Newbie in need to help with turntable setup. *

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by mm92599, Sep 5, 2019.

  1. mm92599

    mm92599 Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Albuquerque
    Hey All,

    I purchased a Rega Planar 2, Focal Chorus 605 Bookshelf Speakers, and Cambridge Audio Topaz SR20 Receiver about a month ago. I recently had the dealer install a Bias 2 cartridge on it and it sounded like I was getting vocal distortion, especially at the inner groove. Using the supplied Rega protractor that came with the tt (cardboard circle) I checked the alignment as best I could and it appeared to be just slightly off so I took it back into the dealer. A different guy worked on the alignment using both the Rega protractor and another one (can’t recall the name of it) for about 20 minutes and said that he felt good about the adjustments he made. He also checked the VTF and it was right at 1.76 grams. After hooking it back up to my system, it still doesn’t sound right. A lot of high end and still hearing a lot of distortion, especially at the inner groove.

    Does anyone have any recommendations for changes I can make, possibly to the VTF that might help with the sound quality issue? This tt has auto anti skate so it can’t be adjusted. I’m so frustrated that I’m just about ready to throw in the towel and go back to listening to digital music on my iPhone. Please help as I am really loving this new hobby and don’t want to give it up! Thanks.

    Mike
     
  2. PhxJohn

    PhxJohn Forum Resident

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Can you have the dealer hook it up and play it there ? That might narrow down the problem.
     
    beowulf likes this.
  3. Michael Chavez

    Michael Chavez Forum Resident

    Location:
    US
    on all records?
    take it back and get your money back - buy something from someone else
    I know that's not what you want to hear
    Rega carts are supposed to be set and forget although it looks like the 3 point mounting doesn't apply to yours?
    at least insist they mount another cart to see - and road test it in the shop (bring a record you know has the problem)
    good luck
    Michael
     
  4. mm92599

    mm92599 Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Albuquerque
    That’s probably what I should have done but I didn’t think of it. When I brought it home after the second time they worked on the alignment, I thought it sounded better but as the day went on, it sounded worse and worse to me. I’m hoping that the cartridge didn’t get damaged from all the alignment efforts and putting it on and off the scale to check VTF.
     
  5. Funchess_Pilate

    Funchess_Pilate Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    I had similar trouble with a Bias cartridge on an RP1. I hate to say it, but I think it just wasn’t a very good cart.

    Upgrading to an Exact made all the difference in the world to me.

    Of course, an Exact on an RP1 (or a Planar 2 in your case) can be considered overkill, and maybe you don’t want to give up on the Bias just yet, but for me, it was a real revelation.

    The Exact sounded great on the RP1 (as expected), and I’ve since moved it over to an RP8 I bought earlier this year at a good discount when the new Planar 8 came out.

    Could not be happier with the Exact > RP8 combo (that is, until I can afford an Ania or an Apheta, lol!)
     
  6. mm92599

    mm92599 Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Albuquerque
    I kicking myself that I didn’t save up and upgrade to the Exact or at the very least, the Elys. I really thought the Bias would sound decent for the time being but so far that’s not been the case. The issue I have with the Exact is that it costs nearly as much as what I paid for the P2 and I’m not sure if that’s a good investment or not.
     
  7. mm92599

    mm92599 Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Albuquerque
    I hear it on all records and even the outer grooves don’t sound that great. Funny thing is that when I first set up the tt I actually really liked the way it sounded with just the stock Rega carbon on it. I ended up “upgrading” to the Bias 2 last week and I don’t even enjoy listening to it anymore. I fear that my back and forth with it to the dealer combined with my own messing around with it every day trying to get it sounding right may have damaged something. I’m beyond frustrated and disappointed since this was my first time owning a tt and I was enjoying the new hobby.
     
  8. Michael Chavez

    Michael Chavez Forum Resident

    Location:
    US
    go back to the store - tell them to put the ordinal cart back on the table - tell them you would like a refund for the defective cartridge they sold you- do NOT listen anymore to people at forums telling you about all the "upgrades" you need
    enjoy your records - enjoy your record player
    you haven't damaged anything - they stuck you with a dud cart - it happens
    chill and don't stress
    keep me up to date
    Michael
     
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  9. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    As have already been mentioned in your other threads, an Eliptical stylus will not necessarily track inner grooves and high frequencies perfectly.
    If its now adjusted correctly and still sounds bad then you should consider returning this one and trying a cart with a finer stylus.
    To be clear though, does it distort more or less than your earlier Rega Carbon cart?
     
  10. Dhreview16

    Dhreview16 Forum Resident

    Location:
    London UK
    If you can afford it maybe consider the RP3/Elys route instead while the RP2 is under full guarantee and you can get your money back. Or at least get your dealer to put a new replacement Bias on the RP2.
     
  11. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    I dont think the best advice is to say spend more on a table which probably wont help regarding this problem when hes really disappointed.
     
  12. mm92599

    mm92599 Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Albuquerque
    In retrospect, I should have held off on replacing the stock cartridge and done more research on cartridges before making my decision. I would say that it distorts about the same as my Rega Carbon did, but the Bias 2 is more "out front" than the Carbon was. The Carbon was much more subdued and mellow and the Bias 2 is more bright and I think that lends itself to becoming distorted, especially at higher volumes.
     
