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Turntable action

Flint

Dog Faced Pony Soldier
Superstar
This series of responses makes me want to find every for sale advertisement for old shitty Altec home stereo speakers and post them here.
 

rammisframmis

Well-Known Member
This series of responses makes me want to find every for sale advertisement for old shitty Altec home stereo speakers and post them here.
Well regardless, speaking as a person who was an engineer at the Altec factory and know their products very well, I'm sure you can imagine that their marketing department might possibly have cast some of their products in a better-than-reality light? The problem is that if you weren't actually there, you don't know what you don't know. :moon:
 
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Wardsweb

Renaissance man
@Flint if you're ever down San Antonio way, drop me a line. You are more than welcome to stop by to hear some tunes and even spin some of your vinyl, if you care to bring it. Otherwise, I have plenty of vinyl, digital and even reel to reel from the likes of The Tape Project and others.
 

rammisframmis

Well-Known Member
How about these sexy Fisher speakers?

https://austin.craigslist.org/ele/d/vintage-1960s-fisher-xp-10/6259398681.html

15" woofers and Horns!!!
I don't have experience with Fisher speakers at all, but the fact that the crossover at least uses air core inductors and a film capacitor at least looks promising. Altec routinely used iron core inductors even in their professional speakers, and iron core inductors can saturate which causes distortion. Also, film capacitors are obviously better than electrolytics if for no other reason than the fact that they don't age from electrolyte drying out.

The thing is, most of the masses in the 60s and 70s were a lot less fussy about speaker fidelity until companies like Wilson made speakers like the WATT (Wilson Audio Tiny Tot), which added finesse to the mix. Things like diffraction weren't even on the radar. People thought a great speaker was one which made their Chicago albums thump (Cerwin Vega comes to mind). Altec's home speakers fit right in to that world. It was a frightening time to be alive.
 

Flint

Dog Faced Pony Soldier
Superstar
UPDATE: I've progressed on my Turntable since my last post about it.

I have done several small things. I purchased and use the following items:
an original Rega dust cover for the turntable from Amazon.
a heavy brass spindle weight with a bubble level which makes it easier to ensure the platter if level to the ground
the classic Discwasher brush system, haven't used it much since my LPs have been very well cared for
a good stylus brush

In the process of cleaning up my library / drum room area I came across the other halve of my LP collection which I now need to find some sort of storage for near my turntable. I don't want to climb the stairs every time I want to listen to an LP or to return an LP to storage.

I also visited my local record store, yes, we still have one, and it was like going back in time. When I walked it the wreak of sandlewood incense filled the air and the owner was playing "Rubber Soul". For me it was a moment of timelessness and I could have been 14 years old all over again. I laughed when the Beatles LP started skipping in the middle of one song and when the owner moved the needle to the next song it started skipping during that one too. Once I found the new LPs for sale, I was dismayed. Almost all of them were priced above $30, and all of the disks I was interested in buying were priced over $40. That's too much for me. I want to support my local shop, but damn! On Amazon I was able to buy a couple of new pressings I wanted for under $20 - but I truly do want to support my local shop. So, I started digging through the used bins, which was depressing. The vast majority of the albums were completely uninteresting to me or I already owned them. The few I would have purchased, again, were priced between $10 and $20, which is way too much for used LP unless it is in absolute mint condition, and these were clearly not mint. Most has residue marks from wet cleaning, some had visible radiating scratches which ran across the groove, and others looked visibly pitted or marked. One Zappa CD I was particularly interested in was so warped, I didn't want to take the chance of flattening it out for $15. So, I ended up walking out without any new stuff. Sad. This store was great though - not only did they have LPs, but they had CDs, Cassettes, 8-track tapes, VHS tapes, Beta tapes, DVD, and more. They even had the "adult" section is a separated room. I mean, this was such a throwback for me. Even the owner was a stereotype - a roundish fellow with a Benjamin Franklin bald patch on the top of his head and long salt and pepper hair below, long grey / white beard, glistening eyes, and pudgy fingers. He was wearing a tie-dye "keep Austin weird" T-Shirt, loose pajama pants (like those Indian or Thai pants), and sandals. Dangling on the end of his nose was a pair of cheap reading glasses. He was super-nice and I wanted to stay and just talk and learn about him and his history. It was amazing. I will definitely be going back just for the atmosphere.

Anyway, I generally listen to a few LPs every week, which constitutes but a small part of my music time. I am enjoying hearing music I haven't heard in decades, as the LPs I am focused on are those which have become rare and in most cases have never been re-released on CD or streaming. It helps me recall my history, which is nice now that I am alone again and can spend energy reliving my turbulent past.

That's it.
 
D

Deleted member 133

Guest
I recently had my Pioneer RG-1 Dynamic Range Expander fully refurbished and put back into the vinyl "path" in my main HT, where it resides along with an SAE 5000 Impulse Noise Reduction unit.

When adjusted properly, those two units working in concert really help my old (but nearly pristine) vinyl sound more CD-like. Quite the improvement I must say.

Actually, I also throw a dbx 100 Subharmonic Synthesizer (connected to a dedicated subwoofer) to add another octave of sound to the bottom end, something I find that vinyl, unlike CD, lacks all too frequently.

