Sibilance / disortion

Discussion in 'Turntables' started by tw1st, Sep 8, 2017.

  1. freQ(*)Oddio

    freQ(*)Oddio Riding Eternal Tracks on a Hot Wired Train . Subscriber

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    sib occurs at the frequency where the SSSSS is, in the human voice or , any song with lots of SSS in the lyrics, will show sib the most, it is somewhat related to the cart stylus design, my stanton 500 mkII is known for a lot of sib, i think it is partially due to a stiff larger design cantilever that requires a higher tracking force,, with too light of a tracking force, a vta angle that puts the tip of the needle leaned a touch forward can help, also adding a half gram to the tracking force can help, but i really dont see this problem often with a good setup, this is from my listening and comparing, of course you will get 100 diff opinions.
     
  2. willboy

    willboy Active Member

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    I have SSSSibilance with some of my LPs, though the majority of are just fine. It's no big deal though and only intrudes unduly on a few of the LPs that do exhibit it. BTW I have a Hana EH, which I like to think is set up pretty good, I can't detect any inner groove distortion with records that are in good shape with this cartridge, The query I have is... if sibilance is in the actual recording then surly no matter how good one's set-up is, you just ain't going to eliminate it?

    I'm no expert in this this stuff, so would welcome some thoughts from folk more knowledgeable than myself?.

    Just had a copy of Roy Wood/s 'Boulders' come in this morning's mail so am off to give it a spin or two.:music:
     
  3. tw1st

    tw1st AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Certainly if there is sibilance on the master, it will also come through regardless of setup / alignment, stylus, etc. What is being referred to here specifically is sibilance or distortion that is not present on the record (i.e. testing with a known good copy of a great recording that wasn't previously damaged) but is being introduced by the cartridge / turntable. It is possible that the phono stage, speakers (?), and other parts of the system can affect this as well, but I am not interested in discussing that here.
     
  4. tw1st

    tw1st AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Thank you for this - it's what I had come to assume based on my experiences so far. It seems it all comes down to stylus: tip shape, mass, suspension, and cantilever.

    Regarding groove wear: I think it is important to get to a point with your system where you can be certain if you hear any distortion when playing a new-to-you record, it is present in the grooves. I feel that I have attained that now, and can focus on critically auditioning records both already in my collection as well as new additions, ensuring that they make the cut.
     
  5. willboy

    willboy Active Member

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    Thanks for the clarification.
     
  6. onwardjames

    onwardjames Hoardimus Maximus Subscriber

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    How did you trace it back to loose tonearm bearings? I ask because I'm amazed.

    I had a nice Sony PS-X55 turntable that now is just for cleaning my records because I could NOT fix the sibilance. I suspect it was something like this, and now, it's in a hundred pieces and not worth fixing.
     
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  7. Hajidub

    Hajidub He's a beast! Subscriber

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    This entire thread reminded me of this video:

     
  8. sqlsavior

    sqlsavior AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    That was an assumption, actually, but my confidence in it is near 100%. It was a new Pioneer PLX-1000. The tonearm bearings were so loose they rattled. Like this:

    MusicDirect advised me not to attempt adjustment, so I sent it back for a refund.
    The same cartridge and headshell had been performing magnificently in my Jelco arm.
     
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  9. needlestein

    needlestein Addicted Member

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    Assuming that you've done all your homework and set your cartridge up right, you shouldn't experience sibilance even on most hot records. What you will hear is the distortion that was put into the groove. I don't think it really matters much what kind of tip you've got, so long as it is set up correctly. If anything, fancier tips will compensate in some ways for poorer set up or for other problems, but they can create other problems, too.

    If anyone used just about any test record, they would be able to set their turntable up with zero mistracking sibilance with any cartridge/stylus that is not worn or defective in some way, provided the arm is in good order and the cartridge and arm are properly matched, period.

    But there will always be records like Peter Gabriel's So; certain tracks like "Daniel" on Elton John's Greatest Hits; and some other well-known notorious records that are problematic. One of the worst I have is by a mile is the recent "First Time Ever on Vinyl!" Dave Matthew's Band "Under the Table and Dreaming" LP release which is just hideously sibilant because the tracks are just too hot. I don't care what cartridge you are using, you're just going to have to get used to some sibilance or go back to listening to your twenty-five year old CD. If an Ortofon Quintet Black, Shure V15-VxMR, Stanton 981-HZS, or Audio-Technica AT150-MLX or AT440-MLa can't kill the sibilant distortion, then it's in the record.
     
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  10. needlestein

    needlestein Addicted Member

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    I think with regards to the Stanton 500 MKII, the problem is that the suspension is too stiff--could be hardened with age. There is nothing inherently wrong with the Stanton 500 design and the cartridge itself sounds amazing--very open and lifelike compared to a lot of four coil cartridges. The fat cantilevers can fool you. They are actually very thin walled and the main issue there is not size but mass. A cantilever that is fat but of low mass could be more rigid like the lightweight bicycles with the fat aluminum tube frames that weigh nothing and are rigid as hell.

