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Old 21st April 2012, 01:15 PM   #1
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Default Turntable...someone please help me.

What am I doing wrong.

About a year ago, I purchased a starter (cheap, $80 Audio Technica variety) turntable to see how I'd like it. I liked the whole vinyl "experience" and when it sounded good, it sounded GOOD. But, I've had a lot of trouble with pops and clicks while listening to music. I've tried various vinyl cleaners, replacing the cartridge/needle with a better model, etc. FWIW, these are all brand new albums, not used.

Fast forward to now, I upgraded to a new turntable, thinking the reason why I've had so many problems was just a cheap turntable, and that now it was time to upgrade to a big(ger)-boy model. I still haven't invested a lot, just upgraded to a mid-range Denon that is more solid, actually has adjustable tracking/skate, etc. I calibrated the unit, and...still with the popping and clicking! There are albums where I can always hear the same pops and clicks in the same place, which would seem to indicate it's the vinyl, but how is it possible that all of my new vinyl records are popping and clicking, and cleaning doesn't help?

I'm at a loss for what to do.
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Old 21st April 2012, 01:56 PM   #2
PChi is offline PChi  United Kingdom
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Welcome to vinyl.
Unfortunately often not much care was taken at the record pressing plants so brand new records weren't free of pops and clicks. The problem is inherent, there have been some click / pop concealment schemes in the past using analogue delay lines.
I'm not saying CD is perfect (unlike the adverts at the time of release) but it is an improvement in my opinion.
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Old 21st April 2012, 02:04 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgudites View Post
What am I doing wrong.

About a year ago, I purchased a starter (cheap, $80 Audio Technica variety) turntable to see how I'd like it. I liked the whole vinyl "experience" and when it sounded good, it sounded GOOD. But, I've had a lot of trouble with pops and clicks while listening to music. I've tried various vinyl cleaners, replacing the cartridge/needle with a better model, etc. FWIW, these are all brand new albums, not used.

Fast forward to now, I upgraded to a new turntable, thinking the reason why I've had so many problems was just a cheap turntable, and that now it was time to upgrade to a big(ger)-boy model. I still haven't invested a lot, just upgraded to a mid-range Denon that is more solid, actually has adjustable tracking/skate, etc. I calibrated the unit, and...still with the popping and clicking! There are albums where I can always hear the same pops and clicks in the same place, which would seem to indicate it's the vinyl, but how is it possible that all of my new vinyl records are popping and clicking, and cleaning doesn't help?

I'm at a loss for what to do.
the LP record is likely to be holding a static charge as it is a very good insulator incapable of diverting charge away from itself , You need to review how your LP's are stored put away, and the environment in which they are playing. Static regrettably attracts minute dust particles. it can sometimes be avoided by introducing some moisture content. To try this, it could be as simple as opening a window.

As a quick experiment place an LP in your fridge for 10 mins and see if the problem resolves. If that works then rotate your LP's to the fridge for 10 mins before putting them away... as strange as that sounds. Extended periods are not as good as the fridge can increase dryness if left closed.

Cheers / Chris
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Old 21st April 2012, 02:17 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Chris Daly View Post
the LP record is likely to be holding a static charge as it is a very good insulator incapable of diverting charge away from itself , You need to review how your LP's are stored put away, and the environment in which they are playing. Static regrettably attracts minute dust particles. it can sometimes be avoided by introducing some moisture content. To try this, it could be as simple as opening a window.

As a quick experiment place an LP in your fridge for 10 mins and see if the problem resolves. If that works then rotate your LP's to the fridge for 10 mins before putting them away... as strange as that sounds. Extended periods are not as good as the fridge can increase dryness if left closed.

Cheers / Chris
Thanks for the suggestion. I would think there's enough moisture in the air here as is (SW Florida), but I'll definitely try the fridge trick and see if anything comes of it!
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Old 23rd April 2012, 02:57 AM   #5
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Hi Mgudites
did the fridge idea reduce the popping and clicking ?

Cheers / Chris
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Old 23rd April 2012, 04:30 AM   #6
DaveG is offline DaveG  United States
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Hi mgudites,
question-
when you say "all your new albums", do you mean the same ones you bought about a year ago with your first turntable and cartridge,
or rather, say you go buy a new album today, clean it and the stylus, and play it with the new turntable and new cartridge... and it also tics and pops?
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Old 23rd April 2012, 04:52 AM   #7
dangus is offline dangus  Canada
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Do you clean the records every time before playing? I use a carbon fiber brush, which apart from picking up dust also reduces static. Wipe it on your shirt sleeve (preferably black) afterwards and you'll see how much dust it removed.

It would be instructive to examine the grooves with a microscope, and see what the nature of the obstacle is. Maybe a more aggressive cleanerlike the lift-off polymer solution would help.
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Old 23rd April 2012, 11:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Daly View Post
Hi Mgudites
did the fridge idea reduce the popping and clicking ?

Cheers / Chris
Have not had a chance to try yet...but I will!

Quote:
when you say "all your new albums", do you mean the same ones you bought about a year ago with your first turntable and cartridge,
or rather, say you go buy a new album today, clean it and the stylus, and play it with the new turntable and new cartridge... and it also tics and pops?
Both. Brand new, never played albums, as well as the ones I purchased alone with my first turntable.

Quote:
Do you clean the records every time before playing? I use a carbon fiber brush, which apart from picking up dust also reduces static. Wipe it on your shirt sleeve (preferably black) afterwards and you'll see how much dust it removed.

It would be instructive to examine the grooves with a microscope, and see what the nature of the obstacle is. Maybe a more aggressive cleanerlike the lift-off polymer solution would help.
Yes, I've been very attentive to cleaning. I bought one of these, which seem to come highly recommended. They are dusty to begin with sometimes, and after I use this brush, they really do look clean...but then again I haven't looked with a microscope or anything. Maybe I do just need something better that will lift junk off of the surface?
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Old 23rd April 2012, 05:15 PM   #9
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Some cartridges use stylus geometries that are more prone to picking up clicks and pops due to debris in the bottom of the grooves - what cartridge are you using?

Another angle to consider is your phono pre-amplifier - is this part of a receiver or some inexpensive add on device? What I'm think specifically is that the clicks and pops are strongly accentuated by a phono stage going into ultrasonic frequency induced overload.

Clicks and pops are a fact of life with vinyl, interestingly inexpensive cartridges and phono stages often make the problem more obvious than less..
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Old 23rd April 2012, 07:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinkr View Post
Some cartridges use stylus geometries that are more prone to picking up clicks and pops due to debris in the bottom of the grooves - what cartridge are you using?

Another angle to consider is your phono pre-amplifier - is this part of a receiver or some inexpensive add on device? What I'm think specifically is that the clicks and pops are strongly accentuated by a phono stage going into ultrasonic frequency induced overload.

Clicks and pops are a fact of life with vinyl, interestingly inexpensive cartridges and phono stages often make the problem more obvious than less..
Hmm.

Well, I *am* using a relatively inexpensive phono preamp that I bought online. I could just use the one that's built in to the unit, but I haven't tried that yet. I read reviews saying the built in one was really bad.

As for my cartridge, it's an Ortofon 2M Red.
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