Spinning on the Turntable now...

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esimms86

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Thanks Kap. After being away from vinyl for decades, I tried to get back into it a few years ago, after one of my work clients just up and gave me a beautiful Sony PS-X70 table! I could hardly believe it.

After a couple hours' repair time it was working perfectly, but it had no cartridge. The only one I still had around was a Shure M105E - not a terrible cart, but it's actually a P-Mount in a 1/2" adapter, and the combination is too tall to set VTA correctly on this table. Plus, it's a bit too compliant for this heavy tonearm. So I played a few records on it and eventually lost interest. That was probably 5 years ago.

So last week I was screwing around with this stuff again, and was once again seduced by the whole vinyl mystique/ritual/nostalgia/etc. But I soon realized that this cart is just not working with this table!

I'm a bit pissed at myself for having half-assed this whole experiment the way I did a few years ago. So I decided to use a bit of my gummint' Covid check to give it one more try with some proper gear. We'll see...
Congrats! You still have enough money left to go down the disc cleaning system rabbit hole!
 

kap'n krunch

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That's exactly why it's one of my favorite Cars albums. It sounds like no other...so quirky, offbeat.
this is the kind of "twisted" recommendation by which you end up loving an album you did not understand...
I DO love "Candy-O", my fave LP of theirs which is quite offbeat...
I shall report back...
 
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Jim the Oldbie

My right elbow hurts.
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Langlais Box.jpg


Holy Hell what a difference a cartridge makes!!

All the stuff I used to hate about vinyl - mistracking, inner groove mush, etc. etc. - has it magically disappeared? No, but it's waay down from what I remember. Even the 52-year-old, family heirloom Bob Ludwig Led Zeppelin II has gone from unlistenable to not too bad at all! Definitely was NOT expecting that!

No matter the record, this is by far the cleanest, clearest top end I've ever heard from vinyl. I can still hear the inner grooves doing that familiar struggle about halfway through the last song, but it's nothing like it was - no longer that disappointing descent into garbage. Even those old, overproduced Todd Rundgren records - do they sound cleaner than the CDs? No, but they're noticeably less teeth-grating than I ever thought these plastic waffles could sound.

Also, along with the new cart I bought an inexpensive Boundless carbon-fiber brush. It must be doing a much better job than the trusty old Discwasher, because surface noise is also greatly reduced.

By far the most wonderful surprise tonight is organ music! My mom was an organist, and had a pretty nice collection of great organ recordings on LP (some of them hard to find these days) which I rescued from the estate sale after she passed away 9 years ago. As I'm sure many of you know, this music is a challenge to reproduce correctly, and is one of the categories that I used to just avoid on vinyl because it always sounded so bad to me. I am astonished by how good these records are working now! Man I wish Ma was still around to hear this - she would really dig it.

This time the turntable is NOT going back into the closet. :love: (Jeez that reminds me I gotta update my equipment profile, hee!)

P.S. Sorry for all the thread creep - I'll pipe down now. :geek:
 
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J. PUPSTER

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Holy Hell what a difference a cartridge makes!!

All the stuff I used to hate about vinyl - mistracking, inner groove mush, etc. etc. - has it magically disappeared? No, but it's waay down from what I remember. Even the 52-year-old, family heirloom Bob Ludwig Led Zeppelin II has gone from unlistenable to not too bad at all! Definitely was NOT expecting that!

No matter the record, this is by far the cleanest, clearest top end I've ever heard from vinyl. I can still hear the inner grooves doing that familiar struggle about halfway through the last song, but it's nothing like it was - no longer that disappointing descent into garbage. Even those old, overproduced Todd Rundgren records - do they sound cleaner than the CDs? No, but they're noticeably less teeth-grating than I ever thought these plastic waffles could sound.

Also, along with the new cart I bought an inexpensive Boundless carbon-fiber brush. It must be doing a much better job than the trusty old Discwasher, because surface noise is also greatly reduced.

By far the most wonderful surprise tonight is organ music! My mom was an organist, and had a pretty nice collection of great organ recordings on LP (some of them hard to find these days) which I rescued from the estate sale after she passed away 9 years ago. As I'm sure many of you know, this music is a challenge to reproduce correctly, and is one of the categories that I used to just avoid on vinyl because it always sounded so bad to me. I am astonished by how good these records are working now! Man I wish Ma was still around to hear this - she would really dig it.

This time the turntable is NOT going back into the closet. :love: (Jeez that reminds me I gotta update my equipment profile, hee!)

P.S. Sorry for all the thread creep - I'll pipe down now. :geek:
Wait, hold up... talk about foreplay without the payoff! Which Cart?
 

Jim the Oldbie

My right elbow hurts.
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:ROFLMAO: I mentioned it back up there a ways Pups! It's an Audio-Technica AT-VM95ML.

I have the turntable running directly into a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 2-chan. USB audio interface (1st generation), using the single-ended Instrument level inputs, with added 47K input load resistors in parallel for proper cartridge loading. This is connected via USB to the audio playback PC in the big rig, running at 96 Khz/24 bit. RIAA phono EQ is handled by the playback software, Foobar2000.

