to a flimsy bungalow and from concrete carpeted floor to laminated floor. So that my speakers are closer to walls than ever before.

Thus there are perennial problems with getting the sound right. The biggest problem for analogue LP users in my opinion is mistracking and VTA.

I had great difficulty with both LP12 and Well Tempered Turntables as neither of them had the facility to change the VTA. Consequently the cartridge could not cope with very heavy orchestral passages- not to speak of the differences in sound from pressing to pressing.

I was therefore determined to buy a VPI and if not an SME 20, as both of them have very easy ways of changing the VTA.

I am not sure if the new LP12s have the facility but it is pointless talking of cartridge this or that without having all the necessary adjustments.

Just a thought.

Varun

PS: you would have noted that I have not worked out how to make the title bold.

Mike
01-08-2009, 08:03
I love the VTA adjuster on those bigger VPI arms, 'on the fly' adjustment sounds like a real bonus!

It's a pity my 'baby' JMW doesn't have it. :(

DSJR
01-08-2009, 08:19
Most arms used with LP12's have VTA adjustment (unless it's a Rega arm, in which case you use spacers on the pillar (ughh!). Do you mean azimuth (as viewed from the front?)

VTA has more of an effect on perceived surface noise and treble (cymbal crashes and sibilants) in my experience - getting it right opening up the dynamic range "window." bearing in mind that many stylus assemblies often have too steep a tracking angle, I prefer the arm to be slightly down at the back rather than slightly up (if you can't get it dead level).

I'd suggest that (mis)tracking can be as much temperature dependant as anything else, some cartridges being awful below 20 degrees celcius I've found. Koetsus, which were never the worlds best trackers, were supposedly set up for the region they were to be used in - models intended for the far east sounding really lousy in Western Europe as I recall. Speaker suspensions (of the rubbery kind) vary hugely with temperature too, so Alan Shaw of Harbeth found, the 10 degree plus temperature differences from the UK to the far east having major differences in bass control. Doped corrugated paper/fabric as used in many Tannoys may not suffer so...

Mike
01-08-2009, 08:29
Most arms used with LP12's have VTA adjustment


I took it as meaning 'on the fly' adjustment, Dave. A useful feature for those who've got it. :)

NRG
01-08-2009, 09:11
I very much doubt VTA would be the main influence or even cause of mistracking, temperature as already mentioned along with other factors like cartridge compatibility with the arm, arm bearing quality, alignment etc. would be far higher up the list IMHO. My LP12 with a Troika / Ekos was always a poor tracker, it used to annoy the hell out of me, even when I replaced the Troika with an Arkiv....in the end I replaced the LP12 with a Gyro SE and OL250 / MC25FL and my mistracking problems went away!

Varun
01-08-2009, 10:31
Many thanks to all the views expressed.

Temperature is crucial so much so that I have always had a thermometer close to the TT and do not bother listening- that is turning the system on if its not right. Around 20 degree is the best and between 18-22 or thereabouts tolerable- beyong -suffering. That is what has been happening here with my system in Liverpool with the temperatures fluctuating. But then we know this is the wrong time of the year.

I think the learned colleagues are mistaken what I mean. I only realized the importance after getting the VPI. My dealer friend in NZ had given me his "feelers guage" to adjust the height of the Well Tempered pillar when I needed it- and it did make a difference- except that I could not be bothered.

It does make a difference, not just pops and crackels but to the whole spectrum of recorded sound. Mind you I do not speak as an expert; just observations. Temp has its own crucial role to play-I am talking about even in ideal temperature.

Cheers

Varun

Varun
01-08-2009, 10:34
and Dave (DSJR) my LP12 with Ittok and Asak never had a VTA adjustment. Must be a new [relatively] development!

Varun
01-08-2009, 10:52
Apologies to the members- the title of the thread was misleading. I meant to raise 2 issues- 1] Mistracking and 2] VTA. It ended up sounding as though the two are inseparable. In some instances yes but what I meant was no matter what cartridge one can go on harping about- there will be problems and some soluble some insoluble.

Also Mike, I just remebered that when I was in India I was asked to listen to the Single ended amps a chap in Delhi is making. They are very very nice and hand built. He does not post them so the only they can be obtained was through some one India. I moved away from valves because the difficulty in getting the valves and finding some one to repair. I had EAR 509 Mono Blocks. These Indian amps are also cheap.

the address is http//www.lyrita-audio.in/

Varun

Stratmangler
01-08-2009, 11:06
my LP12 with Ittok and Asak never had a VTA adjustment. Must be a new [relatively] development!

