Why one side is very much louder than the other si

I have newly setup my VPI HW-19 MK III with SME V arm and Benz Micro cartridge using Musical Fidelity X-LPS as Phono stage. My other system is:

Power AMP: Pass Lab x-600
Pre AMP: Pass Lab X 0.2
Transport: SONY SCD-1
Speaker: Goldmund Apologue
Power Cable: NBS Professional
Interconnect: Transport to Pre-amp : AudioQuest Sky
Pre-Amp to Power Amp : Synergistic Research Designer Reference
Speakerr Cable: AudioQuest Dragon

As you aware, I have been switch from Vinyl to Digital for last 25 years. This is first time after all these years to try on vinyl again. Unfortunately, the first result is not successful. When play the vinyl record, one side of the speaker is sounding normal, while the other side of the speak is hardly able to hear. When I exchange the interconnect from Turntable to phono ie. swap left to right, the result is reversed. Can anyone able to help me how to solve this problem. Kind regards

Could be the cartride. Check you setting on the downward pressure and anti skate settings. If its not that I would try checking the cartidge itself. I am sure other Audiogon members with more analog experience will have more informed ideas...
I suggest carefully inspecting a correct connection of the cartridge clips according to the color code. If the letter coding exists instead of color coding which makes things more confusing, I suggest looking through the instructions or an information on the internet on how to set it up properly.

swap the leads at the back of the cartridge. That will tell you if the problem is in the tonearm wiring. This will also indicate if you should suspect the cartridge. If the tonearm wires check out you'll just have to go over all of the settings. Recheck the alignment. For now just set the arm as level as you can with the platter surface so that VTA is reasonable and make sure your VTF is within range. Make sure your azimuth is not way off.
Maybe this is a stupid question, but have you tried multiple records? Perhaps your listening to something with a crappy stereo pan.
Thank you all for the responses. I will try the suggestion on the downward pressure and anti skat settings as well as swap leads at the back of the cartridge, and check the VTA and VTF to ensure all in order. These only able to do a few days later when my friends come over to help me. My hands not steady any more due to advance age. I have also tried several records, the results are the same.

I will report the results accordingly.

Many thanks

I have tried with all the suggestions, it is an on and off problems, I think it is the leads at the back of the cartridge need replacement. Thank you all for the helps.

Kind Rergards

It certainly sounds like a poor cartridge/wire connection.

Try polishing the cartridge pins with a piece of Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (the white side, not the blue.) You could also try a Q-tip dampened with contact cleaner or alchohol, but take great care not to get any solvents near the suspension of the cartridge.

To make sure your cartridge clips make good contact, slip a wooden toothpick inside each one and squeeze GENTLY with a needlenose or forceps. (The toothpick prevents squeezing the clip too much and flattening it out.)
Dear Dougdeacon and all others who given me good advises,

Thank you all for your tips. I have the first taste of how difficults to get your system right for the modern LP system. In my old times (30 yeras ago), I am using the Lenco turntable with MM cartridge. It is simple and easy and it sound O.K. I have mess around the present system system for the last fews weeks. I managed to get both side of the speaker running, but it sounds so so only. I have some young friends come to help me adjustemt the SME V. It do improve a little, but still far from my liking. If I am younger with good eye sight, it might be fun and challenage to set up my system well with sounds that I would really like. I have well under estimated the difficulty of setting up Turntable system.

I am thinking to give up the venture of TurnTable and enjoying my SACD System which plain simple and easy and convenient and well sounded.

I appreciate the helps from you all and wish you all best of health and continue your musical ventures.


I understand your frustration and you are quite correct. Getting the most from today's higher quality vinyl rigs is much more complex than it was when we all played MM cartridges.

We would all understand if it seems like too much bother. For many (most) people it is. Just one last question if I may:

Which model Benz cartridge are you using? It may or may not be a good match for the Musical Fidelity X-LPS.
Hi Dougdeacon,

I am using Benz Micro Glider cartridge. I know Musical Fidelity X-LPS is nearly to be a minium centre level of phono stage. The reason I end up owning a Turn-table is due to the fact that I sold off my Byrston 7B-SST Monoblocks to a friend. As part of the duet, he trade-in his VPI HW-19 MK III with SME V arm and Benz Micro cartridge. I do not want to invest on LP system until I am reasonable sure it can work out fine for me. Some friends already warmed me that to play LP, it is not as easy as playing digital. It required a lot of attentions and adjustments before you can make it sound right. It required further investments before it sound well. To test out the sound, I purchased a used Musical Fidelity X-LPS to try out. In fact, I am planning to buy a better Phono stage at later stage. With all these problems, I do not think it worthwhile to invest further, because I know I am not able to handle the system and make it sound well. In the meantime, I am enjoying my SACD system so why so greedy to have the best of the two worlds.

I appreciated and enjoyed the responses from the forum. You all are great.

Kind Regards

Hi Dougdeacon,

I have additional information from my friend. The Benz Micro Cartrige is re-tipped model. He said the sensitivity is .53 mV? My X-LPS v3 have sensitivity of 3 mV for 350 mV output at 1 KHz and Input Impedance of 47K Ohms and Input overload margin of 30 dB. Does they match at all ?



The top/front surface of your Benz may have one of the following codes printed on it: L2, M2 or H2. Which code does yours have? This makes a big difference in phono stage matching.

My Cartridge is re-tipped. The top/front surface of my Benz have no codes on it. It might be the older version? The data are given by my friend.

They must have done more than just retip the cartridge, they must have done a major rebuild. Who knows what they changed?

I do not understand your friend's cartrdidge data (.53mv sensitivity). Cartridges do not have "sensitivity" in the way that term is normally used.

Unless your friend can provide more information I'm not sure anyone will be able to advise you about using this cartridge.
Thank you for your reply. I do not think my friend would have more information. He said he have already gave me what he knew. Thanks for your helps.