I was a little apprehensive about doing the phono EQ in software like this, but it actually sounds smoother than the analog phono stage in my Sony STR-GX9 ES receiver (the only decent analog phono preamp I have here), so... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

One other tech note: I mentioned somewhere above that I was gonna try to calibrate the response using the frequency sweeps on CBS Test Record STR 100. This experiment was a bust! I was seeing a little hump around 500 Hz, plus the whole high end was considerably rolled off. I added a couple of filters to Foobar to get a nice smooth sweep from 40 to 15000 Hz, but when I went back to play some actual music, everything sounded screechy and terrible! So I went back to just the RIAA deemphasis filter. Not sure what happened there - more research is indicated. :geek:

EDIT: Just read the notes a little closer on CBS STR 100: "Provides a constant amplitude characteristic below 500 Hz and a constant velocity characteristic above 500 Hz." Oops, heh. When I factor that in, the -15 dB I was seeing at 15 KHz is pretty close. :rolleyes:
 
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marpow

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I thought you might enjoy this documentary that I watched on DirecTV in 4K last night. It was real good, and explored the hobby of record collecting. It showed the obsessive and enjoyable side to record collecting.
One thing it did not show which I thought was interesting, not one scene had any audiophile gear or expensive listening rigs. Just a bunch of guys and gals listening to records, no sweet spots, super turn tables, speakers, etc, just listening to music through records (vinyl). The only universal complaint from the record collectors is the amount of space the albums take up.
I think you will enjoy this.
 

Jim the Oldbie

My right elbow hurts.
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Which Way to Main Street.jpg


Wheee!! I feel like a kid with a new toy!

For those unfamiliar, Wendy Waldman is a singer-songwriter who has done some pretty cool stuff down through the years. I've always enjoyed her solo LPs, especially this one. Which Way to Main Street was kind of a departure from her usual folk-rock style, with more of an early-80s edge. Some of the tunes haven't aged as well, but others are still great - the opening track for example, her original version of "Heart Beat" (with guest guitar solo by Peter Frampton), will make you forget all about that silly Don Johnson cover if you haven't already.

Unfortunately, although I love the music, this LP has always sounded kind of buzzy and weird on every turntable I've played it on. As I began collecting CDs to replace my favorite titles, I watched & waited for a cleaner copy of this one to be issued on a shiny little disc, but it never happened. A couple of her others came out & sounded very nice, but this title didn't get the same reviews back in the day, so it languished.

Then one day (maybe 10 or 15 years ago?) I saw an announcement on Wendy's site that she would be making copies of this album available on CD directly from her! I ordered one immediately, and received it quickly, with a nice handwritten thank-you note even! But alas, the CD-R was just a vinyl rip! And not a good one, either - it sounded even worse than my copy! I'm guessing this was one of those deals where Wendy owned the rights to her music but not her master tapes? At any rate, I gave up on ever hearing a clean copy of this music.

UNTIL TODAY! Once again I can't believe this sound was on this record the whole time! Her great voice, that big jangly grand piano (gotta be a Baldwin), loud drums & cymbals - they ain't perfect, but they're so SO much better than I ever thought I'd hear them!!

Yipeee!! :love:
 
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esimms86

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View attachment 65675

Wheee!! I feel like a kid with a new toy!

For those unfamiliar, Wendy Waldman is a singer-songwriter who has done some pretty cool stuff down through the years. I've always enjoyed her solo LPs, especially this one. Which Way to Main Street was kind of a departure from her usual folk-rock style, with more of an early-80s edge. Some of the tunes haven't aged as well, but others are still great - the opening track for example, her original version of "Heart Beat" (with guest guitar solo by Peter Frampton), will make you forget all about that silly Don Johnson cover if you haven't already.

Unfortunately, although I love the music, this LP has always sounded kind of buzzy and weird on every turntable I've played it on. As I began collecting CDs to replace my favorite titles, I watched & waited for a cleaner copy of this one to be issued on a shiny little disc, but it never happened. A couple of her others came out & sounded very nice, but this title didn't get the same reviews back in the day, so it languished.

Then one day (maybe 10 or 15 years ago?) I saw an announcement on Wendy's site that she would be making copies of this album available on CD directly from her! I ordered one immediately, and received it quickly, with a nice handwritten thank-you note even! But alas, the CD-R was just a vinyl rip! And not a good one, either - it sounded even worse than my copy! I'm guessing this was one of those deals where Wendy owned the rights to her music but not her master tapes? At any rate, I gave up on ever hearing a clean copy of this music.

UNTIL TODAY! Once again I can't believe this sound was on this record the whole time! Her great voice, that big jangly grand piano (gotta be a Baldwin), loud drums & cymbals - they ain't perfect, but they're so SO much better than I ever thought I'd hear them!!