A Tik-Tok with no VTA adjustment ?

Surely not..........;)

Chris:)

Mike
01-08-2009, 11:36
and Dave (DSJR) my LP12 with Ittok and Asak never had a VTA adjustment. Must be a new [relatively] development!

You have to loosen an allen bolt at the base and slide the whole pillar up or down. They all had it.:)

hifi_dave
01-08-2009, 12:35
Very few arms have no VTA adjustment, in fact, the only ones I can think of are Rega, as they are not into fiddling about. Their argument is that it is far more important to have a rigid structure than to have a VTA adjustment. The Ittok has a VTA adjustment.

VTA varies with the cartridge, tracking weight, temperature, record cut and record thickness, so you need to adjust it every time you play a record. Fortunately, very few enthusiasts are that anal and an approximate setting is perfectly OK for most people.

IMO is nowhere near as important as the overhang, which really needs to be spot on or else mistracking will rear it's very apparent and ugly head for sure.:eyebrows:

DSJR
01-08-2009, 16:31
We two elderly HiFi Daves are quite right you know...:)

The ittok used an "engineer's clamp" style of arm height adjustment. The base plate which is bolted to the arm board has a slightly eccentric hole with two "flats" running down one side. The other side has an Allen bolt which "pushes" the pillar against these flats and locks the pillar to the base. "We" always did the bloody Allen bolt up too tight, which it didn't need in all honesty, although the arm-rest needs to be done up tight on the arm-board, along with careful but very firm tightness of the arm-rest height thumb-nut.

Make sure your stylus is scrupulously clean as any welded-on gunk will cause horrendous mis-tracking. Linns (3M derived) "green-stuff" is usually safe with many cartridges, although Koetsu's and similar with tiny diamond chips butted on the end of the cantilever (rather then through them) may be very frail if slightly abused. I like the AT stylus fluid with brush and it cleaned an old OC9 up a treat.

One final thing with fine-line, MR or Shibata style tip profiles. they tend to have deeper access to the bottom of the groove than standard conical or elliptical tips do and wear often causes them to start playing the bottom of the groove with disastrous results (my OC9 is a bit like this on some pressings).......

Varun
01-08-2009, 19:19
Well, all I remember was a hell of a lot of criticism in the early 80s about Linn not including it- or was it to do with the issue of VTA being a load of hogwash! Anyway- I was not the one to move the pillar up and down- there was enough up and down movement as it was.

I was going to say that this particular Mercury Living Presence proved the need to have a good VTA facility as the adjustment needed was far more than I was expecting- but did get sound right in the end. Thick vinyl record but it has also to with the cutting and so on. It would have been unplayable on LP12.

The 60s Decca recordings are the best-but sometimes MONOs sound even better.

Cheers

Varun

Varun
01-08-2009, 19:27
addendum:-

I did not see the two elderly Dave's words of wisdom- much appreciated. I use the Clear audio stylus fluid as well as the Green Sticky stuff provided by Stylus Expert. It needs to be cleaned- I mean you are not meant to use the same surface or the same spot again. So I used to shave the dirty top layer off. If I do return to Koetsu, if it is re-tippable or if I have the courage to buy a new one-then the Green Gunge will be needed- Do I understand right Dave?

Many thanks

Varun

DSJR
01-08-2009, 21:18
The green stuff I used to use was/is a sheet of fine "textured" green plastic paper - rather like very fine wet-n-dry paper, which was cut into strips a couple of cm wide and around 4cm long. A piece of this stuff lasted ages and seemed safe enough..

If you have a Koetsu in need of a re-tip, i'd see if VDH still offer this service. The Onyx I heard that had been "done" sounded so good - clear, but with the effortless quality so beloved of Koetsu lovers and with absolutely NO false "romance" in the delivery and no harshness or "HiFi" impressiveness.

NRG
01-08-2009, 23:58
I'm gonna have to disagree with the elderly Dave's wise words of wisdom! :)

An abrasive is the last thing you want to run over your stylus and that's exactly what the Linn green stuff is. Its made by 3M and is used as a finishing abrasive in the jewelry and watchmaking world (and many others no doubt). There are various grades available. ESCo ship with their re-tips 'Rodico' another product used in the watchmaking world and another product that's unsuitable IMHO for cleaning stylus. Rodico has a tendency to leave traces of it'self on the surface it's trying to clean and thus your records.

Stick to a dry brush like the clear audio 'pan handle' brush or similar and clean once in a while with the clearaudio stylus cleaner and stylus treatment.

