also another wierd thing- I can see my woofers moving when there is no bass present in the signal--sorry for the newb posts but everyone has to start somewhere@!
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All your problems just reinforces why I left vinyl behind. I suggest you cut your losses and move on to quality digital equipment :)
Thinking back about 20 years (last time I played a record) I bet your cartridge is misaligned. This can cause distortion during loud passages. Sorry, don't recall the steps of alignment. Sure you can google it. Regarding the woofers moving and the snap crackle pop: yep that's the magic of vinyl alright :) Probably a really deep cleaning could reduce the snap, crackle, and pop. But my experience is you just have to get used to it. Think of it as the charm of vinyl. Kind of like snow on TV picture via an antenna, multipath on FM stereo, and fading on AM radio. The woofers moving was typically resolved with a subsonic filter. All the receivers of the day had them. Probably can't find one of those anymore so just enjoy the power robbing show (and don't turn it up to high!).
As a guess, you may need to realign your cartridge or double check vertical tracking force (VTF). Alignment can seem daunting at first but becomes easier with experience. Do some research on cartridge alignment, overhang, VTF, anti-skating and vertical tracking angle (VTA). You may be able to resolve this loud passage distortion yourself. It would help if you could describe your system and identify the cartridge you are using now.
The technics is a good TT to start with, save the $1,000(s) for when you are more practiced in the requirements for good vinyl playback.
Good point Marakanetz! Since you're a self proclaimed noob, you may not realize that the turn table and cartridge will pick up and amplify vibrations. This includes the music itself (especially bass frequencies), foot steps, etc. So make very sure the turn table is not sitting on top of the speakers or even right next to the speakers. Then make sure it is sitting on a solid platform and then try an insulate it using foam, or more exotic materials.
Crackling sounds synched with loud/dynamic passages is *very* likely caused by the stylus momentarily losing contact with the groovewalls. This is called "mistracking".
1) An uncontrolled diamond chisel bouncing around inside a plastic groove will do permanent damage. It won't be the stylus that's damaged of course, it'll be the vinyl. Stop playing valuable records until you eliminate the problem.
2) Increasing Vertical Tracking Force (VTF) should reduce or eliminate this. It is a serious error (made by many newbies and more than a few shop techs who should know better) to play a cartridge with VTF set too light. 1,000 records are damaged that way for every 1 that's damaged by VTF being too heavy.
Mistracking is more likely with a new cartridge (whose suspension hasn't loosened up yet) or a very old one (whose suspension has lost flexibility).
Set VTF at the maximum recommended for the cartridge for at least the first 200 hours. That will speed break-in and reduce the chance of mistracking.
Alignment, unless grossly off, is unlikely to be involved.
Woofer pumping is a common problem and several factors contribute. After isolating the TT as much as feasible from outside vibrations, as Danmyers suggested, try playing the flattest, least warped LP you have and then play a badly warped one. If the woofers pump only on the warped LP then you've found the reason. (Finding the solution is a much longer topic.)