Sibilence in one channel means?

I used a mintTractor and thought I got the setup spot on, but I've been noticing that when I hear siblence on vocals, that I think it pulls to the left channel - leading me to suspect that something is not correct.

Any thoughts? Azimuth? VTA?

I also hear 'lead in' on tracks (the beginning of the song starts faintly before it 'really' starts. This may also be in the left channel now that I think about it.

Thanks in advance for any advice (Dynavector 20XL on a VPI Scoutmaster w/sig JMW arm).
If you you have unduly sibilant vocals in the L channel, try reducing antiskate. Many people use far too much, the old rule of thumb of "equal to VTF" is usually excessive.

I suggest starting antiskate at "zero" and adding only as much as your setup needs to achieve clean tracking, which means no sibilance issues in either channel.

Your other problem is called pre-echo, and the more resolving your rig and system become the more often you'll hear it. It's one of the potential downsides of grooved vinyl (and also magnetic tape) as an information storage medium.

If it's primarily or exclusively in the L channel, that's an indicator it was caused by tightly spaced grooves with too-thin groove walls. This allows "bleed through" of the R channel signal from the next groove in, which the inboard (L channel) side of the stylus detects. If you hear it equally in both channels it's more likely to have been caused tape bleed through from improper tape storage.

Pre-echo is preventable by proper techniques during tape storage and LP production, but once the LP's made users like you and me are stuck with whatever we get. (If you were a mag tape listener you could also be stuck with it on some tapes and you could actually cause it yourself by improperly storing any tape, but that's for another thread.)

Post-echo also occurs, for the same reasons, though it's less common to hear it. It takes a more resolving system, since its often covered by decays or the beginning of new notes.
I tried reducing antiskate upon the suggestion of a few others here. Doing so made a significant impact reducing sibilance in one channel.
I really appreciate the responses. As mentioned above, I have a VPI Scoutmaster but I'm not using the anti-skate device (mostly because mine sort of broke). I know many people use the wire-twist method and I haven't done anything with that either - mostly because I'm not sure how.

Could someone educate me on which way I should try twisting the wire?

Counter-clockwise is the way to twist it. I use no anti-skate at all with the 10.5i and prefer it(recommended by Stringreen and others). As I understand it, shorter arms benefit from anti-skate more so you may want to try the twist though many use the 9s without also. Also, bear in mind that some records have siblance as part of the character of the recording and may not be correctable.

With a line contact stylus tip, azimuth and anti-skate are very critical settings.

If you have this loupe, or equivalent, you can set it up on a record that has some non-recorded area. Place it on the record and in front of the cartridge. You'll be able to see the stylus tip and its reflection on the record. When the stylus tip and its reflection form a vertical line, the tip will be perpendicular to the record and azimuth will be set correctly. In my set up, when I set the azimuth with this method, I get no sibilant issues whatsoever.

As for the anti-skating, I used the Hi-Fi News Test LP. This helps with better focusing of the sibilants.

I recently took delivery of Dr. Feickert Adjust+, but I have not set it up yet. Once I do, I should be able to verify if I was off with my settings.


I use one counter-clockwise turn on my Scout (as if uncoiling the wire) and it seems to work fine. I do not detect any sibilance issues.
Thanks, everyone, I'm going to try this now.