Varun
02-08-2009, 08:05
Yes Dave,

I slowly got to know the "Hi Fi" impressiveness but will not list the names of some famous companies. My experience with Audiophile demonstrations is that they tend to use "Close Miked recordings". Once a Hi-Fi dealer in NZ (I spent some time there) was demonstrating his new and the largest Proac Studio speakers with an Accuphase twin box CD player and 300 W/ch valves mono blocks (WTL). All the dealer had were recordings with vocals and a few instruments and all closed miked recordings. I could not find a CD which could put the system through its paces. In the end 'Dark side of the Moon' was spotted but the sound no better - or rather worse than my analogue system. Blame the CD if you will.

This is closely linked with the thread of VTA- as often what sounds like a bad recording can be tidied up. The whole purpose of my thread was the "the small fractions" of increments and decrements these dials offer. With the Well Tempered and using the feelrs guage I had no way of knowing where I was before- so returning to it. I suspect LP12 would have been even worse. Also you can change the VTA while the record is playing and listen to the sound change.

Varun

Varun
02-08-2009, 08:49
Here we are-VPI TNT WITH THE CLEANING PARAPHARNELIA


http://i925.photobucket.com/albums/ad100/varun_k_singh/TT-2.jpg

Varun

DSJR
02-08-2009, 09:58
Interesting looking deck you have there :)

NRG, the green stuff (as recommended by Linn - maybe that's the problem ;)) was safe enough as it's a VERY fine grade. In the event, one held one end of the strip and GENTLY STROKED the stylus from back to front at a 45 degree angle as looked at from the front. I fully appreciate your concerns though, mainly because the best styli do seem to be butt mounted to the cantilevers with minimum adhesive/braizing, rather than staked though the flattened end of the tube, as Linn/Supex's were.

Back to that VDH Koetsu and bearing in mind NRG's comments above, Jimmy got the original at a good price because when originally supplied, it had been "kerbed" on a record edge and the little diamond stylus chip had been knocked off. I have an OC30 in the same state, with fully intact cantilever but no diamond..

Varun
02-08-2009, 11:34
By the way

The white streaks on the side of the platter are caused by "Taylor's chalk" powdered for the belts to be shook into.

Varun

NRG
02-08-2009, 12:21
......

NRG, the green stuff (as recommended by Linn - maybe that's the problem ;))

:) Hmmmm.....no, its because its a stupid idea ;) I like to wear my stylus down by playing records not by cleaning it!


.... was safe enough as it's a VERY fine grade. In the event, one held one end of the strip and GENTLY STROKED the stylus from back to front at a 45 degree angle as looked at from the front. I fully appreciate your concerns though, mainly because the best styli do seem to be butt mounted to the cantilevers with minimum adhesive/braizing, rather than staked though the flattened end of the tube, as Linn/Supex's were.

Its still an abrasive though and its not a good way of cleaning a stylus, its not thorough enough....a small brush is much better...trust me I've seen close up under a stereoscope how much better a brush is than a bit of sandpaper....

Here's a close up of the sandpaper....sorry green stuff.....

http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l82/_NRG_/other/stylus/DSCF4448.jpg

I knackered a Troika because of this stuff and the recommendation of its use by a now defunct Linn dealership.

DSJR
02-08-2009, 12:32
Oooo-er missus....

I was told never to use cleaning fluids, yet I now use the AT 607 bottle/brush with no problems at all. I even scrubbed the sealed coil assembly on the OC9 as it was filthy and it came up perfectly clean...

Sorry to hear of the knackered Troika. The diamonds were usually well welded to their cantilevers and, to be fair, were of good quality.

I tend to look back on those heady days of the eighties when Linn and Naim ruled supreme for us not too fondly nowadays. It was a bit like religion in many ways - this desire to "fit in" with the "in" crowd. I still think the non "in" dealers had it tough in the UK, but once Linn introduced their own amps, had the "dealer purge" of those who wouldn't share their client-base and split the "in" crowd wide open, the market got easier for everyone. Trouble is, the market, which had been buoyed up by the introduction of CD for a few years, started to contract severely and it's still doing so it seems...

Varun
02-08-2009, 15:31
May I please ask Dave the speaker you are leaning against? The support reminds me of SD Accoustics! Please enlighten.

