My turntable hates Cat Stevens


OK the set up: I have a VPI Scout with the Dyanvector 20x2L cart (MC) with the VPI 3g headshell weight. My phono pre is a Dynavector P75 set to the PE mode for low output carts. I used the Mint protractor to set things up and I'm fairly certain it's as dead on as I'm going to be able to get it. My TF is 2.2g (set by digital fg)and my VTA is level or just a smidge below.

I have a new pressing of Tea for the Tellerman (Analouge Productions APP 9135) that shows a little bit of sibalance on the last 3rd of grooves on each side. It's only noticable really on his voice. Insturments seem fine. What I have read on the quality on this pressing seem to be that it is a really good sounding album. I've only played the album about 5 times and it was cleaned before ever playing it the fist time. That being said I also have Teaser and the Firecat(A&M SP 4313)that I got at a flea market for $1. Now its its in not so great a shape. It is not shiny any more and has all manner of minor scuffs, but no deep scratches. It pops and ticks all over the place no matter how well I try to clean it. However it sounds better than TFT. On this album the last 1/4 to 1/5 of the grooves I get a very slight sibablance on his voice. Again, the insturments are fine. I do keep in mind that this was not a very cared for LP and I did get it at a flea market so who knows if the previous owner didn't have a bad set up and just ruined the LP.

All other LP's I have seem to be fine and I cant hear any sibalance on them. It's just the Cat Stevens LPs that give me any grief. I wouln't have thought much of it but a new and and old album both do it so I keep thinking it may be my set up - though I don't know where to look or what I can tweak now.

I've read many posts on how tempermental the VPI JMW tonearm is with regards to MC carts and how it wasn't really designed with them in mind. Now VPI suggests DV carts for the Scout and I'm using a DV phono pre. I'm not sure what to do next. Could my antiskate be causing this? I get the sibalance in both speakers so I havn't been really looking at AS. Also, would I bennfit on changing the output level on the P75? I have it set to what DV suggests which is low resistance setting of 4-10 ohms inthe phone enhancement mode. Or I could take it out of PE mode and use the basic Low MC settings which give me a range of 470, 220, 100, 60 and 30 ohms, but I'm not sure what I'm gaining by doing that or which one I should use.

Sometimes sibalance distortion sounds like the preamp is running out of headroom, but that is just me speculating. I doubt that is it. I mean the cart and the pre are from the same company and designed to work together.

Anyone have any thoughts on what I should do next. I don'thave the finances for a big change. I thought of switching to a MM or MI cart, but what would be an equivalent or better than the DV? I have no idea if that would even fix the problem and I don't have a bricks and motar store to go to for help either.
last_lemming
I had the exact same setup you have so I'm familiar as to how it sounds. If you are having problems with just 1 record, I can't see how your issue could be anything else but the record itself. Aside from that, I believe all of the drivers in your speakers are metal. They are not forgiving when it comes to sibilance.
Buy an original pressing. I have 4 different vinyl versions, including Mofi.
How have you set-up the geometry of the arm/cartridge?

My turntable hates Cat Stevens
Your TT has good taste !!!!
Halco,

"OK the set up: I have a VPI Scout with the Dyanvector 20x2L cart (MC) with the VPI 3g headshell weight. My phono pre is a Dynavector P75 set to the PE mode for low output carts. I used the Mint protractor to set things up and I'm fairly certain it's as dead on as I'm going to be able to get it. My TF is 2.2g (set by digital fg)and my VTA is level or just a smidge below. "

This is my set up from above. Is there something else I need to do?

Zd542,

I should clarify that I have not gone through every lp i have since using the mint protractor. Since posting the question I've listened to a few others. I have gotten small bits of sibalance from a few other used lp's but I've not put too much stock in those due to not knowing their history, but I do hear it - though its fleeting and doesn't happen too much. On all my new lp's I haven't noticed any sibalance other that TFTT.

I guess the point is I've set this TT up pretty well IMO, and I'm still getting what I'm calling sibalance. Just to be clear on that point what I'm physically hearing is a ditortion, not just an emphasis on s's and such.

Plus I'm using a cart suggested by VPI and a pre that makes the cart. Even so I was considering switching around the pre jumpers and taking the PE mode out and setting it up for a more standard lo MC setting.

I'm sure others will say get rid of the table but cash for that is not an option so I need to make this work.
Well, my cat hates Steven's turntable.

(Sorry, I couldn't help myself for a turn of phrase!)

Is your stylus clean? The Magic Eraser can do wonders but be careful how it is used.

For setup you mentioned using the Mint which I assume gives overhang and offset (?). Do you have the VPI gauge and have you tried that, just to see if the problem persists? Apparently you have also adjusted for VTF and VTA. So the remaining parameter is Azimuth, have you checked that?

