Nagaoka MP-110 Surface Noise/Popping Issues

the thin end of the wedge
StaticKoi
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Nagaoka MP-110 Surface Noise/Popping Issues

Post by StaticKoi » 25 Feb 2019 03:05

Recently purchased a Nagaoka MP-110 after hearing all the great things about this cart for reduction of surface noise and warmth. I've been using Ortofon Pro S Om carts, as I am a DJ (no scratching, just mixing House music). Thought I'd pick up an MP-110 for listening on my 1200's as an improvement over the Ortofons, but I've had nothing but trouble with this cart since I've purchased it. I've aligned it with a Stevenson Protractor, the Technics overhang gauge, set the tracking force from 1.8-2.0 G, along with matching anti skate, and no matter what I seem to do, the surface noise and small clicks and pops don't seem to minimize. I feel like something isn't right. The Ortofon on the other hand has none of these issues, with MINIMAL surface noise and basically no pops on the same record. Any advice? Did I just receive a bunk MP 110 cart?

patient_ot
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Re: Nagaoka MP-110 Surface Noise/Popping Issues

Post by patient_ot » 25 Feb 2019 03:36

Conical DJ carts tend to mask a lot. A dirty record, a scratched record, or a badly pressed record isn't going to reveal all of its flaws when played back with a DJ cart.

The MP-110 is a fairly basic, entry-level "hi-fi" cart but the elliptical profile stylus will show you more of what's in the grooves. If you have a different cart with a much more advanced stylus then you would likely hear more flaws still.

Agrippa
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Re: Nagaoka MP-110 Surface Noise/Popping Issues

Post by Agrippa » 25 Feb 2019 04:50

Very hard to diagnose without knowing the state of your records. I would buy or borrow a record which is known to sound great and hear what happens then.

While I don't own an MP-110 myself I've spent a great many hours listening to one, without hearing any undue amount of surface noise from new or well maintained records.

StaticKoi
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Re: Nagaoka MP-110 Surface Noise/Popping Issues

Post by StaticKoi » 25 Feb 2019 05:46

The most annoying part about this is that these records that I am playing are NM to VG+. These are not old records with various amounts of wear and tear. Also, these are new pressings, that sound absolutely fine on the Ortofon. Could an alignment issue be the cause of this issue? I've aligned it to the best of my ability, so even if it's not perfect, it shouldn't be causing this much popping/sounds.

smee4
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Re: Nagaoka MP-110 Surface Noise/Popping Issues

Post by smee4 » 25 Feb 2019 07:49

Try a different phono preamp? A phono preamp with low headroom can make surface noise, pops, crackles, sound much worse.

StaticKoi
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Re: Nagaoka MP-110 Surface Noise/Popping Issues

Post by StaticKoi » 25 Feb 2019 08:22

The table is actually current connected to a DJ mixer (Pioneer DJM-800). Maybe this is a gain staging issue on the input? I will try lowering the gain, and turning up the master to see if that has any effect.

smee4
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Re: Nagaoka MP-110 Surface Noise/Popping Issues

Post by smee4 » 25 Feb 2019 11:59

StaticKoi wrote:
25 Feb 2019 08:22
The table is actually current connected to a DJ mixer (Pioneer DJM-800). Maybe this is a gain staging issue on the input? I will try lowering the gain, and turning up the master to see if that has any effect.
Might help. Basically the huge input from a "surface noise" transient can swamp input stages, particularly those cheap phono stages running from low voltage power, or as you suggest, too much gain in the initial stages can similarly swamp later stages.

klegier
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Re: Nagaoka MP-110 Surface Noise/Popping Issues

Post by klegier » 25 Feb 2019 16:04

OP says nothing regarding the cleanliness of the records in question. surface noise, from my understanding, is just dirt and grime imbedded in the grooves. A cheap record cleaner (Studebaker in my case) is one of the best investments I've made to raise my vinyl enjoyment. Sometimes, after an initial cleaning, if the record still has some noise, I run it through the cleaner again, let it "soak" a little to loosen the grime, and clean again as usual. It always reduces the surface noise even more. I also usually go on the light end of the tracking force range.

patient_ot
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Re: Nagaoka MP-110 Surface Noise/Popping Issues

