What's wrong with classical music on vinyl?

As I go through my collection of classical music on vinyl, and get new ones from record stores and eBay, I notice that I am not impressed with the sound quality. Most of my pop music albums sound fine. The classical (even sealed), on the other hand, sounds full of static, noise, and pops that completely drown out the music. The rubber surrounds on my woofers ripple visibly, and the more intense passages become distorted (particulary the brass instruments). (And yes, I've tried it with minimal volume, to test the feedback theory, and with the same results.) I've tried extensive record cleaning with some of the most recommended products. On the other hand, my non-classical music sounds fine. Madonna, Yes, and Simon and Garfunkel play fine. So do Crosby Stills + Nash, REM, and Nickelback.

The only thing I can think of is that the classical music tends to be recorded at a much lower volume, thereby causing a low signal to noise ratio, whereas the pop music is inherently recorded at a higher volume, and this helps to drown out the noise.

I'm beginning to think that I should stick to CD's or brand-new 200g LP's for classical music from here on.

Any comments/suggestions?
Pop music is recorded at a uniformly loud level which covers up the inherent deficiencies of the LP medium.
Most all my classical lps are dynamic. You need to learn to buy the best labels. My collection is awesome sounding. Do a search on the subject. I almost can't believe your post. Are you trolling? Maybe?
Hi, Michael. Some of what you're experiencing may come from the fact that most pop music has very little dynamic range. All of the non-classical music you list is very limited in dynamic range and as a result can be mastered onto LP at a much higher average level than most classical music.

At the same time, I simply don't experience what you describe with the classical music LPs I've bought used over the years, so I'm having trouble relating to your experience. As you may recall, most of my collection is comprised of classical music LPs. I have been reasonably selective in the quality of the LPs I buy used, but I've definitely not focused on collecting just special pressings. Most of my collection are standard pressings from labels such as: Archiv, Argo, ASV, BIS, CRD, EMI, Erato, Harmonia Mundi, Hungaraton, Hyperion, London, l'Oiseau Lyre, Lyrita, Nonesuch, Philips, RCA, Supraphon, Telefunken.

One's turntable/tonearm/cartridge will make a big difference in the background silence of any LPs, but for many years I used a VPI HW-19 and still didn't experience what you describe to any similar extent. And, I perhaps am more inurred to the extraneous sounds that come from vinyl playback and simply listen through it without paying it any attention. If I listened to CD, I might be more sensitive to the issue you raise.
I have classical albums (as well as other types) that are 30 years old and continue to buy used all the time. I run them through the vac before playing and have very very few ticks, pops, static or other distracting sounds. They sound wonderful.
Hi Rushton, thanks for your input, and for confirming one of my suspicions about recording volumes (happens on CD's, too). As you may recall, I had similar problems a couple years ago with my Music Hall MMF-5. I now have a Project RM-6 which is a great turntable for the price, considerably better than the Music Hall and Technics I was using earlier. I have it mated with a Goldring Electra cartridge and a Parasound zPhono preamp.

And yet few of my classical recordings are actually listenable. I have become more tolerant of occasional pops and clicks, but when the softer passages are difficult to ear through the noise, or the high-energy dynamics are limited by distortion, this becomes very frustrating. I believe it's largely record-related, because there are a few records that don't have the distortion.

On the other hand, I have a couple of Alison Krauss' 180g audiophile LP's that sound amazing on my system. A couple of my friends have heard it and literally wouldn't believe that the sound was coming from vinyl. But if I put any one of my four copies of Dvorak's Symphony #9 (my favorite) on the turntable, they would run for cover.

The cartridge alignment is correct, and I have the tracking force set to the cartridge's recommended 1.7g. I hear no difference with increased tracking force or with changes in the anti-skating.

Maybe the solution is to just buy new, audiophile-grade classical LP's.

Yes, I remembered you'd had some problems with excess surface noise. I'm somewhat at a loss to understand why you keep having as much difficulty. That's why I suggested that perhaps I'm just more used to it and the level of noise we experience is about the same. Still, everything should be at least listenable (or better). If you're having good success with new vinyl reissues, the only other thing I can think of is that you're ending up with used records that have not been cared for. I buy a lot of used classical records from various used record shops, and I don't run into the problems you're having, so I'm stumped. I am pretty picky about what I buy, however. For example, I won't buy a record that doesn't have an intact inner sleeve: I figure if it's been stored in the jacket without an inner sleeve, it hasn't been cared for and it's very likely in poor shape.

