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#47260 - 07/15/03 07:17 PM Phono Equip. ???
southpark Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 07/15/03
Posts: 36
I have a good sized collection of 80's lp's and have no interest in buying "audiophile" vinyl.

My question is, as I put together a new system can turntable, cartridge and phono stage selection help minimize snaps and pops in my record collection which is pressed on used crappy vinyl with old labels etc. mixed in?

Thanks

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#47261 - 07/15/03 07:26 PM Re: Phono Equip. ???
soundhound Offline
Desperado

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 1857
Loc: Gusev Crater, Mars
Basically no, at least not inexpensively. There are (were?) tick and pop suppressors back in the day, but I can't recall if any are available now.

I had to deal with some noisy records when re-constructing the soundtrack to a movie I worked on a couple years ago. On one Angel pressing, I had the most expensive Sonic Solutions processing done, and in my opinion it made the recording worse overall than before, the life being sucked out of the music.

I have an LP that I actually digitally removed all the ticks and pops from on my workstation, but it took a week of work - something I'll never do again!

If you have to deal with steady state surface noise from an LP, about the only thing you can do is to reduce the high end, but of course this dulls the sound, sometimes unacceptably so.

I would just consider the noise in your records a "feature" and sit back and enjoy - a pitcher of margaritas will help remove some of the offending noise too

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#47262 - 07/15/03 08:02 PM Re: Phono Equip. ???
southpark Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 07/15/03
Posts: 36
I'm willing to spend about $1,500 on a TT and cartridge but am getting the feeling I might as well save my money and go cheaper.

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#47263 - 07/15/03 09:07 PM Re: Phono Equip. ???
OFCCM Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 03/22/03
Posts: 84
Loc: Hueytown, Al. 35023
You can get a reasonable TT and Phono System and a manual record cleaning machine for under $1500. A lot of time the pops and clicks are the result of dust and dirt and even with new records you may have residual of cutting causing some build up. I have bought brand new audiphile records that had pops and clicks that were ended with cleaning in my machine. Just another thought. I mix up my own cleaning solution and it is cheap and works. It is not a big secret, everyone and his brother has a cleaning recipe.

If I was starting from scratch today with $1500, I think I would get the Music Hall MMF-7 Turntable as it comes with a very good cartridge and a good arm (list around $1000) and is shipped put together and easy to set up. Also the Project Phono Box which is only $120 and works with mc or mm (Creek, Clearaudio, Music Hall all make one for a little more. The Nitty Gritty Manual Record Cleaning Machine for abut $250. Those are all ballpark new prices you can probably do better, but if not add in shipping and you are right at $1500. That would be a nice midfi Phono system and you could upgrade the Phono Stage later. You can also find a lot of nice vinyl out there dirt cheap. Just a few thoughts.

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#47264 - 07/15/03 09:54 PM Re: Phono Equip. ???
Paul J. Stiles Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 05/24/02
Posts: 279
Loc: Mountain View, CA, USofA
Depending upon the geometric configuration of the stylus that did the damage to the record, a stylus of a different configuration may result in playback that is much better than you might expect.

For example, some of the new styli, such as hyper eliptical, micro ridge, and other names, may play a larger cross section of the record groove than an older stylus that made contact with the groove in a smaller (and now damaged) area.

As far as hiss, ticks and pops, I agree with Soundhound. The cure is worse than the disease. The operation was successfull but the patient (the music) died.

I have made a few transfers from LP to CD by hooking up the line input of a computer sound card (of course the better the sound card, the better the result) to an output of a preamp. Once the music is digitized, I go and manually edit the .wav file to reduce the amplitude of the large (and periodic: once per revolution of the LP) ticks or pop.

The small ticks and pops that are still present are not objectionable and add a "retro touch" to the music.

Paul

------------------
the 1derful1
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the 1derful1

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#47265 - 07/15/03 11:03 PM Re: Phono Equip. ???
southpark Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 07/15/03
Posts: 36
Does anyone have any idea how the phono stage of a McIntosh MX-113 sounds?

