Just coming here to let out out my frustration with Vinyl. I know that Vinyl takes patience but it's frustrating when playing some of my newer records and they have noises that I do not want to hear. Meaning, I try to clean them and they still have noise (pops, crackles, etc). When playing at low volumes of course you do not hear as much but when I turn up the volume is when it gets irritating.
I can understand if older vinyl would sound like this but these are my newer records that I bought (amazon or barnes and nobles).
Now, I know the products that I am using are probably not great in the first place and I will probably need to upgrade to some more serious cleaner).
Currently trying to use a combo of: Kaiu Vinyl record cleaning set and I have also tried the Audio Technica AT6012 Record Care Kit.
So now I am considering either a Spin Clean type system or Pro-Ject
VC-S2 ALU Type cleaning system.
I almost want to give up on Vinyl sometimes and stick to digital (cd, hi res files, qobuz streaming).
Cleaning will help quite a lot in eliminating noise. Keep the Stylist clean. Work on the Component / System Grounds and try grounding yourself when changing LPs. Something like wrist strap ground wire to suitable ground. Ground yourself when using a preen / the last step before dropping the Stylist. You may want to try a Zero Stat as well. Take heart ... the effort is worth while.
Time to make friends with local brick and mortar audio shop that is passionate about vinyl, take your new record w issues in and ask to play. Patronizing them for supplies, setup, etc will help both of you. Maybe have them check your cartridge setup, rake angle can make noise much much worse! The static advice you got above is also spot on ! dont give up :-) the spin clean is a worthy investment
IF u are in USA send me offending new album and I will clean it gratis on my Nitty Gritty machine and return via media mail, your postage will be about $3.5 IF it’s not rap, hip hop or disco, I will play grade it for you. also check the for sale here on aud, Jack Roberts often sells played once and cleaned on excellent machine LP at very reasonable prices - get yourself a reference disc :-)
Jay, if you haven't already read them, do a search for posts by member atmasphere (Ralph Karsten) on the subject of LP noise (clicks, pops) being exacerbated by poor RIAA phono pre-amps. By the way, you should list your table/arm/cartridge/phono amp.
Dear @jay73 : Your Ortofon cartridge is ok but that Denon is a very low entry level to the analog world. You need not only a better Denon ( one direct drive model. ) TT but you need to buy a stand alone Phono Stage.
Anyway the LP noise don't really disappears not eben with top analog rigs. LP noise levels are intrinsec to this arcaic medium. Today digital alternative is way superior.
Jay, you can simply visit some of your friends with better system to play your LPs. Because vinyl is vinyl, if you hear only pops and background noise and no "magic" then the system is very low quality. Normally in a very good system vinyl is pure magic and nobody cares about little pops and cracks, because you're almost there in the studio. It is only possible with great cartridges, tonearms, turntables, phonostages, amps, cables, speakers. Even tape has some hiss, this is nature of the analog media.
If you're expecting sterile digital sound from vinyl or from tape you'd better stick to digital format.
Your frustration is something I completely understand. At the end of 2015, I thought it would be a good idea to start listing to LP's again. Do, dug out my 45 year old turntable, dusted it off, put a new cartridge in it and I was off to the races. Or so I thought...
Had all the same issues. The pops were driving me crazy, that and static. And, so began the arduous journey into cleaning records. Started with home brew formulas, various brushes, cloths and methods.
Got a spin clean - which drove me crazy and made me want to walk away from records and cut my losses. The SC seemed to make more noise than it took away. I had replaced the TT with a new one at this point so there was a decision to make.
Problem is, records sound so sweet! (Plus I love the process of having to get up and put one on - took more commitment than streaming something from my computer)
Stubbornly kept at it and decided I was going to see it through.
As I was trying to sort out the cleaning, I was also trying to work my way through what pressing and from where and by who.
A friend of mine deals in UK pressings. He returns to "Jolly Old" three/four times a year and comes back with a stockpile of wonderful product. He was a big help in finding my way through the myriad of options for pressings.
Picked up a RCM for a good price, and now listening is a joy. The Okki Nokki is by no means a high end machine. But, when the right care is taken. and right materials used during cleaning, I am very happy with the results.
Has completely changed my relationship with LP's. Now, if there is the odd snap, crackle or pop, it doesn't bother me as they are few and far between and more often then not, the result of a mark on the vinyl.
