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Turntable making annoying noise - Anyone?

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Anonymous
June 20, 2004 10:26:00 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

Setup:
Technics SL-QD35 direct drive turntable (tracking @ 1.5)
Audio Technica AT331LP cartridge & stylus (MicroLine)
Onkyo TX-DS484 receiver

I've had this turntable for about 18 years now, and haven't had a single
problem with it. I replaced my last cartridge and stylus with the one above
in 1996. Within playing 3 records (with the AT331LP), it made this really
annoying sound. It's a loud crunching noise, like a burst of dense static
(similar to a digital "crunch"), that lasts anywhere between a fraction of
a second to 2-3 seconds.

It doesn't do it on every single record, but does on a fair amount of them.
Usually just once or twice. I had initially thought it was caused by a
certain type of scratch or groove damage, but it does the same thing on
some brand new records as well. I've never heard this noise with another
cartridge in my life.

Does this sound like it's a problem with the stylus, or the cartridge?
Replace both? Adjustment suggestions?

I know I should have had it sent back when I first got it, but not only was
it a gift, but it was involved in an *enormous* hassle with J&R Music
World. I've never dealt with them again since. My turntable has gotten
minimal use in the last 10 years or so, but I've gotten into MP3-ing stuff
lately to put on my portable. So now it's REALLY bugging me!

**TIA**
Anonymous
June 20, 2004 10:26:01 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

I wonder if it could be in the Onkyo. Try another turntable tempoarily. This
sounds more like an electronic problem to me, the way you described it.

Mark Z.

--
Please reply only to Group. I regret this is necessary. Viruses and spam
have rendered my regular e-mail address useless.


"SideHatch" <sidehatch@dontemailme.com> wrote in message
news:Xns950E92D35FF53sidehatchdontemailme@129.250.170.85...
> Setup:
> Technics SL-QD35 direct drive turntable (tracking @ 1.5)
> Audio Technica AT331LP cartridge & stylus (MicroLine)
> Onkyo TX-DS484 receiver
>
> I've had this turntable for about 18 years now, and haven't had a single
> problem with it. I replaced my last cartridge and stylus with the one
above
> in 1996. Within playing 3 records (with the AT331LP), it made this really
> annoying sound. It's a loud crunching noise, like a burst of dense static
> (similar to a digital "crunch"), that lasts anywhere between a fraction of
> a second to 2-3 seconds.
>
> It doesn't do it on every single record, but does on a fair amount of
them.
> Usually just once or twice. I had initially thought it was caused by a
> certain type of scratch or groove damage, but it does the same thing on
> some brand new records as well. I've never heard this noise with another
> cartridge in my life.
>
> Does this sound like it's a problem with the stylus, or the cartridge?
> Replace both? Adjustment suggestions?
>
> I know I should have had it sent back when I first got it, but not only
was
> it a gift, but it was involved in an *enormous* hassle with J&R Music
> World. I've never dealt with them again since. My turntable has gotten
> minimal use in the last 10 years or so, but I've gotten into MP3-ing stuff
> lately to put on my portable. So now it's REALLY bugging me!
>
> **TIA**
Anonymous
June 21, 2004 1:22:51 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

In <Xns950E92D35FF53sidehatchdontemailme@129.250.170.85>, on 06/20/04
at 06:26 PM, SideHatch <sidehatch@dontemailme.com> said:

>Setup:
>Technics SL-QD35 direct drive turntable (tracking @ 1.5)
>Audio Technica AT331LP cartridge & stylus (MicroLine)
>Onkyo TX-DS484 receiver

>I've had this turntable for about 18 years now, and haven't had a
>single problem with it. I replaced my last cartridge and stylus with
>the one above in 1996. Within playing 3 records (with the AT331LP),
>it made this really annoying sound. It's a loud crunching noise, like
>a burst of dense static (similar to a digital "crunch"), that lasts
>anywhere between a fraction of a second to 2-3 seconds.

