the home of the turntable

Increased needle chatter from AT95E?

snap, crackle and pop

Increased needle chatter from AT95E?

Postby shoehorn_ » 20 Oct 2017 16:34

Hi,

Two months ago I bought the AT-LP120 and I'm absolutely loving the whole vinyl-collecting experience.

However, recently I've noticed a rather loud needle chatter coming from the ATN95E stylus (i.e. music plays even though amp is off). I know some needle chatter is normal and the loudness varies per stylus type, but I have the feeling that in my case the loudness of it has increased. I used to not even know it was there, until three days ago.

To describe its loudness: the songs are distinguishable up to 2 metres (~6.5 feet) away from the turntable (and up till around 3 metres it's audible). When I'm up close I can clearly hear the vocals, even with dust cover.

Anti-skate and tracking force should be OK (force confirmed with gauge: 2.0). Turntable is level. The alignment seems fine too, although I find this a bit more difficult to judge. I didn't replace the stylus/cartridge so I would assume the alignment to be unchanged since I installed the table (and I've only noticed the chatter recently). I cleaned the needle and under a 10x magnifying glass it looks clean & normal to me.

The chatter itself does not disturb me at all, as the speaker sound drowns the noise. It's my worry that something could be wrong that disturbs me. Currently I'm not playing any valuable records as I don't want to damage them.

The only two things I can think of are:

1) The needle got damaged somehow and it's not visible (at least to my newbie eyes)
2) This loud chatter is actually normal and it's been there all the time

Do you perhaps have any idea if this amount of needle chatter is normal for the ATN95E, and if not, what could be the cause?

Thanks so much,
shoehorn_
shoehorn_
 
Posts: 3
Joined: 18 Oct 2017 13:47

Re: Increased needle chatter from AT95E?

Postby ponytrekker » 21 Oct 2017 19:38

Just a thought - the deck has 78rpm capability? You are not using the wrong stylus? ie - 78rpm for 33/45 or vice versa? That might increase the level of 'chatter'.
ponytrekker
member
member
 
Posts: 109
Joined: 30 May 2015 17:18

United Kingdom

Re: Increased needle chatter from AT95E?

Postby shoehorn_ » 21 Oct 2017 23:02

ponytrekker wrote:Just a thought - the deck has 78rpm capability? You are not using the wrong stylus? ie - 78rpm for 33/45 or vice versa? That might increase the level of 'chatter'.


Thanks for your reply. The ATN95E stylus is designed for 33/45 RPM so this shouldn't be a problem. To play 78 RPM records one needs to buy a different stylus.

Just double-checked the alignment and all seems in order. Makes me worried that perhaps the stylus is indeed damaged :(
shoehorn_
 
Posts: 3
Joined: 18 Oct 2017 13:47

Re: Increased needle chatter from AT95E?

Postby ponytrekker » 21 Oct 2017 23:53

That's right - the groove of a 78rpm record is bigger, likewise the stylus tip. People often think 78 records are 'hissy' - usually because they are playing them with LP styli and the hiss is the smaller stylus tip rattling around in the groove. You should be able to spot damage with a magnifying lens. Do you have a genuine AT stylus - rather than a generic 'replacement' stylus? They can be of very poor quality. You do seem to be getting a bit more chatter than it is reasonable to expect. Have you checked that the stylus is fully pushed home into the cartridge body?
ponytrekker
member
member
 
Posts: 109
Joined: 30 May 2015 17:18

United Kingdom

Re: Increased needle chatter from AT95E?

Postby Vinylfreak86 » 22 Oct 2017 11:09

If I understand your problem, you are worried, because you hear a music from cartridge also when amplifier is turned off. But that is normal. Also with cartridges, which have lower output, you can hear the sound when playing and amp is off. It is not loud, but you can hear it.
Vinylfreak86
senior member
senior member
 
Posts: 776
Joined: 07 Jan 2016 17:02

Slovenia

Re: Increased needle chatter from AT95E?

Postby shoehorn_ » 22 Oct 2017 12:17

ponytrekker wrote:That's right - the groove of a 78rpm record is bigger, likewise the stylus tip. People often think 78 records are 'hissy' - usually because they are playing them with LP styli and the hiss is the smaller stylus tip rattling around in the groove. You should be able to spot damage with a magnifying lens. Do you have a genuine AT stylus - rather than a generic 'replacement' stylus? They can be of very poor quality. You do seem to be getting a bit more chatter than it is reasonable to expect. Have you checked that the stylus is fully pushed home into the cartridge body?


Thanks. Yes, it's the original stylus that came with the table. The stylus seems fully pushed home into the cartridge.
When looking through a magnifying glass (10X) I cannot spot any damage, though since I'm new to this I may be missing something.
I may just buy a new ATN95E stylus and see if that solves the problem. If it does, then at least I will know the stylus was indeed the issue.

Vinylfreak86 wrote:If I understand your problem, you are worried, because you hear a music from cartridge also when amplifier is turned off. But that is normal. Also with cartridges, which have lower output, you can hear the sound when playing and amp is off. It is not loud, but you can hear it.


Thanks, you are correct. However, should it be audible 2-3 metres from the turntable? I'm mostly concerned because I had not heard the needle chatter before, and I'm not sure whether I simply hadn't noticed it previously or if something else (e.g. damage) causes it.
shoehorn_
 
Posts: 3
Joined: 18 Oct 2017 13:47

Re: Increased needle chatter from AT95E?

Postby BMRR » 22 Oct 2017 15:31

shoehorn_ wrote:However, should it be audible 2-3 metres from the turntable? I'm mostly concerned because I had not heard the needle chatter before, and I'm not sure whether I simply hadn't noticed it previously or if something else (e.g. damage) causes it.


You should not hear it that far away unless you're in a room that is absolutely dead silent. I'm very familiar with the AT95E, having owned several of them. I own other cartridges and styli whose needle chatter is much louder than the AT95E.

It is possible that you simply hadn't noticed it previously, but I completely understand your concern.

Buying a replacement stylus is a good idea. In addition to easing your worries, it's always good to have a spare stylus on hand. :)
What do dance clubs and classical radio stations have in common? Technics Direct Drive.™
User avatar
BMRR
long player
long player
contributor
 
Posts: 3986
Images: 10
Joined: 23 Aug 2013 03:48

United States of America

Re: Increased needle chatter from AT95E?

Postby Freddymac1 » 22 Oct 2017 21:04

IMO needle chatter of the level you describe, indicates a problem. That chatter is lost signal no matter how you slice it. Some cartridges are worse than others. What kind of mat do you have on the TT? Replacement styli of poor quality will sometime do this. You said that it didn't used to be as loud. Something must have happened to it. Do you have any way to check the tracking force?
Freddymac1
member
member
 
Posts: 47
Joined: 03 May 2015 00:19

United States of America

Return to Turntables and Tonearms