I have one and an MC-2100 amp and may just use those to play analog--any thoughts?

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#47266 - 07/16/03 01:19 AM Re: Phono Equip. ???
Kevin C Brown Offline
Desperado

Registered: 12/11/01
Posts: 1054
Loc: Santa Clara, CA
OFCCM actually is right on the money for a good place to start for a vinyl system.

And I agree with Paul, in that the best way to get rid of pops and clicks on an lp, is to *manually* edit the wav file. That way, you're not wiping out parts of the real signal indiscriminantly with some generic "pop and click" software removal program.

And Soundhound is always on the money. Actually, I've found that the shape of diamond in the stylus can affect playback quality certainly, but doesn't really do much for any difference for pops and clicks.

Boy, I'm in an agreeable mood today!


[This message has been edited by Kevin C Brown (edited July 16, 2003).]
_________________________
If it's not worth waiting until the last minute to do, then it's not worth doing.

KevinVision 7.1 ... New and Improved !!


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#47267 - 07/16/03 01:47 AM Re: Phono Equip. ???
OFCCM Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 03/22/03
Posts: 84
Loc: Hueytown, Al. 35023
Southpark,

While Kevin is in such an agreeable mood I will push my luck. I had a Mac 110 years ago and I thought it was an excellent tuner and a fair preamp and phono stage. A little warmish. But it was tube and I would rate it higher than the early ss stuff they put out. Now I saw a good deal over on ebay on a almost new Music Hall MMF-5. It is not as good an arm or cartridge as the model 7 but the investment price is a lot lower as the buy it now is only $410 and you might bid and get it cheaper. The 5 gets some good reviews. The guy's feedback is also 100%. A nice way to gauge your interest would be this complete table and your Mac 113 and 2100 amp. If you find you are enjoying then upgrade and sell the table. I will post the link so good luck if you try it.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3035354555&category=3283

[This message has been edited by OFCCM (edited July 16, 2003).]

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#47268 - 07/16/03 02:32 AM Re: Phono Equip. ???
73Bruin Offline
Desperado

Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 506
Loc: Torrance, CA USA
Ok. As long as everyone is in such an agreeable mood. I really don't want to put 1500 into a system that I may only use a few times. I have a number of records that are no longer available on CD's which were in excellent condition when I stopped playing them. I would love to be able to transfer them to CD or DVD.

I still have my technics direct drive turntable down in the garage with a Grace 707 tone arm. I have/had a Sonus Blue cartridge (which I can't believe is any good any longer). If possible, I would like to be able to get a new cartridge, and a phono preamp so I can hook it to my 1050. Any suggestions for this and an appropriate audio card for doing the recording/editing?
_________________________
Living Room 24x18 open 1/2 flight up to a raised dining room/hall 24x12
Outlaw 976 pre-pro running 5.1 system
Outlaw 750 for Artison Masterpiece LCR and 2 NHT SuperZeros rears
Velodyne Servo FX-1200
LG OLED65C8PUA via HDMI2 to/from 976 HDMI ARC
Roku Ultra
Samsung BD-D5500 BluRay
Amazon FireStick 4K to 976 Aux HDMI input for Amazon Music Ultra

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#47269 - 07/16/03 03:54 AM Re: Phono Equip. ???
Time_Stands_Still Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 05/19/03
Posts: 20
Loc: British Columbia, Canada
LP's will always have some background noise and clicks and pops. However a good cleaning machine ( many you can buy or even build yourself ) will help reduce such. One note some clicks and pops are due to static charges as the stylus tracks the record and others due to imperfect or cheap vinyl used during the pressing.

As for cleaning here is my system.

I took a shop vac ( second hand ) and built it into an enclosure ( right now a sturdy cardboard box, later I'll build a cabinet for it.) I made a hole for the hose and to access the switch. I use an upholstry brush, thoroughly washed and cleaned. I wrapped any plastic parts with a chamois to reduce scratching of sorts.