Can I assume that the problem does not occur at the same spot on each
of the problem records? Is it very dry where you are? This could be a
static discharge problem.

As a test of my static hypothesis, arrange for the platter to be
grounded. You'll have to improvise at bit, but you could attach a small
piece of aluminum foil to a wire and place the foil such that it gently
touches a bare metal area of the platter while records are playing.
Attach the wire to the same ground point that the turntable uses. Any
variation of this theme that works for you is fine. The only real risk
is that if the "touch" is too aggressive, you might scratch the platter
or slow it down.

If the above proves that you have a static discharge problem try the
following:

1): Add a small wad of aluminum foil between the record and the spindle
to make sure that the record makes electrical contact with the spindle.
If this improves the situation, remove the platter and clean the
spindle and platter connection to improve the electrical connection
between them. Sometimes I am able to correct the problem by jaming a
small stripe of aluminum foil between the platter and spindle.

2): If (1) doesn't work, you'll have to improve the conductivity of the
platter bearing lubrication. Only you will know if this is something
that you should attempt. Hopefully it is because most service stations
will not appreciate this technique. You'll have to figure out a way of
accessing the platter bearing and introduce a microscopic quantity of
powdered graphite into the lubricant. (In most cases I can simply pull
on the spindle and separate it from the bearing well.) I use an
industrial graphite sample I've been carrying around for years, but the
common variety you can find in hardware or automotive stores (sold as
lock lubricant) will work. Practice your technique on a piece of paper
before you "dust" the bearing. Practice until you can dispense a small
cloud of graphite without lots of large chunks. The resulting layer of
graphite should be almost invisible on a white card. (We are not trying
to change or replace the lubricant, just make it a bit more conductive)
After you've perfected your technique, "dust" the bearing with a single
puff of graphite. Keep your workspace clean -- we don't want to
complicate the issue by adding dust and dirt to the lubricant)

An additional avenues to explore:

If you are using an after market or makeshift record mat on the
platter, it may not be conductive enough. You can temporarily try this
theory by placing a sheet of aluminum foil on top of your mat. Make
sure the foil touches a bare metal area of the platter. (This will
reduce the effectiveness of the record mat in other respects, use this
trick only as a quick diagnostic) You can also improve the conductivity
of the mat by drawing approximately a dozen radial lines from the
spindle to the outer edge of the mat with a garden variety soft pencil.
Note that you'll have to figure a way to connect the pencil lines to
the metal platter or the spindle. Or you can coat the mat with a
solution of dish washing liquid (don't use it full strength. I start
with two or three times the normal dish washing concentration) [ I can
imagine that anti static sprays would also work, but I haven't tried
them. ]

In rare cases the dust cover was involved in a static discharge charge
problem. The dish washing liquid works here too. (you'll have to figure
out how to eliminate the streaks and spots)

>It doesn't do it on every single record, but does on a fair amount of
>them. Usually just once or twice. I had initially thought it was
>caused by a certain type of scratch or groove damage, but it does the
>same thing on some brand new records as well. I've never heard this
>noise with another cartridge in my life.

>Does this sound like it's a problem with the stylus, or the cartridge?
> Replace both? Adjustment suggestions?

>I know I should have had it sent back when I first got it, but not
>only was it a gift, but it was involved in an *enormous* hassle with
>J&R Music World. I've never dealt with them again since. My turntable
>has gotten minimal use in the last 10 years or so, but I've gotten
>into MP3-ing stuff lately to put on my portable. So now it's REALLY
>bugging me!

>**TIA**
-----------------------------------------------------------
spam: uce@ftc.gov
wordgame:123(abc):<14 9 20 5 2 9 18 4 at 22 15 9 3 5 14 5 20 dot 3 15
13> (Barry Mann)
[sorry about the puzzle, spammers are ruining my mailbox]
-----------------------------------------------------------
Related resources
Anonymous
June 21, 2004 7:38:21 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

I thought Electro Static Discharge too, the moment I read the item.

