Hi-Fi Hardware - Turntables, Valves & Tapes

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Uncle Ants
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Re: Hi-Fi Hardware - Turntables, Valves & Tapes

Post by Uncle Ants » Sat May 30, 2009 14:26

Bloody marvellous :)
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Re: Hi-Fi Hardware - Turntables, Valves & Tapes

Post by Uncle Ants » Wed Aug 26, 2009 15:06

Now finally resprayed and finished:

Image
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Re: Hi-Fi Hardware - Turntables, Valves & Tapes

Post by tonieee » Mon Sep 28, 2009 22:12

I have a problem with my turntable. Whenever I play a record, loads of dust gets stuck to the stylus and makes the sound bad. It didn't used to do this - only over the last few months, and it seems to be getting worse. Today I played a brand new LP (the new Rose Melberg one) and by the last song on the first side I had to take it off because it was unlistenable. I have to make sure I clean the record really, really well before I can play it. Does anybody have any ideas what could be causing it? I hope I don't need a new stylus because last time I had to buy one it cost about £90. It's a Rega Planar 2 with a Linn K9 stylus if that makes a difference.

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Re: Hi-Fi Hardware - Turntables, Valves & Tapes

Post by Uncle Ants » Tue Sep 29, 2009 08:16

Does it happen with all of them or just some?
Are they noticably staticy/more staticy?
Has there been any other change to the sound?
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Re: Hi-Fi Hardware - Turntables, Valves & Tapes

Post by tonieee » Tue Sep 29, 2009 08:38

Uncle Ants wrote:Does it happen with all of them or just some?
It doesn't happen if I clean my record really well before hand. I always clean my records with one of those carbon fibre brush things before I play them but lately I've found that on my Rega I have to give them a really, really good clean otherwise I get a build up of dust on the stylus. I didn't used to have to do this and I don't on my steepletone record player.
Uncle Ants wrote:Are they noticably staticy/more staticy?
Has there been any other change to the sound?
I've not noticed but my ears are not that good anymore so I might not be able to tell!

Jo reckons that I need to clean the turntable - it doesn't look that dusty to me but I might give it a go.

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Re: Hi-Fi Hardware - Turntables, Valves & Tapes

Post by Uncle Ants » Tue Sep 29, 2009 08:53

Is the room dusty?
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Re: Hi-Fi Hardware - Turntables, Valves & Tapes

Post by tonieee » Tue Sep 29, 2009 09:15

Uncle Ants wrote:Is the room dusty?
I don't think so, it is quite an unused room but I've not noticed it be particularly dusty. I do keep the turntable's lid down at all times, even when the records are playing.

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Re: Hi-Fi Hardware - Turntables, Valves & Tapes

Post by Uncle Ants » Tue Sep 29, 2009 09:44

It's a bit of an odd one, but the dust is coming from somewhere - the steepletone may not do it because it has a much bigger stylus that rides over stuff the Linn will dig out. I've never heard of a stylus suddenly starting to dig out dust when it didn't before (though I guess a worn one might start doing that - how long has it been on there?) but some styluses will do it more than others anyway. Usually though it is basically a record with dust deep in the grooves that the brush finds difficult to dig out and once the stylus has dug it out once it's usually good after that ... unless you put it back in a sleeve which is a bit dusty on the inside (new inner sleeves or take a hoover to the inner sleeves) or if you leave it on the deck with the lid up for a day or two.

Another possibility is your brush needs replacing. They do wear out eventually and the ends of the fibres can start getting better at shifting/pushing dust in than lifting it off. Sometimes a really dusty record benefits from a wet clean and rinse (warm water and a couple of drops of washing up liquid, scrub along the grooves with a carbon fibre brush, then a distilled water rinse and a microfibre cloth to dry). If you can get hold of isopropyl alcohol (IPA), you can make a really good cleaning fluid that'll clean up old charity shop stuff a treat - 25% IPA, 75% distilled water and a couple of drops of washing up liquid. (edit. If you go to this trouble getting some new poly lined inner sleeves is a good idea though -not much point cleaning a record properly and then shoving it back in a dusty old inner)

clean a record, play it, put it back in the sleeve and play again next day - tell us if it's acquired more dust - that'll at least tell you if you have a problem with the inner sleeves.

