Very underwelmed by Vinyl's bass

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by harrygrey382, May 7, 2007.

  1. harrygrey382

    harrygrey382
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    I can't believe how long it's taken me, but I've realised the bass coming from my Ariston Q deck is well, not there. Well it is , but in very small quantity, there's NO slam or thud, and this is on all albums (whether it's bob marley or grateful dead).
    Now I know vinyl is meant to have the upper hand in the LF area (well all areas), but comparing it to a standin CDP (old technics cheapo) it's put to shame, Bob can have the window's rattling through the 15" Tannoy's. So I know this is not meant to be the case.
    Cartridge is an Ortofon OM10, meant to be low hours (<100), stylus checked with a 10x glass and is fine, alignment set using a standard protractor off this site, VTF at 1bout 1.9g (haven't got a gauge, using the increments on the arm). VTA - arm looks flat but haven't measured.
    Phono stage - a DIY (Rod Elliot of ESP, project p06), which is a HUGE upgrade in all areas over a project phonobox.
    The TT is flat (checked with spirit level), on it's own wall mounted shelf.

    So, would someone please be able to give me some suggestions as to what might be up please?

    Thanks
    Harry
     
  2. Mr_Sukebe

    Mr_Sukebe
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    Unfortunately, whoever gave you the impression that vinyl has the edge in the bass area was wrong. That's the key area that CD has the upper hand. Vinyl as a format is limited by the physical width of the grooves. In addition, cheaper decks won't have the control over the tip of the stylus, thus making the problem even worse.
     
  3. gazza73

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    Because vinyl is in a non compressed format it is true that you get more at the low and high end but most of this information is inaudiable and in the case of the bass is the stuff you feel rather than hear.

    Vinyl is a funny format and does need a lot of tweaking to get its best but you sound like you know the items to check. I can only think your phono stage may not be compatible with your arm, cartridge choice and suggest if you can, trying something different.
     
  4. harrygrey382

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    I admit this isn't the highest end deck, but when it came out it was meant to compete with Rega Planar 2s, although didn't quite make it. So assuming you've corrected me, cd's are better in the bass department, i still can't believe the gap can be this wide. I mean, it's shocking.
    But looking at a new cartridge may be the next option, as I've run out of others. And yeah I've tried all the tweaking etc., at least, I think ;)
     
  5. dynamic turtle

    dynamic turtle
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    I'm sorry Sukebe, but I have to disagree with that statement. IME vinyl has bass tunefullness, depth, speed and communication that digital formats (even SACD) can only dream of.

    So much so, in fact, that I have to use attenuating resistors and port sponges in my speakers to compensate for the difference.

    I will admit that deep room nodes can play havoc with the stylus/tracking though - something that lasers don't have to contend with.

    DT
     
  6. harrygrey382

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    yes, when I turned the volume up too high, the woofers started osciallating at what looked like a VERY low frequency, you could feel it anyhow. JUMPED for the volume knob, no audible damage done :rolleyes:
     
  7. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Being fair,I think that both of you are right in various respects....

    CD bass can have plenty of depth and power,plus complete isolation from room effects and vibrations,but can often sound a bit dry and perhaps lacking in depth as a result,whereas vinyl requires a very good cartridge/arm combination,and careful matching to a good phonostage,leaving a lot more variables.

    Another point is that not all cartridges are as good as others in the bass department,and whilst yours isnt well used,age can have a fairly marked effect on the suspensions of some cartridges....I recently changed the entire vinyl end of my system,and replaced a Supex SD900 with a Lyra Argo,and the phonostage with a Trichord Dino/NC...the overall result was a change from wooly,ill defined bass etc etc to a much clearer,wider and deeper soundstage.

    I'm not suggesting anything like that for you,but the T/t itself may have some influence...another very obvious upgrade I had was changing the old PSU in my Linn to a Lingo.....again,better,faster bass.

    Getting back to one of my original points...CD given a good DAC,can produce superb controlled bass,but vinyl requires attention to many areas to get the same or better.
     
