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Very low volume in one speaker from turntable

Discussion in 'Hi Fi Systems & Separates' started by Mintydog, Jul 21, 2009.

  1. Mintydog

    Mintydog Member

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    I have a NAD 533 with a Goldring Elektra cartridge & stylus. Sound in the left channel is very low, sound in the right channel is normal. It's not the amp, I have swapped the turntable over and that one works as normal. What would cause this, and what should I be looking at?

    If I record the sound onto my computer I can normalise both channels independently and they sound more or less OK if a bit distorted in the left channel, but then obviously the vinyl noise is also amplified on that side.
  2. cunny678

    cunny678 Active Member

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    Hi and Welcome!!

    Have you recently changed your cartridge or has this just happened. If its not your amp them it must be the cartridge or the wiring from the cartidge to your amp. If you have changed the cartridge make sure you have the wires from the TT to the cartridge connected properly - they should be colour coded. If its just happened, check you have no loose wires at the back of the cartridge, check the wires are connected firmly to the terminals on the cartidge and make sure none of the wire terminals are touching other adjacent terminals.

    When you have checked all that post back and let us know if its still a problem!

    Chris
  3. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard Well-Known Member

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    Of course, check the wiring as Chris suggests. But, I'm inclined to ask the same question that he did, but for a different reason.

    Have you recently change the cartridge, or move the turntable to a new location, or done anything at all other than leave the turntable on a shelf?

    I suggest you check the tracking weight, then set your anti-skate. Also make sure the turntable is LEVEL; level front-to-back and side-to-side.

    Tracking weight is important, but not likely to favor one channel over the other, though that is not impossible. Remember that one channel is the side to side movement of the needle, and the other channel is the up and down movement of the needle. So, poor tracking weight might effect one of the channels, though that is rare.

    Anti-skate and level can both favor one channel over the other. Anti-skate being the most prominent. When anti-skate is balanced, you should have uniform sound in both channels. The best way to set anti-skate is to set it according to the manufacturer's directions. Then try one setting above and one setting below the recommended. You should clearly hear when the anti-skate is right.

    A simple level can be bought at the hardware store for next to nothing. I use a small carpenter's level. Also, depending on the suspension for the turntable, it is more important that the record platter be level than for the base or stand to be level

    A simple test to determine if the problem is amp or turntable, is to simply switch the turntable wires; as an example, plug the red into the white and the white into the red. If the problem follows the wires, it is the turntable. If the problem stays in the same channel, it is the amp.

    If you confirm that it is the turntable, check for correct wiring at the cartridge. The cartridge wires are very thin and frail, and they can sometimes fray to the point where only one thin tiny wire is holding the connection together.

    Next check the condition of the wires that go from the turntable to the amp. I have one of those wires come loose internal to my turntable. It was a simple soldering job to fix it, but it is very difficult to work inside the turntable.

    Some newer turntables have removable cables on them. The standard RCA Phono audio cables plug into the back of the turntable and into the amp. If yours is like this, try substituting a known good pair of cables.

    Other turntables only have connections on the amp end; on the turntable end, they are soldered internally. That can be more difficult.

    Just a few thoughts.

    Steve/bluewizard
  4. Mintydog

    Mintydog Member

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    Thanks for the replies.

    What I have checked so far: it is level both left to right and front to back. It's not the amp, I've plugged an older record player into that and it works ok. I've taken the cartridge off and put it back on, I actually put little bits of paper between the terminals in case they were shorting.

    I've also swapped the cables around at the cartridge end, so that left earth was on right earth, left live was on right live, etc. That made the low volume go into the opposite speaker.
  5. cunny678

    cunny678 Active Member

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    It sounds like you have a fault on one of the channels in the cartridge. Is the cartridge on your old turntable similar as you could swap it over and see if that works! If it does then its your Elektra!!

    Have you tried removing the stylus and replacing it? It could be that its not snapped into place correctly! Other than that it sound like you need a new cartridge to me.
  6. Mintydog

    Mintydog Member

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    Just an update, in case anyone has the same problem in the future. I bought a new cartridge, and everything is now working fine.

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