NRG
02-08-2009, 15:45
Not too labor the point, this will be my last post on the subject but this shot sort of brings home what you are subjecting the stylus to when using the green stuff.....it may seem a very fine grade but close up and from a Stylus point of view it looks brutal IMHO...

http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l82/_NRG_/other/stylus/DSCF4455.jpg

hifi_dave
02-08-2009, 23:01
May I please ask Dave the speaker you are leaning against? The support reminds me of SD Accoustics! Please enlighten.

Looks like a Spendor BC2 or BC1 to me.

I don't think DSJR ever got into SD Acoustics and IIRC they didn't do stands for their speakers.

Barry
02-08-2009, 23:43
:) Hmmmm.....no, its because its a stupid idea ;) I like to wear my stylus down by playing records not by cleaning it!

Its still an abrasive though and its not a good way of cleaning a stylus, its not thorough enough....a small brush is much better...trust me I've seen close up under a stereoscope how much better a brush is than a bit of sandpaper....

Here's a close up of the sandpaper....sorry green stuff.....

I knackered a Troika because of this stuff and the recommendation of its use by a now defunct Linn dealership.

I use a size 8 squirrel hair artist's brush for removing loose dust from the stylus and the odd fleck from the record. If the stylus is dirtier, then I use an electronic stylus cleaner (made by Goldring) with one drop of neat isopropyl alcohol on the carbon fibre bristles. The stylus is cleaned by this method for 10 seconds.

Apropos mistracking, the correct adjustment of overhang is much, much more important than the VTA. The latter tends to affect the response and dynamic range. Once the VTA is correctly set (preferably be ear) there ought to be no need to change it, though there there are some who claim that it should be adjusted each and every time a record is played !

Most cartridges seem to prefer an enviromental operating temperature of 22 - 25 degC. To achieve this, I use a small 'spotlight' style reading lamp trained on the deck.

TKK
03-08-2009, 02:55
Worn tonearm bearings do contribute to tracing and tracking distortions. Mis-adjusted ones as well. Similarly, a worn stylus or one of those over-achieving stylus profiles if they were not assiduously calibrated.

I'm with Barry totally. VTA is a pain only if you let it be. I don't see the need to adjust for every disc as long as vividness and dynamics are not compromised too much. On some 180 grammers, I agree the bloated midbass of an uncompensated VTA can be annoying, but this seldom to the extent I can't hear past it since it may not be consistent across the disc.

I too use an electronic stylus cleaner, once every 3 or 4 full albums. I dry brush in between sides. I wet clean with the excellent AT bottle and brush only when needed. I play only clean records, naturally. It's a simple enough and enjoyable routine since it's repeated over the last 20 years.

Varun
03-08-2009, 16:20
http://i925.photobucket.com/albums/ad100/varun_k_singh/1.jpg



We have had a marvellous participation in this thread. I could not agree more about VTA-I can not be bothered and tend to leave at a neutral point. Mind you one had to a dedicated enthusiast to fiddle with LP 12 and Well Tempered. Things started to become an issue as my collection of the newly reissuded 180 gms grew. I think I have an 180 gm copy of most of the important LPs I have and infact have several copies of LPs such as "Dark side of the Moon and Crime of the century" and the important Dire Straits albums.

I have inluded an image of the dial on VPI-TNT. The setting as seen is used for 180 gms, I drop it down for thinner LPs but then thats it. I never change it LP by LP but mind you Classical Music requires fine tunning to eliminate unwelcome edge and screech.


http://i925.photobucket.com/albums/ad100/varun_k_singh/2.jpg

Varun
03-08-2009, 16:23
Yes I agree Dave,

I also thought they looked like Spendor! Thanks

Varun

Varun
03-08-2009, 17:15
Thanks Barry for your sage words. I like your Avatar image-hope the list members know what Avatar means. I will come on the issue of mistracking and the confusion my title has generated.

Varun

DSJR
03-08-2009, 21:48
Looks like a Spendor BC2 or BC1 to me.

I don't think DSJR ever got into SD Acoustics and IIRC they didn't do stands for their speakers.

It's an ATC SCM100A, I think on the day they went to their new and current home :( The stands were custom made for them by Target Audio. The ATC's went with their original lower stands (also made by target back then) and, IIRC the custom stands ended up in metal-recycling when we moved ten years ago.........

hifi_dave
03-08-2009, 21:55
Shit - that never is !!!!!:scratch:

It looks so small. Must have been when you were on 3 Weetabix/ day. :lolsign:

Mike
03-08-2009, 22:09
I will come on the issue of mistracking and the confusion my title has generated.

Hi Varun,

Would you like me to change it for you?

