‘Returning’ to Vinyl: the Nightmare Begins ....

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Siegmund, Oct 27, 2023.

  1. Siegmund

    Siegmund Vinyl Sceptic Thread Starter

    Location:
    Britain, Europe
    As ref my previous thread, after much deliberation and some false starts, I finally settled on a suitable turntable for my needs (which principally involve playing my small collection of vinyl, most of which comprises spoken word recordings). I decided on the Sony LP310BT, which seems to be generally well-regarded as an ‘entry level’ turntable. I set it up without any problems, played a few discs (all of which I’d cleaned before putting them on the platter) and all seemed OK .... but after about the fifth disc, I began to detect distortion of the kind I remembered from old ‘dust on the stylus’ scenarios ..... sensing that things have moved on since the old days, I was hesitant about applying ‘traditional’ methods of stylus cleaning, so just ‘blew on it’, which removed a large-ish clump of fluff. On I went, but then the problems I encountered began to return and to multiply, culminating in one scarifying moment when the cartridge drifted right across the surface. At that point, I thought it would make sense to seek ‘professional’ help, which I did via my nearest branch of Richer Sounds (not an outlet I’d recommend). Their advice? ‘Blow on it, until it ‘s clear’. Not exactly technical. I have no idea whether I’ve got a stylus problem or a skating problem, or both. So I thought I’d consult the collective wisdom of the forum before I repackage the turntable and send it back (something I’m strongly minded to do at the moment).


    As I said, my only objective is to listen to some old (in some cases, very old) records but all at 33 and a third, not 78. Is there such a thing as a stylus that’s most suitable for ‘old’ vinyl.


    Pardon the ignorance and naivety of this enquiry, but I’m not a vinyl fan (see my description) and I thought this was something I’d left behind me .....
     
  2. goldwax

    goldwax Rega | Cambridge | Denafrips | Luxman | Dynaudio

    Location:
    US of A
    God, do yourself a favor a back away slowly. I’d never suggest that anyone get into vinyl now. Way too expensive if you don’t already have a sizable collection built up. Invest in used CDs!
     
    athensdrums, bluesky, joelee and 36 others like this.
  3. crn3371

    crn3371 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glendora, CA
    Get yourself something to clean your stylus with, whether it be a simple brush or some liquid cleaner. If your “clean” records are allowing the stylus to pick up enough floof that it’s causing tracking errors then your records aren’t very clean. What are you using to clean your records? Also, if the tonearm is skating across the surface then you might not have your tracking force or anti-skate set correctly.
     
  4. Siegmund

    Siegmund Vinyl Sceptic Thread Starter

    Location:
    Britain, Europe

    There’s no way I’d want to ‘get (back) into’ vinyl, as I don’t like it as a medium. My only aim was to listen to what’s left of my record collection every now and then, most of it spoken word recordings that aren’t available on CD (and often can’t be streamed).
     
  5. Dhreview16

    Dhreview16 Forum Resident

    Location:
    London UK
    Maybe ask Richer’s if you can borrow one of their demo room LPs ? Might help isolate whether the issue is the records or the deck, before you return it. The advice from @crn3371 makes sense to me.
     
    Siegmund likes this.
  6. PineBark

    PineBark formerly known as BackScratcher

    Location:
    Boston area
    Sounds like a combination of dirty vinyl and improper anti-skate setting.
     
  7. NettleBed

    NettleBed Forum Transient

    Location:
    new york city
    I use the gel-style stylus cleaners. Never had the problem you describe, but as other factors are involved, I don't know if my stylus cleaning method is the reason.
     
    Siegmund likes this.
  8. Angry_Panda

    Angry_Panda Pipe as shown, slippers not pictured

    If you have an art supply store nearby, you can get a cheap, small, soft paintbrush, and use that to clean the stylus (back to front) - that'll get more off than blowing on it, and is about the cheapest option I'd personally use (not a fan of the blu-tak or magic eraser options myself, though others would differ).
     
  9. goldwax

    goldwax Rega | Cambridge | Denafrips | Luxman | Dynaudio

    Location:
    US of A
    Makes sense. Have you considered ripping your vinyl records so you'd have audio files to listen to?
     
  10. bever70

    bever70 Let No-one Live Rent Free in Your Head!

    Location:
    Belgium
    I think I know what your problem is. How did you 'clean' those records? Just wiping them down with some fluid I suppose? There's your problem, you have 'wetted' the dirty stuff in the grooves but you didn't get it out of the grooved. So now your stylus scrapes it out of those grooves, forming fluffs and dustballs around the stylus (resulting in distortion and eventually losing track).
    So either clean your records as you should (using some kind of vacuum cleaner, or at least a spin clean) or don't clean your records at all! Because 'halfway' cleaning gets you nowhere.
     
