My Dumb Question of the Day

I feel strongly that I should ask a dumb question every day. Audiogon's turn.

When I am playing an LP I clearly hear the music when the amp is off. I know that this is how the phonograph has worked from the beginning (the old wind up Victrola at my sister's house), but is this really a good thing. Would better more efficient coupling improve the signal to the cartridge, would better damping of the tonearm improve the signal, basically, is this accoustic phenomena less noticable on a really high end turntable.

I'm using a Clearaudio Champion with Aurum Beta S and RB300 arm.
Dumb answer/question: are you completely out of your mind?
Only an engineer could ask a question like that:)

It doesn't seem like such a dumb question to me. If you can hear the acoustic effects of the stylus tracking the groove then obviously some energy is being wasted that could have been transferred electrically. A more efficient transfer mechanism should, in theory, result in more information being retrieved from the groove.

Sorry, I don't know the answer, though.
I've got it! Let's burn little pits into the record and have a LASER read them. No mechanical coupling at all. This sould give us perfect sound forever. No, wait a minute, I think this has been tried and vinyl still sounds better. Go figure.
This phenomenon is known as "chatter", I believe. The less resonant your arm-cartridge system, the less you will hear it. I used to hear more of it from my RB300/Glider than I do now with an RB300/Cardas Heart (a much more expensive cartridge). This, even though the Heart has a wooden body and the Glider has none. The two cartridges both came from Benz but there are several design differences that could account for the reduction in chatter.

Naturally you do not want any chatter, since it is energy that is feeding back into the arm-cartridge-TT system and smearing the sound.
Just remember, we only hear a small section of the spectrum. Who is to say that CDs don't also make sound when the laser displaces photons.

If a CD plays in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it really make sound? :)

What 4 the JC sake R U talkin' about???

What kind of efficient transfer???

It's NOT sound waves are being transfered but mechanical waves of stylus induce electro-magnetic force emf across the coil of cartridge as per Faradeys' Law of electro magnetic induction. Hearing mechanical waves of stylus being transfered to the air is absolutely irrelevant to the conventional analogue reproduction.

Earlier in mechanical gromophones the mechanical vibrations of the needle were transfered acoustically through the brass horn. Well, nowdays we have better solutions than brass horns(again mr. Faradey comes very handy) and to "preserve" this "wasted" energy try to use microphones with all applied stuff such as mike amp or mike preamp input, mixer(the device that takes many input signals at the same time)... Gotta be those high sencitivity ones from recording studios next to the cartridge or simply you may use karaoke machine he..he..:-).
Elgordo, Would you believe that some one actually invented a lazer pickup for vinyl! Yep!! Obviously it didn't catch on. As to music coming from a pickup, I haven't heard this since I sold my old Sony (what ever model) many moon ago. As others have suggested its an equipment matching/set up failure when it occurs.
It's called "needle talk". They all do it. Just a guess, but I bet it comes from the compliant vinyl reacting to stylus forces. The stylus wouldn't have enough area to produce audible sound.
Hi Jpharris,

I'm a "newbie" to analog/turntables, but I think you are asking an intelligent least based on the answer to your question that I found here: - Go down to the: "Choosing a cartridge: Stylus" section (very near the bottom of the page) to find your answer.

Hi Jpharris,

I'm a "newbie" to analog/turntables, but I think you are asking an intelligent least based on the answer to your question that I found here: - Go down to the: "Choosing a cartridge: Stylus" section (very near the bottom of the page) to find your answer.

Lots of idle chatter & smart alec remarks but no real answer until Wes came to the rescue. Thank you, Wes!

Indeed, Jpharris, what you are hearing is shock waves as outlined in the website. I was going to reply to this effect but Wes beat me to it. I'm a bit surprised that a cart. w/ a quality as high as Aurum Beta S is producing shock waves! I have heard the same cart. on a Nott. Interspace but it was quite as can be. I wonder what the reason might be in your setup??
I once had an AT96E cart. on an old Dual & it produced loud shock waves that I could hear at my listening seat & in the whole room, in fact. My G1042 is much better - stuck my ear as close to the cart. w/o touching it or the tonearm or the LP - not a squeak.
Sorry about this, I really am a newbie and I am probably giving the dumb answer of the day but here goes.
My understanding from speaking to the designer of thes basis vector tonearm(which I am dying to get) is that this phenomena is real, is found on many (all?) tonearms and is a problem. The problem is that the arm wand is actually coupled to the needle and is vibrating (resonating) with the stylus movements. SOme of this vibrational enrgy is transferred back to the stylus which is obviously not ideal. Also some of the energy from the groove is wasted. Now I cannot comment on what the sonic signature of this effect is , or how much it degrades the signal, but I do know that at at least a few tonearm manufactures make a sincere attempt to minimize this effect in their designs. My understanding is that the basis vector has mininmal noise when played with the amp off, and that the designer is ver yproud of this fact. I haven't heard the vector myself, but I have never read or heard a negative comment about its sound, so It probably helps the sound to minimze this effect. I am little surprised that there are so many smart alec remarks. After all people spend a lot of time and effort trying to minimize stray vibrations in analog setups
Hi, you could try TWL's hi fi mod and see if it helps.
Here is the link, good luck and good listening
Hey! Cool!...I was right! : D

Thanks, Bombaywalla!

I apologize for the double posting, I'm an IT techie - and I don't know how that happened?! ; )

Thanks for the link to The ''shockwave'' idea seems to make sense, I'll pull out the Wallytracker and check alignment when I get a chance.