And, as I mentioned above, different turntables/cartridges can produce very different levels of surface noise. Some just seem to exacerbate it, some get ghostly quiet; I don't know how the Project is in this regard.

Hope you're doing well. We've missed seeing you at our local audio group gatherings.
This is illogical. You get surface noise on your classical lp/s, and not on your pop lp's? Is surface noise selective of it's music genre'?
G_m_c, he didn't claim it was logical, he said this was what he was experiencing. And, as we've been discussing, there is certainly a reason he may be hearing more surface noise on classical recordings as a result of the greater dynamic range of most classical recordings and due to pop records typically being mastered at a higher average level across the entire record.
Dear Michael:*** " has very little dynamic range. All of the non-classical music you list is very limited in dynamic range and as a result can ... " ***
*** " The rubber surrounds on my woofers ripple visibly .. " ***, *** " And yes, I've tried it with minimal volume, to test the feedback theory, and with the same results.. " ***

The problem that you are experienced is a typical resonance frecuency mismacht between tonearm/cartridge combo. That's all. With that kind of tonearm that you have you have to be sure that the resonance frecuency between the tonearm and cartridge it be in the 8 to 12 Hz, better: 10 to 12Hz. Maybe you have to change your tonearm, your cartridge or both.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Rushton, I am not sure I understand. Pop, static, and surface noise is not usually something that is transfered from the master tapes (unless very poor recordings). As you said yourself, such noise is typically associated with hardware issues such as dirty lp's, or noise sensitive cartidges. Frankly, I find many pop or rock albums can have pretty wide dynamic range. I agree that many classical recordings are demanding in terms of pace and speed, but that characteristic does not translate to surface noise.
G_m_c, I admit to being puzzled by Sufentail's experience, too. His experience doesn't match mine, but I'm not inclined to discount it either because I talked with him about this same issue two years ago when he lived in the area and was participating in the local audio group here. As you say, it's not a function of the music per se, but it may reflect the overall lower level at which the many classical LPs are mastered. That lower volume level sometimes puts the music's quiet passages quite close to the noise threshold of the LP. Still, I've got more than a few classical LPs, so I continue to wonder if it's the quality of the used LPs he's found to buy. Particularly since he says he doesn't experience the problem with new reissued classical vinyl.
Referring to an above post, perhaps it's more a function of the fact that classical music, with its many quiet passages, highlights surface noise, and perhaps Sufentanil is particularly bothered by it.

I have been discussing this very issue with a friend recently, and note that I am annoyed by surface noise with piano recordings and tend to prefer to listen to piano via C.D. Solo piano shows tape hiss more than most other instruments because the performer is often playing in the mid-register or lower, and there is nothing to hide the hiss, which is high frequency in content (string music, which lives in the upper mids and treble, is much better at hiding tape hiss). Similarly, the sparse, single-note-at-a-time aspect of some piano music can highlight ticks and pops because there is no other sound occurring to drown out the noise. In addition, before I put a motor controller on my turntable, the decay of piano notes would occassionally sound a bit off because of turntable wow and flutter.

I do not believe the problem is my LP's or my equipment. I have a wide range of used and new-reissue classical LP's, and clean them all on a VPI record cleaner with an alcohol-based fluid (Nitty Gritty) upon purchasing them and then periodically thereafter as needed. I use a carefully set-up VPI Aries, VPI 10.5 arm, and v.d.H. Frog on a Black Diamond The Source Shelf that is decoupled from the custom component stand it sits on via sorbathane, and the motor is decoupled from the BDR shelf via sorbathane, all into a Rowland Cadence / Coherence II run from batteries -- my analog system is anything but inherently noisy.