Lastly, I know VPI recommends Dynavector cartridges. Do they suggest using the 3 g. weight? I'm not familiar with Dynas.
I clean my stylus after each playing session and I've adjusted my azimuth by the rod method and from there tweaked each way to see if there would be any reduction in sibalance. There wasn't. I started with the VPI jig and had the same problem. That's why I got the mint. As for the weight I just gave that a try due to the low mass of my arm.
How close is your counterweight to the pivot point of the arm? It should be as far in as possible. This keeps the center of gravity at the pivot. If it's pretty far back on the arm, remove the 3 gram weight and rebalance. Not sure if this will help with your listed problem, but that's the correct way to balance an arm.
I love my analog rig but threads like this make me wonder if it's all just too much!...:-)
I need to correct something from my first post. When I said I had the exact same setup, I just meant the TT, Cart, and P75. I don't have the 3 gram weight. I'm sure if that makes any difference but I thought it worth mentioning.

"I'm sure others will say get rid of the table but cash for that is not an option so I need to make this work."

I believe that not only can you make this work, you'll get it all to sound very good. From your description, it sounds like the fault could possibly be gain related. Too much gain can give you some of that harshness/distortion you describe.

I know I probably don't have to mention this, but are you sure your DV is broken in properly. Nothing in an audio system needs to be broken in more than a phono cart. Out of the box, they sound defective.

If you still have the problem after going through everyones recommendations, I would suggest you try the record(s) that are giving you problems on a different system. I've had a few instances, where the type of problem you describe, is actually a fault in the recording. Its not the most common problem, but it does happen from time to time.
Mofi,

My CW is in the middle.

Zd542,

I'm not sue how many hours but lets say less than 100 and more than 50. But that is just a guess. How long is break in on a DV? I agree it may be too much gain but I'm suspect of that being that the cart and the phono pre are the same company. And I'm using PE mode so I'm not sure too much gain will apply here but I'm no expert.
Azjake, so your neighbor gets a flat tire and you decide to quit driving? ;^)
It wouldn't hurt to put more hours on your cart.. I would say at least 100 hours. Given your situation, though, maybe go a little more just to be sure. I would also call VPI and DV and see what they say. VPI is always willing to spend some time with you if you are having problems.

What's the rest of your system? Its possible that one of your other components is the source of the problem. When I mentioned above that this could be a gain issue, your phono preamp could be putting out more gain than your linestage can handle.
Mt10425 answered this question already. "Buy an
original pressing".

We spend a fortune on our equipment and expect poor
records to sound good. Most new re-mastered records
sound terrible when compared to a good early pressing.
And Tea for the Tillerman is a tough one anyway.

We should be spending more of our hobby time sourcing
our vinyl and perhaps less time on our systems. Buying
new vinyl may be easy but you will find yourself with a
mediocre sounding collection of music. Start working the
used record bins and get more than one copy of
Tillerman. I bet each copy you listen to will sound
different. Compare the old copies to your newly mastered
copy. The old copies, if cleaned on a good RCM, will
probably beat up on your new copy handily.
Say what Dude!!
Buy the UK Pink Island Tea for the Tillerman, the Mofi is the best example of the remastered gone wrong.

Cheers,
So does "Classic Rock" radio!
Your turntable has good taste...keep it.
it's nothing to do with you. I have the exact same thing and I thought it was a known fact that some of the vocals on this album where a bit hot?
Vortrex,

I'm new to the lp side of things so I did not know this. I have the same album in hi def FLAC download and there is no sibalance. Good to know.
Vortrex,

I'm new to the lp side of things so I did not know this. I have the same album in hi def FLAC download and there is no sibalance. Good to know.
Dang x2 post not sure how that happened
"I'm new to the lp side of things so I did not know this. I have the same album in hi def FLAC download and there is no sibalance. Good to know."

I understand that it is the same album, but is the same version, as well? For example, one copy of the album could be a remaster and the other one is not.
You're right, I hadn't thought about that at the time but in retrospect that makes sense.
"My turntable hates Cat Stevens" KUDOS!
I don't think its your turntable. My copy of Tea for Tellerman (Analog Productions) has the same sibilance you've described, and in those same areas, and this doesn't happen on any of my other albums. Your set up I'm sure is probably OK, unless the issue is presenting itself on multiple LP's containing vocals and occurring in the same general areas as TFT on each LP.
I don't think its your turntable. My copy of Tea for Tellerman (Analog Productions) has the same sibilance you've described, and in those same areas, and this doesn't happen on any of my other albums. Your set up I'm sure is probably OK, unless the issue is presenting itself on multiple LP's containing vocals and occurring in the same general areas as TFT on each LP.