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Ortofon OM5E & Rega RP1 help

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Ortofon OM5E & Rega RP1 help

Postby spg1986 » 28 Apr 2017 21:31

Hello All

First post here so please pardon me if it's in the wrong board etc.

I've had my Rega RP1 for approx 10 months or so, and whilst I know this is totally entry level, it's my first "decent" turntable and obviously came with the standard cartridge. Long story short, I managed to break the stylus one night and had it repaired and the entire cartridge replaced with an Ortofon OM5E. The idea being it was an upgrade of sorts.

After it was "repaired" the back end of the cartridge was really low to the record when playing, to the point where it was knocking the vinyl as it played. I'm relatively new to all this, but I'd assumed that the weight was set too heavy on the arm. I've since adjusted this which fixed this particular problem BUT what I have noticed is in comparison to the factory standard (Audio Technica?) cartridge the new OM5E picks up an awful lot of surface noise - static/crackle/occasional pops and so forth - MUCH, MUCH more than the old one.

I've purchased a Shure gauge and I've got it set at 1.5, which I'm aware is the lightest end of the scale, if it's towards 2.0 I encounter the cartridge knocking problem as above.

From what I can see against the protractor the cart is aligned correctly also.

Is there anything that could be causing such surface noise? It's not absolutely awful but is distracting to the point of limiting the listening experience and is happening on both brand new and old records.

Any help would be appreciated - it's doing my nut in!

Cheers,

Stuart
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Re: Ortofon OM5E & Rega RP1 help

Postby akem » 29 Apr 2017 16:26

The OM5 has a kind of normal height of about 18mm whereas the Rega Tonearms are prepared for a cartridge height of only 14mm. So you will have to buy a 4mm spacer to install it on the tonearm base. This is a well known nuisance of the Regas...

Best regards
Andreas
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Re: Ortofon OM5E & Rega RP1 help

Postby spg1986 » 29 Apr 2017 18:41

Thanks Andreas.

Would you be able to point me in the right direction to get the spacers? Are they easy to fit?

In the short term am I damaging any vinyl without them? Thanks again - much appreciated, as I say this is all pretty new to me.
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Re: Ortofon OM5E & Rega RP1 help

Postby andybeau » 29 Apr 2017 22:26

spg1986 wrote:Thanks Andreas.

Would you be able to point me in the right direction to get the spacers? Are they easy to fit?

In the short term am I damaging any vinyl without them? Thanks again - much appreciated, as I say this is all pretty new to me.


Something similar to this or this, but doesn't have to be Rega. Easy to fit, just undo 3 screws holding tone arm and the cable clamp below, remove tonearm, insert spacers and reinsert tonearm.

The OM is a nice cart and has an easy upgrade path thro om10,20,30 & 40 stylus upgrades :D
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Re: Ortofon OM5E & Rega RP1 help

Postby spg1986 » 02 May 2017 17:19

That's great thank you - ordered the one from Amazon, so just fingers crossed I manage to fit it ok!

Thanks again for your help.
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Re: Ortofon OM5E & Rega RP1 help

Postby spg1986 » 19 May 2017 19:39

Hello again

I've installed the spacer and it has definitely improved the sound but I'm still getting a lot of noise from the thing...

Oddly the surface noise seems to coincide with any louder frequencies - for example if the vocalist suddenly raises their voice and so forth.

I'm thinking of scrapping the cartridge and going for a whole new one - the OM5E sounds rotten no matter where I set the weight between the 1.5-2.0 range...

Before I splash out though, and pardon me if this is an impossible question, but are these issues likely to be the cart or the stylus?

Would really appreciate any help (again)
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Re: Ortofon OM5E & Rega RP1 help

Postby fullhoused » 20 May 2017 00:27

Hi there I'm just reading your original post. You said:
"After it was "repaired" the back end of the cartridge was really low to the record when playing, to the point where it was knocking the vinyl as it played."

