On all records?
33 responses Add your response
I was having a similar problem in highly modulated passages, particularly female vocal harmonies and Pink Floyd crescendos. I only noticed this after a significant turntable upgrade. I kept thinking it must be cartridge alignment or a compliance issue. Maybe bad pressings.. I got ocd about cleaning the needle, sometimes twice per side.
I got a used integrated for an in home trial and realized after hours of listening to the albums that had given me trouble, I hadn’t thought maybe the needle had picked up some fuzz once. Bought the amp and no distortion since.
although some here might tell you it can’t be the amp that might act that way, it can be. My amp was from the 80s.
Yes, the Atlas is a great cartridge. You either have a tracking problem or a worn record problem. Miss-tracking can really chew up vinyl.
On a record you know has the problem try increasing the VTF to max and add a little antiskating. If it sails through without distortion then it is a tracking problem and the Atlas in a Tri Planar will fix it. If you hear the same distortion than you most likely have a worn record problem. Clipping phono stages can also do this but I have a hard time believing the Shalabi would do that. What phono stage are you using?
Sorry to report, distortion and mistracking are the bane of the vinyl universe. If possible, drag the turntable to a reputable dealer/tech and have them set it up. Or have 'em come by! If you decide to do it yourself, don't drink too much coffee before you attempt your own adjustments, You don't wanna have the shakes. And attach suitable magnifying lenses to your eyeballs.
"the inventor of your phono stage weighed in a few posts ago...."
And was spot on... "Cartridge alignment is paramount".
When your system becomes more transparent (as in your case the addition of the MP-1), you'll hear some of the "sins" that were previously masked. The same thing happen to me when I changed from Tekton to Wilson speakers. In that case, I checked the cartridge alignment & found it off ever so slightly. Once fixed, the distortion problem went away.
Dear @mglik : Other than the alignment issue, that's is critical including that the Triplanar been mounted at the rigth distance from the TT spindle, your cartridge is alow compliance design and could be not very good tracker and its resonance frequency with your tonearm is around 12hz that could disturb a little the quality sound we are listening with. Your tonearm comes with a silicon damping tray that I don't know if you are using it: do you?
Now, how many playing hours has your cartridge from new and which with which protractor made it its alignment set up?
Talking of the cartridge ( any ) what you are experienced looks like could be a cartridge suspension problem.
Btw, which phono stage was using before this " trouble "?
Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,
You wrote, "On dynamic peaks, even at fairly low volume, the sound breaks up and produces distortion." On equipment that is at the level of your ensemble, those distortions should not be a bother, and they are not inherent to the vinyl medium. In fact, elimination of those sorts of problems is one of the best justifications for spending big bucks on your vinyl rig. Or, to re-phrase what edcyn wrote, "distortion and mistracking are [not] the bane of the vinyl universe".
I have no idea why you are having problems apart from the real possibility that your LPs have been abused by a previous owner, and there's not much you can do about that. Before I would spend more bucks on equipment (like the Lyra Atlas), I would recommend that you purchase several known good LPs and first see whether you perceive they have the same issues when played on your system. For example, buy some new high quality re-issues of the same music that is currently giving you problems on your used LPs. The only other possible issue that is self-evident is the match of the compliance of your Shilabe (very low) with the effective mass of the Triplanar (in the low medium range). The Shilabe might like a much higher effective mass tonearm. Conversely, the Lyra Atlas might be a better match for the Triplanar.
@lewm , for certain. He can add some mass. Soundsmith makes a nice set of graduated cartridge screws. It certainly is not the Atma-Sphere overloading. I have a sneaking suspicion it is just worn records.
The Lyra Atlas is a fine cartridge certainly in the upper echelon of cartridges. Not the best value but hey, if you have the money why not?
@mglik , what are you using for loudspeakers?
I think the culprit is worn vinyl.
I do have a lot of used records. Guess I will flag the worst ones.
I think the greatly increased performance of my new Atma MP-1 just picks up and amplifies the wear issues.
The good news is that the 180 gram remasters do seem to all lack this overt distortion. I know they are not as good as good as good first pressings or Better Records but they are very enjoyable.
@mglik , What speakers are you using?
There are certainly times when the reissues are better than the original particularly when it comes to older popular music. The quality of the pressings was not near that of classical music and in the late 50's and 60's recording engineers doing popular music were not as experienced. As an example the early masters of Zappa's first 4 or five discs were terrible. The remasters are fabulous. The reissue of Weather Report's Sweetnighter is significantly superior to the original. I would rather have a good clean pressing at 9/10ths sound than a scratchy one at 10/10ths.
Dear @mglik : " I think the culprit is worn vinyl.
I do have a lot of used records. Guess I will flag the worst ones.