In short, I tend to much prefer piano music via C.D. for these reasons, even though the CD's do compress dynamic range. Piano is my only gripe, though -- I could just as easily describe how symphonic music sounds best to me on vinyl, because, with the exception of a few Reference Recordings HDCD's and XRCD reissues I own, I find that the vast majority of CD's cannot handle the dynamic range of symphonic music and compress on peaks (I also think digital recordings alter the timbre of string instruments -- I'd much rather hear strings via analog). As for my CD rig, it is an ARC CD-3 that was preceded by a Levinson 360s / 37, so it's not my CD players, and the rest of my gear in my main system is slightly rolled off or relatively neutral (VAC 140 tube monos, Revel Salons and Kimber Select cabling, dedicated lines, power conditioning, tweaks, etc.).
Sounds like a classic case of mistracking to me, I recognize the description, as I own a Decca cartridge, notorious for mistracking on more difficult discs. Classical music is in general far more demanding to reproduce than pop and jazz recordings, far more complex as well as more dynamic, and if your cartridge isn't up to it it will be "surfing" along the top of the grooves on the edge of being booted completely out of the groove, whcih explains the increased noise (same wit the Decca). The signs of incipient mistracking/jumping from the Decca are as follows: distortion, more cracks and pops, the appearance of increased surface noise. And yes, this occurs on more difficult passaages like a combination of piano and violin (killer combination), large-scale classical, well-recorded choirs. The solution is simple: buy another cartridge which has a reputation for tracking well, at a reasonable price there is the Shure M97xE being blown out the door for less than $60 these days on ebay, or for more money an Ortofon OM20Super, or the superb Stanton 681EEE. With correct set-up, the problem should disappear and you'll be enjoying ALL your records. Try it, you'll like it.
I buy mostly Classical, but have a good amount of Rock and Jazz and try to buy new and NM from the better labels. On the rare occasion, I get a very noisy LP and it goes into the trashcan. Your experience does not match up with mine. A good percentage of what I have is dead quiet with some LP's giving a few pops and tics and some tape hiss.
I would suggest that you take 10 or so Classical LP's ( a few of the Pop LP's as well so that you have a control and a frame of reference) that you are quite familiar with to listen on the system of another Audiophile who claims not to have your problem and see how they sound on his system. I think that would be a best first step in identifying whether it's your Vinyl or System related.
In what city do you live ?

Classical music belongs in the digital domain. Eldartford is correct. Even new Deutsche Gramophon LPs which I've just opened have distracting surface noise. My analog rig is pretty quiet to start with, running on excellent noise control measures and the Creature floating on a Dennensen air suspension. Now, listening to classical on my modded belt drive transport is an undistracting, artifact free musical expecrience...

Michael, these are all great comments above. Help us with one thing: you mention buying some "audiophile" reissues on 180/200 gram vinyl, but I only see mention of Alison Krauss. Have you purchased any of the "audiophile" reissues of classical music, and do these LPs play well on your system?

If you have not purchased new vinyl reissues of classical music, but are making assumptions based on the popular music new vinly, you may want to check this out. If the new vinyl of classical music presents similar problems, then mistracking or cartridge/tonearm resonance mismatch may still be a problem in your system even though it doesn't show up on popular music: the greater demands of the classical music may be revealing these issues.

Overall, I really like Larry's (Cello) suggestion of playing some of your classical LPs on another audiophile's system as a benchmark. You're certainly welcome here any time you're back in the Philadelphia area.
Could it be that classical music just sucks to begin with? Now that I have your attention, I have to agree with Raul & Jean. It really sounds like the cartridge. I noticed this before I went a little higher up the TT chain. I had a tendency to use cheaper cartridges, and their inability to track well drove me nuts. Almost any cartridge can be made to work for rock, but the dynamics of classical present unique problems. The Electra is not up to the task.

I think I'd try the Shure Jean recommended, becuse on a good day the Electra is um, average. Even though the Shure is a less expensive cartridge, it is know for it's ability to track well. For the cost of a few good albums, you may be surprised. Of course, then you will be starting that notorius process of upgrading, which never ends.
A lot of classical music sucks. It was composed by poor people who were on the royalty's payroll and needed to deliver weirder and more complex music. That's how they could justify their salaries...

I tend to have the same problem with Deutsche Grammaphone reissues. I notice Rushton diddn't mention DG as a label that he doesn't have trouble with.

