Strange turntable/speaker issue


OK, this is going to be lengthy, but here goes....

I have a feeling someone else has experienced this, and want to get some advice in how to correct this issue.

Some background; I could not keep myself from wondering just how good the old vinyl I had boxed up for years would sound compared to my digital set-up, which sounds pretty good to me right now. But, out of curiosity, I finally dragged up my old turntable that has been stored in my basement for 15 years (since I moved in), and probably have not used it in at least 25-30 years total. Originally purchased in the mid 70’s, it is a basic Kenwood KD-2055 with the heavy composite ‘granite’ base. After getting it set-up, I realized very quickly the old Ortofon OM 5E cartridge I installed in the mid-80’s was not going to ‘cut it’, and could not compete with my CD’s, files, or streaming set-up. So, after doing a bit of research, and not knowing yet if going back to some vinyl listening would stick, I purchased a Grado Premier Red, mounted it in the shell, set it up, and yes, it is a vast improvement. Much better overall dynamic range, soundstage, imaging, etc. than the Ortofon 5E. I thought to myself, ‘this may just work’. But, as I was checking some things out, I realized my Vandersteen 2CE’s were actually moving quite a bit (volume was a bit high, but not overly so). That is no easy task. I got back behind the Vandy’s and the rear 10” acoustic coupler was actually moving in and out at a fairly rapid speed, thus causing the speakers to actually move on the anchor stands quite noticeably. Now, this was not really effecting the sound, or creating sound in and of itself, but it can’t be good. First thing I thought was I had misconnected the cartridge leads at the shell, so double checked, and they are connected as per the Grado instructions. BTW, this could have been happening with the old Ortofon as well, but I may not have noticed. Overall, while playing music, the turntable also seems highly sensitive to moving/walking around as the music was playing without distortion. I don’t have to tell you, this does not happen with CD’s or digital files.

I have my turntable on top of a pretty beefy steel frame with wood shelves 60” long ‘TV stand’, as yes, my system also acts as a ‘home theater’ setup, as well as a 2 channel set-up for music. The Vandy 2CE’s are my ‘front’ and 2 channel speakers driven separately by a B&K 125.2 power amp. The lowest shelf of this unit consists of CD storage, the middle shelf my B&K amp, Yamaha V871 receiver (I use as my pre in 2 channel, although it does little as the front channel pre-out’s go directly to the B&K, and while playing music I run in ‘pure direct’), CD player, and PS Audio DAC which all my CD’s, files, and streaming runs through. The top shelf is my TV, Elac center speaker, and my turntable. At this time I am using the Yamaha phono stage (that could change soon, as I think a dedicated phono pre-amp would help things a lot). The TV/equipment stand sits directly to the side of the right speaker, not between the Vandy’s, as they are on each side of my fireplace. The turntable is about 4 1/2’ from the right speaker, and right about the same level of the Vandy’s front 8” woofer.

So, all that said, I have a feeling what I am getting is sonic feedback between the speaker and turntable, perhaps with the cartridge acting as a microphone getting hit with the sound waves from the right speaker, even with the dust cover down. Because of room and layout constraints, I have very limited locations for all this stuff, so not sure a relocation of the turntable is really possible, and if I did, would have to get long male/female RCA interconnect extensions to get back to my Yamaha, or any future phono pre-amp, which would still have to run back to the Yamaha probably utilizing the analog Audio 2 inputs, as the Audio 1 inputs are serving the PS Audio DAC.

So, is sonic feedback what I am witnessing? Or could it be something else? And is there any easy solution? I doubt isolation feet will solve anything if feedback between the right speaker and turntable is the problem.


bkeske
No its not feedback. Feedback does this thing where it, uh, feeds back in a loop, louder each time, which usually happens pretty darn fast. That crazy loud fingernails on chalkboard screech you hear with PA systems sometimes, that is feedback. You ain't got that.

What you got is regular old rumble. Could be one thing, could be a couple. The table was stored a long time so could be the lube dried and you got bearing rumble. Pull the platter, turn the bearing directly by hand, see how it feels. See if its sealed while I cross my fingers for you that it can be opened and lubed. You'll want to do this if you can regardless.

But really most likely is you got a lousy (for a turntable) stand setup, which between the stand and the floor and everything else is just not near stationary enough for a turntable. The quick and easy way to test this is play a record with the turntable sitting on the floor. Not on anything else just directly on the floor. My bet is that eliminates a lot of the woofer flutter.