My record holder is a converted Lazy Susan for a spice rack. I mounted the Lazy Susan onto an MDF board. I greased the rollers and then mounted an old LP with a foam platter matt onto the Lazy Susan. I rigged a metal spindle in the middle to mount the LP on and I cut a rubber plug for a bathroom sink with a hole in its centre to slip on top of the spindle to clamp the LP down. I then spray on a mixture of 80% distilled water, 20% Isopropyal alchohal and I use a wide clean paint brush as my scrubber. I twirll the Lazy Susan around as I work the bristles into the grooves. I then take my shop vac set up and vacuum the contents on the LP. It does not get everything and sometimes you need to repeat the process, but It does help clean up and quieten many LPs esp. those second hand ones.

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#47270 - 07/16/03 10:33 AM Re: Phono Equip. ???
Jason J Offline
Desperado

Registered: 09/02/02
Posts: 615
Loc: Northern Garden State
For record cleaning, this machine does the job very nicely.

[url= http://cgi.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cl.pl?accstwek&1063518732 ] http://cgi.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cl.pl?accstwek&1063518732 [/url]

Note: This is not me selling this but rather just an example of the price range you can expect for the unit. You might even be able to find one around $350 used.

I find that cleaning records on a machine of this type makes the largest difference to my ears in playing back vinyl with a decent turntable.



[This message has been edited by Jason J (edited July 16, 2003).]

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#47271 - 07/16/03 12:42 PM Re: Phono Equip. ???
soundhound Offline
Desperado

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 1857
Loc: Gusev Crater, Mars
Ond additional technique for dealing with noisy records (although one I've never tried) is to play them "wet". I have heard this gets rid of some of the noise when making a transfer to digital.

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#47272 - 07/16/03 05:26 PM Re: Phono Equip. ???
Paul J. Stiles Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 05/24/02
Posts: 279
Loc: Mountain View, CA, USofA
That would make the sound more "liquid", soundhound?

What kind of liquid?

Margaritas? Liquid listener??

Seriously, I have head of this wet playing of records, too. I guess distilled water, not mineral laden tap water, would be desireable.

Paul

------------------
the 1derful1
_________________________
the 1derful1

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#47273 - 07/16/03 06:53 PM Re: Phono Equip. ???
boblinds Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 02/07/03
Posts: 242
Loc: Los Angeles
The problem with playing something wet to eliminate pops is that the dirt has to go someplace and that someplace is on your stylus. That's not where you want dirt to be because it will distribute it to everything else you play with that stylus. Not good.

All these multi-$100 cleaning solutions are just overkill in my opinion. A Discwasher and/or a carbon fiber brush (We used to call them Decca brushes http://audioadvisor.com/store/productdet...%20Care%20Brush ) should be fine for most discs. Just use each time before you play a disc.

If something is really dirty, you can clean it with a little distilled water and a soft cloth, then air dry it. If that doesn't do it, you should have enough respect for your cartridge and stylus not to play the filthy thing on your system at all.

For my part, I NEVER play a second-hand disc on my system without washing it thoroughly with distilled water. (Are we sure that alcohol doesn't have a leeching effect on the plastic? I'm not.) Who knows where a second-hand disc has been, how it's been treated, and what was eaten (and dripped) over its surface before it got to you.


[This message has been edited by boblinds (edited July 16, 2003).]

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#47274 - 07/16/03 11:18 PM Re: Phono Equip. ???
Kevin C Brown Offline
Desperado

Registered: 12/11/01
Posts: 1054
Loc: Santa Clara, CA
73B- Check that Technics you have. A lot of people consider the SL 1200 - 1800 (Mk II) series of turntables to be the best mass market units out there. In fact, I will have to look around, there is a web site out there that does a really nice job of tracking (hee, hee) the history of Technics in that time period, and all the innovations they introduced.
_________________________
If it's not worth waiting until the last minute to do, then it's not worth doing.