  11. vinylkid58

    vinylkid58 Senior Member

    Location:
    Victoria, B.C.
    Or get someone with a turntable to do it for you, therefore sidestepping the need to get a turntable in the first place.

    jeff
     
    vconsumer and norliss like this.
  12. Doghouse Riley

    Doghouse Riley Forum Resident

    Location:
    North West England
    For most people of my age from the days of vinyl. It's all nostalgia.
    That's why I've two vinyl jukeboxes. I don't mind some of the records being as much as sixty years old and a bit scratched in places.

    I've had my hi-fi gear for fifty years, but I rarely play vinyl.
    Most of what I have is also available to me in CD or mp3 format, which I can play through my TV's soundbar or my hi-fi.
    For me .....

    "It's the song, not the singer."
     
    vconsumer likes this.
  13. norliss

    norliss Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cardiff, Wales
    I was going to say exactly the same. If you just have a handful of spoken-word records that aren't available on CD, I'd just get someone to needle-drop them. No way would I bother with the potential expense and faff in that scenario.
     
    timind, rcsrich and Dale A B like this.
  14. Chris Schoen

    Chris Schoen Rock 'n Roll !!!

    Location:
    Maryland, U.S.A.
    Most of your vinyl is "spoken word recordings"? Why bother, if it is not music that you are playing, just record the records to tape (you won't have to flip the record,)
    and save wear on the records. If you were mostly playing music, I would still recommend reconsidering, unless you were really determined.
     
    fcallington, timind and rcsrich like this.
  15. Instant Dharma

    Instant Dharma Dude/man

    Location:
    CoCoCo, Ca
    Too late for me, I had the TT, just needed to replace stylus. I love my vinyl collection though. I had a lot before (25 years ago, I missed out on a lot of good stuff) and more now. I like the ritual of it and in no way consider myself an audiophile.
     
  16. hfarrior3

    hfarrior3 Worst pressing ever ...

    so what's you opinion on the new Roger Waters 'DSOTM'? j/k, don't want to highjack this thread and see it devolve into madness ;)
     
    timind likes this.
  17. goldwax

    goldwax Rega | Cambridge | Denafrips | Luxman | Dynaudio

    Location:
    US of A
    I did provide the caveat "if you don’t already have a sizable collection built up." Anyone who does, has a much lower barrier to entry.
     
    Instant Dharma likes this.
  18. StriderTB

    StriderTB Forum Resident

    Location:
    NJ
    This right here. If you're playing "cleaned" records and getting visible build up on your stylus after 5 records, your records are not clean. I use a gel style stylus cleaner from Hudson HiFi that works great when you do need to get the needle clean. I'd recommend a Spin Clean to really get the dirt out of your grooves, and then try again.
     
    timind and bever70 like this.
  19. Boltman92124

    Boltman92124 Go Padres!!

    Location:
    San Diego
    It appears this turntable includes a variant of the AT 3600 cartridge. Probably mounted permanently. You can replace the stylus when needed. I don't see any tonearm adjustments that can be made. If it's picking up a ton of gunk, that's all coming from the records themselves. "blowing on it" is not a solution. Clean the records and get a decent stylus brush. If you do return it and want to try something else, look at the AT LP60x. It's a little less money too.
     
    Chemguy and rcsrich like this.
  20. Instant Dharma

    Instant Dharma Dude/man

    Location:
    CoCoCo, Ca
    I don't know about sizable. For instance I sold a lot of my Zappa collection off. I also had a TON of OJC from the 80's. I still have my raggedy old Brand X collection.

    ...and then there's all the stuff in my parents' storage....lol
     
  21. Ingenieur

    Ingenieur Just a dog looking for a home...

    Location:
    Back in PA
    It will be alright. ;)

    [​IMG]
     
  22. Doghouse Riley

    Doghouse Riley Forum Resident

    Location:
    North West England
    I do keep a few favourite albums to hand.

    But most of them, I put in storage.

    [​IMG]
     
    bluesky, TonyCzar, VQR and 4 others like this.
  23. Swann36

    Swann36 A widower finding solace in music

    Location:
    Lincoln, UK
    That’s some garden shed you have there :evil:
     
    bever70, timind and Doghouse Riley like this.
  24. AKA-Chuck G

    AKA-Chuck G Senior Member

    Location:
    Washington NC
    I'd just send them off to service and be done with it. Return the turntable if you can.

    Google or duckduckgo the below phrase
    vinyl to digital service
     
    timind likes this.
  25. vinylkid58

    vinylkid58 Senior Member

    Location:
    Victoria, B.C.
    How on earth could that POS be considered a "well regarded" entry level turntable? FGS, send it back.

    jeff
     

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