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after adjustments getting sibilance and clipping

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after adjustments getting sibilance and clipping

Postby sonic6567 » 12 Oct 2017 15:57

Hello,

(second post)
New to this world, but learning a lot; thank you.

I have finished fixing and cleaning up my Pioneer PL-514 (new belt, new stylus, oil, level, track force, etc)

Having some issues with sibilance and clipping.

I have researched this a lot, thinking that new knowledge could compensate for no experience, but I am now coming, hat in had, to ask for some assistance from the experts here.

Just looking for some advise, or better yet, some wisdom passed down from the seasoned and experienced.

On a lot of albums, not all, there is more than a little sibilance. It also seems at times that it could be clipping (rather than sibilance).

However, my suspicion is the records are at fault.
I have mostly old and used albums (Duke Ellington, Frankie Carle, etc) and I am curious that, if they were played on poor equipment by a previous owner, they could be damaged and now produce the results I am hearing.

I have some Jim Neighbors albums that sound great for the most part. That is why I suspect the albums. However, even this album has one song where sibilance, and seemingly more so clipping, is a problem. So why just there and not the whole album?

I do have a brand new matchbox 20 album (yes, Jim Neighbors, Roger Whittaker, Matchbox 20 - I like what I like, ha ha) but if the issues I am hearing are because something is wrong with my table, I am hesitant to play my albums because I don't want to damage my records.

I believe I have everything adjusted as best as possible. I bought a new needle so I know its clean. existing Stanton 500 gold cart. tracking force (measured with scale) 1.5g. table leveled. cart aligned with protractor. tracking force I don't have a good way to measure, but from what I can tell, I think it is good (no obvious issues).

One thing I have not checked/adjusted is the VTA. I don't know how to do that on my turntable and can't find any info (checked the manual, the service manual, and internet) To that, while some albums sound great, I wonder if they are not maybe too muffled or narrow.

I am not looking for quote un-quote perfect audio (it is even debatable what that would mean anyway). I really enjoy the experience of vinyl and its character. I just want to eliminate the excessive sibilance/clipping that is too much and considerably detracts from the sound.

Thank you
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Re: after adjustments getting sibilance and clipping

Postby Landolaman1 » 12 Oct 2017 17:24

Hi ?, Iv'e just finished refurbing a PL-514 tt & can relate to what you are saying about sibilance. It does seem to affect some carts on this particular TT more than others, can't tell you why although i suspect there will be more knowledgeable people on this site who can. I've settled on a Ortofon OM10 which really does the business with the TT. Unfortunately there is no way to adjust VTA on this particular TT other than spacers, additional platter mats or a combination of both. A case of experimenting i'm afraid although when set up to it's optimum it's a good sounding solid TT. Regards, Neil.
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Re: after adjustments getting sibilance and clipping

Postby jdjohn » 12 Oct 2017 18:01

Do you have the rubber spacers for mounting your Stanton 500? Stanton (and Pickering) cartridges are normally mounted using special rubber spacers. Without them, VTA can be off unless the tonearm has adjustable VTA. The easiest way to check VTA is by looking at the tonearm while it is playing. The tonearm should appear parallel to the record. It doesn't have to be exact and measured with a level per se, but if it looks visually off, you should try to adjust it. And as Neil mentioned, the only way to do this is with spacers or adding a platter mat. If you have those Stanton spacers already installed, a mat may be your only option. If you DON'T have the spacers, finding some and installing them might be all you need.

If you have some albums that sound fine, and others that don't, your setup is probably fine and just the old used albums are damaged. Is your Jim Neighbors album bad on the last song on a side? If you haven't read-up on inner groove distortion (IGD), check out that topic to find out why the last songs can have sibilance.

Lastly, and no offense, but the Stanton 500 is not really the last word in hi-fi reproduction, so it will have limits. It will likely struggle with intense dynamic passages and IGD no matter what you do, so you'll need to have realistic expectations. It's not necessarily the cartridge itself, but rather the stylus. The thickness of the cantilever and the type of diamond (and how it's mounted) have a big impact on playback. I don't know what stylus upgrades are available for the Stanton 500.

Since you're getting good results from most of your Jim Neighbors album, your setup is probably safe enough to try the brand-new Matchbox 20. If your setup was really bad, everything would sound bad.
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Re: after adjustments getting sibilance and clipping

Postby analogaudio » 12 Oct 2017 18:59

According to the Stanton website the current model 500 has a recommended tracking weight range 3-5 grams and a spherical stylus. Playing the Stanton at 2 grams is not recommended it may produce exzcessive distortion due to mis tracking. This Stanton cart is a normal setup for DJ playing.

On the other hand a typical hifi cart has an elliptical stylus and 1.5 - 2.5 gram tracking weight range.

