LP Sound Quality

Awhile back I purchased a used LP12 turntable with an Ekos tonearm, Arkiv cartridge with the Lingo power supply & Linto phono pre-amp. Running this thru a couple Klout amps to B&W Nautilus 802 speakers. Playing a CD or Tape the sound is great. Playing an album the sound is not very good. It almost sounds like the singer needs to clear their throat, it's kind of garbled, I guess is the word to use.
All I have is a couple brushes to clean the LP's (Discwasher & Bib).
Curious to what everyone uses to clean their albums & cartridge & also where to purchase? New to this analog stuff.

Thanks !!
Hi Giglr,

Sounds most likely to be a setup and adjustment problem with the turntable itself. The turntable needs to be perfectly level for starters and, in the case of the Linn, the suspension needs to be functioning properly and properly adjusted.

The tonearm and cartridge also need to be precisely set to perform optimally. Do you have the tools and/or assistance for doing this? It is very important.

I expect that someone in this forum would be able to suggest setup help for you in your area if you think that you may need it.

Best wishes.

Jim Pendleton
Osage Audio Products, LLC
most people here would suggest you buy a wet record-cleaning machine, and I'd do so also, but it does sound like you have a bigger problem than that, possibly with the LP-12 set up. that rig should sound clear as a bell.
It sounds like you just might need to have your LP12 professionally set up. From the one LP12 I've heard, I think it'll be worth it!
As a LP12 owner I can say the investment of having the table re-set up. I am sure that even if packed in all Linn boxing that it gets out of adjustment. That cartridge that came with the table may have some wear that is causing that distortion in the vocals. The LP12 is a tochie-fickle table but when set up I think it offers some of the best sound extraction from vinyl.
hi Giglr,

i just noticed you use a tall Salamander rack. you might consider doing an isolation shelf of some sort under the turntable as your rack is likely causing at least some blurring of the sound. it should be easy to experiment putting various materials under the turntable and see how different things change the sound.

also, related to the same issue; what are you using for a platter mat?

bad set-up on the plinth suspension could be most of your problem but the rack and platter mat could also be contributing.

good luck; an LP12 is an oldie but a goodie.
Mikekavigne raises a good point I have mine set on Aurious and that solved a few problems.
Go to www.sondek-turntable.com and look for the lp12 set up and tuning tips. I have a Valhalla power supply with a Basic arm, and it sounds wonderful.
Yeah, I'll chime in too, I'll bet there's something wrong with your table setup. Is your cartridge fresh?

If you are new to vinyl, I suggest that the LP12 is not a starter kit. It might be best to get a less fussy TT and a VPI16.5 to clean your LPs. After you get better handle on your system, break out the LP12 again, have it professionally set up and enjoy more.
Disc Doctor's manual cleaning system is superior to record cleaning machines, IMHO. You're able to focus on the parts that need special attention, where a RCM does every spot equally.

Probably your Needle is dirty.
Thanks for all the responses.
Mt10425 prob hit the nail on the head "If you are new to vinyl, I suggest that the LP12 is not a starter kit."
Well... this what I have, it came as a package deal.
Still, if someone could point me to where I can get a good LP & needle cleaner. I hate to dive in on setting it up if it's not required. Living in Wichita the closest Linn dealer is KC.

Thanks !!
Dear Giglr: I think that you already have very good advise trying to achieve a better quality performance. Your analog rig is a lot lot better that what you report.

Other that the TT/tonearm set-up the cartridge set-up is very important too starting to have in the right position the tonearm/cartridge connection wires and like Thomasheisig point out: stylus clean. In the same way that you have to check the Tonearm/cartridge wires you have to check too that the tonearm cable is internally wired correctly.

The feedback from your speakers could cause that trouble too.
Now, if you have a second cartridge you could try it and see what happen.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Everything here makes sense. Once you have checked it all: the set-up, cleaned the lp's, and done all of that, there is only one thing left: maybe the records themselves are played out or poorly recorded. I have noticed that many lps I get are dead, many in the way you described.

NOTE: I also have an LP12 too and love it. I have found that it is not really very finicky (like my old SOTA), but needs to be tended by an expert.
Along that issue, record quality, it makes some sense to order a modern reissue that's highly rated for sound quality as a base test for you system. If you like jazz, the 45 rpm Verve reissues by Analogue Productions are fantastic. The Hugh Mesakela "Hope" LP set is fantastic.

If you've just got a bad LP collection, then this will highlight that.

Short of getting it all tuned up by a Linn expert, there are many things you can do to help the turntable perform better. I'm sure you can find instructions on setting TTs up on the Net. I remember that I looked it up a while ago and, being an older guy, I realized, yet again, that some pretty good instructions are provided and that nothing is new under the sun.

The obvious things to check are the stylus (is it clean, is it damaged in any way?) and the cartridge mounting (is it properly aligned, is the overhang properly adjusted?)Make sure the tt is level side to side and back to front.

"garbled" sound to me like mechanical problem rather than an electronic one.

If you are not mechanically inclined and hate fiddling with very delicate adjustments, vinyl may simply not be worth your while.
Giglr : I suggest Michael Fremer's DVD on Turntable Set-Up to give you visuals on the art of set-up($30). I suspect the VTA (vertical tracking angle) is off or some other set-up issue needs to be corrected. As an alternative , should you have an audio bud that has a cartridge to spair, borrow one replace yours to see if the problem goes away.