In electronics we sometimes use an ion generator to increase the quantity of
free electrons around a work area. This helps to bleed the static charge off
the working surfaces and tools. It's expensive. You could increase the
moisture content around the turntable and see if the noise goes away. A
steam kettle within 2 feet or so. If the noise goes away, maybe increasing
the room humidity somehow. At least this is a cheap way to find out. The
other thing may be that the cabling to the cartridge has to be done a
certain way to get a good ground that will also bleed off static.


"Barry Mann" <zzzz@zzzz.zzz> wrote in message
news:40d64a3a$1$avgroveq$mr2ice@wcnews.cyberonic.com...
> In <Xns950E92D35FF53sidehatchdontemailme@129.250.170.85>, on 06/20/04
> at 06:26 PM, SideHatch <sidehatch@dontemailme.com> said:
>
> >Setup:
> >Technics SL-QD35 direct drive turntable (tracking @ 1.5)
> >Audio Technica AT331LP cartridge & stylus (MicroLine)
> >Onkyo TX-DS484 receiver
>
> >I've had this turntable for about 18 years now, and haven't had a
> >single problem with it. I replaced my last cartridge and stylus with
> >the one above in 1996. Within playing 3 records (with the AT331LP),
> >it made this really annoying sound. It's a loud crunching noise, like
> >a burst of dense static (similar to a digital "crunch"), that lasts
> >anywhere between a fraction of a second to 2-3 seconds.
>
> Can I assume that the problem does not occur at the same spot on each
> of the problem records? Is it very dry where you are? This could be a
> static discharge problem.
>
> As a test of my static hypothesis, arrange for the platter to be
> grounded. You'll have to improvise at bit, but you could attach a small
> piece of aluminum foil to a wire and place the foil such that it gently
> touches a bare metal area of the platter while records are playing.
> Attach the wire to the same ground point that the turntable uses. Any
> variation of this theme that works for you is fine. The only real risk
> is that if the "touch" is too aggressive, you might scratch the platter
> or slow it down.
>
> If the above proves that you have a static discharge problem try the
> following:
>
> 1): Add a small wad of aluminum foil between the record and the spindle
> to make sure that the record makes electrical contact with the spindle.
> If this improves the situation, remove the platter and clean the
> spindle and platter connection to improve the electrical connection
> between them. Sometimes I am able to correct the problem by jaming a
> small stripe of aluminum foil between the platter and spindle.
>
> 2): If (1) doesn't work, you'll have to improve the conductivity of the
> platter bearing lubrication. Only you will know if this is something
> that you should attempt. Hopefully it is because most service stations
> will not appreciate this technique. You'll have to figure out a way of
> accessing the platter bearing and introduce a microscopic quantity of
> powdered graphite into the lubricant. (In most cases I can simply pull
> on the spindle and separate it from the bearing well.) I use an
> industrial graphite sample I've been carrying around for years, but the
> common variety you can find in hardware or automotive stores (sold as
> lock lubricant) will work. Practice your technique on a piece of paper
> before you "dust" the bearing. Practice until you can dispense a small
> cloud of graphite without lots of large chunks. The resulting layer of
> graphite should be almost invisible on a white card. (We are not trying
> to change or replace the lubricant, just make it a bit more conductive)
> After you've perfected your technique, "dust" the bearing with a single
> puff of graphite. Keep your workspace clean -- we don't want to
> complicate the issue by adding dust and dirt to the lubricant)
>
> An additional avenues to explore:
>
> If you are using an after market or makeshift record mat on the
> platter, it may not be conductive enough. You can temporarily try this
> theory by placing a sheet of aluminum foil on top of your mat. Make
> sure the foil touches a bare metal area of the platter. (This will
> reduce the effectiveness of the record mat in other respects, use this
> trick only as a quick diagnostic) You can also improve the conductivity
> of the mat by drawing approximately a dozen radial lines from the
> spindle to the outer edge of the mat with a garden variety soft pencil.
> Note that you'll have to figure a way to connect the pencil lines to
> the metal platter or the spindle. Or you can coat the mat with a
> solution of dish washing liquid (don't use it full strength. I start
> with two or three times the normal dish washing concentration) [ I can
> imagine that anti static sprays would also work, but I haven't tried
> them. ]
>
> In rare cases the dust cover was involved in a static discharge charge
> problem. The dish washing liquid works here too. (you'll have to figure
> out how to eliminate the streaks and spots)
>
> >It doesn't do it on every single record, but does on a fair amount of
> >them. Usually just once or twice. I had initially thought it was
> >caused by a certain type of scratch or groove damage, but it does the
> >same thing on some brand new records as well. I've never heard this
> >noise with another cartridge in my life.
>
> >Does this sound like it's a problem with the stylus, or the cartridge?
> > Replace both? Adjustment suggestions?
>
> >I know I should have had it sent back when I first got it, but not
> >only was it a gift, but it was involved in an *enormous* hassle with
> >J&R Music World. I've never dealt with them again since. My turntable
> >has gotten minimal use in the last 10 years or so, but I've gotten
> >into MP3-ing stuff lately to put on my portable. So now it's REALLY
> >bugging me!
>
> >**TIA**
> -----------------------------------------------------------
> spam: uce@ftc.gov
> wordgame:123(abc):<14 9 20 5 2 9 18 4 at 22 15 9 3 5 14 5 20 dot 3 15
> 13> (Barry Mann)
> [sorry about the puzzle, spammers are ruining my mailbox]
> -----------------------------------------------------------
>
Anonymous
June 21, 2004 10:27:26 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

