Horrible Squee-gy Noise from Stylus


All of the sudden I'm hearing a squeegy like noise during play back. As if I were dragging my hands across wet glass. I dont recall this happening with any other table or cartridge I owned. I've checked with well over 20 albums to make sure it wasnt any specific label/pressing company/etc.

I'm using the MMF7 with the factory installed Goldring cartridge. Its just started in the past few plays (and the albums I used to confirm). The cartridge probably as 15 hours on it--max.

Can anyone help here? I'm freaking out.
Try cleaning your stylus. Use the Magic Eraser method (search forums).
Is this a common sound when a stylus becomes soiled?
Not really, but I'm grasping a bit at straws and its an easy fix. Costs about $3.99 for a lifetime supply of ME at the grocery store, and you will want it anyways. Another thought- can you see/verify that the diamond is still on the end of the cantilever? Do you have access to another phono stage to make sure the problem is w the TT/cart/stylus part of the chain?
I will give that treatment a shot. I just bought the table and it was working great, dead silent, couldnt have been happier, nothing has happened to the table (no droping the arm on the record, etc).

I'm really bummed, my first big purchase.

I'm only 25 so this represented a lot of saving.
What kind of table/arm/cartridge?

Makes this noise regardless of the record being played?

Is the noise coming out of your speakers, or from the TT itself?
"Needle talk" used to be quite pronounced with older pickups. With the speaker volume turned all the way down it would not be unusual to hear some sound from the pickup. Do make sure the diamond tip has not come off.
sounds to me like you simply have a defective cartridge - is it under warranty?
The table is only a few weeks old, I'll contact the distributor to check on warranty.

How do I determine if the "diamond-tip" still exists? Will I need a magnifing glass or can it determine just from un-aided visual inspection?

The turntable communicates the music just fine, just during the lead-in tracking, quite parts of songs, and between tracks do I hear the squeaking.

The noise is only during play-back.

Thanks for the suggestions
I'd also check your arm settings.Get manual out and make sure everything is tightened up.How did you set up alignment and VTA etc?Also just get a cheap magnifying glass and visually inspect stylus and tip/needle.
I checked everything, set up is fine, stylus tip appears to be fine to me. cleaned it, still the same awful sound, sounds like it may even be damaging the record.

So bummed out. I dont really think I'm gonna have the money to replace it with a cartridge near that price.
Let us know where you live and perhaps a kind, elderly audiophile will come to your rescue - 4 ears are better than two...

Please let us know what's happening once you figure it out.
Good luck.
If anyone would be willing to come look at my set up that would be very helpful.

I live in Newport, KY. Very near Cincinnati, OH. Its a modest system, but it keeps me really happy.

I will certainly keep you guys informed of any improvements/developments.

I'm in your area. Maybe I can help you. I'll try to send you an e-mail so we can talk.

Hmmm. If it makes music OK and you only hear the noise btwn tracks and on lead in that's a very different circumstance then I understood. The stylus is almost certainly on the cantilever, so it sounds to me like some sort of feedback or oscillation. Do you have any other sources? Is it present w other sources? What is the rest of your system?

The system: MMF7 w/ Goldring Eroica, Marantz 2215b, Infinity RS5

I set up my old technics table as well, the problem is not present in that set up. the sound problem is not feedback. I'm concerned now that the MMF7 and cartridge is damaging my records -- I played a brand new album last night, the first time I heard no sound (other than a little surface noise), played it again and its getting the scratchy sound.

I've quit playing the records all together, contacted the dealer, and they have referred me back to Music Hall -- checked my email this morning and Music Hall has referred me back to the dealer. How classic.

My first table cost 150 bucks used, lasted me 5 years with no issue, this one cause 10x that and it didnt make it a week. I'm sure you guys can understand the dismay.
F.W. The name of the game you are in is "Getting the Dealer to Perform" and the best way to do that is to get the manufacturer on his back ;-) The dealer (whether local or online) is definitely the responsible party if your unit is in warranty and it's an authorized MH dealer. Was the dealer's referral back to Music Hall in writing (email, etc?) I'll assume not (otherwise all you'd have to do is forward a copy of their refusal to help you to MH) So the next thing is to get the name of the store manager so you can email it along with the store name and phone number to MH, with a note indicating that THEIR dealer is refusing to help you (you should send/email the dealer a copy.) That should get something going (probably a 'Return Merchandise Authorization' so the dealer can send it back to Music Hall.) DO NOT attempt to fix it yourself or allow the dealer to "see if he can fix it" ;-) It needs to go back to the factory in order to maintain your warranty rights.

