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Inner Groove Distortion

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Sorry if this has been posted a billion times before, but lately I've been wondering: is there any way to combat inner groove distortion? My turntable is new, factory aligned, my stylus is new, my records are literally brand spanking new, never played before, and yet all of them turn to (relative) junk by the last song or two. My tracking force coincides with the manufacturer's specifications for the stylus (1.5g), I've done the whole alignment chart thing, just in case, and still nothing helps. Am I experiencing the limitations of the format? Or is there something I'm missing?

 

Thanks,

Nick

post #2 of 7

Yup!  The catch is you'll need to spend some extra cash on a worthy cartridge.

 

I started with a Shure97 and experienced the same thing you are, upgraded to a Grado Sonata and have been plaqued by this no more, plus much better sound all around as well, so it was worth every penny!

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Any recommendations on a cheap cartridge that will specifically eliminate inner-groove distortion? E.g., not one that will necessarily sound as nice as, say, that Grado Sonata, but that which will at least play a record near-distortion free?

post #4 of 7

There are ways to align the cartridge to minimize inner-groove distortion, but that would require an alignment protractor.  They can be downloaded at the vinyl engine, and you'll want to download one which aligns the cartridge parallel to the groove in that area of the LP.

 

The best solution is to buy yourself a good linear-tracking turntable.  

post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by M0T0XGUY View Post

Any recommendations on a cheap cartridge that will specifically eliminate inner-groove distortion? E.g., not one that will necessarily sound as nice as, say, that Grado Sonata, but that which will at least play a record near-distortion free?

 

You will probably find that with a better alignment (better method, or doing what you have now correctly - they dont always) your tracking error will go away. 

 

Which turntable do you have? And more importantly, which tonearm do you have? What is the effective mass?

 

If you think it will match up well the Denon DL-103 is quite nice for low inner grove distortion. There are a few calculators online to guess. Use a compliance of about 11-12, 5-6 is the dynamic compliance. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazarus Short View Post

There are ways to align the cartridge to minimize inner-groove distortion, but that would require an alignment protractor.  They can be downloaded at the vinyl engine, and you'll want to download one which aligns the cartridge parallel to the groove in that area of the LP.

 

The best solution is to buy yourself a good linear-tracking turntable.  


He wants a "Stevenson" protractor. he can download several from Vinylengine. 

 

RE linear trackers: Is bearing play worse than tracking error? Get a 12" pivoted tonearm if you want to kill tracking error. SME3012s2 with a DL103 is awesometoast. Or the same cartridge on the Schick tonearm.


Edited by nikongod - 12/20/11 at 8:09am
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

Not sure of the answers to a lot of those questions, which probably isn't a good thing. My turntable's a Pro-Ject Debut III with the stock tonearm, and the cheap Ortofon cartridge -- I'm unfamiliar with the term "effective mass." "Compliance," too.

 

As for a protractor, I used one from vinyl engine, and with the Baerwald method. I didn't have to adjust anything -- the cartridge was (apparently) correctly aligned from the factory. I looked into instead using a Stevenson protractor, but read that it brings some tradeoffs. What might those be?

post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by M0T0XGUY View Post

As for a protractor, I used one from vinyl engine, and with the Baerwald method. I didn't have to adjust anything -- the cartridge was (apparently) correctly aligned from the factory. I looked into instead using a Stevenson protractor, but read that it brings some tradeoffs. What might those be?


There are 3 common alignment methods for pivoted arms. 

 

http://www.vinylengine.com/protractor-user-guide.shtml

 

I disagree with Vinylengine's assertion that the Stevenson alignment is not common, Rega and pretty much every Japanese MFR in the 70's (when engineers designed turntables) used Stevenson. 

 

Since your problems are at the end of the record, and fixing problems at the end of the record is what Stevenson set out to do Id say to try the Stevenson alignment - you'l probably like it. 

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