What did you have "repaired" That might provide some more information as to whats going on

Regards
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Re: Ortofon OM5E & Rega RP1 help

Postby Alec124c41 » 20 May 2017 00:48

You could easily upgrade the stylus.
If the distortion is more on the left channel, decrease the anti-skate. If it is more on the right, increase it.
Have you aligned the cartridge with a protractor?

Cheers,
Alec
Keep them spinning.
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Re: Ortofon OM5E & Rega RP1 help

Postby spg1986 » 20 May 2017 21:10

Thanks for the replies.

In answer to where the problem had originated, I managed to break the stylus on the factory fitted cart, which I believe was an Audio Technica one? I hadn't got a clue what I'd done (as I say, relatively new to this stuff) so I took it into the repair shop. Given the option of new Ortofon cart or replaced stylus. As the Ortofon would be the quicker turnaround in terms of getting the part, and as it was supposedly an upgrade I went with it. Obviously the guy didn't really know what he was doing as when it was returned the cart was knocking on the vinyl. This issue's been resolved now by fitting the 2MM spacer, but it's the sound quality which is poor.

I know the obvious thing to do would have been to take it back to the shop, but I'd rather the guy kept his hands off it now. Plus if I can fix it myself then I know for future reference.

I've adjusted the bias and it doesn't really seem to improve matters unfortunately...

The tracking force is set correctly and it appears as if it's on straight based on the protractor but the amount of crackle and occasional popping, rustling etc. definitely doesn't seem right to me.

I should say also that the problem is more pronounced on heavier vinyl - 180/200G - it's happening on both older records of mine and also brand new copies. I've currently got the tracking force set at 1.5 - so right at the lightest end of the manufacturer's suggested range, reluctant to try and lighter as I've heard it can damage the vinyl?

I'm beginning to think the initial poor setup has damaged the stylus or cartridge maybe, reckon that might be a possibility?

And thanks a lot for your help again.
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Re: Ortofon OM5E & Rega RP1 help

Postby fullhoused » 20 May 2017 23:30

If you could post a pic Im sure that would help. I ran the Rega RP1 and om5e combo for a little while. You dont really need the 2mm spacer, sure it helps but not essential. If you are tracking at the right weight the cartridge should never be hitting the record. Sounds like either the stylus suspension was damaged by the tech who installed it. In which case id be going back for another pretty quickly. Or, you might be tracking at the wrong weight, double/triple check it. If you are tracking heavy enough to bottom out the cartridge you'll do some damage pretty quickly.
The OM5e is a decent starter cartridge and shouldn't be behaving as you describe if set up correctly.
Good luck
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Re: Ortofon OM5E & Rega RP1 help

Postby spg1986 » 21 May 2017 00:10

Thanks Fullhoused.

I'm edging towards the suspension being damaged as I've checked the weight numerous times, a moment ago it's still at the 1.5-1.55 mark.

If it is damaged suspension, would this explain why it makes so much noise on 180G pressings? It's not as bad on standard vinyl.
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Re: Ortofon OM5E & Rega RP1 help

Postby fullhoused » 21 May 2017 12:37

Hi Spg1986
If you are confident that the tracking weight is appropriate, the cartridge is aligned correctly with a protractor and your records are clean and still sounds bad, I cant think of anything else other than the stylus is shot. How long did you play it when you got it back from the shop when the cartridge was bottoming out and hitting the playing surface? The Ortofon Om5e used to be the stock cartridge on the RP1, Then i think it came with their own rega branded cartridge which is in fact is a rebranded Audiotechnica. The OM5E is a fine cartridge. If you cant track it a 2.0g before it hits the record something is wrong with the stylus. (is that still the case?) I ran that cartridge on that table at 2.0g with no problems. It sounded good before I got the upgrade sickness....
As for 180g vinyl, It may just accentuate the problem. Personally I've never been a fan of 180g pressings to me they always just sound a bit bass bloated, I personally avoid it if i can.
All i can suggest is, Re align the cartridge and set the tracking weight and bias. (Double/triple checked) If it still sounds bad then its time for a new stylus or cartridge. Other than being a financial pain the %$#, think of it as a bonus there are so many options. At the end of the day who doesn't like getting a new cartridge?
Good luck.
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Re: Ortofon OM5E & Rega RP1 help

Postby Vanni » 21 May 2017 19:01

spg1986 wrote:Thanks for the replies.

