RB300 maintainance...

I noticed that on the most inner grooves especially on the extra long-playing records where the grooves come as close as possible to the record label that the sound greatly degrades and becomes too mushy and undetailed. It happens approximately 1.6" apart from record label. Before that the degradation seems to be unaudiable. The very beginning of the playable surface seems to be even too bright, but that's I believe an issue of a load impedance and can be easily resolved.
I checked the cartridge allignement and it seems to be at its maximum precision.
I assume that tonearm moves heavier towards the inner grooves and needs some attention.
Please help me out. My analogue setup is J.A.Michell GyroSE/Incognito-RB300/Lyra Helikon(Benz M.09 as backing up)


Perhaps it's more a problem of geometry than maintenance. Remember that with a pivoted arm, as opposed to a linear tracking arm, you only have perfect geometry at two points on the record. All other points are compromises. Perhaps with the "extra-long" LPs, the compromise in geometry is more noticeable than elsewhere on the record.

A shorter way of saying it is that your stylus is turned more clockwise relative to the record's groove the farther the arm pivots toward the record center. That will mess up the stylus' reading of the lateral modulations.
I understand the problems with geometry with pivoted arm but it's getting realy large scale of degradation especially on certain records.
Maybe I should try to change a tonearm direction clockwise a couple of degrees from normal?
Maybe try reducing the anti-skate a bit?
The phono cable that attaches to the arm base could be under tension at the disk extremes. I know nothing about your table so excuse me if this is not an appropriate place to look. On my table the DIN connection at the arm to the plinth needs enough slack to allow the arm to pivot without any tension and can sometimes be difficult to adjust.
I think you need a set of Denessen Cartridge Protractor to porperly set-up your tonearm/cartridge.
Do you have the same problem with the Benz cartridge?
...now I have some info to think of... With Benz it's even more emphisized than with Lyra. So far I didn't check the Lugnut's thought and I'm going to work on that.
Now we knew the problem didn't caused by the cartridges.
I don't think the problem is relating to the anti-skate, cable or anything.
I'm sure the problem is caused by the misalignment of the cartridge or even the arm was mounted incorrectly(I mean the position) or both.
Does this problem happens to one particular record or it happens to all your records?
Try to put the cartridge at the end of the record. Is the cartridge parallel to the groove? Now try to put the cartridge at the beginning of the record. Is it parallel to the groove again? For a properly align cartridge, the cartridge is always parallel to the inner edge(the end) and the outer edge(the beginning) of the groove.

As I sugguested before, you need a Denessen Cartridge protractor to properly align the cartridge and arm.
Make the following arm test:

Place the stylus guard in place, and put the arm in perfect balance at zero grams, the anti-skating at zero too. Then slighly tap with your finger the arm to slide it towards the spindle and to the back, to rest position. The arm should be travel free as a feather. If you noted hesitation or any anomalies, unfortunally the bearings were damaged in a degree accordingly to the anomallly.

I hope this is not your case, because there no more could be done to fix it, only the manufacturer.
Listen to cds or just the middle of lps. Another reason to hail the lps as the "superior medium", I guess. BTW, is it "analog" qua analog that sounds better or the lp storage/retrieval medium itself? Put another way: has anyone (aside from people in the biz which don't seem to bother with Agon and such) ever heard analog master tapes to determine whether the lack of impact noise lets the touted analog liquidity shine through? Insofar as your problem goes: once properly set-up, any tonearm describing an arc can only be optimized at two points on the record, the tracking error will always be greater towards the inner grooves. That's life I guess, although I am sure some wise guy/gal out there will have some new audio-gibberish explanation to set up the arm voodoo tweaking so that the laws of physics (and geometry in this instance) cease to apply and that their golden ear has assured them that they are on to something that no one, hitherto, believed possible. People have tried radial tracking arms to avoid this problem, causing other gremlins I understand,. The other solution is the use of a longer, or broadcast-type tonearm; these have not caught on have they. Like I said, tonearms can only do so much. Don't try to transcend the limits of those things, you'll only end-up feeling dejected and sad.
I've used protractor that alignes the cartridge to the middle grove and to the edge groove.
What is the price of Denessen Cartridge Protractor?
Now I'm staying tuned to check the bearings.
The horizontal bar of the arm lift which contacts the bottom of the arm to lift it out of the plane of the record has a soft rubber strip that is seated into it. The purpose is to cause friction with the bottom of the arm preventing the anti-skating force from launching the arm across the arm lift as it is engaged. I have seen three examples of the arm where this strip comes out of the arm lift at the inner groove end causing it to make contact with the bottom of the arm as it traverses the inner grooves resulting in a condition similar to the one that you have described. The fix is simple, a little glue on a toothpick and reseating the soft rubber strip. Just a thought, I hope that you sort it out.
I have, in fact, listened to master tapes and done a direct A/B comparison with the same recordings on vinyl as Pbb asks. I don't want to fuss over playback software because it really is the music that counts but let me expand. This opportunity was provided to a few lucky folks in Omaha at The Sound Environment and was (as you might guess) sponsored by Linn. Since I already had an LP12 and accidentally dropped by I paid careful attention to the way things were set up. The huge tape machine was connected to the preamplifier just like you would do at home. The turntable was normally connected to the same preamplifier. I was trying to determine the legitimacy of the comparison and found this to be an honest attempt with no apparent tom-foolery. I'm certainly not a reviewer nor am I an audio technical person but I was blessed with very good hearing and a deep love for good music. I will try to give my best shot at describing what I heard under very close to perfect conditions.

