I'm putting to rest worrying about sibilance


I just ran a test on three different turntables I own. I played various recordings, each of which exhibit sibilance to some degree, mostly female vocalists. The three tables are pro-ject the classic with the hana el, music hall mmf7 with factory mounted eroica h, and my brand new thorens td 240-2 with the ortofon om10 also factory installed. My dilemma began with constant worrying about the first table (the pro-ject) as I thought I was hearing a bit of sibilance only on certain records. So I played the very same records, mostly used from thrifts etc, on all three tables and adjusting volume or gain for each. Well, I found that all three table and cartridge combinations exhibit the sibilance in the same parts of songs on each recording. My findings are that what I perceive as higher sibilance on the hana can be contributed to its (imo) better high frequency response. In other words, the other tables and cartridges had the sibilance, but to a lesser prominence, but it WAS there. So my conclusion is that it Is just inherent in the lp medium to some degree, and more so with used records. I have farted around enough with the hana el and I am no longer going to fret over it. I would have a hard time believing that all three tables and cartridges are that badly aligned etc to all cause some sibilance here and there. All three were checked and seem to be dead on. The only table I personally installed cartridge on was the pro- ject (hana el) also, three preamps were tried during testing, my marantz pm14s1 built in, a musical fidelity lx lps, and a pro-ject tube box ds2. Lastly the hana el was adjusted when installed to align with the cartridge body and not the cantilever (just easier imo) using a proper protractor, and the vta was adjusted so that the hana is a bit ass down, as I think the hana sounds right like that. So there is my conclusion. I’ve been reading forum after forum about the sibilance issue somehave, but I think I feel better after doing what I did as described above, and refuse to drive my self nuts any longer!😁
Just to add, the listening was first performed on the other 2 tables, the mmf7 and thorens, again both have factory installed cartridges, also checked by me. In doing so I ruled out the hana inscribing the record grooves with the sibilance in the event its mis aligned, which it is not....
801518a7 2cfc 49e0 b01e 1e92d08383d1audioguy85
 So my conclusion is that it Is just inherent in the lp medium to some degree


Congratulations on figuring that much out. That is more than most. So far however you have compared the same LP on different rigs. But what about different copies of the same LP?

For years until recently I always assumed that aside from the occasional bad (noisy) pressing they were all otherwise the same. Now if you do the same test only playing different copies of the same LP I can just about guarantee you will find no two copies sound the same!

Some have truly awful sibilance. Some have none at all. I'm not talking any two, I'm talking two copies of the same recording! Like you it bothers me a whole lot less now that I know its the pressing and not a dirty stylus, misalignment, mis-tracking, or any of that. 

If you have any dupes in your collection I highly recommend taking the time to play and compare them side by side. The differences sometimes are huge, and involve a whole lot more than just sibilance.
That's a good idea to compare different pressings. Look at the matrix numbers to find the different production runs, pressing plants, or for reissues.

Discogs has every release listed.


Something is amiss.
You have a number or "thrift" LPs - all showing sibilance.Difference preamps, tables, arms etc.What’s common to all? Amp and speakers, support, wiring, and your alignment efforts.
Have you tried mint LPs, or other copies, as millercarbon suggested?
I have sibilance on a few albums - an early Decca Julie Andrews comes to mind - but I believe it’s the recording, not the medium. I suffered from awful sibilance with an amplifier years ago - a Cyrus 2. Got rid of it, sibilance disappeared. I suspect a number of factors: worn media, a poor solid state power amp coupled with tizzy speakers and stranded cable.