I'm also surprised that more people don't complain about classical strings on vinyl. Often when a string quartet, for instance, begins playing fortissimo the music starts to sound very, very "fuzzy".
Vinyl may have some good characteristics, but to be completely truthful, low background noise, dynamic range, and separation (all things that can be precisely measured)are not among them. Of these deficiencies, surface noise, including clicks and rumble, are most obvious. However, some people have developed an ability to "listen through" the noise, and some have gone so far as to convince themselves, and try to convince others, that surface noise doesn't exist. For them, perhaps that's true. But if you are disturbed by surface noise the solution is simply to use another medium such as CD or mag tape.
Psychicanimal, And that difers from pop music, how. Is pop music in all its various forms (including smooth jazz!) being composed and recording by rich philantropists? 95% crap with a few gems thrown in just to keep you interested and coming back, I say! :-)
The vinyl's ok. It's the elevator shaking the table.

Sorry. Much of what I listen too is easily criticized as well.
The problem with listening to classical music only on digital is that soooo many of the greatest interpretations/performances in history are only available on vinyl.
Jphii, oh that notorius process of upgrading stopped with my Zyx.;)

Sufentanil, I have quite a number of Reissues. And they sound great. Since I have the Classical Records Box sets I know how good my system can sound. And how mediocre the originals can sound. I just listened to Beethoven 9th on MFSL 2-516. Small sound stage, mediocre focus and detail. And the subway effect. Which I have a lot with the London/Decca recordings. I most of the time prefer the classical reissues from Classic Records. Try them.
Vinyl may have some good characteristics, but to be completely truthful, low background noise, dynamic range, and separation (all things that can be precisely measured)are not among them. Of these deficiencies, surface noise, including clicks and rumble, are most obvious. However, some people have developed an ability to "listen through" the noise, and some have gone so far as to convince themselves, and try to convince others, that surface noise doesn't exist

Eldartford, I have been sitting quietly reading this thread, wondering when you would make your properly timed jab.

You are so wrong it frustrates me. You have no experience with a quality LP playback system and no right to make such comments.

The signal to noise of my analog playback systems, including my (very inexpensive) Lenco is often as quiet as my CD playback system (on very good LP's).

The Walker is absolutely as quiet as CD on 90% of my software, which includes thousands of LP's, some dating back to the 1950's.

I have had hundreds of visitors who can testify to that statement as truth. For those who have poor playback machinery due to mismatched components and not willing to make the physical (and financial effort), CD may be the best option. However it is wrong to make such statements based on your inexperience and hold it up as truth.
Eldartford and Psychicanimal, please let us not hijack this thread into a CD versus LP debate; there is no constructive benefit. Sufentanil is enjoying both media. His experience with pop vinyl is very satisfying. His experience with used classical vinyl is not matching up to the experience of some others. If you can contribute something as to why his system may not be playing classical vinyl as well as many others with moderately priced vinyl playback systems, then please chime in.

Psychicanimal, I appreciate your comment that you too find more surface noise in classical music vinyl on your system than you're willing to listen through. That's somewhat consistent with comments Raquel shared, and this may ultimately mark the direction Sufentail needs to pursue to meet his needs. It is not my experience.
This will not resolve the (again) growing format dispute on this thread, however FWIW, IMHO, there are great silient LP's out there, new and old, and a lot of noisy LP's, of revered musical performances and audiophile junk. Ditto on CD's. The only truly significant difference, other than musical content, is in the warts that each system brings to the table.

What counts, to me at least, is being able to listen thru the "warts" and hear the music in any format. For example, if you can't hear Carlos Kleiber's performance of B5 because its on DG, or its on vinyl, or its on digital, my heart goes out to you!

I appoligize for the rant, but this type of endless format abuse kinda gets my goat a bit. :-)
Which ZYX cartridge do you get ?

