2M Blue brightness and break-in

the thin end of the wedge
records-on-vinyl
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2M Blue brightness and break-in

Post by records-on-vinyl » 31 Oct 2018 19:26

Hi folks,
Apologize if this has been covered many, many times, but I could use some advice on my current situation...

I recently installed an Ortofon 2M blue, as a hoped for upgrade, on my previously enjoyed AT95EX, which is the tweaked version of the normal AT95, that was designed for their AT-LP5 table (a pretty nice $450 turntable, but that's for another post!).

Using Conrad's excellent template generator, I think I have the cartridge set-up correctly. I used a pivot-to-spindle distance of 217mm, and settled on Lofgren A. Lines-up and traces the arc perfectly, and the tonearm looks very flat/level, at least as best as I can see. I'm not detecting any noticeable IGD or sibilance, so that's great.

As to how it sounds?
Detail and soundstage...WOW!
Mids and bass...nice presence, and tightly controlled
Highs...uh...awfully bright. I like my highs accentuated a bit, but this is bordering on clinically shrill.

So, my question is, do I simply need to have some patience, and go thru a proper break-in period? I'm less than 10 hours in, so I may be expecting too much, too soon.

The cartridge is running on an SL-1350, which was designed as a stacker, but I'm only using it as a single player. I don't think it has a way to adjust VTA, but I'll have to check that (for folks that did use it as a stacker...up to 6 records!...wouldn't that change the arm angle significantly?). I could shim the cartridge, if that is needed. Also, is there a general rule of thumb, relative to arm angle...i.e., does slightly tilted downward generate more bass/less treble, or vice-versa?

No way to adjust the capacitance in this system (a Yamaha CR-820, feeding B&W 684 S2's), so load is what-it-is.

Thoughts or advice, very much appreciated!

Pat

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Re: 2M Blue brightness and break-in

Post by patient_ot » 31 Oct 2018 19:57

I'm gonna guess you have way too much capacitance in your captive phono cables and the phono section of the receiver. Ortofon 2M shouldn't be as sensitive to capacitance as say an AT cartridge, but all MM cartridges need the right capacitance to sound right. Older equipment was often made with higher capacitance to accommodate the carts of the day. You'll need to hunt down the manual or schematic for your receiver and measure the captive phono cables with a meter to be sure.

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Re: 2M Blue brightness and break-in

Post by Japi Roelofs » 31 Oct 2018 20:10

The SL-1350 has an effective length of 230 mm, with an overhang of 15 mm, this makes pivot-to-spindle distance 215 mm. So not 217 mm.

Re. the angle of the arm: it is explained in the manual. The arm will be parallel to the record surface when 3 records are on the turntable. So less records means the arm angles down, more records means the arm angles up.
If you are using it as a single record player, just look at the tonearm from the side when the record is playing. If it angles down, use a shim under the cartridge, or put an extra mat on top of the existing mat.

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Re: 2M Blue brightness and break-in

Post by records-on-vinyl » 31 Oct 2018 20:22

OK, thanks guys, for the quick replies. Even with a thicker (200g) record, it does look like the arm is angled very slightly downward. So, that makes sense, if parallel is supposed to be with 3 'normal' records stacked. I'll try an extra mat first, then try a shim if needed.

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Re: 2M Blue brightness and break-in

Post by Japi Roelofs » 31 Oct 2018 20:34

Don't forget to make a new protractor too, using the 215 mm PTS. Technics alignment is Stevenson. Baerwald (= Lofgren A) should work too of course.

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Re: 2M Blue brightness and break-in

Post by records-on-vinyl » 31 Oct 2018 20:51

Well, measuring as carefully as I can, I get 216.5mm. I think I've encountered another Technics in the past, where the published effective length did not match what I measured, but can't hurt to try a 215mm template. Thanks again.

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Re: 2M Blue brightness and break-in

Post by Japi Roelofs » 31 Oct 2018 22:59

I always find it difficult to correctly measure pivot to spindle distance. Because the top of the tonearm bearing is usually higher than the spindle, and you need to have the ruler level, you basically need three hands to get everything lined up correctly. Still trying to figure out a way to make some device that fits over the spindle and is adjustable in height and can accurately pin down on the arm pivot.

In case of Technics, I trust the manufacturer's specs, they are usually spot on.