I dont have too many duplicates, but yes I have heard really aweful pressings and then a really rather nice pressing of the very same record...quality control issues maybe...idk. I find that the older, and when available original copies sound best dynamically speaking. I guess to make if short, it’s the recording and not my equipment or set up. Also I did try various records of varying quality etc and managed to find sibilance, but mostly only here and there, and sometimes none at all. It stands to reason that if my system, ie turntables & cartridges, were ALL sibilant, then it would manifest itself on anything I played, but that is not the case. Some recordings simply sound wonderful with that Tubey full bodied super wide soundstage sound!
Hi noromance, to clarify, no I don’t get sibilance on everything I play. It is here and there. But on the records I do get it on, ie julie london recordings (not all), I take those particular pressings and play them on all 3 tables to keep myself sane. The amp is a marantz pm14s1 integrated, so a nice warm sound signature. To offset some of the warmth I use qed silver anniversary bi wire running to wharfedale 225’s, also inherently warm. The turntables aforementioned. Interconnects are all neutral being chord cables and atlas phono interconnect from both the turntable and the preamp in use at any given time. The mmf7 turntable runs directly to the marantz, which takes any outboard preamp out of equation. Like I said its not every record...maybe 1 out of every 4 or 5 records I own exhibit some form of sibilance in varying degrees, and sometimes one song to another on the very same album varies! So logic tells me that it had to be the recording. Lastly, the only cartridge I personally installed was the hana el onto the pro- ject the classic sb turntable. The others have the cartridge that came with then pre installed, and also double checked by me with 3 different protractors ie baerwald and geo disc etc.
The records I mostly play are older 50 and 60’s albums all preowned. So despite looking rather clean, they could still have wear from previous owners worn stylus idk...on some newer albums such as a fresh copy of emmylou harris, I hear no sibilance whatsoever. I do not hear it on my pristine copy of Sinatra singing with his daughter nancy (something stupid) no sibilance at all. Linda ronstadt singing with Nelson riddle orchestra sounds great, no sibilance except what is there normally in the spoken/sung word.
Also it’s not the speakers ,as I confirmed with headphones, and I hear it sometimes through them as well, no matter if I’m connected directly to the marantz headphone jack or my outboard headphone amp....its just plain There, but not on every record.
Its not the recording. If it was the recording then it would be on every copy of every LP ever made. If it was the recording it would be on reissues. It would for that matter be on the CDs! Its not the recording. Its the pressing.

Its quality control all right but its way more than that. The short version of the story is you take any production run of any record from any stamper cut by any mastering engineer and the great majority will be average, with a lot of below average copies with noise and sibilance and just generally crappy sounding, and with a really incredibly good sounding copy coming off every once in a while.

Early original pressings tend to be better. Reissues tend to be a whole lot worse. But these are tendencies, and there are exceptions. Still, by and large, reissues suck.

And yeah, those Ronstadt/Riddle recordings were all mastered by Doug Sax at The Mastering Lab and sound fab!