Varun
04-08-2009, 19:18
Hi Mike

Thanks for offering. I feel the thread must be about to run out of steam. It has attracted a lot of interesting comments-some not directly related- but good fun all the same.

Cheers

Varun

Mike
04-08-2009, 20:11
It could run and run!... you have some very interesting kit that's well worth talking about! ;)

Varun
04-08-2009, 21:01
Many thanks Mike for your considerate words. I did clarify it once but I will take the opportunity to respond to Barry's comments.

Helloa Barry: so to carry on>

What I was going to re-iterate that the title of my thread was misleading- the two; Mistracking and VTA are neither exclusive nor inseparable.

So I should make a few points- or repeat what I have already said.

Most people are talking about Azimuth as so well clarified by Dave DSJR-but I am not. Setting and resetting Azimuth either on an LP12 or the Well Tempered is a fiddly time consuming process and unless you put marks on the pillars you do not know where you were before. That is the reason most responders have called it 'pain in the butt' and I agree.

Where I do not agree is all the reasons for mistracking given-apart from temperature. Take for instance-overhang. If the basic cartridge set up is not right then the sound will be SHOT and you do not have to wait to hear mistracking. It will have to be set right straight away. I never meant that and I for one-never listen until the temp is right.

Give you one example-I had arranged an appointment with Sound Organization in South London to listen to Naim 140 monoblocks and SBL speakers. The boss was in and out and I told him that the cartridge was mistracking- and it was very easy to spot. He agreed but we listened. I came away very disappointed with the Gear I had wanted for years. It was then that I decided to buy EAR 509s and the 802 pre-amp.

My concerns about mistracking had to do with some very heavy orchestral passages which neither LP12 nor Well Tempered could handle-irrespective of cartridge-it was always the same.

Also one last comment: The VTA is central to 'critical listening' in fact crucial. It has nothing to do with dynamic range etc as those relate to Azimuth again. I do not change it from record to record but will do so if I am not happy with the sound-and if I can not tell the difference in a 180gm LP from a 120gm one-I should not be owning the system I do.

I could go on............

Cheers

Varun

StanleyB
04-08-2009, 21:11
This reminds me why I have the Micro Seiki MA-505 MKI, instead of the MKIII. The MKI instruction manual happens to also be a good reference on how to set up an arm to correct mistracking issues. The MKI arm itself even has an extra component and set up procedure for that. It has turned out to be invaluable for my wooden floor.

STan

DSJR
04-08-2009, 22:13
VTA can also be tuned with tracking weight. On a Troika, I was told that one tenth of a gramme was equivalent to 2mm up or down on the arm-height. The stylus type makes a heck of a difference too and conical ones as beloved by Marco and other 103 owners don't have anything like the trouble as an MR type does.

DSJR
04-08-2009, 22:16
Shit - that never is !!!!!:scratch:

It looks so small. Must have been when you were on 3 Weetabix/ day. :lolsign:

It got worse before it got better:D I got married and once I'd finished with the road job, the weight fell off along with me barnet :( Still, I don't need to pay shedloads of dosh to get me "do" done any more ;) I asked the vet to prescribe me some minoxidil, but he wouldn't play ball...

hifi_dave
05-08-2009, 11:01
You really don't want to get on the Minoxidol - the side effects are awful and then you will need Bisoprilol to keep your heart beating properly and Frusemide to relieve the water retention and Lansoprazole to reduce the acid reflux. Factor in the side effects of that lot and you'll be wondering if life is worth living.....:scratch:

Happy days:gig:

Varun
05-08-2009, 17:58
What a sound knowledge of medicines-Bisoprilol- a B blocker would probably stop the heart from beating and Frusemide rupture the bladder!!!

Barry
05-08-2009, 22:53
Hello Varun

You say that mistracking and VTA are neither exclusive nor inseparable. I would agree in principle, however I believe the tracking force, temperature and arm bearing quality have a far greater effect on the ability of a cartridge to trace heavily modulated, high frequency, grooves than VTA alone. I have done a little research and it would seem that the cutter VTA is continually altered as the record is being cut, to allow for both the amplitude and frequency of the modulation as well as allowing for vinyl 'spring back'. To complicate matters, in the ‘60s the typical cutter VTA was ~15, later changing to ~20, with 22 being typical. Cartridge manufacturers followed suit, however the IEC tolerance on this parameter is 5 !

In general a lower VTA favours the bass response, whereas a higher VTA leads to better high frequency tracking.

