I found this wonderful site about 2 weeks ago and have been doing alot of reading. First of all, I am very limited on funds to spend on my quest for quality analog enjoyment. Ok, enough rambling, now my question. I have recently acquired thru a yard sale, a beautiful Dual 701 TT and installed a new Shure VN-35E stylus. It sounds much better than my old TT, which was a Technics SL 1300. Is there something I can do for say $100 that would tweak my TT for even better sound? I have it hooked up to a Carver HR 742 receiver. My speakers are 2 floor standing Pioneer CS E9900 4 way speakers and also 2 floor standing Polk Audio RTA 8TL speakers. Any suggestions on anything I can do cheaply to enjoy a better sound will be much appreciated. I have been an avid collector of Analog recordings, with alot of MoFi and Japanese pressing. It might also be of help to know that I mostly listen to classic rock, blues and jazz. Oh, by the way, I bought the Dual for $5.00 I was pretty happy with that find. Not even a scratch on the dustcover, so I don't think it had hardly been used.
Make sure the belt is good, and clean the RCA connectors real well. Get a cartridge alignment protractor for $20 from turntablebasics.com and make sure the cartridge is aligned properly. Make some minor adjustments in the tracking force and anti-skate and listen to see if things get any better or worse, and try to find the best sounding setting. Put the TT on a dedicated stand that is lightweight and rigid, with no other equipment on the stand with it. If you can remove the dustcover, remove it totally from the table when playing.
I take it you are serious about the 3 glasses? Just curious, what is the purpose of removing the dustcover? Vibration? Thanks for your help. I live in a part of the country that no one carries mid or highend analog equiptment. So this is all new to me. I have collected and listened to vinyl for the last 12 years, but the thought of getting a much better sound intrigues me. I have been reading alot also on the Disc Doctor. I think I need to invest in a better way to clean my records, as apparently there is a much better way than what I have been doing. Thanks for your help!
I wouldn't recommend spending any money on a tweak that couldn't be transferred to another table sometime down the road. In fact, at this point, I wouldn't recommend any money-related tweaking at all (e.g. ringmat, new conterweights, dedicated tt stands, etc). Having said that, investing in a Shure traking force gauge (20$ from audioadvisor.com) and getting a free alignment protractor (http://www.enjoythemusic.com/magazine/equipment/0900/protractor.htm) and then reading up on alignment techniques and then fiddling with alignment may help. Try to isolate your tt from vibrations and movement, but try to do it as cheaply as possible (i.e. a piece of mdf attached to the wall w/ shelving brackets). Spend your money on cleaning the lps you have (perhpas using a homemade cleaning recipe--there's plenty of ideas on the web) and putting them in new sleeves. Add a good, cheap carbon fiber brush like the Audioquest one, and you're good to go. Enjoy!
If you want a highly cost effective "upgrade," I suggest the Disc Doctor (DD) cleaning system of which you seem to be already aware. The DD approach to record cleaning is simply outstanding. The method invented by DD allows maximum cleaning, minimal expense, and efficient use of time. I have recently cleaned LPs on my VPI HW-17 Vacuum Cleaner using Record Research Lab cleaner. Then I have cleaned using DD cleaner and scrub brush. Foreign matter had caused the LP to skip in places AFTER being cleaned on the VPI, but the skips disappeared after cleaning with DD. The DD felt scrub pads seem to get into the grooves to thoroughly clean. Also, the sound of the LP has a richness not present before using DD.
The VPI HW-17 system is convenient, but not nearly as effective IMHO. Since I have been using DD for only a few days, I am now in the process of rewashing my previously cleaned LPs. My TT, a VPI HW-19 (MkII) with JMW tonearm and Shelter 501 cartridge, has never sounded better. The results of sound quality improvement are most gratifying.
Thank you to all that responded. I have not had the opportunity to try any of the suggestions listed, but I hope to this weekend. I seem to think the best thing I can do, is get the grooves really clean. Your help has been appreciated. Thank you!
Ok, this weekend I have had the opportunity to hook up and listen to both TT's in question. I used the new Shure VN 35 on both and after listening and trying to compare, I think I like the 1300 the best. I still need to get a Disk Doctor and get busy doing some serious cleaning. Thanks for all or your help. Much appreciated!!!
Thanks Marty. I will start at the top and work my way down the list and will listen for improvements. I was wondering if you were serious about the 3 glasses, LOL, but will give them a try. As far as buying vinyl, I already have around 5,000 LP's and 10,000 45's, but am always keeping my eye open for more, just don't tell the wife I said that. hehehe In the meantime, I will follow your suggestions and let you know how it goes. If you think of anything else, please continue. I am very green at all of this and am willing to learn. Actually, I am not really sure what collet on a headshell is. I do see a small rubber deal by the back of the tonearm, about an inch from the edge of the platter, is that it?