Yes the ronstadt recording is awesome! I got it at a small used record shop in Boston and it appeared unplayed for only $2.99! I mean of course you can hear her pronounce "s" sounds and so forth, but they dont sound overly harsh or like "sh" or "sssss" etc....now on my instrumental recordings, ie jazz classical big band etc....anything with out vocals....all instruments come through clearly with zero harshness and with a wonderful warm bloom type sound! I just love analog.. the only time I am mildly irritated is that occasional vocal recording that either was not taken care of by previous owner or was not mastered or pressed well and exhibits some sibilance now and then. One other example is the classic records nora jones album. There are at least 2 songs on that album whereas the sibilance is terrible. And again, it manifests itself on three different well maintained and set up turntables! So to me, it’s the freaking pressing, recording, mastering or what have you. I could adjust, align or whatever a cartridge seven ways to Sunday and its still there.
I have a good number of 50/60/70s recordings of female vocalists, I’ll listen to my Julie London and see if I notice anything. In the meantime, try your speakers with 14 gauge mains cable "Romex" and leave ground disconnected.
I tend not to believe those that state they hear zero sibilance on ANY recording through their system. Either their system rolls off the highs, has a subdued midrange or they have discovered something a large majority have not. Again, three different turntables and cartridges, one a line contact in the eroica h by goldring with maybe 50 hours, aligned by project at the factory and double checked by me to be dead on, and still some sibilance on SOME recordings on all three set ups. So to me anyway it's in the record/pressing. I'm through pulling my hair out, what little I have left! 
First off, you cannot trust factory set up cartridges. So forget that.
Second, I get NO sibilance on any records except for one or two where it is on the recording. 
Third, are you cleaning the records?
Cheers.
I checked the factory set up parameters on 2 of the 3 turntables and they are on target. The only one I set up myself was my pro-ject with hana el. I have close to if not 1000 records, most of which are used/preowned. lots are new as well. As i said, not all exhibit this issue, only some. I spent good money on my cables, so i cannot bring myself to use romex. I did however run a dedicated circuit using 12/2 romex for my hifi. I use all audioquest noise conditioners and outlet. My components are generally on the warm side, the way i like it. I do not like exaggerated highs at all. The only thing offsetting my warm sounding equipment is the silver cables (QED), ive used these for years and like them as they make it easier and more convenient to biwire. The speakers are wharfedale 225 not known to be harsh in the treble, so i doubt very much those are an issue. It again is not every recording, only some. and again most of these records are used and for all i know, despite looking ok, could have been played on a cheap record player at some point. There is only so much one can do to align a cartridge, unless you are Michael Fremer. I use well known available products and a 10x magnifier as well as a lighted 40x loupe. I think people make too much of the alignment process honestly. As soon as you change one thing to attain another, you have altered something else! It is a compromise, hence the two null points. My post began with telling everyone that three turntables and three cartridges were used to test out several known pressings with some sibilance on some portions of each record. So unless every one of my turntables and cartridges are mal-adjusted, I am more apt to think that its the fault of either worn record grooves, bad pressings, and bad QC. Additionaly, a cartridge is not selective in itself. If it is truly that far off alignment wise, then all records would sound like crap! This is not the case, as most of my records sound very nice indeed! It is a select few of the 1000 records that exhibit a sibilant sound signature. Lastly, yes all records are cleaned prior to playing with my trusted discwasher d4 system. The ones that are really dirty are remotely cleaned and stored, I am meticulous when it comes to that. I hear the sibilance to the greatest degree with the hana el, which makes some sense, as it is a very open sounding cartridge imo. I hear it to a lesser degree with the goldring eroica h line contact, giving creedence to those in the camp that say the stylus shape matters etc. (line contact tracking better than elliptical). The ortofon OM10 also to a lesser degree due to the fact that I do not feel it is as revealing a cartridge as the other two. This is not to say in the least that the sibilance is gone with the eroica and the om10, but just a bit less annoying. One of the preamps, aforementioned, being a pro-ject tube box ds with front mounted loading adjustments. The Hana EL is connected to this currently, and is loaded at about 450 ohms. Decreasing the load impedance does nothing to remedy the now and then sibilance, it just makes the cartridge sound thick and dull. 
Noromance, some, not all of my julie london’s have some sibilance when she leans heavy on the s sounds. On others there is no discernible  sibilance. Again some of these JL records were bought used and are very old.
I keep trying to post here but my phone writings don’t seem to get through. Except this one:()
Ill try again. Sibilance is an issue in making records. Something I’ve been doing as a day job for the last 40 years. So though we try to ameliorate it in mastering, but like most things, it’s a trade off. It is more of a problem as the grooves get closer to the label. So hearing sibilance does not mean your system is set up incorrectly. 
Sibilance has two meanings people sometimes get crossed up. The one we've been talking about (or I have, anyway) is the spitty exaggerated sort that makes it sound like your record is dirty, the cartridge is mistracking, or you just got a bad pressing. 

But there's also the sibilance that is nothing more than the normal sssss ssssound the air makes moving between the teeth. The kind of sibilance that is a challenge for microphones and recording engineers. 

What I am saying, which is also the way I read the OP and noromance, is you can tweak and clean and align to your hearts content and still not eliminate all the annoying sibilance because once you do all that it still comes down to the pressing, some of which have it no matter what you do.

So when that is the case, relax. Nothing you can do then but go looking for a better copy.
So it appears that this is not a major issue at all. What you are experiencing is the limitations of your mid-fi components as they run into tracking and frequency response issues. Try your records at a high end dealer to get the final arbitration.
I think certain cartridge and stylus profiles are much more susceptible to be sibilant.  I used benz micro cartridges for years and they were all sibilant.  Since then Lyra and no sibilance.  I use Pickering MM and its not sibilant either.  I think as cartridges age with use, they can become more sibilant as well.
Let's look at two other things; AM/FM radio, and a singers understanding of microphone dynamics.

AM (amplitude modulation): AM is a poor conduit for high frequencies. In the early days, if a recording engineer thought he had a chart topping hit, he would tip up the high frequencies. Fleetwood Mac Rumors is a prime example. Sounds fabulous with car tweeters, not so with hard dome ones.