In answer to where the problem had originated, I managed to break the stylus on the factory fitted cart, which I believe was an Audio Technica one? I hadn't got a clue what I'd done (as I say, relatively new to this stuff) so I took it into the repair shop. Given the option of new Ortofon cart or replaced stylus. As the Ortofon would be the quicker turnaround in terms of getting the part, and as it was supposedly an upgrade I went with it. Obviously the guy didn't really know what he was doing as when it was returned the cart was knocking on the vinyl. This issue's been resolved now by fitting the 2MM spacer, but it's the sound quality which is poor.

I know the obvious thing to do would have been to take it back to the shop, but I'd rather the guy kept his hands off it now. Plus if I can fix it myself then I know for future reference.

I've adjusted the bias and it doesn't really seem to improve matters unfortunately...

The tracking force is set correctly and it appears as if it's on straight based on the protractor but the amount of crackle and occasional popping, rustling etc. definitely doesn't seem right to me.

I should say also that the problem is more pronounced on heavier vinyl - 180/200G - it's happening on both older records of mine and also brand new copies. I've currently got the tracking force set at 1.5 - so right at the lightest end of the manufacturer's suggested range, reluctant to try and lighter as I've heard it can damage the vinyl?

I'm beginning to think the initial poor setup has damaged the stylus or cartridge maybe, reckon that might be a possibility?

And thanks a lot for your help again.


I have an OM5 and a couple of OM10's, the OMB10 and the Super10, although the latter two sound exactly the same to me but I digress. I have experimented a lot with VTA and whether toenarms should be level with the platter, and generally a large number of carts sound best when the toneram's level. But in the case of the OM5 and the OM10's, I think they need to be slightly tail up because they sure pick up a whole lot more of surface noise when they're exactly level or tail down. Note that I said 'more' as sadly it's well known fact that the OM5 and the OM10 highlight surface noise much more than other carts do.

While I can't say whether your stylus is defective or not, I definitely believe you're not getting the best out of your cart as I think you should have gone for at least a 4mm spacer for this cart. I also think that's the reason why thicker records are sounding worse than the thinner ones.
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Re: Ortofon OM5E & Rega RP1 help

Postby spg1986 » 22 May 2017 00:43

Thanks both.

I didn't run the table with the incorrect setup too long, 10 hours at most I'd say, but I suppose that's enough to do some damage considering the huge crack it put into one of my LPs...

The spacer I bought has a 4MM option so I'll give that a try first of all.

If it offers no improvement, I'm thinking of getting a 2M Red or Blue as a replacement - as this would be my first DIY replacement, am I correct in thinking I just unscrew the cart, disconnect the wires, re-attach, align, and set weight?
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Re: Ortofon OM5E & Rega RP1 help

Postby fullhoused » 22 May 2017 23:03

Its not that difficult to change out the cartridge just take your time and be careful not to damage the stylus or break the clips of the tonearm wires. Those clips on the rega are easy to damage.(been there) Using little twizzers can help.
Mount the cartridge first not worrying too much about the alignment (but not too tight so you can move it when aligning it). Set the tracking weight to the appropriate amount. ( the cartridges themselves are different weights, so its very important to reset the tracking weight) Ie the OM5E weighs 5g while a 2m blue is 7.2 gms. Align the cartridge with a protractor. setting the weight first ensures you wont damage the stylus when aligning it. Tighten up the cartridge and set the bias. You should be good to go. leave the stylus guard on as long as you can while mounting it before using the protractor to align it. (reduces chance of damage)
PS
I had an ortofon 2m blue and wasn't crazy about it. But thats just my opinion. lots of reviews out there on it so its easy to research.
good luck.
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