Carts are available at a wide range of price points. For the better brands of hifi cart in the range US$50 - $500 the quality increases significantly as the price increases. If sound quality is important the lowest cost cart may disappoint.
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Re: after adjustments getting sibilance and clipping

Postby sonic6567 » 12 Oct 2017 20:11

Thank you all for your input. Much appreciated.

Yes, on the good sounding Gomer albums, the distortion does happen at the end of the record. I thought of IGD (based on what I researched previously) but did not think it would be that significant of a difference compared to the outer tracks. Perhaps it is.

Being as there is no way to adjust VTA on this model, I feel better about not being able to figure out how, ha ha.

No, I do not have stanton cart rubber spacers - I did not know that. (nor a platter mat) But that is a good suggestion for making any needed VTA adjustments. I will eyeball how mine looks tonight.

To clarify, this is not the "newer" stanton 500 gold. It is the original from the 70's. I have already replaced the stylus in it to a new elliptical one. (found this info a while back - not my post, but sounds similar http://audiokarma.org/forums/index.php? ... 00.278245/ Quote: "That's a very old model 500 series Stanton, probably the most popular cartridge found in radio stations throughout the U.S. in the 70's and 80's. They are a tough cartridge, built to handle the abuses you found back when radio stations spun vinyl. It also is pretty good sounding, and isn't a cartridge to sniff at.")

I am not looking for audiophile, just trying to get the best I can at this price point for now.

I am interested in a cart/stylus suggestion that would better handle my albums if you know of one. I see Neil mentions the OM10. On that PL-514 did you try a different cart (which?) and did you notice a significant difference by going with the OM10 ?

So, for tracking force, you are saying the [modern] stanton 500 says 3 - 5 g. The stylus I have says 0.75 - 1.5 g. I thought tracking force was more a function of stylus rather than cart, but not sure. I can experiment with increasing the tracking force. At what point will it become too heavy and cause damage?

Again, Thank you; this is a good community.
Ben
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Re: after adjustments getting sibilance and clipping

Postby Legrace » 12 Oct 2017 20:47

So, for tracking force, you are saying the [modern] stanton 500 says 3 - 5 g. The stylus I have says 0.75 - 1.5 g. I thought tracking force was more a function of stylus rather than cart, but not sure.


Yes, D71EE is elliptical type and can track as low as 1-2 gram. Increasing VTF to 2g may help. Will not damage anything.
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Re: after adjustments getting sibilance and clipping

Postby jdjohn » 13 Oct 2017 03:52

sonic6567 wrote:Yes, on the good sounding Gomer albums, the distortion does happen at the end of the record. I thought of IGD (based on what I researched previously) but did not think it would be that significant of a difference compared to the outer tracks. Perhaps it is.

It is...IGD: the struggle is real :) You have now experienced it first-hand. Try your brand-new Matchbox 20 album, and you might see a reduction of IGD. Fresh, new pressings are relatively IGD-free with a properly-aligned cart.

sonic6567 wrote:No, I do not have stanton cart rubber spacers - I did not know that. (nor a platter mat) But that is a good suggestion for making any needed VTA adjustments. I will eyeball how mine looks tonight.

Check out this thread viewtopic.php?f=19&t=81035 He has the spacers installed with the 1/16th in. side on top. They can be flipped for 1/8th in. thickness top-side if that is necessary for VTA. Let us know if you need spacers after inspecting your VTA. Surely someone has extra spacers to send you if needed.

sonic6567 wrote:I am interested in a cart/stylus suggestion that would better handle my albums if you know of one. I see Neil mentions the OM10. On that PL-514 did you try a different cart (which?) and did you notice a significant difference by going with the OM10?

So, for tracking force, you are saying the [modern] stanton 500 says 3 - 5 g. The stylus I have says 0.75 - 1.5 g. I thought tracking force was more a function of stylus rather than cart, but not sure. I can experiment with increasing the tracking force. At what point will it become too heavy and cause damage?

Again, Thank you; this is a good community.
Ben

As Legrace mentioned, increasing VTF to 2.0g is perfectly safe. If that doesn't fix it for you, there are really only two options. One is to fine-tune the inner-nullpoint alignment to perfection - where the IGD is occurring - and hope that fixes it. The other option, especially if the first option doesn't work, is to invest in a better cartridge/stylus combination.

The Ortofon OM10 might be a good base-line match based on Neil's first-hand experience with the PL-514 - there is no substitute for first-hand experience. Ortofons are typically analytical, which can be a good thing depending on taste. There are a myriad of other cartridge options for upgrades depending on your budget.