What you already know however, and I know you know this by your comment "I don't have to tell you this does not happen with digital" so you know but maybe forgot, records always do this. Even really flat vinyl on a state of the art table and stand, there is going to be a lot more woofer flutter than with digital. How much is okay and normal and how much you're getting is damn hard to be sure by reading a post however.

So don't freak. But do check. And then maybe we can talk about that stand.
@millercarbon 
+1 well spoken, direct, to the point and understandable. 
Thanks gillatgh
And, turns out, the Kenwood is about what I thought it would be- a few drops of lube. Except, oops, that's the motor. Which probably does need lube but is not the bearing I was talking about. Which if sealed and dry is a problem. Almost certainly it dried out sitting in storage. My very similar Technics did. Fingers crossed the Kenwood can be lubed. https://www.manualslib.com/manual/899687/Kenwood-Kd-2055.html?page=7#manual


Thanks a bunch miller.

Very good to know it isn’t a sonic feedback issue. I’ll check the belt drive ‘spindle’ for ‘feel’. This table has a lube hole right at its base. I always had the lube that came with the table handy, but goodness knows were that is now. Yes, it probably needs lubed regardless, so, is there any type of oil/lube I can purchase which will work?

if I do decide to keep it on the stand, as it is extremely sturdy, would new feet or sorbothane isolation discs help?

And yes, it’s been a long time, and never had speakers as my Vandy’s with this turntable. I started, with all things, Utah 3 ways, the last, the original Polk 5 jr’s (which I still have in storage). Never remember this happening with those. As I say, it isn’t easy to move these speakers at 70+ lb per, let alone from the reaction of the rear ‘acoustic coupler’. So, maybe some, but this seems extreme, and abnormal.

I’ll put the table on the floor and check it out per your advice to get a benchmark, but good to know it may just need a good lube and some isolation/stability. Just brought it up this weekend, so much to re-learn from 30+ years ago.
Went through almost identical experience unpacking my 1970's Technics SL-1700. Running it on the floor eliminates the rack. Whatever you get on the floor is the table/bearing. But more than that it serves as a reference for what to get from a good turntable base or stand. The great vibration control guru the late DJ Casser always said the best rack is no rack. How right he was! Ran my Basis on the floor for over a year for this very reason. Took me that long to be sure what it takes to run a table at a comfortable height without sacrificing sonics. The result was worth the wait http://www.theanalogdept.com/c_miller.htm

What I did here was right for me, in my situation and with my turntable. What will work best for you remains to be seen. Rest assured there is a solution, probably even a fairly easy and affordable one, but be equally assured its not as simple as slapping on some sorbo-feet. For now just run it on the floor. Preferably long enough for you to become accustomed to how it sounds there. The floor remember is your benchmark! When you see (and hear) how it sounds on the floor you'll be in a really strong position to evaluate what happens when its moved onto a rack or shelf.
Interesting. Thanks again millercarbon.

any recommendation on after market lube?

After comparing an album I have on vinyl and CD; John Mahall’s Jazz Blues Fusion, although the Grado Red made a significant improvement, I do think a separate phono pre-amp will be necesaay. The internal Yamaha phono stage is not up to par me thinks. The vinyl still does not have the overall punch and clarity of my CD/DAC set-up. Perhaps a Schiit Mani would help, and affordable as I get my feet re-wet.
Any chance the vinyl is warped?  Do you see much up and down movement of the cart and arm as the record spins?
Nope, not the ones I was playing.
A phono stage with a low frequency filter (below 20hz) is a safe recommendation! There is nothing of musical worth down there! The RIAA equalization keeps boosting the bass frequencies needlessly! That would account for the acoustic coupler pumping on your speakers. 
All phono stages should have a low cut filter! Much cleaner and tighter bass, less distortion! You can most likely still use your present stand for the TT. The floor is not a good place for any TT! Cement blocks are preferable! Here mass is your friend!
Thank you robertjerman. I’ll make sure any photo stage I’m looking at addresses that issue.

As I do not want to spend a ton of $$ at this time, I’m looking at the Schiit, Vincent PHO 8 (used), Cambridge CP2, and Parasound Zphono (used).

Now that I think of it, the Grado Red does have a range of 10-55K. I guess, if necessary, I could always get fairly inexpensive in-line filters.

