Some used records I've picked up have ssserioussss isssuessss with sssibilanccce. OK, you get the idea. There's a wicked distortion on "s" sounds only. Otherwise the records sound great. What's up? I have a modest analog setup, well actually WAY modest consisting of the dreaded DD turntable, various isolation tweaks, low end Grado cart, old Rotel phono stage, and decent cabling (have used Harmonic Tech, Silver Audio and Audio Magic) but as it only occurs on certain discs I'm inclined to think it's not my gear. The only cleaning I'm doing right now is with a discwasher and homemade stylus cleaner. Would a vac machine take care of this, or is the record just junk at this point?
Your system is good enough to hear bad engineering. On some older recordings, the engineers turned up the treble to offset treble-deficient speakers of most of their customers. Do you notice anything about the bass?
sssibilancccce could also be related to improper VTA or anti-skating adjustments, or simply, to worn record grooves. If your TT has an arm height adjustment, to set the VTA, I'd raise the arm height a bit and see what that does. Likewise, playing with the anti-skate adjustment may help. If you have a cartridge alignment guage, it wouldn't hurt to check that as well. Even tracking force set too low can cause the symptoms you've described.
One other factor to check is the tracking force. Many folks set this on the light side assuming that this will cause the least record/stylus wear -- actually, the opposite is true. Be sure your tracking force is set at least at the mid-point of the allowed range or higher. Both sibilance and noise should improve.
Best of luck,
Plato and Joe are right. Check VTA, your antiscating and the tracking force. Be patient. It can be done. Cheers,

Check the following link for cartridge alignment and setup:

Regards, Richard.

Since it only occurs on some records and not others, it may be wear from mistracking. All of the above are correct in pointing to VTA, antiskating and tracking. Too much or too little (lithp) sibilance is the easiest gauge of VTA and tracking force. As implied above, best to set near the max for tracking and anti-skate. W/re VTA, lower the back of the arm to decrease, raise it to increase. Mislalignment would lead to such serious record wear problems I doubt you'd be asking about sibilance.

Sibilance is easy to understand and fix w/re lps. I was hoping when I saw this thread that you wanted to talk about too much sibilance or lispiness on cds. Much more interesting and intractable problem.
jfacker: i agree with all above posts but the first. if i may sum things up: it ain't likely the lp's you're buyin' that are causin' the ssssssss......... -cfb
Hey thanks for all the responses, you guys rock. As it turns out I did recently lighten up on the tracking force, maybe I'll take it back to the max recommended on the Grado which is 1.5g. As far as anti-skate goes, it's at zero. I don't know about VTA, I suspect with this table it might take spacers somewhere but I should mention I don't plan on using this table much much longer. I do not have a cartridge alignment protractor but there's a guy in town I think I can borrow one from so that's an option to. I'll try the tracking force first.

BTW I agree with Paulwp that sibilance in CDs is a real nightmare. Certain female vocalist stuff I have is challenging to enjoy due to this...
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