The Ortofon and Tacet test records review

the thin end of the wedge
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TA

The Ortofon and Tacet test records review

Post by TA » 29 Jun 2017 01:50

I've just got these test records and to compare with my previous Ultimate Analogue test LP. I also have Cardas Mk1 and Hifi News Record Mk1, but of these three I rate the Ultimate Analogue test LP as most useful.

The Ortofon test record: Contains frequency sweep (linear cut, 800 Hz-50 kHz) left and right 1 kHz tones twice for crosstalk/azimuth settings, tracking 50 um-> 100 um and square wave. Side B is the same. Quality: no or very minor warp, but a bit off-center. There are also some noise and some strange HF mistracking sounds, especially in the beginning of the record. It is not signal related but seems to be in the recording.

Before the session with the new test records, I had a bit CC-tilt of my cartridge using the tracks on the ultimate test record to get the same x-talk. However with the new test records, the numbers were different. The x-talk level on the Ortofon was lower and I changed back the cartridge to almost zero azimuth tilt. The L->R and R->L crosstalk on band 1 were -39.3/-40.6 dB. On band 2 the numbers were -45.5/38.9 dB. I can't figure out why there were differences between bands but I've not seen such low numbers before with my Shure V15Vx/SAS.

The tracking tests: The cartridge did not initially pass 90 um but I increased anti-skating a bit since I knew I was a bit on the low side and increased the VTF to 1.5 g, and then it passed the maximum 100 um in both channels without distorsion.

The Tacet record "Vinyl Check": The vinyl quality it is better than the Ortofon. Low noise. The signals are both examples of music, music with signals, and a lot of test signals. However, the azimuth/cross-talk signals were quite much higher than for the Ortofon, meaning that there are signals already engraved in the groove. The frequency response signals are fixed, and is both with and without RIAA EQ.

So my judgement is that neither record is perfect. The low cross-talk figures from the Ortofon suggests that this has the most accurate test signals engraved into the grooves, but has some background noise issues. The Tacet has more signals and has very quiet background levels (good pressing). If I would rate them in terms of usability, I would rate them as follows:

1. Ortofon (for azimuth settings, VTF and anti-skate settings, and frequency response)
2. Tacet (for speed settings, frequency response measurements, resonance test, VTA test and much more)

The Ultimate test LP comes in as close 3, while I would not rate Hifi News or Cardas test LP as being among these three.
Last edited by TA on 29 Jun 2017 02:03, edited 1 time in total.

TA

Re: The Ortofon and Tacit test records review

Post by TA » 29 Jun 2017 01:56

For a comparison of x-talk signals, see link below. First is Ortofon, second Tacet.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/n21mzf010jcpp ... 8.png?dl=0

JDB82
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Re: The Ortofon and Tacet test records review

Post by JDB82 » 29 Jun 2017 03:04

As long as the lower X-talk channel is still in spec, I believe this to be normal. So how does band 2 test differ than band 1?
The numbers you gave, did you subtract the output channel from the no output channel?

TA

Re: The Ortofon and Tacet test records review

Post by TA » 29 Jun 2017 08:05

JDB82 wrote:As long as the lower X-talk channel is still in spec, I believe this to be normal. So how does band 2 test differ than band 1?
The numbers you gave, did you subtract the output channel from the no output channel?
There is no difference stated other than the bands are played as track 3 and track 4, i.e. they are at slightly different record positions.

The numbers are subtracted from each other so it is relative to 0 dB in the output channel. The numbers are so low that differences are within 0.1°, see e.g.

viewtopic.php?f=19&t=43042

billshurv
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Re: The Ortofon and Tacet test records review

Post by billshurv » 29 Jun 2017 09:17

How high does the Tacet frequency sweep go?

TA

Re: The Ortofon and Tacet test records review

Post by TA » 29 Jun 2017 09:27

billshurv wrote:How high does the Tacet frequency sweep go?
It goes to 20 kHz, and this is fixed standard frequencies. One band 20, 31.5, 40, 50... up to 1000 Hz and the other 1000, 1250, 1600, 2000... up to 20000 Hz.

I trust these fixed frequencies much more than regular sweeps. The Ortofon says it is constant amplitude. I have made an inverse RIAA in software but get results that appear to be inaccurate.

The Tacet response as in link:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/u2desxlvq8h1h ... t.JPG?dl=0

billshurv
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Re: The Ortofon and Tacet test records review

Post by billshurv » 29 Jun 2017 09:33

Thank you. Looks Like I will need both of them to get the full range of test signals. Above 20kHz funny things can happen so it can be hard to sort test record from cartridge resonances.

TA

Re: The Ortofon and Tacet test records review

Post by TA » 29 Jun 2017 09:35

Also, due to the results with VTF and anti-skate I think it is time for me to change stylus. The friction appear to have increased. It was bought in september 2009, i.e. nearly 8 years ago. The equipment were not up and running for a few years so difficult to know how many hours there are on the stylus. But increased friction is a clear sign on wear.

I will not use the test records more now until I get a new stylus, probably the SAS neo R. Then I'll come back with some more test results and compare old vs new stylus.

JDB82
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Re: The Ortofon and Tacet test records review

Post by JDB82 » 30 Jun 2017 01:42

There is no difference stated other than the bands are played as track 3 and track 4, i.e. they are at slightly different record positions.

The numbers are subtracted from each other so it is relative to 0 dB in the output channel. The numbers are so low that differences are within 0.1°, see e.g.
Oh, so that is weird. How does your azimuth look on the mirror?
Have you checked if your platter or mat changes elevation from inside to outside?
I cut me a piece of mirror that lays across the whole mat, to get an overall azimuth by mirror.

TA

Re: The Ortofon and Tacet test records review

Post by TA » 30 Jun 2017 08:35

JDB82 wrote:
There is no difference stated other than the bands are played as track 3 and track 4, i.e. they are at slightly different record positions.

The numbers are subtracted from each other so it is relative to 0 dB in the output channel. The numbers are so low that differences are within 0.1°, see e.g.
Oh, so that is weird. How does your azimuth look on the mirror?
Have you checked if your platter or mat changes elevation from inside to outside?
I cut me a piece of mirror that lays across the whole mat, to get an overall azimuth by mirror.
I have measured twice and the numbers come up the same. I was thinking that these were so low that the may be different from time to time, especially since I have an uni-pivot arm. It is "free to move". There is only one thing and that is different angle of the record due to minor warps. I would need a vacuum platter platter or an outer ring clamp + inner clamp to test this.

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