There will be a point I suspect, where your collection grows to the point where you are "all in", and an RCM will become a part of the set up.
As Roberjerman says, new vinyl is hit and miss. If you want flawless, you have to either get lucky with used, or spend big on MoFi. And ultra-sonic cleaning is worth the trouble, both in terms of noise and in terms of clarity.
tomic601 is spot on about seeking out a local dealer dedicated to vinyl. Many advocate cleaning brand new records. That practice may hold some value. It's difficult to find new vinyl pressings that equal the quality of those made during the "vinyl golden age" without paying a hefty price depending on the particular record.If there are the noises you hear on your vinyl that are inherent to the records, cleaning and anti static measures may lessen them. If there is a problem in your component setup, that's another story. Higher end phono systems tend to amplify record imperfections.Take your suspect records to that local expert and then go from there. Don't give up on vinyl. The reward is worth the effort.
First post here. I never understand the various posts about pops and clicks with vinyl. Are people playing grey scratched up VG- copies? The original post states that these are new records so I suppose not in this case. There must be an equipment problem. Cartridge/TT/phono stage? I rarely hear a pop between songs, much less during the music. Don’t give up on vinyl, one equipment upgrade and you will get to a place of musical nirvana. Clearaudio emotion SE TT Luxman Eq-500 phono stage
Vinyl is not for the faint of heart. It takes some serious dedication. The other posters are right about gear quality. To extract the magic you need decent gear, not a 90 dollar AT60.
Not being a dick here but that's the truth. The phono pre I run alone cost much more than most dabblers entire systems, and It's at the low end of the high end (Herron VTPH2A). Not to mention the need for a proper vacuum cleaning machine that also cost more than most normal people's systems
On a limited budget I'd stick to high rez streaming.
A cheap cart will never extract what is hiding in the grooves. Forget that budget elliptical stylus, you'll need a fine line or shibata to get it out.
For someone just starting out, I'd actually discourage going vinyl, unless you already have a large collection, and the budget to play it properly.
Snobbish? No, just realistic. Don't judge the format until you give it proper care.
What settings are you using on the SimAudio phono stage? With a 2M Blue I would expect the best settings to be:
Input impedance: 47K Gain: 40 db Input capacitance: 0 pf
The recommended load capacitance for the 2M Blue is 150 to 300 pf, which will probably be provided by the capacitance of your phono cable and the tonearm wiring. Given the very high inductance of that cartridge (700 mH), if you are not using the minimum capacitance setting of the phono stage ("0 pf," which in reality is probably a few tens of pfs), you would be moving a high frequency resonant peak in the overall response well down into the mid-treble region, which would likely add a good deal of emphasis to tics and pops. And that would be especially true if you are using either the 330 pf or 430 pf input capacitance setting provided by the phono stage.
Also, if the gain of the phono stage is set to something higher than 40 db it is possible that some of the crackling you hear at times may actually be the result of overloading the phono stage or the preamp or integrated amp.
Finally, what tracking force are you using? It should be in the area of 1.8 to 2.0 grams.
Those of you who are using and recommending ultrasonic record cleaners, which are you using, and if you don’t mind sharing, how much did they set you back. Like Jay said, the snap, crackle and pop of even immaculate looking and well cared for records is disturbing, but I’ve maybe 1500 of these treasures and would never part with them. I am considering a VPI record cleaning rig, but maybe ultrasonic would be a better way to go if you feel it’s that much better.
Jay, etal, A lot of the problem, especially this time of year with cold temps and low humidty is static charge, which will make the newest album sound like rice krispy's. There is Gruv Guard that uses traditional ammonium salts for anti-static. Jay, your turntable is a 2-wire design, so it does not have a 3-wire ground, and that may complicate your ability to ground yourself. The following is a parts list and process that I have used to recover some pretty noisey (from deep debris) albums, and I challenge whether an RCM is any better other than faster.
