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Vinyl sound variance between outer and inner tracks

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Hazelmullins, Jan 13, 2021 at 12:31 AM.

  1. Hazelmullins

    Hazelmullins Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    I have a Music Hall mmf 2.3 turntable with a vm540ml cartridge. I have noticed that when playing most records, the quality of playback on the first song seems to be less than the quality of the tracks that follow. Is this common? Are there any adjustments I could make that could potentially solve the issue?
     
  2. merlperl

    merlperl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sherman Oaks, CA
    Sounds like either an anti-skate or alignment issue.

    probably your cart azimuth is out of whack.

    if you don’t know how to use a protractor then take it to a local shop to have them adjust it.
     
    displayname and Hazelmullins like this.
  3. Mike70

    Mike70 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Uruguay
    +1 ... that cartridge have a microline stylus, it's the most advanced profile.

    That brings you a great tracking and detail, but ... It's a little more "tricky" in the adjustments, as other advanced cuts styluses like shibata or gynger.

    You need to check all the adjustments: levels in the turntable (perfectly flat), azimuth, antiskating, vta and vtf.

    If you think it's overwhelming ... well, a good elliptical (replacing the stylus with the yellow colored in the same AT line) can be a better deal.
     
    displayname and Hazelmullins like this.
  4. Diapason

    Diapason Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    Hazelmullins likes this.
  5. VinylSoul

    VinylSoul Forum Resident

    Location:
    Lake Erie
    Adjust the null points with a protractor. Post a photo of cartridge playing record at outside grooves would help. If this doesn't help possible misaligned stylus, don't think AT does the square shank stylus. Square laser drilled cantilever hole anymore the stylus is glued on.
     
    Hazelmullins likes this.
  6. Sterling1

    Sterling1 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    Did you buy the TT with cart pre-installed, or did you mount the cart? As I understand it the TT comes from factory with installed cart but not the one you have mounted. This makes me suspect if you mounted the cart you may have not protracted it properly, set VTA correctly, or adjusted anti-skate to a good setting. It's not likely azimuth is off yet ya might want to eyeball it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2021 at 8:25 AM
  7. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Either the records are damaged or OP didn't set up the cartridge correctly.

    Defects with AT styli are possible, but rare in the grand scheme of things.
     
  8. Hazelmullins

    Hazelmullins Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    I did mount the cart myself and though I did go through the steps for alignment , that was my first experience with the process and I very well could have gotten something off a bit.

    As far as anti-skate. This TT just has the weight on a line. There are 3 notches at the end to attach it to, so I could try one of the others. There isn't much reference I could find with that though and the manual just said to attach to the center one
     
  9. Hazelmullins

    Hazelmullins Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    The number and consistency of the issues makes me think it was a problem with my initial setup of the cart. I will go through and check everything again and see if anything can be determined
     
  10. Hazelmullins

    Hazelmullins Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    I initially looked for a thread about this but must not have looked under the right terms. Glad I am not the only :)
     
  11. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    What protractor did you use? If you had a tough time with a 2 point protractor, I highly recommend you try an arc protractor. Of course you have to be careful when using one because they are garbage in, garbage out when you put turntable specs into the CH program.
     
    Danilo likes this.
  12. Diapason

    Diapason Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    FWIW, I was in the same boat, it was my first time installing a cart and aligning myself. I'll admit that I thought at the time "I don't know what all the fuss is about, this seems straightforward enough..." Famous last words.

    In my case, I used an arc protractor that I had downloaded and printed, and the approach made sense to me. However, looking back it seems clear I just wasn't rigorous enough about getting the stylus RIGHT on the line. When I went back and checked, I lined it up on the outer point and then moved to the inner. It seemed ok... ish. However, when I really ensured I was on the line at the inner point, taking real care to get it right, I discovered I was several mm off the arc at the outer point. I'd recommend checking that, as you can easily fool yourself that all is well even when it isn't.

    Best of luck.
     
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  13. Hazelmullins

    Hazelmullins Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    I used a generic 2 point one. I also have a stubby pro-ject one that I didn't use during the initial setup
     
  14. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    PM me if you need help making an arc protractor.

    Program and instructions are here:

    Conrad's Free Stuff
     
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  15. Hazelmullins

    Hazelmullins Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Thanks everyone. I appreciate the replies. By the sound of it I just wasn't vigilant enough in the initial setup of the cart. I will try an arc protractor and try to dial everything in more precisely . I would prefer to do it myself and learn, but as others said, I can always take it to the local shop if needed
     
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  16. Mike70

    Mike70 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Uruguay
    I think it's the right path if you want to progress in vinyl reproduction. Once you overcome this, you'll see it's not that tough ... and also you can start to feel some joy on it.
    That's the "click", when vinyl starts to be a pleasure hobby.

    In other way, you have cd's or streaming. The goal is to be happy, for other stuff real life it's just enough :D
     
    Danilo, Diapason and Hazelmullins like this.
  17. merlperl

    merlperl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sherman Oaks, CA
    I fairly recently decided to install my own cartridge (Hana ML) myself for the first time.
    I have been involved with Hifi since the 70s but never tried to do this before. I do understand the principles and I studied up on it recently to refresh my memory.

    After much research, I bought a Dr Feikert protractor. It wasn’t cheap. But it enabled me to completely nail the set up of a micro line stylus the very first time in about half an hour!
    Upon the first play it was clear that I had zero audible distortion across the record and I was amazed!
    My previous cart (2m black) was set up by a reputable shop and always had some IGD.
    Incidentally my litmus test for IGD is a MOFI copy of JT. The song “Secret O’ Life” can have tremendous sibilance on the “s” sounds if a cart isn’t perfectly aligned. When I played that after the install, every “S” sounded perfect for the first time ever!
    Highly recommend this protractor if you can afford it.
     
    Hazelmullins likes this.
  18. Sterling1

    Sterling1 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    On the other hand, for those here who own turntables with detachable headshell on s-shaped tonearm, perfect alignment to the turntable manufacturer’s tracking error scheme can be realized by simply squaring cartridge to headshell and setting stylus to headshell tail distance to turntable manufacturer’s instruction.
     
  19. Hazelmullins

    Hazelmullins Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Update:
    I checked the cart alignment. The only thing I could tell was off in the slightest was the azimuth and a small imbalance in the levelness of the tt, so I corrected both of those and now commencing in a listening session to see if it made a difference.
     
    patient_ot likes this.

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