As for the problem, I'm similarly perplexed as Swamp. My (only) guess after the details you provided, is that the stylus may have a chip in it. It DOES happen, and would be hard to see except under high magnification. I'm not saying for sure that's the problem, but if it is, you don't want to play any records with it until it's fixed.
Right on guys. I'll work with the dealer today. So, far all my contact has been via email so I have some trial of who I was referred to etc. I would think MH would be really willing to help, right along with the dealer -- we arent talking about used cars here, right?

I'm not playing any more records at this point, that seems like throwing away money. I'm as confused as anyone else is -- the only difference is that I can hear it and you cannot. Depending on what happens, I'm guessing I'll need to learn the process of remounting a cartridge, luckly this place has volumes of material on that.

I really appreciate everyones help, I'll post details as I get them if anyone is interested.

Jay, you shouldn't have to remount the cartridge if the unit came with the cartridge mounted. And since no one knows what the preoblem actually is, the whole TT is going to have to go back to MH anyway, so let them remount a new cartridge (if that's even the problem.)

This kind of thing sucks, however, when something is in warranty, you just have to take the attitude that you have 'all the time in the world' for it to be made right, even if it means them replacing the entire unit after figuring out they can't fix it!

Another very important tip: keep all records showing (1) the date you returned it to the dealer for repair (NOT the date he sent it to MH, but the date you returned it to HIM -- get a receipt!) and (2) the date you received a working unit back. Attach these to your original purchase invoice. The time elapsed between the two dates can be (legally) added to extend your warranty ;--)
Thanks for the insight into warranty claims, Nsgarch. I will certainly keep good records. Sounds like this is getting into a whole other topic.

Obviously I'll do what I have to, and I'm waiting to hear back from both, Leland at MH and the Dealer. I'm wondering who is responsible for shipping on this thing though, it could easily amount to hundreds of dollars I think. possibly close to what I would be willing to just spend on a new cartridge.

I dont want to rush to any conclusions, and certainly am not going to act on any replacment items till I hear the final word -- this is the kind of situation where I would really liked to have been able to purchase from local dealer.
Shipping costs both ways for an item under warranty are the responsibility of the dealer and/or manufacturing (unless specifically excluded in the terms of the warranty, which you should have a copy of in your owner's manual.)

If your dealer is not local, and he arranges for MH to send you an RMA so you can send it to back to MH, then MH should also include a pre-paid shipping label for you to stick on the box when you ship it back. (Make sure to ask your dealer to ask MH to include one with the RMA.)

I hope you still have the original packing.
Just remember that the dealer gets a mark up part of which is to cover these kinds of issues. If they won't help you get an RMA from MH, then I would tell them you are returning it for a full refund since it is defective, and let them try to get credit from MH. If you paid w CC then you should consider filing a dispute with your cc provider. That will hold up the dealer's payment and THEN you will get action. If you have to go that far, I would encourage you to name names. Not yet, but since MH does not deal factory direct, their dealer should step up to the plate. If they don't, both MH and your audiogon buddies should know about it. Given the state of flux of high end distribution/sales (see recent thread by member Lrsky, its importnat for the importer and the public to find out which dealers provide value-added and which do not. Good luck and keep us posted. BTW, since you told us your other TT works, then it has to be somewhere in the MH product. Based on your most recent description, it seems most likely that the problem is w the stylus but of course no way to be sure.
After much effort, Music Hall requested that I send my Eroica back for evaluation. I sent it insured 3 day UPS on Thursday nearly a month ago. Since the request to send the cart directly to Music Hall I've gotten a response from anyone (dealer or MH) regarding the status of my cart.

I would like to publicly express my disappointment in Music Hall's ability to work with their customers. I made repeated attempts to find the most appropriate way to communicate with them, none of which were answered, and my requests for a status on my issue have gone without notice.

I understand that in the world of audiophile equipment a 450-500 cart means nothing, but to someone like myself, young and just growing in the life style this can be a deal breaker -- for a long time.

I dont want to discredit the company, or to start any disagreements, just want to mention my personal admonishment for the way I have been treated.

as of this post, I've not received word of the condition of my cartridge, nor have I received any communication back from MH after several emails and phone calls (voice mails).

total bummer.

in the relm of carts -- Ortofon all the way from here on out.
Fightingwords, I sent the following email to MH about an hour ago:


Subject: baaaad press!
You guys should really take better care of your customers!
Especially the youngsters -- they are the future of this precious little hobby ;--)

Read the whole thread at:

Best regards,


I just got a return email from Roy Hall. He was obviously concerned, and he thought I was the customer ;-) I asked him to email you through your Audiogon link. You should be hearing from him soon.

Good Luck!