Alright, i work for a medium to high-end electronics store installing home theater equipment. I was at a customers house a few days ago who was in the process of moving and didnt want to move a bunch of things that he didnt use. He gave me a $2000 turntable that he said he only used once and my partner a voltage stabilizer from monster power..along with a weedeater and a shop vac.... Everyone is trying to get me to put the thing on ebay, but they dont appreciate what i have. I want to keep it, but im having a problem. I am getting a horrible distortion sound on all records that ive tried. All connectios are correct at the preamp and the amplifier along with the ground. That poits me in the direction of the needle. Is it possible that the needle is bad if its never been used and is around 3 years old?
Sounds like a great score. A little more info on the "distortion" would be helpful. Does the distortion only occur when the stylus comes into contact with the record? Can you describe what it sounds like? It's possible that the cartridge was never properly set up or it may have been damaged, but it's hard to tell without some more clues. I assume you checked the stylus to see if it's straight. How much of a bend is there when you place it on the record surface?
The pre-amp is a Creek OBH-8 mm phono pre-amp. I am running it into the phono input on my yamaha rxv2400 reciever. The cartridge just says "blue point" on the front of it. I dont know much about turntables. i own many records, old and new but i have always used a cheap turntable. The distortion occurs only when the stylus is in contact with the record. The record will play and sounds good, but it seems like the volume is turned down too low on the music and then a horribly loud distortion hits in on certain frequencies or something similar to certain frequencies........if my reciever has a built-in pre-amp could this cause the prescribed problem? Also, the stylus seems to look similar to others i have had in the past....nothing looks abnormal.
It sounds like you're running two phono pre-amps simultaneously--the Creek and the one built into the Yamaha receiver. Have you tried connecting the turntable directly into the Yamaha phono input? Also try connecting the table to the Creek and the Creek into an aux input on the Yamaha.
BTW the cartridge is the Sumiko "Blue Point", which is a high-output moving coil cartridge. It should work fine with the Creek phono pre as well as the Yamaha phono pre. It's not unusual for volume levels for phono stages to be lower for line stages. On my system, I need to turn the volume knob an extra 15-20 degrees to get records to play at the same volume as cds.
If his cart is a MC and his pre-amp is a MM, they could be incompatible, which may be the cause of the problem. The signal is probably not being boosted enough. Even if it is a high output MC, the gain might still not be enough.
Also, a phono pre-amp should never go into a phono input of a receiver, unless the input isn't a true phono input. When using a phono pre-amp, the signal is converted to a line level input. If you put a line level input into a true phono input, you can over-load the phono input. If you aren't doing so already, I'd connect the phono pre-amp to a line level source like an AUX, CD, etc. Also keep in mind that not all inputs labeled phono on receivers are true phono inputs. I'd look for a MM/MC switch and/or a chassis ground on the receiver. If it doesn't have these, it doesn't necessarily mean it's not a true phono input. But if it does have these, then it's most likely a true phono input. If you have the receiver's manual, it should give some specs on the amount of gain, RIAA curve accuracy, etc. If none of these are present, I'd say it isn't a true phono input.
My idiot roommate in college ruined a phono input on my integrated amp. He hooked his cd player up to it when I wasn't home so he could A/B his cd player against mine. Needless to say, my phono input never sounded right after that. I couldn't get that mad though. He genuinely didn't know any better, and I rarely hooked up a turntable at the time.
Thats exactly what i was thinking. I run into similar situations alot, where people have set the gain or volume too high on there amplification and then wonder why everything is distorted at high volumes. I was just assuming that the phono input wasnt highly amplified since it has no ground attachment and is located around all of the other stereo inputs. I havent had time to mess with it yet, but i'll let you guys know how it turns out.
I've checked the manual online at Yamaha. The Phono input on the RX-V2400 has a MM gain stage in it. If you're using the Creek into the phono input, you're overloading the input by around a factor of 100...
Either plug the record deck directly into the Yamaha or plug it via the Creek into an unused input. Going via the Creek should give you better results.
The Blue Point sounds to me like the cheaper brother to the Sumiko Blue Point Special. It's a little rough and ragged in the treble but it's not too bad a cartridge which should give you a much better result than you're used to thus far. It's a high output moving coil which means it's going to sound a little quieter than your other inputs, but should be pretty sweet - especially since it didn't cost you anything!
hey guys.......thanks for the help. I decided to keep the creek inline and ran it through another input. I am amazed by the clarity and tone that this gives compaired to my old set-up. I think i may go towards a full analog set-up to compliment my new aquisition. I was thinking about a completely stand alone unit. Using a tube style amplifier to a couple of full range speakers. Is this the normal way to go about optimizing the experience of vinyl? I haven't really researched any of this yet, but i am assuming that a similar approach would give me the absolute purest sound........... thanks again for the info
hey men, keep it up with the vynil..you may try ray coniff, mantovani, clayderman, george benson(breezin), deep purple(machine head), james ingram, steely dan, super tramp(breakfast in america, assylum), bread, chicago, america, billy cobham(spectum), some stuff like hawaiian songs/instrumentals, engelbert humperdick, chuck mangioni, perez prado, etc....listen to your vynil and you will never listen to cds ever...it is so sweet that you fall asleep before the piece is completed..by the way, i am just using a fairly good system..and i can already see the difference between analog and digital sound. even by simple analogy, we know that sound is vibration...and that is the groovy thing, dan
i went to a show tonight to catch one of my favorite artists, John Vanderslice, and was fortunate enough to pick up his new album on a limited pressing of pixel revolt, cut from his 1/2" analog masters onto a double 45rpm 180 gram virgin vinyl set. Its #104 of 500 and i've got it signed. This guy is known in the indi music scene for being a recording god. He still uses all analog tape in his recordings and to get his work on vinyl as apposed to cd just keeps with that tradition. This is by far the thickest and heaviest album i own, and even though i have the cd as well, i dont think i will ever listen to it again. I feel like a total dork, bc im so excited about all of this, but its great that i am realizing this side of music all over again. Just thought i would let you all know how its going.