Help? Problem With Holding The Groove On A Hot Pressing


I have had a problem holding the groove on several hot pressings and it always occurs in the same spot. I am not sure if it’s my set up or a mastering error.

I am playing a record with very strong sonics that is in Mint condition and midway through the last track it skips. When I look at the area under a strong glass I can see a very hot bass transient that almost collides with the next groove. This happened again tonight when I was playing a first pressing/orignal release of MJ’s Thiriller. It also happened on a Allman Brothers LP as well as one other.

Is this a mastering error or is my TT and cartridge not up for it? I am using a Technics 1200 with an Ortofon Blue cartridge. I have checked the setup several times with a very accurate gram scale (2.5g) and my Geodisc. Should I try for a different cartridge angle geometry?
5d8015ac 008e 4b30 a925 6dcb77e47c3fvoiceofvinyl
remember to check the tracking force with the weighing platform at record height.
Thanks. I have adjusted the counterweight +\- .5g and it doesn’t fix the problem. I’m leaning to thinking it might be related to overhang?
I find it unusual that the overly hot groove would occur in almost the exact same spot on multiple pressings. I’m wondering if it has something to do with the mastering process?
Mastering process cannot correlate to a variety of pressings from different 'houses'. Groove geometry can and relates to setup alignment.
Shure V15 - Type VMR can probably handle those torturous inner grooves! Alas, no longer in production!
I am using a Technics 1200 with an Ortofon Blue cartridge.


Whas is an Ortofon Blue ? Do you mean 2M Blue ?

I have checked the setup several times with a very accurate gram scale (2.5g) ...   I have adjusted the counterweight +\- .5g and it doesn’t fix the problem.

Recommended tracking force is 1.8 g (not 2 or 2.5) for 2M Blue.
Check your stylus and slean it with Ortofon Brush, dust on the stylus is a common problem. Start with lower tracking force if your needle skip. 

Also try without anti-skating (and don't use more that the tracking force)

 I have checked the setup several times with a very accurate gram scale (2.5g) and my Geodisc.

To setup any cartridge in Technics SL1200 you don't need a Geo Dics, this tonearm has its own geometry , very close to Stevenson. All you need is a while plastic overhand gauge that comes with your turntable. If the stylus is under the mark your geometry is fine for this particular arm.



 


Also try without anti-skating (and don’t use more that the tracking force)


@chakster Thanks. Backing completely off the anti-skating allows the cartridge to hold the hot groove.

I am still curious about why these hot grooves appear in the last tracks of some LP’s. I read somewhere that some mastering engineers would back off on the bass in the later tracks because of the changes in record speed or cartridge geometry that occurs as the record plays through a side and some, like George Piros (re: Led Zep II first release) would cut hot all the way through. I was trying to find the article and I can’t...

Is there any plausibility that these hot grooves found later in a side would be a result of the physics of cutting? It is intuitive to me that for any same low frequency that the groove would present as a slow "hill" in the outer grooves because of the faster speed and more of a shorter "peak" in the slower inner grooves?
You have the answer. So why continue beating the dead horse? Especially when said horse is a red herring. As in off the beaten track. As in you were on the right track so why go off it?

You have the answer. You had too much anti-skate. Backing off eliminated the problem. Therefore its related to skating. Nothing to do with mastering. 

Which by the way, never did make any sense. Mastering is what they do with the recording getting it into its final form. All the stuff you're talking about has more to do with cutting than mastering. Which not that that's not an interesting subject. Peter Gabriel gave a lot of thought to song sequence on his album So, which for artistic and emotional reasons ought to have saved In Your Eyes for last, but he knew the bass would be a problem that close to the end of a LP which is why we have it track one side two. So these things matter, just not quite the way you're saying.

Now back to your maladjusted anti-skate. The correct amount of anti-skate varies constantly depending on tracking force, angle, and degree of groove modulation. A smooth or lightly modulated groove with low tracking force requires very little anti-skate. A highly modulated groove with greater tracking force requires more anti-skate. (Modulated btw is the correct term. "Hot" is both wrong in meaning and unfortunately already taken as in trademarked https://www.better-records.com/ )

So normally the highly modulated bass that caused your skipping would have called for more anti-skate. That it didn't tells me your anti-skate was set way too high. Way too high.


A simple procedure for setting anti-skating that I’ve found to work well, at least with cartridges having medium to high compliance (which would include the Ortofon 2M Blue, although I have no experience with that specific cartridge), and which I’ve found to generally require little if any subsequent fine tuning by ear, is as follows:

1)Observe the cartridge from the front while it is in the groove of a rotating record and positioned somewhere in the middle of the record, on a musical passage that is lightly modulated (i.e., one that has relatively low volume and consequently does not have wide groove excursions).

2)Adjust anti-skating until deflection of the cantilever to one side (left or right) becomes barely perceptible, relative to its position when the stylus is lifted off of the record. Note the setting.

3)Adjust anti-skating until deflection of the cantilever to the other side (left or right) becomes barely perceptible, relative to its position when the stylus is lifted off of the record. Note the setting.

4)Set anti-skating to the mid-point between those settings.

5)Verify that no perceptible left or right deflection of the cantilever occurs near the beginning and near the end of the record.

As I mentioned earlier, after performing this procedure I have found that little or no subsequent fine-tuning by ear is usually necessary. And I have typically found that the procedure results in a setting that is in the vicinity of 50% to 60% of the tracking force.

This procedure might not work with low compliance cartridges, btw, with which I have no experience.

Regards,
-- Al

Thank you professor Millercarbon for shutting down a dialogue and keeping me on point.
@almarg Thank you for the procedure. I will try that.