  13. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    That seems reasonable. A clip showing an example would be helpful. It shouldnt be an extremely obtrusive distortion across the whole record, just at intense moments of the music, typically near the end of the record.
     
  14. mm92599

    mm92599 Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Albuquerque
    Ok, so I noticed something today that I had not previously noticed. The sound quality from the left speaker is very muffled and lacks clarity as compared to the right. I also noticed that the volume is slightly less from the left speaker. I checked the speakers using the mp3 input and they sounded fine so I don’t think it’s the speakers l. I also connected the tt to another receiver I have and the issue was still present. I then swapped the right and left inputs from the tt to my receiver (the receiver has a phono input) and the sound issue was swapped. I believe that this would point to an issue with the tt? I think this sound issue is making the igd sound much worse than it actually is and may be the main source of the issues I’ve been having. Could this be a cartridge issue or does this point to a larger issue with the tt itself? I’ve only had it for less than 30days and I’ve already reached out to the US distributor for Rega to see what can be done to resolve the situation and am waiting to hear back.
     
  15. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    Sounds like cart issues.
     
  16. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    So he didn't do a listening test too when you brought it in, just a visual realignment? That probably wasn't sufficient troubleshooting. You may need to bring it back.

    In the meantime, did you make sure the turntable is perfectly level when you located it back at your place? Check it with a bubble level and level it if its not or everything will be all off.

    Do you have a scale to double check the VTF in case something moved during transit? Did you check that the stylus is clean? Occasional mistracking and inner groove distortion might be something you wind up having some of, but the problems your describing in one channel vs. the other sounds like misalignment and/or poor leveling/tracking force and/or dirty or damaged stylus and/or wiring damage.
     
  17. mm92599

    mm92599 Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Albuquerque
    I took the tt back into the dealer today and they set it up on a really high end system played at high volume and it sounded really good but wasn’t an accurate representation of what I’m running at home. Of course they thought it sounded fine and offered to let me borrow a phono pre amp to see if maybe it’s the built in pre amp that’s causing the problem. I will hopefully get the loaner pre amp tomorrow and test it out, but when I brought the tt home and connected it, the sound issue was still there. Another thing I noticed today is that the left ground wire coming from the tonearm and connecting to the cartridge buzzes and/or causes static in the left speaker if you touch it or brush your finger on it. I found this out by mistake when my finger brushed against the wire. None of the other wires make any static noise when you touch them. Would this be a sign of a damaged wire or possibly just a wire that is loose?
     
  18. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    That IS a relatively high output cart, so it could be causing problems with your receiver. But you said you had the problem with two different receivers so I'm not sure. Like I said, are you 100 percent sure the turntable is dead level when you set it up at home? Test it with a bubble level. Also make sure there's no structure bourne vibration and breakthrough getting to the turntable. What is this turntable sitting on? Also, make sure nothing is binding the free movement of the arm and tonearm cable.
     
  19. mm92599

    mm92599 Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Albuquerque
    I am relatively sure that the table is level but I for I do not yet own a bubble level. I am using a small level and checking in several places on the tt including the corners of the plinth as well as on the platter and it is showing perfectly level readings. The turntable is sitting on top of a large tv stand that is very secure. What about the static/buzz I get from the left ground wire that is running from the tonearm to the cartridge when I brush it with my finger? Is this a sign of anything? Possible damaged wire?
     
  20. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    No.
     
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  21. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    Any ground wire will hum when fiddled with.
    As for leveling, you mostly check the platter and not the plinth, but its surely good enough. It shouldnt cause this much problems.
     
    Fishoutofwater likes this.
  22. Fishoutofwater

    Fishoutofwater Forum Resident

    My humble advice would be stay away from the Elyse. It nearly made me give up on LPs. I think many on this forum would agree with me.
     
  23. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    Not unless it's badly out of level. If it is badly out of level, as the arm tracks the record, the arm balance can become completely off and you can get the same kind of mistracking you get with too low a tracking weight, or intermittent groove wall contact. Based on the OP's measurements I'm not sure that's the case here. But being out of level could definitely cause some of the symptoms the OP describes.
     
  24. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    BTW, I wouldn't count on the TV stand as being immune from structure borne vibrations and structure borne vibration and feedback will definitely cause distortion and mistracking at high volume and Rega tables, which have no isolation built-in, are definitely susceptible. If the problem doesn't exist at the dealer's but recurs when you get the rig home, obviously the problem must be somewhere in your set up or in you other equipment.
     
  25. mm92599

    mm92599 Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Albuquerque
    I suspect that the high end system that the dealer was running through along with the excessive volume that they were playing at covered up the issue that I’m hearing when I’m playing at home on my relative entry level system played at low volume and isolating the right and left channel to compare. I hooked up a Pro Ject Debut Carbon to my same setup and it was evenly balanced on both channels. I am still leaning toward a faulty wire coming from the tonearm as there is one wire that will make “noise” if touched and none of the other three wires connected to the cartridge make any sound at all if touched. The tt is well balanced, aligned, and on pint with vtf. Unfortunately, although we do have a Rega dealer in my town, they are comprised of sales consultants and do not have a service department so I don’t think they are able to diagnose issues that are somewhat subtle in nature.
     

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