As I look more into this, carbonmiller hit on the basic issue, rumble, which is fairly common using turntables. I suppose my system was never too refined over 30+ years ago to be an issue.
Further Thoughts/Suggestions:

 

  1. Another vote for lubricating the motor, if at all feasible. Without going crazy Three-In-One oil will work just fine.
  2. Replace the turntable belt. They’re available on eBay for approximately $10.00.
  3. When playing music, remove the dust cover. Dust covers for dust…good. Dust covers for music playback…bad.
  4. I am guilty of not reading the entire thread word-for-word but, if your turntable resides in or near a room boundary (corner), that’s less than ideal.
  5. If your system/turntable resides on a suspended floor, mass (heavy rack), will not necessarily be your friend. An ideal would be to place the turntable on a dedicated turntable shelf that is mounted to the studs in the wall.
  6. From an arm/cartridge perspective; the new Grado should certainly be compatible with what looks like a medium mass arm on your Kenwood turntable.
  7. All of this is in the spirit of not going expenditure crazy until you’re vested that vinyl is better.

Thanks Tubegb

1) I ordered some synthetic lubrication for clocks, small motors, etc. I figured it should work.

2) The belt was replaced not too long before I took it out of commission, but yes, it still sat for a long time, and they are availiable and inexpensive.

3) Good to know, and yes, that is what many say; the cover down can indeed create issues. Typically I use the cover up while playing.

4) Not in a corner.

5) Yes, I’ve heard some suggest a wall mount rack. I may try some sorb feet first and see if that helps.

6) Good. Not the greatest arm, obviously, but for right now, I’ll see what I can get out of the Kenwood before investing further on a new table. But, with this ’hobby’, well.... ;-D

7) Agreed.

I have found some fairly inexpensive high-pass in-line filters. I would think a 20hz would be what I want. This makes some sense given the cross-over in the Vandy’s for the rear coupler, and is the speaker effected. The front 8" woofer is not. If you are familiar with the 2CE Sigs, the front 8" and rear 10" do work ’in tandem’ but crossed over separately. So the rear 10" is not a passive radiator.

I’m guessing after reading more into this, but do think this is primarily a rumble issue being passed to my Vandy’s via the cartridge, and not helping that it has a much wider range than the other carts I was looking at.

UPDATE: Just bought the filters.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0006N41BU/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1




You are welcome. I agree that it sounds (bad pun) like a rumble issue. Good luck with the filter approach.
I'm going to go against the grain and opine that it is indeed feedback.  Belt-drive turntables don't produce a lot of rumble due to the isolation of the platter and the motor.  The proximity of the turntable to the speaker is causing it.  You could try some isolation feet under the turntable, but they probably won't work too well in your circumstance.  As for in-line filters, they will kill the sonics of your system.  Better to get a good phono preamp with a low filter.
Instead of speculating, try testing it. With the turntable off, that is the platter not spinning, lower the cartridge onto a record. Advance the volume to the point that you normally listen. If howling begins rapidly reduce the volume. If it does not, you are good.

There are multiple feedback sources in an LP replay system. Principally structure borne, where the turntable is excited by vibrations traveling through the supporting structure, and airborne feedback where the turntable plinth is directly excited by sound waves. The test will show both.
@jnorris2005 Great. ;-) I have the same concerns regarding the high pass filter. I’ve heard some say that a filter reduced their rumble issue, but who knows how picky they were about sound degradation. But, if it is indeed feedback, then that isn’t an issue anyway. Regardless, and as I stated, I’m looking into a phono pre-amp simply to improve the phono stage, and am initially leaning towards the Schiit Mani, as it seems hard to beat for $129 new. What I haven’t been able to find is if it has a filter built-in to it. I would assume so, but perhaps someone in the know could verify.

@viridian Sounds like a good test, but unfortunately this tables arm will not lower onto a record unless it is turned on. The one thing about this old Kenwood is the composite marble/granite base, as it was sold to reduce external interference and vibrations (I still remember the sales speech when I was looking at it back in the mid 70’s) and makes the table very solid. Regardless, if this turns out to be feedback of some sort, that feature doesn’t help me anyway.