EDIT: I have found that the best cure for IGD is a better cartridge and stylus.
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Re: after adjustments getting sibilance and clipping

Postby BMRR » 13 Oct 2017 15:25

I have several Stanton 500s, ranging from very old ones to very recent ones (the last ones Stanton made before they ceased cartridge production). They are all capable of VERY good sound quality, but this is 100% dependent on the stylus you install in them. There are dozens of different styli that will fit in these cartridges, mostly from aftermarket manufacturers these days. Aftermarket Stanton 500 styli range in sound quality from good to so-so to horrible. And their sound quality doesn't always correspond to how much they cost; I've got a $10 stylus that sounds really good and a $30 stylus that sounds like crap.

Can you please provide some more details about the elliptical stylus you purchased for your Stanton 500 — manufacturer, model number, etc.?

The cartridge body itself is capable of outstanding audio quality and I'm certain we can get you there. :)
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Re: after adjustments getting sibilance and clipping

Postby Landolaman1 » 13 Oct 2017 15:34

Hi Ben, yes i have experimented with different carts before i settled for the OM10. Among the carts i've tried are AT95E, Shure M97E & Shure M55E. Now i'm no audiophile by any stretch of the imagination and am guided by my ears and what sounds good to me! Out of those carts on this table the M55E produced the worst sibilance despite being armed with a NOS stylus! All are decent carts and i wouldn't want to disparage any of them. I just came down on the side of what sounded best to me. Regards, Neil.
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Re: after adjustments getting sibilance and clipping

Postby sonic6567 » 13 Oct 2017 17:46

Thank you all

After seeing the pic in the link from above, I now see what you mean by the mounting spacers (I was picturing something else for some reason) Yes, I have those spacers on mine and set to the 1/16 side. (I have not had a chance yet to experiment with 1/8 or the tracking weight per Ted and Legrace)

The picture of the 500 gold cart in the link above from jdjohn looks just like mine except for the stylus. Mine originally had a black body stylus with a silver rectangle. That stylus had been there for at least 20 years and I know it had not been treated with the utmost care which is why I replaced it.

I ordered an original Stanton D71 EE (because the company (not lp gear) said they had them) but they actually substituted it with an LP Gear made replacement.

So this is what I ended up with: https://www.lpgear.com/product/STAD0071EE.html
LPGear Branded D71 EE replacement elliptical 8 × 18 µm (.0003 × .0007 inch)

I appreciate the encouragement, BMRR, that I will make it to outstanding audio quality :)

Thank you Neil for the input. It is great to benefit from the experience of someone with my exact turntable.
When you tried those carts, and settled on the OM10, did you also have to use a different headshell, or are you still using the original Pioneer headshell?
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Re: after adjustments getting sibilance and clipping

Postby BMRR » 13 Oct 2017 18:01

Thanks for the additional info. I've heard mixed reviews of the LP Gear D71EE clone, and most of them have been less than positive, unfortunately. Your best bet with this stylus would be to increase the VTF to 2g, as others have suggested. That should help at least a little bit. But if it doesn't help enough, or doesn't help at all, my suggestion is to purchase a genuine Stanton D70E stylus. The D70E outperforms both the original Stanton D71EE as well as any/all of the aftermarket D71EE clones.

V-M Audio Enthusiasts still has a few genuine Stanton D70Es left. You can find them here, listed under part number 826-DEG:

http://thevoiceofmusic.com/catalog/part ... ategories=

I have several of these and they sound excellent. You will most likely want to set the VTF between 1.75g and 2g, but you should get dramatically less sibilance than you'd get with the aftermarket clones at the same VTF because the original Stanton D70E has a much more sophisticated cantilever and suspension system.
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Re: after adjustments getting sibilance and clipping

Postby Landolaman1 » 13 Oct 2017 18:30

Hi Ben, yes using the original headshell. I do believe that overhang on some, if not all pioneers, differed inasmuch as "Standard" SME headshells, because of the different overhang measurements could not accommodate some cartridges. Pioneer headshells are, i believe, slightly longer because of the overhang difference although i do stand to be corrected on this. Regards, Neil.
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Re: after adjustments getting sibilance and clipping

Postby noisefreq » 13 Oct 2017 22:15

IMG_20160917_143053.jpg


You could try setting up the cartridge by using the Pioneer overhang of 49mm and then square it in the headshell to see if it makes any difference.

Incidentally, what protractor did you use?
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Re: after adjustments getting sibilance and clipping

Postby sonic6567 » 13 Oct 2017 22:19

I went ahead and just ordered an original D70E as you suggest. thank you. For only $22 it is worth a shot.

Neil, might I ask about your refurb of your PL-514? What protractor did you use? I researched this a while back and there seem to be a lot of 'opinions' on this topic. I just used the 'stupid protractor' baerwald from this site because I have no experience. Being as you worked on this exact turntable, what would you suggest?

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Re: after adjustments getting sibilance and clipping

Postby sonic6567 » 13 Oct 2017 22:24

ha ha, noisefreq. I just replied about my protractor the instant you posted without seeing your comments first.
I really appreciate your diagram, thank you.
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