FM (frequency modulation): FM is much better with high frequencies. By the 70's/80's most cars had FM, so you didn't need to tip anything. Radiohead OK Computer is my conundrum. Fabulous in the car, horrid on my stereo.

Singers: When a vocalist is about to hit a power note, they must move their mouth away from the microphone. You've all seen it, and heard it. If they don't, they overload the mic. 

Such is the life of an audiophile.
Noromance....maybe....but I tend to think that even if I spent 3 times as much on gear, the sibilance would still be there....its in the pressing, at least some of them. That was whole point of the test. Thankfully i had three turntables on hand to do it. I actually have a fourth! It’s still in box and has the ortofon 2m silver. Maybe I’ll crack that open and try a fourth turntable/cartridge. The likely scenario imo is that the sibilance will still be heard on the effected pressings....
Just to add, my system plays instrumental music and high frequencies with utmost clarity, with zero harshness, at least to my ears. It's just on a random pressing here or there that I can hear the sibilance, mostly on female vocals, but sometimes on Male vocals as well. I have a louie prima record that is old and it is unlistenable on anything I tried playing it on. Unknown if just worn grooves or just the pressing itself. 
@audioguy85 The thing is this - I have had the same issue over the years and then one day, it stopped. I got things right.

Please try this as I have suggested before:
1. Replace (as a test) your speaker wire with 14g Romex. (silver-plated OFC can be unkind to sililant vocals)
2. Replace (as a test) your Marantz power amp with something else. (I’ve read comments about it being grainy and bright.)
I gotcha......but I have to disagree on the marantz pm14s1. I have read no where that its grainy and bright. It is actually one of their warmest amps of late. Its basically an updated version of the previous pm 15s1. I do agree however that silver cabling can sometimes be an issue with brightness, however all my components are warm, the classic sb turntable, the hana el, the marantz, and especially the wharfedales. Copper or the romex u speak of is known to be warm, so u may be on to something...although it’s the first time I’ve ever heard that suggested for a speaker cable option. All the reviews of that marantz indicate warmth, and thus far it is what I’ve experienced as well. I actually have a biwire set of audioquest type 4’s I could swap in as a test as well. The only other amps I have on hand are the rogue sphinx v2 and another marantz, the pm8006....I guess I could try either as well, when I’m feeling energetic! What a pia with all the wiring I’d have to unhook etc....lol. how did you terminate the 14g romex? Or did you just leave it bare? The marantz only has one set of speaker terminals so I’d have to get creative. Right now my qed’s are terminated with both bananas and spades on amp end to facilitate connecting to amp for biwiring. The audioquest type 4's are already terminated so I think I'll try those prior to testing with romex. Also, the type 4 has no silver content, just a combo of stranded and solid copper conductors I believe. 
Singers: When a vocalist is about to hit a power note, they must move their mouth away from the microphone. You've all seen it, and heard it. If they don't, they overload the mic.
No, that's not it. What they're doing is exploiting the way a microphone's frequency response changes with distance. Up close its boomy and bass heavy. Further away the bass reinforcement falls off and the higher ranges become more clear.

Either that, or all those supremely talented and highly paid performers are putting up with crappy easily overloaded microphones. Time after time. Everywhere they go. Forever. Instead of just asking for a better mic.


