Will inner groove distortion cause more wear on inner grooves of records

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apastuszak
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Will inner groove distortion cause more wear on inner grooves of records

Post by apastuszak » 09 Nov 2019 15:58

I own quite a lot of used vinyl from the 80s. And I thought I was experiencing inner groove distortion despite my best attempts at proper cartridge calibration. But when I played some albums, they sounded fine all the way through.

The late 70s/early80s was when we had a TON of low end crappy turntable that had nothing adjustable on it and probably some insane tracking force. We had a huge stereo console when I was growing up, that probably had a BSR changer in it with no way to adjust anything. And from that we moved to a Fisher all-in-one that we never adjusted anything on. I'm sure there were lots of households like mine.

So, that leads me to wonder if uneven wear can happen on low end turntables.

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Re: Will inner groove distortion cause more wear on inner grooves of records

Post by philbrown » 09 Nov 2019 18:01

apastuszak wrote:
09 Nov 2019 15:58
I own quite a lot of used vinyl from the 80s. And I thought I was experiencing inner groove distortion despite my best attempts at proper cartridge calibration. But when I played some albums, they sounded fine all the way through.
So, that leads me to wonder if uneven wear can happen on low end turntables.
Sure, but you're conflating two different problems: wear and inner groove distortion.
Inner groove distortion occurs because the linear groove distance per second reduces as the record gets to the center, from about 15 ips on the outside to about 7 on the inner grooves. This means that higher frequencies tend to get squeezed out. In the days before the loudness wars we used to boost high frequencies as the stylus got to the center to compensate for this. This went away by the early 70s.
The distortion happens because the playback stylus can't track the compacted groove well. This is a problem inherent to the phonograph record..
Phil Brown

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Re: Will inner groove distortion cause more wear on inner grooves of records

Post by Bob Dillon » 10 Nov 2019 01:14

I find the tracking wear problem much more on used records from the 1950's and 60's. 1970's and 80's not as much. Some of the phonographs around 60 odd years ago were really tough on records.

I don't think you should consider it normal to put up with a lot of inner groove distortion on 1980's era vinyl. I do mean distortion / siblilance / hash on the last band of the record. Plenty of recommendations for carts that can help mitigate that problem in the Cartridges and Preamps thread. If you're using something like a cheaper conical stylus those can do badly on tracking the inner grooves.

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Re: Will inner groove distortion cause more wear on inner grooves of records

Post by philbrown » 10 Nov 2019 02:04

Bob Dillon wrote:
10 Nov 2019 01:14
I find the tracking wear problem much more on used records from the 1950's and 60's. 1970's and 80's not as much. Some of the phonographs around 60 odd years ago were really tough on records.

I don't think you should consider it normal to put up with a lot of inner groove distortion on 1980's era vinyl. I do mean distortion / siblilance / hash on the last band of the record. Plenty of recommendations for carts that can help mitigate that problem in the Cartridges and Preamps thread. If you're using something like a cheaper conical stylus those can do badly on tracking the inner grooves.
In the period of which you speak our main problem was high frequency inner groove distortion because we were putting more HF on the disc than we ever did. By the mid 70s we were using high frequency limiters to help this.
Ellipitical stylii track high HF better because the contact patch is narrower.
Phil Brpwn

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Re: Will inner groove distortion cause more wear on inner grooves of records

Post by apastuszak » 11 Nov 2019 01:30

Bob Dillon wrote:
10 Nov 2019 01:14
I find the tracking wear problem much more on used records from the 1950's and 60's. 1970's and 80's not as much. Some of the phonographs around 60 odd years ago were really tough on records.

I don't think you should consider it normal to put up with a lot of inner groove distortion on 1980's era vinyl. I do mean distortion / siblilance / hash on the last band of the record. Plenty of recommendations for carts that can help mitigate that problem in the Cartridges and Preamps thread. If you're using something like a cheaper conical stylus those can do badly on tracking the inner grooves.
I'm playing things either on:

Technics SL-D2 with an AT-VM95E cartrdige and stylus

or

Dual 1257 with a Pfanstiehl replacement stylus

Some records play just fine to the end, but others seem to suffer from distortion in the last song on the side. The Technics, I've double checked the alignment and it appears fine. The Dual is supposed to be "good to go," with no adjustments needed. You just smack a stylus on and drop the needle and rock out.

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Re: Will inner groove distortion cause more wear on inner grooves of records

Post by apastuszak » 11 Nov 2019 01:39

So, if you have inner groove distortion going on, will it cause uneven record wear for the inner tracks?