Wow, I appreciate the detailed and thoughtful help, but I need to apologize
for not clarifying as well as I should've:

The noise happens at the same spot on each record. This, coupled with the
fact that it started very soon after the new installation led me to believe
the problem was with the cartridge or stylus.

Also, it doesn't really sound "electronic" -- It sounds like actual static,
just very dense, and louder than the music playing. It's an unholy, grating
sound ... almost like something tearing.

I just played a (recent) 45 that I remembered as being one of the worst
culprits. It actually has a light, steady layer of high-frequency static
throughout, accompanied by a couple of good "crunches". The steady layer
shares a very similar sound to the crunches.

Unusual, I know. I did a ton of searching, and couldn't find anything
similar thru Deja News/Google or webbing. Don't know if this'll completely
throw everyone...

Thanks again

"Richard Tomkins" <tomkinsr@istop.com> wrote in
news:9166e4904ae8259187d7af16ee7c8c93@news.teranews.com:

> The other thing may be that the cabling to
> the cartridge has to be done a certain way to get a good ground that
> will also bleed off static.

It's a P-Mount, so I don't know if I have any options there...
Anonymous
June 21, 2004 1:10:10 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

In <Xns950F18FDC4016sidehatchdontemailme@129.250.170.84>, on 06/21/04
at 06:27 AM, SideHatch <sidehatch@dontemailme.com> said:

[ ... ]

>The noise happens at the same spot on each record. This, coupled with
>the fact that it started very soon after the new installation led me
>to believe the problem was with the cartridge or stylus.

>Also, it doesn't really sound "electronic" -- It sounds like actual
>static, just very dense, and louder than the music playing. It's an
>unholy, grating sound ... almost like something tearing.

You have some sort of gross mechanical problem.

My bet is that the stylus force is too low and the stylus is being
thrown off the record during loud passages. Generally, P-mount arms
don't make adjusting the stylus force easy, but since there are two
sides to this coin, it's also hard to mess it up.

If the stylus force is much too heavy, the cartridge will bottom out,
probably near a warp peak or valley.

The stylus could be damaged and bottom out at the correct tracking
force.