A guide to the whole problem of VTA has been written by Roy Gandy (of Rega Research, whose arms do not have a convenient method of making this adjustment)
http://www.n.mackie.btinternet.co.uk/documents/regaonvta.html

This is a clear ‘no nonsense’ article and explains why in Gandy’s opinion the provision to adjust VTA is to send the user off on a ‘fools errand’. His arguments are persuasive, however I would question his claim that a change in tracking weight of 0.1g results in a change in VTA of 1.5 (my ‘back of an envelope’ calculation taking a Linn Asak cartridge, having a compliance of 8cu and a cantilever length of 3mm, suggests a figure of 0.15, equivalent to an arm height change of 0.6mm for 9" arms and 0.8mm for 12" arms.)

The Gandy’s thesis is further explored in:
http://www.tnt-audio.com/sorgenti/vta_e.html

wherein the author, Geoff Husband, is clearly sceptical about the whole VTA ‘fuss’. This article makes a clear (if pedantic) distinction between stylus rake angle (SRA) and VTA. The author also suggests that the type of arm used is important, that is, if the centre of gravity of the arm/cartridge combination lies above or below the record surface, and this could explain why some listeners can hear minute changes in VTA.

A guide to the correct setting of VTA can be found at:
http://www.enjoythemusic.com/magazine/equipment/0700/cartridgevta.htm

For those who believe that it is necessary to adjust the VTA each and every time a record is played, might be interested in:
http://www.audioasylum.com/audio/vinyl/messages/27755.html

In the above posting, reference is made to the audible effect observed by making a change of 1 minute of arc in the VTA. That corresponds to a change of 66um (or 2.5 thousandths of an inch) at the rear of the arm!

Finally, the following is part of an item written by or for (?) Eminent Technology (a manufacture of tone arms) on VTA adjustment. They suggest that if the VTA of the cartridge used lays between 18 and 20 then the arm should be set up so that the arm is parallel to the record surface. If the angle is > 22 then the rear of the arm should be lowered, so that the angle is reduced by 3. The problem is they don’t say how the angle is measured.
http://www.eminent-tech.com/Manuals/et2manualpart2.pdf

So after all this what is my position? Well I’m really an agnostic here; I believe that once you have set up the cartridge overhang, using an alignment protractor (and here we could go into minute and pointless discussion as to whether it should be according to the theories of Stephenson, or of Baerwald and Lofgren) and the tracking force using a test record with the arm parallel to the record surface, then small adjustments to the rear of the arm can be beneficial. Once the best position has been found, by ear using a variety of records (of various thickness or weight) lock the arm in this position and leave well alone. If my hearing was sufficiently sensitive that I could hear the effect of different record thickness, then I would use two or three decks individually set up for those records, rather than fiddle with the VTA each time.

I would disagree with you over the effects of correct azimuth. I believe that the major effect of correctly setting azimuth is to symmetrically minimise the inter-channel crosstalk. Whilst this has an effect on the effective dynamic range: being defined by the difference between the crosstalk and the maximum amplitude modulation that can be tracked by the cartridge, I believe the increase in second harmonic distortion caused by cartridge mistracing heavily modulated grooves due to misadjusted VTA, is subjectively more noticeable and has a greater affect on perceived dynamic range.

No doubt to be continued………

Regards

DSJR
06-08-2009, 09:59
Excellent post Barry.

Varun
06-08-2009, 16:47
I have nothing more to add Barry. Ever since I had my first LP12 in 1980, every cartridge installation has always been carried out meticulously and I have never had any problems. The arm has always been parallel to the record surface and that I would see as a 'neutral mid position' assuming that all records are the same thickness and pressing.

This then results in half way compromise between thick vinyls and thin vinyls.

Those who do not listen to classical music need not worry as majority of LPs since the 70s have been 'thin' including classical music.

The point was that the sound does change and it is not a question of extreme of frequencies either. There must be a reason why the designers of two highly regarded TTs - SME and VPI have provided these facilities.

I do not think I can add any more-but please see another thread starting soon and would value your comments hugely Barry.

Varun
07-08-2009, 06:03
Final Comment from me-

The lowering of the arm by degrees so that you can see the arm being either parallel or not is TOO HUGE for the magnitude of changes I am talking about-the dials change the VTA by fractions. Consequently the arm looks parallel all the time, if it does not then the change made has been big.

I saw that happen last evening. I was listening to Steely Dan-Greatest Hits. This is a two record album of very thin records-and it sounded awful. So the VTA was adjusted-but the arm was still parallel.

