Background Noise-In the vinyl or system related?

Hi all,

I've recently started listening to classical on vinyl, and am surprised at the background noise I'm getting on a number of recordings. My tt is a Project Debut w the ortofon omb 5e. I've been listening mostlt to jazz and pop, lots of ecm lp's, and the sound is phenomenal. On the classical records, there just seems to be a higher floor of noise, and I'm unsure whether this is a quality of the vinyl used, or whether the lower volum recordings and greater silences between notes just reveals more noise than I'd noticed before. These are recordings from first-class outfits, like DGG and Philipps, so I'm curious what may be the problem. I haven't cleaned them yet, and many of them have almost no clicks and pops. How much will cleaning w an RCM help? I have a friend who does it for me for a charge, so will eventually take them over there.Are some labels/time periods known for noisy vinyl? Also, the place where I but my used vunyl sometimes cleans them w windex! I've seen them do it, and was wondering how that may affect background noise. Thanks in advance,

Since I restarted my vinyl listening, I, too, have noticed great variance in the surface noise of LPs. Especially when dubbing to CD-R, and monitoring with cans, some Lps can sound extremely quiet, while some have a groove noise, others have something like a low hum and still others have hiss. Some of the older classical recordings were made on tape machines with associated gear that were, by today's standards, noisy. Lots of us "listen through" the background noise and mentally focus on the music. This may or may not work for you.

Also, I recently upgraded from an Ortofon Super OM-10 to a Super OM-30 stylus. The reduction in ticks & pops was huge. I think this finer-cut stylus digs deeper into the grooves, resulting in more music and less pops & ticks. My review of this upgrade is in the analog review section.

Of course, I can't say enough about cleaning. I use a very inexpensive RCM (probably the cheapest vacuum-based machine you can buy), the KAB EV-1 (which you hook up to your own household canester vacuum). Again, this has made older LPs and even garage-sale finds sound worlds better & quieter than without a cleaning. It doesn't take too long (I use only a one-step clening solution) and it pays huge dividends. See it here:

Another thing I brought out of mothballs along with my TT was my old Empire anti-static gun. Using it according to directions (most people don't follow the directions and lose the benefits) does reduce some noise on my LPs. After using the anti-static gun, record surfaces seem quieter and the sound seems a touch warmer.
Argh- WINDEX!. Spent most of my audio career in the period when vinyl was king. If there is any commonly available liquid that somebody didn't try to "clean" their records with - I'd be surprised.Almost all of these improvised solutions were a disaster.
If your LP supplier is using windex - find a new source for LP's.Having said that - a lot of old and justifiably famous performances were recorded in the era of non-Dolby A analog tape - these do have noticeable tape hiss in the background. And some are simply recordings that someone loved - played repeatedly and never replaced their needle - they have been ground to pieces. I recently picked up a half dozen London FFrr 's that are even by my standards - unlistenable . The UPS man just dropped off my KAB EV-1 about 10 min. ago - so I will give that a shot - but not expecting much.
One very important factor in lowering the noise floor is getting overhang and cartridge alignment right. I just did my set up once again with my MintLP protractor, and found overhang a bit off. I reset overhang, checked alignment, and was immediately stunned at the reduction in surface noise I was hearing, even on lp's that were practically unlistenable. It pays to re-check your set up occaisionally, it takes very little to make a large difference.