Should your turntable have a sound?

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lenjack
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Should your turntable have a sound?

Post by lenjack » 16 Jan 2019 17:42

I stirred up a bit of a hornet's nest in July, when I asked if your cartridge should have a sound. This led to a mostly, well reasoned 10 page discussion. I'd like to do it again. I absolutely don't believe quality tables should leave their imprint on the sound. Of course, some--many--will disagree. Correct speed, extremely low w&f, and rumble, low arm resonance, low arm friction. I recognize that care need be taken on the arm cart match to get the low freq resonance tamed. If all this is done, they should sound the same. I'm putting on my armor, so fire away.

Fremer will have a fit if he sees this. #-o :wink: :roll:

Spinner45
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Re: Should your turntable have a sound?

Post by Spinner45 » 16 Jan 2019 17:50

I can hear a soft quiet "click" from my turntable when the cuing solenoid kicks in to lower the tonearm.
And once the automatic muting slowly releases a second or so after the stylus hits the record, I can hear the background noise level of the record itself, before the music starts playing.
But that's all I can hear.

lenjack
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Re: Should your turntable have a sound?

Post by lenjack » 16 Jan 2019 18:51

But that's not a musical sound, which is what I was aiming at.

Audiodude
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Re: Should your turntable have a sound?

Post by Audiodude » 16 Jan 2019 18:53

This is my understanding as well. It seems to me that as long as the platter is spinning at proper speed(consistently) and the geometry is correct, what's to be different? Unless you are talking about, what I consider to be deficiencies like rumble or some other induced noise. I wouldn't think it should have a particular sound like a guitar.

vinylrayk
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Re: Should your turntable have a sound?

Post by vinylrayk » 16 Jan 2019 19:26

No. It should be completely neutral.

Ray K

vanakaru
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Re: Should your turntable have a sound?

Post by vanakaru » 16 Jan 2019 22:06

Yes, everything sounds different even in different time a day. So I don't see how there could be completely neutral sound and how would you determine it.
The only close to "neutral sound" would be listening the master tape in the same mastering room with the same speakers as used when mastering. Also weather should be the same.

KentT
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Re: Should your turntable have a sound?

Post by KentT » 16 Jan 2019 22:18

A proper turntable adds no color or subtracts no color. It's accurate and neutral.

dahoo
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Re: Should your turntable have a sound?

Post by dahoo » 16 Jan 2019 22:33

tonearm wires, cartridge wires and rca cable's capacitance should also be considered as a factor affecting the sound of a table.

analogaudio
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Re: Should your turntable have a sound?

Post by analogaudio » 16 Jan 2019 23:47

Individual opinions are irrelevant, the performance of a turntable is quantifiable using measurements of frequency response, distortion, wow and flutter and noise.

nat
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Re: Should your turntable have a sound?

Post by nat » 17 Jan 2019 00:54

Well, what do you mean by low resonance? No arm has zero resonances, and neither does any turntable. And no turntable is immune to acoustic feedback. And they all have some rumble, wow, flutter and so on.
Maybe the resonances and other imperfections are low, but the question still is, how do they interact with the rest of your system? Simple numbers are of limited help, because a couple of dB peak or valley may be euphonic at one frequency and not at another.
I doubt if amps that were not flat frequency would be given a pass by many audiophiles. Three dB represents twice the power, so a dB or two is not negligible. Certainly the audible results of uneven frequencies may differ from type of component to another - speakers, especially in real rooms are so uneven in their response that it is possible to wonder why we care about anything upstream. Right up to the moment you actually listen, since you can very easily listen through speaker problems to hear amp and source issues.
I'm not sure what the purpose of positing the idea that cartridges and turntables shouldn't have a sound. They do. Any mechanical object has resonances and friction, any electrical component has capacitance, inductance, and resistance (and RF interference) and any magnetic object is subject to saturation, cancellation and so on.
It's like economists positing a perfectly spherical cow for milking (to use an image from another thread).

lenjack
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Re: Should your turntable have a sound?

Post by lenjack » 17 Jan 2019 02:05

vanakaru wrote:
16 Jan 2019 22:06
Yes, everything sounds different even in different time a day. So I don't see how there could be completely neutral sound and how would you determine it.
The only close to "neutral sound" would be listening the master tape in the same mastering room with the same speakers as used when mastering. Also weather should be the same.
So now, we ask should all tape decks sound the same? #-o [-X

lenjack
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Re: Should your turntable have a sound?

Post by lenjack » 17 Jan 2019 02:08

analogaudio wrote:
16 Jan 2019 23:47
Individual opinions are irrelevant, the performance of a turntable is quantifiable using measurements of frequency response, distortion, wow and flutter and noise.
No, distortion, as we normally quantify it, is a product of the cartridge, as is fr response.

lbls1
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Re: Should your turntable have a sound?

Post by lbls1 » 17 Jan 2019 03:23

A turntable's characteristic can shape sound. The turntable itself should be almost totally silent IMO to be considered a quality unit.

klegier
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Re: Should your turntable have a sound?

Post by klegier » 17 Jan 2019 05:38

Very relevant topic....it caught my attention. Some folks (snobs?) on FB told me I should upgrade my Pioneer PL-12D, presumably because it did not meet their definition of "Quality". I was taken aback, because mine is totally silent, functions smoothly, and speed is spot on (using one of those strobe discs - no wow and flutter measurement..). The factors IMO that affect the sound are all electrical in nature. The connection of the headshell to the tonearm, the tonearm wires, the RCA plugs (or DIN) and the solder joints holding them together. If the power supply is not making noise (sufficiently shielded), the platter does not induce rumble (sufficiently damped), and all other functional items work, then there should be no "sound" coming from the table itself. I referred to it as a "passive" device. The connections (solder/mechanical joints), wires and plugs will introduce their own character to the sound however.

The tonearm "may" introduce something, but I can't quantify it. If all the electrical stuff is identical, I can see a "very" small potential for the tonearm to introduce its own character, and even then, it would be extremely small. Probably mainly a function of mass. Given proper setup tweaking, I believe that you could "approximate" the differences in carbon, steel, aluminum, etc tonearms. I don't know that one could hear a difference though (in just the tonearms).

Then of course setup...but I don't consider this a function of the 'table itself, it is the human factor. The table can't help it if it is not adjusted correctly.

The cart on the other hand.....

Spinner45
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Re: Should your turntable have a sound?

Post by Spinner45 » 17 Jan 2019 06:30

klegier wrote:
17 Jan 2019 05:38
Very relevant topic....it caught my attention. Some folks (snobs?) on FB told me I should upgrade my Pioneer PL-12D, presumably because it did not meet their definition of "Quality".

The cart on the other hand.....
Pray tell, what sort of "suggestions" did these folks give to you?
I'd love to hear.

Because a properly running PL12D, even in today's world, would certainly out-perform a lot of the stuff made today.

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