I have the R-100FXH.
nice post rushton,,overdue.you might include the post by thommas also..gotta love these sensitive people.somebody has a legitimate problem and whoa!! how dare you ask that question? you must be an uninformed idiot.
I have a classical library of appx 2000 LP's mostly recorded in the 60's anf 70's and carefully selected for the artistic performance, not the sound quality of the recording.
Although I am using a top notch turntable, I have used lesser vinyl rigs and never experienced your problems. While listening to an LP has its limitations, I have never been able to connect to the music with digital to the same degree as vinyl, and my current digital isn't bad-Audio Note/CEC.
If your vinyl rig is properly set up, which can't be emphasised enough, you would be singing a different tune (no pun intented). Also you need to adopt a diciplined proceedure for cleaning, storing and preping LP's.
Your comments indicated that you haven't been properly schooled in using a turntable.
Does anyone know of a vinyl 101 course? All kidding aside, someone needs to mentor you in the process.
I am sorry if this was covered in previous post's, I don't have time to read them all. I had some similar, though milder, issues until I did a few things. I got a stylus gauge and reset my cartridge, I was surprised how far off it was. I then used a HiFi News test record to fine tune the set up. I now find that my classical vinyl to be as pristine as pop and jazz. You may have done this but I thought I would through it out as an idea.
Thanks so far for the responses.

Rushton, to answer your question about if I have audiophile-grade new classical LP's, the answer is no. (However, there are a couple that I'm considering getting.) Maybe that would be a decent test.

And yes, it's certainly possible that my setup isn't 100% perfect. I've adjusted the cartridge tracking angle with the turntablebasics.com mirror tool, and the stylus tracking force has been confirmed with a Shure gauge. The azimuth appears visually to be OK, but I haven't yet figured out how to adjust it (great turntable, terrible manual).

I'll have to investigate the possibility of improving the situation wiht a new cartridge. I also have a local dealer that I can take some records over and listen on his Nottingham stuff to observe the difference. I just have a hard time believing that pristine-looking classical LP's sound so much worse than their pop/rock counterparts, and apparently that isn't universally true.

That definitely gives me more to think about.


I have to echo Johnnantais here: you're mistracking, and it's probably a matter of overhang (considering you've checked the other alignments). And as Logenn notes, we buy classical usually based on the performance, not the weight of the vinyl... SO you can't really rely on audiophile issues alone for your musical enjoyment!
1) benchmarking with another system is a good idea
2) check out the cartridge overhang

BTW, I had a Project 6 on loan for some time at home (with a Benz Glider). I never had this problem with classical LPs, so it really must be something very simple to correct. I woudn't worry:)
Good luck!
Albertporter...Too bad that comments you disagree with tend to get lost in the great Audiogon computer.

1. Have you ever actually measured the signal to noise ratio of the LP medium? It isn't that hard.

2. What is the separation spec for your phono pickup (at various frequencies)?

3. By what means do you determine that I have never auditioned High End phono equipment?

4. I will give you the benefit of my doubt, and say that there is no surface noise generated in your superb phono playback system.

But some of us, like Sufentanil, live in the real world where surface noise is the major sonic deficiency of LPs. How else would you explain the great lengths to which the industry and audiophiles have, at one time or another, gone to adress this issue.
...RIAA equalization
...sratch filters in preamps
...outboard dynamic noise filters
...click and pop eliminators
...DBX records
...Compression of the audio program
...Audiophile LPs and 45 rpm recordings.
...Improved vinyl formulation
...Record cleaning machines and cleaning substances
...Extremely complex and expensive turntables and arms

I am sure I missed a few. All this effort was not expended for no purpose.

I have said that some people can "listen through" the noise, and of course I try to do this when I listen to my LPs. Perhaps there are other positive factors which make the noise acceptable. But don't say there is no noise (except in your own system).
OK... read em' all... Now I ask:
Did your Classical collection come from one source?
Perhaps all of them did come from one "used" source (if you live in a middling to small town) and that source may have ruined the records with a dull cartridge. Or (horrors) listened using a wet surface. (which leaves the LP vertually unlistenable normally afterwards)
I agree you need to take some of your offending LPs to someone elses TT to see if indeed it is the LPs.
I have 5,000 + classical, all used in varying age and condition. (but all without scratches) Some are really dirty, some look brand new... All need thorough cleaning anyway.
Sorry you have such a problem,
One suggestion I would make is to try using Stylast stylus preservative. It is $25 or so, keeps your stylus super new, and does make an audible difference on some LPs.
Eldartford: Please come to my house. I have several frequent flyer tickets. Free trip for you. Bring any measuring equipment you want. Anytime you care to show up is fine with me.

Listen to my digital setup. Then listen to my vinyl setup. Your ears will tell you. Listen for noise, then listen for music.