I’ll try the filters when they come. If that doesn’t fix it, I can always return them. Again, that was somewhat a ‘stop gap’ until I spring for a phono pre anyway. If it does fix it, but I get degraded sound, well, again, I’m probably still purchasing a pre anyway. But, if it does not fix it, then it sounds like I am ‘simply’ looking for a new table location which will not be effected by the proximity of the speakers. And that will be more of a challenge for me, as my living space is somewhat smaller and filled-up right now. Just a bit hard to believe this could be an issue as I have seen so many tables located close to speakers in many set-ups, granted, many times the table is in-between the speakers and not ‘in front’ of them. But have seen that set-up, or a set-up similar to mine as well.
I own the Mani and it is very, very good, but it doesn't have a low filter.  Thinking about this, there are a few other areas you should research.  Perhaps your tonearm/phono cartridge match is not good - low mass tonearm and high mass cartridge or vice versa.  This will cause the cartridge to over-react to warps or imperfections in the record.  The KD-2055 has a nice base (it was spoken well of in Absolute Sound, I believe, back in the day).  It may be the shelf itself that is reacting to the low frequencies and causing the turntable to vibrate. Perhaps some heavier weights on the shelf will cause its resonant frequency to shift down and minimize its effect on the turntable.
Unplug the turntable from the wall while playing a record. I don’t believe that the arm will lift.

IMHO, determining the source of the problem and addressing those issues is usually the best solution, YMMV. A wall mounted shelf can often be a remedy to structure borne feedback. Though we don’t know that is the problem.
I have or actually had the exact same issue with my turntable.

Within the past couple of days I installed a Kiseki cartridge in my 1979 era Sony turntable with a SME 3009 arm replacing an old audio technica cartridge from 1984, and experienced excessive inaudible pumping of the woofers. I just happened to have an old dual 31 band graphic eq from my old FOH days which yesterday I inserted between the pre amp and the power amp, engaged the low cut filter on each channel and no more woofer pumping.

For me personally the eq did not degrade the sound but actually helped improve the sound  due to the fact I was also able to eliminate or at least greatly reduce frequency inadequacies created by the room, leaving me with cleaner, clearer sound.

I was also experiencing low end feed back at higher volumes and that is definitely NOT inaudible. I remedied that by changing the location of my subwoofer.
Okay bkeske now where were we? Oh yeah, vibration control. Something few understand well. Be careful with some of the advice above.

Trying to advise sight-unseen is low-probability at best. Like the woofer flutter situation. If I was there to see and hear I could tell you in an instant whether you need to do anything or not. Since you haven't mentioned hearing anything then my guess is you don't need to do anything. But again, no way to be sure without being there.

That to reiterate again is another reason its so important to run the table on the floor a while. It really is the only way to be sure you're hearing the table and not whatever the table is sitting on. Its the only way to know what it should sound like when set up on a proper stand.

Vibration control is a lot like the woofer situation. There in person I'd know what would work. Instantly. Lotta experience. Sadly, not there. You'll just have to figure it out for yourself.

Here's what you need to know to have a shot at it. Effective vibration control calls for a combination of and a balance between mass, stiffness, and damping. The very best vibration control you can get for a turntable is really massive, super stiff, and highly damped. You hit it, it doesn't move, and the sound is like hitting lead. So there's a simple test for anything you're thinking of using: the tink test. You hit it and if it tinks, don't use it. If its so soft it makes no sound at all (like sorbothane) you don't want it. The more it makes a short sharp neutral tunk that dies right off the better.

That's one school, best thought of as reduce and eliminate. The other approach is to go light and control or tune rather than eliminate. The best example of this is Linn. But a lot of cheaper tables are forced into this approach, for the simple reason its the only approach possible at those price levels. Lots of examples of this in tables under a couple grand. None at the very highest levels, that I can think of anyway.

So, how's the floor trial coming?


Get yourself a KAB Rumble Filter for $179.00 and be done with the problem. 
@jnorris2005 Interesting to consider. One note though, when I say wood shelves, these shelves are supported fully by a metal flange and frame and also a composite (layered wood) shelf that is as thick as the metal frame supporting it, or 1 1/2”. I’m not talking about 3/4” shelves here, and one of the reasons I bought this unit, as it had to support my B&K amp, Yamaha reliever, CD player, and PS Audio DAC over 60”. Thus, it had to be sturdy. As an architectural designer, and builder, believe me, I consider these things. Thus, I think the table is very sound, though may not be isolated from other factors.

I wrote this earlier, and then got busy with, of all things, work, so just now catching up.