Varun

DSJR
07-08-2009, 21:08
Apparently, playing a record will slightly deform the vinyl for a few minutes, so if you play it again before the vinyl "springs-back," you'll get a slightly different sound the second time. Also, the "mold-release-agent" can be pushed out of the way on one playing and then creep back over a few months in storage.

Lastly, the more sophisticated the tip profile, the more fussy it'll be, especially on older pressings. I think this is where I came in :)

NRG
07-08-2009, 23:16
Apparently, playing a record will slightly deform the vinyl for a few minutes, so if you play it again before the vinyl "springs-back," you'll get a slightly different sound the second time. Also, the "mold-release-agent" can be pushed out of the way on one playing and then creep back over a few months in storage........

Really!? I find that rather hard to believe.....the release agent thing I went through in the eighties, there was a cleaning kit you could buy to clean the stuff out....no matter how many times I used it the sound didn't change or actually got worse! There where little stickers you could apply to the outside of the album cover labeled 0-9 to indicate how many times you had cleaned a particular record...what a load of b.....s

Varun
08-08-2009, 07:33
Thanks Dave,

I should clarify, I had listened to 2 tracks on side one-not sure-so listened to three tracks on side 2-and it was the second tract-East St Louis Toddle-oo which was unaccetable-the lot and specially the Piano. Also the opening of 'Ricky don't lose the number' soft and fluffy. Not quite what you are talking about Dave.

Sound changes from day to day- and depends on one's own state of mind. It takes time to analyse that the sound may not be right. It never is a question of first few grooves and switch.

Somwhow- we are talking at cross purposes as with a parallel arm-no matter which TT- differences in thin and 180 records is unacceptable to a critical listener. It never is a question of 'bloated bass' or 'pops and crackels' far more. As here the Piano which sounded awful in tract 2 is midrange.

The point being that I will leave that setting as 'reference' now and see-mind you I have changed the cables as well and biwired.

Varun

Varun
08-08-2009, 07:38
Mike was right-the thread keeps going and going. I was going to ask him whether it should be closed as we have sharply divided opinions-all very acceptable to me-but we keep on repeating the same points over and over.

Varun

StanleyB
08-08-2009, 08:04
-but we keep on repeating the same points over and over.
Try the arm lift.

DSJR
08-08-2009, 09:49
Really!? I find that rather hard to believe.....the release agent thing I went through in the eighties, there was a cleaning kit you could buy to clean the stuff out....no matter how many times I used it the sound didn't change or actually got worse! There where little stickers you could apply to the outside of the album cover labeled 0-9 to indicate how many times you had cleaned a particular record...what a load of b.....s

1, Play a few seconds of a favourite tune, then play the same thing again - you *may* hear a difference in the treble, the second listening a little sweeter. i don't have the references, but this aspect was done to death in the eighties, when higher tracking weights of up to 2 grammes came back into fashion.. If you can't hear a difference, don't worry, it's probably the brain/imagination getting in the way and making up differences;)


The Hunt P2 was the kit you refer to. Halocarbon 113 I think it was (a chemist client analysed it) and a blue oily substance on top to prevent evaporation. Jimmy introduced me to it and I found it livened up the sound no end, but dramatically increased surface noise. Records thus treated reverted to their previous state after a short while I found and it was such a pain to use.

There was another disc-washing system marketed by "Cantorion" back in the late eighties/early nineties, which was a bit more sophisticated and longer lasting, but memories are very vague.

NRG
08-08-2009, 16:01
1, Play a few seconds of a favourite tune, then play the same thing again - you *may* hear a difference in the treble, the second listening a little sweeter. i don't have the references, but this aspect was done to death in the eighties, when higher tracking weights of up to 2 grammes came back into fashion.. If you can't hear a difference, don't worry, it's probably the brain/imagination getting in the way and making up differences;)



Tried it this morning, can't here a difference so will file that one in the bin! :lolsign:



The Hunt P2 was the kit you refer to. Halocarbon 113 I think it was (a chemist client analysed it) and a blue oily substance on top to prevent evaporation. Jimmy introduced me to it and I found it livened up the sound no end, but dramatically increased surface noise. Records thus treated reverted to their previous state after a short while I found and it was such a pain to use.

There was another disc-washing system marketed by "Cantorion" back in the late eighties/early nineties, which was a bit more sophisticated and longer lasting, but memories are very vague.

Yes, thats the stuff, I still have some pads somewhere but the fluid is all gone. Agreed a right pain to use and the blue oily stuff was a pain if you got it on the pad and the record :doh:

Varun
09-08-2009, 18:14
True Audiophile talk gentlemen,

I am impressed.