Parts List: 1. Vinylstack 1 Manual Cleaner & Stand = $52 2. Talas Tergitol 15-S-9 Non-Ionic Surfactant 1 pint = $22 3. Record Doctor Wet/Dry Cleaning Brush = $20 4. Kinetronics Anti-Static Microfiber Cloth, 10x18-Inch Tiger Cloth = $8 5. Two (2) clean spray bottles about 1 pint each, maybe $5 at most both 6. One (1) Gallon Distilled Water from your local grocery store = $1 7. Mobile Fidelity Record Sleeves = $20 for 50
Process: 1. Add distilled water to one spray bottle, fill full and label DIW 2. Add distilled water to one spray bottle 3/4 full, and add 2-3 ml of the Tergitol surfactant, cap and gently shake to mix and then top off to full with distilled water, and label NID. Note, 15-18 drops equals on 1 ml. 3. Place Vinylstack label protector on stand, remove outer label protector, install record, assemble and tighten. When tight the record will spin against the magnetic, remove from the stand, and tighten about about 1/4 additional turn to secure the label protector. 4. Move to kitchen sink, and using NID spray bottle, liberally wet both sides. 5. Using Record Doctor Brush, in a circular motion work/scrub the record with the NID solution. Note, a soft bristle toothbrush will work, just not as well. Do not worry about foam that may develop. 6. KEY Step, using just tap water (tepid - just barley warm), flush with steady stream (no need for spray) both surfaces until free of any NID. Shake to remove some bulk drops. 7. KEY Step, using DIW spray bottle, liberally spray the record surface from top to bottom to remove the tap water leaving the DIW that will be spot free. Shake to remove bulk drops. 8. Using the yellow microfiber cloth provided with the Vinylstack, dry in a circular motion to remove most water. 9. Using the Kinetronics cloth to final dry and leave a static-free surface - there will be very little moisture left. Give the record a good 2 shakes, hang on the handle so you throw the record across the room 😉, and wipe any visible drops. 10. Place record with label protector on stand. Remove handle and outer protector, wipe away any visible drops with Kinetronics cloth . Flip record and wipe any visible drop. 11. You can leave the record on stand to dry or lean against any hard surface to fully dry which will be just a few minutes. 12. Once dry place in Mobile Fidelity sleeve.
The total process time is about 10 minutes. The Vinylstack equipment is very well manufactured. The above process has the benefit over other processes of the two rinses. The first rough rinse with flowing water really flushes the surface, flushing the cleaner and any other loose debris, and the DIW spray makes sure that a spot free surface will be achieved. If this process sounds smiliar to washing a car, well, absent the wax, it is, and it is commonly used for manual precision aqueous cleaning. Also, this process has a very low life cycle cost, because you use so little cleaner, and so little DIW. And, since the drying cloth are only used to remove distilled water, there is no need to wash, just hang to dry, and shake before use. The DIW spray bottle can stored in the fridge - absolutely no harm should a child use. The NID spray bottle, is really safe, and could be stored in the fridge to prevent any degradation, the solution concentration is really low, but you need to consider your domestic situation for appropriate safety.
Otherwise, good luck, and as always, Enjoy the Music!
It is really strange than someone need to clean a NEW records, especially with some expensive cleaning machines and stuff like that. This method for a NEW records is a waste of time. When a NEW record is visually clean then all you need is to use carbon fiber brush to clean from dust before you play each side and it should be fine.
Even for a 40 year old vintage vinyl this simple method is enough (and very cheap). Audiophiles always crazy about everything, the best way to avoid all these is to buy records in perfect condition.
Playing records must be fun and it shouldn't be difficult process, not every music lover is an audiophile and some process described above is definitely not for everyone, not necessary ritual.
Some pressing is just bad and you can't do anything about it with all the cleaning etc. Original records always better than reissues (with some exceptions).
You need a proper cartridge, tonearm and turntable to start with. Cartridge and its stylus profile is probably the most important.
I don't think recording cleaning is the issue. Especially with new records. A better turntable will yield greater dynamics, effectively pushing the noise floor down. A Rega PL2 would no doubt be a significant upgrade. A PL3 or SOTA would be a big jump over the Denon.
I am afraid it is simply NOT TRUE that all any NEW record needs is a quick brush with a carbon fiber brush, sorry.
Take a look at any new record under a microscope and I think you would be shocked at the debris you see on a lot of "regular" new records, only if you step up to the specialist audiophile pressings might you get away with not cleaning a new record.
I bought a number in the Barnes & Noble 50% off sale and first thing I did was US clean them all.
It is unfortunately a sad reality, not an urban myth.
Older perfect releases should be much better but of course then you are in the hands of the seller as to whether their description is valid and no even buying at an LRS and eyeballing them yourself is just NOT going to tell you if it needs a deep clean at all.
