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Why does my vinyl sound bad?

Discussion in 'Dedicated Source Components' started by sherwood, Jun 16, 2007.
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  1. derekbmn
    I suspect a possibly damaged (bent) cantilever may be at fault here. It sounds exactly as he described. Often manifesting itself by a severe lack of body to the music and constricted dynamics. Quite simply the stylus is not seated all the way in the groove and/or at the right angle.
     
  2. JadeEast
    I agree with Memepools feelings on the fly weight plinth
    of the Rega being suspect as a design issue. The great thing
    about the simplicity of the Rega design is that its so easy to
    augment other styles of vibration control with it.

    You can build or buy a sand box or grab a big piece of granite and
    couple the deck to it and you have a added mass. Your can
    buy something like a ginko cloud and float the table on that.

    The issue of a lack of VTA is harder to get around so I would
    imagine that grabbing a Rega branded cart would be the best bet
    a far a compatibility goes.

    Vinyl is tweaky as far a set up goes and like someone said
    most "sane" people look else where, but that leaves the
    field open for the rest of us.
     
  3. jsaliga
    Well, before there are further lamentations on some of Roy Gandy's design choices, please don't loose sight of the thread starter's original complaint.

    Quote:

    My turntable sounds little and compressed. The dynamics are smaller, the soundstage is smaller, and nothing sounds as sweet. I've used everything from garage sale vinyl to minty 180 gram pressings, and nothing sounds very close. Even the vaunted midrange sounds kind of squished.



    Unless some of you honestly believe that this sort of performance is inherent in the Rega P3, it would be more helpful to look at other, more likely causes. It might also help if the OP can elaborate further. Blanket statements aren't particularly helpful since they provide no reference and lack the necessary specifics to be meaningful.

    It may be advisable to take the TT to a dealer for service if that's an option. At least that way one can have it checked out by a qualified professional. That would be my first choice if I bought a turntable and was as dissatisfied with its performance as the thread starter clearly is with his.

    --Jerome
     
  4. nikongod
    there are ways to make a rega have adjustable VTA. they do require permanent mods to the plinth though.

    if you are going to "restrict" yourself to one cart, you can run spacers. FWIW, most people only run 1 cart... i suppose this dosnt account for records of different thicknesses, but its a solid start.

    i would try a different cartridge. if you have a friend with a spare inexpensive cart, try it. at worst this test costs you time to swap parts, and at best it costs you all sorts of money for a new cart [​IMG] but you fix your sound.
     
  5. infinitesymphony
    Which model of Ortofon cartridge? This seems like the best place to consider upgrading, as your other equipment checks out.
     
  6. Sherwood Contributor
    Alright, time for some elaboration:

    My TT is not "officially" a Rega. It's an NAD 555, which is just a rebadged Rega. In my first post i stated it was fit with an Ortofon cart -- my mistake, It's the stock Goldring elektra.

    When i first received the table it sounded warbly. Records just didn't track properly. since I was a salesman for an official dealer, i sent it in. The speed, cart, and motor were all calibrated and it was sent back to me. This was three years ago now.

    Currently, my turntable and television rest on a "very" heavy solid wood and tile table by themselves. Not perfectly isolated, but isolated enough that the problem doesn't lie there.

    I'm looking into cartridge alignment and force. I'm not about to mod my VTA just yet. I'd sooner sell the table and save up for something with VTA adjustment stock. Honestly, I don't know another soul with a semi-decent turntable. It's a sad state of affairs, being 23.
     
  7. infinitesymphony
    Both upgrading the cartridge and setting up the turntable should have very noticeable benefits. The Goldring Elektra is only $100 new, $60 for a stylus replacement. That may be your current bottleneck.

    I've been shopping for a ~$100 cartridge and the most recommended cartridges at that price range seem to be the Shure M97xE and the Audio-Technica AT440MLa. Both have been extremely discounted from their original MSRPs, $140 and $219 respectively. Also, it will definitely be worthwhile to invest in calibration equipment (ex. stylus force gauge, overhang gauge, zero level).
     
  8. memepool
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Sherwood /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    Currently, my turntable and television rest on a "very" heavy solid wood and tile table by themselves. Not perfectly isolated, but isolated enough that the problem doesn't lie there.
    .




    Next to a TV is not an ideal place for a turntable assuming it's CRT. TV's give out a large magnetic field, much more so than loudspeakers, which could interefere with the turntable's motor and cartridge. Move it as far away as possible or consider getting it it's own wall shelf as these make a big difference.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Sherwood /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    I'm looking into cartridge alignment and force. I'm not about to mod my VTA just yet. I'd sooner sell the table and save up for something with VTA adjustment stock.



    Rega derived arms are found on quite expensive tables so they are not that easy to avoid unless you go for something like a VPI Scout, whose unipivot arm is way more difficult to set up and use than a Rega.

    Rega's solution to VTA is to add washers between the arm and the deck but obviously this is not particularly flexible.

    The best option is the Michell, as I mentioned. Basically you just unscrew the the large restraining bolt underneath the arm and it lifts out. Then you slip off a small plastic trim from the bottom of the arm column and replace it with the Michell VTA which is just a big machined threaded aluminium collar.

    You may need to slightly widen the hole where the arm goes into the plinth by a few milimetres making sure to widen it equally on all sides if you do. You then remount the arm and screw the new Michell retaining bolt in plce of the old one and hey presto you can adjust arm height by simply rotating the Michell collar at the base of the arm.

    http://www.needledoctor.com/JA-Miche...2&category=433
     
  9. bigshot
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Sherwood /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    I'm looking into cartridge alignment and force.



    That should help. That would be my first guess as to what is causing your problem. Make sure you are tracking heavy enough. Tracking a little too light is much worse than tracking a little too heavy.

    See ya
    Steve
     
  10. Sherwood Contributor
    Excellent suggestions, gentlemen. I've amassed 100 or so records, from the 1950s to current, and I'd really like to hear them properly.

    FWIW, the TV is an LCD, so I felt comfortable setting the TT next to it. It is kind of a cute juxtaposition, though.
     
  11. Mike Scarpitti
    Phonograph records are grossly inferior to the best CDs. It's not even close. Don't drink the Kool-Ade.
     
    http://www.oregonlive.com/music/index.ssf/2014/11/does_vinyl_really_sound_better.html
     
    http://pitchfork.com/thepitch/29-does-vinyl-really-sound-better/
     
  12. Mike Scarpitti
    Yep!
     
  13. grawk
    Seriously, a nine year necropost for that?
     
  14. Mike Scarpitti
    LOL
     
    Sorry, I'm just fed up with all the hipsters claiming vinyl is so good....it sucks.
     
  15. Beagle

    You would know about that...
     
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