Well, I suppose we all have to be OCD about something.....I have seen this Canadian on you tube, can't think of his name, think Farraway is his last who is a musician by trade and ends his rant with "remember, vinyl is final" he also crafts home brew beer, maybe that has something to do with it....but he is missionary in his zeal to get rid of sibilance and has gone thru a lot of carts. His current fave is Ortofon Blue. I've heard it on his you-tube channel and it does sound real smooth and sibilance free w/his new Fluance signature turntable. That being said it doesn't sound natural to me. I think sibilance is just part of the recording process so I don't really care if it shows up in certain passages, usually women's vocals. This is not my first rodeo w/vinyl. Back in the '70's I had an audiophile table...an ERA 48 pole synchrous motor belt drive (made in France) with a Grace 707 tone arm and tried various carts but Grado's had just came out and for the money blew away about any offerings from Shure, Empire or the usual suspects. I don't remember anybody back then complaining about sibilance. I have about a 40 plus year old Linda Ronstadt recording called simply Linda Ronstadt which is my fave Linda Ronstadt with classics like "Rock me on the Water" (which gives me goosebumps, and not from the sibilance which it has plenty of. I have set up with my Nagaoka mp110 with a protractor on my ATLP-5 turntable by Audio-Technica which was an award winning table in its price range. I mated it with a Schiit Mani preamp which is highly rated in it's price range and sounded good. But when I got a new amp and preamp, Emotiva PT-100 and Bas-x A-150 it exhibited too much hum and I quit using it and used the inboard pre-amp which has no hum at all and sounds as good as the schiit, anybody want to buy a phono preamp? Also have Elac B-6 speakers with rolled off highs and still get sibilance with this album I cherish. So I'm going to enjoy it and chalk up sibilance to the recording process. What I am OCD about is hum.
Noromance, just to add, I have listened with several pairs of headphones to these recording while playing them on the different turntables. I still hear the sibilance here and there on the headphones. Also, it is there whether I go through the marantz amp or my musical fidelity headphone amp. So I think the fact that I can hear it through headphones should pretty much squash the possibility that it’s my amp, speakers or speaker cables. I’m back to believing its just the darn pressings...
Jdub071, can you further describe what you hear in detail as far as the sibilance on that Linda ronstadt album? I hear generally an unpleasant scratchiness to the s sounds, almost as iritating as finger nails on a chalk board....sometimes it is only one or two songs on an entire album, other times non at all, and other times the whole album sucks. This is generally just a handful, maybe 2 handfuls of the many albums i own that are effected. Sometimes when the sibilance rears its head, I can hear it in left speaker and then it shoots across soundstage to right speaker. That was only on one or two records though. I would hate to hear "Sally sells sea shells by the sea shore" on my system! Lol
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Just went back and read my posts again and darned if it isn't clear to me they cover exactly everything you are talking about. Some pressings are like this. No two pressings are exactly the same. So it does no good whatsoever, gets you absolutely nowhere, to ask another person where THEIR copy of whatever has sibilance. THEIR copy is not YOUR copy. They are not the same. If you're not happy with your copy go find another one. All you can do.

Oh and if instead of randomly buying and hoping you want to buy only the very rare exceptionally unbelievably good sounding copy then here it is https://www.better-records.com/product.aspx?pf_id=ronstforse_1905
Yes, I've visited that sight, but most of those records, however great, are just too much money for me. If money were no issue, I would certainly consider.....I guess I just live with the occasional sibilance, until I am able to replace with a better copy.  
Some phono preamps are more susceptible to sibilance, and surface noise, than others.  Same with cartridges, as OP noted with his Hana, and certainly some pressings are better than others. 
I suspect some amps of contributing to the problem, too.  

