Audible wow & flutter - new belt-drive turntable

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by RickH, Jun 28, 2008.

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  1. RickH

    RickH Senior Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    I recently purchased a Stanton T-50 belt-drive turntable with a wow & flutter measurement of "less than 0.2%". After listening to CD'S for the past 22 years, would it be normal for that wow & flutter to be quite noticeable? I don't have any new vinyl, the most recent albums I have are a few bought new in the mid-80's, so I'm not sure if that may be part of the problem, although they don't appear to be warped. I just transferred to CD-R a RCA Dynaflex Chet Atkins title with that audible wow & flutter as described above. Anyone else here who has experienced the same thing after years of CD-listening and then going back to vinyl? Do direct-drive turntables generally have a lower figure with this measurement?
     
  2. MikeyH

    MikeyH Stamper King

    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    Do you have the straight arm version (no bend in the arm)?

    If you are hearing 'wow and flutter' it's more than .2%. Check the belt is on correctly and nothing touches it or the platter (like packing or manufacturing material accidentally left inside) Check the motor pulley and platter drive surfaces are clean, and that the belt has no oily patches on it.

    You are more likely hearing wow (low frequency speed change) related to the records being off-center. The effect of this is worse with the straight (shorter) arm. Most records are off-center enough to make wow measurements on turntables invalid (you have to center a test record to 0.1mm to resolve below 1%, for example). The audible effect of an off-center record gets worse towards the end of the side .. if there's a drive problem it will be audible all the way through the record, and probably worse at the start of the side.
     
  3. Exactly what I was going to say. I have a technique for centering records (carefully file the center hole after determining the point of "run-out", then placing a very minor mark on the label at the point where it needs to be against the spindle, for proper centering).... This is assuming that the platter and belt are perfectly ok (a good way to check is to use a straight stroboscope disc, and if the lines seem to waver back and forth, there is a "wow" problem with the turntable itself - occasionally a replacement belt could be the source of the problem, either until it "breaks in", or is replaced with a better quality one).

    Added note (sorry for getting off the wow/flutter topic) As for the Stanton turntables with that short straight "underhung" arm, I would not recommend it for casual or critical listening of records - that design tonearm is only suited for a conical stylus cartridge and is specifically designed for club use (back-cueing and "scratching"). Only the longer standard straight arm with the angled headshell or the standard S-type arm should be used for casual/critical listening (or perhaps a good linear tracker, to be fair here ...although those are rarer and often expensive choices for the good ones).
     
  4. RickH

    RickH Senior Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    Thanks for the very informative replies. :thumbsup: The tonearm on this player is the short, straight one. The wow does seem to be more audible as the tonearm is playing the last 2 or 3 tracks. FWIW, when placing the belt on the pulley, the instructions said to grasp the "ribbon tape" to pull the belt in place on the pulley. Checking the belt all the way around, I could find no ribbon tape so I got a butter knife (not sharp) to slide under the belt and pull over the pulley. I'll check the placement of the belt again and see if it appears to be in the proper position but I feel pretty sure it is. I think the problem may be more of the DJ/non-critical listening factor you mentioned, fx. I could take this thing back and trade up to the direct-drive T-60 for about 60 bucks more. Thoughts?

    Thanks again.
     
  5. ShawnMcCann

    ShawnMcCann Number 6

    Location:
    Pepperell, MA
    I would not recommend the T-60. It appears to have the same short tonearm. It is impossible to properly align any cartridge in that tonearm.

    For about the same $$ (under $200) I would recommend the Audio Technica AT-PL120. It has an s-shaped tonearm of proper length. I've been enjoying this turntable for almost two years.

    As for the direct drive vs. belt drive debate, I'll leave that to others...
     
  6. RickH

    RickH Senior Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    Yeah, that's a model I did find when researching and was impressed by the review of it on the Crutchfield site. In addition, the AM station I work at has one for production - I should have got a clue! I didn't know about the short tonearm effect on record play. I may just have to get a refund and go for the AT model.
     
  7. ShawnMcCann

    ShawnMcCann Number 6

    Location:
    Pepperell, MA
    When I was thinking about getting a new turntable a couple of years ago, the Cambridge Soundworks stores were carrying the Stanton STR8-80, and I had a friend that owned one, so I figured "must be good" and found a good deal on a used one on ebay. After winning the auction and prior to receiving the TT I did some research and discovered the short tonearm problem. It mystifies me how a retailer like Cambridge Soundworks would have offered this model. What were they thinking? Hmm, maybe that's indicative of why they don't have B&M stores any more...

    I still have the Stanton set up in my workshop and use it only for record cleaning.
     
  8. JBStephens

    JBStephens I don't "like", "share", "tweet", or CARE. In Memoriam

    Location:
    South Mountain, NC
    Here's the way I do it. First, put the album in a sleeve, and then tape an old CD over the label so that the center hole of the album will be in the CD spindle hole. A CD is big enough so that you can tape it to the sleeve. That gives you a little "window" to do the filing while protecting the grooves, it'll trap the shavings, and you can use the sleeve for filing other albums. I file in only one direction against the album so that the center hole doesn't "feather out". Be sure to blow the album off with compressed air and clean twice before playing, those little vinyl shavings can be very persistent. I use a 1/4" rat-tail file, and be sure to wrap some duct tape around the ends of the file just in case you drop it onto the album.
     
  9. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven

    The only properly offset Stanton turntables currently in production are:
    T.90 USB
    ST.150
    T.120C
     
  10. RickH

    RickH Senior Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    What is meant by "properly offset"?
     
  11. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven

  12. RickH

    RickH Senior Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
  13. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven

    Do it. The Audio-Technica mentioned, the Technics SL-1200MK2, the Numark TT-500, the Denon DP-500, Pro-Ject Debut III, or the Esoteric Sounds Rek-O-Kut Vintage II, the Stanton's I mentioned, will give you a few choices.
     
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