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Re: 2M Blue brightness and break-in

Post by smee4 » 31 Oct 2018 23:23

patient_ot wrote:
31 Oct 2018 19:57
I'm gonna guess you have way too much capacitance in your captive phono cables and the phono section of the receiver. Ortofon 2M shouldn't be as sensitive to capacitance as say an AT cartridge, but all MM cartridges need the right capacitance to sound right. Older equipment was often made with higher capacitance to accommodate the carts of the day. You'll need to hunt down the manual or schematic for your receiver and measure the captive phono cables with a meter to be sure.
I am with you on this. It is probably cartridge loading making it too bright. Alignment doesn't have this sort of effect, and VTA would be more subtle, just judging by the way the OP described the sound.

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Re: 2M Blue brightness and break-in

Post by records-on-vinyl » 31 Oct 2018 23:57

OK, I will move this to my main listening system, for a test. I have a Yamaha C-70, that will allow me to adjust the pF.

I will let you know what I find out!

Thx

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Re: 2M Blue brightness and break-in

Post by pivot » 01 Nov 2018 00:24

The capacitance adjustment at the pre-amp is additional to the capacitance of the cables. The adjustment cannot reduce the capacitance of the cables.

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Re: 2M Blue brightness and break-in

Post by records-on-vinyl » 01 Nov 2018 00:42

ah, OK. But these are not replaceable interconnects; these are the rca hookups from the factory, 'hard wired' into the turntable. I don't see myself trying to replace those...way beyond what I want to attempt, I'm afraid!
Perhaps the pronounced upper range I am hearing will mellow out, after some more run-in time.
(and while it sounds too forward or bright, it's not as if the total effect is bad...it actually sounds pretty good, all-in!)

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Re: 2M Blue brightness and break-in

Post by patient_ot » 01 Nov 2018 03:29

records-on-vinyl wrote:
01 Nov 2018 00:42
ah, OK. But these are not replaceable interconnects; these are the rca hookups from the factory, 'hard wired' into the turntable. I don't see myself trying to replace those...way beyond what I want to attempt, I'm afraid!
Perhaps the pronounced upper range I am hearing will mellow out, after some more run-in time.
(and while it sounds too forward or bright, it's not as if the total effect is bad...it actually sounds pretty good, all-in!)
Right, if they are hardwired in they will have to be taken out and new ones soldered in. That or you have a tech put RCA jacks in for you, then you can switch cables whenever you want. If you ever take the turntable in for maintenance this is something you can have done at that time.

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Re: 2M Blue brightness and break-in

Post by lazycat » 01 Nov 2018 06:31

When I used a Blue it took 25-30 hours to settle down.

Keep playing...

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Re: 2M Blue brightness and break-in

Post by balky » 01 Nov 2018 11:14

The Ortofon 2m Blue sounded quite bright when I used the Cambridge audio 651p Phono pre-amp...

It sounded completely different when I started to use ifi-Iphono2 with capacitance set to 100pF, and sounded even better after I installed the Kabusa tonearm fluid damping...

The 2m Blue is my go-to cart for SQ comparison, whenever I feel something doesn't sound right with a newly purchased (MM or MC) cart.

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Re: 2M Blue brightness and break-in

Post by Japi Roelofs » 01 Nov 2018 12:02

patient_ot wrote:
01 Nov 2018 03:29
records-on-vinyl wrote:
01 Nov 2018 00:42
ah, OK. But these are not replaceable interconnects; these are the rca hookups from the factory, 'hard wired' into the turntable. I don't see myself trying to replace those...way beyond what I want to attempt, I'm afraid!
Perhaps the pronounced upper range I am hearing will mellow out, after some more run-in time.
(and while it sounds too forward or bright, it's not as if the total effect is bad...it actually sounds pretty good, all-in!)
Right, if they are hardwired in they will have to be taken out and new ones soldered in. That or you have a tech put RCA jacks in for you, then you can switch cables whenever you want. If you ever take the turntable in for maintenance this is something you can have done at that time.
Technics turntables are not known for having high capacitance cables. In fact, the manual explicitly states the SL-1350 comes with 'low capacitance phono cables'.

So before you start hacking away at the Technics, why not switch carts/headshells with the AT-LP5, and see if the problem persists.

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