I think the greatly increased performance of my new Atma MP-1 just picks up and amplifies the wear issues. "
That could be true if your before phono stage was a " terrible " poor design to cover those kind of distortions.
Do you own or can put your hands in other cartridge just to make tests?
I asked before which phono stage was using and I would like to ask again. Could you share/disclose that phono stage?
Thank's in advance,
I have Tetra 606 speakers. AMT with ATC dome midrange in an open baffle. and a 10” woofer in ported box. Very accurate. I don’t have another cartridge but am waiting for my Lyra Atlas SL.
My former phono stage was the John Curl one in my Audible Illusions preamp. My guess is that much of my current detail with the MP-1 is, in fact, picking up much more of what is actually in the groves.
Dear @mglik : Assuming that the head-amp along the Audible Illusions you owned were in good condition both units are not so bad enough to not reproduce the kind distortions you are talking about.
Assuming that you are loading the Shilabe with same or very near impedance value than in your former units then what you are experienced/listened could be generated inside your new unit or if by coincidence when you connected the new unit the Shilabe started with a suspension " problem " or a stylus tip " problem .
If I was you I will look probably with an audio friend that permits to mount your Shilabe and listen to it and if not distortion at all then your new phono stage has a trouble and you need to know it even if with the Lyra does not happens. Is up to you.
Dear @mglik : The kind of distortions you listened are a clear sign ( along those 2K play hours. ) that as I told you exist a " problem !" at the stylus tip.
The cartridge is showing you his degradation level that is at limit and needs retip it.
Even that in other LPs you don't listen yet any kind of similar distortions that cartridge is making an irreversible damage on all the LP grooves you play with it. My advise is to stop using it and wait for your Lyra.
The cartridge probably has about 2000 hours on it.
Sometimes you can get dust buildup on the stylus tip that is difficult to see and difficult to clean off. If the stylus has just a little dirt on it distortion will be present! But if you are careful you can remove it with a good stylus cleaner. Have you tried this?
Dear @mglik : According with a research made years ago ( taking care to clean the stylus tip and LPs. ) a good stylus tip starts to show deteroration signs at around 500 hours of play and it will be safe and will performs as " new " till it has 1K hours of play, after that time the stylus tip increment the " velocity " of its damages and after 1.5K is time to think that any time soon we have to think in a retip to fix it and impedes that that stylus tip increment its damage and more important the LP damage . Your cartridge has not 1.5K hours but 2K hours.
I already gave you my advise that even that you don't listen any kind of distortions with new LPs this with a 2K hours of play cartridge is making an irreversible damage to all what you play with it.
Is up to you, are your LPs not mine.
@no_regrets one of the best stylus cleaner is the Lyra one that comes with the Lyra cartridges when you buy it but you can buy the cleaner alone.
Dear @mglik : You posted :
" The cartridge probably has about 2000 hours on it. "
1K hours is way different. In normal conditions and with that amount of hours seems to me that the culprit of those distortions is not the cartridge.
The cartridge could be only if it’s showing a problem with its suspension or that for whatever reason the stylus tip is in someway " loose " with the cantilever. Both conditions are not present very often in a cartridge as the one you own but could happens and by coincidence started with your new unit because before it you did not experienced that developed distortions.
" On dynamic peaks..... the sound breaks up and produces distortion. "
" Old vocals and piano are frequently bad "
" I really only noticed this distortion after inserting my new.."
After all what I said and posted to you the other alternative is that your new unit is not up to its new condition specs.
Now that I remember could be a third possibility and this is the cable tonearm that some Triplanar owners warned that if it’s not in the precise rigth position will not " track " as should be.
Check your anti-skate: very important. Are you hearing distortion mainly in one channel? Also you should use a a special abrasive stylus brush periodically to remove built up debris from your needle. Carefully back to front strokes. Actually you math is off a bit. 40 days with 4 hours a day equals 160 hours not 1000.
Yes , the Lyra stylus cleaner is excellent and they supply it with a great brush. It is a bit pricey but IMHO worth it. Many styli are held on only by a gob of glue. Many solvents will attack the glue and then I think you know what happens. The Lyra cleaner will not attack the glue.
mglik has already discovered that his problem is worn records. Old records that distort like that are usually very dirty. So if you are going to play old or used records cleaning them thoroughly is crucial to the life of your stylus. I would play them with a less expensive cartridge that has a replaceable stylus Like a MM Audio Technica. I will not buy used records for this reason. I have seen enough to know you do not want to trust anyone else's record hygiene.
it can be challenging to set expensive carts. everything have to be spot on. the more hi end the more demanding on setup.
i suggest looking at setup video exhibition by Michael fremer. it helped us Alot.! his article on compliance is on analog planet as well.
supplementary reading whatever Peter of soundsmith explains.
they cover everything need to know.