I’m going to try out a few things, and get back to you all.

I really appreciate all the help, and am sure with those who have had similar experiences a solution will be found.

OK, off to try some of the above tests and I’ll repost back.

Dear @bkeske : Other possibility is that the resonance frequency between the Grado cartridge and the Kenwood tonearm is  totally out of range and I said that because the original  cartridge that came with the Kenwood had a low compliance of 7cu when your Grado one has 20cu.. Maybe to high for that tonearm.

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,
R.
OK all, interesting finding.

@viridian Yes, I didn’t really want to pull the plug with a record playing, but I did. Turned up up volume, and no ’howling’ at all.

@millercarbon I didn’t want to, but finally moved some furniture out of the way, and set the turntable on the floor, right next to the stand. You are right, this eliminated virtually all of the 10" acoustic coupler rapid movement/rumble (not a noise, just the rapid movement).

So, damn I thought, I really don’t want to put this thing on the floor. So I tried a couple of things; what if I put a thick piece of styrofoam below the whole table on the shelf? Have some in the basement from various exquipment packaging, brought it up, set the table on it and it was much much worse. Next, got some large tiles I have in a box, figured perhaps what is necessary was additional firm support. Nope, didn’t help. In fact, it seems anything I add under the feet, made the situation worse.

Took off the platter and belt, locked the arm, and removed the head shell. Turned it over and inspected the feet. Over the years, 2 of the three feet had somewhat collapsed at the isolation sections, and two still had the iso section intact on the feet where they screw into the base.

Which got me thinking...seems to me, more isolation, or anything, under the feet is created more issues, not less, so, what if I take off the feet entirely so the table base sat right on the wood shelf? Looked into the service manual, made sure the base would come off easily, it would, so removed it, and then removed the feet entirely (the screw attachment to the feet were on the inside base side). Reconnected everything, put on a record, and lo and behold, probably 88% of the sub/coupler movement was reduced/eliminated. Only when I cracked it way up did it start acting up, but again, way beyond the volume level with the feet on.

But, the vent ’grate’ to the motor probably needs room to breath (ya think? ;-) ), so this is not a good solution, but what it told me was the more I could ’connect’ the table and the stand/shelf together, the better off I would be, short of putting the table on the floor. This seems reverse thinking of what we tend to believe with most audio equipment, but I may have to look for ’solid’ replacement feet, and not feet with any type of absorption or isolation qualities.

I think my problem is that I have an old house, with fairly bouncy old wood floors and structure, and the large Vandy’s sitting on the floor transmit a lot of energy and movement into the floor via the anchor stands, and thus, transmit the same into the large loaded stand adjacent to them. So any ’typsy’ feet on the stand is going to react negatively, especially ’tipsy feet’ of a turntable.

So, the filters that are coming are useless to me, and I’ll probably return them immediately. Good news is that the Schiit Mani is a good choice for a phono stage, as a filter is not really necessary.

So now I have to figure out what type of solid raised platform or feet I can get which will be ’as connected’ to the shelf/stand as possible, not isolated from it. The only other options are to set thee table on the floor, get a separate turntable stand, or get one of my carpenters to build a wall mounted shelf. None of which I would prefer to do.....yet.

I can’t thank you guys enough for all your thoughts and ideas thus far.
The U-Turn Pluto is a very good, inexpensive phono preamp that has a subsonic filter. For what it’s worth, Michael Fremer published 2 files played back with the Pluto and the Schiit Mani and listeners preferred the Pluto by more than a 2-1 margin.

https://www.analogplanet.com/content/u-turn-pluto-versus-schiit-mani-votes-are

If filtering rumble frequencies is an issue for you, I would recommend the Pluto.

LarryRS
@larryrs Thanks so much, I’ll take a look at it.

Lets call your phenonomen "acoustic breakthrough" instead of feedback. You also have a rumble problem. This is not unusual with less expensive lightweight turntables.See if the problem is worse with your speakers closer to the TT and less so when further away.If so, them you will have to find some means to isolate the TT from the speakers as well as to see if lubrication can reduce the rumble. Don't try to hide the problems with a filter until you reduce them by other means. You may also at some point try to isolate the speakers from the floor.
The Kenwood is not a light weight turntable. Probably heavier than many in its pice class when manufactured. Again, that was it’s big selling points, the composition make-up and weight of the table.

