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Turntable not sounding as good as it should any ideas?

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by Andy Smith, Jan 4, 2005.

  1. Andy Smith

    Andy Smith
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    I have an Ariston transcription turntable that doesn't seem to be performing to its utmost capabilites - Can anybody tell me what I should change?

    What I have:

    Ariston transription turntable
    Linn Basic LVX arm
    Shure Sc35 Cartridge
    Weight - About 3 grams

    My problem:

    I seem to be getting a harsh sound that at times seems to crack up completely (not just due to dust on stylus, but the same kind of sound). It just can't handle too much bass - When I play a new (Hip Hop) record the bass cracks up (and skips out of the groove at times) - The sound just isn't warm (allright some of you might say thats the Hip Hop record!!, but it sounds better on my Technics SL1210 sat next to it (also fitted with a shure cartridge) and I know that the Ariston should out perform it.

    I guess most people will say that the Cartridge is not good enough, but it should still perform to an adequate standard shouldn't it?

    I usually run it through Sherwood receiver (I know, I have to change that anyway!) but for this test both the Ariston and the Technics are running through a Vestax mixer, and through a JVC AK 300 Amplifier through JPW speakers - Not a perfect Hi Fi setup I know but the Technics still sounds better - why??

    Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks

    Andy
     
  2. karkus30

    karkus30
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    Could be loads of things really as it is mistracking. Check stylus alignment using a stylus protractor (you can download or make one), check correct tracking weight, make sure cart and stylus are in good condition, check that the counterforce is set correctly, then theres vertical tracking angle.

    Then also ckeck that the arm is free to pivot, no binding cables as thats often the biggest problem, make sure bearings are smooth with no freeplay.

    Sometimes a cart will not work with an arm if its the wrong compliance (long conversation about that unfortunately as it needs a calculation).

    Lastly, is the platter totally level, are the bearings smooth and without play.

    try www.theanaloguedept.com for a few tips and a clear explanation here http://www.xs4all.nl/~rabruil/ttadjust.html
     
  3. dynamic turtle

    dynamic turtle
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    When was the last time you changed the cartridge stylus? Could simply be down to a worn-out needle.

    If you have a decent magnifying glass you can check to see if one of azimuts is worn down relative to the other.

    Just one of a hundred things that could be wrong though. Oh the joys of vinyl.....

    DT
     
  4. Londondecca

    Londondecca
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    It might be a worn stylus but I guess the tracking and download pressure should be checked first.

    Also check the arm can move freely across the entire record
     
  5. Andy Smith

    Andy Smith
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    Thanks for your advice.

    The stylus is brand new - That is the first thing I changed. I think I'm more concerned about the sound quality than the skipping, but I will check out that link. Do you think I should try a superior cartridge?

    Many thanks again

    Andy
     
  6. dynamic turtle

    dynamic turtle
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    Well, the sc35 is a "budget" cartridge (£35), and seems to be used mainly by dj's for scratching/mixing.

    I wouldn't expect it to be ideal for "audiophile" purposes - maybe it isn't sensitive enough for that function. I'd first make absolutely sure that the poor sound isn't a result of a problem/deficiency in some other area, before buying for a better cart.

    DT
     
  7. alexs2

    alexs2
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    If the cartridge is actually skipping out of the groove,once you're sure the t/table is level,it's very likely to be either tracking pressure or the skating bias is set incorrectly....either way,as others have suggested,it won't be doing your turntable justice,as many of the Ariston turntables are still quite well regarded,particularly as precursors to the Linn Sondek.

    It's good also to see that your one has a Linn LVX,as the arm originally used by Ariston was adequate at best,but it does bring you back to checking the table for level,as the geometry can easily be offset by a heavier arm than the Ariston was originally set up for....was the arm fitted as an aftermarket upgrade or original equipment?
     
  8. Andy Smith

    Andy Smith
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    Well I have made some adjustments to the tracking pressure and skate bias and it seems to have solved the jumping issue (well on everything I've played so far!).

    I've checked out that link and seem to have a 'more defined' bottom end just by putting three felt turntable matts underneath instead of the one and adjusting the exact position of the stylus tip.

    I think I should progress to a better cartridge though (You are correct about the Shure scratch cartridge - It was an old cartridge that I used to use on the SL1210 until I found a Shure 44-7 for that). I understand that this turntable is a different thing though (I just want it to listen to superior quality vinyl in my front room).

    Can anybody recommend some good quality cartridges (I'm not blessed with a lot of a budget at the moment, but is there anything really good for up to the £100 mark that anybody can recommend ?- I may be able to get a bargain on Ebay).

    Thanks for everybody's help - I'm glad I found this site!

    Andy

    P.S - It still hasn't jumped!!!
     
  9. SKA.face

    SKA.face
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    I would think 3 grams is waaaay to much for a shure,the V15 tracks at 1!! Stick with shure if you want thier M97Xe is a nice MM cart,comes in at around 100.

    I would then add a offboard phono stage,something like a Graham Slee amp2 will kill your onboard one.
     
  10. Andy Smith

    Andy Smith
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    Yesterday I bought a Grado 'Prestige Black' cartridge (for £40 on the recomendation of the shop assistant - Hi-Fi Store, Tottenham court road. London) and it now sounds like the Zutons are playing next to me!

    Thanks for all your help!

    Andy Smith
     

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