  8. Light_User

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    Sorry Dynamic, but I have to agree with Sukebe. I was a bit of a vinyl junkie in the mid to late 80's/start of the 90's and upgraded via a revolver, Townsend Rock and LP12 (basic arm/K9), none of which could match a £300 cd player of the day in the bass area.

    It wasn't until I upgraded the LP12 arm to an Ittock that I was satisfied with all areas of presentation (actually me/my wife and the sales rep were blown away at the demo so much so that the shop continued to use the Led Zep track "Since I've Been Loving You" as one of their main demo tracks!!).

    But at the end of the day that was £1500 worth of deck in circa 1990, compared to my mates £300 cd player.
     
  9. karkus30

    karkus30
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    Tricky one. Although I have been shot down for saying so (several times on several forums) I have found that to get something that really kicks you need to spend a lot more money on a TT. Low end TTs and budget arms just cant handle the transients as well as top spec kit, it really is a case of 'the more you spend..........' unlike CDPs which can do a decent enough job for a small sum of money and although they do improve the improvements are far more subtle.

    As has been pointed out, there is a massive amount of synergy involved with choosing a TT set up. Its at least as difficult as setting up an entire hifi system (speakers, source, amp, cables, stands).

    There is also the quality of the record itself.........some, seem made to be el cheapo player friendly and there is good cause for this. Budget set ups dont generally react very well to super hi cut vinyl, they either mistrack or just bludgeon the track to death. Even a good set up can struggle as the whole audio chain goes into melt down trying to cope with the vibrations imparted by the TT combination.........you can watch bass cones flapping like a sail.

    Currently I have a Roksan Xerxes, Origin Live arm and top flight Ortofon Cart. This is fired through a pair of Avondale modified phono boards. The bass on something like Michael Hedges Aerial Boundaries can feel like the room is pressurising.

    If you dont think vinyl is capable of bass dynamics there is a good record to prove it can.........a test record with the infamous garage door test :eek:

    One thing that you should NOT have not done, regardless of the sound of your system, is to use the graduations on the arm for set up........sorry to shout but YOU MUST NOT USE THE GRADUATIONS ON ARMS !!! you need a stylus gauge and you really need some sort of test record to set things up properly (make sure you read the test notes too, as you can damage things without doing this).
     
  10. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Very true....the graduations are usually inaccurate,and you DO need a test disc to set up a T/t properly.

    Time consuming,but worth the effort.
     
  11. dynamic turtle

    dynamic turtle
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    Pound for pound, an equivalently priced cd player will beat a TT in terms of bass, up to a certain level. What that level is, I don't know, but I doubt it's much under &#163;2k.

    Over this, your TT should start to show its superiority in the lower octaves. As others have said however, this is highly dependent on following anciliaries (the phono stage is massively important) and overall set-up.

    DT
     
  12. harrygrey382

    harrygrey382
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    :(
    ok ok running for a stylus gauge. It was only meant to be tempory, just kind of forgot about it. I balanced it first... What's the Garrard SPG3 like?
    Also, what test record do you recommend? (preferebly readily available on ebay)
     
  13. Reuben.F

    Reuben.F
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    My Orb modded Gyodec has excellent bass, but the orb upgrades didn't contribute a huge amount really, standard gyro and SE models i suspect are very good.

    Important as mentioned is the settup, positioning and platform the TT is sat on, eg, i noticed a huge difference swapping a flimsy mdf platform for a solid 25mm granite one.

    i'm just looking up the Ariston Q deck, i forget...
     
  14. Reuben.F

    Reuben.F
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  15. Reuben.F

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    Just had a look at the Q deck, my suggestions other than mentioned are -

    Get a record clamp.

    If the platter matt has aged and is very hard, replace it, try alternatives like cork too.

    if you are up to stripping down the deck, try using some damping material (the car audio stuff, about £6.50 per sheet, 2 sheets will do), on the underside of the top plate and anywhere around the plinth you can stick it.

    Check the main bearing and motor for noise or "like something is catching"

    experiment with different TT feet, eg, solid vs rubber type, michell tender feet etc.

