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post #1951 of 2542
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylab View Post

True enough, although I think a careful basic TT setup with a known good cartridge / stylus, a protractor, and a scale, is sufficient to prevent record damage in 99% of the cases.

N-Y-E-T.

 

Why? Vinyl is a soft material that almost liquifies itself under the pressure exerted by the stylus, which is made from the hardest material known to man - diamond.

It is more than advisable to let the vinyl cool off and allow to return to its former state before being tracked by the stylus. That takes at least half an hour or so - so replays of a single song can wear out a record in no time and side after side after side does relatively little to no damage.

 

How much does the vinyl get liqufied and permanently deformed depends on the actal pressure - which is force per area. There can be only so much maximum area if tracing the small undulations of high frequencies while still allowing for some geometrical mismatch - and that ultimately means vertical tracking force does have its maximum beyond which at least high frequencies at the innermost grooves will no longer be reproduced at the correct volume ( there can be as  much difference by 20 kHz as 6 dB at the outer and inner grooves - by the same cartridge ! ) - and what is worse, high tend to get shaved away. There is an opposite effect of wear and tear, again measurable and audible in the highs - treble can go UP by more than 6 dB by 20 kHz, but it is heavily distorted at the same time. Remember scHfShSSsrS on some hot recorded sibilants/vocals ? All of the above is "included" in that most unsatisfying sound.

 

Solution? Light enough tracking to stay well within elastic deformation of vinyl while capable of tracking high level low frequency signals, low effective mass of the stylus to have as low mechanical impedance as possible - so that resonant frequency of effective mass of the stylus yielding against compliance of the vinyl groove is appreciably above the audible range - at the very least at 30 kHz, preferably far higher. That should really make sure 99% of records can be safely tracked while insuring minimum wear. Trouble is - today rare, therefore very expensive. 

 

Compliance : http://www.theanalogdept.com/cartridge___arm_matching.htm  It is not ONLY about matching cart to arm - you can have infinite mass arm/cartridge, a really stiff suspension will not allow for the full dynamic range in low(er) frequencies - it will sound compressed - no matter what. Vinyl simply gives way to too stiff suspensioned styli. After a cart capable of tracking superbly around 1 gram, about to max 1.5 gram, is heard, going to something requiring more vertical tracking force while constricting dynamic range is very hard indeed.


Edited by analogsurviver - 12/12/13 at 1:10pm
post #1952 of 2542
Thread Starter 
I agree it's best not to play a record repeatedly. I never play the same record more than once per day.

Beyond that - I stand firmly by my comments. It's fine to want records to not even sustain 1% damage but that's not required for most people.
post #1953 of 2542
Quote:
Originally Posted by analogsurviver View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbophead View Post
 

As much as I value analogsurviver's input, he can be discouraging/intimdating to the relatively new LP fan wannabe.

 

I have mid-fi stuff.  When I play records, I pretty much never hear distortion.  I have records that I bought forty years ago that still play just fine.  I do not hear wear.  These forty year old records have been played many times on "good" cartridges that do not track more that two grams, Shure V15s, ADC XLM-1, B&O 4000/6000, Koetsu Onyx, among others and now an Ortofon 2M Black set up with the Mo-Fi disc by a dealer who has many years of experience setting up turntables/arms/cartridges.

 

This can be a tweaky site where the nitty gritty (ahem) can sometimes get the better of the non-tweakers who do not have the necessary expertise or equipment to go down the rat hole of perfection. 

 

I say, do the best you can and then, just enjoy the music.

 

And, thanks again to analogsurviver for all the expert advice.  It can be very useful but I refuse to be discouraged when I am unable to "go there."

 

:regular_smile :

Agreed with the above.

 

BUT - you mention ADC XLM ( I , officially it was simply called XLM, followed by II, II Imp, III, all of which had stiffer but still relatively high compliance - ALL of them great carts ) , one of the highest compliance carts in history, second only to ADC's own predecessor to the XLM, ADC 25. These things could, in the right arm, track below 0.5 gram ...

 

Then there are V15s, B&Os - ALL of them high compliance carts. The only "stiff" from the group you mention is the Koetsu - and it takes a budget at least "visible" to Bill Gates alikes to call that "mid stuff". 

I think I tracked the XLM at one gram comfortably.  The Koetsu was already over twenty years old when I got it.  It didn't cost that much.  A friend of mine was getting out of vinyl and he wanted a power amp of mine.  I made out like a bandit and he was happy, too.

post #1954 of 2542
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylab View Post

I agree it's best not to play a record repeatedly. I never play the same record more than once per day.

Beyond that - I stand firmly by my comments. It's fine to want records to not even sustain 1% damage but that's not required for most people.

1 % is nothing but wishful thinking - even for no longer available super carts.

 

Catch is that the change is very gradual. Little by little, unnoticeable from one play to another.

 

But if I pull out a "normal working" record and compare it to the NOS just unsealed one - ....

 

Wear and tear can never be totally eliminated ( save for optical turntable - which unfortunately does not match really good conventional table for sonics ) - but it can be cut many times.

post #1955 of 2542
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbophead View Post
 

I think I tracked the XLM at one gram comfortably.  The Koetsu was already over twenty years old when I got it.  It didn't cost that much.  A friend of mine was getting out of vinyl and he wanted a power amp of mine.  I made out like a bandit and he was happy, too.