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Re: Will inner groove distortion cause more wear on inner grooves of records

Post by Bob Dillon » 11 Nov 2019 01:42

apastuszak wrote:
11 Nov 2019 01:39
So, if you have inner groove distortion going on, will it cause uneven record wear for the inner tracks?
Question doesn't compute.
apastuszak wrote:
11 Nov 2019 01:30


Technics SL-D2 with an AT-VM95E cartrdige and stylus

or

Dual 1257 with a Pfanstiehl replacement stylus

Some records play just fine to the end, but others seem to suffer from distortion in the last song on the side. The Technics, I've double checked the alignment and it appears fine. The Dual is supposed to be "good to go," with no adjustments needed. You just smack a stylus on and drop the needle and rock out.
Smack a VM95ML stylus (it's worth it) on that cart and you will hear a big difference I bet. Especially for the records you are having trouble with. Years ago I struggled with conical and cheaper elliptical styli, giving me that IGD, on various turntables. With my first micro line stylus I saw the light. Although I still use some other stylus shapes, when appropriate.

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Re: Will inner groove distortion cause more wear on inner grooves of records

Post by apastuszak » 11 Nov 2019 02:17

Bob Dillon wrote:
11 Nov 2019 01:42
apastuszak wrote:
11 Nov 2019 01:39
So, if you have inner groove distortion going on, will it cause uneven record wear for the inner tracks?
Question doesn't compute.
apastuszak wrote:
11 Nov 2019 01:30


Technics SL-D2 with an AT-VM95E cartrdige and stylus

or

Dual 1257 with a Pfanstiehl replacement stylus

Some records play just fine to the end, but others seem to suffer from distortion in the last song on the side. The Technics, I've double checked the alignment and it appears fine. The Dual is supposed to be "good to go," with no adjustments needed. You just smack a stylus on and drop the needle and rock out.
Smack a VM95ML stylus (it's worth it) on that cart and you will hear a big difference I bet. Especially for the records you are having trouble with. Years ago I struggled with conical and cheaper elliptical styli, giving me that IGD, on various turntables. With my first micro line stylus I saw the light. Although I still use some other stylus shapes, when appropriate.
It's a little more than I want to spend right now.

And I don't understand why the question doesn't compute. If you're getting inner grove distortion, the stylus is not riding right down the middle of the groove, but is being pulled right or left. Would that cause one side of the groove to wear more than the other one on the inner tracks, causing those tracks to eventually permanently sound distorted due to uneven wear?

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Re: Will inner groove distortion cause more wear on inner grooves of records

Post by philbrown » 11 Nov 2019 02:31

OK folks, simmer down. Record wear, if you take any care of tracking, is almost 100% due to an unclean record. One of the reasons records are made of vinyl is that is plastic. It has a memory and will rebound. The PB stylus will deform the groove a bit and the material rebounds.
Phil Brown

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Re: Will inner groove distortion cause more wear on inner grooves of records

Post by Bob Dillon » 11 Nov 2019 02:32

On a modern light tracking setup I don't think so. Vinyl is quite forgiving and more durable than you think when you are talking about tracking forces of a few grams - more or less. You don't have to worry about wearing out your records.

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Re: Will inner groove distortion cause more wear on inner grooves of records

Post by Bob Dillon » 11 Nov 2019 02:37

philbrown wrote:
11 Nov 2019 02:31
OK folks, simmer down. Record wear, if you take any care of tracking, is almost 100% due to an unclean record. One of the reasons records are made of vinyl is that is plastic. It has a memory and will rebound. The PB stylus will deform the groove a bit and the material rebounds.
Phil Brown
Whoops, I posted at the same time as you. Some of my points were similar to yours I think.

apastuszak
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Re: Will inner groove distortion cause more wear on inner grooves of records

Post by apastuszak » 11 Nov 2019 02:37

Bob Dillon wrote:
11 Nov 2019 02:32
On a modern light tracking setup I don't think so. Vinyl is quite forgiving and more durable than you think when you are talking about tracking forces of a few grams - more or less. You don't have to worry about wearing out your records.
I know that I am good. I'm thinking of the guy that bought the record 40 years ago and dropped it on that turntable in their living room with 8 grams of tracking force, no anti-skate, and no counterbalance. It was their favorite album, and they played over and over again on these suboptinal conditions. Now I'm going to buy this record used at a store. Would this kind of record possibly have more wear on the inner grooves than the outer grooves?
Last edited by apastuszak on 11 Nov 2019 02:39, edited 1 time in total.

Bob Dillon
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Re: Will inner groove distortion cause more wear on inner grooves of records

Post by Bob Dillon » 11 Nov 2019 02:39

apastuszak wrote:
11 Nov 2019 02:37
Bob Dillon wrote:
11 Nov 2019 02:32
On a modern light tracking setup I don't think so. Vinyl is quite forgiving and more durable than you think when you are talking about tracking forces of a few grams - more or less. You don't have to worry about wearing out your records.
I know that I am good. I'm thinking of the guy that bought the record 40 years ago and dropped it on that turntable in their living room with 8 grams of tracking force, no anti-skate, and no counterbalance. Now I'm going to buy this record used at a store. Would this kind of record possibly have more wear on the inner grooves than the outer grooves?
Maybe yes maybe no. Depends how that guys 10 ounce tonearm was tracking and his phonograph was level and so on.
Plenty of old, real old records have uneven wear on either groove wall.

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