You'll not replace the stylus on a K9 anyway as they were discontinued at least 5 years ago. You are looking at a new cartridge if it needs replacing - But the K9 was way overpriced anyway. It's really an Audio Technica AT95e with a Linn overcoat and a triple sized price for the Linn name.
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Re: Hi-Fi Hardware - Turntables, Valves & Tapes

Post by tonieee » Tue Sep 29, 2009 10:42

Uncle Ants wrote:though I guess a worn one might start doing that - how long has it been on there?
I've had it a long time. Since before Ralph was born so more than seven years. I think I might have been having similar problems before I replaced it last time.
Uncle Ants wrote:unless you put it back in a sleeve which is a bit dusty on the inside (new inner sleeves or take a hoover to the inner sleeves) or if you leave it on the deck with the lid up for a day or two
Could possibly be the former in some cases but I don't think that'd apply to a new record. I never leave my records on the turntable - always put them away as soon as they've finished.
Uncle Ants wrote:Another possibility is your brush needs replacing. They do wear out eventually and the ends of the fibres can start getting better at shifting/pushing dust in than lifting it off.
The brush is older than the stylus - probably about 15 years old! I didn't realise that they wore out. I have actually got a new one that I bought to go with the Steepletone, I'll try using that instead.
Uncle Ants wrote:clean a record, play it, put it back in the sleeve and play again next day - tell us if it's acquired more dust - that'll at least tell you if you have a problem with the inner sleeves.
That's kind of what I've done with the Rose Melberg. I cleaned it, played it on the Steepletone, put it back away then next day cleaned it (with the old brush) and played it on the Rega.
Uncle Ants wrote:You'll not replace the stylus on a K9 anyway as they were discontinued at least 5 years ago. You are looking at a new cartridge if it needs replacing
Bugger!
Uncle Ants wrote:But the K9 was way overpriced anyway. It's really an Audio Technica AT95e with a Linn overcoat and a triple sized price for the Linn name.
Actually it's worse than that - the cartridge is for a K5. The last time I replaced it they told me the K5 was discontinued but I could use a K9 with the cartridge I have only I wouldn't get any of the advantages of the K9 over the K5 but would have to fork out the extra cost for it. I don't know how true this is as I don't understand such things...

So it sounds like using a new brush might help. Hopefully I won't have to buy a new cartridge and stylus.

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Re: Hi-Fi Hardware - Turntables, Valves & Tapes

Post by Uncle Ants » Tue Sep 29, 2009 10:54

New records can actually be a bit dusty - depends how cleanly they are at the pressing plant. And also a lot of new records these days seem to come in hardish paper inners which are really bad dust makers.

An AT95e will sound quite similar to a K5 or K9 - £35 ish (less with your special anorak discount ;) ). How long these things last is really dependent on how much you play them, 1000 to 1500 hours play is a good figure to work from. over 7 years - 215 hours in a year. say an an album a day for 7 years. a worn stylus will start to sound a little dull and could start mistracking (breakup on some sounds like loud female vocals, trumpets, that sort of thing). Mistracking is bad because it can damage your records and then they'll sound like they are mistracking always.
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Re: Hi-Fi Hardware - Turntables, Valves & Tapes

Post by tonieee » Tue Sep 29, 2009 11:14

Uncle Ants wrote:An AT95e will sound quite similar to a K5 or K9 - £35 ish (less with your special anorak discount ;) ).
Is that just for the stylus or for the cartridge as well? If it's the former will that work with my current cartridge or will I need a new one?
Uncle Ants wrote:How long these things last is really dependent on how much you play them, 1000 to 1500 hours play is a good figure to work from. over 7 years - 215 hours in a year. say an an album a day for 7 years. a worn stylus will start to sound a little dull and could start mistracking (breakup on some sounds like loud female vocals, trumpets, that sort of thing). Mistracking is bad because it can damage your records and then they'll sound like they are mistracking always.
That mistracking thing sounds like what I get. It's worse when there's a clump of dust on the stylus but sometimes I hear it when there's no obvious dust there - I just assumed it was all part of the same problem.

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Re: Hi-Fi Hardware - Turntables, Valves & Tapes

Post by Uncle Ants » Tue Sep 29, 2009 11:23

tonieee wrote:Is that just for the stylus or for the cartridge as well? If it's the former will that work with my current cartridge or will I need a new one?
For the whole thing.
tonieee wrote:That mistracking thing sounds like what I get. It's worse when there's a clump of dust on the stylus but sometimes I hear it when there's no obvious dust there - I just assumed it was all part of the same problem.
It'll sound like that with a big ball of dust on the end ... it's if it sounds like that without a big ball of dust you need to worry.
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Re: Hi-Fi Hardware - Turntables, Valves & Tapes

Post by tonieee » Tue Sep 29, 2009 11:30

Uncle Ants wrote:
tonieee wrote:Is that just for the stylus or for the cartridge as well? If it's the former will that work with my current cartridge or will I need a new one?
For the whole thing.
Cool! That's less than half the price I payed for just the stylus last time.
Uncle Ants wrote:
tonieee wrote:That mistracking thing sounds like what I get. It's worse when there's a clump of dust on the stylus but sometimes I hear it when there's no obvious dust there - I just assumed it was all part of the same problem.
It'll sound like that with a big ball of dust on the end ... it's if it sounds like that without a big ball of dust you need to worry.
It has sounded like that slightly before when I've thought there was no dust on it - I just assumed that it was because there was a slight build up of dust I couldn't see.