    Enjoy your bass !

    Reuben
     
  16. harrygrey382

    harrygrey382
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    OK, am looking at matts too, do you suggest felt, or there's a 'platter matter' (sticky one) on ebay at the mo, any good?
    The main bearing is very very slightly scratchy. I've treid heaps of different lubes (mostly different grade motor/gearbox oils) and chose the one that makes least noise. But not much else I can do surely. Also, could this really be removing bass?
    I'll ook at some feet.
    Also, can anyone comment on shure stylus gauges - the balance ones? Are older ones any good still?
     
  17. Reuben.F

    Reuben.F
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    Never used matts on the Gyro, the other decks i had were 10years ago, i don't remember... i would be tempted to try cork.

    The motor bearing, can you take it apart ?, if so then clean it all up and look, the shaft will probably sit on top of a BB, and BB on a small circular plate, check all these parts for wear, replace the BB if worn and if the circular plate (which sits in the bottom of the bearing housing) can be removed then simply flip it over unless it has an clear indent (not just wear) as it may be used to centralize the BB

    I use MobilOne 0-W-40 for the bearings.

    All this stuff is aimed at improving the deck, hopfully, yes bass but also the whole "shooting match" too.
     
  18. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Cartridge tracking weight gauges....the Shure guage is about the cheapest decent one,and the Origin Live digital one is about the cheapest good digital gauge at &#163;57.

    www.originlive.com

    Test discs...the HiFi News test disc is a good buy and an excellent setup disc.

    http://www.britishaudio.co.uk/hfntlp.htm

    Given that mechanically your Ariston is not far removed from an old Linn,it may benefit from a Ringmat
     
  19. Reuben.F

    Reuben.F
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    Yeah, i got a £17 digital scale, not very good....
     
  20. gazza73

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    Personally from my own experiences, all the above things you mention (isolation feet/supports, ring mats ect) will greatly improve the bass definition but I'll bet it will also have the preceived effect of reducing bass further. Those nasty unwanted vibrations muddy the sound and adds to the lower level frequencies. I feel the end result of the more bass your after is down to other factors rather than isolation and the scratchy nature of your main bairing (the heart of any good TT) could be a contrabuting factor. I would visit a local dealer and have a listen to a Rega deck and use that as a comparison. Hell take yours along as well and do an A-B test.
     
  21. karkus30

    karkus30
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    A bad bearing can cause all sorts of problems, that and the motor are the heart of the TT. Cant comment on how it might have an effect on the bass though, but it certainly will have an major effect on the sound quality. TTs are all about mechanics and slight problems can have incredibly differing effects on reproduction. Even reflected soundwaves can cause major problems. Every bit of it must work correctly to stand a chance at hearing it at its best.

    The shure stylus gauges are fine..........remember the stylus gauge is still only going to get you in the ball park. A test record such as HiFi news as already suggested is necessary to get it closer to your ideal. Without one, your really throwing darts blindfolded.

    When you get a test record it will state........your set up must be working correctly, no sticky bearings on TT or arm, binding arm wiring etc. Deck level, sound shelf, cart and stylus in condition and set to manufacturers spec, arm set with stylus etc, etc. Thats before you start with the test record. It really is a labour of love !!

    Have you thought about a nice CDP ;)
     
  22. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Some of the cheap digital scales can be worse than useless....inaccurate,insensitive and a few with magnetic parts under the weighing area which can lead to obvious problems.

    Worth investing in either the Shure if you want a cheap one,or the OL if you want better.
     
  23. harrygrey382

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    ok well shure gauge on hifi news on the list. And a ring matt or cork? The main bearing comes apart, the BB is part of the spindle and the (copper) plate isn't worn/dented.
    I'm not going to get too hungup on this deck though, as the Lenco GL75 will be replacing it once I do the work (this summer hopefully).
    And no, I haven't thought about a good CDP. I like evrything else I hear from this deck, and love everything I hear from a friends LP12. I've got a CD63 which I'm about to mod, but I'm more interested in vinyl and am not afriad of a little (or a lot) of fiddling ;)
     
  24. alexs2

    alexs2
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    The Ringmat certainly works for some T/ts and I would say is more geared towards Linns,but by all accounts works well with others also.

