Did you take the time to setup the cartridge properly ? That might be part of your problem right there.
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I suppose it could be the suspension in the cartridge ( just a guess ).. It is also possible that the Bellari isn't quite broken in yet..If it is broken in I would revert back to the cartridge..Maybe have the cartridge checked under a m/scope...or by someone with enough knowledge to know more about your old Shure cartridge.......
When I got into vinyl about 4 or 5 months ago, I was disappointed at first as well.
Part of it was the choices of vinyl; vinyl varies greatly. From both listening to my old collection and buying re-issues etc, some sound like crap and others sound incredible. Another aspect was the cartridge I was using - it sounded dull and lifeless. I'm now on my third cartridge and my last two sounded bright before breaking in (but they're not dark now either).
I received advice telling me to 'hang in there', that it would pay off with some amount of work and it was correct - so hang in there!
The sound you describe sounds typical of not having enough gain, which would not be unusual considering the Bellari only has 30 db of gain. I could not find the ouput of the Shure you are using but to sound good with the Bellari you are going to need a MM cartridge with a significant output.
The easiest way for you to troubleshoot this is to try to borrow a phono stage with more gain (probably around 38-40 db). If that works (and I would expect it would), your options are to replace either the phono stage or the cartridge, matching up gain to the output value of the cartridge.
A very good guideline for doing this can be found on the www.kabusa.com website in the phono preamp gain computer.
Finally looks like was a set up problem,I have done everything from the beguining and now sounds great!, thanks to all for your comments.
As I mention, my cartridge is a Shure V 15 type V-MR. I just found that I can get an interesting price in Ebay so, do you consider would be wise to sell it and buy a new cartridge in the $200-$300 range or is better to keep it? my Shure was made in the 80's and I assume that after 20 years this area must develop a lot or . . . not?
Jorsan, I'm using a Dynavector 20XL cartridge.
Again, keep in mind that even with perfect setup, great equipment, some vinyl just sounds like crap. An example:
One of my first LP purchases 4 months ago was Steve Miller Fly Like an Eagle. It was $9.99 and heavy vinyl and I was excited to put it on and hear no surface noise (which was my biggest fear getting back into vinyl). It sounded crappy and when I compared to my CD (which sounded good) I was convinced something was wrong with my setup. Then over time I read more than once that particular LP was a crap resissue. I bought a MFSL reissue on eBay. Got a great copy - no noise or scratches and it sounded better. Today for kicks I pulled out my version from the 70s which earlier I wouldn't even have contemplated playing (I didn't take care of my LPs back then) since it looked in bad shape. Yes, I hear surface noise but otherwise the sound is spot on correct. With the two other versions the bass is raised, vocals recessed and sounds lifeless. This version sounds great.
I made the mistake of thinking that a 'good' pressing was simply a quiet one. I also thought MFSL were the bees knees. I was so wrong. Count me now in the category of preferring a proper/analog sounding mastering with surface noise than a quiet dull or bassy one.
If only I knew this before spending so much money on reissues and expensive MFSL on ebay.
Hope this helps.
Thanks Madfloyd, you're right about the LPs, there are differences between them. Right now Im listening "full sail" from Loggins & Messina and there are songs where the bass is INCREDIBLE. I had a very good luck because from the guy who sold me the turntable I receive an incredible collection of about 160 records of the 70's / 80's : led zep, boston, fleetwood mac, blood, S&T, etc. etc., music that I used to hear in my youth -Im 50 now- and 70% of this records were played just once, recorded in his Nakamichi and thats all, the complete led zep collection is like new, original pressings and sounds perfect, Im very happy with this and think I found a treasure.
Because of this, decided to go shopping in Ebay, but experience there was totally opposite: first record I bought and first discussion with a seller; the way they classify the records is far from what I think is fair or honest, the idea that they have of "Mint", "NM" or "VG+", differs a lot from mine; maybe Im wrong and because all records are old, and I have to accept that -for example- NM means "used with light marks on the record and some ticks and pops", honestly dont know. Maybe some with more experience with Ebay can help here. By the way, are there some hoenst sellers with good reputation there? if yes, who are they?.