Like Noromance, I kept after the problem in my system until it mostly went away. 
Used three different preamps, all the same result. Amp is a warm sounding almost tube like amp. Speakers nice and warm non fatiguing highly reviewed diamond 225 by wharfedale, yes not multi thousand dollar speakers, but nice sounding. All 3 cartridges show up the sibilance on the same tracks or areas of the affected records. Some yes do better with it, but it’s still there....the Haha is the worst offender, second the om10, and third the eroica h. Eroica h is line contact so tracks a bit better, but does NOT eliminate it. Listening with headphones and bypassing my amp/preamp, still there! Use of a different pair of headphones? Still there. So honestly, how any one can say it’s the equipment and not the particular pressing Is beyond me. If I were to ship the records in question to anyone on here, I’m 100% certain that you too will here it. There is no way to eliminate sibilance entirely, especially If its embedded in the record grooves! Unless there Is a magic pill cartridge I’m unaware of.
Headphones used, akg k550 reference, grado 125, and beyerdynamic 600 ohm dt880...in essence, I have bypassed my speaker cables, my speakers, my amplifier to take them all out of the equation. Also to avoid tainting my test results, I played the least offending turntables/cartridges first, and the pro-ject with the hana last. The reason being the hana is the only one of the three for which I’m responsible for as far as mounting, and some say a misaligned cartridge that exhibits sibilance could be etching the grooves with such....The other two tables came factory adjusted and mounted etc...and were double checked etc...and are on target and aligned. All three exhibit the sibilance on the various effected records or tracks. Sorry for repetition but I feel the need to reiterate. I will be pulling out a brand new in the box classic project with pre mounted 2m ortofon silver and see what that does. Of course I will check it first with a protractor.
Audioguy 85-just hear s's sizzling kinda and a little distortion. Kinda like running out of headroom.
Ok, yes same here.....mine sounds like worn out grooves. These lps bought used and despite looking rather good, I guess u just do not know how they will sound until played. Thankfully I pay a buck per record so no big deal, and its only on certain songs on each lp. The very next song often sounds ok. And it’s not always just the inner groove songs that sound bad, it can be one on the outer and middle grooves as well. I have a brand new shure m97xe that I can throw onto a spare headshell for my thorens td 240. Some say this cartridge tracks very well etc and is not sibilant. I have my suspicions that what they are hearing is not the cartridge tracking better, but instead they are hearing the shure rolling off the high frequencies, thus making the sibilance harder to hear or detect . I could also roll back the impedance loading on my pro-ject tube box, but the hana el sounds great at the 450 ohm setting I have it set at. Instruments sound unbelievably clear, including cymbals, flutes, etc...and the bass Is perfect, as I can follow bass lines effortlessly. I believe I have my VTA set perfectly for this cartridge. It seems to thrive with its ass end slightly down. I own some original living stereo pressings and those sound fabulous, as if musicians are almost right there in front of me with super sound staging etc...and then I got several pressings that will "sssss" you right of the room lol!
Sibilance exists in nature and in everyday conversation--ever hear somebody talk with their dentures out? There is nothing perfect in nature or the recording process. If a little or lot for that matter comes rolling out of the mouth of Linda Ronstadt or any other singer then the mics are going to pick it up. To say a mid-fi or lesser or better system is going to get rid of it is I don't think possible or desirable without making the recording totally not real.
I would have to agree with that jdub071...I do not believe you can totally  rid any system  (at any cost) of sibilance if it is indeed in the pressing. To do so would entail curtailing the high frequencies to the point where presence is lost, as well as detail in the higher registers....
To do so would entail curtailing the high frequencies to the point where presence is lost, as well as detail in the higher registers....
No. Not so at all. Better tracking using a better table, better arm and cartridge along with better control of the signal using better phono amplification does improve how the system reacts to smearing and sibilance. I’m listening to an old fairly worn Decca recording Debut/Marcy Lutes amd can hear wear mistracking and hints of sibilance. I know this record used sound worse on my earlier rigs. My current system is pretty high resolution and there is no sibilance. So, to recap, fixing the issues does not mean rolling off the detail.
Now that I run a Hana SL, I experience sibilance rarely, and it’s barely noticeable on records that used to be the worst offenders. I’ve noticed the problem is always greater when using a cart with an elliptical stylus. I understand the Hana EL is alleged to be very good for an elliptical, but so is the SS Carmen, and that cart was more sibilant than any line-contact or Shibata stylus I’ve used.