KevinVision 7.1 ... New and Improved !!


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#47275 - 07/17/03 02:51 AM Re: Phono Equip. ???
OFCCM Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 03/22/03
Posts: 84
Loc: Hueytown, Al. 35023
boblinds,

I might should market my cleaning solution then. I have been giving it away for years and everyone tells me it is better than the ones they buy. Anyone would have to be crazy to pay $100's. I love my NG Pro because I am lazy and it auto cleans both side for me. But the home brew does the real job. I even have a super duper formula for dirty mildew records. It does use a certain percent of 92% alcohol, and I have used this for 20 years. Those records perform perfctly so I don't think it is hurting them. They will outlast me. Again my recipe is simple, close to what they all use and cost about $3 to make a little less than a gallon. Some of the add ons I use I bought when I first started and I still have enough to make 1000 more gallons. There are a 1000 recipes for record cleaning solutions out there without spending the big bucks.

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#47276 - 07/17/03 09:16 PM Re: Phono Equip. ???
Kevin C Brown Offline
Desperado

Registered: 12/11/01
Posts: 1054
Loc: Santa Clara, CA
I still have a big red jug of the Discwasher stuff, but I've also used a 7/8 DI water, 1/8 IPA mixture too. Some people say you have to be careful about using a mixture with too much IPA in it, because it can dry out the binders and stuff in the vinyl. FWIW.

Oh, I heard once that the trick with playing records wet, is if you do it once for a particular lp, you have to in the future as well, or else it gets really poppy and clicky... I'd be too afraid of getting water into my turntable to do this.
_________________________
If it's not worth waiting until the last minute to do, then it's not worth doing.

KevinVision 7.1 ... New and Improved !!


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#47277 - 07/17/03 10:31 PM Re: Phono Equip. ???
Jeff Mackwood Offline
Desperado

Registered: 12/19/02
Posts: 427
We really do forget the old tricks with time!

If you have a noisy record from which you want to extract its contents FOR THE FINAL TIME the easiest way to do it is to play it wet. Use a pump / mister bottle to minimize "spillage." Tap water will do although the "old" advice was to use distilled water. The water acts as a lubricant. You will have to clean your stylus afterwards. And the record will be noisier than ever once it's dry. Even if you try to play it wet again it will be noisier as deposits will tend to dam-up and harden in place after the first wet play.

Of course giving the record a good cleaning beforehand can't hurt. (Again this is only to extract the sound from the grooves one last time from a noisy record that you are prepared to say goodbye to - not for regular use.)

I agree that the wav file digital route is the best way to go - if you have the time.

And those click and pop noise reducers (from dbx and Phase Linear if I recall correctly) did work very well. They had an adjustable "gain" that allowed you to select the threshold of the reduction. Set just right it got rid of the big spikes and left the high frequencies pretty much unharmed. Dialed too high and they did have a negative effect on the sound.

Lastly, (and I've posted this elsewhere before) it's amazing how much accoustic feedback most turntable / tonearm / stylus combinations will pick up. Especially nowadays when our systems are all capable of extended bass beyond what even most "high end" systems were capable of 20 years ago. (Yes there are exceptions!) I recommed that anyone who is still playing records construct an effective accoustic damper to sit their turntable on. I use two slabs of 1/2 inch granite separated by a thin layer of rubber (one of those anti-slip mats from Home Depot). Where do you get the granite? Try any kitchen counter shop like I did. I don't think they have many other uses for sink hole cutouts - do you? For $60Cdn I had a local shop cut two cut-outs to the exact size I wanted and pollish the sides. While I never much noticed a problem before, I can tell you I certainly notice the difference with the damper in use.

Better yet. Get the CD version!