I'll see how it goes with a cleaning brush but I may take you up on the AT95e. Thanks for all your help Uncle Ants!

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Re: Hi-Fi Hardware - Turntables, Valves & Tapes

Post by Uncle Ants » Tue Sep 29, 2009 11:37

tonieee wrote:It has sounded like that slightly before when I've thought there was no dust on it - I just assumed that it was because there was a slight build up of dust I couldn't see.

I'll see how it goes with a cleaning brush but I may take you up on the AT95e. Thanks for all your help Uncle Ants!
No worries - I believe we are coming up for Dan's Popomatic thing. I'll bring one up if you need one.

Mistracking sound with no dust either means a) it's mistracking - bad thing - it might be damaging your records or b) the record has previously been damaged by a mistracking stylus - also bad, but probably not as bad as a) - not uncommon with charity shop/secondhand buys.

Mistracking can be caused by a) bad setup or b) worn stylus. If it didn't before and now it does b) is most likely.

PS. I'll bring up a spare for the Steepletone as well - they don't last as long (maybe 400 to 500 hours) but they are super cheap.
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Re: Hi-Fi Hardware - Turntables, Valves & Tapes

Post by tonieee » Tue Sep 29, 2009 11:46

Uncle Ants wrote:I believe we are coming up for Dan's Popomatic thing.
Cool! Do you need somewhere to stay?
Uncle Ants wrote:I'll bring one up if you need one.
Thanks, I'll let you know.
Uncle Ants wrote:PS. I'll bring up a spare for the Steepletone as well - they don't last as long (maybe 400 to 500 hours) but they are super cheap.
Thank you.

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Re: Hi-Fi Hardware - Turntables, Valves & Tapes

Post by Uncle Ants » Tue Sep 29, 2009 11:49

tonieee wrote:
Uncle Ants wrote:I believe we are coming up for Dan's Popomatic thing.
Cool! Do you need somewhere to stay?
Yes I think so. I think Paula was going to ask your good selves.

Oh, one other possibility is just a really dirty stylus. Sometimes they can get a bit clagged up (charity shop record once owned by a smoker is a classic cause) and that can cause some of these issues. Do you ever clean it?
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Re: Hi-Fi Hardware - Turntables, Valves & Tapes

Post by tonieee » Tue Sep 29, 2009 12:16

Uncle Ants wrote:Oh, one other possibility is just a really dirty stylus. Sometimes they can get a bit clagged up (charity shop record once owned by a smoker is a classic cause) and that can cause some of these issues. Do you ever clean it?
I wouldn't know how! I do play a lot of charity shop records some of which are quite mucky when I get them. I clean them as well as I can but the chances are that they still contain some gunk. How do you clean a stylus?

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Re: Hi-Fi Hardware - Turntables, Valves & Tapes

Post by Uncle Ants » Tue Sep 29, 2009 12:24

tonieee wrote:
Uncle Ants wrote:Oh, one other possibility is just a really dirty stylus. Sometimes they can get a bit clagged up (charity shop record once owned by a smoker is a classic cause) and that can cause some of these issues. Do you ever clean it?
I wouldn't know how! I do play a lot of charity shop records some of which are quite mucky when I get them. I clean them as well as I can but the chances are that they still contain some gunk. How do you clean a stylus?
There are special little carbon brushes and stuff you can use, but the cheapest way and one of the best is to get a thing called a Mr Clean Magic Eraser - you can get them online or I think Wilco's may do them, they are about £4. Blow any loose fluff off it then drop the needle onto the white side, then raise the needle. maybe move it slightly and repeat. Whatever you do, don't move it with the needle in it or you could lose the stylus. That warning aside, it works a treat. They are also handy for lots of other things - removing scuffs, crayon and all sorts of marks from walls, doors, plastic etc.

edit, though I wouldn't use the same one for cleaning your stylus :) Maybe cut a suitably sized chunk off it and use that for the stylus if you want to use the rest as an antiralphmess cleaner

Extra edit - the IPA/distilled water/drop of fairy cleaning fluid I mentioned works best on grubby records as it dissolves tarry sticky stuff like smokers leftovers better than plain old soapy water. IPA can be had at some chemists, but they will be suspicious - I think you can use it for making drugs or bombs or something.
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Re: Hi-Fi Hardware - Turntables, Valves & Tapes

Post by Final Loan » Tue Sep 29, 2009 13:52

Uncle Ants wrote:IPA can be had at some chemists
And good pubs. Mmmm...
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Re: Hi-Fi Hardware - Turntables, Valves & Tapes

Post by Uncle Ants » Tue Sep 29, 2009 13:56

Final Loan wrote:
Uncle Ants wrote:IPA can be had at some chemists
And good pubs. Mmmm...
:) Wrong sort of IPA. It isn't recommended to clean your records with fine ale.
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