Tracking XLM at 1 gram really is comfortable.

 

I remember one Koetsu that a friend said it is begining to sound "strange". Just to make sure, I brought my phono that is my first choice since late 70s. 

 

Yuck - it was horrible. I knew what test records and oscilloscope would confirm - stylus worn well past what is still safe for records. Owning a high quality/cost cart is much like owning a Ferrari (or similar) car. What is gas and tires to car, that is stylus to cartridge.  

post #1956 of 2542

Question. I am a bit confused because I remember reading in this thread to track heavy and when given a range, always track to the heavier one. Now i see were talking about how heavy tracking is "killer" and lighter tracking is better. Am i getting things mixed up?
Thanks

post #1957 of 2542
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnman1116 View Post
 

Question. I am a bit confused because I remember reading in this thread to track heavy and when given a range, always track to the heavier one. Now i see were talking about how heavy tracking is "killer" and lighter tracking is better. Am i getting things mixed up?
Thanks

No, you read it right. It is better to track heavy enough for the stylus not to mistrack than letting the peaks being destroyed by mistracking while "preserving" the rest. That was unfortunately being done in the "lighter is better" days of say mid/late 70s - too lightly tracked records are only partially useable ONLY with VdH I or Micro Line stylus tip profile - and are unlistenable using say an elliptical, no matter how well that cart now can track.

 

Optimal is tracking at low PRESSURE on the actual groove walls that allows for next to none record wear - combined with a stylus/cartridge capable of not mistracking at the vertical tracking force causing that low enough pressure.

 

The best carts of the past could fulfill both requirements - below 1 gram (10 mN to be exact ) of vertical tracking force. Quite few more could do it at 1.25 or so. Some are still around ( Ortofon OM, from Stylus 20 and up - they track at 13 mN - superbly so ) .

post #1958 of 2542
Quote:
Originally Posted by analogsurviver View Post
 

No, you read it right. It is better to track heavy enough for the stylus not to mistrack than letting the peaks being destroyed by mistracking while "preserving" the rest. That was unfortunately being done in the "lighter is better" days of say mid/late 70s - too lightly tracked records are only partially useable ONLY with VdH I or Micro Line stylus tip profile - and are unlistenable using say an elliptical, no matter how well that cart now can track.

 

Optimal is tracking at low PRESSURE on the actual groove walls that allows for next to none record wear - combined with a stylus/cartridge capable of not mistracking at the vertical tracking force causing that low enough pressure.

 

The best carts of the past could fulfill both requirements - below 1 gram (10 mN to be exact ) of vertical tracking force. Quite few more could do it at 1.25 or so. Some are still around ( Ortofon OM, from Stylus 20 and up - they track at 13 mN - superbly so ) .


Soundsmith comes to mind for modern carts low VTF.

 

I'd like to compile a list of known issues with modern test record, and I will dig up my notes. If anyone has other reports, please add.

 

2. Spot tones for resonance check, not a true sweep
 
HFNTR
 

1. Sweeps are manual (freq. know turned by hand)

post #1959 of 2542
Quote:
Originally Posted by doctorcilantro View Post
 


Soundsmith comes to mind for modern carts low VTF.

 

I'd like to compile a list of known issues with modern test record, and I will dig up my notes. If anyone has other reports, please add.

 

2. Spot tones for resonance check, not a true sweep
 
HFNTR
 

1. Sweeps are manual (freq. know turned by hand)

Modern day low VTF carts are also top offerings from Van den Hul and Clearaudio - unfortunately is the price inverse function of lowering the VTF.

 

The second part would probably last forever - I use "golden days of analog" test LPs not for their nominally recorded signals, but for their flaws, which became appearent throughout the years.

 

I can say how any given cart/arm/TT will approximately sound from measurements of nominally recorded AND unintentionally "recorded" signals - without bothering to listen.

But final tuning is always by ear and re-confirmed by measurement(s).


Edited by analogsurviver - 12/16/13 at 12:47am
post #1960 of 2542

Anybody know anything about these are they any good or not?

 

Audio Technica AT 637 vibrating stylus cleaner

post #1961 of 2542
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieMcC View Post
 

Anybody know anything about these are they any good or not?

 

Audio Technica AT 637 vibrating stylus cleaner

I use "competitor" design sold under many names - mine is from 3m. All these vibrating cleaners are good at removing normal nitty gritty from normal playback.. For really dirty vintage styli it is only Glassruber that works. In daily use, these vibrating cleaners are more than enough and I recommend them.

post #1962 of 2542

Thanks analogsurviver I have noticed a few come up from time to time on another forum.

 

My Jaco SAS stylus 1 has past customs and has been stuck in post office sorting for the last few days according to the tracking info. Fingers crossed I will get my hands on it by the end of the week.

post #1963 of 2542

Collateral damage # XY : scratch repair on vynil record:

 

post #1964 of 2542
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieMcC View Post
 

Anybody know anything about these are they any good or not?

 

Audio Technica AT 637 vibrating stylus cleaner


I'm not risking my cantilever on a vibrator.

 

There is more than enough controversy surrounding Zerodust already....

post #1965 of 2542

What's the controversy surrounding the Zerodust?

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