I am pretty good by visual but not that good and all my records now get a US clean before playing.
I realise that regime is not for everybody who just wants to play music but again it is a reality.
Cleaning makes a big difference. I like to go to yard sales and flea markets in search of vinyl treasures. About half my collection of 2500 +- albums were obtained this way. I clean them with a Nitty Gritty with Disc Doctor solution, then rinse with distilled water. Sometimes a record is noisy so I clean it again, giving it a good scrub with a record brush. They almost always play quiet after that. Even records with visible scuffs play fairly quiet. I can hear a little crackle between songs and an very occasional pop but not enough to make me want to listen to a CD. My system is not to fancy. You also need clean your stylus often. Original Spacedeck, Space Arm Sonic Frontiers SFP1 Dynavector DV 20XL
A problem with many new records is that they have a poor sleeve, often only paper and many have a lot static, and a carbon brush will not remove the charge. Other than maybe the Gruv Guard or Zerostat, wet cleaning will get rid of the static charge, and using a better sleeve will help to keep it that way. Then all that should be required is normal pre-play maintenance. However, better quality pressing that get better handling and sleeves will be very quiet with no extra work . Example, the latest Joan Baez album had a decent sleeve, record was clean, no static, and other than quick work with a carbon brush and mobile fidelity brush, played CD quiet.
I can't tell you how many times I've bought new pressings only to have them sound worse than used records I picked up for a few dollars. For example, I went through 2 bad (lots of surface noise, cleaning on my VPI didn't help) in pressings of Norah Jones' Come Away With Me from Analogue Productions before getting one that sounded good. That was from one of the better sources for high quality vinyl.
I bought a new Madeleine Peyroux album last night and it came in a plain white sleeve and was covered in paper dust from the sleeve. It played really nice overall, but had 2 or 3 revolutions of really loud pops. Buying new is not a guarantee you'll get a nice low noise pressing. A good cleaning before playing is a good idea. I always put my records in a poly lined inner sleeve and a vinyl outer sleeve.
To the OP, the better your system - turntable, cartridge, phono pre-amp, etc., the quieter your vinyl will play. Many of the used records I buy play with virtually no audible noise. As someone else mentioned, this time of year with the dry air, static electricity can be an issue.
repeated problem with new records? It would be a shame to give up on LP's.
new: at most, remove paper dust with discwasher anti-static brush, no fluid, should sound fine.
do you have good light where your tt is, to see how much dust may be remaining?
alignment? are you good at all the alignments needed for the stylus to do a great job? stylus worn, chipped, ????
IOW, what's not right? as you say, frustrating for new lps not to sound great.
I have to wonder if you are getting your stylus very clean. I had an old cartridge, not used in years, even alcohol would not get grub off both stylus and shaft.
magnifying glass. electrical contact cleaner took it all off. then a rinse with alcohol and good to go. spray in direction to avoid getting up into stylus shaft housing. then frequent stylus brushing, and semi-frequent stylus fluid cleaning
new and noisy
I just bought double album, billy joels greatest hits. very old, never played it seems.
discs literally covered with paper dust particles. First, dust off side 2 before putting on platter (don't want all that dust on your mat). then dust off bulk of side one dust, then side one on platter. final dusting with discwasher anti-static brush, NO FLUID. I hold brush in one place and spin the lp via the edge (don't want any force on tt motor), wipe brush clean on my pants, go again. Played quietly.
buying many new lps lately, just a light touch with brush.
If using fluid, put a thin line of fluid on the leading edge of the brush, twice around with that part of the brush, then rotate the brush to dry area to pick up fluid. Then wait, till fully dry before playing.
you may want to get a Shure Cartridge, i.e. 97xe, (elliptical stylus), which has a damping/anti-static brush, cleans grooves just prior to stylus gets there.
it's frustrating when playing some of my newer records and they have noises that I do not want to hear.
Presented now for your consideration, the answer and solution to your frustration.
The year we transitioned from all CD to more LP was one fascinating enthralling evening after another. I did everything possible to ensure only music came off the groove. But of course there were all the usual noises.
One night my wife exclaims, "Its so quiet!"
I thought she meant this particular record. It was pretty quiet. For a record. I said something like yeah this is one of the better pressings. She said no, that's not what I mean.
Now her not being an audiophile the words are different and it takes a while asking questions teasing it all out but here's the gist of it. My words now but her idea, which I love because years later the more I think about it the more its clear that its true and correct.
