I have the same problem (right channel) with some new 180 gr. reissue not with NOS records or used ones.
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I have the standard arm. I actually had my table professionally setup today. What a difference! He did say that my cartridge had quite a bit of tracking error(distortion) that he tested on a test record and analyzer. He actually showed me the tracking distortion. He said I definitely should get the antiskate device. I told him that VPI does not recommend the antiskate. He said that is total hogwash and he visually showed it to me today. He said I could apply more vertical weight to the cartidge but that it was just a bandaid until I address the problem. He also said that moving magnet cartridges actually track the record better simply by the nature of their design and are especially great for large orchestral crescendos. All I can say is that my turntable has never sounded better. I cannot believe it! He also said that when I get the anti skate, he can really improve the performance of my table. He said it is all about setup. Now I believe it. He has been doing it for 40 years and I can tell you he is damn good at it. Gosh, do I love vinyl! I learned a lot today!
That's great news! Seeing as you have the old arm (with the old wire) VPI's suggestion of twisting the wire 1 turn may work wonders for your tracking. Just undo the connector where it goes into the RCA junction box and turn it 1 turn. One direction will make it better, the other worse. I don't remember wich way though but I think you want to go clockwise. If you upgrade to the 9 Signature arm it comes with the anti-skate device and is a better arm with better wire. The twisting is too much with the thicker wire(dielectric)in the Sig arm. IMO.
PS- Get a Mint Protractor and do you own set-up. Very rewarding!
Disclaimer-I'll be selling my Mint shortly as I have a new arm coming for my TT. BTW-I ordered a new Mint for the new arm ;-)
It is interesting that you brought up the Mint. He said to me "the cartridge appears to be aligned properly" I said I did it, and I used the MintLP so that is proof that it works. As for twisting the wire, we did that, it helped "a little" but it still was not right and it was easy to see on his test equipment. He said that I need the antiskate for the best performance regardless of what VPI says. In so many words he said MC cartridges are a waste of money and do not track as well as MM cartridges. He said save some money next time and get a good moving magnet (more performance per dollar). He said there are some very good MM type cartridges available now and it will track better, especially during demanding clssical passages. He said this was his experience with the two. I was shocked how poorly my cartridge tracked given the price. He said my cartridge tracked only average compared to others. I have a Benz Micro H2. He did say the antiskate will do wonders.
If your MC is a Micro H2, or virtually any HOMC, I agree with your dealer. Your money would have been better spent on a good MM. For less money you could have tried quite a few to find one that works well in your system and meets your tastes.
IME the only MC's worth having are LOMC's. Only they provide the benefit of low mass on the cantilever, which was the purpose behind the MC design in the first place. Even there, to get performance that clearly beats a good MM costs at least $2K, often much more.
Further, good LOMC phono amplification is also very costly. My LOMC phono stage costs $6-7K and I've not heard any phono stage for less than $5K (new) that I'd bother with for top level LOMC's. Don't buy a Stradivarius if your going to string it with nylon or use a cheap bow. ;-)
Are the costs of doing LOMC's well really worth it? That's obviously up to each individual. But at lower price points I completely agree with your dealer. Raul's MM/MI thread, now approaching 2000 posts, is ample evidence that many other A'goners agree too.