Post by patient_ot » 25 Feb 2019 16:25

StaticKoi wrote:
25 Feb 2019 05:46
The most annoying part about this is that these records that I am playing are NM to VG+. These are not old records with various amounts of wear and tear. Also, these are new pressings, that sound absolutely fine on the Ortofon. Could an alignment issue be the cause of this issue? I've aligned it to the best of my ability, so even if it's not perfect, it shouldn't be causing this much popping/sounds.
If they are used at any level you have no idea how clean they are. Odds are they are probably dirty and need a good RCM cleaning. Many new records are also filthy. Most pressing plants are dirty environments and quality is not always at the forefront either. Combine that and you have your answer.
Last edited by patient_ot on 25 Feb 2019 16:26, edited 1 time in total.

patient_ot
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Re: Nagaoka MP-110 Surface Noise/Popping Issues

Post by patient_ot » 25 Feb 2019 16:26

StaticKoi wrote:
25 Feb 2019 08:22
The table is actually current connected to a DJ mixer (Pioneer DJM-800). Maybe this is a gain staging issue on the input? I will try lowering the gain, and turning up the master to see if that has any effect.
Agree that this could be an issue. Unfortunately with a mixer you may have trouble setting the gain accurately for that cartridge. Look at the KAB gain calculator to get an idea of how much gain you need and try to guesstimate where your mixer settings need to be.

MetalT75
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Re: Nagaoka MP-110 Surface Noise/Popping Issues

Post by MetalT75 » 27 Feb 2019 06:37

patient_ot wrote:
25 Feb 2019 03:36
If you have a different cart with a much more advanced stylus then you would likely hear more flaws still.
This is not necessarily true. I tried a Goldring 1006 (Rega Baerwald alignment) in my Rega instead of Exact a while ago just to see/hear the difference between different stylus profiles. Much praised 1006 (in its' class) has an elliptical stylus whereas Exact has a Vital stylus. Goldring was a nightmare. It picked up every possible click, crackle and pop from several albums with surgical precision whereas Exact was quiet in that sense. After 2 weeks I gave up and put Exact back. So, if advanced stylus would pick up more flaws I'd never try that Goldring with a better stylus (1012-1042) but to throw it out the window.

patient_ot
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Re: Nagaoka MP-110 Surface Noise/Popping Issues

Post by patient_ot » 28 Feb 2019 15:14

MetalT75 wrote:
27 Feb 2019 06:37
patient_ot wrote:
25 Feb 2019 03:36
If you have a different cart with a much more advanced stylus then you would likely hear more flaws still.
This is not necessarily true. I tried a Goldring 1006 (Rega Baerwald alignment) in my Rega instead of Exact a while ago just to see/hear the difference between different stylus profiles. Much praised 1006 (in its' class) has an elliptical stylus whereas Exact has a Vital stylus. Goldring was a nightmare. It picked up every possible click, crackle and pop from several albums with surgical precision whereas Exact was quiet in that sense. After 2 weeks I gave up and put Exact back. So, if advanced stylus would pick up more flaws I'd never try that Goldring with a better stylus (1012-1042) but to throw it out the window.

I have a Goldring 1042. It will indeed pick up flaws, mainly due to the high output, flattish frequency response, extreme stylus profile, and other design factors. Cartridges like the Rega MMs that are also high output but voiced with more high frequency roll-off than the Goldring 1000 series tend to pick up less noise. Most of the noise from dirt, dust, scratches, and pressing defects occurs at the high frequencies. An old record collector trick (one that I don't recommend) is to turn the treble down to mask noise.

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Re: Nagaoka MP-110 Surface Noise/Popping Issues

Post by RDSimmons » 11 Jan 2020 21:44

I am having exactly the same issue with the Nagaoka MP 110 on the Sony PS HX500 (it was a pain to replace the cart on the Sony as well). Any updates on this thread? Any improvement? Manbe this is just a static management issue.

I'll add the issue happens with brand new out of the sleeve vinyl. Not so much crackle, but pops every 5-10 seconds...it's very distracting.

Pikey
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Re: Nagaoka MP-110 Surface Noise/Popping Issues

Post by Pikey » 11 Jan 2020 23:11

Probably needs a few hours to 'run in' ...

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Re: Nagaoka MP-110 Surface Noise/Popping Issues

Post by Tonybro » 12 Jan 2020 08:05

RDSimmons wrote:
11 Jan 2020 21:44
Manbe this is just a static management issue.

I'll add the issue happens with brand new out of the sleeve vinyl. Not so much crackle, but pops every 5-10 seconds...it's very distracting.
Virtually every new record I've purchased has issues with static on opening and I always clean them before playing to get rid of the static.

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