And while the jury may still be out on that one, most seem to agree picture discs typically sound worse than standard black or colored vinyl. Demand for new vinyl records outstripping supply is a common theme when the topic of quality control rears its ugly head. And while some pressing plants are clearly better than others, there is a general feeling that many well-meaning pressing plants are running flat-out to meet demand.
New record plants have opened in recent years, but there is still a feeling among vinyl fans that quality control remains a big problem. Until that happens, the best thing you can do as a vinyl consumer is vote with your feet. What happened there?! From my own experience there seems to be a high percentage of warped records from the ones I have bought from new.
Only once was this bad enough to return although I never quite got around to it…. My real bugbears with buying new vinyl are, 1 — The spindle hole not being properly cut out. The record goes on to the deck ok but then you end up nearly pulling the record player apart to get it off. Liberal use of a round file solves this. Rant over! Totally agree with you, Vince. I recently bought Sex Pistols: Never Mind the Suffer - Feud - To Load But Once (Vinyl on vinyl, and while playing it I tried to lift the stylus off the vinyl with the cueing arm but it was still playing!
I thought my Denon turntable was faulty but soon realised the disc was warped like a dish and the tracks near the centre were higher than the outer tracks. Brian Cox books to try and flatten it. Also, bought some Panmer anti-static inner sleeves which are great. Should come as standard, as you say. What […]. Side one sounds fine, but with side two there is an obvious problem with the balance. The Suffer - Feud - To Load But Once (Vinyl channel is much louder and more disturbing the sound is distorted at high frequencies.
Power cords and loud cymbal crashes break up. I have switched speakers, and the problem persisted. I played different albums of similar sounding music without issue.
I believe I verified the problem is with the vinyl. This article was not the first time I heard of this problem, but it cast more light in the issue. My biggest disappointment was the purchase of the first release OneRepublic Native. Tried cleaning the surface, but you can visibly see something going on with the vinyl.
Sadly, there are several common faults to watch out for, which can be a cause for headache for many record […]. Both discs are very warped. Please log in again. The login page will open in a new tab.
After logging in you can close it and return to this page. Here are some of the most common faults to watch out for:. August 13, at pm. Alex Richard Milne says:. October 22, at pm. Vince Moran-McHugh says:. Donald Oswald says:. December 3, at pm. While vinyl records have plenty to offer, both sonically and from a listening experience standpoint, they also come with some trade-offs. One of the most commonly cited but also misunderstood trade-offs is a phenomenon known as inner-groove distortion also referred to as end-of-side distortion.
Inner-groove distortion is an audible deterioration in sound quality that sometimes occurs when playing tracks close to the end of each side. But what causes it? The fundamental cause of inner-groove distortion is the progressive reduction of linear resolution as a record progresses.
Put another way: there is more vinyl per second available at the large-diameter beginning of the record than exist at the smaller-diameter toward the end of each side. Subsequently, the wavelengths become gradually shorter and more compressed like an accordion as you get closer to the records centre.
These more condensed grooves are much harder for the stylus to track accurately. Mastering engineers will attempt to mitigate end-of-side distortion by pressing quieter songs, with moderate bass and lower HF energy towards the center of each side. Alternatively, they will restrict the playing time, or spread an album over two discs to avoid inner grooves.
Even when taking linear resolution into account, there is still the issue of cartridge and stylus alignment. The machines used to cut records operate on a parallel basis, meaning the cutting stylus is perfectly aligned from start to finish. A properly configured, high-quality turntable with a minimum 10inch tone arm can reduce tracking errors significantly, but tracking errors will always be most noticeable at the inner grooves — thus further encouraging end-of-side distortion.
Various attempts have been made to mitigate end-of-side distortion — such as purposefully misaligning the cartridge to improve inner-groove tracking at the expense of outer grooves, however, the fact remains it will always be a compromise. With all of this in mind, it would be easy to dismiss vinyl as a flawed medium, which of course it is.
The line at which pleasant, warming distortion becomes irritating distortion will be Suffer - Feud - To Load But Once (Vinyl for everyone, but some distortion is just part of the deal with vinyl. The best course of action is to invest in a good turntable and ensure you configure it precisely. After all, if you play records on a poorly setup deck, the inner grooves will suffer the greatest damage. There are many variables in turntable setup.
By getting these set correctly, we can greatly reduce tracking errors, and ultimately, achieve better sounding records. Check your cartridge manual for the proper weight. Once set, your cartridge will track at approximately the right pressure. Refer to your turntable manual for details on how your counterweight scale represents downforce. In my case, one mark on the scale represents 1 mN 0. To apply the 1. As determined earlier, the cartridge can only correctly align with the record grooves at two points across the record.
It is critical we achieve correct alignment at these points to ensure minimal tracking errors across the remaining surface area. For this application, I recommend using a cartridge alignment protractor. Mine specifies 22mm. Step 2: LP) your cartridge alignment protractor on the platter, and carefully drop the stylus tip onto the first alignment point. You can also use the front and side of the cartridge body to help you achieve perfect alignment with the horizontal and vertical lines on your protractor.
Step 3: Use the second point to check your results. If all is well, the cartridge should align correctly at both points. Essentially, the purpose of anti-skate is to counteract the force naturally pulling your stylus toward the record spinal. This force encourages the stylus to rid the inner edge of record grooves and prevents it from sitting centrally.
The result is decreased sound quality and increased record wear. The best way to test anti-skate is using a test record, which will have a blank groove purposely intended for setting anti-skate. When the correct weight is applied, your stylus will sit centrally in the blank space without rocking or riding toward the center spindle. With the above LP) made, the final adjustments you want to check are Azimuth and vertical tracking angle.
First up, azimuth refers to the how the cartridge is aligned from a horizontal perspective. Next up, vertical tracking alignment, or VTA. This final alignment refers to the whole tone arm level across the record surface. You want the tone arm distance from the record to sit evenly from front to back. That is, Suffer - Feud - To Load But Once (Vinyl, the front cartridge end should not sit lower than the back pivot endand vice versa. Some turntables will allow you to correct uneven VTA by raising or lowering the tonearm at the pivot end.
If your turntable does not feature such an adjustment, you can use a combination of cartridge washers, and placemats to adjust your tonearm height from the cartridge end.
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