After a bit more searching for replacement feet, I’m thinking I may be looking for a solution in the reverse. In other words, perhaps the better solution is to get some type of Sorbo discs for the Vandy 2CE Sigs instead. As I have wood floors, I did not want to use the stock anchor stand spikes, nor carriage bolts as some use on wood floors. Instead I purchased, I believe, nylon disk furniture feet, made to allow for the moving of large furniture. Works great, but does not isolate the speakers from the floor at all. So, perhaps some type of sorbo discs under the furniture glide feet I installed would be an easier solution. Make it tougher to move the speakers, but not that hard to manage. I guess my concern there would be having the speakers ‘float’ to much. I believe the Vandy’s do like to be solidly sitting on the floor to perform best.

From what I found doing some testing today, I don’t think filters are necessary. It’s in the physical set-up.
bkeske, everything you did I could have told you ahead of time what would and did happen. So spare yourself more wasted effort- forget about sorbo under the speakers. All that will do is make them sound all sucky and dull and not do anything to help the turntable. Sorry but at least you are gaining experience.

Simple proof of concept, if it was a problem of speakers transmitting vibration through the floor and then back up into the table, well then placing the table on the floor would have been worse not better. So its not the speakers. Not even going to get into all the misinformation about spikes and coupling and all that. Much easier if whatever you heard or think you know, just tell yourself its all wrong. Because it is.

(Another proof of concept: If what you knew was right you wouldn’t be anywhere near doing what you’re doing. I mean, it hasn’t worked, has it? What did work? The floor. Just like I said. See?)

The lightweight turntable story was not about yours, it was intended to learn. What you had (when new, before the suspension footers wore out) was similar to the Linn approach of light (relatively, trust me) and suspended.

In all these things it comes down to a question of mass and resonance. Suspended tables like yours was (when new) are only really isolated from vibrations in the frequency range they are designed for. They are in effect tuned. A hard one for people to get.

But now that suspension is shot which puts you back in the other camp, the school of mass/stiffness/damping. In that realm you get exactly the results you got- it works better just sitting flat on something solid.

Wish I was there to eyeball it, whole lot easier. What I PROBABLY would do is make a sand box isolation platform. Cheap and easy yet really, really effective. Inch or so of sand, the more the better but more on that in a minute. Mixed with the right amount of mineral oil it has a beautiful consistency, almost like dry sand but slightly packable and dust-free. Tamped down you might be able to place the table directly on it. Or cut three or four MDF pads a few inches square and tamp them down level and place the table on that. Both my table and my phono stage are on something just like this. Could spend a lot and not do better.

The trick to getting the most from this is getting the mass right. Look at my stand. http://www.theanalogdept.com/images/spp6_pics/C_miller_web/TTstand_1.jpg
The red shelves are concrete. The gray slabs are granite. The black legs are ABS filled with concrete. Both the top and bottom shelves have about 1" of sand inside. It does move if you walk by. But it is so massive that when it does move (and it does sometimes, you can see it) it moves at a very slow sub-sonic rate. Not saying you need 800 lbs of sand and concrete and granite. Saying whatever amount (mass) you use will affect the harmonic frequency and hence degree of effect you get. Complete opposite direction of styrofoam, which I could have told you was the complete wrong direction to go.

Proof of concept: find a tote or tub, pour in $2 worth of Home Depot kiddie sandbox sand, tamp it down, see how it goes.


@millercarbon Thanks for the additional insight.

I had a pretty good feeling the styrofoam, or large tiles, etc. would not work. What I wanted to see was if the material I tried had any effect at all. It did. I wanted to make sure it wasn’t just a ‘sonic feedback’ issue between the speaker and cart. As I say, what I found was that anything I put under the original feet made the problem worse, not better, nor more importantly, the same. Instead, the table became much more unstable sonically and made the rumble worse, especially with the styrofoam. That was incredibly bad, and the coupler was pulsating stronger than any other condition. I’m no expert in this, but I would think if the problem was primarily a sonic reaction between the speaker and table/cart, these physical base/feet changes would not have had the extreme results they did. After finding the failure of some of the original built-in feet isolation design, I had a pretty good idea this was more a physical than sonic problem. And that the sonic problems and instability are a result of the physical issues, not the other way around. I think.

I must say, you have some seemingly odd ideas, but it may be worth a shot. I still have a bag of sand from filling my Vandy anchor stands, so that’s easy, if I can find something to put it in and test it.