Its not about ticks and pops, or groove noise. Its not comparing one clean new LP to another older one. None of that. Its the noise that comes off a CD compared to the music that comes off a LP.
Got it? The CD only seems quiet because the obvious noise you hear as hiss is so low. But CD noise is not separate from or extraneous to the music. The noise is woven right into the signal. CD turns music into noise. That's why people prefer LP. Not in spite of the noise on a record, but because of the noise that is CD.
The minute you realize this a great weight will be lifted. Really obnoxiously severely bad pressings will still tick you off, sure. But the soft surface noise of your typical LP will not. When I hear that its like "Ahhh, wonderful! Music to my ears!"
1. Get a Spin Clean and clean all your records. 2. Buy Mobile Fidelity inner sleeves. 3. Buy a box of Mr. Muscle pads. 3a. Drop stylus with cue lever onto pad. Lift. Repeat. (Do not drag over stylus.) After every side. 4. Sell table and buy a Pioneer PLX1000, Technics SL1500c, or a Technics 1200GR. 5. Find a solid record store with used original pressings and explore other new music.
Looking at the settings on my phono stage dip switches, this is what I see:
- 100pf - 47k - RIAA curve - 40db
OK. So we can say at this point that the phono stage settings are not contributing to the tics/pops/crackling problem. From a sonic standpoint, though, chances are you’ll find that changing the 100 pf setting to zero will be beneficial in the treble part of the spectrum. Although that will depend on the unknown capacitances of the phono cable and tonearm wiring, as well as on how complementary the change is to the sonic character of the rest of the system.
Another setting change that I suspect would be sonically beneficial is to lower the setting of the antiskating dial on the turntable. As is the case with many such turntables, the instructions for yours say to set the antiskating dial to the same value as the tracking force, which IME is invariably much too high. In fact if you’ve set it in that manner you may notice when you view the cartridge from the front while the stylus is in the groove of a rotating record that the cantilever is deflected to the left (toward the center of the record), rather than assuming the nominally straight ahead position it assumes when the stylus is lifted off of the record. I suggest setting the antiskating dial to about 60% of the tracking force, i.e., if the tracking force is 1.8 grams set the antiskating dial to about 1.0 or 1.1.
The others have given you lots of good suggestions about the tics/pops/crackling problem, so I don’t have anything to add at this point. I was going to suggest that you buy some Mobile Fidelity record sleeves, but Noromance and Antinn beat me to it!
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve bought new pressings only to have them sound worse than used records I picked up for a few dollars.
This is a problem of modern mastering, recording, pressing... i agree.
This is true, i don’t buy re-issues normally and rarely buying new releases, but those vintage LPs and 45s from the 70’s (if the pressing is good) are just fantastic and i do not use any special cleaning machines, just a simple method described above (even a bath with distilled water is too complicated for me). If the grading is strong VG+ or Mint- i have no problem with quality, i can’t remember anything like serious ticks and pops that bother me, the music is louder anyway. Maybe i am not audiophile ? Forgive me, but majority of audiophiles always overestimate the problem, especially those who get used to digital, so i can understand. But since i only play vinyl in my system i am happy with vintage records without any special treatment.
I don’t care about fancy anti-static inner sleeves like those from "audiophile" pressing etc, clean paper inner sleeves are fine for me.
Why not just enjoy vinyl like the previous generation did without all that crazy time consuming treatment ?
I know that some people are going crazy over the years, like in every hobby, but telling about all that habits (especially to a newbie) like a "must have" is too much. It’s not necessary! You can go too far and in the end you will start talking about pure energy, because the one from the power socket "is not clean enough and noisy", right? This guy ended up with his private source of electricity for example. With all respect It can be an endless quest for people who can’t just enjoy what they have.
The nature of vinyl is minor background hiss and some light crackles (depends on condition of the vinyl). Old Japanese original pressing always quieter because of the virgin vinyl formula, still can be 10 times cheaper than new audiophile re-issues in a fancy inner sleeves.
I am happy to ignore audiophile pressings and reissues, instead i am happy with original pressing made just like musicians intended to present their music for the masses at normal price. Vintage vinyl all the way!
Those overpriced reissues made for the sect of audiophile elitist is not what normal music lover really need, there are tons of original pressings around and people who trying to tell they are not as good as the audiophile pressing are just ....