    If you have a 500E MKII, though, the VTF range is 2+/-1, which means that while only 1g is "possible," even 3g is still within spec. So, if you have sibilance somewhere under 3g, crank it up to 3 and any sibilance will go away. In the case of a stiff suspension, I think the sibilance is simply caused by the suspension not being able to keep the tip in the groove at the tracking force it is set at. I have Stanton 500 styli of the same model that are all over the place in terms of required VTF; some work great at 1g, others need all of 3g to kill sibilance.

    With the right stylus, a Stanton 500 (or Pickering V15) can sound truly incredible in terms of audiophile performance and track lightly, too. Pickering even made a Stereohedron for the V15 1/2" mount and the P Mount version. I have yet to see even a photo of the P Mount Stereohedron for the V15 P Mount, though.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2017
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  11. mjwraw

    mjwraw Active Member

    I've never really suffered sibilance issues, but IGD was definitely something I battled with early on with lower priced TTs and cartridges. But (unfortunately for those without the necessary finance maybe ?) since I've been able to spend a bit of money on better TTs and better carts (nothing crazy mind, total outlay on TT and cartridge less than £750), and also learned more and more about TT/cartridge setup, IGD has become a thing of the past. So, from my perspective, what really defeats IGD issues is a combination of investment and experience - which is probably why so many people find vinyl a bit daunting to get right.
     
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  12. freQ(*)Oddio

    freQ(*)Oddio Riding Eternal Tracks on a Hot Wired Train . Subscriber

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    Hi needlestein, my stanton friend! short story, i purchased a nagaoka mp110 mounted and wired from lpgear, i set it up right on the money and have been braking it in on the mk5 for a few weeks, I also just put a new 500AL stylus from pfanstiehl on my 500mkII cart, the tracking says 3-7 grams on the box, also installed some new litz wires on the old cart, i was liking the Nag cart, but to compare i swapped the stanton on quick, and dialed it in and it is the sound i like, it just is, the heavy trackers can be hard you know to dial out most of the sib, but the rest is worth it. I have a new pickering DE stylus i use on the stanton also, with a low 1g tracking weight that is also great, The pickering sounds almost exactly like the nagaoka , very nice, complete and clean. But this old Broadcasting cart with the AL stylus on this table is the perfect hifi sound of the 70s, thats the only way i can explain it, you know what i mean. The low midrange and punch, is so fast, hihats, vocals thick , music sounds "different" like creates instant foot tapping lol, oh well i dont get it .enough ranting from FreQ!
     

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  13. i have found that the inability of a tt to track sibilance or that has inner groove distortion (IGD) needs cartridge alignment and or enough VTF to properly track difficult passages. nearly always, the best VTF is the maximum recommended by the manufacturer.

    an alignment protractor can be purchased or for free, you can download one at

    http://www.enjoythemusic.com/freestuff.htm.

    once done with both procedures, there should be no problem. another part of my experience is that linear tracking arms such as on mitsubishi LT models, pioneer PLL1000A (phase linear 8000) exhibit NO igd and track sibilant tracks likewise do not mistrack.
     
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  14. freQ(*)Oddio

    freQ(*)Oddio Riding Eternal Tracks on a Hot Wired Train . Subscriber

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    yes exactly, some have the means to buy the nice table because of the want to have, but if the table is not a plug and play, its a mess and they end up on ebay, if you started with nothing like some of us did, built tables from junk and learned, and worked our way up , your tables end up sounding better, are adjusted with knowledge of the components and patience. Like all Hobbys. But i like the novice questions here on AK ,it is cool to pass on some shortcuts to the new guys.:thumbsup:
     
  15. gusten

    gusten Addicted Member

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    Yes the only thing that can keep the contact between the groove and the needle, is the VTF.
    I'm not that sure about alignments though, there are other factors that will decide small mistracking, as I see it. One thing is that when groove modulations become too steep, the forces for the needle to follow the groove, will be too small. And the resulting force acting on the needle, will point to the pivot.

    So, as You say, a linear tracker will have much less problems, as the inner modulations will be less steep.

    I we talk about s-sounds with problems, these are nearly always mono cut. Some can be very hard to track, so instead the needle will jump up and down. That is the reason for the special shh sound.​
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2017
  16. needlestein

    needlestein Addicted Member

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    I hear you. You don't need to convince me! Glad you're enjoying that oldie but goodie. I have been interested in Nagaoka myself, but I haven't taken the plunge yet. The Stanton/Pickering sound is great. Maybe it's not for everyone, but you probably know about my cartridge collection, but what did I fall asleep to last night? KOB on the P Mount deck with the Pickering XL-25U/DL-2E (with the Stanton 500 coils that I put in). It's just my cup of tea.

    Those high trackers will be sibilant unless you set them at the VTF the manufacturer requires. Not much more to it than that. Just like the light trackers will bottom out if you try to get a fuller more powerful sound by giving them 3g tracking force. You can't run a DJ stylus like it's an "audiophile" stylus. But those DJ styli do things that audiophile styli don't--like cause the speakers to move a lot of air. They've got more amps and they're generally faster!
     
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