The arm bearing could be too tight. This can cause various problems,
mostly on warped or eccentric records. The arm will tend to follow the
record surface too slowly. On the up side of a warp the tracking force
will be higher. On the down side of a warp the tracking force will be
lower. It is possible that the cartridge will bottom out (touch the
record) on the up side and hang-up, maybe even lose contact with the
record, on the down side.

A more difficult problem to diagnose is an arm bearing that is too
loose. Loud passages and certain frequencies will cause gross
resonance.

----

Watch the table play a record. It's relatively easy to spot bottoming
out. Remove and examine the bottom of the cartridge. Are there scratch
marks or dust trails that suggest it has been touching the records?

Listen to a record playing, but keep the volume down or off. You will
be able to hear some quiet "chatter" from the cartridge, this is normal
for a healthy arm/cartridge. You will be able to hear (and see) the
cartridge body hit the record if the arm bottoms out. I can hear loose
arm bearing chatter, but I've been at this for a while.

Look for anything that touches the arm. Check to make sure that the arm
lift fully retracts while a record is playing.

Is the problem mostly related to a particular part of a record? (If
this is unit has an automatic arm lift, the trip mechanism can cause
trouble when playing near the lable.)

Don't assume that you have only one problem.

Make sure your stylus is clean.

Stylus assemblies do deteriorate as they age, played, damaged, or not.

>I just played a (recent) 45 that I remembered as being one of the
>worst culprits. It actually has a light, steady layer of
>high-frequency static throughout, accompanied by a couple of good
>"crunches". The steady layer shares a very similar sound to the
>crunches.

This suggests dirty or damaged record, incorrect cartridge alignment,
or too little tracking force. With a P-mount arm, there's not much you
can do for incorrect alignment.

>Unusual, I know. I did a ton of searching, and couldn't find anything
>similar thru Deja News/Google or webbing. Don't know if this'll
>completely throw everyone...

Lay observers tend to label every little noise as "static". Everyone
means well, but this implies that searching for "static" will generate
a lot of useless "noise". But, don't feel too bad because there is no
official vocabulary for describing the sounds made when a system is in
trouble.

[ ... ]

-----------------------------------------------------------
spam: uce@ftc.gov
wordgame:123(abc):<14 9 20 5 2 9 18 4 at 22 15 9 3 5 14 5 20 dot 3 15
13> (Barry Mann)
[sorry about the puzzle, spammers are ruining my mailbox]
-----------------------------------------------------------
Anonymous
June 22, 2004 9:03:11 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

SideHatch wrote:
> Wow, I appreciate the detailed and thoughtful help, but I need to
> apologize for not clarifying as well as I should've:
>
> The noise happens at the same spot on each record. This, coupled with
> the fact that it started very soon after the new installation led me
> to believe the problem was with the cartridge or stylus.

Um, try the record on another TT and see if you have the same problem in the
same spot. Or have a look a see if a graunch is visible.

> Also, it doesn't really sound "electronic" -- It sounds like actual
> static, just very dense, and louder than the music playing. It's an
> unholy, grating sound ... almost like something tearing.

Same spot, tends to indicate 'physical'.

> I just played a (recent) 45 that I remembered as being one of the
> worst culprits. It actually has a light, steady layer of
> high-frequency static throughout, accompanied by a couple of good
> "crunches". The steady layer shares a very similar sound to the
> crunches.

Sounds like most vinyl then, unless treated with 'kidd gloves'.

geoff
Anonymous
June 22, 2004 9:05:27 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

Geoff Wood wrote:

>> Also, it doesn't really sound "electronic" -- It sounds like actual
>> static, just very dense, and louder than the music playing. It's an
>> unholy, grating sound ... almost like something tearing.
>
> Same spot, tends to indicate 'physical'.

..... or if you mean at the same travel position, occurring on different
records in the same place, then it could be the lateral bearings in the arm
binding at that point.

geoff
!