Jeff Mackwood
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Jeff Mackwood

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#47278 - 07/26/03 05:21 AM Re: Phono Equip. ???
BillP Offline
Deputy Gunslinger

Registered: 07/26/03
Posts: 3
Loc: Palo Alto, CA
The hardware pop-and-click solution I remember using was the SAE 5000, which is frequently available on ebay for $75 or so.

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#47279 - 07/27/03 03:53 AM Re: Phono Equip. ???
southpark Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 07/15/03
Posts: 36
My pop used to have SAE kit and they also made a linear tracking turntable didn't they?

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#47280 - 07/29/03 10:38 AM Re: Phono Equip. ???
Philip Hamm Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 08/29/01
Posts: 93
Loc: Northern Virginia, USA
Quote:
I'm willing to spend about $1,500 on a TT and cartridge but am getting the feeling I might as well save my money and go cheaper.
Wow!! If you're not interested in "audiophile" sound as you infer in your original post, you should be able to get by for under $300 easily. Get yourself a good low end Technics turntable and a phono preamp from Rat Shack and you're good to go.

------------------
Philip Hamm
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Philip Hamm

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#47281 - 07/29/03 11:38 PM Re: Phono Equip. ???
southpark Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 07/15/03
Posts: 36
Phill, of course I want audiophile sound and I'm willing to spend up to $1,500 for a TT/cartidge to get it.

What I don't want to do is spend $1,500 for equipment when it won't sound any better than $300 kit given my record selection.

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#47282 - 07/30/03 12:22 AM Re: Phono Equip. ???
Kevin C Brown Offline
Desperado

Registered: 12/11/01
Posts: 1054
Loc: Santa Clara, CA
You just have to be diligent and do some research...
_________________________
If it's not worth waiting until the last minute to do, then it's not worth doing.

KevinVision 7.1 ... New and Improved !!


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#47283 - 07/30/03 01:55 AM Re: Phono Equip. ???
73Bruin Offline
Desperado

Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 506
Loc: Torrance, CA USA
Ok. I would like to go back to my point from above. My objectives are to be able to record on CD or DVD a number of albums that I have that were in excellent shape when put into storage (where at least they haven't been abused). This should hopefully be a one time activity per album.

I have a decent turntable and tonearm. I need to get a new cartridge and phono preamp and if I record to a computer a new sound card. Does anyone have specific recommendations for this equipment?
_________________________
Living Room 24x18 open 1/2 flight up to a raised dining room/hall 24x12
Outlaw 976 pre-pro running 5.1 system
Outlaw 750 for Artison Masterpiece LCR and 2 NHT SuperZeros rears
Velodyne Servo FX-1200
LG OLED65C8PUA via HDMI2 to/from 976 HDMI ARC
Roku Ultra
Samsung BD-D5500 BluRay
Amazon FireStick 4K to 976 Aux HDMI input for Amazon Music Ultra

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#47284 - 07/30/03 02:00 AM Re: Phono Equip. ???
southpark Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 07/15/03
Posts: 36
Phill, of course I want audiophile sound and I'm willing to spend up to $1,500 for a TT/cartidge to get it.

What I don't want to do is spend $1,500 for equipment when it won't sound any better than $300 kit given my record selection.

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#47285 - 07/30/03 03:48 AM Re: Phono Equip. ???
Time_Stands_Still Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 05/19/03
Posts: 20
Loc: British Columbia, Canada
Quote:
Originally posted by southpark:
Phill, of course I want audiophile sound and I'm willing to spend up to $1,500 for a TT/cartidge to get it.

What I don't want to do is spend $1,500 for equipment when it won't sound any better than $300 kit given my record selection.



Hi for $1500 you can set yourself up with some nice units from companies like

Rega
Clear audio
Music Hall
Thorens
Basis

http://www.musicalsurroundings.com/basis.html
http://www.clearaudio.de/res1/start.html
http://www.rega.co.uk/index2.htm
http://www.thorens.com/

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#47286 - 07/30/03 04:01 AM Re: Phono Equip. ???
OFCCM Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 03/22/03
Posts: 84
Loc: Hueytown, Al. 35023
And don't forget Project for both tables and phono stages. Also Moth which is using Rega tables and arms via a deal with Rega. Go a bit more and get a VPI Scout.

