Have you cleaned your stylus lately?
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The coldest dryest airmass of the season has invaded the northeast US. The humidity in your house has no doubt dropped below 20%. Static electricity is everywhere! I would think that is what is causing your problem. If you have a zerostat anti-static gun, use it! If you have any packing peanuts, you can check the static on a record by seeing if they stick to the record. There are many other ways to rid the static, but a room humidifier will help as well.
Hello, thanks for all of the responses. My phono preamp is not tubed, the new preamp is tubed though only a month old (brand new), I guess it could be a tube. I don't think it's an overload issue, because this tube preamp has been playing fine for a month now.
Though it sounds like it could be static, as many have suggested. I thought the Talisman from Walker Audio was supposed to cure this, but possibly not.
I'll be out of town and unable to play with this until Monday, I will try a humidifier then, and report back.
Many thanks, and have a great weekend.
As stated in my original post, I live in SE PA (South Eastern Pennysylvania). I'm relatively new to vinyl, only about 5-6 years ago. I knew that I've had more pops in the winter due to low humidity, but I never had it happen anywhere near this loud before. This is the first winter in my 5-6 years back in the hobby that I'm not using a VPI 'table, if that means anything. I'm currently using a Basis 'table. Are they more noted for static problems than VPI?
I'll try the humidifier when I get back, but I never needed one before. Maybe the Basis table needs a humidifier, I'll find out.
While visiting Walker audio I witnessed an interesting technique. Using a Audioquest style carbon fiber brush the record is brushed as usuall then he flicks the brush(maybe rechrging it) and momentarily touched the lp surface and then sweeps it up the tonearm from armrest to approx. 2in. from the cartridge. This is all done in a fluid motion. I was suffering with eratic static problem until I adopted this method. Give it a try. Enjoy!
Well thank you all for all of the help. I feel like such a novice. The answer was simply static. A humidifier solved the problem.
Though I was aware of problems with low humidity/vinyl before, I'd never experienced it to this level in the 5-6 years I've been enjoying vinyl again.
Usually there have been telltale signs of low humidity, like static 'shocks' when touching a amp/preamp/cd player, etc. A shock when taking a sweater/sweatshirt off, or a kiss from the wife. None of these 'signs' were present, and I was using a Talisman, which supposedly eliminates static, so I didn't suspect it to be a static problem, but it was.
I'm still wondering if the pops being more noticeable has something to do with the turntable switch. When I switched from my VPI to the Basis, the first thing I noticed was a much lower noise floor. Quiet as I've never heard it before. I didn't even notice the noise on my VPI, until it was gone. I'm wondering if this lower noise floor made the static pops much more noticeable. Possibly the downside of greater resolution???
Thanks again for all of your assistance.
Well it doesn't make the record pop, it makes the stylus pop. Similar to if you walk over to your preamp, on a carpeted floor, in a sweater on a dry day and touch the preamp, you may get a little spark or shock. The stylus riding through the groove builds up some static, normally this isn't an issue. For the most part a de-staticizer like a Zerostat or my Talisman will make it a non issue.
In extreme cases, when the air is very dry, this static can build up to the point where it cannot be contained, it will then send a shock in the form of a spike up the cantilever into the cartridge, which will then be played throughout the audio chain and sound like a loud pop. Much louder than any pop you will hear from dirt or mold.
I should have recognized this earlier, as after the responses I recalled it happening a couple years ago, to some extent. Static was the culprit then too.
Bottom line, if you notice that your vinyl is discharging a very loud pop every 3-5 minutes, and the humidity is very low, static electricity is the number one culprit.
A room humidifier can resolve the issue.
Hello all, I have been noticing this phenonmen lately here in the Northwest. Strangely though, the most static is noticeable after I play a side. When I lift the arm/stylus off the lp and swing it back over the played side, I hear pops and crackles that can only be static. I have tried this before play with no pops, then after play, snap, crackle, pop. I just purchased a Zerostat today, and I'll see what happens when I get it.
System is Scout, Dynavector XX2MKII, Dyna P-75MKII, Sonic Euphoria Passive pre.
I find it very curious about more static after play than before. Found no mention of it in previous threads. Anyone else had a similar experience?
Thanks, and best to all,
Doug, and Dan, I have also found that Lloyd's Talisman works incredibly well. I do still use a whole room humidifier in the winter, but when spinning LP's I find that using a Hunt carbon fiber brush first, and then the Walker Talisman has totally relieved me of all pops and crackles in the dry air of winter.
Thanks John, and Doug for the information. Also, the brushing method as put forward by Listens2tubes (I intend to try that soon). I'll see what effect the Zerostat has, and maybe try the Talisman if that doesn't work. I heat with wood, and have a large pot of water on the stove most of the time, and Puget Sound is only a half mile away as the crow flies, (not to mention all the rain we get here), so lack of humidity is something I wouldn't expect. Just started steam-cleaning my lp's, I wonder if that might generate static from all the steam molecules flying around striking the record surface. Hmmmm...
Best to all,