A friend of mine said it best yesterday, this is like saying you don't like driving a Ferrari because the ride is little rough...who cares...everything else is AMAZING.
my 2cents worth--

most people start buying (used) classical music by the state of the vinyl. The cleaner the copy, the better, is the starting reference point.

Totally wrong, IMHO. Those records s**k, because the previous owner didn't like it and NEVER LISTENED TO IT. Get the classical records that look like they've had a long, happy, busy life.

Listen to it, get past the surface noise, etc. and if you like the music, find the same LP in better shape.
Sufentanil ,

I listen to classical 95% of the time, every sub-genre imaginable from pre-Gregorian chant to avant-garde 20th C. and everything in between. About 2,000 LP's in all, 500 bought new in the 1970's-80's, the remainder bought new and used in the past two years.

I had several 1970's low/mid-fi rigs and for the last two years a pretty high end new rig, not quite at the level of Rushton's or Albert's Walkers but fairly close.

The mid-fi rigs, without exception, made surface noise noticeable. That was the major reason I fell into the CD wasteland for 15 years or so.

The new, high end rig renders those noises nearly inaudible. The most common non-musical noise coming from my LP's is tape hiss, which of course would be prevalent on an analog recording no matter what playback medium was used. The noises you complained of rarely exist in my system, with the exception of a few obviously damaged records. When those noises do occur they are infrequent and at such a low level that they are never distracting, at least to us or to any of our visitors.

I fear this experience may confirm something Albert alluded to, that a commitment to a certain level of equipment is necessary. This is especially true for classical, due to the wide dynamic range you've already discussed. Proper cleaning and exacting setup are also essential, as others have emphasized.

At a guess, the lowest level TT/arm/cartridge that might satisfy you in respect of noise would probably retail (new) for $2000 or so. Better phono stages can also make a significant contribution to noise reduction, since lower quality circuits are more easily overloaded by the sharp transients typical of most such noise.

This may not be what you want to hear of course. It may even be wrong! Cello's suggestion of listening to some of your records on a better system would be an easy way to find out. Take one or two of those new audiophile releases along also. That will tell you a great deal about how much is vinyl vs. how much is your system.
Well Eldartford, unless your afraid that you might have to admit that the music is better and WORKS pretty much noise in LP playback, you now have a challenge by way of access to a free plane ride to listen to another members system.

Or would you prefer to spew your usual technical stuff that has no foundation based on real experience?

You are so afraid that you might have to admit your wrong, likely from working in your "technical" field, you fight this format tooth and nail.

Too bad you can't let go and enjoy both, or at the very least, leave those of us alone that have worked with analog and achieved success.
Just my own opinion here,obviously.I have both, an analog and digital set-up.Decent enough stuff.Levinson 390s,and SOTA COSMOS series III/Graham 2.2/Transfiguration Temper-v.I DO have an extensive collectio of both Analog(Early Deccas,EMI,RCA's,Lyrita).I have my digital for the stuff that is NEW.Music is the first priority.Albert has very valid points!I have seldom heard the variety of annoying areas in my analog collection.My series of NONESUCH Avante Garde discs are dead quiet,with superb dynamic range.My digital always has that characteristic of low noise,quiet backgrounds and all other characteristics, that the medium offers(I'm not complaining),but,OVERALL,maybe because I chose my discs carefully,or luck,the vinyl offers a greater sense of reality,TO ME.More REAL information.As to the original question in this thread,I have no other assumption other than to assume there is a problem in set-up,or system.Analog can be Incredible!Digital is fine.I've heard all the latest stuff,by EMM/Wadia/DCS etc.My conclusion(only my opinion)is that,after being a "MUSIC" collector for over 35 years,ANALOG is where the REALISM ENVELOPE is being pushed, the most.Sorry!I'm prepared for the negative comments.To me the WHOLE industry(audio)has moved away from what an old reviewer once said,that I never forgot."It is the ART of music reproduction,in the home".There is no real support structure for the finer points of this anymore.Dealers want to sell the DIGITAL stuff(which is still valid,and fine to me),which is a plug in, and, be happy format.Analog takes some work.Tube rolling.Tweaking in a table and arm.Dialing in a cartridge.A pain in the ass.I LOVE IT!!I love my digital too,but it is my Vinyl that NOURISHES my musical appetite.It just sounds more convincing.To me, what has happened in the hobby is like what you see every year at Christmas time; endless commercials "HAWKING" stuff they want you to think you "should need".Have you ever(once)seen a guy or gal tie a ribbon on a 50,000 dollar car (in the living room,yet).Or,Grandma being pissed off at the family for not getting her a digital camera?The audio industry has gotten "REAL SMART",now "YOUNG PISHERS" who could care less about great music(plenty of classical)or, who never new how to toil (ANALOG)to "DIAL in a DESIRED SOUND" are throwing the baby out with the bathwater.I REALLY have to LAUGH!!!
Somehow my post was used by someone to imply I think you are an uninformed idiot. Wow!, no intent whatsoever. Not even close. I am not having your problem is what the post is about. Not one thing personal about you. Perhaps there may be other uniformed idiots out there.
Eldartford forgot a critical disadvantage of vinyl: wear. The cheaper the pressing, the more wear and tear, with vinyl pieces being chiseled out and 'welded' somewhere else. Last record preservative proved to be helpful but not with already used albums. That, the cheaper quality of pressings and the exhorbitant prices going on in eBay for most good salsa LPS forced me to push the digital envelope: a Dan Wright modded belt drive transport.

