It's often called pre-echo or print through. It may be caused by the cutting stylus slightly deforming the adjacent groove when the record is being cut, or some say by magnetism of the master tape affecting other segments of the tape when wound and stored on the spool. In either case I do not believe it can be affected by the playback stylus, and when it exists it is inherent in the specific record pressing. Hope this helps!
Bill, that's the best answer I've heard, so thank you. I've heard everything from azimuth adjustment to non-virgin vinyl.
I get this affect, for example, with the Pure Pleasure re-issue of Stevie Ray Vaughan's Couldn't Stand the Weather. Now that I know the reason for this, it upsets me to pay a premium price for a premium re-issue that's not premium-pressed!
Sometimes it's overdubbing echoes heard on high quality pick-up.
What I usually hear, faintly, is the beginning of the track right before it actually starts playing.
From what I have always heard thru the years, Bill K, provided a short and precise answer. But it does add to the question: Why does vinyl sound better? It seems to have so many things against it. From the ever narrowing bandwidth from the outer groove to the inner groove, the surface noise, the tracking issues that exist just on the physical limitations of a stylus virtually banging its way side to side and up and down as it makes it way thru the groove. The list goes on, in fact Fremer addresses these issues in an article about a year or so ago. So WHY does vinyl sound so good? And now we add the pre-echo that must be present thru-out the whole playing surface, but some how we don't hear it except at the begining of a track, where it is silent enough to be heard. I personnaly am amazed at how much information a cartridge and tonearm can extract from this little squiggley groove and as much amazed at how much information is in those little squiggley grooves. And the more you can afford to spend on equipment, the more you discover. I guess that is a part of the attraction of this hobby in the first place. I paralel it to better and stronger optics and studying the stars. Who knows how much we are missing, if only we can equip ourselves better to hear or see it? Old technology sounds better than new technology, maybe it is due to our listing devices are old technology as well, our ears.
It's usually not a pressing issue but a tape storage issue. The print through being the result of adjacent wraps of tape on the reel magnetizing one another. The only choice would be not to reissue that particular tape, or to try to locate a safety master that was stored differently, or has a different tape formulation. It's a crap shoot, at best.
The reason that many original issues sound better than modern reissues is that magnetic tape can be very volitile, and we are speaking of tape that is 30-50 years old. I hear drop outs, print through and other artifacts on many modern reissues that are simply not there on the original pressings.
No care in pressing a record, the best press, tape deck, finest formulation, etc., is ever going to compensate for a degraded tape.
The cause is bleed through of the master tape.
If it is the "tape" this would reason that all of the vinyl pressings from that tape would suffer the same result. Would it not?
Also wouldn't it be evident on a CD as well?
After many given reasons, I had settled-in on my own non-scientific answer.
The stylus is picking up the future music from the other side of the groove because the wall of the groove is thin and the stylus is very sensitive.
I have a question for those stating that this is only caused by tape magnetization issues. Why then is pre-echo still audible on some direct-to-disc albums that were recorded directly to the vinyl disc master without the use of any tape medium?
I agree with you on this theory Kennythekey, which would leave me to theorize that the last lap of the groove at the center of the lp should be the quietest groove on the record.
Some copies of original editions have it too. I have three copies of Bitches Brew but only one of them has it. At least I hear nothing on the other two.
The most common source of the "problem" IS tape print through. You can hear it on CD reissues of music that was originally recorded to tape where the producers of the CD do minimal or no processing in the remastering process. Good examples are the incredibly well done, though expensive, Esoteric XRCDs.
Thanks for the responses everyone. I'm hearing it on Chick Corea/Return to Forever LP, ECM1022. It's from 1972, looks original but I could be wrong? I noticed the sax prior to it playing, between quiet passages, during "Crystal Silence".
Well, one way to actually cheack if it is tape print through or caused by adjacent track formation:
The mater tape print through will not be a perfect one lp rotation ahead of the actual track.
Where if it IS adjacent track issue then the faint modulation will be exactly one record revolution ahead every time.
Perhaps it is a manifestation of the "future absorber-past absorber" theory of radiation proposed by Fred Hoyle and his associate J. Narlacar [sp.?] in which events radiate equally into the past and future.
I had a LOT of this manifestation, with my previous turntable. Especially playing the MFSL issue of 'The Dark Side of the Moon'(most noticeable at the beginning of, 'Breathe'). Not a trace of this, with my VPI clamping system, and acrylic/lead platter(volume cranked/no other changes in system).
I was going to say the exact same thing, but yo beat me to it. If the pre-echo plays at anything less that one full rotation of the LP before the actual sound, it's not a vinyl issue. It's bleed through. My reel to reel tapes consistently show this phenomenon. It would not be heard on reel to reels if it was strictly a vinyl issue.
It may not be heard on a CD as they may delete the silence at the beginning of a track where bleed through was evident and replace it with a gap or actual silence.
Rodman, it seems like we may be able to stabalize this affect, but it may mean that we're simply damping the walls of the grooves to absorb and prevent the unwanted affect.
What I'm hearing every time, seems to support Elisabeth's adjacent track idea of one revolution away. It's my thin wall theory, or perhaps it's the composition of the vinyl, I don't know.
In any case, I think we need a better manufacturing standard, because I believe this is the cause of this unexpected result. Otherwise, just suck it up and enjoy.
Direct metal mastering was one way to get around the problem when bleed through was due to the cutting process.