Vinyl Nirvana!

Jeff "The Vinyl Purist" Mackwood
 

Randy

Well-Known Member
Famous
I have one if those Pioneer RG 1's in storage in the loft of my garage.

Holy classic audio crap.
 

TitaniumTroy

Well-Known Member
I have a feeling that instead of hot chick's to come over and see Flint's, Mid-Century Modern Man Cave. It will be Michael Fremer, coming over to show Flint his world famous turntable set up demo. Yeah, this TooL right here,
 

Flint

Dog Faced Pony Soldier
Superstar
Well, after months of trying to get back to vinyl using the best gear I've ever put in my home, tuning it perfectly and confirming the adjustments with other experts I trust, I can honestly say I can never get into Vinyl.

I've tried. I've really, really tried.

But, across the board the stereo separation is audibly poor, the phase artifacts are significant enough to always be audible, the dynamic range and resulting "impact" are terrible, and the fidelity of the inner grooves is unbearable. Yesterday I listened to several modern pressings and on every single disk the music at the inner portions of the LP was always grainy, noisy, narrowed in frequency response, narrowed in dynamic range, and lacking in clarity. It just flat out doesn't work for me.

With my calibrated audio systems where I can get pinpoint imaging, so good that you'd swear there was a center channel and side surround speakers, when listening to digital sources, the LP performance is washed out with almost no pinpoint imaging. On the CD of an album the voice will be clearly dead center in front of my as if the singer is standing right there while on the LP version of the same album, the singer is like a ghost spread across the front of the room across a few feet. I cannot pinpoint the singer at all. Nor do effects sounds, like a tambourine, cowbell, shakers, and other percussion instruments which I can single out on the CD versions of the song and yet are blended in and hard to precisely locate on the LP version.

The noise floor isn't the problem - except on the songs which come at the ends of each side of the LP. It is the lack of real dynamics and the flattened, fatter, looser dynamics of the LP that go across all the songs that bothers me. The bass cannot shake the room or impress me at how well my speakers perform. The shimmer of a cymbal decaying away after being hit on a CD comes off was a warbling ghostlike airy sound that could be coming from anywhere.

Sorry, I tried.

LPs really do suck unless you want to listen to music as if you are underwater.
 

Flint

Dog Faced Pony Soldier
Superstar
I mean, just do the simple math...

At the outer edge of an LP the radius (to the start of audio tracks) is about 5.75". At the innermost portion of the audio, the radius is about 3" for high end disks and as low as 2" for the super long play disks.

At the outer edge, the linear velocity of the vinyl groove under the stylus is about 10 inches per second (IPS). at the 3" radius point, the linear velocity is about 5.2 IPS. At the 2" radius point for super long play records, the velocity is almost 3.5 IPS.

So, the linear velocity at the inner grooves could be 1/2 to 1/3 that of the outer groove.

As a general rule, as seen in old reel-to-reel spec sheets, half the medium speed usually translates into a significant reduction in S/N, reduction in high frequency amplitude capability, and increased distortion. S/N is a fairly linear spec, so half the speed means about halving of S/N (3dB), or a change from, say, 45dB to 42dB. The channel separation is likely to go down, but that isn't a linear characteristic, so it could anywhere from 2dB to 6dB depending on the frequency. The treble extension could drop from over 20kHz to as low as 13kHz. The bass can be just as deep, but the amplitude has to be more well controlled.

In general, it just isn't a good thing.
 

Flint

Dog Faced Pony Soldier
Superstar
A huge part of my issue is that I started hearing these problems back when i had no choice - vinyl was the best format available to me. I knew it should be better. Now, even on the finest LP systems in the world, those characteristics are still present and I can hear them.
 

Dentman

Well-Known Member
You've got a good look going on in your family room. Since I dont ever see you really doing any critical listening with LP's your choice makes perfect sense.
 

Flint

Dog Faced Pony Soldier
Superstar
Here's a frequency response and THD chart a hardcore hobbyist in Italy made and presented in his video review of a Benz cartridge.

Benz_Cartridge_Performance_2020-03-22 (1).jpg

As you can see, the frequency response is pretty smooth, but not exactly flat. There is a max in the range from 50Hz to 150Hz and a 2dB valley between 2kHz and 5kHz. This is likely a very pleasing sounding cartridge, because we are more sensitive in the midrange and tend to like our bass a little hot, even if just a bit so as this cartridge does.

Of course, I have to make the comparison to a digital source which has a perfectly flat response from below 20H to 19kHz.

The THD on this cartridge is pretty good with a max of about 4.0% at 155Hz and a second peak of 2.5% at 6kHz. The THD in the bass end probably adds a sound of "warmth" and "strength" while listening to music. The THD in the midrange probably increases the "detail" by adding higher frequency harmonics which can be pleasing to the ears. Most THD in these systems is stronger on the even order harmonics, which tend to be more pleasing.

By comparison, the THD in a digital source is well below 0.01% across the frequency range. So, these THD specs are an order of magnitude louder, and very audible - even if pleasing.

So, accuracy and signal purity is not the result of this high end cartridge, but it may sound nice to those who love this sort of sound - as many do.
 
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