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#47287 - 07/30/03 04:29 PM Re: Phono Equip. ???
sdurani Offline
Desperado

Registered: 01/23/02
Posts: 765
Loc: Monterey Park, CA
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Sanjay

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#47288 - 08/23/03 11:05 PM Re: Phono Equip. ???
Jeff Mackwood Offline
Desperado

Registered: 12/19/02
Posts: 427
An update on the click and pop noise reducers...

After seeing BillP's post following mine, I went onto ebay and picked up an SAE model 5000A "Impulse Noise Reduction System" for $61.05. It arrived a couple of days ago and I installed it yesterday.

I picked out a couple of albums that I knew had very noticeable clicks and pops and it "cleaned" them up completely - without noticeable effect on the music.

It has an "invert" button that you use to calibrate the gain setting. With the invert engaged you start at zero gain (no sound at all) and turn it up slowly. You start to hear some clicks and pops at about 25% gain and by the time you get near max gain you hear lots - plus some chopped music. Back the setting down more than a bit from there (I settled in at 50%), switch off the invert function, and all you hear is the music, less the clicks and pops. Works like a charm.

I tracked down a review in the June 1977 issue of Audio. It was helpful in understanding the operation of the unit (since mine came with no manual) and the fact that it should be presented with a reasonably high input level in order to achieve its outstanding signal-to-noise ratio of 96dB. (Remember, this was 1977!) Because of the way I've plugged my phono set-up into my Model 950 (turntable / Stanton 681EEE...NAD1130 pre-amp...dynamic range enhancer...SAE 5000A...Outlaw 950) I have lots of opportunity to boost the input to the SAE.

To conclude. It works like a charm, removes virtually all noticeable clicks and pops, and when set up properly does nothing to negatively impact on the sound.

A must have for anyone wanting to play vinyl that's in less than perfect condition.

Jeff Mackwood
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Jeff Mackwood

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#47289 - 08/24/03 08:30 PM Re: Phono Equip. ???
southpark Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 07/15/03
Posts: 36
Thanks Jeff, I'll track one down myself.

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#47290 - 09/24/03 10:04 PM Re: Phono Equip. ???
old_school Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 09/24/03
Posts: 43
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
On the subject of the SAE 5000 Tick and Pop machine...

I vividly remember this unit as my brother had one back in the late 70's / early 80's. I also vividly remember how simple yet effective it was when used judiciously. The operation is precisely as Jeff described and yes, is very effective (and VERY easy to use). If I'm not mistaken it was meant to be placed into a tape monitor loop (remember those?) and may have even provided a supplemental tape monitor loop of its own to preserve the tape monitor connection taken up by the SAE itself on a preamp / receiver). However...I can't imagine why (from memory) why this couldn't be placed downstream of a phono section and upstream of the analog inputs on the 950.

Granted...you could remove a lot of pops by editing a WAV file (carefully) provided you have the software, the patience, and in many cases, the right amount of alcohol in you...but you first have to create the file, open it, edit it...lots of zooming on the file and so on. Again...100% do-able but sometimes painstaking. I am SURE that tick and pop removal algorithms exist that either supplement or supplant the manual editing process (in the software apps out there) and I cannot (and therefore will not) speak to their efficacy. It's also reasonable to think that these algorithms are subject (as is the SAE 5000) to the user's understanding of what's going on and understanding that sometimes, too much signal processing is just that - too much. Sometimes...simple is a very good thing indeed.

Anyway....for on-the-fly tick and pop noise reduction this thing's pretty slick indeed.
Hmmm...maybe it's time to haul MY vinyl up from the basement and seek out an SAE 5000 for myself. I don't know if it was Jeff who said you can find 'em on ebay, but he's right, and they usually are quite reasonably priced (i.e. $50 to $110).

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