Yipeee!! :love:
Most cool! I can’t like your post enough! I too am a major WW fan and, though I still own a copy of WWTMS on vinyl, I sadly no longer have a turntable. I may end up buying one one of these days if I keep buying deluxe boxes that include vinyl LOL! Anyway, I have all of her recordings on CD(and I used to own them all on vinyl).

BTW, I love the drumming on the title track. Also BTW, WW and the studio band rock out seriously on a few tracks on the album, Strange Company(“Train Running” easily topping the list).

What do you think of her recordings with Bryndle and with the Refugees? My guess is that you were equally disappointed by the sound quality on Letters Home which, to my ears, also sounds really dated.

As a complete album listening experience you can’t go wrong with The Main Refrain! And it has a guest vocals by Taj Mahal and Linda Ronstadt to make it even sweeter! In fact, “The Eagle and the Owl” has not only great vocal interplay between WW and Linda R; it also has stellar slide guitar playing by the late great Kenny Edwards.

Okay, I’ve said enough here and you definitely get my point LOL!
 

Jim the Oldbie

My right elbow hurts.
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Yes! I figured there was another fan out there somewhere.

Great drum sound throughout this album - recorded at the legendary Cherokee Studios in L.A., produced & engineered (in part) by Eddie Kramer. A high point for me is the last track on Side A, "Time Like Your Wire Wheels," which I can finally hear properly!

I also love Strange Company, which fortunately had a decent-sounding CD reissue. I confess that I kinda lost track after Letters Home - I have heard some Bryndle, but it didn't grab me as much at the time - I'll give it another try. Also I forgot about The Main Refrain! I will seek it out immediately; I'm sure I'll like that one.
 

esimms86

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Yes! I figured there was another fan out there somewhere.

Great drum sound throughout this album - recorded at the legendary Cherokee Studios in L.A., produced & engineered (in part) by Eddie Kramer. A high point for me is the last track on Side A, "Time Like Your Wire Wheels," which I can finally hear properly!

I also love Strange Company, which fortunately had a decent-sounding CD reissue. I confess that I kinda lost track after Letters Home - I have heard some Bryndle, but it didn't grab me as much at the time - I'll give it another try. Also I forgot about The Main Refrain! I will seek it out immediately; I'm sure I'll like that one.
...there are probably even more of us out there amongst the posters and the lurkers. I was going to mention “Time Like Your Wire Wheels” as my other favorite on the album but I thought that I had already said enough. I too love the drum sound on that whole album. Cherokee must be one of those studios with a great drum sound, like Sound City.

The Bryndle albums have a couple of stellar tracks on each but the albums are otherwise pretty uneven, as are the Refugees album. I couldn’t really recommend them. BTW, there is no “!” for “The Main Refrain.”
 

Jim the Oldbie

My right elbow hurts.
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An Elpee's Worth of Tunes.jpg


Would You Buy a Used Car from This Man?

I love this crazy-ass album so much.

People talk a lot about Something/Anything?, and they're absolutely right of course - so much sweet pop-rock goodness on that one, it'll leave you sore for sure. But for me, this is peak Todd right here. In all its glorious weirdness, this will always be one of my top-10, desert island albums.

"I can't explain
What's in my brain
That tells me where to go
But I think you know"
 

esimms86

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View attachment 65698

Would You Buy a Used Car from This Man?

I love this crazy-ass album so much.

People talk a lot about Something/Anything?, and they're absolutely right of course - so much sweet pop-rock goodness on that one, it'll leave you sore for sure. But for me, this is peak Todd right here. In all its glorious weirdness, this will always be one of my top-10, desert island albums.

"I can't explain
What's in my brain
That tells me where to go
But I think you know"
Jim, you’re killing me! And it’s all about an Elpee worth of tunes. Okay, this is your last ride, your little game is over. How’s that make your denominator feel?!!!
 

privateuniverse

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View attachment 65698

Would You Buy a Used Car from This Man?

I love this crazy-ass album so much.

People talk a lot about Something/Anything?, and they're absolutely right of course - so much sweet pop-rock goodness on that one, it'll leave you sore for sure. But for me, this is peak Todd right here. In all its glorious weirdness, this will always be one of my top-10, desert island albums.

"I can't explain
What's in my brain
That tells me where to go
But I think you know"
Great album. I can only imagine what a great 5.1 mix would sound like.

About ten years ago, Todd did a tour where he played most of the album. I caught three nights, all amazing shows. I was at the show where the DVD was filmed. During the singalong at the end of "Sons of 1984" the camera does a close up on me. I thought that would be my big break, but so far Hollywood hasn't come calling, LOL.
 

esimms86

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Great album. I can only imagine what a great 5.1 mix would sound like.

About ten years ago, Todd did a tour where he played most of the album. I caught three nights, all amazing shows. I was at the show where the DVD was filmed. During the singalong at the end of "Sons of 1984" the camera does a close up on me. I thought that would be my big break, but so far Hollywood hasn't come calling, LOL.
Hollywood, it seems, has been remiss in not entering your private universe.
 
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