    The Linn is a very idiosyncratic piece of gear which people either tend to love or hate,and has a very characteristic sound....I like mine,but then you have all of the other parts of that end of the system to add in as well,so it's not just the T/t itself.
     
  25. harrygrey382

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    Yeah I know Linn and the LP12 especially divides opinions (he was driving castles with a quad 405), I was just pointing out I'd heard properly set up vinyl and thought it worth pursuing.
    Would a ring mat suit a Lenco do you think? If I get a fancy mat I'd like it to end up on the GL75
     
  26. Reuben.F

    Reuben.F
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    I thought the Ringmat was made of cork... nevermind..

    BTW, Harry i know its pretty obvious but have you checked the cartridge wiring ?, cause if its wired out of phase no amount of tweeking will fix the bass prob.

    Reuben
     
  27. harrygrey382

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    yes that has been suggested, i'll try it soon as I get home.
     
  28. Cliff

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    It wa a fact of life that bass was limited on vinyl compared with CD. The master tape had to be equalised so that the groove excursion did not cause a jump to the next groove.

    It is historically interesting to note, that when CDs came along, originally,the same masters were used to make cd reissues- until the artists started complaining that they sounded awful. Nowadays the master is re engineered (digitally remastered!) so that the full frequency response and dynamic range that can be accomodated by a cd is there.

    CD has its faults but it is not a compressed format and has a very wide frequency response, huge dynamic range and S/N ratio. On paper much better than vinyl ever was!
     
  29. overkill

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    Lot of generalisations here........ :) First, having sold plenty of budget decks, their performance per pound was embarrasingly superior to the CD equivalent.

    Second, but that changed when you got to the £300 pound mark, where up until about £500 the CD player was king. Over 1k the match was more even, but the right arm and cartridge setup could see vinyl clearly ahead. Over £1,500, and again it takes a very good CD player to be in the fight. Over that the CD player is out of it.

    But, again it's a generalisation to say a TT and ancillaries needs much more careful setting up than a CD player based system. I have heard (far too many) awful systems that the combination just did not work, and CD + DAC based systems that hurt the ears.

    All hi-fi needs careful matching and setting up. TT's just need more 'hands on' than digital front ends. Hell, I've got through 10 (yes ten!) CD players to get to one I can live with in my system. Yet I've had just three TT's in that time. The last for sixteen years!

    As for Bass being superior in CD players to TT's this is once more a generalisation. It should be, as CD has more opportunity to control the bass, but all too often the Bass is thin, poorly defined, or even overblown as in cheap TT's. I also (and this is just me though) find both the frequency extremes highly 'false' sounding in all bar one of the CD players I've owned.

    On the Ariston.......... I found the Q-deck was always a bit bass shy, and the OM10 really doesn't help. I never liked the OM series, and while it has it's fanboys here, at the budget end there are better alternatives. The Denons for a start, walk all over them for overall sound.
     
  30. overkill

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    Actually no, it isn't. According to NS no less. CD is a very poor storage media, hence they looked to replace it as quickly as possible. According to NS it cannot hold as much data as Vinyl overall, although obviously it can hold it more consistently across the surface.

    On the masters, where did you get that from?! :confused: The problem with the initial CD releases was down to using later generation masters or worse, just re-copying, which WB were caught doing with the original Led Zep CD's. If you listen to Led Zep IV for example, the CD has been recorded the wrong way around with the channels out of phase. Digital re-mastering has been done to improve sound quality on all media not just CD, and many aren't convinced it's a process that's improved many recordings. In fact one engineer recently admitted that people are being conned into believing that they can hear things on digital re-masters, in particular multi-channel, that just aren't there. Why? Because they weren't recorded on the master in the first place!

    Finally, many CD recordings are compressed, and have been for years.

    There are excellent articles on all the above.
     

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