And yes, after thinking more about it, I don’t think I want to isolate the speakers at the feet. I think that will just degrade the speaker performance.

Odd ideas. Good one. Made me chuckle. Thanks. You have much to learn, grasshopper.
https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/sandbox-style-isolation

Between actually trying stuff however odd and trying to figure things out by reasoning alone I'll take trying stuff out any day. This site is chock full of the most horribly wrong ideas that sound good enough to have convinced people, almost always people who can't be bothered to actually check them out. So you're making mistakes but learning. Its the but learning part that counts. Good for you.

Like I said these things are all tuned. What you got is like an old grandfather clock that wobbles. Can't keep good time because every time the pendulum swings it causes the whole clock to sway, the whole thing rocking back and forth. Your turntable is doing exactly that, only at a frequency and amplitude that makes it hard to see. But that's what's going on. That's why your experiments failed. What you did was just like putting styrofoam under the already wobbly clock. It only wobbles worse and more.

Place that clock (or turntable) firmly in some nice packed down sand though, now its stuck. No more rocking. 

Remember though its not only the turntable that moves like this. The whole rack, or wherever else you put it, everything no matter what is going to oscillate. Its simply a question of how much and at what frequency. Why electron microscopes require specialized vibration control. What looks good at one scale is a nightmare at another.

So on one scale you control the very fine low amplitude vibrations with the sand particles that shift against each other dissipating that vibration into heat. This requires only a fairly thin layer of sand. Mixing in oil actually helps keep the grains from packing solid while allowing them to shift microscopically, which is just what you want. 

But you also want stability on a larger scale, like the shifting vibrations of your old house. For this you want mass. The more mass the more energy it takes to make it move, or the smaller the movement for a given input. Most people just use as much as they have space and time and money for. But you could work it out mathematically if you know the dimensions of your rack and enough materials science and physics.

So maybe not as odd an idea as it seemed at first glance.


Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’m willing to listen and learn.

In my business as a designer, I often suggest ideas to clients and they look at me like I have 3 heads, as they are out of the norm of what everyone else does, or what they have seen others have. The challange is to get them to trust me given my experience of what has worked in the past, and what hasn’t, explaining my previous clients were just as quizzical of my initial suggestions, but not after they implemented them.

Yes, after 40+ years of not really listening to vinyl and using this old table, it is indeed like learning all over again, as the rest of my system has evolved way beyond then.

BTW, I received the oil today, and all is lubed.

I also, after much thought, decided to purchase the Mani today from Schiit.

Just an update.

Recieved the high pass filters, but left them in their package in case I wanted to return them. Recieved the Schiit Mani today and hooked it up. Prior to all this, I took all the stock ‘absorbsion’ feet off the Kenwood, as 3 of 4 of them had collapsed. I purchased separate turntable isolation pads from ‘High End Audio’ out of Brooklyn NY I believe. Set those under the table replacing the stock feet, thinking it I may need these anyway if I ended up putting the table in a tray of sand.

Once I put these isolation pads under the table, it reduced the rumble by a fair amount unless I really cranked up the sound. After installing the Schiit, the overall sound really came ‘alive’ vs the internal phono stage, so for me, think it was a good choice. So, I decided to go ahead and try the high-pass filters placing them at the input of the Schiit, and it does not sound bad at all. They are 20hz (and below) filters and the bass from my Vandies, and my sub are still working fine without, and it seems without degrading any frequencies above. So now I can crank the volume way up with no rumble or speaker ‘shake’ or movement whatsoever. With the phono set-up I have now, I think this may work.

Thanks again for all your thoughts and suggestions, I believe they lead me to a good solution, and am still considering the tray of sand, which may allow for the removal of the filters as well.

Now to look for some new old vinyl to purchase.


Another update.

After spending more and more on ‘new’ albums (mostly classical) I realized, stubbornly, that my old Kenwood was just not ‘cutting it’. Since I bought it in the mid-70’s it had issues with maintaining proper speed, and I finally decided it was time to replace. Still not wanting to spend a fortune, I found a Pro-Ject Carbon Debut for a good deal refurbished by an authorized dealer.