I get that many recordings have sibilance cut into the grooves, but I figure one might as well try to minimize the severity by running a cart with an advanced stylus profile. I’m so through with ellipticals that I’d rather listen to digital than be stuck with one.
I’m using very good stuff as it is....not about to spend any more money....I think I’ll just deal with it. I’m not in the camp of mortgaging my house to buy audio equipment lol. My amp is 3 grand, my phono amp is 700, yes the speakers are only 500 but imo very nice ( mind you I also have harbeths @ 2200 & spendors @ 1600.). And my cables were not cheap either. My turntables cost 1500 × 2 (project and music hall mmf7, no slouch) and 1200 for the thorens....so yea I think I spent enough. This does not even include all the cartridges i own and headphones and associated amp(s) and dac and sacd player, and cassette decks etc etc etc, oh and media ......cd...lp....cassettes etc. I mean how much more can ya spend before your wife begins scratching her head and then says well weren’t we supposed to take kids to Disney? Lol.....the sibilance is there and is embedded in the grooves. There is no way of getting rid of it period. I’ll send any one of you my Louis prima record on me and u will see what I mean...it is atrocious! Yes, i agree you may be able to lessen it to a degree by spending more on a line contact or shibata or whatever. My eroica h is an 800 dollar cartridge with a rather nice line contact stylus and I still here it to a degree, it has not magically made it disappear. Also, it is very hard to quantify the severity on a forum as I or you are not directly listening to each others set up. Thus maybe i am exaggerating what I am hearing or you are maybe not as sensitive to the sibilance...who knows really.  I understand that Fremer spent over 30k for his current turntable with 2 arms....is that what it will take? Lol
From my reading of all the responses, I’ve come to the conclusion that their are generally three camps here...the 1st agree that yes, if the pressing is bad or the record is worn then no there is not much to be done about it. The 2nd feels that it can be lessened or be made to sound less noticeable with maybe a different phono amp and or a better cartridge ie a line contact. The 3rd state that their hi res systems produce zero sibilance in all cases and that they have somehow weeded every last iota of sibilance from their set ups....ugh my aching head...hahaha
Not sure why you are spreading youself so horizontally. Anyhow, it seems all is well except for a few worn or poorly pressed LPs. 
I guess I’m just airing out my frustrations on a public forum concerning this battle with something that may never be totally resolved 100%.... any how I feel a bit better laying it out there, whether that be horizontally or vertically lol. One issue is that once you hear it or experience it, you then listen for it (sibilance) on everything you play! It's like you become obsessed with it and then fail to just enjoy your music...
That's what happens when you're listening to the system instead of the music because something is amiss. Sell all of it and start again. 
Lol I dont think so....there is nothing wrong with my system as most records sound great. There are a Few bad pressings as you previously agreed is the issue. The three turntables all like new, if not new, all verify that it's the pressing and not my system. Soon I will test my 4th turntable....as u suggested, I took my amp out of the equation and used my headphone amp to have a listen and with three different pairs of headphones and three different turntables and 3 different phono preamps, still there. So I am doubting that my qed silver anniversary bi wire cables are the issue if they were not even being used in this particular test, neither was the marantz amp. I used a musical fidelity preamp, a Graham slee amp 2 se, and project tube box ds......so unless every component In my system is somehow defective or something, which is impossible, then it is just the pressing(s).
Why do you keep buying more average tables instead of one good one?
I'm not! The tables are not average first of all! Have you even heard the classic sb by pro-ject? Even fremer thought it was a nice table!  I bought the thorens because I like it, I like that when I'm lazy it's an automatic. As far as the music hall mmf7, I bought that years and years ago..its the original mmf7 and has received terrific reviews from everyone. I doubt that even a 4000 5000 table will get rid of what I hear if it's the record. There is no magic disappearing act.
I never ever said that I am unhappy with every record! 90 percent of what I play sounds terrific to my ears.....its the random and occasional record that I play that sounds like crap! Its the pressing period. I created this post to help people with the same issue, and to maybe prove that there is nothing wrong with their set ups and that this issue can be attributed to the poor quality of some pressings. I think, in my mind, I have proved it, at least to myself. No offense intended, but according to your profile, you are using an average 50 dollar cartridge on that dual. There are way better cartridges than the at95, imo. The thorens I own is also very similar to a dual. 
Um... I’m not. That’s legacy info. You have to click in. Sigh.
I can only read what’s there, and that is what u have listed....sorry...legacy I assume means old? Idk, I'm still feeling my way around this place🙄
Ok I had a look! It looks to me like you are trying to find the holy grail! My goodness, I’ve never seen Anything like that, with all the modifying and change outs etc....honestly it looks like you were driven crazy by something to make all those changes. My route seemed quite easy really, and I do enjoy my system as is....with exception of a few select pressings that are really out of mycontrol, as buying a used record is hit or miss. Plus I’m not made of money or retired and lack that much time to constantly fuss over it....I’ll give you this much, its some very nice stuff you are playing with there!😁
I try not to get jealous of others and what they have lol...yes, I’m average and probably always will be. Yet, my crap Is probably much better than maybe 75 percent of what others own, particularly non audiophile types hahaha....
Just wondering, are you in process of finishing your basement? It does not look like an optimal environment for listening.