The master tape was dead silent between passages. The LP12 provided a slight sense of pressure between tracks. This was at a very high volume level. The tape allowed detail, overtones and recording room acoustics that actually made the listening room disappear. I have never heard anything that realistic since. The LP12 came so close to recreating the tape that I vividly recall chills running up and down my spine. To be honest, the vinyl source confined the listener to the physical confines of the listening room. It seemed to me that perhaps some of the recording room acoustics were lost in the vinyl playback but let me say that the difference was very, very small.

While I admittedly know very little about electronics I do know quite a bit about mechanics. If the lathe cutter head is fed all the information while making a master disc, then all the information is in the groove. Extracting all that information is difficult and costly and is perhaps impossible. At least it is there waiting for someone to conquer the extraction. The same cannot be said in the digital domain as yet. A thousand years from now it will still be impossible to extract all of the original recording room sounds from early cd releases. The information is simply not there. The same criticism cannot be leveled against vinyl examples made at the same time.

Please don't take this as a condemnation of the digital format. At this point in time digital can be exceptionally good and it will only get better. I believe digital will one day become the best software format. For now and well into the future their is room for both formats in this hoby.

I have some really great examples of the analog recording process as it has evolved. First patented in 1892, the Edison gold molded records were cylinders. The original recording was on wire. The first commercial stereo recordings were made by Bell Labs in 1931. Analog has evolved and so will digital. It's doubtful that the shiny little discs used today will still be the software of tomorrow. When the mechanics of spinning the cd and the movement of the laser are found to be the biggest source of audible degradation, a new software format will emerge.

Thanks to Gary and Cindy at The Audio Gallery in Lake Oswego, Oregon I have heard a CDP that sounds perhaps better than my turntable. Problem is, it won't play any of my records. So, after over 35 years of accumulating vinyl I have embraced both formats. If something new that I like is available on vinyl I buy that. If it isn't, I by the CD. I don't feel snobbish about being a vinyl junky but I bristle when insults are lobbed at my favorite playback medium. It's like telling me my wife is ugly. That has nothing to do with whether she is a good wife. Marakanetz has a mechanical problem with a turntable. Once the problem is resolved, and while listening to the entire side of an lp, there will be no audible difference from the first note to the last.

Happy listening,
I've made the test proposed by Lugnut and I noticed that on perfectly leveled TT the tonearm comes always back even with anti-skate set to zero.
On my opinion it's azimuth mis-adjustment. The only way to bring it to the appropriate level is to use the file to cut off a-little one of the plastic spacer that is a partof the armboard. While the TT is leveled perfectly the armboard isn't.

Understand, I have never actually seen your brand of turntable in person but looked at several photos on the net. Since it is a suspension turntable I make the assumption that the platter and the armboard are somehow suspended together. That would mean that the platter and the armboard are level on the same plane. You mentioned that you have perfectly leveled the turntable. If you place a spirit level on the platter and it shows level, does it also show level on the armboard?

Please post your progress on this thread. Good luck and...

Happy listening,
Patrick it's yes and no. Theoretically it's yes and practically the level isn't matched on the armboard(very-sligtly off) due to probably the slight difference between one of the three cylindrical plastic 1/2" spacers that mounted on the plinth first and then the armboard(sooner or later I'll probably get the fully adjustable tonearm like Act5 or SMEIV). So once I start(I've even placed two bubble levels onto plinth and the armboard)leveling the armboard the plinth is completely off the level. Currently I've found the "average" balance between the armboard and the plinth which took care of some inner-groove misreading. The more I'm dealing with Rega the more I realize that it's not the way to go.

I think you have found the problem. One of the most difficult things to accomplish with my Linn is to get the armboard level with the plinth while having the suspension respond correctly. In the case of a Linn, if one "pushes" down on the platter in a line from the spindle to the arm mount, the susupension should move up and down when released, not sideways or circular. Once I get that right the plinth and the platter/armboard are very close to being level at the same time. This where it sounds best and thankfully, once done, rarely needs to be done again. The Rega is an excellent value so I'm sorry to hear it may not be right for the application. You may need to inspect the susupension more closely as described above. Keep us posted.

Happy listening,
Patrick, Rega is an excellent value but the Rega's philosophy is to place too much demand on the turntable isn't sometimes appropriate. I believe that adjustments to turntable/arm for the sake of maximum cartridge accuracy must be mutual. If I were using fully adjustable arm that would not be a problem at all. Now I'm mobilizing my file to scratch the right plastic sylinder and than measure the level every time I scratch or maybe I'll be cutting plastic spacers from soft guitar pick so I will not do any damage to an original settings.

I agree with your philosophy regarding a synergy between the table and arm. Good luck and oh yes, the guitar picks sound like a good way to go.

Good for us to hear differences! -- The problem had been resolved with recyclable party plates and guitar picks where necessary. Still hear the differences but much-much lower and on acceptable level.

RB300 after all isn't easy arm to set up properly!