Received it, set it up, installed my Grado Red, and ready to go. Unfortunately, some of the issues with the old Kenwood came back, and more. Just very ‘unstable’, especially when walking around my room. In many areas were I walked it created a lot of ‘shaking sound’. I even removed the stock feet and used pads with no real improvement (but the pads did do a better job than the stock feet). Other than that though, it sounded great. So, what the heck. Why is my TT location so sensitive? Going back to what millercarbon suggested, I purchased a tray, filled it with sand to hopefully create more mass, but that didn’t really help, but I thought it would. I also have a Bernard Haitink/Strauss/Concertgebouw album that was for some reason unplayable. It created dangerous sounding speaker distortion, yet other albums did not do the same. Baffled.

I was considering either a wall mount stand or getting a treated wood post and 3/4” plywood to place in my basement and under the floor joists of my stand location, thinking I simply had to reinforce the floor. But, just prior to that, I was considering a record weight. Never having one over the years, thought they were more a gimmick than anything else. I set out to study which one to purchase without spending a ton on a potential non-solution to a non-problem. During that bit of research, I became more comfortable with the idea of a record clamp vs a weight. So, bought one; an inexpensive clamp made by Record Doctor via Audio Advisor. I wasn’t expecting this to cure the previously mentioned issues, just something else I wanted to explore.

Got it yesterday, put on a record, clamped it, and for goodness sakes, everything ‘stabilized’, both physically and sonically. I can walk across my floor without disturbance, and just played that Haitink album without a hint of distortion. I’m amazed that a $26 clamp could have such an effect through the system, my set-up, and the overall sound.

I’ll keep the tray with sand as it can’t be harmful, and I’ll keep it at its current location on my equipment stand, as a simple cheap clamp seemed to solve a lot.

Go figure.
just for the halibut, get cones (I found brass to be best, but more expensive)...put three under your table...not on its feet, but on the base itself....point side down.
And get rid of this pretty tray of sand? 🙃

https://www.dropbox.com/s/bnavxx927vkeyl7/IMG_0965.JPG?dl=0

I may consider that, but right now, everything is working and sounding better than ever. 😉
Extremely interesting thread.
Everyone and their dog was concentrating on vibration and isolation, rightly so with the facts presented, and yet it transpires it is the interface between platter and vinyl is the issue.

Who would have taken a guess at that?
No one obviously... Lol.

It sounds like the vinyl must have been free to move on the platter just a little too freely, likely causing excessive stylus movement in the grooves.
A fix for $26. Not too bad at all although I am sure any of the isolation techniques employed will not have hurt one bit.

One benefit of my room is a solid concrete floor that is then tiled AND I have been using a Mitchell record clamp in like forever!

Now enjoy the music!
Yep.

I have to wonder if the clamp would have helped on the old Kenwood, but that ‘water is under the bridge’ so to speak (as it had other issues). The Kenwood had a sturdy rubber mat, and the Pro-Ject came with a flimsy felt mat, which I replaced with an acrylic mat (which I wanted to try before considering the acrylic platter upgrade option). That didn’t help with the problem, but does sound better. However, I did try the Pro-Ject with the Kenwood rubber mat before the acrylic mat arrived with no improvement.

As an ‘old fart’ who never used weights or clamps back in the 70’s, I just wasn’t convinced I needed one. Well, as it turns out, it was a $26 gold mine.

And yes, have been playing vinyl all afternoon without issue.


Congratulations , just read through this thread for the first time . Most of my original problems,  which sounded somewhat similar to a few of yours, was fixed with an Audioquest Sorbel record Mat . Now if I can get my records off the Mat a little easier that would be great ! 
All very interesting and one for the books. Have you tried removing the turntable lid, at least when playing?
I don’t use the lid while playing. Actually cannot with this particular clamp.

I have been playing a lot of vinyl lately. Up till using that clamp, I truly wasn’t sure I would ever warm-up to vinyl over CD’s/streaming (and I grew up on LP’s, but basically completely switched towards the late 80’s) as I could never get my system to where I really enjoyed it, but now I have re-realized just how great it can sound. It made that big of a difference. In fact, my system now is better than I have ever had before in terms of vinyl, still not ‘high end’ any means, but extremely enjoyable and engaging. Good enough to now possibly upgrade more over time though.

As I seek out a lot of stuff on vinyl not available on CD’s or streaming, it definitely has its place to keep building on my collection, and not feel it’s ‘second rate’, just different, and it some cases, yes, more enjoyable. And that’s the key to stick with a media.