Thankfully there are a few people in this group who aren’t crippled with toxic self-absorption.
I have records that mistrack. The better the cart the smaller the problem. But even my Lyra Atlas mistracks now and then. I live with it. And I think the antiskating and other parameters should be adjusted to overall best sound, by ear - rather than to avoid occasional mistracking.
Why does it happen? In my case mostly due to defects in the pressing or subsequent misuse. Mainly it sounds like a bad particle in the vinyl compound, like a stone on the ice - or I see obvious signs of wear and tear. The LP is scratched. I have not studied this in a microscope. But I rarely, if ever, have mistracking just due to hot mastering or high dynamic in the music. Although defects show up more easily when the demand on the cartridge is high i guess.



Voiceofvinyl you have a set up problem. Your anti skate would have to be way off to cause that alone. You need to check your arm cartridge resonance frequency. If it is too high when the right bass note comes along enough energy will be created to pop the stylus right out of the groove. There is only one way to correctly set anti skating and to adjust the resonance frequency of your arm cartridge system. You get a HIFI News test record and follow the directions. You want to set a resonance frequency between 8 and 10 Hz both vertically and horizontally if you can. Once you get the hang of this it is easy and you will not believe how much better your table will sound and track. If you run into trouble just message me. Oh, and one of the silliest concepts I have ever heard is running an off set tonearm without anti skating. 
@ mijostyn.
Thanks. I have a few test and set up records inluding the Hi Fi News Analogue Test lp. I will go through it again and test for wobble and warble.

I am also going to slowly add some anti-skating until I get to the point where I start to miss-track a highly modulated low frequency trace (hot groove). Then I will try Almarg’s approach to obtain a median setting. 

Also....
Does cartridge offset that does not meet ideal have anything to due with miss tracking behavour like I am experiencing? I am trying to figure out if I need a headshell that will allow me to change the offset angle of the cartridge body. I currently cannot change the cartridge offset angle. 

@ o_holter
Thanks. 98% of the occiasional skips I find are the result of some kind of condition flaw or pressing flaw.

In a few rare cases, such as this one and a few others, there was no condition issue. I had to look at the grooves with a strong loop to see that the cause was a very modulated groove in the last track that ejected my cartridge. 
Hi again

I ran all the tests using a HI Fi News test record. I was especially interested in the lateral and vertical resonant frequency test. Both number ranges I got put the cartridge in the sweet spot now that I have the anti-skating set just slightly below the tracking force. The vertical and lateral resonance doesn't quite match though. 

My question is; how do you "adjust" the resonant frequency? My current values for vertical are: 15 Hz - 7Hz. My lateral values are 14 Hz - 10 Hz. 

Should I even worry about trying to match the vertical and lateral exactly?

Is there any plausibility that these hot grooves found later in a side would be a result of the physics of cutting?
None whatsoever. The physics of cutting is that the cutterhead responds exactly the same to bass notes at the beginning of the LP as it does at the end. It is simply moved across the lacquer as the signal is played through the cutterhead. There is no compensation in the electronics for its location on the LP, just the compensation for the cutterhead response (being an electro-mechanical device) and the imposed RIAA curve. 

My question is; how do you "adjust" the resonant frequency? My current values for vertical are: 15 Hz - 7Hz. My lateral values are 14 Hz - 10 Hz.
Should I even worry about trying to match the vertical and lateral exactly?

To the latter- no, as long as its in the window of 7-12Hz. The mechanical resonance is not really adjustable on your arm- the way to affect it is to change the cartridge to one of a different compliance or to use a lighter or heavier headshell.

They never match perfectly which is OK. I shoot for averages between 10 and 8. You lower the resonance frequency by adding weight to the head shell and raise it by subtracting weight. You can get head shell weights that fit under the cartridge or you can add nuts to the screws etc. Subtracting weight is a bit more difficult. Get out the drill. Warning, if you get down to 3 Hz record warps will send the tone arm skywards! Use the anti skate test track to set the anti skate. If you lift the anti skate weight while playing that track you will notice all the distortion go to one side. If you add too much weight the distortion will go to the other side. You adjust it until the distortion is the same and minimal in both channels.
Thanks,
If adding or subtracting small amounts of weight to/from the headshell changes the cartridge resonance, why wouldn't adding or subtracting some tracking force accomplish the same? The physics must be different?
why wouldn't adding or subtracting some tracking force accomplish the same? The physics must be different?
Yes. Triplanar arms are supplied with counterbalanced weights of different sizes. You can use one or multiple weights with different distances from the pivot bearings- and so effect the effective mass and thus change the mechanical resonance. Weights in the headshell are more effective if you need to lower the resonant frequency, going the other way is why Triplanar makes the multiple counterbalance weights. If using a spring loaded arm you can move the counterbalance weight and set the spring differently, but the scale on the arm won't be correct anymore- so you have to use a cartridge tracking weight scale to know if you're at the right tracking pressure.
When you change the "weight" of the needle in the groove you are not changing the mass so the resonance frequency stays the same. It is very common to confuse weight with mass. Your tonearm has the same mass in outer space but it has no weight! 
When adjusting the mass of your tonearm system you are trying to get the resonance above record warp frequency (about 3 Hz) and below the lowest frequency recorded on the record around 18 Hz. 10-11 Hz puts you right in the middle. My records have been stored upright under pressure for decades so I very few warped discs plus my SOTA Cosmos sucks them right down so I try to keep the resonance frequency even lower 7-8 Hz. I think this improves the Bass but frankly I have not been able to AB this so it might be psychological:) What I can state as a fact is that if you let it run to high over 18 Hz you will destroy your bass, possibly feedback and send your tonearm skyward. I once knew someone who installed a Koetsu in a Transcriptors Vestigial tonearm and he wanted to know why his tonearm would not stay on the record!