Noise floor wise (continous), my vinyl rig is real low. The Creature is quiet and neutral--especially with the floating aluminum 'pistons' of the Dennensen air suspension supporting a granite slab. The impulse noises are what drive me nuts. One can only listen "through" so much.

Wow, Psychicanimal had a direct drive turntable and a belt drive transport...

Is this hobby fun or what?
Good turntable,power supply,arm,cartridge,phonostage,stand and right setup dramatically diminishes surface noise, improves tracking and lowers sensitivity to damages. I am classical listener and actually don't tolerate classical music from digital source. 95% of my listnening is vinyl...

LP12/Valhalla,Power Plant
Aro,DV 17DII Karat
Naim Prefix/Supercap
Mana Reference Table
As soon as I read the first post, I thought "Deutsche Grammaphon." Their releases from the '70s on were packaged in a sticky "Saran Wrap" style poly-lined bag that deposited residue on the surface of the vinyl. Over time, this problem has grown worse. All DG records will benefit from a thorough cleaning with a product like Disc Doctor, and then (of course) rehousing in a new frosted-style poly sleve.

So, Psychicanimal and easy_e, I'd give your DG records a thorough cleaning - and check which pressings you own at the same time. You can get those '70s and '80s records to sound clean at least, but they won't blow your mind with their sonics.

Mr. Hifi, given your setup it's impossible you'll like digital but will love 'analog' sound. That's a subject all of its very own covered in the archives. On the other hand, I have a friend witha Nottingham Anna Log deck, Shelter cartridge and a CEC TL-1 w/ Audio Logic DAC and calls analog & digital "different flavors". It's all in the archives...

Dear friends: Sufentanil only need some help for he can enjoy the music reproduction through his analog rig, that's all.
He told us: "The rubber surrounds on my woofers ripple visibly.. " and " And yes, I've tried it with minimal volume, to test the feedback theory, and with the same results ".

Sufentanil, I insist in that it is probably a mismatch between the tonearm/cartridge combo and as a result on it you can have to change your tonearm or your cartridge or both.

Regards and enjoy the music.
I think Doug's answer sums it up best. Classical music does place more demands on the playback system. Noise of any sort tends to be exaggerated during quiet passages which are common with classical music.

I too did have problems with classical stuff. I solved them by :
a) changing my cart - the old one after 7 years of use tended to be noisy
b) getting a better RCM - the PRC 2.5
c) getting classical LPs from better sources and/or better quality - very few VG+ more NM or even sealed copies

Although my system still picks up noises, after vigourous cleaning, 2 rounds on the PRC with a alcohol/detergent then wash, I am quite certain the LP is cleaned to its best extent possible and hear more of the music than noise. The PRC managed to save some really dirty stuff and restored them to good health.
Jfrech...Thanks for the kind offer but it probably is not practical. And not necessary, as I do have ample oportunity to hear good LP playback systems.

About the Ferrari, my Honda CRV will take it on the rutted dirt roads around here. And sending the engine back to Italy for overhaul is a drag.