By the way, I wonder if the bloated bass in a 180 gm record is what many like-so why change. The Linn Demo room in one of the South London shows in the 80s were using Isobariks and Naim amps. The bass did not have a shape to it-contour I mean and was truly bloated-overhung. To be fair anyone coming from that experience of a seemingly big sound to a sound when bass is tightly controlled-would be disappointed. As often such a change can be perceived as 'boring'.


Varun

Mike Reed
09-08-2009, 19:19
I have just ploughed through this whole thread, and feel the need for all those pills recommended by our resident pharmacist, (Hifi) Dave.

Actually, I do take the last one he mentioned, but only when the temperature is above 20 degrees. Otherwise I get overhang in the loo.

Although there's no doubt that all these pearls of wisdom are relevant regarding arm/cart. settings, I've found that record quality (as CD quality and everything else) varies to such a degree that fiddling around every five minutes with minute adjustments would be pointless. I have an SME 5 with various adjustments, but to do other than check the parameters every six months or so would be irksome.

Likewise with stylus cleaning, I've always used the electronic thingy (AT something or other) , a small paint brush and a touch of alcohol now and again (for the stylus!) Never had a problem with any cart. I've owned, though care should be exercised regarding transmission of fluid up the cantilever. I've found that my Koetsu needs less cleaning than my previous Lyras, but I suspect the higher playing weight may have something to do with that.

VARUN, I'm intrigued that you bought 509s, and (I infer) moved on to something else. Having 509s, WHAT could I move on to? With Naim it was easy; follow the increasingly expensive road to Salisbury. Where does one go with valves of E.A.R. quality apart from diversifying into other thermionic forms?

There was a long, long, thread on Pink Fish recently on stylus cleaning; so many diverse opinions and no clear cut results; only solutions, which I must try some time.

You're becoming a prolific thread-setter, VARUN. Congratulations and pass the pills.

hifi_dave
09-08-2009, 20:11
Mike,
I'm no pharmacist, I just take the bloody pills plus a few more and suffer the consequences.....:(

After 509's, you could always look out for s/h 549's. We sold quite a few sets of those back in the 80's and I wonder why TDP has stopped making them.:scratch:

Varun
10-08-2009, 17:30
Hello Mike,

Like you I do not fiddle with every record I play-but have 2 approximate settings at any given time- one for 180gm+ one for thinner. I have records which may well be quite a bit thicker than 180gms-such was the Tchaikovsky 5th conducted by Dorati on Mercury Living Presence. That record gave me a hard time-and made me tweak the the setting until I got it right. I am sure it has a lot to do with the pressing as well. Hence the THREAD.

As for 509s- as I said it is a long story but the EAR pre-amp 802 was not in the same league. I like them very much-but the Plinius is better. I greatly liked the sound of the 100 watt Class A Plinius but felt that it lacked the punch of 509s. To my suprise I had the same concerns about the 250 Class A plinius until I realized that the 509 has a lift in mid bass- very appealing but which masks the lack of depth of the lower end which SA250 has. Plenty more of definition.

The Plinius Class A philosophy of Peter Thompson was to place it half way between warm valves and edgy Krell type sound. And I would say it achieves it quite well.

Another reason was that I was having no end of trouble getting the 509's repaired.. in NZ and also obtaining valves. I had a box full of Mullards but half of them did not work.

And so on.

Varun

Varun
10-08-2009, 17:36
And Mike-

About threads-I will soon get bored and then you will not hear of me or from me. Good to have these discussions and greatly appreciate learned -even if Googled comments. By the way Google is a very good source of all sorts of info. All of us use it - I mean in my field.

Varun

The Grand Wazoo
19-12-2011, 01:09
From The Grave

MartinT
19-12-2011, 06:44
Some serious thread creep here, but responding to the o/p: I think that mistracking and fine VTA adjustment are two separate things. In no way should VTA be used to bring a mistracking cartridge back in line; if it mistracks, there is a fundamental adjustment or alignment that is wrong and it's not likely to be VTA unless it is massively out.

Many things can cause mistracking: lateral alignment, overhang alignment, tracking force and incorrect bias are some of them. Also a broken or misaligned stylus or tonearm bearing stiction. You really need a test disc (like HFS69 or HSF75) in order to optimised everything and determine if tracking is adequate.

You can subsequently use fine VTA (better defined as SRA) adjustment for best sound, but don't go too far from the arm being parallel to the record surface.